06222018Fri
Last updateMon, 19 Mar 2018 5am

NI introduces 3GPP-Compliant Reference Test Solution for Sub-6 GHz 5G New Radio

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, today announced a sub-6 GHz 5G test reference solution compliant with the 3GPP Release 15 specification for 5G New Radio (NR).

With commercial 5G NR deployments below 6 GHz on the horizon, engineers are actively developing sub-6 GHz 5G RF components and devices. The accelerated pace of 5G standardization is driving intense pressure to bring products to market quickly. NI’s sub-6 GHz 5G NR reference solution is a cost-effective and high-performance option for test that helps engineers quickly characterize their designs and more easily transition from R&D to production test environments.

The new reference test solution from NI is well-suited for testing new wideband RFICs, especially those operating in the 3.3 – 4.2 GHz and 4.4 – 5.0 GHz bands. Engineers can test devices operating with 400 MHz of continuous signal bandwidth and beyond with the PXIe-5840 Vector Signal Transceiver (VST), which includes 1 GHz of instantaneous signal generation and analysis bandwidth up to 6 GHz. With the NI VST, the solution delivers residual EVM performance better than 0.32 percent (-50 dB) for 100 MHz NR signals along with faster measurement speed.

“Our new offerings for 5G test are just the latest in a long line of NI innovations helping engineers bring 5G technologies to market more quickly,” said Jason White, director of RF and wireless test at NI. “By combining high-performance RF measurement capability with extremely fast and flexible measurement software, we are helping engineers reduce time-to-market and measurement correlation time by reusing the same instrumentation and measurement science in multiple phases of product development.”

NI’s new technology for 5G test also supplements a comprehensive product portfolio for RF and semiconductor test, including measurement software for 2G, 3G, LTE-Advanced Pro, WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5 and more. In addition, engineers can use the NI VST alongside more than 600 modular PXI products, spanning DC to mmWave, to create comprehensive semiconductor characterization and manufacturing test systems.


ABB technology helps Dubai develop smart solar strategy

ABB technology is supporting the development of new smart solar power systems for the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai Electric & Water Authority (DEWA) is using the ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control System to help develop data-driven strategies that maximize year-round solar energy production as part of the Smart Dubai initiative.

Smart Dubai is the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The city is hard-wiring Smart Design into its fast-evolving infrastructure in a series of greenfield initiatives that offer emerging economies a blueprint for sustainable development.

The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System is being employed by DEWA to monitor production at ABB’s Al Quoz photovoltaic solar system. The 312kW installation is the largest privately owned solar rooftop in the region, powering the ABB facility and feeding surplus energy into the grid. ABB’s cloud-based platform makes it easy for DEWA analysts to integrate the power production data with other information, such as weather forecasts and actual rooftop temperatures.

“Dubai has come a long way in its transformation into a smart city under the guidance of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” said his Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “DEWA works in line with the UAE Vision to achieve smart transformation, and to support the leadership to meet the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, and Dubai Plan 2021. We seek to promote Dubai as a smart, sustainable, and integrated city with high-tech infrastructure to support social and economic development as well as promote sustainable use of resources by ensuring best practices in consumption, efficiency and governance.”

Dubai aims to generate 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and the development of a viable solar power market is key to this. DEWA is fast-tracking the introduction of digital innovations that will help better manage the city’s energy consumption and production with smart grids and smart meters.

“ABB’s cloud-based platform is enabling a new generation of data-driven strategies for power distribution systems. Data from ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System enables DEWA to understand the effect of temperature and other seasonal changes on the yield from solar power systems,” said Loay Dajani, ABB Lead Division Manager - MEA, Electrification Products Division. “The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System is the perfect platform for this kind of collaborative project, producing the data needed for power distribution systems to integrate effectively into smart city concepts.”

Although the UAE enjoys long periods of sunshine each year, the high ambient temperatures can also limit the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. In June, July and August, ambient temperatures in Dubai can reach 50-52°C. In these conditions, roof-mounted solar power systems can reach temperatures of 68°C.

The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System is a cloud-based platform for electrical systems that monitors plant performance, uses data analysis to identify optimization opportunities, and enables the remote implementation of more effective power management strategies. It connects the electrical equipment, using the Emax 2 smart circuit breaker, with cloud-based intelligence and algorithms, removing the need for expensive additional devices and complex programming.

Yokogawa releases ISA100 Wireless based Field Wireless Vibration Sensor

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has developed an ISA100 Wireless™*-based field wireless vibration sensor with the ability to quickly update data and a long battery life, and will release it in markets other than Japan on December 7. By providing real-time updates on vibration levels in plant facilities, this sensor helps users quickly detect equipment anomalies and enables predictive maintenance.

With a field wireless system, plant field devices and analyzers are able to communicate wirelessly with host-level monitoring and control systems. The rising need to improve productivity and enhance safety by collecting more data on plant operations is driving the demand for field wireless devices, which can be installed even in difficult to access locations. Field wireless devices have the added advantage of reducing installation costs.

Vibration sensors are useful for the condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of plant machinery such as compressors, pumps, and motors. Conventional methods for monitoring vibration include the use of vibration sensors that rely on wired communications with a host system, and patrols by maintenance staff to collect vibration data. With the widening use of field wireless systems and the need to reduce installation costs, there is an increasing demand for wireless vibration sensors.

Since releasing the world's first ISA100 Wireless-based field wireless devices and wireless systems, Yokogawa has expanded its lineup of field wireless devices that measure temperature, pressure, flow rate, and the like. This new vibration sensor will meet our customers' needs for a device that can provide the quick updates on vibration levels needed to detect anomalies at an early stage.

Product Features:

  • Fast data updates

The sensor can be set to update data as quickly as every 10 seconds. This update time is ideal for monitoring vibration levels in plant facilities.

  • Long battery life and easy maintenance

When the vibration sensor is set to update data once per minute, it can operate on a single set of batteries for up to 10 years. In addition to eliminating the cost of providing replacement batteries, this reduces maintenance workload.

  • Highly reliable and versatile system

Thanks to the features of ISA100 Wireless and our technical know-how, we have achieved a highly reliable wireless network with fully redundant communications that is capable of sending and receiving different types of sensor signals over long distances.

KEPServerEX Version 6.4 Empowers Users to Integrate Smart Factory Initiatives

Kepware®, a PTC business developing industrial connectivity software, has recently announced the release of the KEPServerEX® version 6.4 industrial connectivity platform. KEPServerEX version 6.4 includes new data collection capabilities, improved data access, and seamless integration with both traditional and industrial Internet of Things (IoT) systems, enabling users to easily manage and monitor their plant floor.

The new MQTT Client driver is a key component of the KEPServerEX version 6.4 release. Inclusion of this new driver enables users to collect data from sensor networks and other devices that utilize MQTT—and make that data available to the industrial automation devices and applications they rely on to run their plants efficiently.

“Many KEPServerEX users are now acquiring industrial data in their operational environments through new intelligent sensors and open-source or lightweight devices,” said Jeff Bates, Kepware Product Manager. “The MQTT Client driver and KEPServerEX seamlessly integrate data from these devices—enabling users to access new real-time data and provide a robust view of their plant floor operations.”

The MQTT Client driver included in KEPServerEX version 6.4 offers users a commercially available out-of-the-box MQTT to OPC UA translator. It uses innovative parsing tools to enable users to create tags from popular devices that utilize MQTT. With this new driver, KEPServerEX is able to securely subscribe to MQTT topics through any MQTT broker, receive updates as new device data is published, and make that data available over a variety of protocols.

"The enhancements in KEPServerEX version 6.4 are extremely valuable to any customer whose devices utilize the MQTT protocol, including customers of Wzzard Wireless Sensing Solutions," said Mike Fahrion, CTO and VP of IoT Technologies at Advantech B+B SmartWorx. "There are significant benefits to making IoT Sensor data available in traditional industrial automation applications, and that is now possible with KEPServerEX."

Along with the MQTT Client driver, KEPServerEX version 6.4 includes:

Siemens TCP/IP Ethernet Driver Read/Write Enhancements: Enables users of Siemens TCP/IP Ethernet drivers with Siemens S7-400 and S7-1500 controllers to perform read/writes more efficiently by configuring their Packet Data Unit (PDU) size up to the maximum levels supported by the controller. Users can now easily monitor high-fidelity data with high tag counts and high data change rates.
Store And Forward Capabilities With The ThingWorx® Native Interface: Enables users to reliably transmit data between KEPServerEX and ThingWorx—even in the event of network instability. During communication disruptions between KEPServerEX and ThingWorx, the store and forward service collects data that ThingWorx had been requesting. Upon reconnection, the stored data is automatically forwarded to ThingWorx.
CODESYS Ethernet Driver Tag Browsing Capabilities: Users of the CODESYS Ethernet driver now have the option to select and import only relevant tags into their KEPServerEX projects. This enables users to more efficiently connect to and start streaming data from CODESYS devices.

Process Safety Validation, Validation and Documentation

White Paper by Honeywell highlights that there are significant hidden costs in most of the current practices for validating, verifying and documenting that Safety Instrumented Systems and control systems as installed are functioning as designed. One key reason is that until now, there has been no automated mechanisms to support this critical activity. There are no standard ways in the industry to achieve this validation, verification and documentation.

The hidden costs come from the effort to validate, verify and document using manual processes and disconnected information sources. Even more significant are the opportunity costs from longer planned and more frequent unplanned shutdowns that reduce the total revenue opportunity.

In this whitepaper, we outline here the principles and approaches of a new capability to perform this function in an automated way. This results in structured information and shared knowledge, provable safety state and benefits from lower costs and higher revenue opportunity.

Download White Paper

Yokogawa wins Kuwait Desalination Plant Control System Order

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that its subsidiary, Yokogawa Electric Korea, has received an order from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd., a major South Korean plant construction company, to supply control systems for Doha phase 1 project to build a reverse osmosis* desalination plant in Kuwait. This is Yokogawa's first control system order for a reverse osmosis desalination plant from a South Korean plant construction company.

This plant will be built in Doha, which is about 20 km east of Kuwait city, by Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water. The plant will produce 270,000 tons of fresh water per day, sufficient to meet the needs of 900,000 residents.

For this project, Yokogawa Electric Korea will supply a CENTUM® VP integrated production control system and ProSafe®-RS safety instrumented system. The company will complete the engineering, installation, and commissioning of these systems by December of this year, and the plant is scheduled to start operation in November 2018.

Yokogawa was able to win this order because of its solid track record in providing control systems for desalination plants and the high reliability and long-term stability of its products.

In the Middle East, there is an urgent need for solutions to water shortages caused by rapid industrialization and population growth in urban areas, and many desalination plants are under construction or in the planning phase. Backed by this control system order from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, one of the world's top builders of desalination plants, Yokogawa will expand its desalination plant control business not only in the Middle East but also other regions around the world.

Siemens introduces Rugged and geared for industrial applications tablet PC

Siemens has brought a tablet PC onto the market for the first time. The Simatic ITP1000 industrial tablet PC is currently the fastest tablet PC on the market. It has a projective-capacitive 10.1-inch Multitouch display, the latest Intel Core i5 Skylake processor technology, and the Trusted Platform Module. Designed for industrial use, the Simatic ITP1000 is especially suitable for service, production, measuring and testing, as well as for operator control and monitoring. The new industrial tablet PC supports Windows 7 and Windows 10. With many different interfaces and well-thought-out product features, the Simatic ITP1000 is versatile, can be used everywhere, and can be integrated in both new and existing plant concepts. With long-term availability of components, as with all Simatic PCs, the new Simatic ITP1000 tablet PC can be used for many years.

To handle challenging tasks, a high-performance chip set with the latest Intel Skylake CPU technology is used in the Simatic ITP1000 industrial tablet PC. The DDR4 RAM can be upgraded up to 16 gigabytes, and a 256 or 512-gigabyte SSD (Solid State Drive) can also be added to the device. Even customized automation tasks can be handled flexibly with the practical industrial functions – such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), a bar code reader, camera, and six freely programmable function buttons. This is also supported by a wide range of interfaces – such as Bluetooth, WAN, 1-gigabit LAN, serial RS 232 DC-in, miniDP, SD card slot, 1 USB type C and 2 USB 3.0 ports. The PC has an integrated TPM 2.0 module to protect the system and data, and a Kensington lock to prevent theft. An optional docking station with a port replicator that has been designed for practical one-hand docking enables the new tablet PC from Siemens to be used as a complete workstation with an external monitor.

Velan introduces new patent-protected cable drive actuator

A subsidiary of Velan, Velan ABV is a manufacturer of specialized valves, actuators, and control systems. The company employs approximately 120 people and has two manufacturing plants in Lucca, Italy.

Presented at Valve World Conference & Expo 2016 in Düsseldorf, Velan ABV’s new patent-protected cable drive actuator benefits from a transmission system with constant torque and high accuracy along the entire quarter-turn rotation. Its modular construction comprises a center body, pneumatic or hydraulic power cylinder and a spring cartridge for emergency action. It is the actuator’s newly designed center body with its revolutionary cable drive system that separates it from the standard scotch yoke actuator.

“We’ve had considerable experience over the years designing and manufacturing extremely high-quality valves and actuators. This new design builds on that expertise and takes it to the next level,” said Paolo Ranieri, CEO of Velan ABV. “First off, the features of our new actuator help cut operational costs. Since it produces 30% more running torque than traditional scotch yoke actuators, smaller actuators can be installed. Fewer components and less friction mean lower maintenance--and it’s safer to run.”

Yves Leduc, President of Velan, added: “Velan is introducing a unique and innovative quarter-turn actuator that offers strong benefits for control precision in a cost-effective package. Our decision to expand our portfolio of actuators is in line with our strategy to leverage our innovation capabilities in addressing specific end-user needs that remain underserved.”

Honeywell Control and Safety System Selected for Vital Natural Gas Pipeline in Turkey

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) recently announced it will provide an integrated control and safety system for the strategically important Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) in Turkey.

The system will ensure reliable and safe operations of compressor stations along the entire length of the pipeline. The Southern Gas Corridor is a critical part of the European Union’s strategy to enhance its energy security. The TANAP system will be able to transport up to 31 billion cubic meters per year of Caspian and nearby regions’ natural gas.

“Honeywell has a long history of working with critical energy projects in Turkey,” said Orhan Genis, president of Honeywell in Turkey and Central Asia. “This important project will help to secure a supply of natural gas not only to this country but across Europe.”

The 1,850-kilometer long TANAP will carry natural gas from Turkey’s eastern border with Georgia to its western border with Greece. According to Eurogas, demand for natural gas in Europe will grow at about 2 percent a year through 2030.

“Honeywell’s integrated solutions will enable TANAP to detect and resolve operational issues early, enhancing reliability for this important project,” said Pieter Krynauw, vice president and general manager for HPS’ Projects and Automation Solutions business. “Honeywell provides automation controls and safety solutions for almost 94,000 miles of natural gas and liquid pipelines, including many of the world’s longest systems.”

Honeywell will provide the project with fully integrated control and safety products, technology, engineering and support. It includes the distributed control system (DCS), emergency shutdown system (ESD), and an extensive fire and gas solution consisting of safety systems, fire alarm panels, and a full range of process and non-process area detectors and devices).

Honeywell’s system integrates all process control and safety systems and automation software under a single unified architecture at TANAP Stations. The system improves operators’ visibility and situational awareness to detect, avoid and respond to incidents that could endanger people, the pipeline or the environment. It will also help TANAP provide uninterrupted supply through the pipeline.

The TANAP project employs some of Honeywell’s leading technologies:

  • Experion® PKS (Process Knowledge System) advanced automation platform and software applications help improve business performance and peace of mind. Drawing on data from across the pipeline, Experion PKS helps operators make fast effective decisions to improve safety, reliability and efficiency.
  • Safety Manager, Honeywell’s safety solution, integrates process safety data, applications, system diagnostics and critical control strategies to detect and prevent dangerous conditions. As well as automatic, safe emergency shutdown, Safety Manager will also give TANAP tools for root-cause analysis to drive improved system performance.
  • The XLS80 Fire Alarm Control Panel with an intelligent, flexible design and a user-friendly interface for the highest safety standards and reliability.