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Last updateTue, 02 Jan 2018 3am

Continued investment ensures reliability for Rotork’s increasing range of products

Rotork Actuator 1.jpgThroughout the company’s near-sixty year history, Rotork engineers have focussed on solving customers’ problems and developing new flow control solutions. Whilst some innovations can be adopted immediately, others demand thousands of hours of testing, assessment and certification before they can be offered to customers.

Continuous investment in product testing is therefore a key part of the policy, ensuring that Rotork manufactures the most reliable valve actuation products in the world. The latest evidence of this activity has witnessed the further expansion of the Product Assessment Laboratory at Rotork’s electric actuator manufacturing plant in Bath. This facility has a long and successful track record of research and development leading to the introduction of innovative and market-leading technologies including IQ intelligent non-intrusive actuation and CVA electric actuators for process control valves.

In one area of the expanded laboratory, new test-rigs and data acquisition systems have been installed to enable increased testing of nuclear actuator products. Rotork’s extensive experience of nuclear operations and nuclear qualifications has contributed to the development of new products, whilst the acquisition of new businesses has further increased Rotork’s scope of supply and service to the nuclear industry.

The latest electric valve actuator ranges for nuclear new-builds is tailored to suit the specific requirements of the internationally predominant nuclear island designs. The NE actuator range has been developed for use in EDF and AREVA (EPR) nuclear power stations. The ND DC (direct current) and NA AC (alternating current) actuator range has been developed for Westinghouse AP1000 Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) nuclear power stations.

These new designs are developments of the widely proven Rotork NA range that has been fully qualified to IEEE 382-1996/2006, comprising a simple single-stage worm drive in an oil bath gearbox, electric motor, torque and limit switches and a separate terminal compartment to which all electrical components are wired. The actuators are designed for a working life of sixty years and the new test rigs will play a critical role in confirming this ability.

The increased investment in testing facilities is supported by additional manpower to meet the demands of research and development across all of Rotork’s increasing ranges of electric actuation products.


GE Measurement & Control announces Patents for Ultrasonic Inspection Product

logo-GE.jpgGE Measurement and Control, Inspection Technologies division, announced the issuance of two patents for the use of dual multi-axis robotic devices for parts inspection (U.S. Pat. No. 8,833,169 and UK Pat. No. 2497418B). The patents cover a robotic inspection system that uses a pair of cooperating, multi-axis robots mounted on linear slides to perform ultrasonic inspection of parts. Features described in these patents can be found in GE’s Hydrastar ultrasonic inspection product.

Hydrastar systems are deployed globally at several aerospace manufacturers, specifically those that build composite airframe and jet engine components for major airframe and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). These systems have proven to be very flexible, are high through-put machines, and are available with a variety of ultrasonic end effectors for both conventional and phased array ultrasonic methods.

“We’re extremely pleased to be recognized for the development of automated ultrasonic inspection technologies for critical airframe and aircraft engine structures which is consistent with industry needs for flexible, high productivity solutions,” said Jeffrey Stetson, Testing Machine Leader for GE Measurement & Control, Inspection Technologies division. “By utilizing commercially available six axis robots, GE’s Hydrastar platform provides an outstanding, standardized solution, replacing conventional Cartesian-based gantry systems.”

Additional proprietary application technologies available on the Hydrastar platform include GE’s Wide Phased Array TTU squirter tool (U.S. Pat. No. 8,650,959), which can provide up to six times the through-put of conventional ultrasonic squirter tools and GE’s Phased Array Surface Adapting ultrasonic method (U.S. Pat. No. 7,581,444), which uses the time of flight information from an ultrasonic signal to provide real-time adjustment of phased array focal laws to accommodate changing geometries.

National Instruments announces Industry’s First Intel Xeon-Based PXI Embedded Controller

NI, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today the NI PXIe-8880 controller, which is based on the Intel® Xeon® processor, and the NI PXIe-1085 chassis, which is the industry’s first chassis that uses PCI Express Gen 3 technology. The combination of the eight-core, server-class Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2618L v3 and full system bandwidth of 24 GB/s delivers breakthrough performance for computationally intensive and highly parallel applications such as wireless test, semiconductor test and 5G prototyping. Customers can take advantage of the flexibility of the PXI platform to replace previous generation controllers with the NI PXIe-8880 and see up to double the performance in their test and measurement applications.

“Over the past two decades, we have witnessed a gradual shift from traditional instrumentation in favor of the PXI platform for automated test,” said Jessy Cavazos, industry manager for measurement and instrumentation at Frost & Sullivan. “With the addition of Intel® Xeon® processor technology, we expect the adoption of PXI to only increase for high-performance applications.”

NI collaborated with Intel to deliver the server-class power of Intel® Xeon® processors to the test and measurement market. The embedded controller features eight cores, up to 24 GB of DDR4 memory and 24 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3 connectivity to the backplane. This provides engineers and scientists with up to twice the processing power and bandwidth compared to previous generation controllers. In addition, the new 18-slot chassis incorporates PCI Express Gen 3 technology with eight lanes per slot for a matched total system bandwidth of 24 GB/s, so any test and measurement system can scale well into the future.

“The use of the latest Intel® Xeon® processors is a new milestone for our collaboration with NI,” said Shahram Mehraban, director of market development for Industrial IoT at Intel. “The Internet of Things requires the highest possible processing power to reduce time to market and lower the cost of test, and NI’s approach with PXI is critical toward that goal.”

NI Simplifies Measurement Systems with new CompactDAQ Controllers

cDAQ-9135.jpgNational Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, today announced the new CompactDAQ 8-slot controller, which expands the CompactDAQ controller offering to meet high-channel count applications in rugged environments. By integrating the processor, signal conditioning and I/O into a single CompactDAQ system, engineers can reduce overall system cost and complexity while increasing measurement accuracy. Integrated measurement systems reduce the number of components, connections and wiring needed, which often introduce noise and additional costs, to ensure high-accuracy measurements and cost-optimized systems.

Both the 4-slot and 8-slot CompactDAQ controllers feature an Intel Atom dual-core processor that can run either Windows Embedded 7 or NI Linux Real-Time. By pairing industry-standard OS options with LabVIEW system design software, customers can easily port LabVIEW code from existing measurement systems to these new CompactDAQ controllers. They can combine LabVIEW and over 60 sensor-specific I/O modules for CompactDAQ to quickly customize data acquisition systems to meet their application needs.

“We’ve expanded the CompactDAQ family by adding an 8-slot controller to give customers another rugged and integrated solution,” said Stefanie Breyer, director of data acquisition R&D at NI. “The Intel Atom 3800 processor gives engineers powerful processing paired with high-accuracy measurements that can be used in a variety of applications from in-vehicle data logging to distributed measurements.”

Key features of CompactDAQ controllers:

  • Integrated Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor: Reduce system complexity and take your measurement system anywhere by having an integrated processor built in.
  • Removable SD Storage: Forget about data storage limits with hot-swappable, removable SD storage.
  • Integrated CAN/LIN Port: Cut costs by taking advantage of the built-in CAN/LIN port.
  • Choice of Four or Eight C Series Module Slots: Mix and match a variety of I/O types, including AI, AO and DIO to meet your specific application needs.
  • Rugged Form Factor: Take measurements in high shock and vibration environments as well as temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 70 °C.

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High Sensitivity Wahl Heat Spy 150 Series

Wahl Image Scan 150.jpgThe new High Sensitivity Wahl Heat Spy 150 Series Thermal Imaging Cameras are now available. The 150 Series Heat Spy models have a 160 x 120 detector for 19,200 individually calibrated pixels with a thermal sensitivity of ≤ 0.05°C to highlight even minimal temperature differences. The "z" model features a 60Hz frame rate, while the "a" model is 9Hz for export with no license required.

150 Series Heat Spy Imagers have a 25° x 19° Field of View with a 3.2 Megapixel CMOS image sensor for visible light images. One additional 0.5x wide angle lens and one x2 telephoto lens are available separately to enhance the functionality of your camera for your specific application. The large, 3.6 inch, 640 x 480 LCD Touch Screen display is clear and easy to see, providing comfortable access to menu functions. Housing design is ergonomic and comfortable in your hand.

Dual LED bulbs integrated above the lens act as headlights for clear, crisp visible light images even in low light conditions. Laser aiming allows the user to pinpoint hotspots with precision. Use the New SpyLite™ option to emphasize only the temperatures of interest in the scene. Set your temperature and view only the temperatures above or below that point, thermally over the visible image. Use the Picture-in-Picture setting to show all temperatures in the scene displayed thermally over the visible image. Save images to the included 8GB Micro SD card in any of the four included viewing modes - visible, thermal, Picture-in-Picture, and SpyLite™, or use the included Bluetooth connectivity to transfer files to your PC, or connect a headset for recording and playing back verbal image annotations.

Record your thermal surveys or inspections in any of the four viewing modes using the thermal and visible video recording feature to document your findings. Connect the 150 series imager to your Windows PC to manage settings and files, or view live video output. The 150 Series Thermal Imager is designed to withstand a two meter drop for dependability with daily use in rugged environments. For extra protection, the 150 Series includes Spy-Care, our No-Fault warranty. Wahl will repair or replace your camera for two years for any reason, even if the damage is your fault.

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