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Showing posts from January, 2011

RFID Products Track Work-in-Progress Manufacturing

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…

Digital Multimeter for Low-Voltage Installations

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 des…

Accelerometer for Health Monitoring Systems

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…

Graphics-Capable HMI for Use in Harsh Environments

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 …

SBC for Industrial Control and Automation

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 c…

Devices Improve Audio Quality in Consumer Products

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 t…

System Enables Reset and Battery-Monitoring Apps

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.

Multilayer Ceramics Replace Tantalum Capacitors

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 volta…

DC Power Supplies Cover Voltages up to 300V

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.

Wavesurfer Oscilloscopes in 200MHz-1GHz Bandwidth

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…

NDIR Technology Monitors Gases and VOCs

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…

Touch-Screen Monitors Target Digital Signage

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 offers programming kit for MEMS oscillators

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.

Hot-Swap Controller for 1 to 16V Backplanes

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 respond…

CSAs for Industrial, Consumer and Automotive Apps

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 se…

Online Demo Explains FPI Mag Flow Meter

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 an…

Air/Gas Flow Meter Enables GHG Monitoring

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 t…

Turbine Flowmeter for Cryogenic Fluid Applications

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 …

WEG Installs Extraction Filtering System in Brazil

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 …

Website Dedicated to Food Texture Measurement

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 straightforw…

FI Series Makes Fast Connections in Vacuum Testing

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…

Hydro Technology Used in Welsh Water Programme

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 fil…

BRIMS Scientist to Discuss Protein Quantification

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 deve…

Drivers Automate Connection to Standalone Devices

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 La…

Nozzle Replacement in Pre-Treatment Plants

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 quick…

Course Covers Storage and Discharge of Powders

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 basi…

Demag Service Technician Wins LEEA Award

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 (Po…

Vision System Enables Solar Panel Inspection

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 …

Smart Camera Assists Visually Impaired Workers

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 contra…

Compact Spriax DBB System Reduces SCA's Downtime

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 GBP…

Bathroom Distributor Gains Flexible Connectivity

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 present…

Event Highlights Carbon Capture Opportunities

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 t…

Pulsair and Linde Speed up Liquid-Mixing Processes

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 wit…

Brochures Highlight Industrial Sensing Products

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…

OPC Hands-on Training Courses are Now Discounted

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.

Easy-to-Use Vacuum Pumps Give High Pumping Speeds

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 a…

Keithley Publishes 2011 Test Products Catalog CD

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…

Polymers Conference Focuses on Nano-Particles

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 t…

Serial System Features High-Speed Data Transfer

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…

Portable USB for Ethernet-Based Data Acquisition

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.

Remote Automation Support Becomes Available Online

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 Automat…

Filling System Packs Dairy Powders with Accuracy

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 rang…

Differential Pressure Transmitters for Gas Apps

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 accordi…

Signal Connector Fits Heavy Diesel or Gas Engines

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 provid…

Hyperworks Suite Used to Develop Eco-Friendly Car

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…

OSDK for 3D CAD Integration in Enterprise Apps

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. OSD…

3200C Designed for Centralised Control Systems

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, wh…

Frequency Inverters for Fans in HVAC Systems

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,…

Mitsubishi on Inverters' Environmental Benefits

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 defi…