Monday, January 31, 2011

Balluff's Easy ID RFID (radio frequency identification) products provide a cost-effective way to reliably track work-in-progress manufacturing processes. Easy ID read-only RFID systems are suitable when tracking alone is required and when data can be stored centrally in the control system. The process is tracked by reading the reference or ID from an RFID tag.

This ID is then used to connect and reference additional data from the central controller, such as assembly position, test data, storage location and other information from the process. The details of each step in manufacturing or logistics are then connected to provide maximum visibility of the process. Balluff Easy ID systems provide several simple connection solutions to fit the application.

These vary from simple, discrete I/O connections to full Ethernet TCP/IP, providing the greatest flexibility for integration into any new or existing process. Also included is the RS-232 version, offering compatibility to many barcode readers for faster retrofit to an RFID system.

The AVO410 digital multimeter from Megger is suitable for use in any location on all types of low-voltage electrical installations, including industrial installations. It combines rugged yet compact construction with ease of use and a CAT IV 600V safety rating in line with IEC 61010, Small enough to fit easily into the palm of the hand yet tough enough to withstand the rigours of regular use in demanding environments, the AVO410 measures DC voltage to 1,000V, AC voltage to 750V, and AC or DC current to 10A.

All AC ranges are true RMS. In addition, the instrument offers resistance, frequency and capacitance ranges, as well as continuity and diode test functions. A min/max feature is provided that allows users to switch between minimum and maximum measurements, making it unnecessary to continuously monitor the display to observe momentary fluctuations in readings. A data hold function is also provided, which allows the display to be temporarily frozen. The AVO410 multimeter has been designed to be intuitive to use and easy to operate, even with a gloved hand.

Functions are selected with a large clearly marked rotary switch and pushbuttons, and the results are shown on high-contrast backlit display that is easily read even in poor lighting conditions. When first selected, all functions are auto-ranging but manual range selection, which can be advantageous in some applications, is also supported. The versatility of the AVO410 is further increased by the provision of a serial port that can, with the aid of a suitable lead, be connected to the USB port of a PC.

Using software that is available from Megger as an optional accessory, measurements can be captured direct from the instrument, allowing it to function as an inexpensive data logger. For use in this mode, the auto-off function, which normally operates after 10min of inactivity, can be disabled. AVO410 compact digital multimeters from Megger are supplied complete with test leads and probes. The leads are made from extra-flexible cable with heat-resistant silicone rubber insulation, and the probes have GS38 compliant shrouded tips.

The model 3091A IEPE accelerometer is designed for use in health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), as well as active vibration control (AVC) of commercial and military aircraft. The Dytran model 3091A is offered with a range of 500g, 100mV/g sensitivity and an upper frequency response of 1,000Hz (+/-5 per cent).

As an IEPE sensor, the model 3091A features built-in electronics, eliminating the need for an external charge amplifier and converter. Design of the model 3091A features a quartz sensing element operating in shear mode and packaged in a rugged stainless-steel housing with a radial three-pin 'Mighty Mouse' connector.

A distinguishing feature of the model 3091A is that the sensor element is incorporated directly into the mounting bracket, facilitating improved sensor performance while eliminating costs associated with separate mounting brackets. This design also offers reduced mass, as compared with conventional sensors and mounting brackets.

The Dytran model 3091A is hermetically sealed for use in dirty and high-humidity environments and case isolated, to avoid EMI/ground loop interference. With its durability, compact size and mounting characteristics, the Dytran model 3091A is suitable for high-frequency aircraft/airframe vibration measurements, rotor track and balance (RTB) and transmission-vibration measurements.

Jetter has launched its JVM-407 graphics-capable HMI for use in harsh environments. It may be used for the control, configuration and operation of vehicles and mobile machinery such as municipal vehicles, delivery and disposal vehicles, agricultural machinery, forestry machinery and construction vehicles. The device meets all the necessary protection requirements relating to ambient temperature, shock, vibration, electromagnetic compatibility and water/dust tightness.

The keyboard has a 'night design'. The display brightness and key lighting can be adjusted according to needs. An integrated beeper can give warning or confirmation signals. The device has 16 digital inputs, rated for a power supply of 12 and 24V. A digital fused output rated at 3A allows control of a relay. A video input using the PAL or NTSC standards permits connection of a rear-view camera.

The JVM-407 has three CAN buses, independent of one another, for communications with remote peripheral devices. The HMI also includes an interpreter for Jetter application programs written in the Jetsym STX high-level language. This means that it can also be used for controlling small and medium-sized applications.

BVM's MS-C72 SBC is suited for use in high-performance systems for industrial control and automation, security and surveillance, gaming, print imaging and digital signage. It is also suitable for applications such as video processing, where fast processing is a fundamental requirement. It conforms to the Micro ATX footprint and is fully compatible with Windows 7.

Based on the Intel QM57 chipset, the MS-C72 supports the desktop 64-bit 32nm Intel Core i5/i3 processors with HD graphics and the 45nm i7/i5 without HD graphics, both in the LGA1156 socket. Up to 16GB of DDR3 1066/1333 system memory is available and in the HD graphics versions, the graphics core on the processor die gives a two-chip system architecture that requires less power than alternative three-chip platforms.

Intel turbo boost and hyper-threading technology optimise performance to match the system workload, increasing the efficiency of processor-intensive tasks. The platform provides extensive I/O and mass storage capability. Six SATA II 300MB/s interfaces support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 at up to 3GB/s; I/O includes 10 x USB2.0 ports, two Gigabit LAN ports, an RS232/422/485 and five RS232 ports. Extended interface capability includes two PCI slots, one Mini-PCI and one Mini-PCIe socket, one PCIE x 16 and a PCIE x 4 slot. A 24-bit dual channel LVDS interface is also provided, as are a programmable 8-bit GPIO interface and a 256-level watchdog timer.

Intersil has introduced the DAE-6 range of single-chip audio system solutions, which are designed to provide dramatically improved audio quality in consumer products. The new devices enable a high-end audio experience in an easy-to-implement, single-chip solution. The Intersil D2Audio DAE-6 range provides a complete System-on-Chip (SoC) solution, including an integrated audio processor and multi-channel Class-D amplifier controller.

By integrating a digital signal processor (DSP) with configurable audio-processing algorithms, the DAE-6 provides audio system designers with an extremely flexible and feature-rich platform. This cost-effective solution meets the increasing demands of consumer electronics applications such as portable music players, PC multimedia speakers, automotive sound systems and home theatre systems, including surround bars and home-theatre-in-a-box systems (HTiBs).

The DAE-6 range features embedded mastering-level software, providing customers with precision audio tuning for any audio-enabled device. Including D2Audio sample rate converters (SRCs) on each audio channel, the DAE-6 range supports a variety of multi-channel digital and analogue inputs, including up to eight channels of asynchronous digital serial input. Multi-channel Class-D amplifier outputs can be configured for various power levels from 10W to more than 500W and include complete fault protection with automatic recovery, improving system performance without sacrificing power efficiency.

This new range of D2Audio products features discrete decoders for Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Entertainment and AAC-encoded audio streams, captured via integrated S/PDIF receivers and followed by up to 12 channels of audio processing. This processing is configurable with multi-band parametric equalisation, assignable filtering, reverb, matrix decoding and bass management.

In addition, the DAE-6 range includes automatic algorithms for correcting room acoustic imperfections or performance anomalies in speaker drivers and enclosures. Pin-compatible with the earlier DAE-3 series, the DAE-6 range gives product designers the flexibility to migrate an existing design without creating new printed circuit boards, or to create several performance options for tiered products using the same PCB and chassis.

Its integrated topology includes full support for all standard surround-sound decoders (including Dolby Digital and DTS), as well as fully configurable and routable signal paths. Sample rates from 32 to 192kHz will accommodate any source, from low-resolution compressed music downloads to home theatre systems to higher-definition PCM outputs from Blu-ray players.

In addition to speaker-level outputs (supporting bridged, half-bridged or bridge-tied-load topologies), the DAE-6 solutions provide further design flexibility, including line-level and headphone-level audio outputs, and systems configurable from two channel to 9.1 channel. The extended DSP programmability in the DAE-6 is enabled by a new release of the Audio Canvas control surface, significantly improving ease of use and configurability.

Audio Canvas III enables designers to configure their own audio signal flows and define the peripheral interfaces of the DAE-6, as well as provide for programming and optimisation of the final system solution with encryption available to ensure security and prevent reverse engineering. Among the new processing capabilities that will be enabled in the DAE-6 range are the proprietary Mightycat functions that are associated with Mark Levinson's system-level product tuning.

These blocks will be available for custom tuning by Mark Levinson, with a subset of these algorithms also available for additional tuning by system designers. Intersil D2Audio makes the world's only Intelligent Digital Amplifier, which is powered by the patented Digital Audio Engine (DAE). It actively monitors the system and uses all-digital feedback technology to optimise the amplifier's sound, delivering an immersive and flexible audio experience.

The D2Audio Class-D controller ICs are also highly customisable and are supported with a variety of application reference designs that allow manufacturers to add their own distinct sound and differentiable features through the on-chip DSP capability. D2Audio amplifiers can be found inside consumer, commercial, professional and automotive audio equipment.

With improved temperature characteristics and a tighter detect voltage tolerance, the XC6126 series offers a more accurate, lower-cost solution for simple reset and battery-monitoring applications. The XC6126 voltage detector measures 0.95 x 0.75 x 0.4mm in the USPN-4B02 package.

With a typical quiescent current of 0.6uA, the XC6126 is suited to a range of portable equipment and battery-power applications. Active low reset output is standard and the XC6126 is available with an N-channel open-drain output or a CMOS output configuration. Torex also offers the XC6126 in the SSOT-24 package for compatibility with older designs.

Murata has increased production capacity of its Hicap high-capacitance multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), as this series is replacing tantalum capacitors in increasing numbers of applications. The MLCCs' noise-blocking performance at high frequency, lower impedance and lead time and price advantages mean they are more able to replace their tantalum counterparts.

Since modern electronic devices use high-frequency digital signals, noise absorption at these frequencies is in demand. Ceramic capacitors are better placed to address this application as their impedance at high frequencies is much lower than their tantalum counterparts. When replacing a tantalum capacitor with a ceramic one, typically only one fifth of the capacitance is required to produce the same noise absorption, reducing the price of the component.

Additional advantages for ceramic capacitors over tantalum include smaller self-heating effect, stable capacitance over a large frequency range, higher breakdown voltage and increased reliability. Ceramic capacitors are not polarised like tantalums, easing the placement process during manufacturing.

Sorensen has extended the DLM600 series of high-density programmable DC power supplies to cover voltages up to 300V and currents up to 75A. The DLM600 provides up to 600W of power with low levels of both differential and common-mode noise. With the use of zero-voltage switching (ZVS) technology, these supplies are able to achieve low, near-linear ripple and noise.

In addition, the high-efficiency and fast-load transient response ensure that the DLM is suited for the most demanding applications. The DLM600 series can be configured with GPIB, RS-232 or LAN (LXI) interfaces and multiple units can be controlled using master/slave digital control. The half-rack 1U format enables two units to be mounted side by side and no vertical space is required for vertical stacking.

Higher currents can be achieved using master/slave parallel operation. Full-power operation extends up to 50C ambient and the units carry a five-year warranty.

Lecroy has launched a line of Wavesurfer MXs-B and MSO MXs-B oscilloscopes ranging from 200MHz to 1GHz bandwidth. The new oscilloscopes deliver a sample rate of up to 10GS/s and memory of 25Mpts, as well as feature set enhancements that include a Sequence Mode data-acquisition capability. They feature debug tools such as Wavestream Fast Viewing Mode, Wavescan Search and Find, a variety of serial data trigger and decode packages, plus the Labnotebook documentation and report generator.

The MSO MXs-B models provide 18 digital channels that can sample at 1GS/s for debugging analogue and digital mixed-signal systems. Wavesurfer uses a bright 10.4in colour display to allow room for time-correlated views of mixed-signal systems and non-time-domain analysis. Sequence mode is a versatile acquisition mode that segments the oscilloscope memory and combines up to 10,000 acquisitions in to a single, sequential waveform. This technique enables capturing of very fast pulses in rapid succession with trigger rates of up to 1.25 million waveforms per second.

Additionally, Sequence Mode can be used to optimise memory usage by only capturing data when data is present, ignoring large spans of dead time between pulses or bursts. In the end, all the waveforms are displayed and time stamped for further analysis. Sequence mode in combination with the 25Mpts of memory in Wavesurfer MXs-B enables extremely fast triggering over very long periods of time, maintaining a high sample rate throughout and ensuring that the user always captures the fastest edges or the rarest glitches.

Wavescan provides the ability to locate unusual events in a single capture or scan for an event in any acquisitions over a long period of time. Users select from more than 20 search modes (frequency, rise time, runt, duty cycle), apply a search condition and begin scanning. Since the scanning 'modes' are not simply copies of the hardware triggers, the utility and capability is much higher. For instance, there is no 'frequency' trigger in any oscilloscope, yet Wavescan allows 'frequency' to be quickly 'scanned' for.

This allows the user to accumulate a data set of unusual events that are separated by hours or days, enabling faster debugging. Now users can efficiently create complete and detailed waveform reports directly in the oscilloscope. An all-in-one solution for annotating and sharing information, Labnotebook simplifies results recording and report generation by eliminating the multi-step processes that often involve several pieces of equipment.

Labnotebook enables users to focus on results rather than the process, as it saves all displayed waveforms and the relevant DSO setups with the saved waveform. The user can add freehand notes with a stylus or as text and convert the complete report to pdf, rtf, or html. Reports can then be printed or emailed directly from the scope. The Wavesurfer MXs-B and MSO MXs-B oscilloscopes never bog down with long memory, even when displaying FFTs, measurements and serial data decodes.

Their architecture allows the user to maintain control over their measurements and never forces them to wait for complex calculations or measurements to complete. The serial data trigger and decode options for Wavesurfer provide time-saving tools for serial bus debug and validation. The serial data trigger will quickly isolate events on a bus, eliminating the need to set manual triggers. Protocol decoding is shown directly on the waveform with an intuitive, colour-coded overlay and presented in binary, hex or ASCII.

Decoding on the Wavesurfer is fast, even with long memory, and zooming in to the waveform shows precise byte-by-byte decoding. To further simplify the debug process, all decoded data can be displayed in a table below the waveform grid. Selecting an entry in the table with the touch screen will display just that event. Additionally, built-in search functionally will find specific decoded values. MSO MXs-B and the Wavesurfer MXs-B offers tools for trigger and decode of a set of popular serial data signals, such as I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, LIN, Flexray, USB, ARINC 429, MIL-STD-1553, MIPI D-PHY, DigRF3G and Digital Audio.

NDIR technology is one way to monitor a range of gases and VOCs with single, or multiple colour, detection in real time in both the home and industry. New thin-film pyroelectric sensors, fast-switching IR sources and suitable gas-cell design enable new levels of ppm detection. Using a 1um-thick sputtered PZT Perovskite structure (111), a permanent polarisation pyroelectric detector can be produced with the benefits of semiconductor manufacture due to its MEM's design flexibility with selective wet and dry etches.

These devices have a Curie point above 500C and are extremely stable. They exhibit low noise (no noise spikes, no popcorn noise, low Johnson noise) and, with an integrated Op-Amp, high output signals are achieved. Based on 14 patents with a further 10 patent applications, this Siemens' technology offers a new range of detectors that span the 0.1um to THz region.

Optional black layers can be added for enhanced performance over selected wavelengths. Detectors in the NIR region are proving to be formidible devices compared to lithium tantalate pyroelectric detectors for NDIR gas-sensing applications. Using either an IR emitter, typically pulsed between 1-10Hz, or light from the object of measurement, such as a flame, and narrow bandpass optical filters, gas-detection levels from sub-ppm to 100 per cent can be achieved. With two, four or more channels, multiple gases may be simultaneously measured in real time, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can affect the environment and human health.

Caltron has released the IPR-2206O and IPS-2206O touch-screen monitors for digital signage. The 22in digital-signage touch-screen monitor is available in the IPR-2206O 22in open-frame resistive or IPS-2206O 22in open-frame surface acoustic-wave version. With hood viewing angles and a high resolution, the monitors are suited for a range of applications.

The touch-screen monitors are robust and are capable of handling many harsh environments. The screens are spill proof, so there is no worry about water damaging the units. Caltron's 22in monitors can be used specifically for digital-signage applications or for a variety of applications beyond digital signage.

They are robust and use parts that will not change the form factor for the lifetime of the monitor, so integrators and applications with specially designed enclosures need not worry about component upgrades and replacements.

MSC now offers the Time Machine, a complete programming kit for Sitime's MEMS-based silicon timing solutions. This MEMS oscillator programmer features fast programming support for various singled-ended, differential, spread-spectrum and VCXO MEMS oscillator samples. Five different blank MEMS with packages sizes from 2.5 x 2mm to 7 x 5mm can be processed. Programming of the desired frequency - depending on the type, 1 to 800MHz is possible - and the programming process itself usually takes less than one minute.

The frequency stability is up to +/-20ppm. The frequency itself can be programmed with up to five decimal places of accuracy. The programmer can choose between four supply voltages - 1.8, 2.5, 2.8 or 3.3V. Apart from the programming unit with USB interface and various package adapters, the kit contains a USB cable, a HDMI cable, an AC/DC adapter and an installation CD. In addition, regular software updates are offered via the internet.

Maxim Integrated Products has introduced the MAX5977, a hot-swap controller for 1 to 16V backplanes. This device features an integrated current-sense amplifier that provides a one per cent accurate current output over a 10 to 50mV input voltage range. This allows system designers to precisely monitor/measure load current in high-availability systems.

A calibration mode allows the current-sense amplifier to be fine-tuned for production testing of the design. The MAX5977 is suited for networking, base station, storage and computer server line cards requiring high reliability and precision current monitoring. It allows line cards to be safely inserted and removed from a live backplane without causing glitches on the system power-supply rail.

It is rated for 1 to 16V input and can withstand transients or inductive spikes up to 28V. An integrated charge pump drives a low-cost, external n-channel MOSFET. Variable speed/bi-level fault protection improves system reliability by quickly responding to overcurrent and short-circuit conditions, while preventing nuisance trips caused by noise or transient conditions.

The MAX5977A latches off after a fault condition, while the MAX5977B automatically restarts. Other features include: programmable undervoltage and overvoltage protection, an active-high power-good (open-drain) output and an active-low (open-drain) fault output. The MAX5977 is packaged in a 20-pin TQFN-EP and is fully specified over the -40 to 85C extended temperature range.

The MAX9611/MAX9612 high-side, current-sense amplifiers (CSAs) are designed for industrial, consumer and automotive applications that require digitised current-sense data. They integrate a 12-bit ADC and a gain block that can be configured as an op amp or a comparator. This integration provides the key components for easy implementation of fault monitoring and closed-loop control applications, such as inrush-current limiting and gain control.

The MAX9611/MAX9612 integrate an I2C-controlled, 12-bit, 500sps ADC for reading the sense-resistor current, input common-mode voltage, op-amp/comparator output, op-amp/comparator reference voltage and internal die temperature. The I2C bus is compatible with 1.8 and 3.3V logic, providing a direct interface for modern microcontrollers. These CSAs have a wide input common-mode voltage range (0V to 60V).

Programmable (440, 110 and 55mV) full-scale sense voltages enable a wide dynamic range, accurate current measurement and flexibility in selecting sense resistor values. The MAX9611/MAX9612 are fully specified over the -40 to 125C automotive temperature range and are available in a 10-pin uMAX package.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

McCrometer's new online product demo is designed to make it easier to understand the application and low cost of ownership advantages of the hot-tap full-profile insertion FPI Mag Flow Meter. As the successor to McCrometer's Multi-Mag Insertion Flow Meter, the FPI Mag multi-electrode, hot-tap, full-profile insertion flow meter delivers a continuous total flow profile similar to a full-bore mag meter. The FPI Mag delivers benefits in terms of performance, ease of installation, low maintenance and value.

The enhanced design of the Full Profile Insertion Flow Meter features additional sensing electrodes for increased sensitivity and is now packaged in a heavy-duty 316 stainless-steel sensor body for maximum structural integrity. The sensor is coated with a NSF-certified 3M fusion-bonded epoxy coating for operational longevity. The FPI Mag with hot-tap installation addresses the increasing need for municipalities to provide uninterrupted service, while improving process control and ensuring delivery accountability.

The Full Profile Insertion Flow Meter from McCrometer installs without interrupting service, de-watering lines, cutting pipe or welding flanges. Installation costs are reduced by eliminating the need for heavy equipment or extensive manpower. The FPI Mag is an economical flow-metering solution for medium and large line sizes, reducing installed costs by more than 45 per cent. The FPI Mag meter's compact insertion design fits in confined spaces with limited access and offers total accessibility.

The flow meter can be removed in pipes under pressure for easy inspection, cleaning, calibrating or verification with McCrometer's own NIST-traceable Calibration Lab. It is particularly cost-effective for retrofit applications replacing flow meters or in sites never metered before. The FPI Mag Flow Meter's multi-electrode sensor design compensates for variable flow profiles, including swirl, turbulence and low-flow conditions.

Multiple electrodes placed across the entire sensor body continuously measure and report the average flow rate over the full diameter of pipe. The Full Profile Insertion Flow Meter is available for line sizes from 4 to 138in. With highly stable measurement, the FPI Mag features accuracy of +/-1 per cent of reading +/-0.03ft/sec zero stability from 0.3 to 20ft/sec velocity range. The flow sensor comes pre-calibrated from McCrometer's NIST-traceable Calibration Lab and requires no recalibration in the field.

With no moving parts and a single-piece design, the FPI Mag's multi-electrode sensor contains nothing to wear or break and is generally immune to clogging by sand, grit or other debris. The FPI Mag supports liquid-flow measurement requirements in municipal water and effluent wastewater treatment. Typical municipal water applications include: wells, booster stations, effluent, filter balancing and backwash, pumping stations, UV dosing and potable water distribution.

The ST51 air/gas flow meter from Fluid offers industrial plant engineers a reliable solution to GHG monitoring and supports the EPA's BACT (Best Available Control Technology) initiative. Flow meters such as FCI's ST51 support accurate GHG monitoring by providing valuable clean-air data necessary for industrial process control.

The ST51 supports BACT (Best Available Control Technology) practices, which require technologies that achieve the maximum degree of emissions control that can be achieved by a particular facility and is based on a case-by-case decision that takes into account technical feasibility, cost and other energy, environmental and economic impacts. The ST51 flow meter is suitable for the measurement and monitoring of industrial plant greenhouse gases. The ST51 features a no-moving parts design that is non-clogging and operates over a wide flow range with low-flow sensitivity.

It's packaged in an explosion-proof transmitter and the calibration is matched to the user's actual gas composition and installation conditions. FCI designed the ST51 flow meter to measure and monitor GHG per the EPA's requirements. It features a thermal mass, insertion-style flow element with flow accuracy to +/-1 per cent of reading over a flow range from 0.3 to 400 SFPS and repeatability of +/-0.5 per cent of reading. The flow element is available for use in line sizes from 2 to 24in (51 to 610mm). It operates over a turndown range of 100:1 and at temperatures from 0 to 250F (-18 to 121C). It withstands pressures up to 500psig.

The ST51 flow meter's robust thermal mass flow sensing element has no moving parts and no orifices to clog or foul to attain virtually maintenance-free service in wet, dirty biogas applications. The flow element is constructed with a 316L stainless-steel body and Hastelloy C-22 thermowell sensors to resist corrosion. It includes built-in temperature compensation circuitry for accurate, repeatable measurement year round, as temperatures rise and fall seasonally. The ST51 flow meter is rich with outputs for user interfaces and information.

Dual 4-20mA analogue outputs are user assignable to flow rate and/or temperature, and there is a 0-1kHz pulse output for totalised flow. The transmitter's digital communications include an RS-232C port and, with units that have the digital display option, there is a wireless IR link for PDA use. The ST51 is available through FCI's GHG Reporting Fast Track Initiative, which is a three-prong programme.

Cox Flow Measurement has introduced the Cox Lo-Flo Series turbine flowmeter for demanding water, hydrocarbon and cryogenic fluid applications. This rugged, precision flowmeter is part of the expanded Cox product line, designed to serve the needs of the industrial market. The Lo-Flo Series is a robust axial turbine flowmeter with repeatability of +/-0.25 per cent of reading. Constructed of 316 stainless steel with -6 AN (MS) end fittings, the meter employs a proprietary Si3N4 ceramic ball-bearing system.

Turbine flowmeters using ceramic bearings offer reduced friction, corrosion resistance, increased durability and a wide temperature range, contributing to longer life. Ceramic ball bearings have considerably less friction than journal or sleeve bearings, which, in turn, extends the usable range of the flowmeter and improves the repeatability of the flow measurement. The Lo-Flo Series meter also utilises a precision, lightweight 17-4 helical rotor and is calibrated on primary standard equipment.

The helical blade profile transfers energy more efficiently, reducing bearing wear, pressure drop and their associated cost. When paired with the Cox EC80 Flow Computer, the Lo-Flo flowmeter's calibration data is linearised to within +/-0.1 per cent of reading, allowing for precision flow measurement over the entire usable range of the meter. Repeatability is +/- 0.25 per cent. Available in either integral or remote-mount configurations, the EC80 flow computer provides temperature and pressure compensation with multiple outputs for frequency and analogue in engineering units.

Additional ancillary products range from simple indicators to signal conditions and panel-mount digital displays. The compact Lo-Flo Series flowmeter (2.21in face dimension) is not position-sensitive and can be mounted in any piping orientation. Designed to measure flows as low as 0.006 GPM (0.024 LPM), the meter suited for a range of industries. Typical uses include fuel-injection production systems, blending of costly chemical additives, onboard fuel consumption, refrigerants and dye injections.

Major environmental and financial benefits have been achieved by WEG, following the installation of an automated extraction filtering system at one of its foundry plants in Brazil. The automated system has achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions of 23.63 tons a year, which represents a 53 per cent decrease on previous emission levels from the foundry and a 50 per cent energy saving on the operation of the automated extraction system.

To put these savings into context, it is estimated that five trees are required to absorb each ton of CO2 from the atmosphere. This means that to absorb the amount of CO2 resulting from WEG's initiative would require 118 trees each year. WEG's new solution can be applied to any extraction system using bag filters. It is part of the company's policy towards environmental protection. The same solution is already actively being considered for implementation in cement, aluminum and steel industry sectors.

WEG's extraction system operates in the foundry plant 24 hours a day, 269 days a year. However, due to process variations and demand, at least three grinding machines in the foundry used to remain inactive for about 12 hours a day, resulting in unnecessary extraction from the machines. WEG has used a combination of its new WMagnet (permanent magnet) motor and a CFW-11 inverter drive system to provide a solution to this problem and deliver energy saving from the extraction system.

Designed to provide constant torque across its entire speed range, the WMagnet/CFW-11 combination effectively matches the output of the extraction system to operational need. The WMagnet motors deliver a significant reduction in energy losses compared with an induction motor, resulting in a lower temperature rise and increased operating life. In addition, as energy losses account for a significant portion of total losses in induction motors, the PM motor delivers much higher efficiencies (up to 97.5 per cent), easily exceeding the new harmonised IE (International Efficiency) standards - IE2 - which comes into force July 2011 - and IE3, and attaining IE4.

Complementing the efficiency of the WMagnet motor is the patented Optimal Flux feature in WEG's latest CFW-11 inverter. Integrated into the CFW-11 software, Optimal Flux control enables motor loss minimisation to be achieved automatically, keeping motor torque constant, and motor temperature rise within the thermal class limit, even at low operating frequencies where ventilation is reduced. WEG has also increased the life of the bag filters used in the extraction system.

This was achieved by manufacturing the bags from synthetic fibres, which are less subject to damage. Further life improvement also resulted from optimising the pressure and flow settings required by the process, minimising the possibility of damage to the filters and reducing emissions of particles into the atmosphere. The increase in the life of the bag filters, plus the maintenance cost reduction and the significant decrease in energy consumption achieved by this solution are all crucial factors that have applicability across the majority of market sectors, due to the prevailing high cost of energy and the unrelenting nature of global competition, which puts increasing pressure on costs.

Food Technology has launched a new version of its website dedicated to food texture measurement. The website has been redesigned with an easy to navigate layout and a strong emphasis on providing practical information on food texture applications. Visitors are provided with information related directly to either their specific industry, such as bakery, confectionery, dairy, fruits and vegetables, meats, grains and gels or their specific test method - for example, compression, bulk analysis, extrusion, penetration and shearing.

This focus means food technologists and quality-control personnel can easily assess how best to test their particular food products and ingredients. Food Technology's texture analysers, tenderometers, test cells, fixtures and software are showcased, providing visitors with a comprehensive introduction to FTC's range of products. Test cells and fixtures are grouped by test method, for example, shearing, compression and bulk analysis, ensuring straightforward selection of the most appropriate test accessory.

FasTest has improved its FasTest Internal (FI) connectors, which provide fast, leak-tight connections for pressure and vacuum testing, fluid filling and flushing applications - from vacuum to 120 psi. With the addition of a stroke limiter feature and improved retainer clip design, the FI series delivers increased reliability and safety.

FI connectors are activated as compressed regulated air acts on a piston within the connector, which expands a seal to form a leak-tight connection - all without pipe sealant, wrenches and thread damage. Air, liquid or gas media can then be introduced through the connector to accomplish testing, filling or flushing of the equipment. The FI series is suited for robotics or pick-and-place applications that require delicate handling and/or testing.

If there is an error in an automated process that results in a part not arriving to the specified location, a connector may still become pressurised, resulting in over-expansion of the seal and potential damage to the connector. To regulate this expansion of the seal - also referred to as the stroke - the FI series now includes a stroke limiter feature. Additionally, the FI series now features a newly designed retaining clip that is recessed in the connector, protecting it from wear and contributing to even longer lasting connector life.

Features: patented grip-and-seal technology provides leak-tight connections; eliminates pipe sealant, wrenches and thread damage; stroke limiter regulates seal expansion; improved retainer clip design; soft-touch elastomers seal without scratching or otherwise damaging products; rugged aluminum or stainless-steel construction.

A GBP17m programme to improve drinking water quality for 50,000 Welsh Water customers in the Swansea valley has included investment in Lamella plate separation technology from Hydro. To process increased volumes of backwash water generated by the major upgrade to clarification and filtration facilities at Crai Water Treatment Works, a Hydro Lamella Plate Clarifier was chosen by construction and consulting company Black and Veatch.

'With its small-footprint design, the Lamella plate settlement process provided a compact solution in a sensitive national park location in the Brecon Beacons,' said Black and Veatch chief mechanical engineer Malcolm Bamsey. A major upgrade to the Crai WTW was required to address the need for Manganese removal from the drinking water. The additional clarification and filtration plant incorporates a new CoCoDAF process upstream of existing filters, new media in existing filters, and new chlorine and lime dosing points.

Dirty washwater from the new filtration plant is collected and fed at 14 litres/sec through the Hydro Lamella plate clarifiers. The supernatant liquor is returned to the balancing tanks, while the separated solids are fed through existing sludge thickeners before being removed for agricultural use. 'With the Hydro Lamella plant we will achieve a high quality of supernatant liquors and achieve the required volumetric throughput for the dirty washwater process to deal with the increased loading of the plant,' said Chris Day, general manager of Hydro Wastewater.

'The Hydro Lamella plates are a highly efficient way of maximising solids removal from the supernatant before subsequent sludge thickening and removal,' Day said. 'By providing 10m2 of settling area per 1m of ground area, Hydro Lamella Plate Clarifiers provide a footprint up to 90 per cent smaller than conventional settlement tanks,' he continued. 'By using Lamellas to process backwash water, the Crai WTW now has highly efficient fine solids removal, achieving a top quality clarification process with good operational reliability and low maintenance,' Day added.

Amol Prakash, senior software scientist at the BRIMS (Biomarker Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry) Center, is to give a talk during Applied Pharmaceutical Analysis (APA) India 2011. Prakash will present a mass spectrometry-based targeted protein quantitation approach to identify and quantify proteins, peptides and their resulting metabolites. The BRIMS Center develops comprehensive, MS-based workflows using cutting-edge Thermo Scientific products for robust biomarker discovery and clinical research validation.

Prakash will present 'Identification and quantification of in vitro protein metabolites using a novel mass-spectrometry-based workflow', which will discuss how mass-spectrometry-based targeted protein quantitation has assumed a primary role in identifying, verifying and quantifying biomarkers. An area of research that presents new challenges is the identification and quantification of small proteins and large peptides. The talk will outline the methods being developed by Thermo Fisher and the BRIMS Center to counter these challenges.

Prakash brings together multi-disciplinary expertise in high-throughput data mining and mass spectrometry to create powerful software. APA India 2011, which takes place 6-9 February 2011 at the Hyderabad International Conference Center, brings together scientists from across the world to discuss and assess the current state of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry. The in-session talk by Prakash on protein quantification will take place at 11:45am on 7 February during the Discovery Workshop.

National Instruments now offers more than 9,000 drivers from more than 350 vendors through the Instrument Driver Network (IDNet) that simplify and automate connection to standalone instruments. IDNet, said to be the industry's largest source of instrument drivers, includes more than 1,000 new drivers added since November 2009. The drivers are written for the NI Labview graphical development platform, the NI Labwindows/CVI ANSI C integrated development environment and Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Studio.

With Labview 2010, engineers can use the new Instrument Driver Finder (IDFinder) to quickly search IDNet and download different Labview Plug and Play instrument drivers for their standalone instruments. IDFinder scans the system for connected instruments; downloads and installs the appropriate drivers; and presents ready-to-run examples to the engineer. IDFinder significantly reduces time to first measurement by helping engineers get up and running without leaving the Labview environment.

From IDNet, engineers can download Labview Plug and Play, Labwindows/CVI Plug and Play, and interchangeable virtual instrument (IVI) drivers certified by NI to automate measurements from thousands of instruments. With NI software, instrument drivers can simplify instrument automation across a variety of buses, including GPIB, USB, PXI, PCI, Ethernet, LXI and RS232. NI builds all of its instrument drivers using VISA, an industry-standard I/O programming interface that abstracts the underlying bus communication for a consistent programming experience regardless of the instrument bus.

Imagine the following; poor, non-effective cleaning is occurring in a pre-treatment plant and this is resulting in quality-control rejects or worse still, customer complaints. The actual root cause of the problem is due to worn, clogged or poorly aligned nozzles, but this is unknown at the time. It is decided that the problem must be something to do with the chemicals being used.

Perhaps a new batch is being used just before the problems started, so the problem is 'remedied' by either increasing the flow rate or increasing the concentration of chemical cleaner used and this seems to solve the problem for while. The nozzle continues to wear or becomes even more clogged, so the problem reoccurs some time afterwards. The operating costs have increased as chemical usage has increased and money is wasted.

While it may seem logical to blame a poor batch of chemicals, it would perhaps have been advisable to look at the spray set-up/nozzles as well. Nozzles actually wear out far quicker than most people think - particularly if the manufacturing quality of the nozzle is not to a high enough standard. However, it's often the case that the downtime and inconvenience associated with checking and replacing a nozzle arrays deters many maintenance managers from checking this equipment.

The main reason for a plant maintenance manager being dissuaded from doing a nozzle audit is the length of time and effort required. The nozzles need to be taken out, put back in and then re-aligned, which is of course all down time. This being the case, it can be tempting to blame the chemicals for the problem instead of tackling the possible root cause. If left unchecked, this situation can lead to the real cause of the problems going undiagnosed for considerable lengths of time and possibly leading to more serious problems later.

If a problem with the chemicals is incorrectly suggested then increasing chemical flow rates or concentrations may be a temporary 'solution' to the problem, even if it's actually a nozzle problem. However, this 'solution' will provide false validation of the erroneous diagnosis and, hence, the real issue will remain unaddressed. However, the reality may be that the sheer hassle and effort involved is putting maintenance managers off checking their nozzle array.

Spotting the difference between a 45 and 55deg spray tip is almost impossible at the best of times. If you have been sent the wrong product or they have some how been mixed up in your store room, when would you spot the error? For most the honest answer is 'when it's too late' - when spraying starts. But what if the different spray tips and nozzles where made from different coloured plastics? It's a very simple idea but one that can really make a difference.

Often it's just the nozzle tip that needs replacing, although most nozzles will then require re-aligning. For example, quick tip release system nozzles are available, allowing nozzles tips to be snapped in and out at the exact same angle so there is no need for re-alignment. This dramatically reduces the time and hassle of changing over nozzles. Good practice is to have a complete spare set of tips and nozzle holders that are always maintained in top condition.

These can then be quickly snapped into place. The old set can then be checked, cleaned and any worn ones can be re-ordered so that the spare set is ready to be reused. Ask your nozzle supplier if they can offer any advice on the upstream elements of the spray system. A good supplier will generally have expert advice on, or in some cases can even supply, complete riser systems and pipe work. The cost of the chemicals being sprayed far out weighs the cost of the nozzle.

Even a small degradation on performance quickly eliminates any price differential between the cheaper products and the quality products. Nozzles are a relatively low-cost component but if they do go wrong the knock-on costs can be high. Bete offers over 20,000 different 'nozzle' products and this, combined with their specialist technical knowledge, means they can quickly provide the best solution.

No minimum order values are required so, if you only need one nozzle, Bete will deliver one nozzle. Bete nozzles are used across a range of industries for numerous applications. For example; cleaning processing machinery, screen washing, cooling hot gases, extinguishing fires, neutralising micron-size pollutants, coating delicate electronics, and applying colours and flavourings.

The two-day 'Storage and discharge of powders and bulk solids' course will be held on 8-9 March 2011 at the Wolfson Centre, University of Greenwich Medway campus in Kent. This course deals with the basics in operation, design and specification of hoppers and silos, and aims to provide the knowledge to assist in identifying powder-handling storage and discharge problems, and the techniques that can be employed to overcome them.

The following topics will be covered: basics of hopper and silo function; dealing with potential problems; determination of hopper geometry for hopper flow; discharge aids and interfacing to feeders; feeder design; practical examples. There will also be a demonstration of the new powder flow tester, which the Wolfson Centre consultants helped to develop, designed to measure the flowability of materials.

The course is aimed at engineers, managers, skilled operatives and maintenance crew, or anyone involved in using powders and bulk solid materials. A basic technical education and/or experience in industry is recommended.

Demag Cranes and Components has announced that service technician Anthony Grainger has been awarded the Cyril McCauley Memorial Prize by the Lifting Equipments Engineer's Association (LEEA). Grainger studied for the LEEA's Lifting Machines (Power) diploma via a correspondence course before sitting the examination in April 2010.

He passed the diploma with distinction and, according to the LEEA examination board, his paper was the best submitted by 54 candidates worldwide, earning him the Cyril McCauley Memorial Prize. Grainger received a certificate and a commemorative plaque from John Kilby, president of the LEEA, at the organisations annual general meeting in Coventry on 19 November.

Grainger joined Demag in 2000 as an apprentice, before graduating to the position of service technician in April 2003. He currently works within Demag's north-east regional service team. In addition to Grainger's success, two other Demag service technicians passed the Lifting Machines (Power) examination held in April. John Eccleshall and John Millard both achieved their LEEA diplomas, with passes to credit and distinction level respectively.

Cognex has revealed how its In-Sight vision systems are providing Mondragon Assembly with a reliable solution for the quality inspection of solar cell panels while in production. Mondragon Assembly in Spain designs and manufactures systems and equipment for automation and robotic guided assembly processes in the solar sector. It required a reliable solution for its solar-cell manufacturing equipment in order to ensure the quality inspection of solar cell panels while in production.

A vision solution was required that could handle high-speed production while performing different inspection tasks, all while ensuring that the delicate product remained intact. In-Sight vision systems from Cognex are now performing the inspection tasks, ensuring zero-fault production. Solar cell production is expensive and involves a high level of automation in large volumes. Therefore, quality is critical to maintain a competitive advantage and solar-cell alignment has been a great challenge.

In addition to centring the solar cell properly, the system performs defect checks, such as inspecting for broken edges or cracks, verifying dimensions, positioning in relation to the edges, and so on. Machinery for assembling and handling solar cells and panels requires high-precision inspection and positioning systems. Mondragon Assembly inspection applications increasingly require stability, robustness and greater flexibility in its machines.

Cognex In-Sight vision systems offer flexible programming capacity for machine operation. This flexibility, coupled with robust In-Sight hardware, gave Mondragon the necessary stability it required. The first systems were developed and integrated with the support of local Cognex partner integrator Ikusmen Artificial Vision. Vision systems bring flexibility in the guiding and handling of solar cells and panels with high precision.

Vision systems consistently detect extremely small defects in damaged or badly soldered cells for nearly 100 per cent quality control. In-Sight offered advantages such as ease of connection and configuration as well as the programming power of the 'spreadsheet'. Vision also controls the positioning of the cell and with adequate calibration, indicates its position by a robotic arm. Regular improvements, software updates and the latest vision tools are available for In-Sight systems.

The Patmax tool is the industry-standard part location algorithm from Cognex that provides accurate and reliable location of parts, reducing or eliminating fixturing requirements and costs. Jean Philippe Aguerre, project leader for robotics at Mondragon, said: 'The Cognex In-Sight system's technical capacities, such as the Ethernet port, real-time remote operation, fast processing, and In-Sight Explorer software, were fundamental to solving the problems we were confronted with. 'The software is easy to use and has an optimum adjustment range.

Cognex has revealed how its In-Sight Micro1403 vision system is assisting blind workers at Bosma Enterprises in their work packaging and shipping surgical gloves. Bosma Enterprises is an Indianapolis-based organisation that serves the blind and visually impaired with employment opportunities. Its workers package and ship surgical gloves from manufacturers to Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals around the US.

Bosma has a contract from the VA hospitals prohibiting the use of the corrugated cardboard packing supplied by the manufacturer because that material can harbour bacteria and parasites. Workers need to pack gloves in generic chipboard boxes and create new labels identifying the product. In addition to the manufacturer's name and product type, the new labels had to contain the lot number, part number, size, and a barcode from the original boxes shipped by the manufacturers in order to comply with the manufacturer's product traceability requirements.

To keep the VA contract, Bosma needed to find a way to enable blind operators to read and enter information printed on the package shipped by the manufacturer so that new labels could be created for the contract-compliant chipboard boxes. Bosma worked with the EMP Technical Group to develop a system that blind workers could use to accurately recreate the correct labels for each manufacturer's box.

The system combines a PC that contains a database of manufacturer names, glove type and model number, a Cognex In-Sight 1403 vision system to read and transmit the date/lot/batch information from the packaging supplied by the manufacturer, and a machine for printing and applying the new labels. Originally, EMP had tested a system that simply captured a photo image of the label, but that did not reproduce the label in a high enough resolution.

The Cognex system produced a more accurate and high-quality label that met all of the manufacturers' requirements for traceability. Without the Cognex camera, the visually impaired operator would need to read each character from the original packaging under high-powered magnification, taking a significant amount of time. The system eliminates the need for this process, as well as reducing processing time and eliminating keystroke errors.

In addition, totally blind operators would not be able to use the magnification system at all. The new system has increased productivity and allowed the company to work through a large backlog of orders. Due to the reading accuracy of the Cognex smart camera and the simplicity of the EMP-designed program, Bosma was able to retain the VA contract.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spirax Safebloc Double Block and Bleed valves have helped SCA Hygiene in Prudhoe, Northumberland, to eliminate unscheduled boiler shutdowns costing up to GBP20,000 each in lost production. SCA Hygiene runs a 24/7 process, producing branded tissue. It is the company's practice to only carry out maintenance work on a live-steam system behind double block-and-bleed isolation. The company frequently suffered minor problems with blocked level-gauge glasses on its boilers.

However, because only single isolation valves were fitted to the gauge glasses, the boiler had to be shut down and depressurised to enable maintenance engineers to fix the problem safely, halving production output for up to 10 hours. SCA Hygiene decided to replace the existing single isolation valves with four Safebloc valves on each of its boilers, so that any future maintenance work on its gauge levels could be done without having to shut down a boiler.

Previously, a boiler shutdown could cost the company up to GBP20,000 in production downtime, meaning the last four valves paid for themselves three times over within the first six months. Double block and bleed (DBB) is the industry's best practice for double isolation for safe maintenance without having to shut down the entire system.

Double isolation is achieved by closing two isolation valves, with the intermediate bleed valve being left open to provide a sealing integrity check to ensure the downstream pipeline remains safely isolated during maintenance work. The patented design of Spirax Safebloc incorporates two isolation valves and a bleed port in a compact assembly, making it easy to install into the space left by an existing single isolation valve. According to the company, it had never have been able to install a DBB system in the past as other designs take up too much space, often sticking two to three feet out from the boiler.

An added advantage of Spirax Safebloc is that a retrofit can be undertaken quickly, eliminating the time-consuming and expensive pipe cutting, welding and pressure testing needed to engineer a conventional double block and bleed arrangement from separate isolation and bleed valves. This UK-manufactured and easy-to-fit unit is robust enough for industrial environments. It uses proven technology from the Spirax Sarco range of bellows-sealed globe valves that offer zero gland leakage, while ensuring tight shut-off conforming to DIN 3230 BO1 and ISO 5208 Rate A specifications.

Running Solarsoft Dashboards powered by QlikView across its suite of iPad devices has enabled Farmiloe and Farmiloe's area sales managers to access Solarsoft ERP system information from anywhere. The implementation of Solarsoft Dashboards on iPad devices will bring a number of benefits to Farmiloe and Farmiloe. Area sales managers will now have access to product imagery and sales trends, helping them to improve customer engagement and quality of service while driving new revenues.

John Horner, joint managing director at Farmiloe and Farmiloe, said: 'By giving our sales team access to Solarsoft Dashboards on their iPads we are making it easier for them to engage with customers during meetings, focus on relevant issues and help to highlight additional revenue opportunities. 'Our area sales managers now have access to high-quality product images and current data, which enables them to tailor presentations to a client's particular requirements. 'This means that presentations are more relevant and the impact is more powerful.

The Special Metals Forum and the National Metals Technology Centre (NAMTEC), has announced a conference that will highlight the opportunities in carbon capture and storage (CCS) to manufacturers. The event, 'Carbon capture and storage: Innovation and growth in the supply chain', will be held on 4 February at the AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham, UK. Open to both Special Metal Forum members and those interested in CCS technology, the event is designed to give manufacturers and suppliers an insight into the Government's commitment to CCS, with a senior government minister as keynote speaker.

There will also be presentations from power plant operators, industry leaders and academia, which will outline and discuss the latest technology. These will include Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian from the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, Rachel Crisp from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Peter Barnard from Doosan Babcock, Mervyn Sambles from Fluor, Peter Birtles, chair of the Special Metals Forum, Philip Sharman from Alstom and Sabine Sulzer from Sulzer Pumps.

The speakers will cover a range of topics relating to CCS, from looking at the technological challenges right through to material implications and carbon-dioxide pumping systems. In addition, the event will give delegates who are not already involved in the industry the opportunity to meet key players and supply chain partners. Alastair Lang from the NAMTEC said: 'Carbon capture and storage is essential to sustain the UK's energy supply from fossil fuels, whilst satisfying demand and meeting emissions targets over the next several decades.

'Technology relating to CCS is at an early stage of development and there are major opportunities for manufacturers to grow their businesses by becoming part of the supply chain, as well as ensuring the UK is a world leader in this emerging field. The seminar will outline how the opportunities for manufacturing companies include the supply of corrosion-resistant materials, advanced manufacturing processes and increased demand for off-the-shelf products.

Transfer of information from those established in the power generation and oil and gas sectors will be particularly valuable to establish the UK's presence as a market leader in the field. According to NAMTEC, the event will be of interest to technologists, strategists and industrials who would like to increase their awareness and involvement in the emerging market of carbon capture and storage.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a relatively new concept, but with huge opportunities for manufacturers to contribute their products and services towards reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The delegate rate for the Carbon Capture and Storage is GBP175 plus VAT for non members, which includes complimentary lunch. The cost to Special Metals Forum or Titanium Information Group Members is GBP50 plus VAT and to BSSA, BMPCA and CCSA members the cost is GBP150 plus VAT.

Linde Gases has partnered with Pulsair Systems to enable industries using mixing and blending systems in the production of liquid products to manage the liquid circulation process more efficiently. Linde provides atmospheric gases to global process industries, where the addition of compressed air or inert gas is a cornerstone of the liquid mixing process to ensure complete and even blending between heavier and lighter liquids, or to prevent product oxidation.

Such markets include the food and beverage industry - for example, utilising nitrogen in food oils or wine to prevent product deterioration by exposure to oxygen - or the oil and gas industry where inert gases such as nitrogen are used to blend lubricants, mixing base stock and additives, or thinning heavy emulsions. In addition to its mixing effectiveness, by using compressed air or inert gas as the primary power source for blending, industries involved in liquid processing can become highly energy efficient.

The partnership with Pulsair allows Linde to extend its gas technology expertise to shorten the time to mix liquid products in tanks. Pulsair's pulsed air technology comprises a process which sequentially releases compressed air or gas from the bottom of the tank or vessel containing a liquid or multiple liquids in order to create circulation and mixing. Measured amounts of high pressure air or gas are injected - or pulsed - under flat round discs called accumulator plates, which are installed on the tank bottom.

The sudden release of air or gas shocks the liquid, setting molecules in motion. As the air or gas forces itself out between the plate and tank floor, it sweeps out heavier liquids and even solids. The air or gas then accumulates above the plate into a very large, single oval-shaped bubble. As the bubble rises to the surface, a vacuum is created, pulling heavier bottom liquids and solids up with it. It also pushes the liquid above it up and out towards the tank perimeter.

The liquid then moves toward the sides of the tank and travels down the tank wall to the bottom, repeating the process. Pulsair technology significantly reduces operational costs and downtime. With no moving parts inside the tank, Pulsair mixers have minimal maintenance and can be expected to complete 100,000,000 blending cycles without incident - and with remote programmable capability, Pulsair can be constantly monitored from off-site locations.

Leuze Electronic has published three catalogues online both as virtual books and downloadable pdfs, in which products are grouped into industrial sensing, machine safety and identification products. The catalogues are available to view now on Leuze Electronic's website, with paper versions becoming available in a few weeks' time. The Protection - Machine Safety catalogue has 545 pages of optical safety protection including safety light curtains, safety light guards and safety laser scanners.

These range from standard units to individual solutions with specialised features - for example integrated Profisafe and AS-i Safe interfaces, integrated muting solutions and Robust, IP67 and Ex-rated versions. The range is supplemented by safety switches and safety interlocks. Leuze Electronic also offers a machine safety inspection service, which will assess machines that use any brand of safety equipment. Secondly, the Detection - Optical and Inductive sensor catalogue has 576 pages of sensors ranging from economical standard sensors to individual specialised solutions.

It features photoelectric, measuring, profile, ultrasonic, forked, inductive, special, fibre-optic, protective, ex and AS-i sensors, as well as measuring light curtains. Finally, the Identification - Barcode, 2D and RFID, Vision and Data transmission catalogue has 435 pages of products including barcode readers that can reconstruct broken barcodes. It features systems ranging from smart cameras to PC-based systems, optical data transmission and optical positioning solutions.

To celebrate National Engineering Month, the OPC Training Institute is offering a 20 per cent discount on OPC training courses held at its headquarters between 15-24 March 2011. According to the institute, through these courses students will receive an in-depth and hands-on experience that will allow them to apply new skills immediately to their work.

Edwards' turbo pumping stations can create high-vacuum environments required for RandD applications such as particle accelerators, high-energy physics and plasma research, UHV systems and beam lines. The pumping stations provide lab users with an easy-to-use 'plug and play' vacuum system with pumping speeds of up to 400l/s. They can be ordered through a simple three-step process and arrive pre-assembled, enabling users to integrate them quickly and easily.

As a standard feature, each station combines a turbo pump with a backing pump, TIC turbo and instrument controller. Users have a choice of backing pump to suit their application, with diaphragm pump, rotary vane pump or XDS dry scroll pump. To order, users simply specify the size of turbo pump, backing pump and voltage required. In addition, users can easily add other instruments, including active Pirani gauges, active inverted magnetron and active wide-range gauges. The pumping stations are delivered pre-assembled and are ready to run after simple installation.

Previously carts were only available up to 220 l/s but Edwards now has products available for larger sizes, offering a range of pumping speeds from 42l/s to 400l/s. Each cart is tailored for individual needs and where the nEXT turbo pump is chosen, should users wish, they can change the oil cartridge and bearing themselves to increase the service life of the pump and reduce cost of ownership. The nEXT turbo pumps are easy to maintain and can be serviced by the end user on site.

Users can carry out interim oil lubrication changes on site with minimum specialist tooling and typically in less than five minutes. A bearing change with minimal disassembly of the pump can also be performed in less than 10 minutes using basic workshop tools and an Edwards tool kit. nEXT pumping stations are used to create the high-vacuum environments required for many RandD applications such as particle accelerators, high energy physics and plasma research, UHV systems and beam lines. The stations can be wheeled around easily, providing high-vacuum pumping stations that create optimum vacuum conditions wherever they are required.

Keithley Instruments has published its 2011 Test and Measurement Product Catalogue in CD form, offering selector guides and tutorials to simplify choosing the right product for specific applications. The CD offers details and technical specifications on Keithley's sensitive and general-purpose sourcing and measurement products, DC switching, Digital Multimeters, RF/microwave switching, data acquisition solutions and semiconductor test systems.

It is arranged by product type and application area with sections containing Keithley's newest offerings in test and measurement, as follows: source and measure products; semiconductor test; low-level measurements and sourcing; switching and control; digital multimeters and systems; specialised power supplies; optoelectronics test; function/pulse/arbitrary/pattern generators; and accessories.

Several new and enhanced products are highlighted in the catalogue's featured products section. The first of these are ultra-sensitive sourcing and measurement solutions: low-level DC and DC+AC current sources; picoammeters; switch mainframe and cards optimised for use in Hall-effect testing, a nanovoltmeter and an electrometer.

Meanwhile, semiconductor test solutions include: the latest upgrades to Keithley's S530 Parametric Test Systems; new options for the Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterisation System, including an ultra-fast I-V module; and the latest additions to Keithley's popular Series 700 switch matrix line, updated for high-speed semiconductor test applications. And finally, sensitive source/measure and switching solutions include: Keithley's popular Series 2400 and 2600A Sourcemeter instruments, Model 3706 System Switch/Multimeter, and Model 2010 Low-Noise Digital Multimeter.

Crain Communications has invited the global plastics industry to attend its 11th Annual Nanocomposites and Nanotubes Conference 2011, to be held at Le Meridien Hotel, Brussels, on 6-7 April 2011. The event will focus on research and development in the areas of nano-particles, polymer processing and polymer application, as well as market direction, growth and the potential for commercialisation.

Attendees are offered the opportunity to keep up to date with polymer-materials science and to gain the knowledge that enables well-informed decisions to be made. They will be encouraged to discuss setbacks, challenges, successes and future thinking with peers in a wide range of functions, making connections across the polymer sector that will help grow business.

Key sessions will examine: the reality of the timetable to commercialisation; bridging the gap between research and application; toxicity, global regulation and the impact on your business; graphene and the properties it may bring to the sector. Speakers include: Fraunhofer; Nanocyl; Polyone; Kabelwerk Eupen; Re-turn; BASF; Steptoe and Johnson; the Univeristy of Manchester; Michigan State University; and Nanocor.

Schroff has introduced a 4U, nine-slot subrack system based on the new CompactPCI Serial specification, suitable for application in the process, industrial control, defence and transportation sectors. The system takes full advantage of the specification's high-speed serial bus topology to deliver a data transfer rate of up to 32Gbit/s via PCIe, 10GbE, S-ATA, USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 interfaces.

The CompactPCI Serial system comprises a subrack, backplane, fan tray and power supply. The shielded 19-in aluminium chassis is 4U high and has a depth of 275mm. Featuring a perforated top cover and base plate, it is supplied with front handles and a set of guide rails to enable it to be populated with 3U-high boards. The nine-slot backplane, providing one system slot and eight peripheral slots, conforms to PICMG CompactPCI-S.0 and can be specified with or without rear I/O.

Effective cooling of the system is ensured by a 1U hot-swap fan tray under the board cage. Operating from a wide input range of 100 to 240VAC, the built-in 300W ATX power supply features an IEC AC input socket, mains switch and dedicated fan. In addition, the CompactPCI Serial system includes plug-in units for DVD and hard-disk drives, as well as various 3U front panels.

OLE (UK) has launched Delphin's Expert Key multi-function portable data-acquisition series, a test system capable of measuring volts, mA, thermocouple and Pt100 signals simultaneously on 14 channels. The USB can monitor digital inputs and 1MHz-frequency signals, as well as output volts, 4-20mA and PWM signals, in order to test field devices and control systems easily.

All inputs and outputs are galvanically isolated, yet the Expert Key can still sample signals at 100kS/s with 18-bit resolution. For flexibility, users can simply connect the device to a laptop or other PC via USB or Ethernet and run the free Profisignal Go software to get started. Drivers are provided for Labview, OPC server and standard programming languages, however Delphin has developed Profisignal Basic and Klicks software. Basic allows engineers to easily create mimic panels, while Klicks enables fully automated test routines to be generated.

Rockwell Automation has reconfigured its Techconnect remote support service to provide improved troubleshooting and easier programming and product configuration, for improved plant-wide optimisation. The remote support is available at four different levels: Self-assist Support, Product Support, System Support and Application Support. In addition, users can now add 'a la carte' options to their standard support level, allowing for customisation.

Rockwell Automation has added several new capabilities to its support offerings, including the opportunity for Techconnect subscribers to receive support via email, online chat and interactive user forums. A forthcoming smart-phone solution will allow access to support offerings and chat via mobile web. The four new services replace the previous Econnect, Directconnect, Priorityconnect and Insite offerings, but users with existing contracts will not experience any disruption in service. Customers will continue to access Rockwell Automation technical support engineers at multiple regional support centres worldwide, who are available 24/7 to provide support in more than 20 languages.

For experienced customers with a deep understanding of Rockwell Automation products and a preference for addressing their own support needs, the Self-assist Support contract offers downloadable software updates and access to the Rockwell Automation Knowledgebase, the online database containing thousands of technical solutions developed by Rockwell Automation technical support engineers. In addition, Self-assist Support users can address service questions via email through the Knowledgebase platform.

Customers requiring support specific to Rockwell Automation products will benefit from a Product Support contract. At this level, customers receive real-time engineering support via phone or online options for specified products, as well as remote-desktop capability and software media shipments. For customers with a complete automated system from Rockwell Automation, like the Plantpax process automation system or the Integrated Architecture system, a System Support contract provides access to engineers who are trained specialists in Rockwell Automation control systems.

A System Support contract also provides a timely response and a dedicated service technician for each service call. With an Application Support contract, Rockwell Automation engineers visit the customer's manufacturing facility to gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific application within the context of their entire enterprise. These engineers are then on call to provide technical account management as an extension of the company's in-house stuff, helping to develop and execute on production goals and provide scheduled consulting time whenever needed.

A-la-carte options, which can be added to most of these contract offerings, include: continuous monitoring, trending and archiving for as many as 10,000 data points by Rockwell Automation engineers; secure remote connection to a customer's system via VPN; surveillance and alarming for critical systems; system virtualisation and testing in a safe, non-production environment; control documentation management; and a customisable Knowledgebase of the customer's own questions and solutions, as well as the products used in their manufacturing facility.

Chronos BTH has introduced a hygienic, dust-proof and patented bottom-up filling system, for conveying powders (especially dairy products) into open-mouth bags in the food industry. The machine features a closed bag-top transport mechanism, quick and simple cleaning, fast change-over times and minimised dust emission. It is available in full a stainless-steel version or an ATEX design, with an option for nitrogen purging.

During bag transportation the bag-top remains closed and the machine control zone is separated from the functioning bagging zone. There are no fixing devices in the product flow, as internal components and those that come into contact with bulk material are sanitary welded and the exterior machine parts have a polished finish. Chronos BTH provides customised and innovative weighing, bagging, baling, palletising and load-securing solutions in various industries.

The company offers manual, semi- automatic, fully automated or turnkey solutions for bagging a diverse range of bulk materials in the food, feed, chemicals, minerals and horticulture industries. Its bagging portfolio includes open-mouth bagging systems, valve bagging systems, horizontal and vertical FFS systems and filling systems for flexible and rigid containers. Chronos BTH, represented by APF, will display the bottom-up bag filling system, at booth no.226 at the Auspack Plus exhibition, to be held in Melbourne, Australia on 22-25 March 2011.

A new range of compact, lightweight differential pressure transmitters for gas and compressed air applications is now available from Impress Sensors and Systems. The DPS 200 range of differential pressure transmitters is designed to operate with any gas or compressed air application and so is suited to buildings management systems, including HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, low differential pressure measurement applications and industrial clean rooms.

The DPS 200 comprises a piezoresistive pressure sensor and an optional integrated LC display. The unit is available in 14 nominal pressure ranges (differential and gauge) from 1 up to 1,000mbar. The five-digit, seven-segment LC display has a digit size of 8mm and a visible range of 32.5 by 22.5mm. The DPS 200 is temperature-compensated in the range 0 up to 50C. The unit also provides all the required electrical protection, including short-circuit protection, reverse polarity and electromagnetic protection according to EN 61326.

ITT's Metr1x signal connector is designed for heavy diesel or gas engines, agricultural machinery, power-generating units and industrial automation, as well as defence systems and robotics. The fully sealed (IP69K) RoHS-compliant high-temperature connector is designed to provide complete reliability and guaranteed signal integrity in extremely harsh environments, and was developed to fulfil the need for increased functionality and vibration resistance in complex thermodynamic conditions.

The Metr1x series is available in different housing variations to suit a range of applications. Available in multiple receptacle variations, the Metr1x series features CGK size 20 contacts. The mating face adheres to M12 industry standards and allows two-, three- or four-way versions and standard cable configurations. Special screw-in variants allow for direct replacement of cable gland configurations and optional end bells are available.

A crimped housing eliminates cable overstressing and provides sealing up to IP68 (water ingress protections of a minimum two hours when immersed in up to 4m depth). Metr1x connectors operate at 100V DC with a current rating of 4A and provide complete EMI shielding. Devices conform to UL94-V0. The stainless-steel design remains fully dry and functional, even in conditions involving heavy salt spray, engine oil, diesel, kerosene and similar noxious fluids. Proven in temperatures up to 150C, Metr1x withstands vibration up to 20G and shock to a maximum of 50G, protecting vital signals - particularly during combustion control and regulation procedures.

Altair Engineering has announced that Surrey-based Gordon Murray Design chose the Hyperworks product suite to develop the T.25 City Car, which addresses congestion, carbon footprint and emissions. The Hyperworks pre-processor Hypermesh was used to build and assemble the T.25 CAE model, which was subsequently analysed for a variety of load cases and performance measures using the suite's Radioss solver. The results were then post-processed and visualised in Altair Hyperview.

The combined use of the Hyperworks tools helped the engineering team design a lighter car in a significantly reduced timescale. The light weight will further enhance the city car's road performance through less fuel consumption and, ultimately, lower CO2 emissions. Optistruct, Altair's optimisation tool, will be used by Gordon Murray Design in the future to help further refine primary structures. In the meantime, Radioss is used to analyse the torsion stiffness, bending stiffness, frontal offset loading and normal mode characteristics of the vehicle.

CCE has announced an update to Oceans SDK (OSDK), a technology for 3D CAD integration in enterprise applications. OSDK provides access to native product information stored in files of all major 3D CAD formats, via a unified API architecture and without the need for a CAD license. The recent update adds COM API to OSDK in addition to the existing C++ API. OSDK's COM API can be used with common scripting languages to develop lightweight browser-based CAD interfaces for ERP/PDM/PLM systems.

'Our initial focus was on desktop-based applications, but over the past year we have seen an increasing demand from our enterprise application customers to offer browser-based applications,' said says CCE's vice president, sales and marketing, Vinay Wagle. OSDK is said to provide an easy, non-royalty-based solution to all such enterprise application providers. OSDK's single API for all the CAD formats makes the integration development easier and keeps the maintenance costs low. OSDK is based on CCE's ODX libraries, which provide native access to major CAD systems and are used by many independent software vendors for their CAD-independent viewers and translators.

Designed for centralised control systems, the Lenze 3200C controller combines PLC logic, motion control and visualisation in a single device. By bringing together the latest fast microprocessors with updated operating software, the 3200C delivers a tailored hardware-software combination that can implement automation systems in a cost-effective way. This new controller suits machines with single-and multi-axis drives, giving powerful centralised control over a matching range of external drives and actuators.

Dimensions are compact with DIN rail mounting and a width of 136mm, and reliability is assured as there is no fan or battery. The 3200C controller is designed to integrate with the Lenze I/O system 1000, creating a single station with a fast 48MHz backplane bus and a 1us time stamp. Up to 64 I/O modules can be combined with digital and analogue I/O, temperature measurement, counters and encoder evaluation. Communication ports are provided for Ethernet and the fast bus Ethercat, which can connect to servo and inverter drives - also external I/O stations.

Two USB connections are available and there is an optional third USB for DVI connections to a monitor panel such as the Lenze MP range. Two further ports are provided for Canopen and optional Profibus. Project planning is simplified by the latest software. The 3200C operates with Windows CE 6.0 and is provided with Lenze PLC Designer software, which enables programming to the languages of IEC61131-3. This latest version of PLC Designer is based on the Codesys3 programming system, which has been tailored and optimised for the controller.

Programming of motion functions is to PLCopen standards. Designers can use the new controller as a gateway, for example evaluating Profibus signals and transmitting them in Ethernet. The 3200C uses a flash memory for storage instead of the significantly more error-prone hard discs used in the past. Intel Atom processors operate without requiring a fan so there are no moving parts, making the controllers particularly robust. In the event of a power-supply failure, an integrated UPS ensures that the retain variables of the controller are saved.

For use as removable storage, the 3200C is fitted with one SD memory card slot and two USB interfaces. Four LEDs display operating status and allow fast analysis. Further savings come from the integration of I/O into a single DIN-rail-mounted station and the Lenze portfolio of matching inverter drives, servo drives and monitor panels. PLC programming with the latest Codesys3 is faster and reduces cost. Complete automation systems can be implemented efficiently through the controller.

The SMV range of frequency inverters is particularly beneficial for fans in ventilation and HVAC systems, pumps, escalators and rotating doors. The range is available in IP31 and IP65 variants that cover a power range of 0.25 to 37kW (a maximum of 22kW for the IP65 variant). These designs are established and the performance is proven with sensorless vector control, high dynamics and a 200-per-cent overload capacity. There are built-in features to save time and cost, such as the pluggable memory chip that can download all the drive parameters in seconds.

Now the functionality has been extended with new features that suit particular market areas. The SMV has a range of supply voltages that is particularly broad. Models for three-phase supply are available for nominal supply voltages from 240 up to 600V, the top end suiting machines to be exported to territories with high supply ranges. A 10 per cent tolerance is available on top of these voltages. When it comes to single-phase supplies, standard models suit 220-240V, as is commonplace in Europe.

However, an additional model includes a 'voltage doubler' that accepts 120V single-phase input and outputs three phase at 240V. Again, this suits exports of machinery to territories with more unusual supplies and allows the machine manufacturer to make simple inverter changes rather than change the motor/geared motor. The SMV has even been proven in the Australian outback with a single-wire 480V AC supply and an earth literally through the ground. Customers running repetitive cycles can make use of a new sequencer function that is standard in the SMV drives.

Up to 16 individual profiles of ramp time, speed target and time at speed can be pre-programmed into sequence. Following a start signal, the sequence runs either once or is repeated. Each of the 16 profiles is stepped through either automatically or manually following an external trigger signal. A stop signal interrupts the sequence at any point and a pause signal holds the sequence in the current active profile. The sequencer function can remove the need for an external controller in simple cyclic applications, ideally where the load is steady and there is no requirement to follow a precise path.

Examples are industrial gates and doors where limit switches can detect the position for the end of the sequence, also cycling of washing and plating machinery. Another feature available at no extra cost in the SMV inverters is motor flux braking, which suits infrequent stops as the motor is used as a heat sink. Effectively, the inverter drives the motor to stop on a deceleration ramp while over-fluxing the motor. A high magnetisation current causes the braking energy to appear as heat in the motor.

The advantage of motor flux braking is the simplicity and reduction in system costs; no external chopper or braking resistors are required. The SMV now has an enhanced PID sleep mode function where the drive can enter the sleep mode triggered by a user-specified feedback value. There is a choice for the motor to coast to stop, to ramp to stop or be braked. Recovery from the sleep mode is possible based solely on a feedback value set by the customer. Pump and fan applications can also take advantage of a new 'pump rinse and purge' function that prevents the build up of sludge on pump impellors which means reduced wear and higher efficiency.

Customers can set a time delay for the rinse/purge to start after entering sleep mode. Then the motor follows a sequence of ramp to speed, hold, then ramp to stop. With ventilation systems, this also avoids build up of dirt on fan blades, for example when systems are shut down at night. The rinse/purge function improves efficiency and is a particular requirement for smoke-detection systems in high-rise buildings. With a power range of 0.25 to 37kW, range of supply voltages and two levels of protection, IP31 and IP65, the SMV inverters are particularly adaptable to most types of industrial machinery. Now new functions are built into the drives at no extra cost, giving the ability to reduce external components and controls.

These past few years have seen inverters promoted as one of the very best energy-saving technologies, playing a key role in combating global warming. But Mitsubishi Electric's Jeff Whiting says controlling the power consumption of motors is only the first of their many environmental credentials. We've heard the figures many times: motors account for 65 per cent of all industrial power consumption and, yet, only 25 per cent of motors are fitted with variable speed drives.

But use a variable speed drive to control a motor with an appropriate speed profile for the task in hand and you can slash that motor's energy usage. Last year, the government woke up to the fact that use of variable speed drives represents one of the best ways to reduce the UK's carbon footprint, bettered only by a wholesale switch to LED lighting and thermal insulation in commercial buildings. But, as the world economy recovers from its battering of the last couple of years, a more sophisticated definition of green manufacturing is emerging.

And this time it makes even better business sense, because, while measures such as the Climate Change Levy and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme effectively penalise companies financially for not reducing their energy consumption, in our more sophisticated picture of green manufacturing, best-practice environmental measures can actually boost productivity. As ever, it is variable speed drives that can really make the difference. Consider, for example, the stopping of large machines, or indeed any shaft driving a load that needs to be brought to a controlled stop.

Traditionally, this would be achieved with some sort of mechanical brake. But these work by clamping the shaft and using friction to bring it to a stop - an inherent byproduct of which is of course heat, or wasted energy. But a key feature of many modern variable speed drives is regenerative braking, which converts braking energy back into electrical energy. This energy can then be fed back into the main supply or shared with other drives by connecting their power reserves together. Not only does this save energy in its own right, but the regeneration function also makes it possible to achieve smaller, less expensive drive systems and simpler, more compact switchgear layouts.

It seems obvious, but better control of a motor on any machine or process, optimising speed and torque, means better controllability. When you apply that tighter control to the whole production line, what you immediately see is significantly increased useful output, with far fewer reject products and a dramatically reduced need for any product rework. How many products, for example, are thrown away at the start of the production cycle as the machinery is tuned and optimised? How many more are rejected as processes drift out of tolerance? Variable speed drives can help in optimising machinery and processes from the minute they are turned on, and in keeping them at optimum efficiency throughout the production cycle.

A reduction in reject parts and in the need for rework can significantly impact on a company's bottom line. If a process is making greater numbers of useful products for a higher proportion of time, that makes you more competitive and better able to meet customer requirements. But it also means that you're using less energy per finished product. We can apply the same thinking to the wider production cycle, which more and more today is characterised by frequent line changeovers that cater for short runs of many different products.

The requirements of the customer and the need to optimise production efficiency can appear to be in conflict, since maximum efficiency is gained on the longest possible production run of a single product. But today's competitive global markets demand flexibility if a company is to thrive, or even to survive. In machinery and processes without inherent flexibility, there are significant costs in product changeovers, in terms of manpower and lost production. But once we have tighter control of those processes, changeovers from one product run to another become recipe based, with complete lines reset at the touch of a button.

What would have required time-consuming retuning of motor speeds and profiles can now benefit from automatic adjustment. The recipes for each product to be made on the line will store all the relevant parameters and settings, and these can automatically reset the likes of variable speed drives as required. This optimisation of the production cycle can mean the difference between having to manufacture for stock and being able to manufacture to order - or at the very least to a more optimised inventory schedule.

Because, when we're simply manufacturing for stock, inevitably there will be over-production of some items that will then just sit on shelves losing value. Each of those products in the warehouse represents some degree of wasted energy in manufacturing. We can look at the wider plant environment, too, because every motor - regardless of its efficiency rating - generates heat. Outside of specific hazardous areas, it is unlikely that the heat produced represents much of a problem to the machine itself or to personnel. But when you consider the number of motors there are likely to be around a typical industrial site, then you can see that these motors will be contributing to a measurable temperature rise.

In some controlled environments, that can be critical. In temperature sensitive environments such as cosmetics production, overall temperature has to be closely controlled within specific tolerances. If one process is generating excess heat, then another process has to be introduced to bring the temperature down - most likely some form of force air recirculation or air conditioning. And this, of course, is using energy. Much more efficient would be to reduce the heat signature of the motors themselves - or even capturing that energy - and here again variable speed drives come into their own. The variable speed drive more closely matches the motor to the load and so the motor generates less heat.

Not only is the motor being run more efficiently, less work has to be done to compensate for the heat generated. We can see then that variable speed drives have a hugely significant role to play in making industrial plants and processes more efficient. It may be the energy saving impact of not running a motor at fixed speed that grabs most of the headlines, but when we consider a more sophisticated picture of green manufacturing, it becomes clear that variable speed drives are making an even greater contribution to energy efficiency than might first be considered.