Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trenze FPGA Micromodules Suit Harsh Environments

Trenz Electronic launched its TE0320 series, a range of FPGA-based industrial micromodules for harsh environments and pervasive deployment. TE0320s integrate a Xilinx Spartan-3A-DSP FPGA, a USB 2.0 microcontroller, 128MB DDR RAM (32-bit wide), 4MB Flash memory for configuration and operation, and switch-mode power supply for all onboard voltages.

A lnumber of configurable I/Os are provided via standard board-to-board connectors. Customised versions, as well as modules with industrial-grade components are available on request.

Combined with their carrier boards, they are suitable for educational and research activities. Software for SPI Flash programming over USB, as well as reference designs for high-speed data transfer over USB are included.
Teseq Upgrades Integrated Immunity Test Program

Teseq has announced an upgrade to its AutoStar integrated immunity test management program. New features include an overview runtime mode, live battery control, automation developer's kit connectivity and a completely rewritten sequencer. The AutoStar 5.0 accommodates a range of testing needs with pre-programming for more than 1,000 tests and a standards database updated to incorporate the latest revisions of many manufacturer standards, including several 2008 standards.

The sequencer allows the user to build complex test sequences in situations with complicated testing requirements and generate a full test report of the entire sequence. Sequences are easily stored and can be run with custom dialogues or no user interface at all. Operators can fine-tune the battery level in 100mV steps via the live single-click battery adjustment for standards that require tight tolerances on battery voltage during the test run.

The immunity test software provides a runtime mode that allows the user to quickly view all of the parameters during transient testing in one screen without searching through various tabs to find the selected parameters. Autostar supports test sequencing, reporting and device under test (DUT) evaluation, and provides full control of the capacitive discharge transient simulations, supply-voltage variations and other automotive immunity tests. Also new to the fifth version is automatic integration of the AutoStar control into the user's in-house test routines.

Users can write custom automation tools with the TCP/IP protocol and ActiveX components, such as function testing of the DUT; two-way communication with AutoStar to load tests, query status of the test and the DUT PASS/FAIL status; pulse verification written for the user's own oscilloscope or other test equipment; and remote control and test monitoring. An optional automation developer's kit is available at an additional charge for further automation customisation options.

Teseq's newest version of the AutoStar immunity test software can be used exclusively with its NSG 5500, NSG 5600 and a Power Amplifier (PA), either the 5840 or 5740. The software unifies all of the features of the NSG 5000 series and PA series in one platform. Existing users can download a free upgrade to AutoStar 5.0, which includes an update to the standards database.
Concurrent SBC Complies With OpenVPX VITA 65

Concurrent Technologies has introduced an ultra-low-power 3U VPX-REDI single-board computer (SBC), the TR A40/30xRC, designed to comply with the OpenVPX VITA 65 standard. The TR A40/30xRC utilises the 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor Z530 and the integrated Intel System Controller Hub US15W, both from the Intel embedded roadmap. The board supports up to 2GB DDR2-533 soldered SDRAM and a variety of I/O interfaces, including a CANbus interface, yet maintains a typical power requirement of less than 10W.

The RC-Series TR A40/30xRC is a VPXREDI Type 1 Two Level Maintenance conduction-cooled board with support for Built In Test (BIT). The TR A40/30xRC SBC provides a flexible PCI Express (PCIe) OpenVPX backplane fabric interface that can be configured for several OpenVPX slot profiles from 8x1 PCIe ports through to 2x4 PCIe ports. This fabric flexibility makes the board suited for systems with direct wiring between slots on the backplane and for systems linked by a fabric switch card.

An air-cooled pin-compatible VPX version is also available for non-rugged applications and bench development. The TR A40/30xRC 3U VPXREDI Intel Atom processor SBC is suited to low-power rugged applications, particularly within the defence market. The 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor Z530 is manufactured using 45nm technology and provides 512kB L2 cache. It supports Intel Hyper-Threading Technology and Intel Virtualisation Technology. The Intel System Controller Hub US15W is a memory controller (interfacing to 1 or 2GB DDR2-533 soldered SDRAM), along with an I/O controller hub and graphics controller combined in a single-chip package.

Intel specifies the combined Thermal Design Power of the processor and chipset as less than 5W. This VPX SBC also supports dual-Gigabit Ethernet (or dual 1000 Base-BX) ports, a high-speed CANbus controller, two USB 2.0 ports, two RS-232/RS-422/RS-485 ports, two Serial ATA300 interfaces , DVI-D graphics and Intel High Definition stereo audio. An XMC module can be fitted to the onboard XMC site within a single slot. The XMC interface supports a x4 PCI Express link along with Pn6 XMC rear I/O to the P2 connector mapped out as P2w7-X8d+X12d.

For embedded applications, the board supports 4GB of onboard NAND Flash via an EIDE interface. Other features provided are a PC real-time clock, watchdog timer, long-duration timer and four GPIO signals. The VITA 46.0 compliant TR A40/30x is an air-cooled SBC designed for non-rugged environments, operating over a temperature range of 0 to 55C. The pin-compatible TR A40/30xRC is designed as a conduction-cooled SBC (to VITA 48.2) for rugged environments (to VITA 47 Class V3 vibration, Class OS2 shock) and operating over temperatures of -40 to 85C (to VITA 47 Class CC4) and at altitudes from -1,000 to 50,000ft (-305 to 15,240m).

For increased physical protection the TR A40/30xRC is also a 3U VPXREDI Type 1 Two Level Maintenance SBC fitting into a 0.85-inch slot width (to VITA 48.2). Operational self-diagnostics are supported in the form of Built-In Test (BIT) including Power-on BIT (PBIT), Initiated BIT (IBIT) and Continuous BIT (CBIT). The VPX data-plane interface is a configurable PCI Express (PCIe) backplane fabric interface. The backplane fabric interface can be configured as 8x1 PCIe ports, 2x4 PCIe ports, or 1x4 and 4x1 PCIe ports. All fabric configurations are compatible with OpenVPX slot profiles.

By using one of the latest PCI Express switches the board supports PCI Express Gen 1 and Gen 2 as well as providing a four-channel DMA engine for fast data-block moves. Multiple TR A40/30xRC SBCs can be used on the same backplane (providing multi-processing) as the board also supports an option to set up link 1 in the fabric as a non-transparent bridge. The VPX control plane interface on the TR A40/30xRC can be configured as 2 x 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet ports or 2 x 1000Mbps IEEE802.3z SERDES (1000 Base-BX) ports. System management is provided to monitor the system fan, board voltages and CPU temperature.

This capability is provided via SM0-1 and SM2-3 on the P0 connector, using a Baseboard Management Controller and 8kB of non-volatile memory. For ease of integration, the TR A40/30x VPX SBC and the TR A40/30xRC VPXREDI SBC support operating systems including Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, QNX and VxWorks. The OpenVPX standard defines the VPX Systems Specification, an architecture that manages and constrains module and backplane designs. The VPX Systems Specification includes the definition of pin outs and sets interoperability points within VPX, while maintaining full compliance with the existing VPX specification.
Cypress Announces IP Elements For PSoC 3

Cypress Semiconductor has announced the availability of over 30 intellectual property (IP) elements for its PSoC 3 programmable system-on-chip architectures. The embedded design resources include example projects, application notes and solution overviews, all of which enable engineers to quickly implement designs using the PSoC Creator integrated development environment (IDE).

The IP elements help engineers to quickly design with features of the PSoC 3 architecture such as the direct-memory access (DMA), analogue peripherals and communication interfaces. These elements also provide design examples for using PSoC 3 power management, LCD segment display, CapSense buttons and sliders.
Keithley Hosts Capacitance-Voltage Testing Webinar

Keithley Instruments will host a 45min online seminar entitled 'Semiconductor Capacitance-Voltage (C-V) Testing Fundamentals'. The seminar will be broadcast on 29 October at 15:00 CET, to enable engineers based in Europe to participate in the live event. The webcast is free to attend, but registration is required.

The seminar will introduce the topic of C-V measurements as they relate to semiconductor device and materials characterisation. It is recommended for engineers who are new to semiconductor materials and device testing and those that want to refresh their knowledge of the subject.

Austriamicrosystems has introduced the AS5245, a magnetic rotary encoder IC designed to address automotive requirements such as reliability, accuracy and safety. Based on Austriamicrosystems' stacked-die technology, the AS5245 provides best phase matching capabilities.

No additional temperature compensation, calibration or shielding against external magnetic stray fields is needed. The digital angle data of the AS5245 is provided as a simple serial interface or as a PWM signal.

In addition, an incremental quadrature output mode with an improved interpolation algorithm can be enabled and permanently programmed with a resolution of 10 or 12 bit. An internal voltage regulator allows the AS5245 to operate at 3.3 or 5V supply within a wide ambient temperature range of up to 150C. The AS5245 is available in a lead-free QFN 32 package.
Cadence Printed Circuit Board Has New Features

Cadence Design Systems has released its Cadence Allegro and OrCAD printed circuit board (PCB) software with a range of new features. The Allegro and OrCAD PCB Design Release 16.3 allows engineers to miniaturise the footprint of their end product and reduce the number of physical prototype iterations. This release addresses increased functional and interconnect density through improvements for rigid-flex routing, extended high-density interconnect (HDI) rules, 3D viewing of PCBs and asymmetrical clearance for RF circuits.

Extended micro via stacking rules allow users to create the most difficult HDI designs, while multi-line curved bus routing that hugs the flex outline accelerates the creation of rigid-flex designs. An integrated 3D PCB viewer gives designers visibility into components and HDI micro via breakouts, eliminating unnecessary iterations with mechanical design teams. The Allegro PCB RF Option also helps engineers to reduce the time taken to create accurate RF circuits through the use of asymmetrical clearances for one or more RF elements.

Also featured in the 16.3 release are a number of productivity and usability improvements to the OrCAD range of products. OrCAD Capture CIS offers autowire capability to quickly add connections, as well as 3D footprint viewing. OrCAD PCB Editor provides 3D viewing and flip-board design/editing and jumper support for single-sided PCB designs. OrCAD Signal Explorer has a revamped user interface, with drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste functionality, context-sensitive RMB functions and native IBIS model support. Usability improvements are another focus of the software, which offers a user interface and adds stack-up-aware capabilities to the pre-route analysis environment.

Buffer modelling standards are embraced through native IBIS and SPICE support, including Cadence Virtuoso Spectre Circuit Simulator models. Another improvement that boosts design cycle management is the ability to quickly scan a PCB with dozens of multi-gigabit signals and quickly determine where detailed analysis should be applied as signals are ranked according to their signal-to-noise ratio. Other key issues addressed are associated with part data management.

Integrated ECAD, MCAD part creation, generation and distribution reduce unnecessary physical prototype iterations. The part introduction capability extends management, notification of pre-release and temporary parts to shrink the design cycle. Engineers can implement part updates automatically based on approved, recommended replacements, ensuring quality of results through obsolete part tracking.
Quantum Releases Upgrade For Pulse Generator

Quantum Composers offers a firmware upgrade option for the legacy Stanford Research Systems DG535 pulse generator, allowing the user to use existing programming language as Command Set Compatibility. This will aid in transitioning programming software from the DG535 to the more fully featured and higher throughput QC9520.

The majority of these commands perform identically to the SRS equivalent instrument functions, and several capabilities actually extend the functionality and/or the limits of the SRS equivalent capabilities. The 9520 Series provides solutions to generate and synchronise multiple pulses and triggers for a variety of applications.

For automated test sequencing, all common computer interfaces, such as RS232, USB, GPIB and Ethernet, are available. The 9520 Series provides up to eight fully independent, digitally controlled channels with width, delay, and rate and amplitude control on each output.
NI Digital Video Analyser Tests Multimedia Devices

National Instruments has introduced NI Videomaster 3.0, a PXI-Express-based digital video analyser for validation and production testing of multimedia devices. Videomaster simplifies the testing of multimedia devices by using configurable measurement steps within NI TestStand test-management software to automate a full suite of video measurements.

By taking advantage of the efficient, configurable performance of Videomaster 3.0, multimedia test engineers can significantly reduce development costs and decrease overall test time. The PXI Express digital video analyser makes it possible for engineers to test multimedia devices with High-Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMIs). The solution supports the analysis of HDMI signals with Full HD resolution up to 1080p/60Hz, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) and deep colour with up to 12-bit colour depth.

The Videomaster digital video analyser solution also includes more than 160 automated video measurements to eliminate the need for manual testing of HDMI devices such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and video recorders. Using Videomaster 3.0, engineers can perform more than 100 video measurements in less than four seconds. This high-performance functionality helps engineers achieve higher test throughput without sacrificing test quality.

Videomaster 3.0 also features improved support for analogue video interfaces, including composite, S-video and component video. With support for the latest versions of NI Labview graphical system-development software and NI TestStand as well as improved run-time performance, Videomaster 3.0 delivers a fast and powerful test solution for automated video test. Videomaster solutions are available in a variety of hardware-software bundles to meet diverse test requirements.
PI Online Learning Centre Has Instructional Videos

Power Integrations has launched PI University, an online technical learning centre featuring practical instructional videos on power-supply circuit design. The PI University courses offered each week will demonstrate new approaches to designing, specifying and testing efficient power supplies.

PI University Season One covers a range of power-supply design topics, including bringing up a power supply for the first time; identifying and troubleshooting problems; complying with energy-efficiency standards; and measurement and testing techniques. A video will be released each week throughout January 2010.

Courses currently available include: Testing Compliance to Energy-Efficiency Standards; Fixing a Flyback Supply with No Output Voltage; and Techniques for Measuring Efficiency Power Integrations. Each IC includes a 700V power Mosfet combined with control and protection circuitry on a single chip.

Features include current limiting and thermal shutdown with automatic fault recovery capability to improve reliability, frequency jittering to reduce EMI and EcoSmart technology to reduce standby energy waste.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Comsol Announces Multiphysics 4.0 Beta Edition

Comsol has released the beta edition of Comsol Multiphysics 4.0, its multiphysics modelling and simulation environment. Version 4.0 delivers the Comsol Desktop, a new user interface that is designed to allow users to easily build and run simulations. 'With the new Comsol Desktop environment, we're making it easier for more engineers to apply multiphysics to more applications,' said Svante Littmarck, president and chief executive of Comsol.

'The Comsol Desktop streamlines the modelling process for a broad user base. 'This unified interface is built for cross-disciplinary applications and is quick to learn,' he added. The Comsol Desktop allows the user to organise the work flow and gives a clean overview of the modelling process. Users can set up the desktop's appearance using its docked window placement capabilities that include the main menu, model builder and a help desk, as well as settings, messages and graphics windows.

The model builder brings a dynamic model configuration approach to simulations. Users can right click to perform common tasks such as importing CAD, meshing, specifying material properties, solving and plotting results. If changes need to be made, the model builder provides access to any part of the model settings. Users can record and save the steps of the set-up to use sequentially as a model is automatically re-evaluated and refined. Dynamically updated context-dependent help enables easy browsing and extends the search functionality.

CAD interoperability remains a top priority to provide the best path for CAD users to connect to Comsol Multiphysics for their simulations. To this end, Comsol has released the Livelink for PTC Pro/Engineer. By establishing association between the two geometry representations, changing a feature in the CAD model automatically updates the Comsol geometry accordingly. This enables multiphysics simulation involving parametric sweeps and design optimisation directly from within Pro/Engineer.

Versions of Livelink for Solidworks and Autodesk Inventor are already available as optional add-ons to Comsol Multiphysics. Comsol Multiphysics version 4.0 expands the geometry functionality by its CAD import module, which is based on the Parasolid Editor geometry kernel from Siemens PLM Software.

Users are provided with CAD tools that support Parasolid-based geometry operations directly in the Comsol Desktop. All solid operations are associative and now allow for multi-parameter sweeps over any group of geometry dimensions. Geometry models created from scratch or modified CAD models can be saved to Parasolid format directly. Comsol Multiphysics version 4.0 supports parallel processing on standard multi-core computers as well as distributed memory systems (clusters).

This means that users can turn to the already available implementation of shared memory on clusters to solve a series of identical parameterised models, one per computational node, or solve a single large model using distributed memory. The Comsol cluster implementation can utilise shared memory multi-core processors on each computer or node in combination with the cluster distributed memory system. Version 4 supports Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows HPC Server 2008 and Linux. Users can expect accelerated development of new cluster support in future versions of Comsol Multiphysics.
Optitex Presents Textile Industry Webinars

Optitex will host a series of webinars for current users of CAD software and other parties interested in the fashion and textile industry. The webinars provide an opportunity for anyone interested in the latest CAD technology and the many ways it can streamline workflow. The webinars will provide information for those in the fashion and textile industry looking to increase profits during pre- and post-production phases.

Participants will be provided with knowledge to enhance speed, accuracy and fit when working with CAD software. Participants can review topics such as 3D design and fit, nesting, marking and animation, while acquiring tips to maximise the usage of their current software. Optitex specialists will lead the series of webinars from 28 October 2009 until 24 March 2010.
Dynamic Systems Releases Tracking Software

Dynamic Systems has announced the release of a low-cost WIP (work in process) software program based on bar code technology, called Checkmate WIP Lite. The release of WIP Lite is targeted at manufacturers who want to know who is assigned the job, where it currently is in the plant and how long it has been in that location.

The work order can be tracked to department, task or employee; multiple jobs may be assigned to the 'badge'; and time frames may be set for each task and reported when overdue. The tracking software is said to provide: a reduction of late jobs; the ability to identify bottlenecks; an improvement in productivity; and increased customer service.

Dynamic Systems provides bar code systems including a tool and equipment management system with a maintenance scheduler, inventory control, time and attendance and job costing.
Veolia Chooses Eaton's Arcon For Switchgear Safety

EMS has selected a design based on Eaton's Moeller Modan modular switchboard system for a critical application at the Selchp energy recovery plant owned by Veolia Environmental Services. Additionally, as Veolia Environmental Services is committed to ensuring high safety levels, it was decided that the switchboard should be fitted with an Arcon arc-fault protection system.

This system was developed by Eaton's Moeller business and is approved by VDS Schadenverhutung, an independent international accredited and notified authority for safety technology. Veolia Environmental Services' new switchboard, which replaces an existing board that could no longer meet current operational needs, supplies power for the aero condenser installation that underpins the operation of the cooling towers at the company's Selchp plant in south London.

The plant incinerates 400,000 tonnes of waste per annum and uses the heat produced to generate enough electricity to supply around 48,000 homes. If the cooling towers are out of action, then the plant cannot operate. 'In applications such as this, fully withdrawable switchgear is the best solution,' said Craig Walford, technical sales engineer at EMS. 'This means that if an assembly should fail it can be replaced by a spare in a matter of minutes.

'That made a Modan W board the ideal choice for the project, especially as the system could be fitted with the Arcon arc-fault protection system. 'For Veolia Environmental Services, this was a particularly important point,' he added. Arc faults are a major risk to the reliable supply of electrical energy. Even today, despite all the precautionary measures that are taken, they still occur in electrical distribution systems.

Arc faults occur more frequently than is usually realised and, because of the high energy available from the mains supply in a typical switchboard, their consequences are often devastating. In around 10ms - well before the breaker protecting the board has time to trip - temperatures around the fault can rise to about 13,000K and pressures to two atmospheres or more. These conditions create an extreme risk of fire and explosion, possibly leading to injury or even death for anyone in the vicinity.

They also result in severe damage to the equipment, which will almost always need to be replaced after the fault rather than repaired. Often, this means extended downtime while suitable replacements are sourced, together with the high costs associated with the purchase and fitting of replacement equipment. The Arcon system has been specifically developed to eliminate these problems. It will also minimise the risk of this mission-critical switchboard being out of service for an extended period if an arc fault should occur. Arcon has four major components: a photodetector, a current sensing system, a logic module and a quenching device.

The photodetector comprises a flexible fibre-optic cable that is routed through all the areas of the switchboard where an arc fault might occur. The cable can detect light over its entire length. Under normal conditions, a transmitter at one end of the cable continuously sends light pulses to a receiver at the other end, thereby constantly confirming that the system is operating correctly. If an arc fault occurs, however, the receiver sees the light from the arc instead of the normal pulses and instantly sends a signal to the logic module. The current sensing system is also connected to the logic module.

If the module receives an arc-fault signal from the photodetector at the same time as there is a rapid increase in current, it triggers the operation of the quenching device, which is connected as close as possible to the load side of the incoming circuit breaker. Once triggered, the quenching device short circuits all three phases in less than 2ms. This means that the fault-current energy is diverted away from the arc fault and is safely contained by the quenching module until the incoming circuit breaker trips. Extensive tests have shown that the risks of explosion and fire are eliminated.

This has been confirmed by operational experience in Germany, where more than 250 Arcon installations are currently in service. Arcon users are said to have found that after the system has quenched an arc fault, damage to the switchboard is minimal, allowing it to be returned to service as soon as the source of the arc fault has been eliminated. For the Modan board supplied by EMS to Veolia Environmental Services, the Arcon equipment was incorporated in its own compartment adjacent to the main 1,000A incoming air circuit breaker.

The board also included eight 45kW DOL withdrawable starters, and a six-stage 200kVAr automatic power factor correction system. The modular design of the Modan system allowed the board, which is just 600mm deep, to be split into two 1,200mm-wide sections for ease of transport and installation. Eaton's Moeller Modan switchboards are available in fixed and withdrawable versions to suit almost every power distribution requirement up to 6,300A. All types can be fitted with the Arcon arc-fault protection system during manufacture, and the system can, in some instances, be retrofitted to existing Modan boards. In all cases, Arcon systems can only be fitted by specially trained and approved suppliers.
TUV Hessen Offers Pre-Shipment Inspections

TUV Hessen is now offering its pre-shipment inspections independent from a quality control. The TUV inspectors control completeness and packing of the goods before despatch to make sure the articles arrive safely. The pre-shipment inspections can be adapted to meet the requirements of the destination country/customer.

TUV Hessen can perform quality or production control, keep an eye on timelines, confirm the conformity of goods with standards of the destination country, as well as manage the whole supplier side of the project management. The company has a large pool of qualified experts from different fields of expertise and access to an international network of branches with several offices on each continent.

The third-party function of TUV Hessen is said to signal reliability to prospective customers when this inspection is included in tenders and offers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gavazzi Sensors Measure Environmental Variables

Carlo Gavazzi has introduced a range of sensors to measure environmental variables including CO2 levels, humidity, temperature and airflow. The CGES sensors complement the company's existing offerings to provide complete solutions for energy management, HVAC and smart building applications. The devices can be used to control humidity level in wet climates, improving comfort and discouraging the growth of mildew.

Standards introduced by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers define a maximum CO2 level of 1000ppm; and the ASHRAE 62-1989 norm has been widely adopted in countries including Sweden, France and Japan as well as the USA. CGESCO2 sensors use non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) technology to provide measurement ranges 0-2000 or 0-5000ppm.

Using an auto-calibration procedure to compensate for drift caused by ageing, the sensors are designed to provide traceable high accuracy and long-term stability. Operation in a closed-loop airstream avoids pollution of the CO2 sensor. Humidity measurements are based on a thin-film polymer, which releases or absorbs water vapour according to the ambient humidity, varying its dielectric properties accordingly.

The instruments' electronics measure the resulting change in capacitance, with excellent reproducibility that delivers accuracy of +/-3 per cent from 10 to 90 per cent RH. High-quality HC101 are said to guarantee excellent long-term stability and resistance to chemical pollutants. The air velocity sensors utilise the principles of thin-film anemometry, in which a heated resistive mesh is maintained at a constant temperature above that of the medium.

Air flowing over the resistor cools it and the power required to maintain the offset is used to determine air speed. Carlo Gavazzi's cutting-edge thin film technology gives accuracy over working ranges up to 20m/s. The sensor is insensitive to dust and dirt, and has low angular dependence. Measuring range and response time are selectable by jumpers.

Temperature measurement is available using Pt100, Pt1000, PTC or NTC resistance elements, ensuring typical accuracy of +/-0.3C at 20C. The sensors are available in duct or wall mounting formats and a switching output offers an alternative to the standard 0-10V DC voltage or 2-40mA current analogue outputs. Environmental sensors can be combined in wall- or duct-mounted units.

The CGESHTPD duct-mounted model features HC101 humidity sensors, combined with passive Pt100/Pt1000 temperature measurement, while the CGESCO2TW provides CO2, temperature and humidity functions in a room transmitter on the wall. The CGES range has traceability through international standards such as NIST, PTB and BEV. The sensors carry CE marks and are RoHS-compliant.
Taegutec Introduces Turning Chip Breaker Insert

Taegutec has introduced the FC double-sided turning chip breaker insert that is said to be ideal for light to finishing turning applications. The FC chip breaker provides good chip control at low feed rates and small depths of cut making suitable for finish-machining operations. The FC chip breaker has a 3D serration on the cutting edge to reduce the cutting forces and extend tool life.

The specially designed chip breaker geometry will offer effective chip breaking in both turning and facing operations on carbon and alloy steel. The range is available in CNMG, WNMG, DNMG, TNMG and VNMG inserts with a capability of operating at feed rates from 0.05-0.4mm/rev at 0.2-2.5mm depth of cut. The FC chip breaker is suitable for carbon steel and alloy steel with good performance on mild steel, low-carbon steel and low-carbon alloy steel.

To further expand its turning line and in accordance with increasing market demands, Taegutec has expanded the PC chip-breaker range to incorporate additional grades for automotive applications. Providing a wider range of double-sided inserts for turning applications, the PC chip breaker design is suitable for light to medium turning applications and generates low cutting forces to increase tool life.

The PC chip breaker has the most suitable performance range for the machining of automotive components and when combined with the TT8115 and TT8125 grades, it delivers superior performance for machining on all kinds of steels including as mild steel, low-carbon steel, medium-carbon steel, high-carbon steel and bearing steel. The inserts have a positive geometry on the cutting edge that minimises cutting forces and improves tool life.

Suited to semi-finishing to medium-turning applications on forged steels, the enhanced PC range has been designed with a small and a large semi-spherical protrusion that enhances chip control not only at low feed rates and small depths of cut but also at high feed rates and large depths of cut. This 3D cutting-edge geometry combines sharpness and durability to meet all automotive turning needs.
Go LED Worklights Give 50,000 Hour Illumination

Go Distribution has introduced to Australia rugged portable LED worklights designed to provide 10 years or more of optimum clarity and reliability, or 50,000 hours of outstanding illumination. The cordless Hemipro High Power Worklights incorporate high-power LEDs in work lights originally designed for the professional automotive repair market, making them suitable for use in resources including industrial, construction, energy, engineering, water, waste water and safety tasks.

Using two or three high-power LEDS, the Hemipro two- and three-LED work lights provide powerful beams that, respectively, equal or exceed the light area intensity of a 60 or 75W beam, according to the company. The lights have a hemispherical lens design that refracts the LEDs into a clean, bright and wide beam.

The lens design captures and transfers the LED light into a 70deg beam, while eliminating hot spots, dull areas or halo rings. Designed to provide high performance for 10 years or more of normal use, Hemipro incorporates a strong NiMH 2500mA/hour battery with a life expectancy of three years under normal use.

The two-LED Hemipro can be used up to five hours between charges. The three-LED version can be used for three hours between charges. Both feature non-slip grip and shockproof housing. Further enhancing service life, the Hemipro's battery, lens shield and 360deg swivel hook can be replaced.

Hemipro complements a range of HVAC products available from Go Distribution, including Super Seal sealants that help remove the need for expensive fault-chasing and repairs to commercial, industrial and automotive air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Schroff Dehumidifier Protects From Condensation

Schroff has launched a dehumidifier system that is designed to remove moisture from the air within an enclosure to protect electronic and electrical components from condensation. Manufactured by Hoffman, the H2OMIT system consists of a compact thermoelectric dehumidifier and a corrosion-resistant vent drain.

The dehumidifier unit features a high-impact ABS shell measuring 152 x 140 x 146mm and can be installed in the bottom of the enclosure or mounted on a DIN rail with a plastic hose connecting it to the vent drain.

The vent drain, which is available in stainless-steel and polyester versions, allows the accumulated water to escape and also functions as an air-pressure equaliser, reducing the likelihood of temperature-induced vacuums that could draw moisture into the enclosure.

Suitable for indoor and outdoor applications, the H2OMIT system helps to prevent corrosion-related problems such as overheating, arcing, sparking and short circuits. It is capable of removing approximately 230ml of moisture in 24 hours.
ESAB Explains How To Improve Welding Productivity

At Schweissen und Schneiden 2009 in Essen, Germany, ESAB provided an exhibition newsletter entitled 'Let's Talk Productivity' that explains the link between quality and productivity. The newsletter, which was available free to those who visited the ESAB stand, explained how real productivity gains in welding and cutting must come from more than just cost-cutting exercises. The company said fabricators need to recognise that quality is the key to real productivity gains, reducing the overall cost of fabrication and boosting output potential.

Nazmi Adams, global marketing director at ESAB, wrote: 'Low-quality products can be a false economy, resulting in further expenditure elsewhere that makes the initial savings pale into insignificance. 'These hidden costs can take the form of higher failure rates - made worse by products that are tricky to use and which may not have been designed for the job.' ESAB's exhibition newsletter also provided briefings on how ESAB product solutions can provide potential for increased productivity.

At Schweissen und Schneiden 2009, ESAB showcased the Suprarex SXG, a combined oxyfuel/plasma cutting system that can be equipped with the Bevel Excavator and Quatrojet heads and VBA Wrist. This is said to allow the cutting of extreme bevels in mild steel to be done at a lower cost. In addition, the Autorex, a low-cost, fully encapsulated automotive plasma-cutting centre was on show at the event. The latest generation of ESAB Columbus.Net programming software enables fabricators to cut costs by allowing for the easy, efficient creation of even the most complex cutting programs.

Data Leap, also on show, offers production data management that is said to boost productivity by optimising in real time. ESAB also demonstrated how its Marathon Pac bulk-wire system can reduce downtime by offering an efficient storage, handling, installation and waste-disposal solution. At the event, ESAB presented the Telbo, its latest telescopic boom for use with the submerged arc-welding process.

With a three-section telescopic extension and retraction of the boom, the Telbo has a reach of up to 12m with a beam-end load capability of up to 500kg, providing maximum submerged-arc flexibility and productivity potential from a relatively compact workspace. Friction-stir welding of flat aluminium plate has become a viable and well-developed industrial process, and ESAB has introduced an industrial robot to the process with the Rosio - a friction-stir welding solution capable of welding complex 3D workspaces, opening the process up to a wider range of applications.
Power Jacks Actuators Enable A-Frame Manipulators

Power Jacks supply Omega Foundry Machinery with actuators that provide the clamping action to enable A-frame electric manipulator to function. The manipulators are designed, built and supplied as mechanical handling devices for flask and flaskless moulds within foundry production lines worldwide.

The manipulator device lifts, lowers, rotates, pivots, positions and closes different types of sand moulds up to 1500kg. The moulds come in a range of sizes and the actuator can securely hold clamped any of the sizes for which the manipulator is dedicated. Clamping pad options on a mould manipulator provide secure clamping and accommodate simple pick and place operations and/or additional box pivot functionality.

The single phase actuator with parallel mounted motor configuration and integral limit switches occupies a small space envelope. Its 7kN load capacity delivers ample performance in various stroke lengths sufficient to accommodate a range of mould sizes.

Lumasmart Temperature Monitor Is Smart-Grid Ready

Lumasense Technologies has announced the release of the Luxtron Lumasmart winding hot-spot temperature monitor. Transformer winding hot-spot temperature is a critical parameter required to manage the loading, life and reliability of transformers. Common devices, such as winding temperature indicators (WTIs) or electronic temperature monitor's (ETMs), try to simulate or calculate this temperature.

The only true measurement of this parameter is attained using fibre-optic sensors fitted directly into the transformer's windings. The Lumasmart builds on the ruggedness, reliability and stability of its predecessors, such as the WTS-22 and Thermasset2. The Lumasmart is a smart-grid ready winding temperature hot-spot monitor.

For the operator, the touch-screen display on the Lumasmart offers easy-to-use trending tools, graphics and alarm configurability to customise the Lumasmart product to exactly fit their needs.

In addition, enlarged on-board data storage allows 1GB of historical data for analysis by the user. The Lumasmart allows a range of connectivity options, including RS232, RS485, TCP/IP and USB along with numerous protocols, to simplify integration with any Scada or DCS package in substations.

The Lumasmart is expandable to configurations allowing up to 16 measurement points and 16 programmable relays. 'Using Luxtron's Fluoroptic Technology, Lumasmart offers a flexible platform to perform direct, real-time winding hot-spot measurements,' said Brett Sargent, global vice-president of sales for Lumasense Technologies.

'The winding hot spot directly relates to transformer life, loading capacity of a transformer and predictive maintenance practices for the transformer. 'Beyond offering improved accuracy, the Lumasmart's communication and configuration features allow users to integrate this critical information into their automated data and control systems,' he added.
Solidprofessor Announces Update Training Course

Solidprofessor has unveiled its 2010 series of on-demand Solidworks content, beginning with Update Training 2010. This course is designed to help users get the most out of their Solidworks upgrade by providing an in-depth review of each enhancement and how to best use it. Lessons cover all of the fundamental changes to sketching, parts, features, assemblies, detailing, drawings, sheet metal and weldments, as well as new shortcut techniques such as mouse gestures and rapid dimensioning.

The latest release includes lessons for Solidworks Premium add-ins such as routing and simulation, as well as new and improved tools such as Sustainabilityxpress and Simulationxpress. Update Training can be purchased as a standalone course or as part of a subscription to Solidprofessor Standard, Professional or Premium. For more details on the options available to subscription customers can visit the Solidprofessor website.
Cooling System Could Save Energy Costs

A cooling system launched by data centre design-and-build company TKR Data Centres, could save a UK-based enterprise around GBP370,000 a year in energy costs. The company commissioned TKR to design and construct a proof of concept for the cooling system, named Cryocentrix, within a test area of its data centre.

The results were successful and the system is now being made available industry wide. 'Extensive testing and verification of performance took place over several months as adjustments and refinements were made to enhance the performance of the systems and controls,' said a spokesperson from TKR.

'A PUE of between 1.1 and 1.52 was achieved in a variety of conditions. 'If these methods were applied to the whole of the data centre, savings in the region of GBP370,000 per year in energy costs could be anticipated,' added the spokesperson. This level of efficiency is achieved by reducing the power consumed by all elements apart from the IT load, with the greatest savings made using an adaptable modular architecture that allows the network critical physical infrastructure to grow in proportion to the load.

Other key elements of the system include intelligent close control, minimising fabric losses and effective containment. TKR Data Centres will be showcasing the Cryocentrix system at Data Centre Dynamics on the 10 and 11 November.
Terminal Block Features Internal Jumper System

Wago Corporation's 805 Series side-entry PCBs are designed to simplify wiring via push-in and push-button-actuated terminations. Available in standard 2-pole to 24-pole configurations, the 805 Series PCB blocks feature 3.5mm pin spacing for conductors AWG 24-16 and are UL/CUL certified at 300V/10A.

The 805 Series also offers an internal factory-installed jumper system for commoning, conserving conductor capacity in high-density applications. The 805 Series PCB blocks reduce wiring times via push-in terminations for solid conductors or stranded conductors with ferrules.

Terminating stranded conductors is also simple: depress the on-unit pushbutton with a screwdriver to open the clamping unit, insert conductor and release. Conductor entries are 0deg (parallel to PCB), and an optional test port provides hands-free troubleshooting with direct contact to current bar for accurate readings. Ultra-compact spring pressure connection technology ensures terminations are vibration proof, temperature cycling resistant and maintenance free.

Suitable for a wide range of PCB applications including LED drivers, ballasts and building automation/control systems, all 805 Series PCBs feature staggered one solder pin/pole alignment for greater on-board stability and a maximised voltage rating. A THR version accommodates pin-in-paste/reflow processing.
Exhibition Includes Hinges, Handles And Gaskets

Custom-made hardware components, including hinges, handles and gaskets, will feature at the Fastening and Assembly Solutions Exhibition on 29 October at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham. The fast-paced development and continued introduction of new hardware continues to meet the needs of manufacturers and installers of cabinets, enclosures, equipment housing, road and rail vehicles, guarding, street furniture, packaging machinery, storage equipment, process and production lines, HVAC, display equipment, and so on.

Exhibitors include FA Parkes with its ranges of locks, handles, hinges, gas springs, gasketing, accessories and rod sets. The products are supported by a customising and kitting service. Dirak will highlight some of its Snap-Line products that allow for assembly without tools.

Snap-Line elements such as hinges, handles, locks and latches can snap-in to a housing panel or door to provide a secure and vibration-proof installation. Hall-Fast will be exhibiting a wide range of hardware including tube inserts, knobs, handles and handwheels, as well as adjustable feet and bearing slides.
Evologics Exhibits Subsea Modem Technology

At Inwatertec 2009, Evologics will exhibit its developments in underwater acoustic communication and positioning with an emphasis on security features of the S2C acoustic modem and USBL antenna. Evologics is addressing the wireless underwater communication challenges confronting naval defence.

The company has developed an acoustic modem (R-Series of S2C modem, available in various models to meet different needs) that opens up potential applications for improved subsea monitoring, subsea production systems, operation of robots, AUVs (and ROVs) and for wireless acoustic networks. The modem is claimed to provide excellent reliability in ocean and offshore applications.

Permabond Offers Alternative To Welding

Permabond is offering a range of high-performance adhesives for use in place of welding. Permabond has reported that laboratory testing and customer feedback show positive results for its latest adhesive.

The adhesive has the ability to withstand high temperatures (such as those experienced during the powder coating process) and the seamless aesthetic appearance of welding after parts have been powder coated. Please click on the 'receive a brochure' link at the right-hand side of the page to obtain further information about replacing welding with adhesive.
Wittenstein Gearhead Suits Space-Restricted Apps

Wittenstein has developed the V-Drive+ Servo Worm Gearhead that meets requirements for resource-efficient servo applications and is predestined for applications where space is restricted. Circumferential backlash has been reduced to a defined minimum by optimising the special concave-profile teeth. The concave teeth also assure consistently high positional accuracy, giving up to 50 per cent more torque.

The V-Drive economy series with a circumferential backlash more than 8arc/min is available as an economical alternative to the V-Drive+. This gearhead family is based on the concave-profile tooth principle, which unites high torques with efficiency unrivalled by other worm gearheads, the company said. The V-Drive Economy range is suited to applications requiring less precision.
ETES Presents Scottish Manufacturing Event

European Trade and Exhibition Services (ETES) has announced Manufacturing Technology Scotland, an event demonstrating the latest in manufacturing, assembly and industrial sub-contracting. Located at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow, the show will provide a showcase for a wide range of industrial and manufacturing expertise.

On 11 and 12 November, around 150 of Scotland's leading manufacturing enterprises will be exhibiting a broad range of products, technologies and services geared to the needs of the Scottish manufacturing industry. Around 10 per cent of the UK's aviation industry is based in Scotland, and the region is home to a large number of high-tech manufacturers and sub-contractors dealing with defence, oil and gas and pharma-bio.

Electronics assembly accounts for nearly half of Scotland's manufacturing output, with nearly a third of the EU's computers and notebooks made there every year. Alongside major machinery and tool suppliers such as Haas Automation, Sanfan and Jemma Tools Group, will be sub-contractors and fabricators, suppliers of electronics sub-assembly and components, rapid prototyping services and many more. Technology Trails guide the visitor to the companies active within their particular interest.

The show's website provides a full database of exhibitors listed by activity to allow visitors to plan ahead. There is also a dedicated group for the show on the business networking site Linked-In, which allows visitors to meet and interact with exhibitors before the show opens. Visitors will also be able to see a full two-day programme of free technical seminars covering a wide range of topics.

Highlights include how to identify, protect and make money from IP, how lean manufacturing can help an organisation to survive and prosper, the future of Six Sigma, new materials and processes, and how to access the aerospace, defence and marine sectors. All the sessions are hosted by acknowledged experts and are designed to provide practical guidance for businesses. Manufacturing Technology Scotland opens on November 11 from 09:00 until 17:00, and on 12 November from 09:00 until 16:30. Entry to the exhibition and the seminars is free.