Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aerco has launched the Adda AS6038, a high-performance, DC axial fan built in the 60 x 60 x 38mm frame size for use in spot-cooling systems, medical instrumentation and desktop instrumentation. Operating over a supply voltage range of 5-13.2VDC, it delivers airflow of 41.83litre/sec (89cfm) at zero pressure.

Built with a frame of UL:94V-0 plastic and a high-quality dual ball-bearing system, the AS6038 is polarity protected, has auto-restart and supplies any combination of fan fail rotation detection, speed sensor tachometer and pulse-width modulated control. Life expectance is 70,000hours at 70C and the operating temperature range is -10C to +70C at 65 per cent relative humidity.

DVD Valves has launched the DVD swing check valve with dashpot, for use in applications or projects that have a risk of surge, such as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The company claimed that if an application has a risk of surge, it is not wise to use standard swing check valves. This is because in case of a surge, water columns that are flowing back can hit the check valve fast, which can burst down the entire system.

In the DVD check valve, the dashpot makes the door of the valve close very quickly until some critical point, leaving a small gap for some water to pass through the valve, and then slowly seals the door tight. The dashpot acts like a cushion in case the door shuts down suddenly.

Using this solution, a small amount of water, which does no harm to the system, is let through the valve, dropping the surge. The check valve seals tight when surge conditions disappear. A key application for the product is HVAC systems. In addition to surge and water hammer prevention, the check valve also decreases the amount of noise generated by the system. DVD is producing check valves with dashpot at a range of O300-1,000mm.

HBM's catalogue 'Strain gages and accessories' is now available in both English and German versions. The catalogue features HBM's range of strain gauges and their specifications on nearly 100 pages. A flow chart is included that requires answers to a few simple questions so that the best strain gauge for any application can be easily and quickly determined. In addition, the catalogue contains hints on how to correctly use strain gauges.

In addition to detailed information about strain gauges, the catalogue provides details about accessories, such as adhesives, bonding material, cleaning and covering agents, which are needed for strain gauge applications. Optical strain gauges based on fibre Bragg gratings are among the features of the catalogue. These can be used for applications in potentially explosive atmospheres because their operation is based on light rather than electrical signals; similarly, electromagnetic interference does not impact on their operation.

Optical strain gauges are particularly suited to applications with very high strain and load-cycle numbers. Strain gauges are mainly used for experimental stress analysis and in the manufacture of transducers.

The Model 305 Fixed Focus Non-Browning Lens from Resolve Optics has been designed to provide high performance with large-image-format cameras and sensors used in environments subject to radiation. Measuring 30mm in diameter, the compact f2 lens delivers high image resolution and minimum geometric distortion from 400-750nm. Manufactured from cerium-doped glass or synthetic silica, the Model 305 lens is able to withstand radiation exposure of up to 53 kGy (108 rads) and temperatures up to 55C without discolouration.

To give a 40deg field of view in both the vertical and horizontal planes and 25 cycles/mm, the Model 305 lens is able to provide high optical performance for images up to 18mm in diameter. Available with a manual or motorised iris, the Model 305 provides a focus from 35mm in front of the lens to infinity. The lens meets the requirement, in nuclear vision and space research applications, for cameras to be radiation-hard and to cover a large image format.

SKF has extended its Microlog range of portable data-collection systems with the introduction of an instrument that is suited for the onsite balancing of rotors. Suitable for electrical motor rewinders, the SKF Microlog Field Balancer will support single- or dual-plane balancing and, with its easy-to-follow menus, can provide a simple summary report of trial and balancing runs, prior to the engineer leaving site. The SKF Microlog Field Balancer ensures that machinery can operate at optimum performance levels and that operating costs are reduced.

Using robust, high-speed data processors, the Field Balancer provides real-time display updates of vibration amplitude and phase angle, while calculating the optimum trial/correction weights as required. The handheld SKF Microlog Field Balancer incorporates SKF's proven balancing firmware, as well as the FFT analysis and bump test module to assist in confirming an out-of-balance problem exists at the outset, or by identifying other common machine faults.

Using the on-screen step-by-step guide, static, couple or dynamic imbalances can be corrected easily, either through continuous 360deg or fixed locations. The SKF Microlog Field Balancer is compact, simple to operate and features a rugged, IP-65 rated ergonomic design to ensure a reliable and particularly long service life. On-screen user assistance can be viewed clearly on the instrument's high-visibility 6.4in VGA colour display, meaning it can be used as easily by non-vibration experts as experienced maintenance engineers. The unit is supplied in a durable site carrying case, complete with two accelerometers, a laser tachometer and cables. An optional pocket jet printer is also available to provide onsite balancing summary reports if required.

Applied Market Information (AMI) has announced that the second international conference on Polymers in Photovoltaics is set to be held on 12-14 April 2011 at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, Germany. Photovoltaic manufacturing is still undergoing change in terms of technology and materials. Production costs per module need to come down to a more profitable level while maintaining durability and enhancing performance and functionality. The Polymers in Photovoltaics conference will discuss these issues.

Speakers will outline the market situation and future prospects, as well as the latest developments in modules. A range of polymer materials is in use in solar modules in functions such as backsheets, silicon encapsulants, sealants and adhesives, and front sheets. Multilayer, multi-material structures are now common for backing sheets with different functions provided by each layer. Industry standards are being developed by bodies such as Underwriters Laboratories and TUV with flammability and weathering performance testing.

Polymers offer flexibility in production and use, however, they must be properly specified and selected and there must be good inter-material adhesion and compatibility under the high-performance conditions of moisture, sunlight, wind and snow in different areas of the world. Polymers in Photovoltaics 2011 will bring together materials experts, module component and module manufacturers to discuss the best materials and manufacturing technologies for the solar industry.

Wika Instruments has expanded its liquid level instrument range with magnetic level indicators (bypass level gauges), sight glass level indicators, magnetic float switches and level transmitters. The expansion follows Wika's acquisition of KSR Kuebler Niveau-Messtechnik.

As a specialist in the provision of pressure and temperature measurement instrumentation, the addition of KSR Kuebler and Phoenix liquid level measurement instruments ensures Wika continues to meet customer requirements for complete application coverage. Wika has formed a level measurement technical support team at its UK head office to assist with all application and servicing requirements.

Intellitect Water has announced two distribution partnerships with Italian companies for the Intellisonde in-pipe water quality monitors. The Intellisonde is designed to provide water companies with more efficient access to drinking water quality data and will now be distributed across municipal and industrial sectors in Italy by Ast Analytica and Bimatik.

Developed to continuously monitor in-pipe water within drinking water distribution networks, the Intellisonde is a small water quality monitor that can be inserted into pressurised pipes to monitor up to 12 parameters. The technology offers utilities the ability to monitor water quality in the many thousands of miles of pipes that carry water to industrial and domestic consumers. This reduces the cost of water treatment, improves water quality and aids the management of water distribution networks.

Emerson Process Management has extended the capability of its Rosemount 2100 series of vibrating fork level switches with the 2130 for safety integrity level SIL2 safety instrumented systems. This version features built-in fault monitoring/self-checking diagnostics and is suitable for high- and low-level alarms. Following third-party evaluation by Exida, the Rosemount 2130 has the required failure modes, effects and diagnostic analysis (FMEDA) report. As a result, companies in the oil and gas production, refining, petrochemical, chemical, and power industries can benefit from the virtually maintenance-free vibration fork technology while ensuring compliance with associated IEC industry standards.

With several output types with a safe failure fraction over 90 per cent, the resulting FMEDA report shows SIL2 suitability. As per IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, the documentation provides safety instrumentation engineers with the required failure data and with proof test recommendations. With a five-year-plus proof test interval, the proof test can be co-ordinated with plant turnaround, minimising process interruption and reducing risk to personnel. The Rosemount 2100 series is suitable for high- and low-level alarm and pump control duties.

The 2130 version is simple and easy-to-use, reliable in a range of applications and requires no on-site calibration, according to Emerson Process Management. The visible heat-beat LED gives an instant visual indication that the unit is operational. In addition, the built-in fault monitoring/self-diagnostics can detect extreme corrosion of the forks, or any other internal or external damage to the fork sensor, which triggers a warning LED and safe handling of the load.

Further functionality includes a low-density option suitable for liquids with a specific gravity down to 0.5 (500kg/m3), a choice of electronic output options for use on their own, or as part of an analogue or digital plant monitoring network. The Rosemount 2130 is designed for use in extreme temperatures ranging from -70C to +260C and is available with 316L stainless steel as standard, ECTFE/PFA copolymer coated 316L stainless steel or corrosion-resistant alloy C wet side as well as a choice of output types and aluminium or stainless-steel housing options.

Loma Systems has upgraded its IQ3 metal detector for the food processing industry with the addition of a global dual-line display panel to enhance the flexibility and functionality of the controls. The control panel is multilingual and is universal across all countries. The panel supports a range of languages and is therefore suitable for any food processor with a multi-cultural workforce. The dual-line panel has been designed to ensure that the operator can easily and quickly identify that the machine is inspecting the correct product.

This eliminates the wrong product being inspected. Other key functions are always visible, such as threshold and product signal, which can be viewed simultaneously without pressing any additional buttons. The display also has a status indicator that provides a quick visual indication of the operating conditions of the machine by using the 'traffic light' red, yellow and green indicators. Additionally, if a button is active it is illuminated to help guide the operator. This makes setting up the metal detector and product changeover simple.

The display features a key-lock option, which can be enabled to prevent unauthorised access and use of the machine. Four access levels have been added so some functions are only available to key personnel. The universal display also means that Loma can supply its metal detector heads and conveyors in ultra quick time as more parts become universal across the world. For customers who already have a Loma IQ3, the global dual-line display can be retrofitted if required so giving increased functionality to existing installations.

If the unit is being fitted as an upgrade, line operators have the advantage of not having to learn all the technical details of a new machine. The unit can be fitted by qualified Loma engineers between shift patterns so there would be minimal downtime. Loma's variable frequency technology allows the metal detector to be configured to automatically select the correct frequency for each item during the product calibration. This reduces the possibility of operator error, therefore reducing product wastage and recall costs.

Analytical Technology has been awarded a three-year framework agreement by Thames Water, which will see the company install its optical dissolved oxygen monitors to improve process control. The company will install its optical dissolved oxygen monitors across multiple Thames Water wastewater treatment works in order to improve process control. During the bidding process, Thames Water was impressed by Analytical Technology's Q45D-ODO monitor's capability as well as the commercial services offered by the vendor.

The company was required to meet a rigorous vendor assessment standard, which showed that the company had provided good customer support for its disinfection monitors already installed within Thames Water. Analytical Technology also demonstrated capital cost savings as well as project and whole-life savings, which will be achieved through lower maintenance and reduced cost for spares. Dissolved oxygen is one of the most critical parameters in the activated sludge process and tighter consent targets now mean that utility companies, including Thames Water, need to review instrumentation to ensure that all wastewater treatment works are fully compliant.

Analytical Technology's optical dissolved oxygen monitor has been designed to provide reliable dissolved oxygen control while keeping maintenance to a minimum. The monitor is based on fluorescence quenching technology and provides continuous monitoring with virtually no servicing required.

Conventional oxygen sensors are often affected by process coating and any material that slows the diffusion of oxygen into the reaction cell will cause an error in the oxygen reading. Analytical Technology's Q45D-ODO contains an auto-clean function, which generates a series of high-pressure air blasts to remove contaminants from the face of the sensor and eliminate errors caused by fouling. This auto-clean capability will enable Thames Water to achieve continuous and reliable dissolved oxygen measurement without the risk of sensor fouling.

Porvair Filtration has launched Cryptofil filter cartridges, designed to provide absolute control of Cryptosporidium oocysts in water used in the food, beverage and ultrapure water industries. The Cryptofil cartridge was developed after extensive research and has resulted in filter media with continuously graded fibre density, which enables progressively finer oocyst retention through the depth of the media. This graded density depth filtration mechanism, combined with optimised pleated pack configuration and resultant high surface area, affords high flow capability and good oocyst retention capacity.

Cryptosporidium oocysts removed from the water flow are captured within the media and are not subject to release by system fluctuations. The voids volume of Cryptofil combined with advanced cartridge construction that can be steam, hot water or chemically sterilised results in a filter capable of retaining high concentrations of oocysts ensuring extended service life and reduced filtration costs.

Mettler Toledo has revealed that Nahr-Engel, a manufacturer of dehydrated potato products, is using product inspection technologies, including checkweighers, as part of its quality control processes. Nahr-Engel uses an S-series checkweigher to verify the weight of all products in its various lines of dehydrated potatoes. The company's newest equipment purchase is a Garvens XE3 checkweigher with a strain-gauge weighing cell, which checks whether the packing machine has inserted all three mashed potato sachets into cartons on the mashed potato flakes line.

The XE3 checkweigher is the last quality control station at Nahr-Engel and automatically rejects all cartons with missing potato sachets. This completeness checking is done at a conveyor speed of up to 45m per minute, checking up to 100 cartons per minute. The compact checkweigher can rapidly verify the weight of cartons between 100-2,000g at an accuracy level adequate for checking completeness, in addition to being cost-effective. It also features a fully adjustable height setting, a sorting/rejection device tailored to product characteristics, and continuously variable conveyor speed control to match the line speed.

In addition to the weighing technology, Mettler Toledo also offers solutions to check food products for foreign bodies. During production at Nahr-Engel, Mettler Toledo Safeline metal detectors verify that the dehydrated potato products are metal free. As part of Mettler Toledo's Profile platform of products, this metal detector was designed for simple integration into food production lines and provides reliable metal detection during production.

Ocean Optics' Jaz modular spectrometer is now available with Jaz Scripting Language (Jaz-SPL), enabling users to customise spectrometer data acquisition, processing and export functions. Jaz is a family of stackable components that share common electronics and communications. Included in the Jaz stack is a CCD-array spectrometer that can be optimised for a variety of measurements and a microprocessor with display.

With Jaz-SPL, the power of its on-board microprocessor can be harnessed with scripts for simple data acquisition, processing and export of results to an SD card. An Ethernet-equipped Jaz can be remotely controlled by a PC, or the Jaz can run the script from an SD card with no need for a PC. As a reference point for starting new scripts, sample scripts and a programming language reference manual are included with the software.

The modular design of the Jaz family, with user-selected grating and slit options optimised for a variety of application needs, allows it to be customised for a range of applications in field, lab or process environments. With the new software, users will be able to further tailor measurements to their requirements, without any special programming knowledge.

Alpeco has revealed that it has supplied and fitted a pump and metering system to Wessex Petroleum for use on highly specialised oil delivery trucks. Exxon Mobil uses three main distributors in the UK to deliver products to a national network of trade and retail outlets; Wessex Petroleum is one of them. Wessex Petroleum delivers the Exxon Mobil lubricant products using two special road tankers, which are fitted with dual manifolds, two pumps, two LC meters with TE550 dual electronics registers and a central CPU, all supplied to the tanker manufacturer Magyar by Alpeco.

The multi-compartment vehicles are designed to carry a variety of lube oil products, which are discharged to the customer through each of two hydraulically driven pump and metering systems. Cross-contamination between products is avoided through the use of a specially designed dual-manifold system and a pneumatic hose blow-down system, which can be activated remotely by the driver from the end of the delivery hose. The Wessex Petroleum trucks are fitted with Alpeco's dual T550 electronic registers, which have the ability to control up to four metering systems simultaneously.

A webpage from Genevac brings together technological innovations, applications advances and references for evaporation and sample-concentration techniques relating to natural products research. The company said its evaporator systems are also used by researchers seeking to extract functional molecules from natural sources. Typically, investigations involve a primary solvent extraction of natural products that result in a large volume of crude extract. The crude extract is then often concentrated before being fractionated to isolate each component.

The time-consuming concentration task has been revolutionised by the large-volume parallel-processing capabilities of the Rocket evaporator, according to Genevac. The process of natural product fractionation typically produces many samples from a single extract. These samples need then to be evaporated before storage or analysis. Examples of high-throughput evaporation and lyophilisation techniques using Genevac HT series evaporators for this purpose are detailed on the webpage.

Web links are provided to a bibliography of scientific publications in peer review journals that offer further insight into how modern evaporative sample preparation methods are enabling laboratories accelerate and improve the process of obtaining new compounds from a range of natural products.

Torqsense transducers from Sensor Technology are playing a role in product development at Gloucestershire-based Lister Shearing, a supplier of animal-shearing and clipping equipment. The sensors, which are based on SAW (surface acoustic wave) technology, are being used by the company as an aid to evaluating the performance of miniature electric motors. To address motor-selection issues and, in particular, to assist in the development of a handheld sheep shear, Lister Shearing decided to set up a motor test rig that would allow the performance of motors from various suppliers to be compared quickly and easily.

A key requirement for this rig was that it should be able to accurately determine the torque produced by each motor and its speed under a range of operating conditions. Torqsense sensors depend on surface acoustic wave transducers that comprise of two thin metal electrodes, in the form of interlocking fingers, on a piezoelectric substrate such as quartz. When an RF signal of the correct frequency is applied to the transducer, surface acoustic waves are set up and the transducer behaves as a resonant circuit.

The essential feature, however, is that, if the substrate is deformed, the resonant frequency changes. When the transducer is attached to a motor drive shaft, the deformation of the substrate and, hence, the change in resonant frequency is related to the torque applied to the shaft. In other words, the transducer, in effect, becomes a frequency-dependent strain gauge. Since the transducers operate at radio frequencies, it is easy to couple signals to them wirelessly.

Hence, Torqsense sensors that incorporate the SAW transducer technology can be used on rotating shafts and can provide data continuously without the need for brushes and slip rings. Torqsense sensors are available in versions that can be used at shaft speeds well in excess of 20,000rpm and thus easily meet Lister Shearing's requirements. In addition, they have a high overload margin, operate equally well clockwise and anticlockwise, and feature integral temperature monitoring.

The sensors also provide accurate data about speed and power. In this application, the sensor was complemented by Sensor Technology's Torqview software package that runs on a PC and combines data acquisition with a real-time display of torque, motor shaft speed, power and temperature. Torqview also stores the data it captures and offers powerful tools for its subsequent analysis.

Parker Hannifin has signed a strategic partnership with life-science analytical solutions provider AB Sciex to enhance its distribution network for its Parker Balston LCMS gas generators. Under the agreement, AB Sciex will resell, install and service the Parker technologies, allowing the company to penetrate the European and Asian markets. Parker has provided a comprehensive training and support suite to the AB Sciex field sales and service groups, forming part of a long-term programme for both companies to develop new technologies for the life-sciences sector.

Parker's laboratory gas generators have been specifically designed to meet and exceed the gas flow, purity and pressure requirements of the latest generation of LC/MS instruments. Indeed, these systems deliver pure nitrogen for curtain gas, pure zero grade air as gas-1/gas-2 source gases and dry -40C dew-point air as source exhaust, at flow rates ranging from 12l/minute to 40l/minute. Although supplied as complete systems, the modular nature of the units provides flexibility to allow single or multiple instruments to be used.

Using the pressure swing absorption technique, the high-performance generators provide a continuous stream of clean, dry nitrogen without the need for secondary purification and are fully compatible with all known APCI and ESI interfaces. Gas distribution, pressure, and flow control are integral to each generator, therefore eliminating the requirement for secondary gas pressure or gas management systems. The Parker Balston gas generators eliminate the need for high-pressure nitrogen and zero air cylinders.

Mogensen Raw Materials Handling is a specialist manufacturer of vibratory screens, feeders, conveyors, sizers and open-ended, non-clogging grizzlies known as Divergators for the recycling industry. Many recycling plants find it essential to use vibratory equipment somewhere in their processes to loosen, carry out preliminary separation on, spread and/or size the incoming materials.

Examples of processes that would not be able to operate effectively without this sort of assistance include magnetic, eddy current, ballistic, optical-electronic and air separation, all of which are found in the recycling industry. According to Mogensen, within the recycling sector the processing of waste materials from the construction industry has shown the most marked increase in recent years. This includes the dewatering and sizing of sand and recycled aggregates, the sizing of wood products and glass, and also the screening of waste plasterboard following the banning in the European Union of consigning such material to landfill.

Mogensen has supplied numerous machines for processing shredded plasterboard, ranging from small single-deck screens to 3m-wide, five-deck sizer/spreader feeder combinations. These units have been used to perform simple duties such as the removal of paper and production of coarse-grade recycled gypsum, and also more demanding duties such as the production of multiple fine-grade fractions compliant with British Standard PAS109:2008.

Mogensen equipment is used, for example, to process shredded plasterboard at rates of up to 80tph, performing separations to less than 1mm. With more than 500,000 tonnes of scrap plasterboard already recycled annually in the UK alone, the environmental benefit is clear, especially as clean, recycled board is about 97 per cent re-usable in the manufacture of new plasterboard, cement manufacture, the production of bricks and building blocks for internal use, and for soil improvement.

Miyano has revealed how Pollard Engineering has used the 15-axis ABX-64 TH3 turn-mill centre to slash lead times and increase flexibility. The decision by the company to install the Miyano ABX has been rewarded on the production of the first four batches of hydraulic system components; lead times were reduced by completing components in a single operation and, as an example, a particular spool component that required 10 separate production set-ups is now produced in just two.

The Miyano ABX has the ability to utilise its two upper three-axis turrets with the main 15kW and secondary 7.5kW spindles with a lower three-axis turret that can service either or both spindles in a cycle. This has allowed Pollard Engineering to increase its reputation with customers and attract more business. Mark Cummings, foreman of Pollard Engineering's machine shop, said: 'We have so far tooled up four very complex components, but one particular multi-featured hydraulic spool now combines 10 previous separate operations into just two.

'On two other parts, each having three operations, these have been reduced to two and one, respectively, and a fourth part, which previously had two operations is now produced in a single cycle. 'This has made my job so much easier in planning our workload and overcomes previous concerns where we had to pay so much attention to prevent loss of accuracy and geometric positional tolerances due to the number of relocations and resetting,' he added. Alan Pollard, quality director at Pollard Engineering, said that with the type of components being produced, the combination of features into a single cycle gives so much added security to production.

He added: 'While the initial first-off inspection takes longer to perform due to the added complexity, it significantly reduces the need for so many first-off approvals for each separate operation, which can build up and cause major delays in setting. 'Also, we have found the added flexibility of tool setting enables any changes to improve the process so easy to make,' he said. Regarding the next time each batch is run, Cummings added: 'We will then really benefit. 'Firstly, we will know and fully understand the machine, while the program and tooling will be proven.

'Also, with 36 driven positions on the three turrets, each with a Y-axis cross-feed available, we will be able to keep a common suite of tooling in place, which is another bonus in reducing resetting times,' he said. The Miyano ABX-64 THY3 utilises Stealth Technology, which counters any effects and influence of thermal growth during warm-up, heat generated by its motors, the types of material machined, coolant temperature and heavy/light duty cutting.

Within five months of the installation, the Miyano ABX has produced 2,500 components out of 40mm diameter condition H brass bar and 1,500 from 35mm stainless steel. To illustrate the complexity of the parts, a batch of 500 spools that required 10 operations is now produced using the simultaneous cutting ability of the Miyano (apart from a requirement for special undercut, which has to be produced in a separate operation).

In addition, the Miyano has produced 1,500 components from 35mm diameter stainless steel where two turning operations and a drilling cycle have been combined into one. Cummings said: 'While the brass can require minor attention, we were apprehensive over the performance on stainless steel. 'With the rigidity of the machine and using the right tooling, we do not even notice a difference between materials. 'We even hold a 0.01mm tolerance of both materials without any concerns, which says much for our consistency of production,' he added.

Reach Delivery International is to launch Reach Delivery to enable chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and downstream users to meet a key requirement of the EU Reach legislation. The service will enable manufacturers, importers, distributors and downstream users to guarantee the secure delivery and receipt of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and associated documentation when they ship chemical substances to customers within Europe. The launch, open to all companies worldwide, is scheduled for 10 January 2011.

To comply with Reach, vendors are now responsible for ensuring the delivery of SDS and associated documentation to their customers and for keeping these documents up-to-date in the event of any changes or clarifications. Suppliers will no longer be able to simply publish these documents on a website or in a catalogue of SDS for customers to access. Sending the latest SDS in the post or by e-mail will be inadequate as companies will not be able to guarantee delivery, nor record proof of delivery without significant additional time, effort and cost.

In addition, traditional delivery methods will not provide any automated process to accommodate the Reach regulations when supplying SDS updates to customers. This is not a challenge that individual organisations will be able to solve by developing a proprietary document delivery system as this would be unworkable in a global industry. Malcolm Carroll, director at Reach Delivery International, said: 'The first phase of Reach registration is finalised this month and manufacturers and importers of chemicals will need to consider how they tackle their requirements around the delivery and receipt of SDS.

'They will have to ensure that up-to-date documents are delivered to their customers and they subsequently keep their customers updated with the very latest SDS to comply with regulations. 'Reach Delivery provides a single point of access for delivery and receipt of SDS and provides compliance support, not only to the chemical industry but to all downstream users,' Carroll added. Jo Lloyd, director at Reach Ready, said: 'With the completion of the first phase of Reach registration, many manufacturers and importers of chemicals are now revising their SDSs to incorporate new hazard and risk information they have learned during registration or in reclassifying their substances according to the new CLP regulation.

'The new year will see a flurry of revised SDSs enter the supply chain and keeping track of what has been sent to which customer and ensuring delivery will bring its own headaches - regulators have been quite clear that suppliers are now responsible for delivering revised SDSs to their customers. 'As part of our Matchmaker service, Reachready is keen to promote tools that help facilitate Reach and CLP compliance and welcomes this new management product from Reach Delivery, a Reachready Approved Supplier,' Lloyd added. Reach Delivery is an online service that enables the electronic delivery, receipt, control, update, audit and tracking of SDSs in line with the Reach regulations.

It is a free-to-use service with an optional pay-as-you-use area for users wanting to send documents externally, who will then pay a low 'per document' fee. Recipients of the SDS and other documents are able to use the service free-of-charge. Reach Delivery requires no lengthy implementation or training. A simple set-up and registration process will enable users to send securely the latest versions of SDS directly to their customers' desktops and receive proof or delivery and receipt as soon as their customers access the documents.

An audit trail of all activities related to their documents is provided to demonstrate compliance and reduce the risk of any potential enforcement and legal action. Reach Delivery users benefit by being able to distribute the SDS throughout their company, via Reach Delivery, free-of-charge, ensuring the latest SDS are always being used across their organisation.

The system notifies them immediately of any changes to any information in their SDS, with an updated version replacing the previous one so only the latest version is in use. All SDS will be held securely on a central repository, accessible only by the document owner or a recipient to whom they have sent the document. Users can also, optionally, elect to store copies of documents locally on their own machines for online or offline operations and still guarantee that these documents are automatically kept up-to-date.

Planview has announced Planview Enterprise 10.2, a PPM offering that is designed to improve the interactivity, performance and scalability of enterprise-class project and resource management. This version continues the company's collaboration with Microsoft Silverlight 4 and includes a range of customer-driven enhancements. Using new Silverlight components, this version of Planview Enterprise delivers desktop-like performance while maintaining all of the advantages of browser-based applications.

These features provide project managers with the power and capability to better manage their growing project and resource portfolios. The resulting high level of interactivity allows users to be more productive and gain more insight into their businesses. The release also includes a new interactive Gantt chart that allows users to quickly and easily modify project schedules and view complex information in a simple, graphical format.

With Silverlight as its platform, this intuitive and robust capability gives users an instant overview into the effect of changes on project schedules, resources and dependencies. Resource managers can now see more information more quickly and easily with greater configurability, control over view preferences and reduced clicks. Further upgrades to the Planview Enterprise suite include enhancements to analytics, financials and extended portfolio-analysis capabilities.

Crowcon's IRmax is an ultra-compact infrared (IR) gas detector that delivers rapid, failsafe detection of hydrocarbon gases with very low power consumption. Said to be smaller and lighter than comparable IR detectors, the IRmax is easy to install in even the most inaccessible locations. Featuring dual-wavelength IR sensor technology in a rugged 316 stainless-steel package, IRmax is designed to operate in the harshest conditions in temperatures ranging from -40 to 75C.

IRmax features Stay-Clir optical components that are treated with a highly durable coating that prevents faults due to condensation. Because IRmax contains no components for artificially heating optical surfaces, power consumption is reduced and the device requires only 1W of power - 75-90 per cent lower than conventional IR gas detectors, according to the company. IRmax detectors require smaller and lower-cost power supplies and battery back-up systems.

In addition, low power consumption also means that longer cables can be used and more detectors can be powered on addressable networks. A T90 response time of 4sec is possible because of a compact diffusion gas chamber in combination with an effective weatherproof cap. The weatherproof cap also enables remote gassing and calibration of the detector without requiring a special calibration cap and without the need for scaffolding or cherry pickers to access the detector.

Another feature of the IRmax is an optional IR Display, which can be fitted directly to the detector or mounted up to 30m away to enable checking and calibration of detectors situated in remote or inaccessible areas. As well as delivering essential non-intrusive calibration functions, the display also provides diagnostic information and features to simplify testing and commissioning. Atex and IECEx-certified for use in Zone 1 and Zone 2 hazardous areas, IRmax features Hart communications and complies with the IEC61508 functional safety standard to SIL 2.

Parker Hannifin has provided a range Iqan hydraulic products to demonstrate the application of electronic control in hydraulic systems at the National Fluid Power Centre. The Iqan technology has been set up to illustrate the power, flexibility and configurability of embedded controllers, as part of the Stage 3 Mobile Electro-Hydraulics Systems course at the centre. Formed as the commercial arm of North Nottinghamshire College in April 2000, the National Fluid Power Centre offers a range of specialist and bespoke training programmes that help keep engineers abreast of the ever-changing technology and best-practice procedures within the industry.

Service engineers that work in the industry come to the centre for vocational training to gain extra skills that can be used to enhance performance and productivity in the workplace on a day-to-day basis. Among the Iqan products in use is an Iqan MD3 master display module, which is fully programmable for machine applications as a graphical user interface and as a CAN gateway. Other products from Parker's Iqan range at the centre include the XA2 expansion unit, which provides additional inputs/outputs, LSL analogue levers, analogue pressure transmitters, analogue temperature transmitters and the latest LC5 Co-ordinate joystick.

The LC5 has a variety of handles available offering various combinations of buttons, thumbwheels and triggers, all proportional outputs signals are of the contactless Hall-effect type with dual sensors, which provides redundancy for high safety and reliability. The ergonomic design of this product makes it suitable for arm rest and panel installations and is designed for outdoor use. Other products from Parker's range used on the project include the L90LS load sensing valves, the Icount Particle detector, which provides analysis for fluid management and contamination control and is interfaced with the Iqan using CAN J1939.

As well as being used as part of the course, the Iqan products are being integrated into a CAN open network around the laboratory at the centre to demonstrate how data can be exchanged between various machine controllers. John Savage, director of the National Fluid Power Centre, said: 'We are taking a major step forward to develop and deliver systems-based training, which involves the integration of hydraulics, electronics and control. 'Using Parker's hydraulic control technology we aim to develop engineers at a systems level, while also evolving the centre itself,' he added.

Hermle has added a machining centre to its range of vertical-spindle machines, which is applicable to the tool- and mould-making sector, the medical and aerospace industries, plus precision job shops. Sole UK agent, Geo Kingsbury Machine Tools, said that the design of the C 22 U offers maximum flexibility, as the user can choose between three- and five-axis configurations, as well as different options for table, spindle, tooling, coolant delivery, swarf management and automation.

The layout of the C 22 U is based on the manufacturer's gantry design with staggered Y-axis slideways, mineral cast bed for good vibration damping and, in the case of the five-axis model, a trunnion-mounted rotary table. Working envelope is 450 x 600 x 330mm in X, Y and Z, all linear axis motions being above the table. In the 'dynamic' version of the machining centre, acceleration of 15m/s2 (1.5g) to rapid traverse speeds of 50m/min are achieved in X, Y and Z.

In combination with torque motors in the rotary C- and A-axes, the quick linear travels promote short machining cycles by maximising in-cut feed rates and minimising idle times. The space-saving, circular tool magazine integrated into the machine body exchanges tools quickly; 4.5 seconds chip to chip is quoted, in accordance with VDI 2852. There is space for 55 tools in SK40/HSK A 63 holders or 65 tool holders with HSK A 50 or HSK E 40 tapers. Its capacity allows complete machining of highly complex workpieces or entire product ranges, or a wide variety of individual parts, saving additional set-ups.

There is a choice of five spindle drives rated up to 37kW/80Nm, with maximum speeds from 15,000 to 42,000rpm. For 15,000rpm and 18,000rpm versions, a simple collision protection system based on a crush sleeve ensures that in the case of a spindle crash, only the sleeve needs to be replaced, minimising repair costs. All spindles feature Hermle's slimline design to facilitate machining of deep cavities. Three table systems are offered: a fixed table with a 600 x 630mm clamping surface capable of supporting a load of 750kg; a 320mm diameter, swivelling rotary table with worm gear drive, mounted on a +/-135deg trunnion driven from one side; and a similar table with a direct torque drive and single or tandem drive to the trunnion.

Maximum weight of component and fixture in five-axis arrangements is 300kg. Depending on the amount of swarf produced, a chute or different conveyors are available. The latter can be arranged at the rear or to the left or right of the machine, according to customer preference. There is a choice of Heidenhain iTNC 530 or Siemens 840 D SL control systems. One feature is that the control panel with its 19in screen can be tilted up to 30deg.

The height of the panel can also be adjusted by +/-100mm, allowing users to personalise the position of the control. The C 22 U is transported as a single unit, has a four-point support and requires no special foundations. Adaptation to partial or full automation is enabled by a wide selection of Hermle equipment, such as pallet change and storage systems, flexible manufacturing cells with workpiece storage and material flow, as well as component handling systems including robotic solutions.

JBJ is offering a range of hazardous-area float switches with type SDB-14 terminal boxes that have been Atex certified by the manufacturer. The 1E-AN1 and 1E-AN2 float switches have been Atex certified in accordance with the requirements specified within directive 94/9/EC. For more information on these products, refer to the pdf on the right-hand side of this page.

DSM Engineering Plastics has introduced an additional five grades to its Ecopaxx range of bio-based, high-performance engineering plastics for high-tech applications. Ecopaxx is a polyamide (PA) 410 and belongs to the family of the long-chain polyamides. It pairs typical long-chain polyamide properties, such as low moisture absorption and chemical resistance, with high melting point and high crystallisation rate (typical for engineering plastics such as Akulon PA66 and Stanyl PA 46).

Ecopaxx is bio-based and has zero carbon footprint; 70 per cent of the polymer consists of building blocks derived from castor oil as a renewable resource. The five new grades of Ecopaxx have been developed especially for injection-moulding purposes. Ecopaxx Q150-D is a general-purpose, unfilled injection-moulding grade. Potential applications include castor wheels, household equipment and so on. Ecopaxx Q-HG6 and Q-HG10 are glass-reinforced (30 per cent and 50 per cent), heat-stabilised injection-moulding grades.

These materials can be used for all kind of applications where high stiffness and toughness are needed. These materials display high resistance against hot water/glycol, as well as hot oil and salt solutions (calcium chloride). The materials exhibit flow and mould temperatures of 80-90C. Potential applications include parts in automotive cooling circuits, sensors that are exposed to oils and salts, as well as structural parts that retain stiffness under moist conditions. Ecopaxx Q-HGM24 is a glass/mineral-reinforced injection-moulding grade, which is especially suited to the injection moulding of large parts that should have low warpage and excellent surface quality.

Because of its high melting point, the material can also be used at relatively high operating temperatures. Potential applications include automotive engine covers. In high-powered engines, generating a lot of heat, conventional materials such as PA6 or bio-based materials such as PA610 do not withstand the high peak temperatures, while materials such as PA66 often lack the superior surface quality.

For these applications, Ecopaxx Q-HGM24 can be used. Ecopaxx Q-KGS6 is a halogen-free, flame-retardant, glass-reinforced (30 per cent) compound (V-0 at 0.75mm). The material has a light colour, but can be coloured using the standard industrial RAL colours. Potential applications include connectors, circuit breakers and switch bodies.

SKF has developed a ball bearing unit to improve turbocharger performance in a wide range of applications in automotive, marine, energy, construction and agricultural sectors. The Turbocharger ball bearing unit is said to cut fuel consumption by up to two per cent and reduce CO2 emissions by three per cent, in comparison with traditional plain bearing systems. With a minimum number of components, the compact ball bearing unit is said to be easy to assemble in order to reduce installation time and costs.

This customised, precision product uses a double-row ball bearing design to minimise frictional losses and ensure higher running accuracy than conventional plain bearing units, as well as reduce turbo lag at low speeds, according to SKF. The unit incorporates wear-resistant ceramic rolling elements that can function at high temperatures and under poor lubrication conditions to generate lower centrifugal loads at high speeds, while also being able to withstand high thrust loads to maximise pressure boost.

In addition, the Turbocharger ball bearing unit uses advanced technologies and materials, such as aerospace-standard steel and a reinforced steel and polymer cage design for optimum durability. This design also minimises noise and allows integrated damper and anti-rotation features to be added.

Red Bull Racing has developed and manufactured its championship-winning car using product lifecycle management (PLM) software from Siemens. The software forms the digital backbone of the manufacturing process and enables new components to be designed at high speed on the computer, sent into production seconds later via a mouse click and then built into the vehicle. This speeds up development and improves lap times. 'Siemens PLM software plays an important role within the company feeding data from our design engineers to our manufacturing facilities,' said Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing.

In addition, Siemens is now reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the team's factory buildings and production systems in Milton Keynes, UK. Products manufactured within the F1 sector have to be developed and manufactured as fast as possible. Minimal changes in configuration can affect the entire performance of the car. During the brief periods between races, around 100 engineers at Red Bull Racing work with the Siemens software to make the cars just that bit faster.

The engineers virtually develop the entire vehicle, constantly design new components, assemble all 4,000 individual parts and put the vehicle through its paces - all while sitting at the computer. One click of the mouse allows the developers to have the new parts milled and moulded immediately - it is not necessary to enter any data by hand into the machine tools or other IT systems. Using the software, Red Bull Racing has reduced physical prototyping and limited material waste. Designers and manufacturers are said to have regained up to 75 per cent of their time by eliminating repetitive portions of the process.

To make the vehicle suitable for the various race tracks with their particular characteristics, many configurations are available. The engineers design and simulate the interplay of the parts on the computer to find the best combination. All the developers and engineers across the entire production facility can access all the data they need, whether in the factory or on the racetrack, at any time, always aware of what was altered on the car.

Siemens is also optimising Red Bull Racing's factory with products from its environmental portfolio. The object is to reduce the plant's energy costs, resource consumption and CO2 emissions and also make the production processes more efficient. Siemens is currently inspecting the entire production process, including all the existing machines and work processes. It is also carrying out an energy check on the building technology, heating and air-conditioning systems.

JBJ has announced that its TRI type thermostats are Atex certified by the manufacturer in accordance with the requirements specified within directive 94/9/EC. The thermostat's probe is protected on the TA model by an external sheath, while models TR and TS are protected by a double sheath - the internal one is for explosion-proof equipment while the external one is a watertight sheath.

The 94/9/EC Atex directive is in accordance with the following standards: EN 50014 (1997) + A1 e A2, EN 50018 (2000), EN 50281-1-1 (1999) + A1. Type of protection include II 2 GD EEx d IIB+H2 T6 IP65 T85C and II 2 GD EEx d IIB+H2 T5 IP65 T100C. The ambient temperature operating range is -20C to +40C and -20C to +60C. For more information on these products, refer to the pdf on the right-hand side of this page.

A range of low-profile DIN-rail-mounted amplifiers from RDP Electronics have been designed to provide excitation and signal amplification for LVDTs and a wide range of other inductive transducers. The DR7DC strain-gauge amplifier is compatible with most full-bridge strain-gauge transducers. System engineering and earth loop problems are reduced thanks to full isolation between the DC supply side (9V to 36V) and the amplified output with low noise levels.

Offering transducer excitation options of 1V or 3V RMS, at either 3kHz or 5kHz carrier signal excitation, there is a choice of a full range output of either +/-10V or 4-20mA from switched selectable input signal levels ranging from 20mV to 4V RMS. The DR7AC and DR7DC amplifiers offer thermal stability, with a dynamic response that is flat from static to 250Hz. Both models can operate from a wide range of supplies that includes batteries, road vehicle supplies and the usual factory 24V supply. Both the DR7AC and the DR7DC are packaged for DIN rail mounting.

Ansys has announced details of the latest seminar in its live series, which will focus on the use of numerical simulation in hybrid and electric vehicle (HEV) design. Scheduled to take place on 7 December 2010 at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire, UK, the event will include keynote speeches on the emerging issues facing the development of HEVs, as well as a number of workshops to demonstrate how simulation can accelerate the design processes while saving costs.

The seminar is aimed at automotive engineers, mechanical engineers and designers, package designers, semiconductor/component designers, engineering managers and product designers. It will highlight how comprehensive numerical simulation can help to understand, utilise and optimise the tight interplay of physics that occur at both the component and systems level of HEVs.

The sessions will cover a range of areas including: electrochemistry and electrical-thermal interaction in battery packs; electric machine design; optimisation; thermal and vibrations; parameter extraction; and thermal management of power electronics. The event aims to provide detailed insight into how the entire lifecycle of HEVs can be improved by simulation.

The Model 2133-300 Series reaction socket torque sensor from RDP's Lebow range is designed for torque wrench calibration applications. Suitable for production and assembly line use to set, measure and monitor torque of nuts, the sensor can be used in conjunction with conventional ratchet sets.

Adaptable for portable use without the need for special adapter tools, the Model 2133-300 offers +/-0.1 per cent of rated output repeatability of torque measurements, with capacity ranges from 10 to 1,000ft/lb.

Rotork has announced that its IQ intelligent electric valve actuators with Rotork Pakscan two-wire digital control systems are in use throughout solar-power plants in Spain. Rotork Iberia has worked closely with the Renovables SAMCA to integrate an IQPro actuation and control system at the recently completed La Dehesa and La Florida installations in the state of Badajoz, Spain. The decision to use Rotork's Pakscan P3 control system was assisted by its long range bus capabilities and the cost savings it can provide.

Each Pakscan P3 master station can operate a bus loop of up to 20km in length with no deterioration in communication performance or the need for repeaters, making it suitable for the spacious environment of a solar-power plant. Rotork is now on site for a retrofit project on both of the plants' HTF (Heat Transfer Fluid) pipework. The HTF pipes carry the heat transfer oil between the parabolic mirrors, the steam plant and the power generation circuits.

At each site, Rotork is installing 168 actuators and four Pakscan P3 master stations for the automation of 3in globe valves, to introduce remote control of the HTF temperature. The application demands very high mechanical output resolution from the actuator in response to minimal signal changes from the controller. The linear stroke of each valve is 30mm and the requirement is to move a minimum of only one per cent of this stroke, resulting in discrete movements of only 0.3mm. To achieve this, Rotork is supplying a linear version of the IQTF multi-turn actuator, which operates at a relatively low output speed to provide maximum resolution and accuracy.

The positional monitoring and control signal is provided by the Pakscan P3 system, using Modbus RTU protocol, over a two-wire, twisted-pair bus loop. Automatic, inbuilt redundancy of the field network is an integral part of the Pakscan design, ensuring that control is maintained even in the event of equipment or cable failure. In common with all Rotork IQPro actuators, data loggers within the IQTF units facilitate valve diagnostics by recording historical operating data and valve torque trends.

Using Rotork's IQ-Insight software this data can be analysed on a PC to predict any potential operating issues, enabling maintenance to be planned in advance without interruption to normal plant operations. The retrofit project is being carried out by Rotork Site Services, a dedicated organisation within the Rotork Group that supports all the actuator operations with a range of activities, including retrofitting, maintenance, repair, extended scope projects and life-of-plant programmes.

Tyco Electronics has introduced the circular 3.5mm A/V jack SMT (surface-mount technology) for application in consumer/mobile devices as well as industrial and automotive industries. The product features a flexible platform design featuring 3.5mm A/V jack versions with or without collar (otherwise known as behind the shell), with rectangular or round collar, with or without switch, and so on.

Other features include a minimised component count and use of low-cost contacts that make it cost-effective while enhancing the product quality.

Aaeon has launched the EPIC-QM57, an EPIC single-board computer sized at 115 x 165mm to fall between the 3.5in SubCompact board and a Mini-ITX motherboard, suiting it to embedded-system developers. The EPIC-QM57's features make it suitable for industrial control boxes; industrial automation; transportation; test and measurement; security and defence; and government. It supports Intel Core i7/i5 processor with up to two 204-pin SODIMM sockets to support 8GB of DDR3 800/1066 system memory.

For high-speed network communications, the device features the Intel 82577LM and Intel 82574L chipsets that support two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Moreover, this model deploys PCI-104 and PCIe/104 connectors as well as a Mini Card slot to offer flexible options for expansion. It comes equipped with rich I/O interfaces, including six USB2.0 ports, four COM ports, mouse, keyboard and eight-bit programmable digital I/O.

In addition, two SATA connectors and one Type 2 CompactFlash socket are installed onto the EPIC-QM57 to offer further options for operating system and storage space. For video support, the EPIC-QM57 can show simultaneous displays through the CRT and the 24-bit dual-channel LVDS LCD connectors at up to 1920 x 1200 resolution. DVI can also be supported as an option instead of the LVDS and this single-board computer can share video memory with system memory up to 512MB. Two-channel high-definition audio is also incorporated onto the board.

Capable of being precisely focused without the use of any tools, the Flexpoint MV Focus line laser features a homogeneous power distribution and a counter screw to prevent accidental readjusment. It has a line width of 40um at a distance of 50mm or 550um at a distance of 1m. Power supply is via an industrial standard four-pin M12 connection and operating voltage is 4.5 - 30VDC. Using an internal power control, the brightness of the module remains unchanged within this voltage range.

The laser is protected against reverse polarity and the housing is potential free, meaning other electronic components mounted on the same board remain unaffected. Fan angle (typically 5deg-90deg), wavelength (635nm-905nm) and output power (5uW to 100mW) can be adjusted across a wide range to meet customer's needs. To modulate and increase independence of ambient light or to dim the output power, the lasers can be equipped with a control wire.

At Electronica 2010, IQD announced the availability of a high-frequency MEMS oscillator for applications such as fibre channel, Ethernet 10G, HDMI, SATAS and USB3. The IQMS-900 series MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) oscillator is available in a frequency range from 1 to 800MHz. The model can be factory programmed with either a LVDS (low-voltage differential source) or LVPECL (low-voltage positive emitter coupled logic) output.

The plastic-packaged IQMS-900 series is available in two sizes: 7 x 5 or 5 x 3.2mm. Due to its MEMS technology design, phase jitter is typically 0.7ps at 200MHz. Two supply voltages are available - 3.3 and 2.5V. Frequency stabilities can be specified at +/-10ppm over an operating temperature range of 0 to 70C or +/-15ppm over -40 to 85C.

MEMS technology is based on the process techniques of CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Silicon) and, as such, can be produced on standard production lines in foundries that are more used to producing standard or custom integrated circuits. The IQMS-900 range is suitable for incorporation into infrastructure equipment, where it will provide accurate timing processes, coupled with the ability to drive the latest high-speed processors that will enable the transfer of high data rates. These devices are RoHs compliant and are available on tape and reel for production purposes.

The LTC3109 is a step-up DC/DC converter and power-management IC that is designed to start up and run from millivolt input voltage sources such as thermoelectric generators (TEGs) and thermopiles. The device's proprietary auto-polarity topology allows it to generate usable power from input voltages as low as +/-30mV, enabling temperature differences as low as +/-1C to be harvested in lieu of traditional battery power. This makes it ideal for energy-harvesting applications in which the input voltage polarity is unknown or is subject to reversal.

The LTC3109 uses two standard compact step-up transformers to provide a complete power-management solution. Its 2.2V LDO can power an external microcontroller and its main output is pin selectable to one of four (2.35, 3.3, 4.1 or 5V) fixed voltages to power a sensor, data-acquisition circuits and/or a wireless transmitter. A second switched output can be enabled by the host in order to power devices that do not have a micropower shutdown capability. A storage capacitor provides continuous power, even when the input energy source is unavailable or intermittent.

The LTC3109's low quiescent current of less than 7uA and high-efficiency design ensure the fastest possible charge times for the output reservoir capacitor. The combination of the LTC3109's leadless 4 x 4mm QFN-20 package (or leaded SSOP-20) and very small external components ensure a highly compact solution for energy-harvesting applications. The LTC3109EUF is available in a 20-lead 4 x 4mm QFN package and the LTC3109EGN is available in a SSOP-20 package. Industrial temperature grade versions, the LTC3109IUF and LTC3109IGN, are also available.

Link Microtek has introduced a range of dual-channel rotary joints that offer low-loss performance and high power capability over the frequency range 1.5 to 40GHz. The AM-RJ-D series rotary joints can be configured with two waveguide channels or with one waveguide channel and one coaxial channel. The waveguide channels, which would generally be used for high-power transmissions, are available in waveguide sizes from WR28 to WR284, while the coaxial low-power receiver channels can be specified with frequencies from DC to 40GHz.

Particularly suitable for use in satellite communications or radar applications, the rotary joints typically have a maximum insertion loss of 0.2-0.3dB, 60dB between the two channels and a power capability of up to 500W. Any standard waveguide flange can be incorporated in the design to suit customers' specific requirements and a range of coaxial connectors is offered, including SMA, N type and TNC.

In addition, optional slip-ring assemblies are available for interfacing to external equipment. The AM-RJ-D devices are fabricated as standard from lightweight Alochromed aluminium with a black satin paint finish. They can also be supplied in brass or other materials to special order.

Electrolube has launched DCA-HT, a modified silicone conformal coating that has been designed for the protection of electronic circuitry. DCA-HT is a flexible and transparent product that has been formulated to meet international approvals, including European and US defence standards. Electrolube has designed the coating to meet even the most demanding requirements, with an operating temperature range of -70 to 200C and a high resistance to most solvents, lubricants and chemicals associated with aerospace and automotive applications.

It is also highly resistant to mould growth and UV light, and can be sprayed, dipped or brushed. The cured coating meets DEF-STAN 59/47 and IPC-CC-830 standards, and is RoHS compliant (2002/95/EC). Another feature of DCA-HT is its adhesion under all climatic conditions, including high altitude, decompression, moisture and salt spray, making it suitable for a range of applications.

DCA-FD is a modified silicone conformal coating that will touch dry in 20min. Increased solid content of the DCA-FD gives 35 per cent greater coverage per litre to provide a significant waste and cost saving per substrate. Fast-Dry DCA has a wide operating temperature range and is suitable for a range of commercial and military PCB applications.

Powersolve claims that its PAK1500 and PAK3000 series of compact, single-output power supplies provide high power outputs and a host of features normally found on more expensive units. Both series comprise five models with outputs of 12, 15, 24V, 27V or 48V DC that are programmable for voltage and current via either an external resistor or voltage input. Voltage can be programmed over a range of 30-105 per cent and current from 40-100 per cent.

Both models feature a universal AC input of 90-264V AC 50/60Hz and active PFC of 0.98 typical. The PAK1500 Series provides up to 1,500W from a 1.5U profile unit that incorporates features designed to make the power supply easy to use and easy for systems integrators to work with. These include remote sense function, remote on/off, power good signal, current sharing in parallel operation, output short circuit, overvoltage, overload, over-temperature and fan-failure protection.

An auxiliary +5V DC/0.5A output is also provided, as are status LED indicators. The PAK3000 Series includes all the features of the PAK1500 Series, but provides up to 3,000W from a 3U profile, high-power-density enclosure.

Polyamide versions of EMKA's 1056 series butt hinges are now available with cost reductions and are suited for wall-mount-style cabinets or machine-access panels. 1056 hinges in black polyamide come in 40 and 50mm sizes with stainless-steel pins to ensure smooth operation, even in corrosive situations.

The hinges are complemented with EMKA's full range of spanner locks, wing handles and over 500 extruded rubber sealing door gasket profiles in EPDM, neoprene and PVC.

Austriamicrosystems has introduced the AS8223, a monolithic Flexray Standard V2.1 Rev B-compliant Active Star Device that manages communication traffic among four Flexray branches of the network. It is expandable to more branches through an Interstar interface. The four branches of the AS8223 operate as a Flexray receiver and transmitter, whereby one of the communication paths is operating as receiver while the others operate as transmitter.

Additionally, the AS8223 comes with a host controller interface to achieve active control of the power modes and error diagnosis. An autonomous mode is entered automatically, in which the device operates without the need for a host controller. A communication controller interface is also built into the AS8223 to provide the standard transceiver functionality on the ECU using the AS8223. The AS8223 Flexray Active Star Device is tailored for automotive gateways with embedded Flexray Active Star functionality. Connecting several devices at its Interstar interface enables extension of the Flexray branches to suit the needs of applications.

Features: very low asymmetric delay contribution; data transfer up to 10Mbps; enhanced bus error detection with current sensing on Flexray branches up to 8m from connector pins; low contribution to the Flexray network asymmetric delay. The AS8223 includes an automatic thermal shutdown protection and provides internal ESD protection at the bus pins for demanding automotive applications. The AS8223 Flexray Active Star Device is available in a 9 x 9mm 44-pin MLF package and operates over a temperature range of -40 to 125C with a power-supply range of 5.5 to 40V.

Lattice Semiconductor has announced the immediate availability of the HiGig MAC IP core for its low-cost LatticeECP3 FPGA range, for interconnecting multiple devices to operate as one logical network. Providing features such as quality of service (QoS), mirroring and link aggregation, the new Lattice IP core will allow designers to implement low-cost networks using Broadcom devices. The HiGig MAC ensures that the Media Access rules specified in the 802.3ae IEEE standard and HiGig Protocol definitions are met while transmitting a frame of data over Ethernet.

On the receiver side, it extracts the different components of a frame and transfers them to higher applications through a FIFO interface. Compliant with Broadcom HiGig and HiGig2 protocol definitions, the HiGig MAC IP core has a 64-bit wide internal data path operating at a maximum frequency of 156MHz on the LatticeECP3 FPGA. The core provides XGMII and XAUI interfaces to the PHY layer and supports variable-sized packet transmission with fixed-sized messaging capability (HiGig2 only).

With multicast address filtering and 16-bit statistics counters, the core requires approximately 4,100 FPGA look-up tables (LUTs) for HiGig implementations and approximately 4,700 FPGA LUTs for HiGig2 implementations. Included as a standard feature in the Lattice Diamond design environment, the IPexpress module reduces design time by allowing IP parameterisation and timing analysis on the designer's desktop.

This allows users to customise Lattice's extensive library of IP functions for their individual applications, integrate them with their proprietary FPGA logic designs and evaluate the overall device operation via simulation and timing analysis prior to making any IP purchase commitments. The HiGig MAC IP core is available now and can be ordered through Lattice sales at the list price of $5,000 (?3,206).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UK sealing specialist Dichtomatik has announced the availability of the Kalrez 0090 perfluoroelastomer O-ring seal products from Dupont Performance Polymers. These products have been developed by Dupont to provide resistance to rapid gas decompression (RGD) combined with broad chemical resistance, as experienced in the harsh environments of the oil and gas industries. As an official authorised distributor of Dupont Kalrez products, Dichtomatik can offer full technical support for customers experiencing sealing problems involving extreme temperature or pressure conditions combined with aggressive fluids.

Dupont products are said to deliver durable and reliable sealing solutions for both down-hole and surface-level equipment such as packers, pumps and valves as well as many general chemical handling and processing applications. Kalrez 0090 has achieved the highest 0000 rating in the Norsok M-710 Rev 2 tests recently conducted in the UK by the Materials Engineering Research Laboratory (MERL). The tests established that Kalrez 0090 has good resistance to RGD, with no cracks or blisters having developed on the O-ring sections throughout the test cycling.

In addition to finished O-rings, Kalrez 0090 can be supplied in the form of flat washers, discs, cords or special mouldings for all applications that require the highest 0000 rating for RGD resistance. Additional properties that ensure superior performance include high resistance to chemical attach from more than 1,800 chemicals and solvents, especially sour multi-phase fluids containing H2S. High-temperature resistance up to 250C (482F) is maintained with high levels of elasticity and recovery even after long-term exposure. High modulus at low elongation properties also ensures good extrusion resistance.

The Norsok M-710 testing conditions included 100 per cent CO2 gas composition, with 100C temperature, 15MPa pressure and a decompression rate of 12MPa/min. Sealing products with ratings poorer than the maximum achieved by the Kalrez 0090 seals are likely to suffer cracking or blisters when exposed to pressure cycling. Once initiated, cracks then accumulate with subsequent pressure cycles, leading to eventual seal failure.

The National Metals Technology Centre (Namtec) has organised a seminar dedicated to the opportunities available in the offshore wind industry, set to take place on 8 December 2010. The half-day seminar will be held at Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield, and will begin at 08:30. It will start with an introduction by Alan McLelland from AEM Yorkshire to the offshore wind sector in the UK.

Keynote speakers include industry figures working in the renewable energy divisions of Siemens Transmission and Distribution, Able UK, David Brown Gear Systems and the MTL group, along with representatives of Yorkshire Forward and Mainstream Renewable Power. The event will also provide an opportunity for manufacturers to network with other suppliers in the offshore wind industry to look at the opportunities for collaboration and to share best practice.

YSI has announced that its Professional Series of portable water quality monitors have been awarded an Mcerts certificate at WWEM 2010. The certificate was awarded following trials conducted by the Environment Agency of England and Wales (EA). Mcerts is the EA's monitoring certification scheme, which is designed to assure the quality and reliability of environmental measurements.

Mcerts is comprised of a number of different schemes, one of which applies to instruments that are employed in the continuous monitoring of water, which includes samplers, flowmeters and online water quality monitors. YSI was presented with an Mcerts certificate for the 6 series sondes in 2008 and the new certificate expands the range of Mcertified equipment now available from YSI.

Deeter Electronics has launched a leak detector intended for raising the alarm in the event of a water leak in data centres, server rooms and building basements. The Deeter leak detector system comprises a leak detector controller mounted in a UL94-V0 flame retardant 35mm DIN-rail housing, and IP65 sensor heads, which can be connected in a daisy chain. The leak detector controller is available with a 230VAC mains input or a 24V (AC or DC) power input. It is equipped with a bank of six DIP switches, which are used to configure the leak detector outputs.

Two output types are available: alarm on when a leak is detected with automatic reset when water is no longer present; and alarm on when a leak is discovered, latching on until the leak detector controller is reset by an operator. Connections to the leak detector controller are made via two sets of six screw terminals. The leak detector can detect and warn of system faults such as a break in any of the three leak sensor wires, no termination of the leak sensor wires and a blown output fuse. Status of the system is indicated by three LEDs, green indicates all clear, yellow indicates a fault has been detected, and red that a leak has been detected.

The leak detector features an open collector transistor output, open during normal operation and current-limited to sink up to 50mA, which can be pulled up to 40V. The leak detector controller also includes two output relays. Relay one is always assigned to leak detection and can be programmed to follow or latch in response to a leak. If there is a system fault, relay two and/or the transistor output can be used to indicate the fault. The relays have a current rating of 6A at 240VAC.

In addition to indicating a leak the relays may also be configured to raise an alarm or shut down critical equipment in the event of a system failure. The leaks sensors supplied with the system are housed in IP65 ABS boxes with a pair of sensing probes protruding through the underside to detect water. The probes are stainless steel and M3 threaded, and may be extended using an M3 spacer. The sensors can be bolted to the floor if required. Up to 10 or more leak sensors can be linked using a three-wire cable in a daisy-chain configuration.

Environmental Concept Services has revealed that its Enigma electronic de-scaling units have been installed on feed pipes at the Neves-Corvo copper mine to solve hard-water problems. The ore treatment is carried out by conventional crushing, flotation, grinding, thickening and filtration processes. The copper plant treats up to 2.2 million tonnes of ore each year, producing high-grade copper concentrate mainly for the export market.

As part of the process, Somincor Mining Company - which operates the mine - need to store tailings pyrites in a 190-hectare dam, 3km from the mine itself and water from the dam is used in the industrial process. In order to balance the very high pH levels in the dam, between 10 and 20 tonnes of lime needs to be introduced into the system each day. As a result, three pipes of between 35cm and 40cm diameter feeding the industrial tank required constant chemical and mechanical cleaning.

Various methods of cleaning had been tried, including injecting CO2 directly into the pipes. This was carried out by a subcontractor and took around four months to clean just one pipe. The inside bore of these pipes had fouled so heavily that at times they had reduced to just 7cm in places. In November 2007, engineers from Environmental Concept Services' Portuguese agent TAI-Iberica, installed Enigma electronic de-scaling units onto the three feed pipes from the dam and another was fitted onto the single pipe feeding associated header tanks.

In June 2008, the first pipe to be treated was opened for maintenance and the engineer found that the problem had been reduced to a very light deposit of powder, which was cleaned simply by washing it with clean water. As a result of the Enigma treatment, both the amount of fouling and the time taken to clean the pipes have been reduced. Now, the small amount of scale that builds up inside the pipes is much softer and easier to remove.

The semi-automated RC1sp Small Scale Production Workstation enables the production of small batches of high-value chemicals for traceable, reproducible and more profitable reaction results. 'The RC1sp offers a safe and controlled way to produce building blocks, intermediates, pre-clinical batches and resin materials at the highest quality, even for the most sensitive and selective chemistry and precision-based business segments such as semi-conductors,' said Urs Groth, marketing communication manager, reaction engineering, Mettler Toledo.

'Consistency and quality in-lab ensures desired reactivity in downline processes,' he added. The flexible RC1sp workstation allows for partially or fully automatic processing. Manual process issues associated with round-bottom flasks and jacketed lab reactor setups can be eliminated. For safety under vigorous reaction conditions, the self-contained design reduces the risk of operator exposure to hazardous materials. The RC1sp's thermostat provides fast heating and cooling while keeping reaction temperature controlled, even in the presence of unanticipated exotherms. Standard operations such as catalyst additions or pH control are monitored and adjusted using Mettler Toledo's iControl RC1 software.

Because data quality is critical, iControl monitors desired process parameters along with nearly every other possible reaction variable while recording progress. Standard, easy-use graphic reports make it simple to compare and evaluate entire runs or individual recation steps. Combining the iControl software package with the RC1sp thermostat virtually guarantees consistent, reproducible reaction results - according to the company.

Enviro Technology Services (ETS) has launched the FAI SWAM5a Dual Channel, a flexible particulate measurement system. Ambient particulate measurement is generally carried out in two ways, either by continuous automatic mass measurement using a monitor or by manual sampling and subsequent gravimetric weighing using a sampler. Particulates (especially the very small size fractions PM10 and PM2.5), along with NO2, present one of the biggest air pollution challenges.

The FAI SWAM5a Dual Channel is Mcerts approved and meets the criteria for EN12341 and EN14907. It is a beta-attenuation mass monitor giving 24-hourly means, a gravimetric sampler in accordance with the EU reference methods and measures and samples two channels simultaneously - for example, PM10 and PM2.5 or PM10 and TSP.

The sequential sampler enables up to 36 days unattended operation when set for 24-hour sampling (or 16 days if dual channel) and it can simultaneously sample and measure two size fractions together in one compact instrument. There is an optional real-time module to measure hourly averages if required.

Engineered Software is to present on topics related to fluid dynamics and showcase its Pipe-Flo product line at the Valve World Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, on 30 November to 2 December 2010. Ray Hardee, chief engineer and chief executive officer at Engineered Software, will be presenting two back-to-back sessions. The first, entitled 'Comparison of Resistance Coefficient Calculation Methods for Various Valves and Fittings under Turbulent and Laminar Flow Conditions', will begin at 09:00 on 2 December.

The information covered in this session is based upon research conducted during update process to Crane Technical Paper 410. The second session, which will follow immediately after at 09:30, is entitled 'Using Fluid Flow Simulation Software to Troubleshoot Problems with Control Valves in Operating Piping Systems'. The Pipe-Flo product line is used by designers and operators to gain a clear picture of their fluid piping systems. The program allows users to visualise their systems in a familiar format, calculate system operations, easily communicate the design with others, and access supporting documents in electronic format.

Landia has announced that it has completed the installation of more than 100 anoxic/selector POP-1 mixers as part of its framework agreement with Yorkshire Water Services. The single-source supply framework agreement, which was partly secured by a low-maintenance sealing system specially adapted by Landia to meet Yorkshire Water Services' requirements, has also seen the mixers meet all low-energy, reliability and anti-ragging impeller requirements.

At the company's flagship site at Esholt near Bradford, 40 Landia mixers (all with stainless steel mounting equipment) have been put into successful operation, providing gentle treatment of activated sludge in continuous applications where sedimentation in anoxic or anaerobic tanks must be prevented.

Porvair Sciences has announced that a manufacturer of ready-made oligonucleotides has standardised on its Ultravap Blowdown Station for the careful drying of its production samples. 'This important life-science customer has invested in five Ultravap systems in the US with two more on order and two to date installed in Europe,' said Steve Knight, sales and marketing manager at Porvair. 'For this customer looking to integrate a sample drying system into its production environment, the ability of the Ultravap to also automate dry down and store regularly used protocols was critical,' he added.

Designed to quickly and safely remove solvents from 96- or 384-well plates, the Ultravap Blowdown Station is a versatile tool that is proven to optimise microplate sample preparation productivity. The Ultravap achieves high sample throughput through advanced evaporator head technology and a manifold design that directly injects heated nitrogen into each individual well of the microplate simultaneously. The system is proven to remove most popular chromatography solvents in minutes.

For heat-sensitive and thermally labile samples, the Ultravap may be operated in a two-stage mode - combining rapid initial dry-down with carefully controlled final solvent evaporation. The Ultravap has been designed to be simple to install, operate and maintain. Installation simply requires connection to a gas supply/cylinder and standard mains socket. Safety of operation is ensured as the CE-marked compact unit fits into all fume cupboards.

Fortress Interlocks has explained how it is able to simplify switchgear interlocking to protect personnel and plant in distribution systems. The company has extensive experience in ensuring that earth/ground switches cannot be closed on live busbars and that isolation procedures are strictly adhered to. Fortress recognises that creating a simple interlocking scheme is critical - no one wants to work with a system that is too complex to follow; operators will simply look for shortcuts.

In many power distribution projects, key interlocks are often left to the last minute to source and fit, which can result in confusion on site during final commissioning. Larger projects also have the added complication of multiple switchgear suppliers who, unless key interlocks are specified, often supply their standard product, which can be awkward and unsuitable. Involving Fortress in the initial stages of designing the interlocking system saves time and money via custom-built key interlock systems that are safe and, in many cases, very simple.

Fortress translates project switching requirements into physical hardware ensures a defined sequence of events, working closely with manufacturers of switchgear to ensure the correct products are utilised and systems can be integrated on site. The company has a key coding capability that ensures locks and keys can be clearly identified with their associated equipment. By mastering and part mastering, Fortress's key coding actually helps reduce the number of keys and simplifies the system.

Key coding is managed by Fortress to guarantee that there are not two keys the same on site, which can compromise safety; key coding also allows Fortress to customise a solution for all applications. With the addition of the new SL mini lock, Fortress offers a complete range of trapped key interlocks to suit all switchgear.

Porvair Filtration has developed high-performance filters for the recovery and retention of valuable catalyst fines emitted or lost from industrial processes. For this application, the company can supply metallic and polymeric large-area (20m2) filter media in both cartridge (pleated) and element (cylindrical) forms with a variety of end hardware to suit any housing or vessel configuration. The metallic filters utilise sintered metal powder (Sinterflo P) and sintered metal fibre (Sinterflo F) with woven wire meshes where necessary.

The ability to enhance or modify the filter media ensures performance criteria can be achieved to meet specific process conditions. Drawing upon specialist fabrication skills and techniques at Porvair Filtration is able to produce complete element or cartridge builds, along with the construction of complete tubeplate and vessel assemblies.

An SP Scientific video shows how Controlyo nucleation on-demand technology can be used to control the nucleation of a product during freezing, such that the entire product nucleates at the same time. Using an example of freeze-drying samples in vials, the video illustrates how Controlyo technology enables the freezing step to be much more repeatable and allows potentially greater control over cycle optimisation.

SP Scientific has signed a license agreement with Praxair to utilise Praxair's Controlyo nucleation on-demand technology, which provides pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with precise control over the freeze-drying process for drug developmental efforts. This technology was developed to specifically control the freezing step of lyophilisation. Freeze drying (also known as lyophilisation) is a method of drying products whereby the material is frozen (made chemically inactive) and then placed under vacuum while energy, in the form of heat, is added so that the ice sublimates (goes directly from a solid to a vapour without entering the liquid stage), therefore rendering the product stable at elevated temperatures.

Until now, the freezing step of lyophilisation was uncontrolled due to the random nature of the nucleation or crystal-forming process. Praxair's Controlyo technology now makes nucleation control a reality by regulating the nucleation temperature to within 1C of its freezing point. The results are improved product uniformity, quality and yield.