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Sensirion Inside: Humidity and temperature monitoring devices from Govee

Sensirion, the expert in environmental sensing, has announced that Govee is using Sensirion’s best-in-class SHTC3 humidity and temperature sensor in their air quality monitoring systems.

Do you find it hard to breathe in your home some days? Are you more prone to headaches and asthma attacks during the summer months? You’re not allergic to heat – but you may have serious humidity and temperature problems in your home or office. When we talk about indoor air quality, the main things we refer to are humidity and temperature. Humidity levels that are too high or too low in closed spaces can lead to various issues. For example, bacteria and viruses that cause respiratory infections thrive in extremely high and extremely low humidity. Mold spores, dust mites and other allergens survive best in high-humidity environments. Furthermore, higher humidity can increase the levels of noxious chemicals in the air, which may include ozone and formaldehyde. 40 % to 60 % relative humidity is an optimal level for the immune system and our respiratory system – it reduces the spread of seasonal respiratory diseases and increases health and well-being.

But how can you improve the air quality in your environment? That’s where Govee’s humidity and temperature monitoring systems step in. “Making Life Smarter” perfectly encapsulates what Govee stands for. With a customer-centric and innovation-focused approach, Govee develops cutting-edge LED lights and smart home devices that transform traditional ways of living and improve people’s health. “By demonstrating integrity, boldness and passion in everything we produce, we create colorful and safe products that succeed in Making Life Smarter. Thanks to the energy efficiency and best-in-class accuracy of Sensirion’s SHTC3 humidity and temperature sensor, our monitoring devices offer excellent battery life and accuracy,” said Tony Li, product manager at Govee.

The SHTC3 humidity and temperature sensor has been designed to overcome conventional limits for size, power consumption and price-performance ratio in order to fulfill the requirements of the consumer electronics market and products like Govee’s humidity and temperature monitoring systems. By using Sensirion’s CMOSens® technology, the SHTC3 offers a complete sensor system on a single chip, consisting of a capacitive humidity sensor, a band-gap temperature sensor, analog and digital signal processing, A/D converter, calibration data memory and a digital communication interface supporting I2C fast mode. The ultra-small, 2 x 2 x 0.75 mm3 DFN package enables applications to be placed in even the most limited of spaces. The sensor covers a humidity measurement range of 0 % to 100 % RH and a temperature measurement range of -40 °C to 125 °C with a typical accuracy of ±2 % RH and ±0.2 °C. “Being able to count Govee among our customers fills us with pride. Govee’s humidity and temperature monitoring devices are the perfect applications for our environmental sensors. Sensirion and Govee are united by the will to enable innovative and smart applications that increase the comfort and safety of people,” says Coco Sit, Senior Channel Development Manager at Sensirion China.

The role of heating technology in medical equipment

There are around 10,000 different medical devices on the market today. Each individual piece of equipment must be manufactured to the highest standards to ensure accurate, efficient and safe results. Here, Andy Selvy, Chief System Designer at industrial technology company Watlow, discusses medical device trends and how heating technology plays a vital role in the function of medical equipment.

The term medical device refers to any instrument, apparatus or appliance involved in the diagnosis, treatment or improvement of life. Each component used to create the device must be built with patient safety, reliability and effectiveness in mind. What’s lesser known, is the role heating technology plays in some of the most commonly used forms of medical device.

Device trends

Medical device manufacturing is a burgeoning market. For example, the UK, which is home to over 2,000 device manufacturing companies, is the third largest medical device market in Europe, behind France and Germany, and is expected to be worth over £5 billion by 2025.

Currently, there are several market trends that create unique thermal challenges. These include the miniaturization of devices, increased throughput for diagnostic equipment and a shift towards point-of-care diagnostics focused on preventative care and faster medical decisions. From an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) perspective, they must also contend with increased globalisation efforts such as leveraging a single device in all regions of the world.

This shift creates several manufacturing challenges. For instance, producers of medical devices must now consider a greater number of voltage requirements and increasingly stringent safety standards. For those focusing on making devices smaller, there’s the associated challenges of still delivering high performance and ensuring careful, considered placement of each component to maximise space.

Heating tech in medical devices

From anaesthesia delivery systems and respiratory therapy devices, such as ventilators, to blood and intravenous (IV) fluid warmers and transfusion equipment, heating plays a crucial function in many medical devices. Without heaters, humidity could not be added to respiratory equipment, instruments could not be sterilised and fluids that help to stabilise body temperature post operation, could not be injected into the body.

When selecting an industrial heating equipment manufacturer to support with a medical device project, it’s important to consider a company’s portfolio of thermal solutions for the industry. Watlow, which has manufactured heating technology such as controllers, heaters and sensors, since 1922, is accomplished in providing OEMs with solutions that enable exceptional thermal control, meeting the most demanding product specifications like combining miniaturisation and high performance.

For instance, its ULTRAMIC advanced ceramic heater is ideal for realising the minimisation trend. Providing thermal performance up to 155 watts per square centimetre (cm) in a package size as small as eight millimetres (mm) squared, and with onboard sensing for closed loop temperature control, the ULTRAMIC saves space, reduces the machine’s overall footprint and simplifies the manufacturing and assembly process.

In addition, Watlow’s small industrial electric heaters are engineered and manufactured with patient safety in mind and comply with medical equipment, mechanical and electrical isolation requirements and commonly include on-board monitors and safety limit controllers.

There in times of crisis

Several Watlow products have been used in medical devices during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, one medical device manufacturer is using our ULTRAMIC advanced ceramic heaters in a product that treats COVID-19 patients, which has proven effective in preventing people from requiring ventilators.

Elsewhere, our foam-in-place silicone rubber heaters have been used to help with COVID-19 vaccine testing. Additionally, Watlow’s EZ-ZONE panel mount (PM) controllers are being used by another company to control air flow and negative vacuum conditions in makeshift hospital tent systems.

Heating technology acts behind the scenes to ensure the critical function of various medical devices. When developing new technology, OEMs should consider partnering with a heating expert that understands the regulatory environment they must operate in and can work alongside them to create life-saving innovations.

STMicroelectronics and Politecnico di Milano announce agreement on research centre for advanced sensors

STMicroelectronics and Politecnico di Milano, a scientific-technological university, which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers, have announced a five-year collaboration agreement in the presence of Italy’s Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti. At the heart of the agreement is the establishment of a joint research centre on advanced materials for sensors (STEAM), leveraging the long-standing collaboration between ST and Politecnico. The joint research centre has been created to give professors, researchers, and PhDs a unique opportunity in Italy, namely all the means to conceive, design and develop MEMS technology and to create new MEMS products.

The agreement will allow the Politecnico di Milano to become even more attractive for talented academics, offering multiple doctoral scholarships and positions for professors and researchers in four areas of common interest and in the related materials sector. The expansion of the existing collaboration will allow the further development of the centre of excellence dedicated to cutting-edge sensors in Lombardy.

ST is a world leader in MEMS and advanced sensors, with over 15 billion MEMS sold to date. The core of its global MEMS R&D operations is in Lombardy, close to Milan. The agreement will also contribute to fuel ST’s research and development roadmap in advanced sensors, MEMS and analog as the teams investigate, develop an understanding of, and develop technologies and skills to future business needs in areas including advanced MEMS, motion control, power electronics, and galvanic isolation.

The agreement also provides for an infrastructure upgrade for the Politecnico di Milano, starting with the construction of a state-of-the-art 200mm pilot line in addition to the current 150mm line of the PoliFab clean room. Dedicated to the development of new MEMS technologies, the new pilot line will be used to support research projects, training, and thesis elaboration.

“The research centre between Politecnico di Milano and STMicroelectronics is the result of an extraordinary joint effort on key areas such as sensors and artificial intelligence,” underlined the Rector of Politecnico di Milano Ferruccio Resta. “This investment also aims at innovating for the manufacturing sector, driver of the Italian economy. The laboratory, open to companies, is part of an ambitious project to create a real innovation district in the Parco dei Gasometri in Bovisa (a neighborhood of Milan). Here a real world-class ecosystem will develop, capable of competing with the best efforts abroad. The centre of excellence embodies the interaction between public and private sectors, between universities and companies. It is one of the strategic activities of the university, increasingly oriented towards the development of advanced research and the competitiveness of the territory.”

“This agreement between ST and the Politecnico di Milano will be a key contributor to our MEMS and sensors research and development operations. It is a great example of what can be done within the framework of ST’s global approach to cooperative research with universities and research bodies: supporting leading technology and engineering ecosystems where ST is present, developing talent, and building the future together,” said Jean-Marc Chéry, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “We see significant value and opportunity in expanding our cooperation to investigate, understand, and develop technologies and skills to meet our future business needs in such areas as advanced MEMS, motion control, power electronics, and galvanic isolation.”

Contrinex inductives can help protect your press from double blanks

A manufacturer of metal cans needs to ensure that the press that applies and crimps the bottom onto the can body is fed with only one bottom. Therefore a fast, non-contact and robust checking mechanism is required.

Customer Application

A conveyor with a stainless-steel glide plate backed by a permanent magnet ensures that the can bottoms travel perfectly flat on the belt which transports them to the assembly stage. If double-bottoms are fed into the assembly stage, damage can be done to the press, tools can be broken, and even the press becoming jammed will cause production downtime. To check that only one bottom is being fed to the assembly stage whilst they are attached magnetically to the fast-moving belt, requires a non-contact sensing solution. The thin gauge of steel used to produce the can bottoms (~0.33 mm thick) is too small for the customer’s normal automatic double-sheet detector to work reliably.

Customer Solution

Contrinex’s Extreme 700 Series sensors provide a robust and simple, cost-effective solution. They utilise their Condet technology to detect the mass of a target by inducing a voltage in it, whereas a traditional inductive sensor would induce the voltage only in the target’s surface.

The stainless-steel bodied sensor (DW-Ax-70X-M12) is mounted approximately 4 – 5 mm above the dome of a can bottom. On its own, the 0.33mm thick steel doom presents insufficient mass to switch the sensor at this distance, however, the presence of a second bottom piece increases target mass sufficiently to switch the sensor.

The inductive sensor triggers a rejection shoot whenever two bottoms are detected as being stacked together and so provide a robust and reliable system to protect the assembly press.

Contrinex sensors are available from PLUS Automation.

SensoPart awarded outstanding score in Vision Systems Design 2021 Innovators Awards Program

Sensor manufacturer SensoPart’s “Target Mark 3D” vision sensor detection principle was recognised among the best in machine vision today by the judges of the Vision Systems Design 2021 Innovators Awards program. The judging panel consisted of esteemed experts from system integrator and end-user companies.

“Target Mark 3D” is the all-new function available on the VISOR Robotic Vision Sensor from SensoPart. “Target Mark 3D” gives the robot the ability to easily read & react to highly unique 3D information & position data, allowing an easy, intelligent, mobile & autonomous workspace. The position of the target mark only needs to be referenced once during the initial setup of the camera and can be easily relearned by any VISOR Robotic camera, maximising time, efficiency & accuracy. SensoPart’s “Target Mark 3D” is also able to accurately detect the slightest offsets in operating position, and is able to correct itself seamlessly, without any reprogramming required.” said Mark Hintze, Vice President of SensoPart.

“The Vision Systems Design team would like to congratulate SensoPart for their score in the 2021 Innovators Awards program,” says Chris Mc Loone, Editor in Chief. “Each year this unbiased and increasingly competitive program aims to celebrate the most innovative products and systems in machine vision. The SensoPart team should be very proud.”

Siemens’ virtual work experience giving young people head start to STEM career

Siemens has transformed its work experience programme for young people during the pandemic using a virtual delivery platform.

Like many other organisations, Siemens had to cancel and postpone in-person events in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It used the challenge to redesign and rethink its work experience strategy and programme offering, increasing diversity and inclusion, and overcoming the limitations and barriers of conventional work experience placements such as geography, mobility, financial, and inflexibility due to school or employer timings.

Partnering with Springpod, a careers platform which connects young people with employers and education providers, Siemens launched a bespoke and interactive, two-week programme, which included modules filled with activities, pre-recorded videos, quizzes and live webinars.

The first two-week virtual work experience programme, which ran from April 6 to 16, introduced 700 young people to the world of engineering and technology and showed how Siemens is paving the way towards a more sustainable future.

Now a second round of virtual work experience for 14 to 18-year-olds will be running from June 28 until July 11.

Brenda Yearsley, Education Development Manager, Siemens GB&I said: “Work experience is an essential step for young people to test-drive and get insights into their future career and develop the skills necessary for the workplace.

Brenda Yearsley, Education Development Manager, Siemens GB&I

“In more ordinary times, we would host students through in-person work experience to facilitate this demand. But the pandemic made us rethink how we could continue to offer this valuable experience to young people.

“It has been fantastic working with Springpod to deliver a programme which has been able to reach more young people, increase diversity and inclusion, inspire a career in STEM, and showcase Siemens as a career path.

“There has been huge demand for our programme from all corners of the UK. We are delighted to be able to offer more school and college students the opportunity to learn about what we do at Siemens.”

During the two-week programme participants will cover the following areas:

  • Welcome to Siemens – an overview of the company, its core values and six lines of business;
  • Engineering – an introduction to the field of engineering, the various disciplines, sustainability in engineering and the design process;
  • Technology – an introduction to the world of technology, the different pathways within the sector and what roles in tech involve;
  • Other Business Services – an introduction to the other business services at Siemens: sustainability, legal, marketing and finance;
  • Early Careers at Siemens – an overview of apprenticeship, internship and graduate schemes at Siemens;
  • Getting Career ready – an introduction to employability skills, how to build a CV and how to apply for a role at Siemens.

There are live webinars to get involved in, but these are recorded and can be watched on-demand.

The programme involves around 10 hours of activity which can be completed over two weeks, meaning students can fit it around their schedule, whether that be school or college.

Once complete, students earn a certificate which can be used for a CV and Personal Statement.

Sam Hyams, Managing Director of Springpod said: “This virtual work experience programme will be invaluable to young people considering a career in the world of engineering and technology, and I’m delighted that due to our successful partnership, Siemens have chosen to host the programme again with us later this month.

“We’re proud to be supporting Siemens in their mission to strive towards building a more sustainable future and are fully committed to bridging the gap between education and employment in order to up-skill the next generation of diverse early talent.”

To apply visit https://www.springpod.co.uk/experience/siemens-virtual-work-experience

ABB and Axpo partner on project aimed at making green hydrogen more accessible and affordable

ABB has joined forces with Swiss utility Axpo to develop modular green hydrogen production plants in Italy, that aim at creating an optimum operating model to produce affordable, green hydrogen.

The two companies will apply their complementary skills to achieve their joint vision of more affordable green hydrogen, with ABB harnessing its automation, electrification, and digital leadership in industrial operations and Axpo’s experience as an established energy provider.

Initial work will include feasibility studies that explore ways to reduce operating costs and ensure a low carbon footprint, with the aim of identifying synergies that will support the standardisation, modularisation, efficient and flexible production of green hydrogen.

Cost of production currently is a major barrier to adoption of green hydrogen. Green hydrogen, which is produced solely with renewable sources, is approximately six times more expensive today than grey hydrogen to produce and between two to three times more expensive than hybrid “blue” hydrogen, both of which are produced using fossil fuels as an energy source*.

Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB’s Process Automation business area said: “As technology partner we focus on the areas where we can make the greatest difference. In this project, our aim is to leverage our automation, electrical and digital technologies and domain expertise to minimise the total cost of producing green hydrogen, which includes reducing the cost of running the plant. This is essential to unlock the potential of green hydrogen and enable its widespread uptake in the future.”

Axpo Italia’s Head of Origination & Business Development, Simone Rodolfi, commented: “We are fully committed to exploring the potential of green hydrogen as part of our strategy to facilitate the energy transition. There has been much collaboration between Axpo and ABB in recent years and today’s agreement reinforces that relationship, enabling both companies to become important players in this promising segment.”

This project reflects a wider initiative from ABB which is joining forces with customers and partners to explore opportunities and technologies, to build a resilient hydrogen ecosystem for a low carbon future. In addition to the collaboration with Axpo, ABB is working with Lhyfe, to install control solutions to automate production of its first green hydrogen project in France.

In the Asia–Pacific region, ABB is supporting the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project which aims to produce hydrogen safely and efficiently in Australia and then transport it to Japan, in one of the world’s first efforts to commercialise hydrogen liquefication and transportation.

The company is also working with Hydrogen Optimized to develop an integrated solution that supports the use of high current water electrolysis technology in large scale green hydrogen production systems for application across chemical, utility and transportation sectors.

ABB and Axpo have a long tradition of working together successfully and solutions from ABB are playing an important role in helping the company create and deliver energy in an efficient, safe and sustainable way. Among the latest projects is the installation of ABB Ability Smart Sensors and ABB Ability Condition Monitoring that have converted the motors at one of Axpo’s hydropower plants in Switzerland into smart, wirelessly monitored devices. In addition, the ABB Ability Condition Monitoring solution was chosen by Axpo to support the digitalization of the company’s power plants in Italy.

MTC hosts webinars to promote diversity in engineering

The Manufacturing Technology Centre’s Tilly Shilling Initiative is hosting a series of virtual webinars to promote diversity and inclusivity  in engineering and manufacturing.

Members of the MTC’s Tilly Shilling Initiative who have organised the STEM webinar series

The series of seven webinars, run in conjunction with Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, aims to encourage diversity, inclusion and family balance in STEM and the engineering community.

The MTC’s Tilly Shilling Initiative was established to promote engineering and other STEM professions within industry. This is delivered through STEM-themed workshops and events, and by supporting diversity and inclusivity in the STEM community.

The hour-long events include presentations, panel discussions and live question and answer sessions. The pre-registered events are also  recorded for future dissemination.

The first event discussed the importance of LGBT+ diversity in the engineering and manufacturing workplace and is available to view on demand. The second event on June 23 will discuss the role of women in engineering, with other events covering employability, neurodiversity, the role of parents and racial diversity as well as authenticity in the workplace.

The events are aimed at anyone with an interest in working in engineering, school, university and college leavers, non-engineering professionals, employers and parents.

MTC HR director Vicki Sanderson said, “The aim of these events is to embrace and inspire young talent regardless of where it comes from. We can offer knowledge, experience and expertise from those in the industry which can enable people to enjoy successful careers within engineering. The events provide an opportunity to inspire a broader audience, learn about best practice and see diversity succeed.”

She added, “Future applicants and parents can learn more about apprenticeships, local opportunities and how diversity is welcome at the MTC and OAS. Encouraging people from diverse backgrounds into engineering doesn’t just benefit them. It benefits engineering as a whole and the UK economy. Given the knowledge and faith in their abilities, engineers from a wide range of backgrounds are achieving wonderful things.”

More information about the series of webinars can be obtained by contacting the Tilly Shilling Initiative lead – kieran.bullivant@the-mtc.org, or MTC STEM the Gap coordinator laura.jones@the-mtc.org.

The Tilly Shilling Initiative was named after Beatrice (Tilly) Shilling OBE, who was a British aeronautical engineer and motor racer. During the Second World War, she invented an aircraft engine device that restricted fuel flow to the carburettor. This helped prevent engine stall in the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines of the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters, which could lose power or even cut out completely during certain dogfight manoeuvres..

She raced motorbikes at Goodwood in the 1930s, and, after the war, raced cars. She died in 1990, aged 81.

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

Norwegian data analytics software to smarten predictive maintenance in Oil & Gas

Dietsmann Smart Labs, French-based ‘New Tech’ branch of energy industry veteran Dietsmann, has selected Norwegian Data Analytics specialist Arundo as its partner for a breakthrough development in the Predictive Maintenance of industrial plant. Dietsmann operates and maintains Oil & Gas and Power plants for major national and international energy companies in over 20 countries. The company has successfully pioneered Predictive Maintenance as a way to maximise output, save costs and achieve more sustainable performance by improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions.

Arundo’s advanced machine learning and data analytics software ‘Marathon’ will be utilised to provide accurate and timely warnings of imminent equipment failures. Avoiding unplanned downtime increases asset availability, extends equipment lifetime and reduces maintenance costs. Improved planning and execution of maintenance activities also lead to more sustainable operation of industrial installations.

Strategic Partnership

Dietsmann sees its alliance with Arundo as a strategic partnership to enrich its services with an Integrated Predictive Maintenance software solution. Arundo’s Marathon delivers continuous analytics and failure prediction models, on premise or in the cloud, through a user-friendly interface tailored to the operator’s needs. Dietsmann considers anomaly detection and failure prediction crucial to substantially optimise operations and avoid costly standstills, and to prevent safety and environmental risks.

The collaboration between Dietsmann Smart Labs and Arundo is an important step forward. Dietsmann’s experts present on local sites will be able to read and translate Marathon’s insights into technical recommendations and actions, potentially saving their clients millions of dollars for each incident predicted and prevented.

Tektronix Innovation Forum brings together world-class experts to address the future of engineering

Industry-leading test and measurement company Tektronix, Inc. has announced its global 2021 Tektronix Innovation Forum will feature NASA astronaut Daniel Tani along with some 50 experts across 40 sessions providing exclusive insights into the future of technology.

The annual event kicks off in China with subsequent sessions to be held in Europe, the Americas, Taiwan, India, ASEAN, Japan and Korea.  The mostly online forum will run June 16 through July 16, 2021, offering attendees the opportunity to learn about industry developments, trends and innovations across the test and measurement industry. Attendees will have the chance to hear from Tektronix executives including President Tami Newcombe, senior engineers and industry leaders during in-depth discussions all under the theme of “Engineering the Future.”

NASA astronaut and engineer Dan Tani will start off the conference sharing his insights from two space shuttle missions and 120 days as a flight engineer on the International Space Station. His lessons of global teamwork, overcoming surprise challenges while traveling 17,500 miles per hour, and inspiring a next generation of problem-solving engineers can help any engineering team looking to strengthen their work in the year ahead.

Other panels will focus on pressing topics ranging from power, high speed serial communications, IoT and 5G. Registration is free and open to the public with content specifically geared toward engineers worldwide in the private sector, public sector, and education setting.

“This year marks an important moment to examine the global trends impacting engineering and innovation across our industry,” says Chris Witt, vice president and general manager for Tektronix portfolio solutions. “This year’s theme of Engineering the Future is the perfect lens for us to discuss the most pressing issues in our field today and directly influence the innovative solutions that Tektronix is known for supporting throughout the world.”

The 2021 Tektronix Innovation Forum takes place during the company’s milestone 75th anniversary year, making it a fitting time to acknowledge the rich legacy and history of Tektronix, while looking toward its future of driving cutting-edge innovation. Tektronix president and Fortive group president for India, Tami Newcombe, will open the conference speaking to industry challenges and growth opportunities.

“The Tektronix Innovation Forum is a chance to reunite with engineers around the world, to look anew at the state of our industry and the innovations we can drive forward together to address the challenges of the future,” says Kristi Flores, Tektronix vice president of global marketing. “From faster and smaller computing to using less energy to protect our planet, all our solutions depend on collaboration and curiosity. I look forward to seeing what creative ideas emerge from this year’s global conference.”

The 2021 Tektronix Innovation Forum will roll out regionally from June 16 through July 16, with content specially created to address the current market, challenges and successes of each global region.

Conference dates are:

  • China: June 16-18
  • Europe, the Middle East, and Africa: June 22-23
  • North America and South America: June 23-24
  • Southeast Asia and Australasia: June 29-30
  • Taiwan: July 1-2
  • India: July 7
  • Japan: July 14-15
  • Korea: July 16

Over 40 sessions, including:

  • Wide Bandgap Applications and Validation Test Challenges
  • Introduction to BioFETs
  • Diagnosing Jitter Caused by Power Integrity Problems in a PDN
  • 5G mmWave Architecture and Phase Array Beamforming Technology
  • Getting the Most Out of Your Oscilloscope
  • Digitizers and Acquisition Software for High Energy Physics
  • New Characterization Techniques for DDR5 Memory Generation and Beyond

To learn more and reserve your seat for the 2021 Tektronix Innovation Forum, visit https://go2.tek.com/tektronix-innovation-forum/.