Tuesday, December 29, 2009


TRAAKiT has introduced a custom programmed tracking device to safeguard equipment and machinery from theft. With no need to drill holes or modify what is being guarded in any way, the TRAAKiT monitor can be hidden in any convenient spot such as in a compartment, or under a seat.

The equipment is guarded by setting an invisible boundary and the TRAAKiT user is immediately sent an SMS text message to his mobile phone and by email when the equipment being guarded leaves the designated area. The TRAAKiT user can then see where the equipment is by accessing an online interactive mapping system.

The user can then coordinate the capture of the thieves and the recovery of equipment with the Police. The invisible boundary can be set and deactivated automatically at times to suit the TRAAKiT user. Equipment can therefore be locked down and guarded when it is not supposed to be used. For equipment hirers, the TRAAKiT system will also provide them reports when the equipment is in use.
Emergency Blanket From Tool Connection

The Tool Connection introduces its Emergency Blanket, designed to maintain the body's natural heat and reduce the risk of hyperthermia. Suitable for use after accidents, as an emergency during out of doors activities, for marathon runners to maintain body heat after events, camping, climbing, walking or at music festivals.

A non-bulky pack allows the blanket to be carried easily or kept in a glove compartment for emergency use. Supplied in Counter Display for attracting customers attention (Part No 55973). Typical retail price is around GBP1.99 each (Individual Part Number 55974).
Thermo-Floor Offers Underfloor Heating And Cooling

Thermo-Floor has completed an installation for Vinci Construction that provides heating or cooling at Luton Sixth Form College. Neil Evans, general manager of Thermo-Floor, said: "Aside from energy efficiency gains, underfloor heating and cooling systems provide a healthier environment because of a more even and regulated temperature.

For a college or school this is paramount as the working environment has a massive impact on the effective learning time". "Traditional central heating systems are simply not as effective as the next generation underfloor heating and cooling systems in this type of environment".


Kingspan Solar, part of Kingspan Renewables, will be exhibiting its solar thermal technology at Ecobuild 2010. Enhancements to its Thermomax vacuum tube collectors will be on display, which are now easier to install and deliver further efficiency. Kingspan Solar will also be exhibiting its Marvel flat plate panels, complete solar package solutions, Aeromax Air Source Heat Pumps and Renewables input cylinders. Kingspan Solar Thermomax vacuum tubes deliver transfer of solar energy into heat and provide up to 70 per cent of hot water requirements throughout the year.

Thermomax tubes are both fast and simple to install due to their plug and play design and are suitable for flexible building integration, allowing for installations on sloping roofs, flat roofs or facades. Kingspan Solar Marvel flat plate panels deliver a cost effective solution both in domestic and commercial applications and provide effective levels of efficiency and performance. They are robust, hard-wearing and flexible in installation.

Complete solar packages from Kingspan Solar are available either with Thermomax vacuum tube collectors or Marvel flat plate panels and are custom designed to suit each specific application, including all components required for the complete installation. The packages can also be enhanced with the inclusion of Range Tribune HE Solar cylinders, which have been designed specifically for solar applications. Aeromax air source heat pumps are also designed for use in Northern European climates.

They can supply up to 100 per cent of Space Heating and Domestic Hot Water to UK homes all year round, help reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions to zero. Aeromax heat pumps deliver totally renewable and sustainable energy by extracting and utilising heat from outside air to heat the home and provide Domestic Hot Water. The Ultimate Air Source Heat Pump Package will be on display at Ecobuild 2010 and features the Aeromax product, along with Range Tribune HE Renewable Energy unvented cylinders.
Autodesk Expands Online Sustainable Design Guide

Autodesk has launched updates for the Autodesk guide to sustainable design for architecture, engineering and construction. Enhancements include interactive graphical interface and resources for green building renovators. The free online guide helps industry professionals make better informed decisions to achieve building performance goals. The updated site now extends through the entire building lifecycle with new features and tools targeting green building retrofit and renovation projects, and an expanded focus on relevant issues of interest to building owners and energy service companies.

The new graphical user interface presents the user with two options; New Construction or Renovation. The guide offers detailed virtual walk-throughs for all phases of a new design or renovation project, allowing visitors to view key decision points at each stage of a building's lifecycle: energy efficiency, water efficiency and carbon emissions. Users can learn how to effectively use building information modelling (BIM) process supported by tools for green analysis, visualisation and simulation.

Other key enhancements include a decision Grid tool to evaluate at each step of the process, and to understand how Autodesk tools can be used to achieve green retrofit goals; tools to show how to quickly generate a 3D Autodesk Revit Architecture digital information model from 2D photos of an existing building; white papers, podcasts and videos to demonstrate how to quickly and accurately achieve energy efficiency and environmental goals for a green retrofit project.


Dimplex unveils the DTR70, the latest addition to the Daytona range of towel rails, incorporating Drytech technology to offer rapid warm-up. The patented Drytech construction allows the heat to be uniformly distributed over the whole of the towel rail's surface, eliminating heat stratification and cold spots.

The DTR70 has an output of 70W, but Dimplex says this economical rating feels like more as the Drytech technology gives more heat, more quickly, and from a lower output than wet-filled competitors. The DTR70 is available in a choice of chrome or cool white finishes. The DTR70 is compatible with Dimplex radio frequency controllers and towel rail energy regulators for maximum efficiency.

As the design weighs 2.4 kg, installation is straightforward anywhere with a power supply. There is no risk of leakage or rusting as the range is liquid-free. The towel rail is IPX4 rated as splashproof for bathroom use and features a thermal cutout. The DTR70 offers independent operation from the main heating system for warm and dry towels year round, 100 per cent efficiency at point of use and flexible installation that's not limited by plumbing availability.


REHAU was a key partner in the opening of the first affordable, low energy, low carbon house designed for the mass market. The house has been built at South Lanarkshire College and was officially opened by John Swinney, cabinet secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish parliament. Scottish Ministers hope that the house's micro-renewable and energy saving features will be used as a prototype for housing developers.

REHAU has supplied a complete range of sustainable products for the project including its Raugeo ground source energy probes, Awadukt Thermo ground air heat exchanger, underfloor heating, Everloc leak-free plumbing pipework system, Raurain rainwater harvesting system, Raupiano sound insulated waste pipe and energy efficient PVC-U windows and doors.

Martin Hitchin, chief executive of REHAU, commented: "The new house is one of the first buildings in Scotland to have achieved an A rated energy certificate yet it is at an affordable price which enables it to be rolled out by both private and social housing providers to meet the predicted demand.

"REHAU is one of the UK's leading providers of sustainable polymer products for the construction sector and in this application we have been able to demonstrate perfectly how our products can be used to meet both current and future building standards and requirements".


BFi OPTiLAS has extended its Avigilon lossless mega pixel camera range with a high resolution mega pixel aspherical IR corrected lens. The compact mega pixel rated lens boasts a resolution of more than three mega pixel as well as low distortion, flat optics for sharp focus across the whole image and great contrast.

The lens is suitable for any 1/4inch and 1/2inch mega pixel camera with auto iris control. Its low light capabilities and IR correction mean it is a versatile lens suitable for all security applications.

Focal lengths are available in 4.5-10mm and 10-40mm, each with nine piece multi-coated glass optics and compact design for bodied cameras and most dome housings. BFI OPTiLAS maintains high standards in product selection and this lens is sure to impress all with its aluminium body, anodized finish and stainless steel camera mount.
Osmo Showcases Its Eco-Flooring Ranges At Ecobuild

Osmo UK will appear at Ecobuild 2010 exhibiting its high quality, environmentally friendly flooring and floorcare products. Osmo will also be introducing products from Taylor Adhesives, which Osmo is exclusively distributing in the UK. Among Osmo's eco-friendly products appearing at the exhibition will Polyx Oil which strengthens treated wood from within creating a hardwearing surface which is water repellent, stain resistant and does not crack, flake, peel or blister.

Available in a matt, clear and satin-matt finishes, Polyx Oil offers a high coverage, with a 2.5 litre tin covering approximately 30m with two coats. Other products from Osmo on show will include Color Foundation, UV Protection Oil and Woodfiller. Osmo has been appointed as the exclusive distributor of Taylor Adhesives, and one of the products on show will be the Taylor MS Plus which offers spreadability, sound reduction, is low in VOC emissions and has a concrete moisture inhibitor. Osmo's wood for interior and exterior is environmentally friendly. For more than 50 years wood finishes from Osmo have been based on natural raw materials, which are purified and refined elaborately.

The dried finishes fulfil the requirements of DIN EN 71.3 which is suitable for children's toys and DIN 53160, and are therefore harmless to humans, animals and plants. For its finishes Osmo uses natural vegetable oils and hard waxes which are extracted in an eco-friendly way. The inorganic pigments of Osmo colours consist of natural ores, which are purified before use, so that they can be used as harmless mineral pigments. Osmo can be found at Stand TW06 at Ecobuild 2010.
Gerflor Provides Sports Flooring System

The National Sports Centre in Milton Keynes has upgraded the playing surface with a Gerflor Taraflex Sport floor adhered to an Isolsport isolating membrane. The Isolsport sits free, floating on the existing wooden sprung floor and the Taraflex is installed on top. This offers the high standard of floor required for the elite players whilst lowering the risk of sporting injuries.

Taraflex Sport M Plus has a triple action Protecsol surface treatment for an optimum grip/slide compromise and is friction burn-free. It also benefits from dual density foam with a stabilising layer to ensure effective foot hold and user comfort.
Armour Home Launches Hotel Chairs For All Weather

Armour Hotel has introduced a range of stackable weave chairs for all weather conditions, suitable for the hotel, pubs and restaurants market. Featuring galvanised steel frames and all weather wicker finish, these chairs are designed for commercial use/ They are robust enough to cope with the demands of a busy environment.

Available in a range of styles, including diners and carvers, these generously proportioned chairs offer quality, style and affordability. They are fully water proof and do not require cushions. The chairs are fully stackable, so they can be easily transferred to wherever they are needed.


Saint-Gobain and The University of Nottingham have teamed up to create an energy efficient, zero carbon solar powered home. The Nottingham HOUSE (Home Optimising the Use of Solar Energy), has been made entirely from materials supplied by Saint-Gobain's UK companies, and designed and built by a team of students from The University of Nottingham's Department of the Built Environment (DBE).

It was part the students' entry into the first International Solar Decathlon Europe competition to design, build and operate Europe's most attractive, effective and energy efficient zero carbon solar powered house. The finished house will appear at Ecobuild before the final, which takes place in Madrid in June 2010. The Nottingham Solar Decathlon entry will show how low energy architecture can lend itself to the mass market with an L-shaped, modular design which is versatile so can be worked into terraces, rows or stacked as apartments.

Products from companies including Saint-Gobain Isover, British Gypsum, Weber, Saint-Gobain Glass, Solaglas, International Timber and Greenworks will be incorporated in the house, providing total solutions to optimise energy efficiency. Ecobuild takes place on 2-4 March 2010, Earl's Court, London.


Vent-Axia has expanded its range of residential mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems. Vent-Axia has added to its established Sentinel Kinetic range with the launch of the high efficiency Sentinel Kinetic Plus. The Sentinel Kinetic Plus is designed for larger newbuild properties and light commercial applications and supplies a maximum airflow of 400m3/hr at 150Pa. The Sentinel Kinetic Plus is a SAP Appendix Q eligible ventilation solution capable of up to 92 per cent heat recovery.

It helps to reduce the DER of new build properties and deliver points in the Code for Sustainable Homes. This MVHR system combines supply and extract ventilation in one unit. The unit's energy saving Vent-Axia Lo-Watt DC motors further improve its efficiency and carbon reducing capabilities. The Sentinel Kinetic Plus boasts an Specific Fan Power (SFP) as low as 0.49w/l/s. The Sentinel Kinetic Plus is lightweight with low noise levels and is suitable for cupboard or loft installation.

The exact ventilation rate can be set on the LCD display at normal and boost speeds, supply and extract, to match the volume of the property, while a delay on timer prevents unnecessary boosting and a delay off timer ensures effective moisture removal. The Sentinel Kinetic Plus' operation is further enhanced by a range of internal and external, plug and play control and sensor options which can account for changes in humidity, air quality, PIR (Passive Infra Red), CO2 and temperature, and a BMS input and output.

The Sentinel Kinetic Plus' operating temperature settings can be pre-programmed for automatic operation of the summer bypass, providing free summer cooling. Sentinel Kinetic Plus is part of the Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon collection of energy saving ventilation solutions. The aim of the Lo-Carbon initiative is to offer the latest low carbon ventilation technology in order to reduce building energy consumption and so carbon emissions.


Bosch Security Systems launches its LED flat panel high resolution monitors for use with analog video, digital video recorder (DVR) and PC applications. The new range is being introduced alongside a similar range of normal LCD flat panel monitors and will replace the company's current CRT monitor range in the CCTV market. The monitors are available in 8.4 inch and 10.4 inch versions and feature colour LED backlight panels.

They offer a maximum brightness of between 400 and 450 cd/m2, high colour accuracy and consistency for easy viewing and interpretation of images, and a maximum contrast ratio between 600:1 and 700:1. The panels refresh every 10 to 20 milliseconds, providing crisp, clear images with minimal smearing and image ghosting in fast motion video. They also feature a wide range of horizontal and vertical viewing angles that provide comfortable, clear viewing. LED backlight panels help to avoid luminance degradation, enabling the monitors to maintain their brightness level over time.

The consistent brightness contributes to the sharp display image, with longer lamp life than normal LCD monitor backlights, which means they can be used for longer without eyestrain or excessive fatigue. LED monitors weigh less, are thinner and use 15 to 50 per cent less power than an LCD monitor of comparable size. The monitors accommodate a wide range of signal sources with two composite BNC inputs and loop through outputs, Y/C (S-video) and loop through video and audio inputs, and an analog VGA input for DVR or PC applications.
Philips Lighting Supplies LED Lights For Offices

Philips Lighting has supplied solid state Savio remote phosphor LED light fittings and Light Master Modular lighting controls for the Tower 42 offices. Tower 42 has completed a major investment and refurbishment of its Level 12 office space. This is believed to be the first office space in the UK to use all solid state lighting, achieving a significant energy saving of around 40 per cent compared to a conventional T5 fluorescent installation.

Tower 42 has introduced energy performance features and reduced its carbon footprint through this extensive investment. 600x600mm Savio fittings, originally developed for use with fluorescent light sources, were adapted and optimised for use with 3 x 18W Fortimo LED light sources to create an edge-to-edge lighting appearance with a uniform and comfortable surface of light.

Savio luminaires feature a patented micro-lens optic to ensure optimum light distribution and full glare control, compliant with the highest standards for office lighting. The Fortimo light source uses a combination of high efficiency blue LEDs with a separate phosphor plate to generate a bright white light with an efficiency of 62 lm/W. The Savio fittings are complemented by 1 x 18W Luxspace mini LED downlights in circulation areas. The compact Luxspace fittings deliver a light output equivalent to 2 x 18W compact fluorescent lamps with a 50 per cent energy saving.

All of the lighting is controlled through a Philips Light Master Modular (LMM) lighting management system using DALI (digital addressable lighting interface) protocol so that all luminaires are individually addressable. Multi-sensors are used in the spaces to provide both dimming in relation to daylight levels and occupancy detection with corridor linking. Occupants will also have the ability to control their own lighting using infra-red remote control units.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Newport Corporation has introduced the compact, ultra-quiet (30dB(A) at 1ft) ACWS air compressor. The company said that the ACWS is clean, portable and more convenient than bottled air supplies. The fast-filling, economical ACWS can supply air to any Newport Isostation workstation or Smarttable-OTS system.

The supply tank is large enough to supply air for up to three workstations, making the ACWS an economical choice for new labs or for upgrading existing nitrogen-bottle configurations. The ultra-quiet compressor operates intermittently, based on air usage and is monitored by a sensor that maintains the reserve tank's preset minimum pressure.

All required hardware, such as the safety valve, gauges, outlet port, fittings and drain, comes as standard. The ACWS package also includes a high-grade five-micron air filter/regulator to complete the system. For higher-capacity needs, Newport offers the ACGP, which offers the same ultra-quiet performance for larger isolator systems such as the high-performance S-2000 stabiliser range of isolators.
PCB Introduces High-Temperature Accelerometer

PCB Piezotronics has announced the Model 357C90 high-temperature, hermetically sealed accelerometer for engine turbine testing during flight test or in ground-based test cells. Other applications include environmental chamber testing or exhaust system vibration measurements on rocket or automotive engines up to 1,200F (649C). The charge output unit features a high-temperature Inconel construction, sensitivity of 5pC/g, measuring range to 1,000G peak, frequency response of 2.5kHz, and resonant frequency of more than 14kHz.

The unit is supplied with an integral 10ft (3m) high-temperature connecting cable and can be mounted via a through-hole 1/4-28 thread bolt. Additional products are available from PCB to complete the measurement system, such as Airborne amplifier Model 422M201 or in-line charge amplifier Series 422E30, as well as a supporting range of Series 482 ICP power supplies.

Model 357C90 is backed by the Lifetime Warranty Plus provided on all stock and standard products sold by PCB. Under PCB's Lifetime Warranty Plus, if any stock or standard PCB product ever fails, PCB will repair, replace or exchange the product at no charge.
Sherborne Unveils Ultra-Low Range Load Cells

Sherborne Sensors has announced the North American launch of the SS2/SS3 series of ultra-low range precision load cells, designed for applications where extremely low force measurements are required. The SS2/SS3 series offers full range measurement capabilities to 60g, with a 12mV/V full-scale output and virtually infinite resolution, enabling low forces to be resolved down to just a fraction of 1g. Bonded semiconductor strain gauge technology confers high sensitivity and eliminates the fragility associated with non-bonded strain gauge types.

The robust design of the SS2/SS3 series features immunity to the effects of eccentric loading, side loading and bending moments, with precision measurement capabilities in either tension or compression mode. Low deflection and high-frequency response characteristics of the SS2/SS3 series are suitable for measuring both peak and transient forces over an operating temperature range of -20 to +90C.


Simerics has announced the release of Pumplinx v2.5 CFD simulation software. Pumplinx can be used to improve efficiency, minimise cavitation, control pressure ripple and reduce noise. Created for designers of pumps, motors, compressors, propellers and other fluid devices with rotating or sliding components, Pumplinx is based on Simerics' general-purpose CFD simulation software.

It enables the engineer to create a virtual test article and generate flow visualisation and engineering output as accurate as a full-scale hardware test at a fraction of the time and cost. The code is continually being developed to add capability for modelling a wide range of equipment. More than 10 pump templates are now available. Pumplinx is now parallel, which means it is up to three times faster than its current speed.

The version includes a new rolling vane and radial piston template, a Linux version and improvements in the cavitation and heat modules. Pumplinx v2.5 features include: parallel version (up to 3x speed up on quad core); new equilibrium gas model in the cavitation module; support for volumes blanking and volumetric sources for all modules; heat module improvements; automatic CG wall assignment in heat based on blanking information; and improvements to the 1D spool valve model.
Sigma Updates Sinetz Analysis Software

Sigma has announced Sinetz 3.4, the latest release of the pressure drop and temperature loss analysis software. This Sinetz release allows data in ROHR2 neutral interface format (ntr) to be imported. Read data from 3D CAD systems such as PDMS, HICADnext can also be imported into Sinetz directly. Calculation speed at systems with valves and/or blocked parts has been improved. The release also offers extended calculation of zeta values at branches, which is now available for sloping branches.

Other features include: load-case-depending input of ambient conditions; heating of the medium through insulation is now considered; input and calculation of sprinklers at node ends; revised list functions with more editing capabilities directly form the list; and the input of an alternative company logo or text field to simplify work on commission orders.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The Touch Control from Metrohm, in conjunction with the 890 KF Titrino, is a Karl Fischer (moisture analyser) for water determinations. The Touch Control is said to be ergonomic and modern, with no need for a computer. It can be held by hand, placed on a laboratory bench or attached to a stand or the wall in order to save space and protect it from chemicals.

The colour display informs the user about the instrument status and offers comfortable and intuitive user guidance. Keys can be locked out, so much of the analysis can be completed with one button press. The Touch Control is equipped with two PCMCIA interfaces that accept commercially available storage media, such as Compact Flash cards. This ensures that there is sufficient memory space available for methods, data and system backups. Access control is possible with the personal keycard.


The Chick One-Lok CNC vice system has been added to 1st Machine Tool Accessories' (1st MTA's) portfolio of high-productivity machining equipment. Developed to meet the speed, precision and flexibility demanded by modern CNC machining operations, One-Lok is said to eliminate the shortcomings of standard knee-type milling machine vices. With a maximum grip of up to 17in (432mm), One-Lok incorporates Chick's Boltfast interchangeable jaw system, which enables soft or hard jaws to be replaced with a single turn of a locking screw, to provide locational repeatability of 0.0008in (0.02mm).

Machining accuracy is further enhanced by the unit's 'squeeze' clamping configuration, which applies an equal and opposite internal force to the fixed jaw as the moving jaw closes - providing virtually deflection-free component clamping with a maximum retaining force of 10,000lbf. In operation, the vice also imparts a pull-down action to the workpiece for increased security and precision.

One-Lok features a 'Qwikslide' mechanism that allows the moveable jaw to be easily unlocked and slid forwards or backwards to achieve rapid setups. A further feature of the unit's compact, modular design is its hardened, precision-ground cast-iron base, which provides a solid working surface and eliminates swarf traps - reducing the need for fixture cleaning between machining cycles.

Available as a standalone workholding system complete with a set of hard jaws, toe clamps, operating handle and jaw-change T wrench, the One-Lok is complemented by a range of machining accessories, including stepped hard jaws, outboard mounted hard jaws, soft jaws, an adjustable workstop, foundation stops and locating keys. Purpose-designed spacers enable existing knee-type milling machine vice jaws to be quickly installed to the One-Lok base unit without modification.


Autodesk has developed what it says is a more rigorous methodology for corporate greenhouse-gas (GHG) target setting. Autodesk developed the Corporate Finance Approach to Climate-Stabilising Targets (C-FACT) to align its own GHG reduction targets with global scientific and policy climate-stabilisation targets. According to the company, C-FACT is more science driven, business friendly and transparent than current methodologies.

In measuring its GHG emissions, Autodesk aims to take responsibility for direct emissions and a range of indirect emissions, including business travel, leased facilities, employee commuting, major conferences and data-centre vendors. Autodesk is challenging other companies to reduce their GHGs in line with scientific and policy climate stabilisation targets of 85 per cent by 2050. Autodesk's C-FACT introduces mathematical principles said to allow it to be proportional, replicable and verifiable.

The company says that it is compatible with generally accepted corporate finance principles and fair to companies of all sizes, GHG footprints and growth prospects. Autodesk has committed to C-FACT through to 2020, as well as performance reports against the stated target at the close of each fiscal year (FY). Using the methodology calculation to set targets for FY10 Autodesk will aim to reduce its absolute emissions by 4.52 per cent compared to FY09, translating to 3,756 metric tons of GHG.


Rem Sales has announced the introduction of two Tsugami Precision Swiss turns, available for delivery from March 2010. The 20mm models, the Tsugami S205 and Tsugami S206, are suitable for the production of complex parts. Live tools for cross and face operations are found on the main and sub spindle. A two-path control permits true, simultaneous operation of the main and sub spindle, which reduces cycle times.

The modular, spacious tool zone allows driven tools to be moved from main to sub spindle and from face to cross positions with ease. The S206 has the same capabilities of the S205, plus backworking y-axis movement. A Fanuc 31-iA control is standard on both models, which also can accommodate an optional 'chucker kit' that allows the machine to be run as a Swiss turn or fixed-headstock lathe. The fixed-headstock configuration can use unground bar stock, eliminating bar remnants and improving part concentricity.


Emerson Process Management will apply its Plantweb digital plant architecture to a CEZ supercritical coal-fired unit being built at Ledvice power station in the Czech Republic. The new unit will reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent and is being built as a replacement for the older Ledvice units 2 and 3. When complete, it will be the largest coal-fired unit in the Czech Republic, with a generating capacity of 660MW. CEZ is one of Europe's top-ten power utilities, with a strong market position in the Czech Republic.

As part of a coal power-plant modernisation programme, CEZ is investing in Ledvice and other selected power plants located near the Czech lignite mines. As well as delivering high-efficiency electrical power, the new unit at Ledvice will use the latest technology for flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) and ash handling to meet new European environmental standards. Operation of the new plant is scheduled for December 2012.

CEZ named Emerson as the main automation contractor for the new unit's instrumentation and control systems. This role includes engineering design, instrument and equipment procurement, control-system supply, site installation, commissioning and start-up. Emerson's Power and Water Solutions industry centre will manage this turn-key instrumentation and control project.

The automation strategy for the Ledvice supercritical unit is based on Emerson's Plantweb digital plant architecture with the Ovation expert control system, Rosemount intelligent field devices, Fisher valves and AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager predictive maintenance software. Emerson's Ovation system will monitor and control the supercritical boiler and balance-of-plant processes. An Ovation Safety Instrumented System will be used for the boiler-protection system and burner-management system.

As part of the Plantweb architecture, the Ovation system will use HART communications to network Emerson's intelligent devices throughout the plant. The Ovation system will also communicate with the intelligent motor-control centres using Profibus DP and with other equipment and applications using Modbus, OPC and IEC 61850 links. Emerson's Ovation system enables operation at elevated steam and temperature levels, making electricity generation more efficient while also reducing fuel-related emissions.
Beru F1 Develops Lighter 30 AWG Wiring Harness

Motorsport wiring specialist Beru F1systems has developed a cost-effective solution that allows 30 AWG lightweight wiring systems to be used in harsh environments. Developed in conjunction with Souriau, the process removes the need for special terminals or costly crimp tools, resulting in a wiring loom that is 12 per cent lighter, without the expensive components and tooling of competitor offerings.

Gary Norman, principal engineer, said: 'Working closely with an F1 team, we looked at how we could use 30-gauge wire to reduce weight while also considering the increasing cost restrictions that the teams have to comply with. 'Other technologies are available but they require a tool that costs around GBP900, a specific 30 AWG wire that is four times the cost of our solution and they also need special terminals. 'These terminals also limit the range of connectors available, resulting in weight or package compromises,' he added.

Beru F1systems demonstrated that effective gains in loom reduction could benefit other areas of the car without compromising reliability. 'The 12 per cent weight saving will allow engineers to distribute weight more effectively, increasing vehicle performance or enhancing tyre wear. 'Testing demonstrated that our solution could withstand the SAE - 39029 pull-off tests, providing confidence. 'The team will use our solution on some of the harshest vibration applications on an F1 car,' said Norman.

The firm has identified a set of components and assembly parameters and sequencing that allows the technicians to use standardised parts and assembly tools. This simplifies servicing and spare-part stocking during the product's life. Considering 'whole life cost' is another area where an experienced integrator with design and manufacturing expertise such as Beru F1systems is providing additional value over simple component providers or distributors.

'Many of the guys here have worked for race teams so they understand the importance of offering solutions that are simple to maintain and repair when you are far from the workshops,' Norman concluded. The first applications are for F1 sensor wires, used for temperature and pressure senders around the chassis and powertrain. Sensor units are low power so can readily use the smaller gauge wires; however, Beru F1systems believes solving the cost of adopting 30 AWG could see the technology migrate to other areas of the car or onto lower formulae.


Stemmer Imaging's Dalsa Piranha ES (Extended Sensitivity) linescan cameras feature time delay and integration (TDI). The cameras combine speed, resolution and sensitivity to low-light applications. The ES series bridges the sensitivity gap between single-line cameras and the highest sensitivity Piranha HS series. With up to 32 TDI stages and up to 8k resolution, the Piranha ES cameras open new possibilities for high-performance cost-sensitive inspection.

The Piranha ES series is up to 30-times more responsive than traditional linescan cameras with up to 110kHz line rate (4k80). Configurable Base or Medium (4k) or Medium or Full (8k) Camera Link interfaces are available. An area mode of operation facilitates camera set-up by allowing the possibility of focusing on a larger imaging area, which can also be used as a regular mode of operation.

Other programmable features include number of taps, bit depth, flat-field correction, direction control, stage selectability, and gain and offset control. The new TDI range makes it easy and cost effective to switch from line scan to TDI. The cameras provide the line rates and necessary response for high-performance applications and allow the number of cameras in the system to be reduced. Fewer cameras means fewer frame grabbers, lenses, computers and cables. The Piranha ES range also reduces lighting costs as TDI imaging allows the use of LED lights.


Spirax Sarco's Flash Recovery Energy Management Equipment (Freme) engineered system has achieved second place in the Industry category at the 2009 Carbon Trust Innovation Awards. Freme can achieve energy savings of up to 26 per cent, significantly reducing carbon emissions for steam operators, and could help steam users achieve the Carbon Standard Award. Freme provides a closed steam system and transfers the heat from the flash steam and recovered condensate into the high-pressure side of the boiler feed pumps.

Temperatures in the feedtank can therefore exceed 100C without causing pump cavitation, ensuring that most returned energy is used by the system. Heat and water previously discarded can now be recycled, reducing energy and water-treatment costs and CO2 emissions. Freme works by separating the flash steam from the condensate. The separate flash steam and condensate each travel through a dedicated plate-heat exchanger to heat the pressurised feed water before it enters the boiler.

The two returning streams are then recombined. Recovering condensate from industrial steam systems is a well-established energy-saving practice. Energy from condensate is used to pre-heat boiler-feed water, which raises boiler efficiency and lowers emissions. Each 6C rise in feed-water temperature typically knocks one per cent off a boiler's energy consumption.


Festo has introduced a one-day orientation course for machine builders on the latest requirements of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Following the decision of the EC Machinery Working Group to extend the transition period of the existing EN 954-1 safety standard beyond its expected end-of-life deadline of December 2009, but for an unspecified amount of time, machine designers and builders now face the dilemma of which safety standard to use.

The one-day orientation course, 'Understanding the new machine directive', has been created by Festo Didactic, the training and consulting division of Festo, in direct response to issues highlighted by customers. It provides an overview of the key aspects and implications of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, including risk assessment, analysis and evaluation as required by the EN ISO 13849-1 safety standard - and is said to be of particular benefit to machine designers and builders, as well as maintenance personnel.


A technical white paper that provides engineers with advice and guidance on the condition monitoring of rolling bearings is now available from Schaeffler. The paper, entitled 'The Role of Vibration Monitoring in Predictive Maintenance', was written by Dr Steve Lacey, engineering manager at Schaeffler (UK). As companies downsize and look to reduce costs, maintenance can often become a casualty.

However, as equipment and machinery becomes more complex and automated, the need to have a properly structured and funded maintenance strategy is more important than ever. Undertaking thorough risk assessments across the business can help companies identify how critical existing machines are to their overall operation, which helps to determine the potential return on investment of a properly funded maintenance strategy. 'Rolling bearings are a critical component used extensively in rotating equipment and machinery,' said Lacey.

'When they fail unexpectedly, this can result in a catastrophic failure with high associated repair and replacement costs. 'Vibration-based condition monitoring can be used to detect and diagnose machine faults and form the basis of a predictive maintenance strategy,' he added. As well as providing the reader with information on the basic approaches to the various types of maintenance strategy (reactive, preventive and predictive), the paper also provides guidance on how to set up and identify the criticality of assets in your business, including potential return on investment from implementing a predictive maintenance regime.

The paper then discusses the technical benefits of using condition monitoring systems and techniques to support the predictive maintenance strategy. This includes vibration monitoring, which can be used to detect early signs of failure of rolling bearings. Detailed analysis of the various rolling bearing vibration monitoring techniques are discussed and appraised. Sections are included on frequency spectrum, envelope spectrum, Cepstrum analysis, bearing characteristic frequencies, typical bearing defects, variable compliance and bearing speed ratio.

The final chapter of the paper considers various real-life scenarios of rolling bearing vibration monitoring, including detailed studies of a 250kW electric motor; an impact crusher drive shaft; a 2MW generator on a test bed; a vertical impact crusher; and the gearbox of a wind turbine. 'Rolling bearings generate characteristic vibration frequencies that can combine to give complex vibration spectra, which at times may be difficult to interpret other than to an experienced vibration analyst,' said Lacey. 'However, with rolling bearings, characteristic vibration signatures are often generated in the form of modulation of the fundamental bearing frequencies.

'This can be used to our advantage and vibration condition monitoring software is designed to identify these features and provide an early warning to an impending problem. 'This usually takes the form of signal demodulation and the envelope spectrum, which indicates early deterioration of the rolling contact surfaces,' he added. For a free copy of the white paper, visit Schaeffler's website or click the link on this page.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009



Buerger has more than doubled packing speeds at its Crailsheim site in southern Germany following the installation of a 16-head Ishida RS-Series multihead weigher. Capable of mix weighing up to four separate ingredients, the R-Series has also enabled the company to achieve product consistency through improved accuracy of mixing. The RS is Ishida's mid-range series with advanced combination calculation software.

It incorporates a self-adjusting vibration system, practically eliminating the need for manual intervention. An integrated load cell at the start of the distribution system monitors the weight of product at the dispersion table and adjusts the output of the feed system to ensure smooth and consistent operation. The weigher combines highly accurate measurements of each of three or four frozen ingredients, depending on the product, to give exactly the required mix and then discharges them into thermoformed trays with target weights of 250, 300 or 400g.

At 48 trays per minute, the speed is over two and a half times that of the manual weighing process. The change to automatic mix weighing means that one person can run this part of the operation and - using a graphic interface - achieve a higher degree of overall control. The Ishida RS multihead enables Buerger to meet the demand for its soups and it can also function as a single-ingredient weigher.


Flowserve Flow Control has supplied 16 Worcester F911 cartridge valves for a medium active salt-free evaporator (MASFE) installation at the Thorp nuclear reprocessing plant in the north west. The MASFE is primarily used to process medium-active liquors, concentrating them down prior to further evaporation and vitrification into glass. To ensure the valves can be maintained efficiently and safely, they are supplied within a control bulge - a prefabricated and tested extension of the cell.

They are housed within a control cabinet and operated by extension stems, varying in length between 600 and 900mm, that pass through steel shielding as well as the roof of the cabinet. With the valves installed at an angle, two universal joints are used on each stem to ensure alignment. Space considerations, as well as ease of repair, were an important element in valve selection for the control cabinet and the Flowserve cartridge valves - four of which automated by Norbro pneumatic actuators - were chosen due to their top-entry design and the lower torque requirement.

Flowserve Worcester top-entry cartridge valves were originally designed for the nuclear industry. Compact and characterised by bubble-tight shutoff they facilitate in-line maintenance, with all components other than the body removed in one assembly. The F911 valves meet the ISO10497 fire-testing requirement and can be manufactured from virtually any wrought material.



Siemens Energyk has welcomed the government's plans for the national roll out of smart meters but says energy-distribution companies need to play an active role if DECC is to meet its targets. Centrally coordinating the communications between smart meters and the utility companies via a proposed central-communications model will provide distribution companies with a development platform for smarter grids and enhanced information about how the network is performing.

Details about which parts of the system are heavily used and which are less busy allows them to maximise equipment performance and make more informed decisions based on the stresses a particular component has suffered. Smart metering will enable customers to better understand and take control of their energy consumption in ways that they never could before.

It will also pave the way to realising the potential of radical solutions for energy supply, such as combined heat and power and local micro-generation. It will also provide consumers with information on their actual energy consumption. Siemens is working with an energy supplier to install thousands of smart meters into UK households. Siemens Metering Services in Nottingham has been designated as Siemens' global Centre of Competence for smart-metering and smart-grid services.



Axflow has announced that the latest additions to its centrifugal pumps range will be made available on a fast-build and ex-stock basis. The Close Coupled Centrifugal (CCC) and ISO-Process pumps have been introduced to provide a fast-turnaround delivery service. The DIN 24255 CCC horizontal, single-stage end-suction pump is suitable for a range of non-hazardous industrial applications.

Available in 42 sizes, the CCC can satisfy duties up to 40 bar and temperatures from -20 to 130C. It can be ordered with a choice of casings, including cast iron, 316 stainless steel, bronze, cast steel, Hastelloy and Duplex alloys. Single and double mechanical seals can be fitted as standard. The Axflow ISO-Process Pump is built to ISO 2858 and ISO 5199 standards for applications in the chemical-processing industries where temperatures range between -20 and 140C.

Available in 29 sizes and a range of materials that includes cast iron and stainless steel as standard, pressures of up to 40 bar and flow rates of 250l/sec can be accommodated. Operating efficiency and a stable performance at high speeds are provided by the single-stage impeller and all pump sets can be constructed to meet Atex certifications.


Rockwell's Motion Analyzer mechatronics tool optimises design for the automation and machine-construction industry. Application data can be accepted by the 3D CAD software Solidworks via the interface, directly from the OEM's mechanical design. An estimation of the loading then becomes superfluous and a genuine computation of the drive load is possible. Based on these data, the tool suggests a suitable drive, taking into consideration local conditions such as the supply voltage and the siting level. Motion Analyzer is able to carry out a comparison of costs and performance for various drive technologies.

This means that the user can select the variant most suitable to the machine's use. With the aid of the Motion Analyzer computation tool, the user can adapt the movement to the conditions in the mechanical system and optimise it for his specific application. There is an export function to the Logix controller so that the computed travel profile can also be executed later on the machine. The efficiency analysis shows, at a glance, in which part of the application the applied torque is present.

With the tolerance analysis each of the application parameters can be modified over a range. This means that an overview of the limits of the drive and also of the machine itself is obtained quicker and it is possible to determine the application modifications necessary for a drive solution. Similarly, the reaction of the drive can be simulated with the simulation tool.

In particular, the effects of less rigid or slack couplings are highlighted. From this, conclusions can be drawn about the feasibility of various design structures for the mechanical construction and adaptations carried out as required. A secondary effect here is the generation of settings for the control system. The tool calculates using exactly the same values as RSLogix 5000. This is used as a development tool for the whole control environment from Rockwell Automation.

This parameterisation is also transferred to the controller and the tuning of the servo drives is shortened. Rockwell Automation offers the optional integrated condition-monitoring solution Dynamix, which provides full vibration monitoring directly in the machine controller. The combination of vibration monitoring and machine analysis with a fast Fourier analysis allows preventive maintenance within the machine control. Motion Analyser takes the whole drive into account, analysing and optimising travel profiles and simulating the reaction of the system to control parameters.


The Phymetrix Mini-Demister separates liquid-vapour mixtures in portable gas analysers, so that they do not compromise sensitive analyser components. Suitable for SF6 moisture-measurement oil-carryover separation, it fits on top of the Phymetrix PPMa hand-held moisture analyser. The Mini-Demister allows liquids to settle to the bottom of the separator under force of gravity, where they are drained out through a metering valve.

The sample travels through the container tube at a low velocity, minimising the entrainment of any liquid droplets in the gas as it exits near the top of the separator and flows down into the analyser. The glass container tube affords the operator a 360deg view of the accumulated liquid. Adjusting the drain-metering valve optimises the liquid removal with minimum waste of sample gas. The product is miniaturised (1 x 3.65in) to allow connecting directly on top of a small, hand-held analyser, such as the Phymetrix PPMa, as well as other manufacturer's gas analysers.

It has an Axial in-line construction with the inlet positioned on top and the outlet on the bottom. The rotatable drain valve and port can be positioned as needed. The outlet to the analyser has a built-in facility for an optional flow-control pressure-drop orifice. The instrument has a stainless-steel housing, Viton seals and a glass container tube that provides the seal integrity necessary for demanding measurements such as low levels of moisture. The Mini-Demister is easy to disassemble and clean if needed.

The glass tube is rated for 150psi and has an outer impact-resistant, protective, clear-plastic shield that prevents nicks and scratches in the field. A variety of inlet and outlet port-fitting types are available, for example NPT, SAE straight-thread with o-ring seals and swageable tube. The liquid is visible, drains out in a controlled fashion and does not accumulate in absorbent materials to outgas when the analyser is used in other measurements. There are no hygroscopic materials employed.


Ethernet Direct has introduced the Falcon FWO-800: an industrial 2.4GHz 802.11b/g outdoor wireless mesh system. The Falcon FWO-800 is a cost-effective layer-two wireless mesh product; it comes with a single radio work in 2.4GHz band, two sets of SSID and time division for backhaul and AP operations simultaneously.

It comes with a WMM option to enhance user performance and density QoS, supporting bandwidth priority to voice (voice over internet protocol) and image (surveillance/IPTV). The device can be deployed for mobile applications and outdoor and indoor applications, such as city areas, factory plants, communities, campuses, parks, camps, hotels, malls, condos and offices.
Safety Connector Disconnects If Cable Gets Tangled
Wilcoxon Research is expanding its line of Maxflex cables for portable data collectors with an optional safety connector that breaks away if the sensor or cable gets entangled at the monitoring point. When collecting vibration data, it is important to keep the operator safe from being dangerously pulled towards a machine, according to the company. Safety connector cables for data collection will protect the operator during a data collection route by disconnecting the sensor from the data collector when more than 10lb (4.5kg) of pull force is exerted.

Additional benefits of this safety feature include preventing damage to expensive portable data collector hardware and providing a quick disconnect between the sensor and the data collector. The safety connector disconnects when more than 10lb of pull force is exerted and can be reconnected after the sensor and cable are safely retrieved from the monitoring point.

The connector disconnects, or 'breaks away', and can be reconnected hundreds of times. The connector works in temperatures from -25C to 85C (-13F to 185F) and is IP67 rated, making it suitable for harsh industrial environments. The safety connector feature is being introduced with 12 models of Maxflex cables for portable vibration data collection, but can be ordered as an optional feature on all Maxflex models.

Wilcoxon makes Maxflex cables compatible with portable data collectors from SKF, Emerson (CSI) and Rockwell (Entek IRD), as well as many generic cable assemblies that are compatible with most vibration data collectors. Maxflex cables have reinforced cable joints at the sensor and connector end. The company claims that the cables offer excellent EMI/RFI shielding to serve the needs of field data acquisition.
848 Titrators Determine Acidity In Food And Drink

The 848 Food/Beverage Titrino Plus from Metrohm provides a complete package for determining acidity in food, beverages and wine. It also includes the accessories for titrations. With their operating dialogue intended for routine users, the Titrino Plus instruments are simple to use and only a short familiarisation period is required.

The titrators are suitable for routine determinations in day-to-day laboratory work. At the end of the determination, the result is shown automatically. Optionally, the user can connect a printer or save the result onto a USB stick.


Rockwell Automation has introduced a mechatronic-solutions portfolio consisting of software tools, motion-control products and support. The portfolio provides a common forum where design input from mechanical, controls, software and electrical engineers can be more easily gathered and evaluated. This helps engineers to better collaborate and reduce machine costs and development time. Mechatronics is a collaborative venture between mechanical, electrical and control design engineers to optimise machine design.

Mechatronics has traditionally proven challenging for machine builders to integrate into their design process, due to high costs and lack of easy-to-use tools associated with virtual prototyping. The mechatronic solutions portfolio features updated motion-analyser software used by machine builders to help select the best-suited drive-motor-actuator combination for their application, and now provides interoperability with Solidworks 3D CAD software.

This interoperability helps shorten lead times and delivers a graphical environment for designing machines and sophisticated motion profiles. The Motion Analyzer software can transfer motion profiles directly into Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 software, helping to reduce programming time. The portfolio's Allen-Bradley RDD-Series direct-drive rotary servo motors offer rotary direct-drive technology that minimises the need for power-transmission devices and can help reduce machine complexity, system compliance and energy consumption while delivering high dynamic performance, fast settling times and better overall control of the load.

Its Allen-Bradley LDC-Series and LDL-Series linear servo motors provide machine builders with precise, linear-motion capabilities at a cost-effective price. They have no 'wear items' such as bearings, gears or belts, minimising the need for routine maintenance and replacement parts for improved reliability over other linear-actuation methods. Allen-Bradley MP-Series and TL-Series electric cylinders offer machine builders a quiet, clean and energy-efficient alternative to pneumatics and other nonservo methods for linear-motion actuation.

They also offer improved flexibility and repeatability with less mechanical vibration. MP-Series integrated linear stages simplify machine design and are well-suited for a variety of applications that require loads to be supported and moved with precise linear positioning and velocity control. Available in single and multiaxis configurations, the pre-engineered stages deliver high-performance linear motion in an easy-to-use mechanical package. One Rockwell Automation customer recently used the Rockwell Automation mechatronic solutions portfolio to identify stability and throughput improvement opportunities on the rotary saw used in its packaging machine.

By replacing the motor, gearbox and timing belt used to drive the saw with direct-drive technology, the machine was more stable, met the parts per minute needs and saved eight hours of assembly time.


Trident Exhibitions has announced its biennial Instrumentation Scotland and Offshore Systems exhibition will return to the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 8-9 September 2010. Bookings for the 2010 event are going well, with more than 60 per cent of stand space already sold and still nine months to go. Exhibitors that have reserved stands include the ABB/Wika/JWF Process Solutions Alliance, Krohne, Able Instruments and Control, HBM UK, Kulite Sensors, Hydrasun, Tracero Johnson Matthey PLC, and Pepperl and Fuchs.

The exhibition brings together companies that supply products and services specific to the offshore industry. It also features companies representing processing, power generation, paper, distilling, water and waste, and marine engineering in north-east Scotland. Face-to-face discussions and demonstrations give visitors and exhibitors the chance to understand each other's requirements and act on them.

The exhibition will feature free workshops hosted by the ABB/Wika/JWF Process Solutions Alliance, Krohne, Honeywell Control Systems and Endevco UK. Full details of all workshops will be announced at a later date and will be available on the show's website. The event's website provides a full exhibitor list and floor plan. The event is free to enter and includes free parking and lunch. Visitor pre-registration will go live from June.


Aerco has brought out the Safetinex Range Of Safety Light Curtains From Contrinex, the modular design of which allows fully tested systems to be delivered on a short time scale. Contrinex safety light curtains correspond to Safety Category 4 (EN/ISO 13849-1) and Type 4 (EN/IEC 61496 -1 and -2) and are designed to be used wherever risks cannot be eliminated through machine design. The light curtain will immediately stop the machine if it detects a person or any part of the body entering a danger zone.

Safetinex light curtains consist of a rugged sender and a receiver unit that demarcate the protection zone around the machine. The range comprises models with resolutions of 14mm for finger protection and 30mm for hand protection, with a maximum protective field width of 3.5 and 12m respectively. The maximum protective height is either 1685mm (14mm resolution) or 1822mm (30mm resolution).

The Safetinex's signal-processing method ensures fast response times and maximum safety for machine operators. All Safetinex models offer a choice between two operating channels to avoid any likelihood of cross-talk between adjacent pairs of safety barriers.

Connection is via M12 or M26 connector, short cable (pigtail) with M12 connector or PUR pre-cabled, up to 10m long. In addition, the product range includes a Category 4 safety relay that can be configured for manual or automatic restart. Additional accessories include mounting brackets, which enable full angular adjustment, and T-bolts that fit into slots along each side of the barrier housing.


TDK-Lambda has introduced the DPX Series of low-power DC-DC converters, which can be rapidly mounted onto DIN rails. Available with both 2:1 and 4:1 input voltage ranges covering 9.5 to 75V and five power ranges from 15 and 60W, the new series provides an economical solution for industrial applications such as process control and factory automation, as well as in alarm and security systems.

DPX models are available in single, dual or triple outputs with voltages ranging from three to 15V. For special applications, selected models can be adjusted manually by using a potentiometer mounted on the front panel. Up to three units can be paralleled for higher power applications and typical efficiency is up to 90 per cent. The DPX DC-DC converters are enclosed in a rugged metal case and can be mounted on either a TS35/7.5 or TS35/15 standard DIN rail.

A green LED indicator on the front panel gives an immediate visual confirmation of the output status. DPX DC-DC converters feature input reverse polarity protection and have 1.6kV input-to-output isolation. The DPX Series is convection cooled and operates over a wide temperature range of -40 to +85C. The series also meets EN55022 class B EMI standards (radiated and conducted) and is CE-marked according to the LV Directive.


Neuhaus's Profi series of air-operated hoists function in the heat- and dust-laden atmospheres of foundry operations. The absence of electrical or electronic components and the use of a fully mechanical operation ensure safe use in explosive or otherwise hazardous atmospheres. A total insensitivity to dust and a temperature resistance up to 70C is combined with 100 per cent duty cycles and the elimination of downtimes for a full 24/7 operation.

All products incorporate a sensitive, infinitely variable speed-control feature for precise load positioning. The Profi range of hoists can be supplied for handling load capacities from 0.25 up to 100 tonnes. Hoists up to 20-tonnes capacity can also be fitted with trolleys for overhead rail mounting. These trolleys can be manual, reel chain or motorised for the traversing function. The hoists are strong, fast and silent in operation, as well as being compact and lightweight with low headroom requirements.

They feature a failsafe vane-motor starting with lube-free operation, as well as a motor-brake system and built-in overload protection on all hoists from one-tonne capacity and above.
Non-Chemical Methods Prevent And Remove Limescale

The amount of damage caused by hard water is huge, but advice on how to prevent it is lacking from all the relevant agencies, according to Environmental Treatment Concepts (ETC). ETC claims that organisations do not seem to recognise that there is any problem with hard water or limescale. The 'Low Temperature Hot Water Boilers' document (CTV008) from the Carbon Trust, however, does state that 1mm of limescale causes a seven per cent increase in energy. Now that very effective non-chemical methods exist for preventing and removing limescale, this should be the preferred sustainable solution.

Of course, energy is only part of the equation. Scaling and chemical treatment methods both cause the premature failure of water-fed equipment, appliances and sanitaryware. Take direct-fired gas boilers, for example; these have a much shortened life in hard-water areas. Scale builds up on the bottom surface, above the hottest part, causing the casing to split and emptying the contents on the plant room floor. The boiler then has to be replaced. This involves mining raw materials somewhere in the world, processing them into components and assembling and transporting the replacement across the globe.

Now multiply this example with all the other items requiring premature replacement and it is clear that this has a massive impact on every aspect of sustainability, according to ETC. In an effort to influence the various agencies, ETC is an active member of three key organisations: British Water, the Environmental Industries Commission and the UK Green Building Council.

These forums are lobbying the government to achieve the recognition of the need to consider water treatment. Some success was achieved in getting a change made to Part L of the Building Regulations. ETC also offers approved continuous professional development to members of RIBA and CIBSE. This is getting the message across to those that can influence the adoption of a clean and green way to prevent the many problems caused by limescale.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Atmo 400 Treats Surfaces And Deposits Thin Films

Megatech has introduced the Atmo 400, a high-quality Atmospheric Pressure Plasma system for surface treatment and thin-film deposition. The Atmo 400 is ideal for high-speed treatment of two- and three-dimensional surfaces prior to bonding, marking, painting and coating. It delivers consistent and uniform treatment for reliability and quality. Designed for ease of operation, its features include locked and timed modes, with real-time data logging to enable rapid integration into manufacturing processes.

A large easy-to-read graphical LCD screen highlights the simple-to-operate control panel. Both CE and ETL certification qualify this system for use throughout the world. The Atmo 400 plasma system is provided with a variety of Surfx's applicators, which can be selected to suit the surface requirements. The applicators are lightweight and can be handheld or robotically operated. The Atmo 400 has no moving parts, enabling trouble-free use; set-up can be completed within 10 minutes. Atmospheric pressure plasmas eliminate the need for harsh chemicals or inefficient vacuum chambers, which are difficult to integrate into the process flow.

Atmoflo tools are suitable for a variety of applications, including bonding composite materials; treating, cleaning or sterilising medical-grade plastics and metals; stripping organic contamination; and depositing glass films. The system generates a stream of reactive gas at low temperatures. Among the materials that can be treated include polymers, fabrics, metals, composites, semiconductors, glass and integrated circuits. The target material is placed within a centimetre downstream of the plasma source.

Ions remain trapped between the electrodes, preventing damage to sensitive materials. The plasma operates near room temperature at atmospheric pressure with helium as the primary gas, and a reagent gas such as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, or carbon tetrafluoride. The process chemistry is determined by the reagent gas employed. This system has applications in the electronic, manufacturing, processing, engineering, laboratory and medical industries.


Bulte has brought out a screw range that includes five new models of wing screws, offering more than 160 possibilities. They are suitable for all sectors of industry (for example furniture, electronics and engineering) and are ideal for manual assembly. The standard material is natural polyamide (nylon) which is resistant to various chemical products, has excellent mechanical properties - including wear resistance, low friction coefficient, high melting point and good impact resistance - and is light weight.

Another advantage includes finger tightening (no tools required). The working temperature range is -30 to +100C. These screws can also be manufactured in other materials, such as PP, PE, PVDF and POM (these materials are recommended for their good food and medical qualities) or PA glass-filled (high tensile strength and rigidity - it replaces aluminium and zinc in tapped parts). The wing screws are available in sizes M5, M6, M8 and M10. Lengths vary from 6 to 80mm. The standard colour is natural but parts can be supplied in a range of colours to suit individual requirements.


Endress+Hauser has announced that it has a wealth of experience in the design and manufacture of industrial temperature sensors and bespoke engineered solutions. The company claims that key personnel offer more than 25 years of experience in the oil and gas market and are familiar with all aspects of temperature probe design and manufacturing techniques.

Endress+Hauser is accredited to ISO 9001 and its quality management system scope of supply covers 'the design of thermowells and industrial temperature measurement sensors'. The company's awareness of design standards, material selection and limitations, jointing techniques and welding qualifications is said to ensure that designs can be verified or modified to suit individual application requirements, supported by design calculations, wake frequency calculations and design drawings.

Endress+Hauser said its ability to handle bespoke work or project quantities with full documentation and project management facilities is recognised as a benefit by existing customers. The company has extensive manufacturing facilities within its temperature manufacturing process, including CNC machines and a dual spindle, deep hole drilling machine, together with a number of welding sets. All welders are qualified to ASME IX, EN 288 and Norsok M-601 for a range of materials up to 50mm thick, including stainless steel, duplex, super duplex, 6 MO, inconel and more.

Additional testing facilities are available, including hydrostatic pressure testing up to 18,000lb/in2, together with non-destructive testing in the form of radiography, dye penetrant inspection, ultrasonic examination and magnetic particle inspection. Positive material identification is available onsite using either a metascope or XRF spectrometer.

Endress+Hauser's product basket contains all equipment associated with industrial temperature measurement from sensors including RTDs and thermocouples, through fabricated or solid drilled thermowells to head-mounted or field-mounted transmitters. The company said it specialises in the design and manufacture of multipoint assemblies and tubeskin thermocouples.


Rino Mechanical is offering zero-backlash universal joints on its website. The website also features PDFs describing the single and double universal joints and telescoping universal joints that the company offers. Zero backlash universal joints can sustain 600in/lbs of torque, up to 10 degrees operational angle and 30 degrees operational angle per joint.

They are of operational quality and are made from stainless steel. Zero-backlash universal joints are available as a single universal joint, a double universal joint or as a telescopic universal joint. Rino Mechanical has been manufacturing and distributing such mechanical parts as shaft couplings, air motors, dowel pins, shoulder screws, brakes, spurs, gears, custom and standard gear boxes and many other precision parts. Rino Mechanical also creates custom mechanical parts based on customer specifications.


United States Patent No 7,596,419 has been assigned to SGS North America's positive material identification inspection system. The original application was filed in 2005 and after an extensive examination process the patent was published by the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office on 29 September 2009. SGS now has a protected inspection system that was created to satisfy client requirements with regard to retro positive material identification (PMI).

SGS clients use the PMI system to determine the alloy composition of piping and vessel materials in order to verify that only the correct materials are being used for their intended service. This SGS product is said to increase the effectiveness of the inspection process and enhance the usefulness of the collected data while ensuring higher levels of accuracy and completeness. The SGS system links CAD drawings, a PMI database, field load sheets and third-party commercial data loggers.

It enables pre-selection of required inspection locations where PMI analysis should be conducted and uniquely identifies each of them. Information is entered into a PMI database, which enables the preparation of field work packages and systematises the process of loading collected measurements into the database. This approach provides improvements for finding and reporting non-compliant materials plus performing future evaluations in response to evolving fluid processing changes.

The portable nature of the system's equipment enables PMI to be performed by trained and skilled inspectors almost anywhere. Plants and facilities, critical process components and even raw materials can be verified, and the resulting details can be mapped into the mechanical integrity management system to help prevent unexpected failures, unplanned downtime and/or extended time between maintenance.
Beko Releases Capability Brochure
Beko Technologies has introduced the Beko Capability brochure. For more than two decades, Beko Technologies has developed, manufactured and sold components and systems for compressed air processing and condensate technology. The company has now released a four-page brochure featuring all of its available products.

This brochure gives a short summary of the products outlining the basic function of each. Beko Technologies offers a complete programme for all tasks related to the processing of compressed air. A copy of the Beko Capability brochure can be downloaded by clicking the link on the right-hand side of the page or by contacting the company directly.


Xilinx Virtex-5Q FPGAs, developed for the aerospace and defence markets, are available from Nu Horizons. Based on Xilinx's Virtex-5 FPGAs, the Virtex-5Q range offers greater operational temperature ranges off the shelf and ruggedised packaging for protection against tin whiskering and harsh manufacturing processes. Mask-set control and long-term product availability are also standard.

Virtex-5Q FPGAs suit a range of applications, including imaging, secure applications, electronic warfare and packet processing. Using the second-generation ASMBL (Advanced Silicon Modular Block) column-based architecture, the Virtex-5Q family contains four sub-families: the LX high-performance logic FPGA, the LXT high-performance FPGA with added connectivity, the digital-signal-processing optimised SXT and the embedded-processing-optimised FXT.

In addition to advanced, high-performance logic fabric with up to 330,000 logic cells, Virtex-5Q FPGAs contain hard-IP system-level blocks, including 36kb block RAM/FIFOs, second-generation 25x18 DSP slices, SelectIO technology with built-in, digitally-controlled impedance, Chipsync source-synchronous interface blocks, system-monitor functionality, enhanced clock-management tiles with integrated DCM (Digital Clock Managers) and phase-locked-loop (PLL) clock generators, and advanced configuration options.

Additional device-dependent features include power-optimised high-speed serial transceiver blocks for enhanced serial connectivity, PCIExpress-compliant integrated Endpoint blocks, tri-mode Ethernet MACs (Media Access Controllers) and high-performance PowerPC440 microprocessor embedded blocks. The Virtex-5Q LX, LXT, SXT and FXT FPGAs also include high-speed serial connectivity and link/transaction layer capability.


Axiomtek's Icon-32900 series of rugged media converters is designed to convert Ethernet network signals to fibre-network signals. The Icon-32900 series applies high-quality components with wide operating-temperature range and long MTBF. To enhance system reliability, the converters offer a Link Fault Pass Through feature, redundant power and relay output alarm. Axiomtek's Icon-32900 series provides a way of connecting two types of network segment.

The Icon-32900L media converter transforms 100Base-TX (Copper Gigabit) media to 100Base-FX (Fibre Gigabit) media in multi-mode or single-mode fibre optic. The RJ-45 port on the unit is dual-speed 10/100Mbps with half/full duplex auto sensing. The Icon-32900L series comes with Link Fault Pass-Through (LFP) for tracing the network-link failure. The series is designed with an IP20 aluminum housing to help dissipate heat efficiently, allowing the system to operate in high temperatures.

The Icon-32900L series has switching capabilities that are able to filter traffic and record MAC addresses. The Ethernet-media converters support operating an temperature range from -40 to 75C and accept a voltage range from 12 to 48V DC. The series meets the Nema TS1/2 standard for traffic-control equipment, the UL 1604 safety standard for hazardous environment of explosive or flammable conditions and the UL60950 standard for information-technology equipment.


Linear Technology has introduced the LTC2656, a 16-bit octal digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) that offers +/-4LSB INL maximum over temperature. The combination of 0.1 per cent (max) gain error and +/-2mV (max) offset error ensure that LTC2656 remains accurate near the supply rails and provides the user with a wider effective-output range.

The LTC2656's precision specifications make it suitable for multichannel open- and closed-loop systems typically found in communication systems, industrial process control, automated test equipment (ATE) and programmable logic controllers. The converter integrates a precision reference that achieves 2ppm/C typical and 10ppm/C maximum temperature coefficient. By integrating the reference in its 20-pin 4 x 5mm QFN and TSSOP packages, the LTC2656 offers further space reduction for densely packed circuit boards.

Operating from a single 2.7 to 5.5V supply, supply current is 375uA per DAC with the reference activated. The LTC2656 offers 8.5us settling time for a half-scale step and less than 1nVs crosstalk, resulting in minimal disturbance between DAC channels. The DAC communicates via a four-wire SPI-compatible interface up to 50MHz and offers a range of options to meet application-specific requirements. Designers can choose between 16 or 12-bit resolution and an internal 1.25 or 2.048V reference, which produces a full-scale output voltage of 2.5 or 4.096V.

Alternatively, an external reference up to half the supply voltage can be for rail-to-rail operation. The LTC2656 also includes a hardware option to power up the DAC outputs at zero scale or midscale. 16- and 12-bit DACs are available in production volumes along with the LTC2657, an I2C-compatible 16-bit octal DAC.


Lane Electronics has announced a series of bronze MIL-DTL-38999 Series III connectors and backshells. The range is designed for surface military-marine applications, including radar, antenna and weapons-control systems. Products are qualified to CECC 75 201.002 and offer resistance to saltwater corrosion.

Layouts are available with all contacts, including signal, coaxial and Quadrax. A selection of bronze backshells is also available, including non-environmental strain-relief backshells, EMI/RFI cable-sealing backshells, heat-shrink boot adaptors and backshells for screen terminations.


Hitachi Display Products Group has launched the TX14D22VM1BAA 5.7in TFT display, featuring a slim mechanical form factor, 1/4 VGA (320 x 240 pixels) resolution and a high-brightness LED backlight. The design implements a two-driver Chip on Glass (COG) construction, providing increased display robustness and enhanced reliability. The TX14D22VM1BAA has compact mechanical dimensions of 131.0 (W) x 102.2 (H) x 7.1mm (D).

It features a 35 per cent thickness reduction compared to Hitachi's existing 5.7in 1/4 VGA modules and weighs 150g. High optical performance is achieved with a 350:1 contrast ratio and a robust LED backlight that ensures image uniformity while delivering a brightness of 400cd/m and a typical lifetime of 40,000 hours. The TX14D22VM1BAA implements a six-bit RGB CMOS data interface, which enables up to 262,000 colours to be displayed.

The lightweight, compact display is partnered with a touch-panel version, the TX14D22VM1BPA. Both display modules are mechanically compatible with existing Hitachi 5.7in 1/4 VGA display modules, allowing existing users to migrate to the displays. Both modules are suitable for industrial and consumer hand-held and battery-powered devices and applications.
Hitek Power Supply Offers 0-70kV Output Voltage

Hitek Power has added an RS232-controlled variant to its XRG70 series of compact, high-voltage power supplies for high-performance analytical and measurement X-ray applications. The XRG70-703 RS232 offers an output-voltage range of 0 to 70kV at 0 to 1mA and maximum output power of 70W. The unit also incorporates a 5.5V DC, 3.5A grounded-filament power supply, part of of Hitek 's range of products designed for use in grounded-cathode applications.

The filament supply is automatically controlled by the integral beam-current loop control and the power stage uses a current-fed resonant push-pull converter to give high efficiency while ensuring reliable operation. The product combines surface-mount technology, high-voltage stress control and new packaging techniques. It measures 140 (W) x 73 (H) x 233mm (D) and weighs 3.3kg.

The RS232 interface offers remote monitoring of output voltage and current, filament voltage and current, voltage and current demand, and maximum and standby filament currents. It also offers remote control of output voltage and current, slew rate, and maximum and standby filament currents. Hitek Power offers a range of custom versions to meet specific requirements.
LDRA Tool Suite Ensures Safe Spacecraft Launch

The China Manned Spacecraft Programme (CMSP) has selected LDRA and its tool suite to analyse complex safety-critical applications related to the Tiangong 1 spacecraft. The LDRA tool suite will enable CMSP developers to achieve the safety-critical standards required to ensure the safe launch of the spacecraft. The CMSP is required to check programming standards to the Chinese Military Standard GJB5369-2005K, undertake and automate unit test, analyse code coverage up to DO-178B Level-A for Modified Condition/Decision Coverage (MC/DC) and verify object code for the critical systems in the Tiangong 1 spacecraft.

The LDRA tool suite is a commercially available product that meets all of these requirements for software testing and provides full lifecycle support. The LDRA Testbed, the process-management tool at the core of the LDRA tool suite, forms the foundation of automated software verification. LDRA Testbed exercises the code, performing quality and design reviews on the source code. It also conducts test verification for code coverage, including statement, branch/decision, MC/DC, test-path and procedure/function call metrics.

Tbrun, LDRA's automated unit testing tool, includes a graphical user interface that automates the production of test-data vectors, creating a test harness and stub generation automatically. Users can create test cases for structural coverage of high-level source code using the object-box mode. These test cases are then applied to the corresponding object code to satisfy DO-178B Level-A requirements. Tbrun pinpoints code defects efficiently and early on in the development lifecycle, reducing the defects found during formal testing.
Murata Power Inductors Support 8A-Rated Current

Murata has introduced the LQH88P_38 series of power inductors, supporting up to 8A-rated current. The inductors measure 8 x 8mm (3131-size) with a profile of 3.8mm (typical) and are designed for use in DC-DC converters for flat-panel TVs, set-top boxes, recording devices, wireless base stations and other consumer-electronics applications.

The LQH88P_38 series is said to possess excellent DC bias current characteristics, saving space for customers by replacing larger-size or higher-profile inductors. The parts are magnetically shielded by ferrite resin to prevent interference with other devices and circuits. Low DC resistance (down to 0.006Ohm) and high-rated current parts are available. The LQH88P_38 series comes in inductance values between 1.0 and 100uH.