News

Web-based low level measurement seminar available on-demand

Keithley Instruments’ free, web-based seminar –  ‘Techniques for Making Successful Low Level DC Measurements’is available for on-demand viewing.

The seminar describes the basics of low current electrical measurements, including how to select the right current measurement instrument, practical ways to reduce current noise in measurement setups, and how to quantify subtle sources of noise.

During the seminar, participants will learn how to:

• Determine if the application requires low level measurements

• Avoid common sources of noise and error

• Solve speed limitations

• Know when to select a specialized or a general purpose instrument

The presenter is Jennifer Cheney, staff applications engineer at Keithley Instruments.

To register for on-demand viewing of this webinar, please visit www.keithley.com/ws/1391.

 

Art conservators and scientists to learn advanced techniques for analysing artifacts using state-of-the-art instruments

Agilent Technologies has announced that it is supplying state-of-the-art instruments and software for a workshop on Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer at Yale University.

At the workshop, an international group of art conservators and scientists are learning advanced techniques in gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to help them analyse lacquer and a broad range of other trace-level compounds found in Asian lacquer artifacts.

Careful analysis of lacquer can reveal a wealth of information about the age and geographical origins of the components, and also address the authenticity of the artifact. Modern coatings that aim to imitate lacquer are composed of various mixtures of polymers and pigments and can also be characterized using GC/MS techniques.

 “We were very excited when our Getty Conservation Institute colleagues approached us last year about the opportunity to co-host a workshop that focuses on the latest advances in the characterization of Asian lacquers,” said Anikó Bezur, director of scientific research at the Yale center. “The creation of such professional advancement opportunities for conservators and conservation scientists is a core mission of ours, and we are grateful for Agilent’s support that made the workshop possible and for the enthusiasm its team has expressed for our research and outreach efforts.”

The five-day workshop, based on the Getty Conservation Institute’s research on Asian lacquers, was developed in partnership with the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Frontier Laboratories’ pyrolysis technology used in this workshop is provided by Quantum Analytics.

Alrad appointed British representative for Apogee scientific cameras

Alrad has signed an agreement to sell the Apogee range of scientific cameras in the British Isles.

Ian Alderton, sales director, commented: “The Apogee product range is an exciting addition to our already extensive portfolio and gives us the opportunity to offer an even greater selection of camera products to our customers. We are very proud to be able to offer the Apogee range of products in the British Isles and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship between the two companies which we are sure will benefit many of our customers”.

The Aspen series is the newest in design innovation from Apogee Imaging Systems. Aspen increases cooling performance in a smaller package, improves stray light baffling, adds a Network interface with a built-in web server, supports dual output CCDs up to 16Mhz and sets a new standard in shutter reliability.

www.alrad.co.uk

Instrumentation magazine celebrates 45 years in print!

The July/August issue of Instrumentation magazine is celebrating the Anniversary of when the magazine was launched – in 1968. View the digital issue here!

Over the last 45 years, instrumentation technology has changed beyond recognition. As a result, this special Anniversary issue looks back on 45 years of technology – from sensors and non-contact measurement, to gas monitoring solutions, data acquisition and torque monitoring.

Readers will also be able to find out about present day solutions, and discover what can be expected during the next few years.

Fill in the form here to receive printed or digital versions of Instrumentation.

Analysers enable fast measurement of water activity in perishable food and pharmaceutical products

Water activity in perishable foods and pharmaceutical products influences their shelf life, affecting such properties as the quality, stability, taste and aroma. Now, however, product samples can be analysed quickly – typically in less than five minutes – using Rotronic’s water activity analysers and probes.

Of additional benefit to users, the probes can be exchanged rapidly when calibration is due – no adjustment is needed due to the digital interface.

One example is the benchtop HygroClip 2 version of the company’s laboratory grade water activity analyser with AirChip3000 digital technology – the HygroLab C1. This instrument features four interchangeable probe units, which enable sensing stations and insertion probes to be connected for simultaneous Aw measurements to indicate product quality.

 The HygrolabC1 is available in a set that includes the benchtop Aw instrument, HW4 validated software, sensing station, a sample holder, sample liners and humidity standards so users can check sensor performance. The HW4 software, which is FDA 21 CFR Part II, enables remote monitoring on a PC, with measurements available graphically and in tabular form.

Also available from the company are portable Aw analysers designed for fast offline process checks and for goods inwards product quality assurance, including a handheld version with interchangeable probe, and a sensing station that connects via USB to a PC running the HW4 software.

Rotronic                        

T: 01293 571000                             

www.rotronic.co.uk

State-of-the art lab opened for wireless communications teaching and research

Agilent Technologies and Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork have opened a state-of-the-art laboratory for research and teaching in next-generation wireless communications.

The new laboratory will enable advanced training and research on radio frequency integrated circuits for high-speed wireless data communications for video applications and contactless sensors for biomedical and security applications.

The laboratory is named after the 1909 Nobel prize-winning Italian scientist, Guglielmo Marconi, who moved to Ireland in to carry out his research. 

“We welcome the €800,000 investment from Agilent and the Higher Education Authority of Ireland, in the Marconi Laboratory at Tyndall,” said Kieran Drain, CEO Tyndall National Institute. “This laboratory houses the latest industry-standard equipment and will ensure that the research team and students led by Dr. Domenico Zito continue the excellent work in emerging RF Communications at Tyndall.

Tyndall researcher and Science Foundation Ireland Stokes Lecturer, Dr. Domenico Zito, said: “Having a laboratory equipped with a unique set of Agilent instruments for high-frequency, low-noise measurements up to 110 GHz is of great value to our researchers and students. We are very grateful to Agilent for their donation in CAD tools and instruments and the HEA) investment in establishing the Marconi Lab as a worldwide centre of excellence in low-noise, high-frequency measurements.”

The equipment in the lab includes a four-port PNA-X with ultra-low-noise receiver and five extension modules; a signal source analyzer with microwave down-converter and six extension modules; a millimetre-wave source module; and a small arsenal of very expensive cables, devices and units, up to 110 GHz.

www.agilent.com

ESX®-IOXp – a powerful, low-cost control solution

Sensor-Technik UK is proud to introduce the ESX®-IOXp – the latest electronic control unit for mobile applications is the second member of the low-cost control product family. The ESX®-IOXp is a fully-fledged freely programmable control unit with 2 independent CAN interfaces and an additional RS232 interface. Programming takes place in the widely accepted CoDeSys development environment from 3S-Smart Software Solutions in accordance with the international programming standard IEC 61131-3. This makes familiarization easy and exceedingly simple to realise control functions.

The ESX®-IOXp is an inexpensive real-time control unit, providing multiple input and output options, whilst maintaining the high level of quality, reliability and accuracy that have become synonymous with STW products. Utilising an automotive standard housing, the ESX®-IOXp offers a powerful, yet low-cost, control solution.

Sensor-Technik UK is the UK and Ireland distributor for Sensor-Technik Wiedemann. A member of the Wiedemann Group of companies, it was set up in 2001 as a distributor and system integrator of the STW product range. Sensor-Technik UK complements its extremely capable range of hardware with innovative engineering services. From software to cable looms, Sensor-Technik UK is your one-stop-shop for control, measurement and integration.

Contact:

Mark Wood (General Manager)

Sensor-Technik UK Ltd,

Unit 21M, Bedford Heights Business Centre,

Manton Lane, Bedford,

MK41 7PH

Tel: (+44) 01234 270770

Email: info@sensor-technik.co.uk

Web: www.sensor-technik.co.uk

Petrobras evaluates FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management for use in ambitious hydrocarbon industry projects

The Fieldbus Foundation conducted the first live demonstration of its FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Held on April 30, 2013, the demonstration was attended by Petrobras company executives and automation industry media from around the world.

Said to be first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 protocols into a single, standard data management environment, FOUNDATION for ROM extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids.

Petrobras is interested in specifying FOUNDATION for ROM technology for the ambitious projects it is undertaking in the upstream and downstream hydrocarbon industry. The company has a record-setting $224 billion capital spending plan through 2015, with most of the investments targeted at the upstream sector on the highly publicised Pre-Salt area of the Santos Basin.

Reliance Industries (India) has also agreed to host FOUNDATION for ROM field demonstrations, and additional end user demonstrations in Japan, the Middle East and Europe are being planned.

The Petrobras Centro de Pesquisas Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello, also known as Cenpes, is the largest oil and gas research center in the Southern Hemisphere. During the field demonstration and press day event—the first step to show the capabilities of FOUNDATION for ROM before it is specified for commercial projects—a series of tests were performed on a distillation process pilot plant to evaluate the use of fieldbus-based ROM devices with wireless protocols for remote applications.

Miguel Borges, who is employed at the Cenpes facility, believes FOUNDATION for ROM can be an enabling technology for remote applications on Petrobras’ offshore platforms. “The Fieldbus Foundation’s ROM solution is attractive to us, since we want to gain access to diagnostic information from devices installed at our remote sites,” said Borges. “Petrobras is committed to investing in this type of technology, and is seeking the most effective solutions available in the marketplace.”

Borges added, “For Petrobras, the primary objective of this live demonstration was to verify that we could access and use remotely, with FOUNDATION for ROM, all the operational functionalities available locally. Another objective was to check the interoperability of ROM devices of different manufacturers over the backhaul. We found this technology provides very easy and quick integration, and is transparent to the user.”

The live FOUNDATION for ROM technology demonstration took place inside the Center for Collaborative Visualisation (NVC), also known as ‘The Egg’. During the functional testing, Petrobras technicians accessed device diagnostics in wireless devices, including device status. Integration of video was demonstrated through observation of a control valve to determine if the valve was open or closed. A temperature sensor for a HART temperature transmitter was also pulled to show how the diagnostic alert would be visible in the same context as a FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 device.

Whether operating on a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network, the FOUNDATION for ROM solution enables automation end users to bring device data into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.

FOUNDATION for ROM

ADSANTEC announces new UK representative

US based ADSANTEC Corporation (Advanced Science and Novel Technology) has appointed Aspen Technologies as its UK representative.

The company specialises in providing cutting-edge custom built ASICs for the test and measurement, telecommunication, and computing markets. Its products are designed for applications up to 60GBps and include a portfolio of over 120 products, ranging from individual ICs to board level systems like PRBS generators. These products are suitable for production testing of ‘Gigabit’ telecoms components and sub-systems, providing 18GBps, 34GBps and 44GBps PRBS signals at a fraction of the cost of a more conventional BERT tester.

www.aspen-electronics.com

Status Instruments announces mobile website

Status Instruments has developed its website for use on a smartphone.

According to the company, the mobile website allows engineers to quickly browse all its products, check specifications, search for specific items and even access full data sheets.

Ian Pullin, managing director, said: “It is impossible to ignore the ever increasing use of smartphones for internet searches and the huge call for mobile websites that comes with that. With this in mind we have created a mobile website that gives our customers everything they need in an easy, user friendly, mobile design.”

www.status.co.uk