04242018Tue
Last updateMon, 19 Mar 2018 5am

National Instruments announces High-Speed, High-Resolution, High-Voltage Oscilloscope

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, today announced the PXIe-5164 oscilloscope. The PXIe-5164 is built on the open, modular PXI architecture, and includes a user-programmable FPGA to help aerospace/defense, semiconductor and research/physics applications that require high-voltage measurements and high levels of amplitude accuracy.

“PXI oscilloscopes from NI reduce test time, increase channel density, and now, deliver even better measurement flexibility with the combination of high bandwidth, resolution and input voltage,” said Steve Warntjes, vice president of R&D at NI. “Our new PXIe-5164 oscilloscope can make some measurements that box instruments today just can’t handle. If you want to measure a high-voltage signal of up to 100 Vpp at up to 1 GS/s, you can now use the same instrument to see small signal details that would normally be hidden by the noise of the instrument thanks to the 14-bit ADC.”

The PXIe-5164 features:

  • Two 14-bit channels sampled at 1 GS/s with 400 MHz bandwidth
  • Two Category II-rated channels with voltage input range to 100 Vpp with programmable offsets allowing measurements up to ± 250 V
  • Up to 34 channels to build parallel, high-channel-count systems in a compact form factor in a single PXI chassis
  • A 3.2 GB/s streaming data rate enabled by 8 lanes of PCI Express Gen 2 bus communication
  • A Xilinx Kintex-7 410 FPGA to create custom IP, including filtering or triggering, programmed through LabVIEW

Yokogawa develops Process Data Analytics Software for the Early Detection of Quality Issues

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has developed Process Data Analytics, an application program that can detect a decline in quality or productivity at an early stage of the manufacturing process by analyzing process data, facility status information, operation history, and other data. Used in combination with Yokogawa's analytical services, this software is a quality stabilization solution that can help companies stabilize and continuously improve the quality of their products. This software will be released for sale in March 2017.

While working to quickly respond to a diverse array of market needs, manufacturers face a growing need to stabilize the quality of the products coming off their production lines. Product quality is affected by factors such as fluctuations in the quality of raw materials and the aging of manufacturing facilities. Even when the raw materials supplied by different contractors vary in composition, the need to ensure high quality in the final product remains unchanged. To improve quality in each production process and thereby improve the quality of their final products, manufacturers must analyze various types of data. The effectiveness of such analysis has largely depended on the knowledge and expertise of the workers at each production site.

As a solution to such challenges, Yokogawa began offering a process data analytical service to its customers in 2008. To date, more than 100 contracts for this service have been concluded with companies in Japan's chemical industry and other industry sectors, and these companies have come to rely on this service.

Based on the insights that Yokogawa engineers gained by providing this service to their customers, the company developed an analytical tool to improve its efficacy and thereby help its customers maintain and improve product quality. This software makes use of the Mahalanobis Taguchi (MT) method*1, a pattern-recognition technique that is employed in multivariate analysis. The company is now preparing for the commercial release of this software.

Features of This Software

1. Early detection of abnormalities in production processes
2. Fail-proof quality inspection
3. Extensible via integration with MATLAB®*2
4. High speed and accuracy through use of AngleTry Associates' proprietary technology

Siemens supplies Electrical and automation equipment for the Aluminum Factory

Hydro Aluminium AS is building the most climate-friendly, energy-efficient aluminum smelting plant in the world on Norway's Karmøy peninsula. Siemens is supplying a VB1 high-current switchgear with vacuum switching technology and the high-current supply unit for production. Measuring 34 meters long with 26 switchgear panels, it will be the longest high-current and generator switchgear ever built by Siemens. This type of system protects equipment such as generators and transformers from overvoltage and short-circuits. To ensure the supply of electrical power for the production process, Siemens is also providing six large converter units, including the associated control and protection systems and the requisite cooling systems. The converters convert AC current to DC current for operating the power-intensive smelting furnaces. The scope of supply also includes automation technology with the PCS7 process control system and distributed I/O systems as well as operator control and monitoring systems. The high-current switchgear is to be delivered by the end of 2016, while the high-current supply unit will be handed over by the end of 2017. Siemens was already commissioned last year to supply the main transformers for this project.
High-current and generator switchgear with vacuum switching technology are important for protecting transformers and generators used in generator switchgear applications with high thermal and mechanical loads. Vacuum switching technology and maintenance-free components in generator switchgear guarantee minimum maintenance costs. Unlike gas-insulated circuit-breakers, vacuum circuit-breakers interrupt the arc in a high-vacuum interrupter tube. With its double busbar design, Siemens' VB1 fulfills the special requirements for high plant availability. Thanks to its arc fault consistency, it ensures a high degree of personal safety. It has a short-circuit breaking capacity of up to 50 kiloamperes (kA) at 24 kilovolts (kV) and can handle rated currents of up to 5000 amperes (A) without forced cooling.

In addition to delivering, Siemens is responsible for dimensioning, integrating, installing, and commissioning the plant components.

The new aluminum factory on Karmøy will produce 75,000 tons of aluminum per year and consume about 1 terrawatt hour (TWh) of electricity per year, thus placing high demands on all of the electrical equipment. 1 TWh roughly corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of 50,000 households.

With the Karmøy Technology Pilot, Hydro plans to reduce energy consumption in aluminum production by about 15 percent compared to world average. The project will also reduce CO2 emissions to the world's lowest level. Today the global average is over 14 kWh per kilogram. On Karmøy, Hydro is testing a new technology that should allow them to reduce consumption to 11.5-11.8 kWh per kilogram.

NI Partners With IBM and SparkCognition to Advance the Industrial Internet of Things

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today that SparkCognition is partnering with NI and IBM to collaborate on the Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Testbed. The goal of the collaboration is to deliver an unprecedented level of interoperability among operational technology and informational technology as organizations search for better methods to manage and extend the life of aging assets in heavy machinery, power generation, process manufacturing and a variety of other industrial sectors.

In a new age of Big Analog Data™ solutions, users can take advantage of machine learning to harness value from information. They can collect raw data and derive insights to improve operations, equipment and processes. Users can also realize huge cost savings and competitive advantages as artificial intelligence-driven prognostics warn of component failures before they occur, identify suboptimal operating conditions and assist with root-cause analysis.

NI’s open, software-centric platform creates the foundation of the Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Testbed, which delivers on the opportunities present in machine learning. Customers can apply SparkCognition’s cognitive analytics to proactively avoid unplanned equipment fatigue and failure of critical assets; thus, enhancing system capabilities by gaining advanced insights into equipment health and remediation solutions. These capabilities help increase operational efficiencies and safety, and decrease maintenance costs.

“With IIoT technologies driving vast sensorization of industrial equipment, and massive amounts of data being collected on those assets, the collaboration between NI and SparkCognition powers the complex and intelligent processing of information to produce valuable insights,” said Stuart Gillen, director of business development at SparkCognition.

“We are excited that our platform can acquire the data and extract the features to drive SparkCognition analytics for IIoT solutions,” said Jamie Smith, director of embedded systems at NI. “Combined with existing technologies in the testbed, the addition of SparkCognition presents new ways to help automate the process of turning sensor data into business insight.”

With this software-defined approach, viewing, managing and refining a broad range of assets stands in direct contrast to the traditional, fixed-functionality methods of the past, which often take too much time, rely on hard-to-find talent and require custom model building for each type of asset.

National Instruments demonstrates mmWave 802.11ad Wireless Test Technology

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today a technology preview of its new 802.11ad, or WiGig, test solution at EDI CON USA 2016. Highlighting new capabilities in the emerging field of mmWave test, NI is demonstrating parametric testing of an 802.11ad radio using its mmWave instrument technology.

This demonstration of a new 802.11ad test solution is based on NI’s wideband mmWave transceiver technology used by leading automotive and wireless infrastructure researchers to prototype advanced radar and 5G systems. It consists of a vector signal generator and vector signal analyzer operating at 55 to 68 GHz with more than 2 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth. This new technology for 802.11ad testing also complements NI’s comprehensive product portfolio for wireless test, including existing solutions testing 802.11a/b/h/j/n/p/ac/ax, Bluetooth, GSM, UMTS, LTE/LTE-A, FM/RDS, GNSS and more.

“With proposed 5G bands at 28, 38, and 73 GHz, WiGig at 60 GHz, and automotive radar at 77 GHz, mmWave is the next frontier of wideband instrument technology,” said Jin Bains, vice president of RF R&D at NI. “With our newest 802.11ad test solution, we are excited to work alongside leading chipset vendors to develop new solutions for the next generation of wireless test.”

NI’s mmWave transceiver technology introduces a new approach to 802.11ad testing that offers customers an alternative to slow, expensive and low-performing traditional instruments. To further refine this technology, NI is working with leading semiconductor vendors as part of a lead user program.

“802.11ad is a critical addition complementing WiFi technology, enabling multi-gigabit wireless throughput for demanding consumer and mobile applications such as UHD video streaming, as well as enabling high bandwidth data transmission for wireless infrastructure including mobile backhaul and wireless access points,” said Anand Iyer, director of mmWave product marketing at Broadcom Limited. “NI’s developments in mmWave test solutions have allowed us to address various testing challenges like reducing test costs and providing high-volume manufacturing and over-the-air test capabilities.”

Yokogawa releases Enhanced Version of ProSafe®-RS Safety Instrumented System

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces to release ProSafe®-RS R4.02.00. With this latest release of the ProSafe®-RS safety instrumented system, a number of functional safety management (FSM) related functions have been added to the Automation Design Suite (AD Suite) engineering environment for ProSafe-RS that will support our customers in ensuring safety throughout the plant lifecycle.
Development Background:

In energy and basic materials industries such as oil, gas, petrochemicals, and chemicals, various safety measures must be taken to prevent incidents and to protect the environment. One such measure is the introduction of safety instrumented systems, which can safely initiate an emergency plant shutdown if a critical failure is detected.

The initiating causes of such incidents have been investigated by regulatory bodies that have identified poor clarity in requirements definition and communication as the major contributing factor. Further to this, increased attention has been paid to the role that FSM plays throughout the plant operational lifecycle in keeping the risks of unsafe practices or failures within an acceptable range. Interest among our customers has thus been rising in ensuring the safety of their plants by obtaining compliance with the IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 international standards*1 on functional safety. However, FSM is a complex subject requiring a diversity of expertise to carry out tasks such as deciding policies, creating management systems, drawing up plans, managing their execution, and training personnel. To help customers accurately define, test, and understand their systems and to simplify the task of ensuring that a system remains in compliance with the IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 functional safety standards during the engineering phase and while in operation, Yokogawa has added new functions to AD Suite.

Enhancements:
1. Enhanced support for FSM planning and implementation
2. Enhanced support for hand-over of FSM information
3. Enhanced support for a better understanding of safety instrumented systems engineering and operation

 

Rockwell opens Registration for the 25th Automation Fair Event

The Automation Fair® event is the ideal opportunity to discover how The Connected Enterprise can help you achieve faster time to market, optimize your assets, lower your total cost of ownership and improve enterprise risk.

  • Attend industry forums, hands-on labs and technical sessions to expand your knowledge and use of the latest control, power and information technologies
  • Visit over 150 exhibits from Rockwell Automation and our PartnerNetwork™ members, showcasing the newest innovations and solutions
  • Network with industry experts and peers

Registration is now open for the 25th Automation Fair event hosted by Rockwell Automation and members of its PartnerNetwork program. Manufacturers and producers across the globe can see the latest products, services and solutions that help enable a Connected Enterprise at this year’s event, being held at the Georgia World Congress Center on Nov. 9 and 10 in Atlanta.

“We are well-positioned to bring The Connected Enterprise to life for our customers, given our technology, domain expertise, partners and market access,” says Blake Moret, president and CEO, Rockwell Automation. “You can see the power of this combination at the Automation Fair event. As a company, we continue to focus all of our passion and knowledge on helping our customers improve their competitiveness.”

Automation Fair Event:
On Nov. 9 and 10, more than 100 exhibits showcasing the latest innovations in automation from Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork program will be on display. Attendees can experience this technology at 19 hands-on labs and participate in any of the 93 technical sessions. They can also hear best practices from customers and industry leaders in nine different industry forums, including automotive, chemical, food and beverage, global machine and equipment builders, life sciences, oil and gas, power and energy management, pulp and paper, and water wastewater.

Process Solutions User Group (PSUG)
On Nov. 7 and 8, PSUG will bring together more than 800 operations, IT and engineering professionals in process industries to share best practices and learn from peers. The event will feature approximately 30 technical sessions, eight hands-on labs, and more than 25 presentations from Rockwell Automation customers.

Registration

Event Webpage

Rockwell Automation acquires MAVERICK Technologies

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) has acquired leading systems integrator MAVERICK Technologies to expand domain knowledge and help deliver innovative control and information solutions to customers in industries such as chemical, food and beverage, and oil and gas. The acquisition significantly strengthens Rockwell Automation’s expertise in key process and batch applications to help its customers realize greater productivity and improved global competitiveness through process control and information management solutions.

“Industrial control and information solutions are most effective when they result from close collaboration between a knowledgeable supplier and the user,” said Ken Champa, Rockwell Automation senior vice president of Control Products and Solutions. “The combination of our global industrial automation leadership with MAVERICK’s platform-independent domain expertise will help our customers reduce complexity and realize unprecedented productivity.”

The acquisition supports the Rockwell Automation growth strategy to help customers increase global competitiveness by adopting The Connected Enterprise – a vision that connects information across the plant floor with the entire enterprise to drive new business value. This is particularly important to process customers whose uptime and continuous performance are critical.

“We will continue to deliver our domain expertise, now with the power of a Fortune 500 industrial automation leader at our side,” said Paul Galeski, MAVERICK founder and CEO. “This creates the best combination available to help uncover the benefits of information that drives performance in process industries.”

MAVERICK is located in Columbia, IL with 21 locations in the U.S. and over 300 engineers and technical salespeople. In July 2016, it was recognized by The Silicon Review magazine as one of the “2016 50 Best Companies to Watch.”

Rockwell acquires Automation Control Products to Deliver Centralized Visualization Solutions

Rockwell Automation has acquired Automation Control Products (ACP), a leading provider in centralized thin client, remote desktop and server management software. ACP’s two core products, ThinManager® and Relevance®, provide manufacturing and industrial leaders with visual display and software solutions to manage information and streamline workflows for a more connected manufacturing environment.

This acquisition supports the Rockwell Automation growth strategy to help customers increase global competitiveness through The Connected Enterprise – a vision that connects information across the plant floor to the rest of the enterprise. It is accelerated by the Industrial Internet of Things and advances in technologies, such as data analytics, remote monitoring, and mobility.

“Today’s plant engineers turn to our technology innovation and domain expertise to help improve their manufacturing quality and reliability while increasing productivity,” said Frank Kulaszewicz, senior vice president of Architecture and Software, Rockwell Automation. “With ACP’s industry-leading products now in our portfolio, we can provide new capabilities for workers as the manufacturing environment becomes more digital and connected.”

ThinManager centralizes the management and visualization of content to every facet of a modern manufacturing operation, from the control room to the end user. It streamlines workflows and allows users to reduce hardware operation and maintenance costs. Relevance extends the ThinManager functionality through proprietary location-based technology, enabling users’ secure mobile access to content and applications from anywhere.

“We are a perfect addition to Rockwell Automation’s industrial automation offerings that aim to increase reliability, productivity and security as well as lower energy and maintenance costs while implementing sustainable technology for leading global manufacturers,” said Matt Crandell, CEO of ACP. “We are confident that our customers will quickly see the value from our two organizations working to address their needs together.”