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Emerson named ‘Industrial IoT Company of the Year’ in 2022 IoT Breakthrough Awards

Global technology and industrial software leader Emerson has been named the ‘Industrial IoT Company of the Year’ by IoT Breakthrough – an honour awarded to the company in four of the past five years. IoT Breakthrough, which received nearly 4,000 nominations for the 2022 competition, recognises Emerson’s technology and software innovation that is helping customers in essential industries realise safer, more efficient and sustainable operations.

Emerson’s Plantweb is the most comprehensive ecosystem of sensors, smart devices, industrial software and analytics in the industry. In addition, Emerson designs and delivers more smart sensing devices than any company in the world.

“Emerson’s advanced digital technologies, software and analytics have been delivering measurable operational improvements in manufacturing facilities for years, and now these same technologies are highly focused on sustainability,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “We’re helping customers in power, energy, chemical, life sciences, food and beverage, and so many other industries advance their sustainability goals in tangible, scalable ways.”

Through its Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) portfolio of digital technologies, software and analytics, Emerson is helping some of the world’s largest companies achieve Top Quartile performance in key areas, including higher reliability, increased safety and reduced energy emissions. These IIoT technologies are transforming industrial operating models, enabling remote and autonomous operations while making manufacturing teams more agile and collaborative.

“Emerson’s advanced automation and digital technologies are instrumental in helping customers optimise their operations while helping them meet robust environmental sustainability goals,” said James Johnson, managing director at IoT Breakthrough. “Congratulations, once again, on being our choice for ‘Industrial IoT Company of the Year’.”

IoT Breakthrough honours the world’s best companies, leaders, technologies and products in a range of IoT categories – from industrial and enterprise, to consumer and connected home. Winners are selected by a panel of senior-level professionals experienced in the IoT space, including journalists, analysts and technology executives.

Contrinex don’t need to soft-soap hand-wash manufacturers about performance of metal M18 Photoelectric Sensors

The past couple of years have seen an explosion in the popularity of non-contact hand-washing units. The manufacturers of these soap and water dispensers need robust, reliable and affordable sensors to detect the presence of the user’s hands. Traditionally these systems have used two sensors for accurate triggering, but a single Contrinex M18PA Reflex Background Suppression Photoelectric sensor, available from PLUS Automation, can work reliably and save space and cut costs. The customer wanted a small dual-output sensor capable of withstanding mechanical shocks and resisting fluid ingress while offering an attractive price/performance profile.

Customer application

Hand sanitisation has become a hot topic in washrooms as a method of protection against COVID-19 and so a permanent feature of everyday life. Automated, non-contact operation is the norm for speedy, safe hand-washing, using either soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser. Manufacturers of these dispenser systems need robust, affordable sensors to detect the presence of a users hands to trigger delivery of soap, water or sanitiser.

Soap-and-water dispensers have dual delivery systems, traditionally requiring two sensors for accurate sequential dispensing. The increased interest in non-contact systems has created the opportunity of a new market for lower-priced dispensers and so there was an interest in the feasibility of a single-sensor system, saving space and cutting cost. A key requirement is a dual-output sensor with a delay function, allowing a programmable interval between soap- and water-dispensing.

The application also creates additional constraints because the aesthetic design of the dispensing head limits the space for the sensor and the need for ingress protection against liquid soap, water or sanitiser. Cost constraints also exert significant influence in sensor selection, limiting the choice to devices with an acceptable price/performance profile.

Customer Solution

High-performance, small and robust, Contrinex’s new metal-bodied M18M photoelectric sensors fulfil all the dispenser manufacturer’s requirements. The diffuse mode sensors with background suppression are practically insensitive to a target’s size, colour, shape and texture, and provide a long sensing distance of up to 250 mm, ideal for the application.

Fitting an M12 right-angle connector extends the compact 33 mm long sensor to only 55 mm including the connector. The sensor is therefore, able to fit beside the soap and water nozzles in a typical, tightly packed dispensing head.
Contrinex’s ASIC technology provides best-in-class sensing distances, and the rugged IP67 rated stainless-steel (V2A/AISI 303) housings and shatter-resistant PMMA optics provide excellent protection against mechanical shock and fluid ingress.

The sensor’s multi-mode IO-Link functionality provides two discrete outputs following the detection of a target. An initial one-shot output delivers a single pulse to trigger the soap dispenser, while a second, delayed pulse initiates and maintains the delivery of water for a user-defined period of time. IO-Link also allows real-time access to process data as well as additional functionalities that include sensitivity adjustment, event flags and sensor-temperature measurement.
Designed with the needs of OEMs and system integrators in mind, Contrinex M18M metric-threaded metal-bodied photoelectric sensors are not only affordable but meet designers’ needs for a robust, versatile solution with best-in-class service life. They represent exceptional value for money while offering a price/performance profile that exceeds expectations. Customised versions with bespoke functionality are also available for specialised applications.

Farnell extends range of test and analysis products with Broadcom’s compact spectroscopy

Farnell has enhanced its test and measurement product portfolio with the addition of a new range of miniature spectrometers and associated evaluation kits from Broadcom. Field and lab-based engineers can now access the industry’s best-in-class spectrometers from stock for same day shipping at Farnell.

Broadcom’s family of compact modular spectrometer devices can be used to take accurate measurements of Ultraviolet (UV), Visible (VIS) and Near Infrared (NIR) light. They are suitable for a wide range of applications including process control and monitoring, medical diagnostics, water quality, material and polymer analysis, colour measurements, environmental analysis, light measurements, ramen spectroscopy and quality control. Due to the high flexibility, the spectrometer units are the perfect choice for process analytics and point of care detection.

Broadcom’s USB spectrometers and associated evaluation kits available from stock at Farnell include:

  • Qneo infrared spectrometer is designed for reliable and cost-effective industrial integration for high volume integration supporting optical analysis in the spectral range between 950 – 1700 nm. Equipped with an uncooled InGaAs sensor array, the Qneo enables professional sensing with high sensitivity. The ultra-compact design, with a footprint smaller than a credit card, features a rugged setup that combines high resistance in industrial environments, high optical performance, and easy integration featuring several serial interfaces.
  • Qmini range is made up of miniature spectroscopy with integrated electronics for mobile applications and industrial integration covering UV, VIS and NIR ranges. Two out of 6 models feature a wide spectral range from 190 – 1100 nm one UV enhanced, one sensitivity optimized for visible. The compact design of the Qmini enables tight integration in applications where space is limited, such as point of care detection. Powerful onboard electronics provide easy integration and enhanced spectra processing.
  • Qwave2 range combines outstanding performance in a compact housing exemplary for sophisticated measurements in UV VIS NIR regions. With performance normally found in much larger spectrometers, the Qwave offers high optical resolution and sensitivity, dynamic range, and thermal stability. With a high-resolution 3648-pixel linear CCD detector the Qwave is suitable for laboratories and OEMs.

James McGregor, Global Head of Test, Tools and Production Supplies, at Farnell said: “Broadcom’s industry leading range of spectrometers and associated evaluation kits are a valuable addition to Farnell’s portfolio. Broadcom has successfully achieved high performance in a small form factor with its reliable spectrometer solutions that ensure our customers can take accurate UV-VIS-NIR measurements and complete testing and analysis for a wide range of industrial, mobile, biomedical and scientific research applications much faster.”

Broadcom is a leading provider of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions. Its infrastructure software portfolio includes enterprise solutions for building, connecting, managing, and securing complex digital environments. Operating on a global scale, Broadcom offers engineering depth, broad product portfolio diversity, superior execution, and operational focus to deliver innovative solutions that enable customers to build and grow successful businesses in a constantly changing environment.

Farnell offers an extensive range of test and measurement products to support field and lab-based test engineers. Customers also have free access to online resources, datasheets, application notes, videos, webinars and 24/5 technical support.

Broadcom’s range of USB spectrometers and evaluation kits are now available from Farnell in EMEA, element14 in APAC and Newark in North America.

Mouser Electronics stocks wide selection of Murata products

Mouser Electronics is a global authorised distributor of a wide selection of products from Murata, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of ceramic passive electronic components, wireless connectivity modules, and power conversion technologies. With over 19,000 Murata parts in stock, Mouser offers an ever-broadening selection of the manufacturer’s newest solutions, including products from Murata ElectronicsMurata Power Solutions, and Murata IPDiA.

Murata’s ultra-broadband silicon capacitors are ideal for optical communication systems (ROSA/TOSA, SONET, and all optoelectronics) as well as high-speed data systems. These capacitors offer low insertion loss, low reflection, and high phase stability from 16 kHz up to 60 GHz for the UBSC/UBEC series and up to 20 GHz for the ULSC/ULEC series, and high rejection up to 26 GHz for the UWSC series.

LQW43FT automotive broadband inductors are AEC-Q200 qualified and are ideal for vehicle-mounted power-over-coax (PoC) systems used in serialiser and deserialiser interfaces. The inductors offer a high current of 1000 mA and an inductance range of 10 µH to 22 µH.

MGJ2 2W bipolar-output SMT DC-DC converters are ideal for powering high-side and low-side gate drive circuits for IGBT and SiC-based MOSFET high-voltage gate drivers used in industrial, renewable energy, and mobility applications. Available in 12 V and 15 V rails, the converters feature a power rating of 2 W.

DMR35 digital panel meters perform precision DC current or voltage measurements and feature highly visible, 3½-digit measurements (depending on selected range) with a fast-acting 21-segment bar graph.

To learn more about Murata products available from Mouser Electronics, visit https://www.mouser.com/manufacturer/murata/.

Kempston Controls becomes Midlands distributor for Bürkert valves

Electrical component distributor, Kempston Controls, has become Bürkert’s official distributor for the Midlands region. Based in Northamptonshire, Kempston Controls now supplies end users across the region with Bürkert’s range of process valves and flow control components. Main sectors of coverage include food & beverage as well as hygienic applications.

The new agreement means that Kempston Controls will supply a range of Bürkert products including process and control valves as well as solenoid valves. The distributor will also stock Bürkert’s range of WRAS-approved material valves to demonstrate UK regulations compliance of water fittings that transfer water to and from the public mains supply. Kempston Controls will stock Bürkert products on site and also provide 24/7 cover to support customers out-of-hours.

As a distributor, Kempston Controls will receive expert project support from Bürkert to optimise the design, implementation and commissioning of customers’ process control projects. This includes technology such as Bürkert’s FLOWave volumetric flow meter for high accuracy measurement of pharmaceutical-grade water and ultra-pure media applications.

Kempston Controls will also have access to food & beverage solutions such as the tank blanketing system that enables the automated control of pressure and atmosphere inside a tank. The solution is deployed in applications such as brewery buffer tanks to maintain the desired conditions and prevent bacterial growth.

Having been a reseller of Bürkert products for several years, the formalised distribution agreement will enable Kempston Controls to expand its presence in the process sector. Thomas Steele, Midlands Area Sales Manager at Bürkert explains: “The agreement increases the support Bürkert can provide to customers in the Midlands with greater speed and availability of valves and associated process control components. It also enables our system design engineers to be more involved in projects, particularly within the food & beverage sector and hygienic applications.”

“Significant growth for Kempston Controls is taking place within the process sector and we’re serving an increasing amount of customer projects. For our customers, Bürkert’s support means very high quality valves with rapid availability,” says Kempston Controls’ Sandeep Sarpal, Commercial Manager of the company’s Process Division.

“Bürkert’s backing also means support for process system design and Kempston Controls can directly integrate with the company’s flow control engineers. Our future growth plan is to offer a complete solution from design through to field support, and this agreement is the start of that,” Sandeep adds.

Yokogawa enhances cybersecurity and safety for the OpreX Control and Safety System lineup

Yokogawa has obtained ISASecure CSA Level 1 certification from the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) for its CENTUM VP integrated production control system, a product in the OpreX Control and Safety System family. With this certification, Yokogawa’s CENTUM VP integrated production control system and ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system now both conform to the latest international security standards. In addition, the company has developed an enhanced version of ProSafe-RS Lite that meets both explosion protection and marine standards, and an updated version of the Plant Resource Manager (PRM) software that supports this latest version of the ProSafe-RS Lite.

Due in part to factors such as the increased reliance on remote system access during the COVID-19 pandemic, cyberattacks on production facilities are on the rise worldwide and are growing ever more sophisticated, and this is driving a rising awareness of the need for compliance with international standards. Components that receive ISASecure CSA certification conform to the IEC 62443-4-1 and IEC 62443-4-2 international standards pertaining to security for industrial automation and control systems. The ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system, which conforms to safety integrity level SIL3, and the ProSafe-RS Lite, which meets SIL2 standards, obtained ISASecure CSA Level 1 certification in May and July 2021, respectively. 

For CENTUM VP to qualify for ISASecure CSA Level 1 certification, a cyclic redundancy check function has been added that periodically diagnoses the integrity of the programs and databases on a plant’s field control stations. If an error is detected, a system alarm is issued. Upgrading to the latest CENTUM VP R6.09 also enables operators to access Collaborative Information Server screens from their human interface stations, thus enabling the acquisition in real time of data on the operational status of equipment and devices.

In line with efforts to enhance safety, ProSafe-RS R4.07 has been developed, as a result of which ProSafe-RS Lite now meets both explosion-protection standards (ATEX/IECEx/ECAS-Ex) and marine standards. This means that this SIL2 system can be installed in plants and facilities where there is a risk of explosions, and on LNG carriers and other vessels. By using it together with the SIL3-certified ProSafe-RS, which also meets both sets of standards, it is possible to optimise the cost of plant safety instrumentation based on the application. In addition, PRM R4.05 has been developed to support devices that are connected to ProSafe-RS Lite. PRM uses IT to detect signs of impending equipment malfunctions so that operators can be notified and take preemptive action, thus reducing the risk of failures.

With the development of highly secure and safe devices and systems, and the provision of support for their operation, Yokogawa is able to offer a wide range of control system solutions. The certification and functional enhancement of these solutions will contribute to safe and robust plant operations in many industries.

ABB to modernise the Oosterscheldekering barrier operating system, part of the world’s largest flood protection structure

Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, has awarded ABB a contract to upgrade the Oosterscheldekering barrier operating system, the icon of the Dutch Delta Works, the world’s largest flood protection structure which protects the country against flooding from the North Sea. With 26 percent of The Netherlands below the sea level, Oosterscheldekering plays a key role in keeping the country safe.

Credit: Rijkswaterstaat

Delta Works consists of two locks, six dams and five storm-surge barriers. At 9 km long, the Oosterscheldekering, is the largest of the 13 Delta Works dams and storm surge barriers and has protected the Zeeland and South Holland hinterland against high-water since 1986.

ABB’s Ability System 800xA has controlled the Oosterscheldekering barrier for the last 36 years. Under normal conditions, the barrier remains open; when water levels of more than 3 meters above the Normal Amsterdam Level are fore­casted, thanks to ABB technology, the barrier comes down in advance. At present, 260 ABB AC 800M controllers enable 62 steel doors, each 42 meters wide, to open and close at the push of a button. This ambitious project demonstrates the capabilities of System 800xA, with 64,000 I/O under one single operating system, and will also ensure the barrier complies with the latest security regulations.

“We are hugely proud of our role in providing the automation technology for this critical infrastructure which prevents 60 percent of the Netherlands from potential flooding,” said Gerton Dekkers, Vice President at ABB Benelux. “We have worked closely with Rijkswaterstaat for the last three decades, with both parties collaborating in sharing their skills and knowledge to optimise operational efficiencies at the barrier. This project exemplifies our core values of enabling safe, smart and sustainable operations.”

ABB was awarded the contract in 2021. This included a pre-study and proof-of-concept to test the proposed set up. The contract, which includes a 15-year service and care agreement, will be phased in over the next three years.

ABB has also supplied the control systems for several other storm barriers in the Netherlands, including Maeslantkering, Ramspolkering and the Haringvlietdam.

Analog Devices’ Baoxing Chen named IEEE Fellow

Analog Devices’ Technology Fellow Dr. Baoxing Chen has been named a 2022 IEEE Fellow for his contributions to integrated signal-power isolation and integrated magnetics. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of IEEE membership and is recognised by the technical community as a prestigious honour and an important career achievement. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership.

“I am incredibly humbled and honoured to be named an IEEE Fellow,” said Dr. Chen. “This is a testament to Analog Devices’ leadership in digital isolation technology, which is only made possible through decades of dedication from our isolation team. I am extremely fortunate to work in such a collaborative environment where innovation is nurtured and valued.”

Dr. Chen, who joined Analog Devices in 1997, was named an ADI Fellow in 2010. As the chief technologist for the Isolation Group, he pioneered iCoupler and isoPower digital isolation technology from inception through today’s innovations, enabling over 4.4 billion isolation channels shipped. He also heads chip scale thermoelectric harvester developments at ADI.  Dr. Chen has published more than 40 papers and holds 52 US patents. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor in Northeastern University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and also serves as associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. Dr. Chen holds a Ph.D. in Physics and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan as well as a B. S. in Physics from Nanjing University in China.

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 plus members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics.

Protecting the science of tomorrow: VOC detection technology for University of Nottingham School of Chemistry

For the chemists and students who are working hard to make scientific discoveries and improvements for the future, it’s vital that their labs and work areas are safe and free from potentially harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Shawcity, ION Science’s UK distributor, is pleased to have supplied ION Science’s leading handheld VOC gas detector, the Tiger, to help monitor air quality at the University of Nottingham School of Chemistry GSK Centre for Sustainable Chemistry.

Preventing exposure and ensuring VOC levels do not reach dangerous concentrations in these areas is essential for the safety of those working, and to ensure minimal interference with projects and experiments. There are also other factors to consider, such as shared communal spaces in buildings (like corridors or common rooms) potentially being impacted by high levels of VOCs. Depending on the volume and type of VOC, this could range from mildly annoying to more serious health affects long-term.

In a university, where buildings may have been converted or retrofitted to their current purpose, and therefore lack modern ventilation systems, having additional safeguards in place to monitor air quality and VOC concentrations is essential for safety. The University of Nottingham School of Chemistry had received some complaints about strong chemical smells in their labs, but the team also wanted to introduce some additional safety measures in the event of ventilation systems being down, accidents, leaks or other potential hazardous incidents.

To accurately evaluate VOC levels and identify the risks or hazards present in the lab, the team wanted to find a handheld device that could monitor VOC concentration and air quality. It needed to be simple in its readouts, reliable, and able to be used in multiple labs, as well as different areas within the lab, such as fume hoods. ION Science’s leading handheld VOC detector, the Tiger, was chosen for meeting all these requirements and more.

As the first VOC detector used by The University of Nottingham School of Chemistry, one of the key factors for purchase was the ease of use for the Tiger, and the extensive technical support offered by Shawcity. A spokesperson for the university said: ‘Our building contains a series of chemistry research laboratories where groups work on diverse projects based around green and sustainable chemistry themes; we make catalysts, invent new reactions, new battery technology, and new solar cells. 

 ‘We use a lot of different organic solvents many of which are volatile and require LEVs (local exhaust ventilation) to contain those vapours. We use the Tiger to check that our vented cupboards, extraction arms, vented enclosures and fume hoods are doing what they are meant to, which is containing those VOCs. 

 ‘The Tiger is very useful in the lab for both routine inspections of air quality and equipment functionality, as well as for use in emergencies when ventilation equipment has gone down. We are extremely pleased with the product and Shawcity have been helpful throughout.’

ION Science is pleased to be supporting the science and technology achievements of tomorrow with industry leading VOC detection today. To find out more about the Tiger, please visit: https://bit.ly/3FgZy89.

Hirose wins Continental’s Supplier of The Year Award

Hirose, a Japanese manufacturer of high quality connectors that are sold across all global markets in the electronics industry, was named as a winner of the Supplier of the Year award for the electromechanical field.

Bryan Cullis, President / COO said: “This is a huge accolade for us as we have been working closely with Continental for several years to continuously improve our operation in the Automotive arena. Our achievement to be awarded a ‘Strategic supplier’ has enormous significance moving forward. We will continue this path to enhance our relationship and grow the business for our respective future.”

The award ceremony was held as part of a virtual event on 9 September 2021 with Continental Purchasing Managers from all markets and representatives of the awarded suppliers.

Wolfgang Meunzel, Director Purchasing, said: “Hirose has supplied Continental with millions of connectors and at the same time managed the connection between our products and those of our customers. Being a well-known supplier for many years, Hirose understands how to achieve the status of a strategic supplier by continuous performance and trustful cooperation. In addition, Hirose may well expand the portfolio delivered to Continental with Connectors, because of their positive development and in terms of technical support. In 2020, Hirose set the benchmark within the range of interconnection suppliers – especially in the disciplines of automotive standard, logistic- support and short development times. Hirose supports Continental with stable quality and performance at a high level. Many thanks to Hirose for the support and achievements in 2020.”

Peter Vijverberg, Deputy General Manager and Shinji Yamamoto, Business Development Manager, Automotive section both confirmed: “We are sincerely honoured to receive this award and have subsequently shared with all concerned within the Hirose group. We would like to thank Continental for their continuous coaching / support and trust towards us. We will continue to do our best to increase our share with Continental so that not only we win new business but also provide high quality product to enable Continental to win new business as well, in this very competitive Automotive market”