Tuesday, January 31, 2012

XP Power today announced the JHM10 series of board mounted compact isolated 10 W DC-DC converters. Meeting the ANSI/AAMI ES60601-1:2005 / IEC60601-1 3rd edition medical safety standard and having a maximum leakage current of 2uA, the series meets the stringent international regulatory requirements for patient connected medical equipment. The converters have a reinforced input to output insulation at a working voltage of 250VAC and provide an isolation of up to 4,000 VAC for up to 1 minute, and up to 5,000 VAC for up to 10 milliseconds (defibrillator proof) and, as required by the 3rd edition, have two means of patient protection (MOPP). Isolation capacitance is 20 pF.

The series comprises of three ranges accepting wide 2:1 inputs of 4.5 to 9 VDC, 9 to 18 VDC or 18 to 36 VDC with either single or dual outputs. Single outputs are +5, + 12, or +15 VDC, and duals provide +/- 5, +/- 12 or +/- 15 VDC. The regulated outputs vary no more than +/- 0.3 % under all input conditions and less than +/- 2.0 % under all load conditions. Outputs can be trimmed up to +/- 10% of stated nominal output.

Measuring just 31.75 x 20.32 x 16.5 mm (1.25 x 0.8 x 0.65 inches) these miniature converters fit a standard DIP 24-pin out footprint, keeping board space to a minimum and making them suitable as a drop in replacement part for use in older designs.
The JHM10 series meets EN55011 & EN55022 level A standards for conducted and radiated EMI without the need for any extra external components. Able to operate in most environments, the series can accommodate temperature from – 40 degrees C to + 80 degrees C without any additional heat sinking or forced airflow. The units de-rate above + 50 degrees C and the maximum case temperature is + 100 degrees C.

Suiting a wide range of patient connected medical applications the JHM10 series is perfect for any design that requires a high level of voltage isolation, a low isolation capacitance together with a low level of leakage current.

The JHM10 series is available from Newark, Farnell and element14, approved regional distributors, or direct from XP Power and come with a 3 year warranty.

XP Power today announced the EMH250 and EMH350 series of highly efficient single output 250 Watt and 350 Watt AC-DC power supplies. Meeting the IT equipment safety specifications of UL/TUV/EN 60950-1 and the stringent medical safety standards of UL/TUV/EN 60601-1 the EMH series suit a broad range of information technology, industrial, medical equipment and surgical life support applications. All models are also BF rated.

Both the EMH250 250 W and the EMH350 350 W series have an extra wide input range of 80-275 VAC and are available in four output models covering the nominal voltages of + 12, + 18, + 24 or + 48 VDC. A trim function allows adjustment of the output voltage to within +/- 10% of stated nominal. A +12 VDC / 0.6 A fan supply is also provided across the range. In addition, the EMH350 series includes a +5 VDC / 2.0 A standby supply. Unlike many competitor models, full power is available from low input voltages of 90 VAC and the unit does not derate until +50 degrees C operating temperature.

Measuring just 76.2 127 x 36.3 mm (3 x 5 x 1.43 inches), these industry standard format units require only 12 CFM of forced airflow in order to deliver the full output power. An optional top mounted fan is available across the range, and the EMH350 has the additional option of a variable speed fan that is dependent on the unit’s operating temperature.

The EMH350 series is also available with an optional ORing diode circuit that allows for current sharing in N+1 redundancy configurations. This series provides customers with the choice of either analogue or digital control options. The analogue signals provide Power Fail, Inhibit and Current Share. Digital signals and controls are accessible using PMBus compatible commands.

The EMH series is available from Farnell, Newark and element14 approved regional distributors, or direct from XP Power and come with a 3 year warranty.

XP Power today announced additions to its LDU series of PCB mount DC input constant current LED drivers. Comprising four models offering power outputs of 5, 7, 14 and 20 Watts, these highly efficient LED drivers have a typical efficiency of 93% for the 5 – 14 Watt models and 95% for the 20 Watt devices.

The LDU20 series provides up to 700 mA output current, and the LDU05, 07 and 14 series has a maximum output of 1000 mA. The drivers can accommodate a very wide range of input voltage from 7 – 30 VDC, which needs to be at least 2 V higher than the output.

Dimming options include two analog methods (voltage or resistance) and a pulse width modulation (PWM) input signal. The PWM approach has a maximum operating frequency of 1 kHz, with a minimum 200 ns on/off time. When using an analog dimming method the output current range can be adjusted from 25% to 100% of nominal current.

A remote on/off control input provides the designer the ability to control the output or sequence the start-up. All models provide protection in the event of a short or open circuit of the LED device.

The LDU series suit a broad range of indoor, outdoor, underwater and automotive LED lighting application and are also suitable for battery powered applications. The LDU series is available from Farnell, Newark & element14, approved regional distributors, or direct from XP Power and come with a 3 year warranty.

XP Power today announced the fleXPower X15 and XM15 series of multiple output configurable AC-DC power supplies that suit high power medical and IT/industrial applications. The X15 series complies with the internationally recognized EN/UL 60950 safety specification for IT and industrial applications. Meeting the demanding requirements of the latest 3rd edition medical safety standards, and having low leakage, the XM15 series suit applications in medical diagnostic appliances, CAT scan and MRI equipment.

Capable of delivering 1500 W output at low line input, and 2500 W output at high line (> 180 VAC input), these compact fan cooled units measuring 279.4 x 127 x 127 mm (11 x 5 x 5 inches) have a power density of up to 9.09 Watt per cubic inch. The mechanical chassis approach of the fleXPower X15 and XM15 series provide 20 slots for arranging 2- or 3-slot output modules. The modules, available with single or dual outputs, cover all the popular nominal output voltages from + 3.3 to + 60 VDC in a variety of output current ratings. The ability to parallel up outputs for more power, or use modules in series for non-standard output voltages offer design engineers thousands of different output combinations.

An auxiliary 5 V / 1 A always on output is available to power logic or control circuits in the end system without the need for any additional voltage source or step down converters. Monitor and control signals include AC OK, Power Fail, DC OK, Global Inhibit, Fan Fail and Module OK / Inhibit.

An optional fan speed control is available to order that reduces fan speed, and its associated noise, at lower power levels.

The fleXPower series is available in six power levels from 400 W to 2500 W and offers a high efficiency power source in a configurable format for fast time to market.

The fleXPower X15 and XM15 are available from approved regional distributors, or direct from XP Power and come with a 3 year warranty.

Now available from Micromech are the Parker’s Compax3 servo drives with EtherCAT which is an open, real-time, high-speed motion-bus network that operates over fast Ethernet at 100Mbit. This development is a fast-growing industrial network offering speeds faster than DeviceNet, ModbusTCP and Profibus.

Parker’s Compax3 servo drives now utilise EtherCAT as a controlled node and implement the standard CAN over EtherCAT DS402 object library. This standardised implementation improves the ability to work directly with third-party EtherCAT managing nodes on the market.

EtherCAT has been added to the whole Compax family. First the standard Compax3, which is a high performance servo controller with a power range from 1 to 110 kW and a whole selection of functions. Then there is the Compax3S that has a rated power of 1 up to 25 kW and can be installed in 300 mm control cabinets. Next is the Compax3M with a power range of 2 to 20 kW where there can be a cost reduction for multiaxis applications thus reducing cabling costs. Then finally the Compax3H that has a power range of 35 to 110 kW

This enhancement improves a wide range of applications from tube bending, to pharmaceutical automation, life science and packaging. Each have benefited from EtherCAT.

ProSim undertook a complete renewal of its licensing system to provide customers with additional transparency and flexibility in the management and day to day utilization of their software licenses. This new system, called "ProSim License Manager", is now integrated in most ProSim software.

New licensing options
This new system allows ProSim to introduce additional licensing options. Local licenses (license that can only be used on a specific computer) and Network licenses (licenses that can be accessed by one or several users through a LAN or WAN network) obviously remain available and the ability to borrow temporarily a network license is now added. From a network license, the borrowing function creates a license that allows the software to be used during a pre-determined period on a specific computer which is not connected to the server. This option is particularly useful for customers who need to utilize the software outside their own office environment (visiting clients, business travel or off-site projects), when the license server is not directly accessible. In academic context, this feature is also very valuable as it allows students to use the software on their own computer.

Complete information on the licenses
The ProSim License Manager interface provides both the end-users and the license administrator with a convenient and easy to understand environment to have a clear picture of their license configuration, options and utilization.

The information provided by ProSim License Manager ranges from the list of licenses installed on a computer to the ID of the computer for which a license was borrowed. It also includes the creation and expiration dates of each license as well as the date at which it was last accessed. When needed a report that gathers all information on the licenses installed on a computer can be generated in text or HTML files.

Administrators also have a monitor to estimate the utilization of ProSim software throughout the company at the time of the request. All calls to the license server (request, taking, release, denial…), made by end-users are recorded in a log file which can also be consulted at any time.

Simplified procedures
Most procedures are greatly simplified and now require minimal action from the user. In particular, the request for the definitive license (that corresponds to the terms of the licensing agreement) is reduced to a simple form that is sent automatically to ProSim. It is to be noted that the information that is recorded during this procedure enable the user and ProSim to track down the contractual information associated to the license and helps avoiding confusion created by personnel turnover or department restructuration.

In local configuration, the installation of the license is driven by a specific wizard and the user has almost nothing to do. In network configuration, the administrator can easily configure end-users computers through a convenient interface. He can install different ProSim software licenses on different servers to manage the software utilization according to both his server architecture and users organization. These operations are all executed in standard Windows interfaces and do not require any programming skills.

The ProSim License Manager technology also allowed a major simplification of the license transfer function which is used when the license needs to be move temporarily (e.g.: backup before reformatting of the hard drive or changing operating system) or permanently (end-user change). This operation is now as simple as moving a file through the network and does not take much more time.

Compliance ensured
Most ProSim software, in particular ProSimPlus and Simulis Thermodynamics, now integrate this new license system. Customers who are currently using previous licensing systems will be requested to switch to ProSim License Manager when they install updates of the software. During this operation, a procedure for converting the licenses is launched automatically. This procedure has no impact on the simulation and calculation files created by the user. These files are fully compliant with the new license system.

It is reminded that updates of ProSim software as well as detailed information on ProSim License Manager can be downloaded from the ProSim Support secured website (http://www.prosimsupport.com).

It is to be noted that ProSim License Manager is compliant with all Windows based systems (from Windows 2000), including 64 bits systems.

ProSim, which provides process simulation and optimization software to the process industries, announces the release of a completely new version of BatchReactor, its software for batch chemical reactors simulation. The new software combines detailed equipment modeling, reaction engineering, and advanced numerical methods to create a state-of-the art simulation environment for chemists and chemical engineers. By providing a complete understanding of the production recipe, the new simulation software is a key element that must be integrated into any batch process development strategy. BatchReactor enables people from chemical, pharmaceutical or specialty chemicals industry to test alternative synthesis routes and new production strategies through effective use of simulation in parallel with their lab and pilot plant experimentations.

ProSim gives the chemical industry a new and improved simulation software for batch reactors that can be used at different stage of the process development. For instance: when designing a new process to easily find the optimal operating conditions; when implementing these conditions in an optimal way in the industrial unit for a safe, stable and effective production.

Users will appreciate the new intuitive graphical user interface which, on one side, eases the process visualization on a time-line and, on the other side, the integration of all the parameters to run the simulation. The manufacturing recipe (operating procedure) is visualized in a simple way with a view of the scenario (sequence of steps and stop events) and a diagram of each operating step, available on the same screen.
The software features a flexible and efficient thermodynamic package and relies on proven and efficient numerical methods. The thermodynamics is managed by ProSim's recognized physical properties and phase equilibrium calculation server: Simulis® Thermodynamics. Thus, the user has access to a complete set of calculations services (estimation of properties, private database…) and all ProSim thermodynamic models in addition to a wide library of more than 2,000 pure components.

BatchReactor includes also a standard equipment technology database (Simulis® Technologies) which allows the user to define and manage his own private technology database. The equipment can be selected in the standard libraries or can be configured. Every equipment (vessels, heat exchangers, agitators...) is associated with a set of parameters that accurately defines its behavior.
Furthermore, BatchReactor comes with various reaction models and a powerful kinetic fitting tool (Simulis® Kinetics) for the identification of kinetic parameters and heat of reaction from experimental data. Chemists and process engineers can thus choose a realistic reaction scheme to shorten lab and pilot plant tests, to obtain reactions rates and analyze the reliability of the kinetic model.

In conclusion, BatchReactor contains all the necessary tools an engineer needs to simulate his process without going thru time-consuming and expensive experimental analysis, reduce the production costs, respond to environmental or safety regulations, save time in scale-up phases and reduce the time to market of new products.

One of the requirements for quality control of polycarbonates is determination of volume and mass flow-rates. To ensure reproducible, operator-independent test results, Bayer uses Zwick's Aflow extrusion plastometer. This instrument was designed to provide a fast, simple and efficient test sequence and supports all current established test standards, including ISO 1133 and ASTM D1238.

In Bayer’s production laboratory at Krefeld-Uerdingen (Germany) testing is carried out in parallel to production, with granulated plastic taken from the production line at regular intervals for determination of the flow rate. This high level of testing is precisely what the Aflow extrusion plastometer is designed for.

To minimize operator influence, freely configurable user profiles can be created via the user management of the testXpert® II testing software and user rights can be tailored specifically to the operator. In this way only functions relevant to the operator are displayed and unwanted or unintentional changes to test parameters are prevented. The laboratory manager naturally still has full access to parameter configuration via the administrator profile. There is also the option of exporting test data to a wide range of databases such as SAP, QDAS, Oracle or Access directly after the test for long-term data security.

Aflow can be used to determine both melt mass flow-rate (MFR) and melt volume flow-rate (MVR). In addition to a straightforward test sequence it offers operator-independent testing through uniform pre-compacting. Other advantages include easy cleaning at the push of a button, the steplessly adjustable test load up to 50kg and precise temperature control to ISO 1133-2.

"Using Aflow has considerably simplified testing in our production laboratory and reduced the time taken. In addition, testXpert II's user rights management guarantees us traceable, reproducible test results," states Herr Ortiz, Laboratory Manager at Bayer Krefeld.

The stand-out feature of this Zwick testing system is its mobility. The equipment is housed in two containers: the horizontal tensile testing machine in one and the operating station plus the power packs required for operation in the other, each in separate compartments. This flexible solution enables the Italian Navy to erect the unit, used to test ropes, chains and other fastening equipment required for ships, at different locations and put it into operation immediately.

The separation of the testing system into two containers also ensures the safety of the operating staff. Tensile tests to determine the maximum load of chains and steel cables generate high forces and large strains; when the specimen breaks, the torn ends recoil with considerable energy. The operator is separated from the testing machine before the start of the test and carries it out from the safety of the office container.

The office container is approximately 8 meters long and houses the operating panel with measurement and control electronics plus the system electrics and the hydraulic power pack,  together with the cooling system for the hydraulic oil. The testing machine container is around 12 meters long and is equipped with a crane winch and an observation camera. The testing machine itself consists of a stiff 4-column load frame of modular construction, arranged horizontally. If required it can be lengthened to accommodate future upgrades or expansion and is equipped with a hydraulic drive with a maximum force of 1,500 kN. The hydraulic actuator has a stroke of 1,200 mm and a maximum test speed of 300 mm/min. The maximum grip separation is 4,000 mm.

A range of modular grips and inserts allow chains and ropes of various sizes to be tested. Also available are grips with inserts to accommodate large chains, epoxy cones for steel cables, reducing flanges for smaller chains and open inserts for ropes with thimbles. Using a cable winch, the material to be tested is transferred to the test area of the machine and positioned between the two specimen grips using one or both cranes. The grips are activated by remote control and the specimen is gripped securely. After everything has been set up and the door closed, the test program and parameters are selected and the test is started from the operating station.

The high-resolution, channel-synchronised measurement technology allows material characteristic values to be determined very accurately. Range switching is not required, as  force-signal resolution is available over the entire large measurement range. With testXpert® II testing software, performing the test requires no more effort from the operator than pushing a single button.

From 2012 the new Zwick testControl II measurement and control electronics are also available as the ‘RetroLine tC II’ modernization package. Used in combination with drive replacement, modification of the existing sensor system and new testing software, the package allows cost-effective updating of older testing machines to state-of-the-art condition. Over the last twenty years Zwick has modernized more than 3,000 testing machines by over forty different manufacturers by the application of digital measurement and control electronics.

At the core of the modernization are the new testControl II control electronics, which besides setting new benchmarks in accuracy, control and acquisition rate also offer new application options through their high test and positioning speeds. An additional special feature is the integrated adaptive control, with automatic setting of all control parameters, online compensation for changes in specimen properties and sophisticated strain-rate control.
testControl II’s eight slots allow additional sensors and measuring instruments to be connected as and when required. Plug-in modules, such as the digital measured-value acquisition card and 2000 Hz online measured value transfer, enable user-oriented adaptation of this modular system in line with current testing requirements.

The entire test can be performed via the display-equipped remote control, independently of the PC. The machine can also be controlled directly through the electronics or via the software interface.

As well as new control electronics, modernization includes renewal of the drive and adaptation of the sensor system and accessories. If necessary, the testing system is equipped with new testing software. Zwick provides a 12-month warranty on new parts, extended to 60 months on conclusion of a service contract. Spare-part availability for the entire modernized machine (including non-Zwick machines) is guaranteed for a minimum of 10 years.

Technological development marches on. Now that electronics and data processing are also an integral part of mechanical engineering, progress today is primarily concerned with ever faster processing of increasingly large amounts of data. Examples of such advances at Zwick are to be found in new measurement and control electronics, new sensors and their associated interfaces. These enable even more precise control of testing machines which, when combined with greater test data density, opens up completely new areas of application.

Over the years Zwick has supplied many tens of thousands of testing machines around the world. The excellent build quality of machines of earlier generations is still apparent; however, the technological requirements of new applications are not always covered by measurement and control electronics supplied before 2000.

For older machines, Zwick guarantees spare part availability for a minimum of 10 years after production of the range has ceased, as well as investing considerable logistical effort in ensuring that spare parts are available for at least a further five years. As the end of 2011 approaches, limitations must now be imposed on support for electronics in the DYP range as supplied up to around 1993, as many spares are no longer available.

The Standard (MOPS) and Allround (DUPS) electronics supplied by Zwick during the 90s are similarly unsuitable for operating the high data-transfer-rate sensors now available. As an example, the new optical extensometers cannot perform to their full potential with these 10-year-old-plus electronics; nor can the latest testXpert II versions be used. Spare part availability is nevertheless guaranteed for these electronics until at least 2016.

In both cases such machines can be modernized with standard components as used in new machines. In addition to modernizing Zwick testing machines, Zwick also updates machines made by other manufacturers. In the past twenty years several thousand machines from over 40 manufacturers have been fitted with new digital control systems. Previously, modernization was particularly cost-effective when applied to larger machines. However,  Zwick offers a very attractive exchange programme for Zwick table-top testing machines up to 10 kN, whilst a special modernization package for machines of all makes in the load range up to 50 kN nominal load was also introduced on the occasion of the 20th testXpo in 2011. All modernized machines are brought up to state-of-the-art and are fully compatible with comparable new machines. The spare part availability guarantee for a minimum of ten years is not restricted to the new components or to Zwick machines, but applies to the entire modernized system.

As previous years, the Belgian economic magazine “Trends” searched for “Gazelles”; fast growing companies that symbolize competitive entrepreneurship.

Magnetrol International NV, based in East Flanders, is again nominated in the category “large companies”. These companies reinforce the competitive capacity of the area thereby having a positive influence on business in general. The category contains companies with a turnover of at least €10 million.

Based on data and information published in Trends Top 100.000 – in which Magnetrol International NV ranks 3.773 – the editors examine which of the companies have grown the fastest in the period 2005 -
2009 as far as turnover, personnel and cash flow are concerned.

Since 1971 Magnetrol International NV has a branch office in Zele (larger Ghent Area), Belgium. Magnetrol grows each year thereby creating additional opportunities on the job market, two key factors that are taken into account while nominating companies for the ‘Trends Gazelles Award’.

The speed of moisture analysis is a critical factor in food companies, thriving to optimize their operations. Delays in analysis will invariably affect the pace of production and subsequently productivity. The new HX204 and HS153Q moisture analyzers provide reliable results within a few minutes, permitting much faster reaction times than before.

When productivity depends on fast moisture content determination, the Excellence HX204 Moisture Analyzer fits the bill. This new generation instrument provides best measurement performance in the shortest possible time with highly reliable results. The drying curve is visualized in real-time on the display for instant information on the sample moisture content.

Reduce downtime with control charts
Monitoring the moisture content of samples over time provides valuable information for precise control of the food drying or production process. The HX204 has integrated control charts with individual pass/fail thresholds for each product. These charts show how the moisture content of the samples trend over time, enabling early intervention to avoid downtime and increasing productivity. Many customers have already confirmed that introducing moisture analysis as part of the overall production process results in a marked increase of yield and better quality products.

Read our White Paper to see how to cross validate a Moisture Analyzer method against the official Loss on Drying method. Free methods and useful tips for measuring moisture content in different foods are also available. Or ask for a demo!

Every researcher relies on accurate and reproducible results to publish research results in renowned journals. Pipette accuracy checks reduce errors, but they are also time-consuming and resource intensive. Choosing a balance that can easily be converted for quick pipette accuracy checks helps to assure the reproducibility of results.

Every researcher needs accurate, reliable and reproducible results to publish their research in renowned magazines. Global standards such as GLP and ISO 8655-6 require pipette testing at defined intervals to ensure their proper functioning. However, in between these periodic checks, researchers typically have little security that their pipettes are functioning properly.

Easy Checks for Repeatability
Pipette accuracy checks reduce errors, but they are also time-consuming and resource intensive. Now, convertible semi-micro balances such as the METTLER TOLEDO NewClassic MS combine standard weighing and pipette accuracy checks in the same easy-to-use laboratory balance for reliable—and reproducible—results.

A Stand Alone Solution
The NewClassic MS105 converts easily from a laboratory balance with 0.01 mg readability into a stand-alone pipette check-station. Firmware guides users through the check process. An evaporation trap is the only external device needed, if the pipetting volume is smaller than 100 μg. The trap keeps humidity levels stable during the check and thus minimizes evaporation for accurate testing.

Automatic Calculation
Distilled water is pipetted onto the balance and converted to a volumetric value. Proprietary embedded MS105 firmware automatically calculates systematic and random pipetting error in absolute and relative values. Results are displayed and can be printed for traceability or for a easy and quick comparison with the manufacturer’s tolerances

Maintaining Academic Accuracy
Convertible laboratory balances such as the NewClassic MS are ideal for use in the life sciences and other research areas requiring absolute surety when publishing results. By performing more frequent pipette checks than the periodic required ISO standard calibrations, researchers gain added security that pipettes are still performing as expected.

Innovative Products for Academic Research
METTLER TOLEDO offers a broad portfolio of high performance laboratory instruments for the academic world. Innovative RAININ pipettes such as the XLS Lite enhance lab performance, and minimize fatigue and injuries. Laboratory balances from the Excellence and NewClassic lines cover all weighing needs, from high performance weighing and One Click™ solutions to basic weighing with smart operation.

Weighing performance has a great impact in forensic labs. The performance of the balances, and especially the minimum weight, influence compliance with standards and can have adverse results on lawsuits. We have therefore developed Good Weighing Practice, a recommendation guideline to guarantee accurate weighing results.

Once a year, forensic labs are required to submit an Annual Accreditation Audit Report to the Laboratory Accreditation Board of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD/LAB). This comprehensive assessment ensures that standards are met in regards to various disciplines, and it is the way forensics labs can retain their accreditation with the board.

Implications of Inaccurate Weighing Results
An area of increased attention by ASCLD/LAB auditors has been the compliance of a lab’s weighing equipment. Unless the report specifies performance verification activities carried out by an accredited testing provider, interim lab inspections might occur. Lately, more frequent and detailed monitoring of such activities by auditors has revealed missing minimum weight values.

It may sound trivial, but in forensics, there is no single factor as important as the minimum weight of a balance. Defined as the lower threshold below which results are no longer accurate, this value can be established by an accredited technician using certified test weights. And since the minimum weight value is going to be different for every single balance in a laboratory, it is critical to set a reliable benchmark and appropriately report it in the annual report.

However, if the minimum weight is unknown, a lab’s weighing results of small samples might be inaccurate. Thus, as a provider to the court system, the implications of being just a little off could change a defendant’s prison sentence drastically.

Performance Verification
Based on demands for more guidance on measurement uncertainty and minimum weight, METTLER TOLEDO has developed Good Weighing Practice™. This global, risk-based weighing guideline allows forensic labs to produce accurate weighing results while complying with accreditation standards.

Specifically, the newly developed service product - GWP® Verification - provides the kind of comprehensive assessment required by the ASCLD/LAB accreditation board. The core of this performance verification service is a color coded executive summary. It is appropriate for Lab Directors as it illustrates the status of each balance or scale in regards to the potential risks of inaccurate measurements.

Based on this report, specific recommendations for each piece of weighing equipment can be implemented in order to establish the needed tolerance levels and avoid measurements below the minimum weight. Recommendations might include optimal testing schedules including frequencies of checks and calibrations, required test weights and the control limit for each test.

Complimentary Online Risk Check
As a first step, the potential for inaccurate measurements in a forensic lab can be assessed using the complimentary online Risk Check. This tool allows a Lab Manager to determine each balance’s minimum weight value, quickly highlighting where faulty measurements might be occurring.

Next, an external validation by an accredited service provider such as METTLER TOLEDO should be performed. You can expect expert advice on proper performance verification and help on preparing the Annual Accreditation Audit Report.

Finally, the combination of the online Risk Check and GWP® Verification is an easy to implement solution for any forensic lab to satisfy the demands set forth by ASCLD/LAB and to avoid wrong sentencing based on inaccurate sample weights.

In the formulation of motor oil, several additives are added to the base oil using a laboratory balance. Each has a specific function and the correct blending is essential to ensure a high quality product. Excellence Balances offer high weighing performance and fast results to meet the needs of the formulation process and the subsequent analyses.

Motor oil is used as a multi-purpose lubricant in vehicle engines and comprises a mineral or synthetic base oil with several additives. The active ingredients are added to the base oil to protect the engine under use and enhance engine performance. Car engines, for example, require an oil which can perform equally well on short, low temperature trips as well as long, high temperature journeys.

Particularly in the development phase, formulation of individual motor oils must be done precisely according to the specified recipe. Subsequent analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the oil, both in the lab and in field trials, provides a measure of the effectiveness of the oil, and also determines the level of interaction between the additives.

Friday, January 27, 2012

DriveWindow Light is an easy to use software tool used throughout the drive’s life cycle for startup, monitoring, and performance tuning. DriveWindow Light’s sequence programming tool helps users quickly build and edit sequence programs.

A tool for the entire life cycle
DriveWindow Light makes starting-up and maintaining drives easy and efficient. The tool allows users to monitor a drive’s parameters and signals, and even to control the drive from a PC. The tool also has an I/O mapping table for quickly viewing the drive’s input and output configuration.

Online and offline setup
Using the tool in its offline mode allows users to configure parameters for drives while not being connected to the drive, such as in an office. The parameter browser shows all of the parameters and allows direct editing of individual parameter values.

Configuration wizards for quick setup
DriveWindow Light provides confi guration wizards that ensure all necessary parameters for a particular setup are displayed. Using the confi guration wizards saves time and improves quality since all of the parameters needed for a task are grouped together. A startup wizard walks users through the setup of a new drive. Wizards are available to assist with:

− Language settings
− Motor settings
− Application configuration
− Option modules
− PID control
− Speed controls
− Start and stop settings
− Protections
− Output signal settings

Sonatest & Phoenix partner products to save you time, yield excellent results and improve safety!

Building on the recent launch of Sonatest’s new Phased Array ultrasonic flaw detector, the veo 16:64 has made significant inroads into many of its key application markets, one of which is Pipe and Pipeline Weld Inspection.

Ultrasonic Phased Array technology is fast becoming the established method for advanced NDT testing applications allowing operators to have greater control over testing parameters, enhancing defect detection, using real-time results, whilst increasing the speed of testing procedures and improving site health and safety.

Weld inspection and crack detection are key application areas for phased array ultrasonic testing and are requirements within the industries of tube and pipe manufacture, pipeline construction and maintenance.  Within these sectors Phased Array is also used to test for remaining wall thickness and pipe wall corrosion.

The Sonatest veo 16:64 is a fully capable Phased Array Flaw Detector including features such as the 3D Scanplan, TCG/ACG and fast A-Scan recording and full data capture. Two separate conventional channels provide the end user with simultaneous Phased Array and TOFD scanning to speed inspection and ensuring improved defect characterisation.  The veo enclosure has been designed to withstand the tough environments in which NDT inspections are carried out, achieving IP66 standard for water and dust ingress and employing internal shock mounts to withstand impacts.

Further outstanding results can be gained by operators in pipe and pipeline inspection by using phased array instrumentation together with Automated Scanners. Working alongside Phoenix Inspection Systems, who design bespoke NDT Systems for a global client base, the Sonatest veo can be partnered with several of the scanners, from their comprehensive range, to provide a complete solution for pipework phased array inspections.

The Magman, from Phoenix ISL, is a market leading scanner in the application of both longitudinal and circumferential pipeline inspection.  This scanner is highly versatile and is capable of inspecting pipes down to a 50mm outside diameter. Using four independent magnetic wheels and capable of carrying up to 12 probes, the Magman Scanner enables rapid, efficient and versatile scanning. Employing this partnership of products yields a dramatic reduction in inspection times and the increased safety of operators is greatly enhanced over traditional testing techniques, such as X-Ray.

Other scanners that partner well with the veo16:64, for pipe inspection, include the Bracelet Scanner which is a low profile small bore scanner, the MultiMag and the MagScan are ideal for scanning pipes and curved surfaces and are suitable for phased array techniques, TOFD and corrosion mapping.

Sonatest Ltd and Phoenix ISL are able to provide consultation and advice for clients on all testing and inspection application challenges, and are able provide bespoke solutions within the field of Phased Array and other NDT techniques.

Introducing the Veo & Corrosion WheelProbe Scanning System Building on the proven success of Corrosion WheelProbe a new semi-automated solution for corrosion mapping applications has been developed by Sonatest Ltd; the Veo & Corrosion WheelProbe (CWP) Scanning system. The CWP Scanner is a new enhancement in response to clients’ requests, providing an easier, semi-automated way of providing 100% coverage.

The system as a whole consists of the veo 16:64, a phased array flaw detector, a 64 element Corrosion WheelProbe and a CWP scanner. The Corrosion Wheel Probe is a tried and tested solution for corrosion mapping by many leading companies in the Pipeline and Oil & Gas sectors, hence the development of this system.

 The scan width of a Corrosion WheelProbe (CWP) is close to 50mm in one pass and it can be used on pipe diameters from 4 - 42 inches.  Importantly the conformable tyre allows excellent coupling to rough surfaces, and the design allows for consistent reliable inspection in both depth and amplitude. This amplitude mode enhances the possibility of finding small pit type defects, which normally do not give a good ultrasonic response, however results show excellent indications of internal condition. The CWP is fitted to an adjustable connector, equipped with a second encoder, which allows for multiple adjacent scans with a good overlap for complete coverage.

The distinct advantage of the CWP Scanning System is in the relative simplicity and complete autonomy from the need for additional power sources on the inspection site.  Ease of portability along with the speed of set-up and deployment is also a key advantage for the end user in the field.

This Veo & CWP scanning system additionally gives the flexibility of utilising the CWP on a completely manual basis for small area scans, such as for screening of pipe work of vessels (where LRUT has been used) or for (with certain limitations) scanning along the length (Axial) of the pipe.

The CWP Scanning System and accessories will be showing at the following UK shows; Offshore Europe 2011 Exhibition, 6-8 September, Aberdeen and at the Materials Testings Exhibition and Conference, 13-15 September, Telford.

The latest software version for the VEO is now available, including upgraded UT Studio. The capability of this product is continuously growing. Updates now avilable t enhamce Corrosion Mapping and Composite Inspection.

Corrosion and Composite inspection is now made easy with the new upgraded of VEO and UTStudio software,  enabled by the introduction of C-Scan functionality.

The highlights of latest release includes:
  •     C-Scan (available in acquisition and in analysis VEO and UTStudio):
    • C-Scans are allowed with L-Scan type primary scan
    • C-Scans are created using datasets defined by gates
  •     Merged Top and Merged C-Scan view with no added fees (available in analysis on VEO and UTStudio)
  •     New language introduction (Chinese, Spanish)
  •     Enhanced menu structure (simplified and user customizable with collapsible Menus)
  •     Gate trigger indicators are drawn for each gate (flank or peak).
  •     TOFD becomes a reselling optional feature. All units already delivered keep it when upgrading. Enable in Preferences/Add Options
  •     And more thant 25 other features or enhancement

Carestream Health is an independent global company formed in May 2007 and owned by Onex Corporation, one of North America’s oldest and most successful private equity firms. We are a leading provider of dental products, medical imaging systems and healthcare IT solutions—as well as advanced molecular imaging systems and proven products for the non-destructive testing market.

We are a strong, stable, privately owned company—and we are not affiliated with Kodak.
Kodak’s filing for bankruptcy protection does not affect our company and it does not impact our ability to serve our customers.

Carestream has world-class operations in 40 locations with 7,000 dedicated employees serving customers in more than 150 countries around the world. We are solely responsible for the design, manufacture and service of all our products. Our local representatives are available to discuss more detailed questions about our products, systems and services.

National Instruments today announced that its NI Calibration Services Austin headquarters has been accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to provide calibration for ISO/IEC 17025:2005, one of the most rigorous international calibration standards in the industry. The accreditation recognizes NI’s commitment to excellence in quality and customer service and extends the company’s investment in PXI-based test and measurement offerings. The company’s new ISO 17025 accredited calibration service is ideal for the ever-growing field of engineers standardizing their automated test systems on the PXI modular instrumentation platform, which offers some of the most advanced technology possible to address demanding engineering challenges.

For companies subject to government regulation – including OEMs that develop medical devices, transportation products and electronics – as well as multinational corporations looking for a single quality benchmark, ISO 17025 provides the most highly recognized global standard for calibration. The ISO 17025 accredited calibration service, which also complies with the ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994 standard, helps any organization that needs its PXI instrumentation certified for compliance with rigorous quality standards.

National Instruments today announced early access support for testing next-generation 802.11ac WLAN chipsets and devices. This announcement exemplifies how NI’s modular, software-defined wireless test platform continually expands to address the latest cellular and wireless connectivity standards including 802.11ac.

NI’s 802.11ac WLAN test solution provides flexibility in testing 802.11ac devices in addition to testing 802.11a/b/g/n devices. It works with a wide range of signal bandwidths including 20, 40, 80 and 80+80 160 MHz for both Tx and Rx for up to 4x4 MIMO configurations.
  • The NI test platform now supports testing of 802.11ac Tx and Rx wireless local area network (WLAN) chipsets and devices, up to 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM
  • NI will be demonstrating its latest mobile device test solution at the Mobile World Congress trade show
  • The new NI 802.11ac test solution integrates with NI LabVIEW system design software to increase test throughput while decreasing system cost

The 5522A Multi-Product Calibrator addresses a wide calibration workload and comes with internal and external protection features that protect it against damage and make it easier to transport for on-site or mobile calibration. The 5522A can also be fully automated with MET/CAL® Plus Calibration Management Software. It is the ideal calibrator for metrology professionals who need to calibrate many different types of electronic equipment and want a transportable instrument that offers them a high return on investment.

The 5522A sources direct voltage and current, alternating voltage and current with multiple waveforms and harmonics, two simultaneous voltage outputs or voltage and current to simulate dc and ac power with phase control, resistance, capacitance, thermocouples and RTDs. The 5522A can also measure thermocouple temperature, and pressure using one of 29 Fluke 700 Series pressure modules. Two options add the capability to calibrate oscilloscopes either 600 MHz or 1.1 GHz. And the 5520A-PQ Power Quality Option enables the 5522A to calibrate power quality instrumentation to the standards of the IEC and other regulatory agencies.
The 5522A calibrator covers many of the electronic test tools you use to keep your company up and running, including:
  •     Handheld and bench meters (analog and digital) up to 6 ½ digits
  •     Current clamps and clamp meters
  •     Thermocouples and RTDs
  •     Process calibrators
  •     Data loggers
  •     Strip and chart recorders
  •     Watt meters
  •     Power harmonics analyzers
  •     Panel meters
  •     Graphical multimeters
  •     Power quality analyzers (with option)
  •     Analog or digital handheld and bench oscilloscopes to 600 MHz or 1.1 GHz (with options)
  •     and more, including pressure gauges and transducers and three-phase power meters

Increase the safety and speed of infrared inspections with Fluke IR Windows. Why open panel doors and increase arc flash risk when you don’t have to? Stay protected, scan in minutes and scan more often – both visually and in infrared.

Low voltage does not mean low danger. CLV provides a heightened level of arc flash protection during IR inspections of low voltage equipment up to 600V.

Fluke CLV IR Windows are available in a 3 diameter and are UL50V and UL1558 certified.

The Fluke 481 Radiation Survey Meter is a portable and practical means for identifying irradiated goods, and for helping remediate contamination and safety issues while minimally impacting operations.

The Fluke 481 Radiation Detection Meter is a portable and practical means for discovering irradiated goods, and for helping remediate contaminant and safety issues while minimally affecting performances. Ideal for detecting irradiated goods, equipment, surfaces or environments in industrial settings, the 481 Radiation Meter helps ascertain worker safety and compliance to federal regulations.

Use of the Fluke 481 assures employees that radiation dangers are known, monitored and calculated for their security. Whenever radiation is found, a clear and quantifiable result provides handlers to comply with federal guidelines while avoiding unnecessary steps that could stop procedures, impact productivity or lead to missed revenue.

The Fluke 754 has features we know you’ll love: increased accuracy, enhanced reliability, and is easier to read in dark environments.

The new 754 is everything you needed and wished for in the 744 and more! HART communication capability is combined to deliver an integrated communicating calibrator. This rugged, reliable tool is ideal for calibrating, maintaining, and troubleshooting HART and other instrumentation.

The 754 does the work of several tools - sourcing, simulating and measuring pressure, temperature, and electrical signals in one rugged, hand-held device. You’ll fall in love with the new improved graphical screen, Li-on battery for longer life, USB port and new accessories to complete the package.

For documentation, the 754 automates calibration procedures and captures your data. And, of course, it helps you meet rigorous standards like ISO 9000, FDA, EPA and OSHA regulations.
Supports popular instrumentation management software. The 753 and 754, 743 and 744 work with the Fluke DPC/TRACK2™ software, and with popular programs from Honeywell Meridium, Emerson, Cornerstone, Yokogawa, Prime Technologies, Intergraph and others. It allows you to create procedures, instructions, and action lists to deliver fast, easy documentation.

The LTC®6360 is a very low noise, high precision, high speed amplifier suitable for driving SAR ADCs. The LTC6360 features a total output noise of 2.3nV/√Hz combined with 150ns settling time to 16-bit levels (AV = 1).

While powered from a single 5V supply, the amplifier output can swing to 0V while maintaining high linearity. This is made possible with the inclusion of a very low noise on-chip charge pump that generates a negative voltage to bias the output stage of the amplifier, increasing the allowable negative voltage swing.

The LTC6360 is available in a compact 3mm × 3mm, 8-pin leadless DFN package and an 8-pin MSOP package with exposed pad and operates over a –40°C to 125°C temperature range.

Newport Corporation, a worldwide leader in lasers and photonics solutions that Make, Manage and Measure Light®, announces the new vacuum- compatible LTA series actuators and the URS50B rotation stage for research and industry. These products are compatible to 10 x e-6 hPa (7 x 10e-6 torr) vacuum and are designed for integration in critical sample positioning or beam management processes in vacuum environments. These newly-designed vacuum stages feature a motor-mounted encoder that is extremely useful in detecting the stall of a stepper motor since the stage is not accessible when installed inside a vacuum chamber. The encoder also offers improved position repeatability, a critical factor in many research and commercial applications in vacuum environments.

The LTAHSPPV6 and the LTAHLPPV6 actuators are extensions of the popular and reliable LTA actuators (with non-rotating tips), and are rated at 10,000 hrs MTBF. Compatible with other vacuum-compatible manual stages, both actuators provide sub-micron minimum incremental motion (MIM) and uni-directional repeatability.

The compact URS50BPPV6 rotation stage complements Newport’s higher load capacity URS75BPPV6. The newer model is capable of 360 degrees continuous motion at 4 degrees per second, an MIM of 0.0015 degrees, and can accommodate 5kg loads. The 4-mounting hole locations enable top mounting and enhance the stage’s cantilevered load capacity. This stage is rated at 20,000 hrs MTBF.

The new vacuum-compatible products can be supplied with Newport’s motion controller products from the single-axis SMC100PP to the 8-axis XPS Universal Controller.

Newport Corporation, a worldwide leader in lasers and photonics solutions that Make, Manage and Measure Light®, announces the 1830-R Optical Power Meter. A newly designed optical meter, the 1830-R provides a ‘drop-in’ replacement for Newport’s legacy 1830-C Power Meter which has been widely used in fiber optic component production and testing.

The DC power measurements can be easily viewed in the 7-segment, backlit LED display. Units of W, dBm, dB, and relative measurement can be displayed in the 4 ½ digit, wide-angle view. A wide dynamic range is provided with power sensitivities down to 10 pW and full scale readings up to 2 W (detector dependent). The unit’s built-in, audible beeping tone changes its frequency as a function of incident optical power, making it very useful when optimizing the optical beam alignment.

Other features include a USB 2.0 interface (Model 1830-R) and additional IEEE-488 (GPIB) / RS232C outputs (Model 1830-R-GPIB). For added convenience, two analog output modes, 2V into 1 M Ω and 1V into 50 Ω impedance, are also provided. The enhanced 1830-R (-GPIB) Optical Power Meters are hot-swappable among detectors, such as Newport’s low-power 818-series photodiodes and Newport’s higher-sensitivity 918D photodiode detector series. The ultraviolet (UV), silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), or indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) detectors operate in the 200-1800 nm wavelengths.

CE and RoHS compliant, Newport’s 1830-R Optical Power Meter is available for shipping now. A USB memory stick with software and documents are included with each unit ordered.

Newport Corporation, a worldwide leader in lasers and photonics solutions that Make, Manage and Measure Light®, introduces the SCG-02 Wavelength Extender to their line of nonlinear microscopy and spectroscopy application solutions. The Wavelength Extender is specifically designed as a modular solution for supercontinuum generation when used with femtosecond Ti:Sapphire lasers, such as Newport Spectra-Physics’ Tsunami®, MaiTai® DeepSee, and MaiTai ultrafast oscillators.

Ideal for a variety of spectroscopy and microscopy applications, the laser input is split into two parallel beams: a) the fundamental pump, and b) parallel, unfiltered broadband supercontinuum. This unique flexibility allows for both the external selection of particular spectra of interest, and the independent use or recombination of both beams. The fundamental beam passes through an integrated attenuator to enable precise control of the output power.

The SCG-02 is factory preassembled and pre-aligned and can be easily integrated into ultrafast light sources to provide turnkey solutions for multimodal spectroscopy and imaging. It can be used with two-photon microscopes for additional modalities and enhances pump-probe imaging and spectroscopy capabilities.

Features include manual controls to attenuate fundamental throughput and to generate parallel, broadband supercontinuum output. The robust and reliable device is designed to preserve the beam path and the tuning range of the pump source.

Spectra-Physics®, a Newport Corporation brand, introduces Spirit™, a compact industrial-grade ultrafast amplifier with software-adjustable repetition rates up to 1MHz. Developed at High Q Laser (recently acquired by Newport), the Spirit laser extends Spectra-Physics’ ultrafast amplifier portfolio to high-repetition rates needed for micromachining of medical devices and other materials, nanostructuring, pump-probe experiments, and selected time-resolved science applications.

“The adjustable high-repetition-rate operation and robustness make Spirit the ideal laser for femtosecond micromachining,”

said Herman Chui, senior director of product marketing for Spectra-Physics.

“This compact laser is also excellent as a flexible tool for a number of time-resolved science applications.”

The Spirit ultrafast laser provides high average power of >4 W and fully-automated adjustability over a wide range of repetition rates from 50 kHz to 1 MHz. Featuring a rugged one-box design, the laser delivers ultrashort 400 fs pulse widths with high energy of 20uJ per pulse. The highly reliable Spirit also has excellent beam characteristics with diffraction-limited TEM00 mode.

The new Spirit ultrafast amplifier will be featured at SPIE Photonics West, The Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, January 24-26, 2012. Please visit Newport's booth #1301 for a demonstration.

Potential suppliers wanting efficient access to the accelerating Chinese automation market may also win themselves an iPad ahead of Christmas, by visiting the CLPA (CC-Link Partner Association) in Booth 6-136 at SPS/IPC/DRIVES. This fair is Europe's leading exhibition for industrial automation and runs in Nuremberg 22 - 24 November 2011.

There is an iPad to be won every day. Each day, CLPA will remove an unspecified length from a reel of certified CC-Link cable; the visitor who guesses the remaining length most accurately wins an iPad.

The cable is supplied by 3M, which is a key sponsor of the CLPA's Gateway to China programme. Marlies Postels, 3M's Business and Technology Manager, Industrial Factory Automation, Electronics Solutions Division, explains: "We are working with the CLPA and a number of other sponsors to open up an efficient route into the Chinese market."

"Automation systems are always a collaborative venture, with suppliers of hardware, software, integration, design and logistics all working together. The Gateway to China is a way to make this as effective as possible, by pooling experience, establishing links with key players in China and capitalising on CC-Link's already dominant position in the region."

CC-Link allows efficient communications between devices in an automation system. It is open, allowing system integrators to choose the best device for each particular node rather than being confined to the offering of one specific manufacturer.

"It is common to automate one process within a plant, then others, and later wanting to interconnect them all into one integrated system," says John Browett, Acting General Manager of the CLPA. "Typically at this point you will encounter problems with incompatible hardware. However, CC-Link completely circumvents the issues, allowing the plant to become rapidly and easily ever-more automated."

"The Chinese have recognised that if they are to maintain the position they have developed in global manufacturing over the last 25 years, then automation is absolutely vital. Thus there is almost total focus on implementing automation right across this huge nation. And since CC-Link is regarded as a de-facto standard in many industries, it's well placed to take advantage of this."

The Gateway to China programme is being co-ordinated by the CLPA and is supported by 3M and 13 other key European CLPA partners (ABB Robotics, Balluff, Bihl+Wiedemann, Cognex, Datalogic Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation, HMS Industrial Networks, IDEC Corp, Mitsubishi Electric, Pepperl + Fuchs, Pro-face, WAGO Kontakttechnik and Weidmüller's Ethernet infrastructure business unit), who between them represent all aspects of automation from sensors, through PLCs, drives, HMIs and robots to software integration and communications.

The CLPA has already identified key industries its members want to target, including food & beverage, water, energy management and consumer packaged goods. Its SPS booth will demonstrate how products from European CC-Link partners can be used to build a solution tailored to each application's specific needs. The aim is to show that CC-Link supports a wide range of applications across many industries using devices from established European vendors.

Browett comments: "CC-Link is the standard in many Asian industries, such as automotive and flat panel display production. This installed base and local familiarity with CC-Link helps European device manufacturers achieve market acceptance in China.

"We also recognise that we are building a foundation for future growth. Manufacturing is globalising and China has become one of the main hubs. It is aggressive in developing its manufacturing base, but recognises that it must use world-class automation to achieve its aims.

"This means there is tremendous potential for European device manufacturers and systems integrators to supply them."

Production of flat screen liquid crystal displays (LCDs) at one of the largest plants in Asia has steadily ramped up to meet the ever-increasing demand. The process is now highly automated, so data communications are critically important. The choice of a high-speed Ethernet based open network, CC-Link IE, to run the automation comms at the plant could point towards the future for many more automation installations in Asia and Europe.

Flat-panel LCDs televisions and monitors have been one of the strongest growing consumer products of recent years. Production demand has grown, as has the number of product variations. And of course consumer price pressures require constantly improving efficiency. All this can only be achieved by more effective communication and data sharing between the manufacturing cells that make up the plant.

Automation engineers recognise that consumer electronic plants typically evolve in a fairly ad-hoc manner as demand increases, so the control system architecture often has to marry together diverse subsystems producing sub-optimal overall performance. At the Asian LCD plant, the situation ended up with the high level MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems using standard TCP/IP Ethernet, while the shop-floor systems implemented Mitsubishi Electric's MELSECNET/H at the control level, and the open standard CC-Link.

While having served the facility well in the past, it was perceived that the data communications capacity and speed of MELSECNET/H was lagging behind the current requirements. Further, it was felt that a standard optical fibre cable would make maintenance and reconfiguration easier while providing better connectivity to PC systems.

CC-Link IE (Industrial Ethernet) was seen as an improvement on this with improved data capacity and speed, the use of a generic optical cable and better PC connectivity. Importantly, its diagnostics capability also made maintenance easier. CC-Link is an open industrial network that enables devices from many different manufacturers to communicate over a single network. It is available in several different formats, including CC-Link IE (Industrial Ethernet).

With 1Gbps transmission speeds, CC-Link IE is the fastest Ethernet currently available for networking multiple field devices and controllers. Critical for industrial applications, it is also fully deterministic, ensuring full dependability for critical manufacturing tasks. Its highly fault tolerant features improve efficiency and productivity, and uses widelyavailable, standard fibre optic cable and connectors.

In order to overcome the limitations of the existing control system it was decided to upgrade to a CC-Link IE network across the whole LCD plant. This offered many advantages, such as a 40 times theoretical increase in communication speed, together with an eight-fold increase in data capacity.

CC-Link IE does not require a special type of optical cable but may be installed with the generic 1000base-SX standard optical cable, thereby reducing cable-related costs. In a large plant, the savings in material alone are significant, but the real benefit is the ease and speed of maintenance and reconfiguration. This is further enhanced by the enhanced diagnostic functions and the simplification of the system's architecture.

The control network in the LCD plant is now rationalised to a simple format.

• The major systems such as ERP and MES use the industry standard HSMS Protocol.

• Shop floor systems that control equipment and provide facilities and production site information are established using CC-Link IE.

• Data sharing between equipment or facility hardware controls is also based on CC-Link IE or CC-Link fieldbus.

The plan is that there will be complete integration from the field device level right up to the strategic management information level through CC-Link IE in the near future.

LCD manufacture is seen by production engineers at the Asian Plant as demonstrating many of the control technology
solutions of future manufacturing. Trends to expect include many production sites becoming virtually unmanned. Instead of site-specific personnel, remote diagnosis and monitoring technologies will increasingly become the norm. Networks will play a vital role in enabling these trends, and CC-Link is at the forefront of these advances.
About the CLPA

The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is an international organisation with over 1,500 member companies worldwide. The partners’ common objective is promotion and technical development of the family of CC-Link open network technologies. Over 1,100 certified products are now available from over 250 manufacturers. CC-Link is the leading industrial fieldbus in Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and the Americas. The European headquarters is in Germany, with offices throughout the continent.

CC-Link is a family of open network technologies that have a 10 year pedigree of growth in the global market, having now reached an installed base of over 8 million devices. A key part of this family are the CC-Link IE (Industrial Ethernet) variants, being the only open Ethernet based networks that offer gigabit performance.

CC-Link IE Field was introduced in 2009 to offer gigabit Ethernet performance between controllers and field devices such as I/O, inverters, HMI and other machine components. The CLPA has now announced a significant extension to the capabilities of CC-Link IE Field, by adding a fully IEC 61508 SIL 3 compliant safety protocol layer. This means that with a single open Ethernet based network, system designers can integrate conventional and safety control. Further, compatible safety devices can connect directly to the network, reducing cost and increasing flexibility. Rather than having to implement a costly independent safety network, designers can now simply add safety devices as required, using the existing CC-Link IE Field network infrastructure. To maintain the vital safety control, the safety devices are operated by a dedicated safety controller that works independently of the main network controller.

John Browett, Acting General Manager of CLPA Europe commented, "CC-Link IE Field is a groundbreaking technology that puts CC-Link ahead of the market by virtue of its unmatched gigabit performance. The addition of the safety capabilities further maintains that leadership position. In any safety application, dependability and performance are paramount. Machine builders and system designers can choose CC-Link IE Field knowing that its response to emergencies will be immediate. When life or limb is at stake, milliseconds can make the difference between a narrow escape and a serious or even fatal injury."

Browett further commented, "While IEC 61508 does not attempt to completely eliminate risk from a system, it attempts to mitigate it to the lowest possible level based on what is considered acceptable for the application. CC-Link IE Field provides a flexible safety solution that meets the needs of a wide range of applications, independent of their level of risk."

"We usually try to promote CC-Link as being "The Non-Stop Open Network™, to explain how its technical features translate directly into business benefits by being able to maintain productivity even in adverse operating conditions. However, this new safety technology demonstrates that sometimes it's just as important to stop rather than go."

The safety capabilities further demonstrate CLPA's commitment to developing CC-Link's core technologies. CC-Link IE has shown a steady history of advancement. Originally launched in 2007 for controller level networking (CC-Link IE Control), since then CLPA has shown a track record of driving gigabit performance to all levels of the hierarchy. Further developments are planned for the near future, including an Ethernet based motion control network.

CC-Link is accepted as being the leading technology for the Asian market. As demand for safety functions increases in this market, it's clear that European companies will also be implementing it to allow them to compete in that vital region.

A Ukrainian winemaker is using CC-Link to help automate and expand the production of its world class wines and spirits. With domestic consumption booming, and export markets opening up, the Shabo vineyard in the Odessa region is combining high technology with the delicate art of fine wine production.

Grapes have been cultivated in Shabo since the arrival of the ancient Greeks. Five hundred years ago the region was colonised by the Turks, then Swiss immigrants brought their artisan skills from about 1822. The mild climate, warm air of the Steppe, sandy soil and unique microclimate of the Black Sea coast provide perfect conditions for grape cultivation. Like Bordeaux and Burgundy Shabo is on the "grape latitude" – between 46° and 47° North.

In 2004 the winery was completely converted with modern European equipment which has been combined with ancient cellars and wine storages with the objective of producing wines and brandies as fine as any within the last 200 years.

An ongoing programme of investment has seen the creation of full-cycle production: from cultivation of grapes, through storage and seasoning to bottling, as well as distillation for spirits and mixing for vermouth. Currently it has capacity to process 20 thousand tons of grapes in a season, producing up to 45million bottles of wine and 25million bottles of brandy, using the delicate 'cold bottling' method.

All stages of Shabo wine production are focussed on preserving the grapes' taste, colour and aroma in the wine. So harvesting is by hand, allowing selection of the best. Then the grapes are subjected to the various processes of winemaking, maturing blending and bottling.

However the viticulturists at Shabo are keen to embrace the most modern automation technologies to ensure their increasing production is both efficient and quality focussed. In October 2011, for instance they installed a high tech system to maintain preset temperatures in both the production and maturing areas and also to measure the level of wine in the holding tanks. As well as this, the new system monitors the pumping activities of the refrigeration stations and coolant temperature. This automates a previously manual task that was time consuming and required considerable concentration to ensure accurate recording and thorough analysis.

The opportunity was also taken to integrate several processes that were already individually automated into one unified system. For data signaling and communication around the system CC-Link was chosen because of its ability to communicate easily with devices from a wide range of manufacturers. It was also noted CC-Link can be quickly installed and is highly reliable; two points that meant disruption to production would be minimized. The architecture of the system is based on a supervisory level computer equipped with twin monitors and operator panels running a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) program. This is supported by a production management control system based on five PLCs (programmable logic controllers) communicating via two CC-Link networks.

These collect and process data from numerous process floor sensors monitoring temperature, humidity, tank levels and valve settings. In total there are 256 analog and digital inputs and 152 outputs (all digital) in the CC-Link system. And it is planned that the system will be regularly expanded in stages in the coming years.

One of the key advantages of CC-Link in this situation is that if a section of the system is taken off-line , the data signals will automatically re-route themselves through alternative wiring routes so that overall control is never lost. Similarly, the system can be expanded simply by plugging new devices or sub-systems into the existing wiring; signal routing is instantly and automatically optimized and communications are never interrupted.

The winemakers already have plans to increase the number of holding tanks fitted with monitoring sensors and automated pumping stations as production is increased in order to meet growing demand.

The wine market is promising for Ukrainian producers, because consumption volumes are steadily growing. Currently, the wine market in the Ukraine is about 17.6m decalitres of wine or US$ 800m. Experts believe that annual growth of wine consumption for the next several years will be around 17.5%. This is attributable to the increasing adoption of European lifestyle choices, namely a switch from vodka to wine, and to the growing wealth of the region.

Additionally, export opportunities are opening up rapidly. Wine drinkers around the world are keen to try wines from new regions; Shabo has recently opened a Ukrainian Wine Cultural Centre, and has been included in Europe's first wine cultural routes development map as drawn up by the Council of Europe, European commission, UNESCO and representatives of European wine industry.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Through the combination of the valve terminal type 8640 or an AirLINE automation system type 8644 with an airline Quick adapter plate for direct mounting in control cabinets the fluid technology specialist Bürkert offers a flexible and especially compact solution for the pneumatic control of processes. The AirLINE Quick adapter and the corresponding connections are available in a high-quality stainless steel version which is recommended for use in all hygienic processes. Process safety features, such as check valves integrated in the exhaust air duct and a HotSwap function for replacing pneumatic valves during operation, round out the features of this solution for the hygienic process environment in the food, beverage or pharmaceutical industries.

Bürkert valve terminals and automation systems can be used in many different areas of hygienic processes and readily fulfil the high standards of this segment. This is ensured by the integrated process safety features of the valve terminal type 8640 and the automation system type 8644 - features which are especially important in hygienic processes. Check valves integrated in the exhaust air duct ensure that in the event that all actuators are shut down simultaneously during a disturbance in the system, no back pressure can accumulate in a valve block, which could result in unwanted switching of a valve, with serious consequences for the process. The time-tested HotSwap function allows replacement of faulty valves even during operation, without the risk of loss of air pressure on the entire valve block. The combination of a valve terminal or automation system with the AirLINE Quick adapter provides an especially compact system solution for even more flexibility in a smaller space.

Direct mounting in cabinet saves space, time and components

The AirLINE Quick mounting system consists of an adapter plate which is bolted on one side to the valve terminal or the AirLINE automation system and on the other side directly to the system's pneumatic connections. After it is connected, the adapter plate enables fast and easy mounting directly on the wall or floor of the control cabinet. An additional plate on the outside provides for added stability. For use in hygienic processes, the AirLINE Quick adapter plate and connections are available in a stainless steel model; for less critical application, a less expensive aluminium model with pneumatic connections made of nickel-plated brass is available.

With AirLINE Quick all pneumatic connections, the Fieldbus interface and the I/O modules can be mounted directly on the control cabinet floor or wall. This allows an altogether smaller design of control cabinets. Additional components such as hoses, cables or control cabinet connections are eliminated due to direct mounting in the floor or wall, further reducing the time needed for installation and commissioning.

LASER COMPONENTS is one of the few worldwide manufacturers that can produce  Gaussian mirrors. Gaussian mirrors are also known as graded reflectivity mirrors, GRM or variable reflecting mirrors, VRM. The special coating is characterized by a degree of reflecion that falls off in a Gaussian-shaped curve starting from the center of the optics.

Customers can choose almost any shape the Gaussian curve should take. The reflection values in the center range from a few percent to a maximum of 85%. Gaussian mirrors are extremely stable in the laser and suited for high power levels. They are used as output couplers in unstable resonators where they help to reduce the beam divergence at high pulse energies. The components are also used to generate laser beams with a very homogeneous power distribution, which are required for illumination tasks, in material processing, or medical applications. To produce high pump efficiency, Gaussian mirrors are, furthermore, used in frequency-doubled systems.

The coating process of the Gaussian mirrors has been optimized. For that the manufacturing costs have been significantly reduced. Mirrors at 1064 nm, in particular, are available inexpensively at very short delivery times.

There is now a solution for practical real-time measurement of DPSS pulse energies in the 30 - 50 kHz range. LASER COMPONENTS presents the mach 5 – the laser energy meter from Gentec-EO. The mach 5 exactly measures the pulse-to-pulse energy. It counts all the pulses above a certain defined energy threshold.

Major technological challenges made the latest development in the measurement of single pulses of up to 130 kHz difficult: First, a family of pyroelectric high-speed probes that can be used at frequencies  of more than 100.000 Hz had to be developed for energy measurement purposes. At the same time, extremely fast, digital electronics were developed that analyze each pulse in real time and store this information just as quickly – approximately 4 million data points are processed in just 40 seconds!

The energy meter determines energy, frequency, average power, and pulse jitter in a single measurement. At the same time, it determines the number of missing pulses or pulses below an energy threshold defined by the user. With the included software it is possible to display the measurement data in a strip chart, histogram, or statistics window. The user‘s measurement profile can be stored for analysis at a later point in time. For automated measurements use the automated "life test". The measurement runs its course without the user‘s assistance.

With hermetic feedthroughs for optical fibers, optical signals can easily be delivered into a vacuum or pressure chamber. LASER COMPONENTS offers this components for pressures of up to 1000 bar and a vacuum as little as 10–9 mbar.

Different versions for single-mode and multi-mode fibers of the partner SEDI Fibres Optiques are available. In multi-mode fibers, core diameters of 50 µm to 1000 µm can be achieved. In single-mode fibers, it is possible to also use polarization-maintaining fibers. FC/PC and FC/APC connectors are available for these fibers; ST and SMA connectors for the multimode fibers.

Mounting these feedthroughs on a chamber wall is done using a simple mounting flange that holds the feedthrough steady with a counter nut. To meet the specifications required of vacuum technology, CF flange and KF flange versions are also available.

The hermetically sealed feedthroughs are available as coupler and as inline versions. Special designs that include customer-supplied speciality fibers, multiple channel designs, and optical/electrical hybrid feedthroughs are available upon request.

LASER COMPONENTS presents its new avalanche photodiodes receivers: The H0 series. Supplied in a very compact, modified TO5 housing with a diameter of approximately 5 mm, the H0 series APD receivers can be integrated into small systems with which, for example, distances can be measured or the smallest light signals detected. The simplest way to use a detector is with an integrated receiver circuit. Here the quality is judged according to the amount of noise produced.

For the entire system, however, the amplifier noise is the dominant source of noise. To reduce the overall noise of the detector/amplifier module, the capacitance connected to the amplifier has to be as small as possible. This is achieved by making the connections as short as possible. With its H0 series, LASER COMPONENTS has developed an APD receiver, with an inherent noise of nearly zero.

Depending on the integrated feedback resistor, a bandwidth from DC up to 80 MHz can be achieved. If the SAR500, a Si APD with a diameter of 500 µm, is integrated, the module has a noise equivalent power (NEP) of only 4.86 fW/sqrt(Hz) at an amplification of 3 x 107 V/W. With the 80 µm or 200 µm InGaAs APD of the IAG series, the following values can be achieved: 1.1 x 106 V/W @ pW/sqrt(Hz).

After extensive testing by the certification institute Germanischer Lloyd (GL), the B&R X20 System has achieved the coveted seal of quality for maritime applications. All of the X20 modules tested - CPUs, I/O modules and bus controllers - proved they have what it takes to meet the high demands on functionality and operational safety required in maritime environments.

These components have been classified for environmental categories D and EMC1, which permits operation under deck, including in the bridge and machine room. As an internationally recognized certification organization, GL is involved in establishing technical standards for shipping and offshore facilities and is highly regarded by other classification societies such as ABS, Lloyds Register, DNV, Bureau Veritas, and many more.

In addition to the international prestige bestowed upon GL-certified components and the associated rapid inspection and approval procedures, the seal of quality provides comprehensive information regarding the safety and quality of industrial products. This seal is therefore not only significant in maritime applications, but also very respected in non-maritime environments. Users from a wide variety of different industries place a great amount of trust in this seal when deciding which products best suit their needs.

The X20 System is both a complete control solution as well as a remote I/O system. Its innovative three-part modularity - bus module, electronics module and terminal block - allows many different assemblies using a single platform. With its ultra-compact 8-channel, 12-channel and 16-channel modules, users can save up to 50% on their control cabinet solutions.