Thursday, October 01, 2015

Red Lion Expands Sixnet® Series RAM® Industrial Routers to Integrate Industrial Automation and Networking

Red Lion Controls, the global experts in communication, monitoring and control for industrial automation and networking, today announced the addition of the compact all-in-one RAM® 6021 to its Sixnet® series RAM 6000 industrial routers. RAM 6021 routers offer industrial and manufacturing site operators a secure, flexible way to remotely connect, monitor and control assets, saving time and reducing costs across industries that include factory automation, oil and gas, and water/wastewater applications.

Red Lion’s rugged RAM 6021 industrial routers are purpose-built for extreme conditions and deliver the security required to prevent unwanted intrusion in both the connected factory and remote locations. By facilitating communication between local and wide area networks, the RAM 6021 provides the ability to seamlessly connect, monitor and control machinery and equipment. Add in robust security features, which include a stateful firewall, network address translation (NAT) and VPN connections, and the RAM 6021 delivers a powerful all-in-one solution that seamlessly connects to existing Ethernet infrastructures, including networks with Modbus and DNP3 enabled devices.

The RAM 6021 also provides a high-performance user interface that simplifies unit configuration and management. This sleek, graphical web interface is now available across the entire portfolio of Sixnet series RAM and IndustrialPro® industrial routers.

“The connected factory is now a reality, and Red Lion’s new RAM 6021 router allows customers to benefit from using industrial automation and networking to increase productivity, control and visibility while reducing operating costs,” said Diane Davis, director of product management for Ethernet networking at Red Lion Controls. “With an easy-to-use web interface, flexible configuration options and enhanced security features that protect against intrusions, our rugged RAM routers deliver reliable communications across the factory floor and other extreme environments.”

Today’s organizations increasingly seek ways to connect, monitor and control devices to create state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems. Linking industrial assets requires rugged solutions that ensure flexible, secure communications from the plant floor to remote locations around the world. RAM 6021 routers integrate industrial automation with networking to increase productivity and reduce costs by minimizing the need for onsite visits for equipment troubleshooting and maintenance.

AT&T Certifies Red Lion’s RAM® 9000 Industrial Cellular RTUs in North America

Red Lion Controls, the global experts in communication, monitoring and control for industrial automation and networking, today announced the availability of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) support on the AT&T cellular network for its Sixnet® series RAM® 9000 industrial cellular RTUs. With certified AT&T 4G LTE wireless connectivity, organizations of all sizes can leverage increased data speeds for primary or backup WAN connectivity for remote industrial and manufacturing sites, video surveillance applications and rugged automation environments.

“We are pleased to announce that our new RAM 9000 industrial cellular RTUs have been certified for use on the AT&T cellular network in North America,” said Paul Bunnell, product director, process automation for Red Lion Controls. "Our compatibility with AT&T’s 4G LTE network illustrates Red Lion’s commitment to providing industrial partners and customers with rugged, high-performance connectivity. By using our industrial cellular products to gain high-speed access to data and video, customers can achieve data rates that were once only available through the use of wired connections.”

The RAM 9000 combines built-in I/O and active GPS with multiple serial and Ethernet ports to securely monitor remote devices via AT&T 4G LTE cellular communications. Ideal for deployment in industrial M2M networks such as oil and gas, water/wastewater, utility, transportation and mining applications, the RAM 9000 provides a seamless network extension to remote locations. With more I/O than many competitive offerings, the RAM 9000 serves as a robust platform that enables customers to save wiring time, space and cost by combining separate functions into one cellular device.

Features of the RAM 9000 include:
  • High-density on-board I/O (two digital inputs, two digital outputs, three analog inputs and one relay output) lowers total system cost
  • Separate RS-232 and RS-485 ports offer remote connectivity to serial devices
  • Routing capabilities provide reliable, secure communication and network failover
  • Active GPS receiver automatically tracks device location information

Red Lion Adds New HSPA+ Cellular Plug-In Module to Graphite® HMI Platform

Red Lion Controls, the global experts in communication, monitoring and control for industrial automation and networking, today announced the availability of an HSPA+ (GMHSPA) cellular module for its Graphite® Human Machine Interface (HMI) platform.  The new module uses an HSPA+ cellular network to provide reliable high-speed data communication to remotely-located assets across oil and gas, water and wastewater, power, utility and alternative energy applications.

Programmed using Red Lion’s award-winning Crimson® software, the GMHSPA+ module easily plugs into Graphite HMIs to provide a space-saving solution that simplifies installation. The combined solution supports over 300 different industrial protocols, enabling users to monitor and control a large variety of disparate equipment and processes, such as temperatures, pressures, flows and levels.

“Combining an HSPA+ cellular module with Graphite HMIs provides customers with a powerful solution to cost-effectively monitor and control remote equipment,” said Jeff Thornton, director of product management at Red Lion Controls. “Using high-speed cellular networks eliminates expensive site visits. This allows users to receive critical device and performance data in real time, thereby saving time and money while staying informed.”

Launched in 2013, Red Lion’s Graphite HMIs offer a built-in web server that enables users to monitor and control applications via PCs, tablets or smartphones. SMS text-messaging and email alerts provide early warning of process issues, which helps avoid costly downtime. In addition, protocol conversion lets programmers select 13 or more simultaneous protocols from a list of over 300 to seamlessly integrate disparate devices such as PLCs, drives, barcode readers and panel meters.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Protect Your Connection with Isolated Ultra-Small and Strong USB to Serial

Brainboxes releases the US-159 small profile USB to Serial device with isolation. We have given our customers the ‘just works’ reliable USB to Serial connection they have come to expect from Brainboxes but with the added security of isolation, perfect for demanding industrial environments.

The US-159 gives an RS-232 serial connection on one end with a high retention USB connection of the other. All connections are electronically isolated from one another in our smallest toughest case yet.

The US-159 case is in our ultra-small form factor, and can cope with industrial temperatures, is IP50 rated and has a high retention USB connection. Really tough, can’t be snapped or crushed and is well sealed limiting ingress from dirt and moisture and works from -40°C to +80°C (-40°F to +176°F).

Isolation prevents electrical damage to your expensive equipment. The US-159 has 2kV of isolation protecting from high voltage spikes, and ground potential difference. With all the different equipment and power sources factories are environments where power spikes and disturbances can be a common problem. Isolation can go a long way to protecting your equipment from these variations.

Increasingly laptops come without serial ports and small form factor PCs are losing ports too. Many substandard USB to Serial solutions are unreliable. Customers reported to us that they need add on products to be as small as possible as they were often limited for space. They also needed a strong connection as the product was taking the weight of a heavy Serial cable.

Robust High Retention USB B Type Connector has a withdrawal force of 3.2lbs. (15N) making it 50% stronger than traditional USB. High retention eliminates accidental disconnections and the USB connector won’t snap under weight of connecting cables. High retention cables give the secure connection of an integrated solution but still have the flexibility of the detachable/changeable cables.

If you’ve used our USB to Serial products before you’ll know the software is trouble free, with great compatibility and works where many others fail. That same software, with drivers for all latest Microsoft OS including Windows 8.1 comes with the US-159.

The US-159 with isolation is a good choice for environments with lots of electrical interference, but it can be used in any of the following environments for added piece of mind: Banking, Configuration for System Admins, Maintenance engineers, Configuring PLC and CNC machines, CAD systems, Broadcast, Home automation, small form factor embedded PCs with limited expansion options. It’s for anyone who needs a portable Serial port they can depend on when they are on site.

Stronger, smaller, smarter – our best ever USB to Serial.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hitachi Introduces the SJ700D Series of Dual Rated Advanced Industrial AC Variable Frequency Drives for Both Constant and Variable Torque Applications

Hitachi America, Ltd., Industrial Components and Equipment Division, today announced the introduction of the SJ700D Series of Industrial AC Variable Frequency Drives,  with  full  availability  in  February.  The  SJ700D  significantly  expands  on  the  performance, capabilities and functions of both its predecessors, the SJ700 and the SJ700B.

Hitachi has once again broadened the applicability of this new series by incorporating and upgrading many of the original flagship SJ700 features and incorporating them into a new, more versatile variable frequency drive package. Therefore, the new SJ700D drives are ideal for a complete wide range of applications beyond variable torque applications such as fans and pumps, or constant torque applications such as material handling or extrusion equipment. The new SJ700D also has a number of built-in features that make the commissioning process quick and easy, such as single parameter change (b049) to set the drive as either a variable torque or constant torque all while offering the end user a trouble-free control.

Another notable upgrade in the SJ700D dual rated inverter is the higher operating temperature range of -10°C to 50°C. The SJ700D is further enhanced from its predecessors with a new faster processing scan time for our exclusive internal programming feature, Hitachi's EzSQ (Easy Sequence), our built-in programming function, which provides the functionality of a PLC built into the inverter. Due to this internal capability, in many cases, the need for a separate PLC can be eliminated or the I/O reduced. Multiple programs for various applications such as irrigation pump control or condition specific motion profiles can be developed on a PC and then downloaded to the inverter with the easy-to-use ProDriveNext software provided at no charge from our website.

The other new helpful features Hitachi has added to the SJ700D include the changes to the EzSQ run parameters that allow an additional free intelligent input, as well as 5 retentive memory locations for use from within the program structure.

Add to these some new operational and protective features, such as output phase loss protection to make sure your application is protected from every angle, to the new faster (115.2k baud rate) Modbus RTU communications to make sure all the data necessary in your process is received in a timely manner, and we have one very versatile and powerful variable frequency drive. The SJ700D also retains all the features that make this such a popular choice, such as our patented micro-surge voltage suppression to protect the motor winding insulation, advanced trip avoidance functions, configurable sink/source logic on digital inputs, user defined analog and digital outputs, PID, built-in dynamic braking circuit in models up to 40 HP (30 kW,) and built-in EMC filters in all models.

The SJ700D incorporates all the features customers have come to expect from Hitachi Variable Frequency Drives, which provide the end user with a reliable, high quality and high value variable frequency drive.

A truly globally accepted product, the SJ700D is CE, UL, c-Tick-certified and RoHS-compliant.

Hitachi Introduces High Performance AC Drive Model

Hitachi America, Ltd., Industrial Components & Equipment Division, today announced the new SJ700-2200HFU2 model inverter, with a 440 A output current capability. This new model fills in the gap at 300-350 hp in the SJ700 series, which now completely covers the range from ½ to 600 hp.

The SJ700 significantly expands on the performance, capabilities and functions of its predecessor, the SJ300. Hitachi reasserts its technological leadership with an improved vector control algorithm and auto-tuning function that enables the open-loop SJ700 (SLV) to develop more than 200% starting torque at 0.3 Hz. Using Hitachi’s unique “0 Hz Domain” open-loop control mode, the SJ700 can develop 150% torque near 0 Hz, ideal for vertical lift applications. In closed-loop mode with encoder feedback, the SJ700 performance is unmatched, delivering in excess of 100% torque at 0 Hz.

Another major new element in the SJ700 is Hitachi’s EzSQ (Easy Sequence) built-in programming function. It’s like having a PLC inside the inverter! In many cases, the need for a separate PLC can be eliminated. The user develops EzSQ programs on a PC, and then downloads them to the inverter using the simple-to-use configuration/programming software provided at no charge.

The SJ700 can deliver true servo-like position control when mated with a general-purpose induction motor and encoder, offering a low-cost motion control alternative. The SJ700, given a position command, speed command, and acceleration/deceleration times, can move the motor shaft from position A to position B following the defined profile and then maintain the shaft in “servo lock” status.

Hitachi has added other new features into the SJ700, such as patented micro-surge voltage suppression (to protect the motor winding insulation), advance trip avoidance functions, configurable sink/source logic on I/O, built-in dynamic braking circuit in models up to 30 hp (22 kW), built-in EMC filter up to 75 hp (55 kW).

The SJ700 also includes built-in RS485 Modbus/RTU communication, and options for other communications networks, such as Ethernet Modbus/TCP, DeviceNet, Profibus and LonWorks. Others, such as Ethernet/IP are in the works. The SJ700 can be configured via the front-mounted keypad or using Hitachi’s ProDrive PC-based software.

Designed to be a product for the global market, the SJ700 carries CE, UL, cUL and c-Tick marks, and is RoHS compliant.

Hitachi Introduces New Advanced AC Micro Drives

Hitachi America, Ltd., Industrial Components & Equipment Division, today announced two new 100 V Class models in the innovative WJ200 series of inverters. The new models are rated at ½ hp and 1 hp, 100-120 VAC, single-phase input, and 200-240 VAC, 3-phase output.

The WJ200 series sets a new benchmark for performance, flexibility and functionality in micro-size AC drives. The WJ200 is a sensorless vector (SLV) drive capable of 200% or greater torque across the speed range. Speed regulation at low speed is dramatically improved – fluctuation is half that of previous models. Improved trip avoidance measures have been incorporated for unsurpassed system reliability and availability.

The WJ200 is distinguished by its integrated PLC-like functionality. With its powerful Easy Sequence (EzSQ) logic controller function, programs up to 1024 lines can be created on a PC using a structured language editing tool. These programs can then be transferred to the WJ200 to control its operation and allow very sophisticated control schemes to be created without the use of external controllers.

Simple position control applications are also possible with the WJ200 utilizing the integrated pulse input. Together with EzSQ, intricate motion profiles can be developed. Further adding to its flexibility, the WJ200 has the capability to drive both induction motors and permanent magnet (PM) motors – a single drive for two motor realms.

A new EzCOM peer-to-peer communications function is standard and allows multiple WJ200s to share data. One drive is designated as the “administrator,” and controls the network. Other drives on the network can be master or slave, with masters able to write data to any designated slave(s). Master/slave roles are rotated under the control of the administrator automatically. Up to 8 masters can reside on the network, and up to 32 drives (up to 247 drives, if external signal repeaters are used). The administrator can be master or slave also. EzCOM allows for creation of sophisticated coordinated systems without any additional external hardware or programming.

Other desirable standard features include a safe-stop function (meets ISO/IEC standards), password protection of parameters, real-time clock, standard Modbus/RTU RS-485 serial port, micro surge voltage suppression, dynamic braking circuit, and much more. The WJ200 is designed for long service with bus capacitors and cooling fans designed for 10 year life and varnish coating of circuit boards. The WJ200 also is RoHS compliant. Option boards will be released in the near future to allow communication via Ethernet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet, ProfiBus, CANopen, and others.

Hitachi Introduces the SJ700B Series of Advanced Industrial AC Variable Frequency Drives for Fans, Pumps, Conveyors and More

Hitachi America, Ltd., Industrial Components and Equipment Division, today announced the introduction of the SJ700B Series of Industrial AC Variable Frequency Drives, with full availability in late October. The SJ700B significantly expands on the performance, capabilities and functions of its predecessor, the L700.

To reassert its technological leadership and ensure unmatched performance, Hitachi has broadened the applicability of this new series by incorporating and upgrading many of the original flagship SJ700 features, such as the industry-leading Sensorless Vector (SLV) control algorithm. This algorithm enables the SJ700B to develop 120% of full torque capabilities at 0 Hz in Hitachi’s exclusive “0 Hz Domain” sensorless vector control mode, as well as 150% torque at 0.5 Hz in sensorless vector operation mode in most models, which is ideal for a wide range of applications beyond just fans and pumps. Additionally, operation in the closed-loop full vector control mode is now possible as well through an optional board. The SJ700B also has a number of built-in features that make the commissioning process quick and the operation of the control trouble-free.

Another notable upgrade in the SJ700B is the higher operating temperature range of -10°C to 45°C . The SJ700B is loaded with additional application integration features such as Hitachi's EzSQ (Easy Sequence) built-in programming function, which provides the functionality of a PLC built into the inverter. Due to this internal capability, in many cases, the need for a separate PLC can be eliminated or the I/O reduced. Programs for various applications such as irrigation pump control or repeatable motion profiles can be developed on a PC and then downloaded to the inverter with the easy-to-use EzSQ software provided at no charge.

The other new helpful features Hitachi has added to the SJ700B include the patented micro-surge voltage suppression to protect the motor winding insulation, advanced trip avoidance functions, configurable sink/source logic on digital inputs, PID, built-in dynamic braking circuit in models up to 40 HP (30 kW,) and built-in EMC filters in all models.

The SJ700B also incorporates features customers have come to expect from Hitachi Variable Frequency Drives. Some of the anticipated features include built-in RS485 Modbus/RTU communication. The SJ700B can be configured via the front-mounted keypad or using Hitachi's ProDriveNext PC-based software.

A truly globally accepted product, the SJ700B is CE, UL, c-Tick-certified and RoHS-compliant.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Studded Power Feed Through Terminal Blocks

The ST722 terminal block is an economical solution for any feed-thru application requiring termination of double hole lugs with a center line of .625". By having three unique mounting styles and various line lengths to
choose from, the ST722 can simplify your design requirements.

The conductor, being a one-piece, brass, threaded stud, eliminates current path issues. Furthermore, the threaded studs are designed with the length necessary to allow thick lugs and still have ample thread engagement of the nut. The insulator base is molded of an engineered glass filled polycarbonate which provides an excellent balance of strength, flexibility, flammability (UL 94 V-0) and temperature resistance to 125°C, while remaining ductile enough to withstand most stresses.

An optional opaque cover is available for all line lengths with easy "snap-on" design and can be removed by
lightly squeezing the outside barriers. In addition, with the terminal barrels (lugs) properly insulated, an IP20
rating may be achieved when using the cover. The cover is a one-piece design molded of high temperature
thermoplastic, which has a flammability rating of UL 94 V-0.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lenze Introduces Simple and Versatile Smart Motor for Optimal Standardization

Leading global manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control and automation technology, Lenze Americas recently introduced its innovative Smart Motor designed for applications ranging from material handling to packaging automation. Blending the simplicity of a conventional AC motor with electronic drive control technology, Lenze’s versatile Smart Motor was showcased at PACK EXPO in September.

Offering a highly versatile and powerful package, the Smart Motor delivers maximum standardization-drastically reducing (by up to 70 percent) the number of different motor variations customers might otherwise need. Equipped with control intelligence in the terminal box, the Smart Motor provides design flexibility for speeds from 500 to 2,600 rpm, while maintaining constant torque. The easy-to-install motor enables mains and starter applications to be handled with greater ease than with conventional motors.

The Smart Motor complies with IES2 the top efficiency class for drive systems, while maintaining a small footprint. Among its standard functions, the Smart Motor enables speed switchovers and the ability to set individual start-stop ramps. Integrated ramps ensure smooth acceleration and deceleration to protect the system mechanics and product being handled. The Smart Motor features full motor protection, eco mode for energy savings, and digital outputs for speed selection, direction and status messages.

Lenze g500 Gearbox Transforms Smart Motor Speed Into Torque

Leading global manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control and automation technology, Lenze Americas has introduced its new g500 gearbox range, developed to transform motor speed into torque as intelligently and accurately as possible. Designed for mechatronic integration with the Lenze Smart Motor, the finely tiered series of g500 gearboxes enable efficiency of over 94 percent across the entire transmission range.

The new g500 gearboxes minimize losses, so the motor can generate less energy, which improves the bottom-line efficiency of the entire system. The lower level of generated heat increases the overall service life. The g500 gearboxes are designed for total integration with the Lenze Smart Motor. A single, efficient motor for many applications, the Smart Motor offers numerous integrated functions for material handling applications, including higher starting torque and freely adjustable speeds between 500 and 2,600 RPM, which reduces the required number of drive versions by up to 70 percent. The compact Smart Motor meets the highest requirements in energy efficiency and can be conveniently operated using an NFC-capable smart phone.

The helical, helical-bevel and shaft-mounted helical g500 gearboxes are now available in sizes of 45 to 600 Nm constructed in aluminum housings. In 2014, Lenze plans to release g500 gearboxes with up to 13,000 Nm ratings produced in cast iron. The g500 gearboxes can be combined with the Lenze Smart Motor, in addition to IE2 MH three-phase AC motors, the inverter-optimized MF motors, and the MCA and MCS servo motors.

Motors Running into Service Factor (SF)

All NEMA frame low voltage motors are typically designed with a 1.15 Service Factor (SF). It is common on some higher horsepower, or application-specific motors to be 1.0 SF based on special design, enclosure size etc. There are two aspects to SF:

The first is motor temperature. Temperature rise is described thoroughly in last month’s issue. The relationship between motor heating and current is a square function, and motor current draw is generally proportional to load. Heating is a function of current2 x resistance x time. This is usually referred to as current2 x time, or I2t. At SF loading, if current is 1.15 x rated, the heating effect will be 1.152 = 1.32 x normal. This roughly means that if the temperature rise at full load is 80°C (‘B’ rise) the temperature rise at 1.15 SF loading will be in the order of (1.15)2 x 80°C = 105.8°C (‘F’ rise). This is why most manufacturers design a motor to have a B rise or less at full load for a 1.15 SF motor.

[ASIDE: This clearly shows how a motor designed with a ‘B’ rise @ 1.15 SF, which is 90°C, is better than a motor with a ‘B’ rise @ 1.0 SF, because this motor with a ‘B’ rise @ 1.0 SF, loaded to 1.15 SF will have a temperature rise of 105.8°C.]

In general, Toshiba motors use an insulation system that is Class F (155°C) rated and has B rise or less @ 1.0 SF (80°C), and in the case of the EQP Global® series, all motors 445T frame and smaller have a B rise or less @ 1.15 SF. This means that the insulation will be well below design temperature of the insulation system even when operated at continuous overload up to 115% of nameplate. The smaller the motor frame, the larger the thermal margin, and the greater the overload a motor can handle. This is why you’ll often see motor manufacturers advertise as a 1.25 SF rating on the smaller frames. Furthermore, in the case of TEAO (Totally Enclosed Air Over) motors used in ventilation fans for the mining industry, the increased air flow from being mounted in the center of the fan (3000 ft./min.) often allows for 1.35 SF as standard.

The second issue is mechanical capability. Bearings are an important part of the mechanical capability and life of a motor. For every 15°C hotter that a bearing runs, the grease life is cut in half. Open-style bearings run cooler than sealed or even shielded bearings. When a motor is run into its SF, it runs hotter and consequently, so does the bearings. As a result, grease life, or re-greasing intervals, is reduced.

Shaft strength is another consideration when designing a motor with a SF capability. A 1.15 SF motor has a strong enough shaft to handle the additional continuous shaft load. Although this is not usually an issue with smaller HP motors, it becomes a real consideration on larger machines. Just because a motor is specified with a B rise at full load doesn’t necessarily mean that it is suitable to be rated as a 1.15 SF motor.

The preceding issues are concerned with sinusoidal operation. When an ASD is utilized, the motor sees additional heating over and above the I2t heating effect. This is due to the harmonic content of the drive’s output waveform. This additional heating can range from 5% extra heating for a good quality PWM drive with an adequately high carrier frequency to up to 30% additional heating for a square wave variable voltage inverter (VVI) drive. When using an ASD on a 1.15 SF motor, as a rule of thumb, you should now treat your motor as being a 1.0 SF motor, as a result of the heating from the ASD.

A 1.15 SF motor installed “across the line” can be operated at 1.15 SF. However, you will theoretically get a varying insulation life depending on the operational temperature of a motor on a specific application. For a fixed set of conditions on an application, the motor manufacturer with the largest thermal margin (difference between actual design temperature rise v. insulation class) will give you a longer insulation life span overall.

Lenze Adds New g700 Planetary Gearbox Series for Use with Synchronous and Asynchronous Servo Motors

Leading global manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control and automation technology, Lenze Americas has unveiled its g700 series of purebred planetary gearboxes designed for servo applications with demanding requirements relative to overload capacity and dynamics. The new gearbox series extends the company’s range of solutions for servo motor applications.

The g700 can be used in conjunction with Lenze’s synchronous and asynchronous servo motors, as well as a single gearbox with a servo motor. Designed specifically for servo application, the one-, two- and three-stage planetary gearboxes are available in five sizes and cover torques ranging from 177 in-lbs to 7080 in-lbs.

The special handling of the toothing edge, which includes grinding and honing, and the precise, balanced clamping system for the motor, help to minimize the noise generation. As a result, a noise of ≤58 dB(A) is achievable which corresponds to a quiet conversation.

The g700 is a gearbox with lowest life-cycle costs. The gearbox is robust and reliable and achieves a service life of 30,000h. It does not need lubricant change or top up and is completely maintenance-free.

“Our growing solutions portfolio is scalable and precisely tailored to the requirements of servo applications,” said Robert Gradischnig, electro-mechanical business development manager, Lenze.

“This new g700 planetary gearbox is another step forward in our ‘easy engineering’ philosophy. Whether they need products for relatively simple machine tasks or highly complex ones, our customers can easily find the right solution for their application.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Remote Analogue IO Made Easy

Brainboxes announces the launch of the ED-549, a new Ethernet networking device designed for remote monitoring of multiple analogue inputs in industrial environments. Aimed at test, measurement and process control engineers, it is designed to remotely gather analogue input signals over an Ethernet network, the ED-549 ‘Ethernet 8 AI’ product has eight analogue input channels and delivers remote access to real-time data for highly flexible and high-precision measurements of voltages and currents from instruments located on a process control factory floor or in a laboratory.

Most parameters in the real world are measured using sensors with analogue outputs sensors and Brainboxes ED-549 takes these real world signals and turns them into data on your network.  As well as the popular 0-10V and 4-20mA input devices, there is now a Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) allowing full scale 12 bit readings from signals as small as ±75mV.Each of the 8 channels is individually configurable for voltage or current input with its own programmable gain.

The product particularly targets use in industrial process control environments such as water utilities, petrochemical, transportation and food and drink manufacturing, which require the constant remote monitoring of analogue signals such as temperature, weight, pressure and power supply. The device is also highly suited to locations where equipment is not easily accessible.

While some competitive analogue-input products are hard wired to handle either differential voltage or current inputs, the ED-549 offers enhanced flexibility by allowing both voltage and current measurements via user-selectable jumper-enabled resistors. Users can configure the inputs independently on each of the eight channels allowing any mixture of measurement channels, such as three voltage and five current inputs for example. While competitive products will often only allow a ±10V or ±5V measurement range, the ED-549 integrates a Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) that enables the device to offer measurement voltages as low as ±75mV full scale, With the built-in jumper enabled resistors for current measurement, the  input ranges are ±20mA, 0 to 20mA or 4 to 20mA.

The ED-549 has a power input range from +5V to +30V DC, accommodating both the 24VDC factory floor supply as well as being able to be powered from any PC or laptop USB port. Dual power supply inputs allow a redundany connection which prevents downtime in the event of failure of either power supply There are three isolation domains: the analogue inputs; the power circuitry and the Ethernet port providing 1500V protection.

The ED-549 can be configured, monitored and controlledby a  Windows computer via its very easy-to-use software interface allowing users to be up and running quickly without requiring any extensive programming or networking knowledge. Users can also monitor the factory floor from a smartphone or tablet via the product’s web-based user interface and the solution is also compatible with legacy software via a Windows COM port and industry-standard applications such as LabView, MATLAB and Agilent VEE.

Other features of the ED-549 include a compact 22.6mm-wide footprint, ideal when DIN rail space is at a premium; removable colour-coded and numbered terminal blocks that mean easy and simple installation; and a –30 to +80°C operating temperature range, which makes it suitable for deployment in harsh environments. The device arrives with its own calibration certificate where each voltage range has been individually factory calibrated by precision equipment whose calibration is directly traceable back to National Standards.

“Ideal for many different industrial applications that operate in harsh environments, the new Brainboxes ED-549 is a highly flexible, easy-to-use and configure industrial Ethernet device that delivers high-precision remote monitoring of independent voltage and current inputs,” said Eamonn Walsh, Managing Director of Brainboxes. “If you want to get industrial data live into your networked applications this is the product for you."

Monday, September 29, 2014

WEG Wins Contract to Supply MV Motors the World's Largest Sulphuric Acid Production Plant

WEG Germany has won a major contract from Outotec, the global leader in sulphuric acid plant design and delivery, for a total of 21 MV motors, including slip ring types up to 5200kW, 24 WEG transformers, six liquid rheostat starters, and project management to install and commission the package. The equipment is being installed and commissioned in the World’s largest sulphuric acid production facility, currently under construction at Ras Az Zawr, a mining and industrial city in the kingdom of Saudia Arabia.

Ras az Zawr is a purpose built industrial city/zone on the Arabian/Persian Gulf coast in a region that is one of the richest natural and mineral resources areas in the world. One of the key activities within the Ras az Zawr zone is processing of phosphates for use in fertilisers. This involves phosphate concentrate being processed in a fertiliser production facility, consisting of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid production facility, an ammonia plant, a DAP granulation plant and co-generation and desalination plants.

Outotec was successful in winning the contact for the sulphuric acid (SA) segment of the project, the largest production facility of its type in one phase in the World. The total investment in the production facility, which includes three SA plants, is approximately $240M. When complete, the three plants will have a total production capacity of 13,500 tonnes of sulphuric acid per day.

Due to the remoteness of Ras Az Zawr, and the possibilities for issues with multiple suppliers should problems occur, Outotec insisted on single suppliers for each element of the Sulphuric Acid project.

“We didn’t have a previous track record with Outotec in Germany, but we had already done business with the company – successfully - inugh there was no specific reference to this type of plant,” commented WEG General Manager Energy Business, Andreas Schulte M Brazil and Australia, althoesum. “However, our project management single contact, allied with single supplier argument was definitely the key to our winning the bid.”

The project started in 2006, and is only today nearing completion. To-date WEG Germany has supplied 21 Medium Voltage motors: 6 x MAW710 5200kW 4p 13,8kV 60Hz, 6 xMGW450 1400kW 2ph 4,16kV 60Hz, and 9 x HGF400 620kW 6p 4,16kV 60Hz. These motors are used extensively in mining, marine and oil and gas applications; they provide the high levels of efficiency, reliability and long life demanded in the challenging conditions encountered in the Arabian Gulf.

The MGWs and HGF type motors are used in the boiler feed water and circulation pumps of the sulphuric acid plant. The higher power (5,200kW) MAW units are slip ring motors that drive the main blowers in the plant. WEG decided to use slip ring motors controlled by liquid rheostat starters for this application as the blower inertia was large and starting current was an issue. The benefit of starting the main blowers in this way is that the customer can easily control the starting current of the blowers, at the same time handling the very high torques involved.

In addition to the motors and starters, a total of 24 WEG transformers are used to supply and condition electricity to all types of equipment across the whole SA plant, including the WEG MV motors. In common with the MV motors the WEG transformers are designed for use in some of the most demanding operating conditions worldwide in hydro electric plants, desalination systems, oil and gas installations, mining, marine and many more. As evidence of this, WEG recently manufactured and supplied 200-ton transformers – the largest step-up power transformers ever made by the company - for the World’s largest hydroelectric plant, Itaipu Binacional, on the Brazil/Paraguay border.

In terms of project support, WEG was active during the project management stage at Ras Az Zawr, managing three different suppliers, and also co-ordinated with Outotec to ensure that several technical modifications required by the main contractor were actioned promptly and with the required level of customer support. Now that the project is in its start- up phase, WEG is, once again, heavily involved, its co-ordination expertise and technical support being much in demand.

“Once again in a major Global flagship project, WEG has demonstrated its ability to provide a package of key products and the project expertise to integrate them at the highest level,” said Andreas Schulte Mesum, WEG’s General Manager Energy Business. “As a result of this, and other similar successes, no one can deny our credentials as a premier global supplier of integrated supply, control and automation solutions to key commodity markets across the World.”