Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The CUB5 provides the user the ultimate in flexibility, from its complete user programming to the optional relay output capability. The meter can be programmed as a single or dual counter with rate indication capability. The display can be toggled either manually or automatically between the selected displays. Red Lion CUB5 Series Display has 0.46″ (11.7 mm) high digits. The LCD is available in two versions, reflective (CUB5R000) and backlight (CUB5B000). The backlight version is user selectable for green or red backlighting with variable display intensity. The Red Lion Counter is programmable for one of eight different count modes, including bi-directional and quadrature. When programmed as a dual counter, each counter has a separate scale factor and decimal points. In the counter/rate indicator mode, each have their own scaling and decimal point read-outs in different engineering units.

The Red Lion Meter has two separate inputs which provide different functions depending on which operating mode is selected. Input A accepts the signal for the Count and/or Rate displays, while Input B accepts the signal for the Count display or direction control. In the anti-coincidence mode, both inputs are monitored simultaneously so that no counts are lost. The resulting display can be chosen as the sum or difference of the two inputs. The Rate Indicator has programmable low (minimum) and high (maximum) update times to provide optimal display response at any input frequency. There is a programmable user input that can be programmed to perform a variety of functions. The capability of the CUB5 can be easily expanded with the addition of an option module. Setpoint capability is field installable with the addition of the CUB5RLY0, relay output module. Serial communications capability for RS232 or RS485 is added with a serial option module. The CUB5 can be powered from an optional Red Lion Micro-Line/Sensor Power Supply (MLPS1000), which attaches directly to the back of a CUB5. The MLPS1 is powered from 85 to 250 VAC and provides up to 400 mA to drive the unit and sensors.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Condensate Drain Is Easy To Maintain

Bekomat 31/32 condensate drains just launched by Beko Technologies consist of only two parts. This design principle offers considerable advantages in terms of maintenance and economics. The devices of this new generation are made up of only two parts: a service unit comprising the corrosion-resistant aluminium housing together with all maintenance-relevant components, and an electronic control and sensor unit, which is installed only once.

Both parts are coupled via a practical snap connection. This design makes it possible to replace all parts subject to wear or requiring maintenance in one go: the old service unit is simply and quickly removed and a new, works-tested unit is fitted instead. The separation and connection of the two modules requires no tools - it's all done in next to no time.

The new service unit, which is pressure and performance tested at the manufacturer's facility, is ready for use. It does not need any additional electrical installation, and there are no seals or other parts to be mounted. With this plug-and-play principle, the maintenance of the Bekomat 31/32 devices achieves an optimum of cost effectiveness at minimum time expenditure. More than one million electronically level-regulated, sensor-controlled condensate drains from Beko are currently installed worldwide. With the new maintenance-optimised Bekomat 31/32 variants Beko aims to reach out even further. The Bekomat 31/32 join the current Bekomat range with capacities going up to 47kl/s.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Magnetic encoders keep track on the drag strip

In Stanley Kubrick's classic film Dr Strangelove Slim Pickens was dropped from the aeroplane riding a bomb. If he'd been riding a motorcycle then he would certainly have been astride a KTM nitro methane fuelled dragster built by Finland based Salakazi Racing. With almost 1500 horsepower from just 1995cm3, the KTM Dragster does the quarter mile in 6.7 seconds at a terminal velocity of 316km/h. Helping tame the KTM's (barely) controlled explosion is a brace of 'bomb proof' Renishaw RM22 compact, high-speed rotary magnetic encoders. Take a 360kg motorcycle with an absurd power output, a fearless, Finnish gentleman with a reputation for breaking speed records, and things happen quickly.

Within a split second, the engine screams to 7500rev/min. Before the spectator has a chance to comprehend what has transpired, the race is over and bike and rider are a quarter mille down the track, braking frantically. In motor racing terms, it doesn't get much simpler.
The objective is to traverse the straight line from A to B as quickly as possible. Jaska Salakari - the first Finn to break the seven-second barrier for the quarter-mile piloting the fastest Super Twin Top Fuel bike in the European Union, owns Salakazi Racing. Since 2000 his speed-obsessed six-man team, a combination of full- and part-timers, has been running a KTM Super twin powered dragster of its own design and construction. The 1995cc twin cylinder Nitroduke engine is fuelled with 95% nitro methane, gulping 1.1 litres per second of the volatile mix through a Salakazi-designed double fuel-pump.

It's about as close to a flying bomb as any earthbound vehicle could get. In drag racing, reaction times are measured in milliseconds and races are never won with a wildly spinning rear wheel.
All the horsepower in the world is useless unless effectively translated into rapid forward motion. For the pilot - or is that 'passenger'? - there's little or no time to think, let alone engage and slip a normal clutch. It's impossible for the rider to accurately determine the rate of engagement needed to provide optimal traction. Salakazi Racing has equipped its KTM dragster with an automatic Prowork three disc, four-stage clutch fitted with a Prowork digital controller.
The controller engages the clutch - according to how it has been pre-programmed - when the rider snaps open the throttle.

That's where the Renishaw RM22 encoders with their ability to monitor up to 30,000rev/min come into play. One of the tiny but critical devices monitors the position of the crankshaft in the engine, while the other measures the clutch speed. By comparing these values, clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can be determined with high precision. This data is highly coveted by the team and allows the technicians to properly adjust the first stage counterweights in the clutch before the race. Of course, track and bike conditions vary for every meeting, but the vital data collected and compiled by the Renishaw encoder after every run makes it possible to program the controller for as close to optimum clutch engagement as possible.

This provides maximum speed and acceleration with minimal wheel spin during the first few fractions of a second. Petri Makinen - Salakazi Racing's self-confessed 'technology guru' - is quick to point out that the Renishaw enabled solution is not the same as a traction control system. Primarily, he says, because the clutch is tuned by set values programmed into the controller before the race against the clock even begins. 'The Renishaw encoder isn't interactively controlling the clutch whilst underway', he explains: 'but the data it provides us with beforehand is critically important'. 'We couldn't obtain it - and couldn't preset the clutch - any other way'. 'We need to read the clutch speed even before the rear tyre completes the first full rotation, to make decisions for engaging the clutch, and the acceleration doesn't happen smoothly'. 'This problem has now been solved and proper filtration has been done to program code'.

'Next season, the Renishaw encoders will also be used to control the ignition advance and, in a couple of years, we are going to use the encoders to adjust cams'. Makinen uses the data to put the maximum engine power on the road and propel Salakari to speeds in excess of 300km/h in less time than it takes to read this paragraph. If past performance is anything to go by, it seems to be working. The Renishaw RM22 encoder is designed for trouble-free performance in the harshest environments but the Salikazi Racing Team has chosen one of the toughest of places to locate any piece of electronic equipment. Pointing to the end of the crankshaft on a partially disassembled engine Makinen smiles mischievously and says: 'This is where we put the Renishaw magnetic actuator'. 'We've located it directly on the end of the shaft'.

'The encoder body is on the other side, in the clutch housing'. 'I honestly think that only a space rocket would be a tougher environment for the encoder'. The RM22 is designed and manufactured by Renishaw's Slovenia-based partner company, RLS, and is immune to dirt and debris according to the IP68 standard. However, with a maximum operating temperature specified as 125C, Makinen elaborates on how the encoder survives the very high temperature inside the clutch. The secret, he says, is placing the encoder in the heavy, machined aluminium housing. 'With a diameter of only 22mm it was possible to locate the encoder in the clutch housing itself, without compromising the strength of the piece'. 'Clutches can explode', he says, as an aside.

'I've seen this happen a few times, so the clutch housing plays an important roll in rider safety'.
'If the encoder were bigger we'd have to re-engineer the solution'. The RM22 features a noncontact, two-part design, eliminating bearings or seals and allowing for rapid, easy installation and removal. 'After each race our mechanics cool the clutch and quickly remove the housing and the encoder', says Makinen. 'The heavy aluminium body shields the encoder from the heat during the race'. 'Before it ever gets a chance to heat up beyond specs, we've already got it back to the pit garage and removed it'. Once integrated into a complex machine such as a dragster motorcycle, any part or component is only as good as it is reliable. Makinen is emphatic in his praise for the Renishaw RM22, a diminutive but vital component, which has proved itself way beyond its published specification. 'Given the conditions, the reliability of the Renishaw encoders is amazing'. 'Without them, we could do nothing more than estimate vital engine and track information', he says. 'But guessing isn't good enough if you want to break records'.