News

Recalibration project strengthens TESEQ’s relationship with TATA Power Company

TESEQ continues to strengthen its relationship with the TATA Power Company in India, following successful recalibration of its Bangalore 10m, semi-anechoic EMC chamber to the CISPR 16-1-4 standard.

TATA power systems is now in discussion with Teseq for a further six chambers based in Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore and the overall project requires detailed logistic planning to ensure success.

Working closely with Rainford EMC, Teseq provided SVSWR and NSA testing plus shielding effectiveness certification at short notice, and to tight timetables, to minimise disruption at the Bangalore site.

Graeme Goodall, finance director of TESEQ UK comments ”It was the ability to provide UKAS accredited services, and the proven capability to manage the logistics of overseas services, that were key to winning this calibration contract.“

According to the company, its fully accredited calibration facility can address all the needs of professional EMC test engineers.

Livingston assists DANTE in obtaining Guinness World Record

Test equipment sourcing specialist Livingston has played an integral part in the setting of new a Guinness World Record. Its client DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe) has, using Livingston sourced equipment, been able to achieve the fastest ever rate for implementing multi-Terabit optical capacity.

DANTE, which builds and operates high speed communication infrastructure for research institutions throughout Europe, achieved this feat on the GÉANT network, which is based on the DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform from Infinera. GÉANT is the largest research and education communications network in Europe. It has 50 million users located at 10,000 different academic and government research establishments across the continent (including such highly regarded ones as CERN in Switzerland). With the need to provide large amounts of data to such a huge number of users, in order to support vital scientific studies and investigations, it is critical that DANTE can bring additional capacity online rapidly.

In setting the new record, DANTE managed to install and activate a staggering 8Terabits/s of long haul super-channel optical capacity in just 19mins, 1sec. Validation of this was carried out using an EXFO FTB-85100G 100Gbit Ethernet tester and an EXFO FTB-5240S optical spectrum analyser. These key items of equipment, which were supplied by Livingston, provided the breadth of functionality and high degree of repeatability needed to ensure accurate test results.

Agilent to support solar-car engineering program

Agilent is to provide a 200-MHz capacitive touch-screen oscilloscope, as well as a handheld oscilloscope and a triple-output power supply, to support the University of Michigan’s solar-car engineering program, from design through competition.

“The new Agilent oscilloscope is incredibly accurate and reliable, offering a lot more measuring options. The color touch screen makes it very easy to use and differentiate between signals. We’ve already used it to analyze multiple signals from the motor and debug several driver interface boards,” said Sarah Spitzer, electrical engineer and driver on the solar-car team. “The portable oscilloscope will allow for roadside debugging. Additionally, the triple-output power supply allows us to power the testing bus while simultaneously testing other individual projects.”

Agilent’s InfiniiVision MSOX4024A, a 350-MHz oscilloscope with four analogue channels and 16 digital channels, will accelerate the design, prototype and testing stages of the program. Students will experience how Agilent’s industry-leading 1-million-waveforms/sec update rate, segmented memory and MegaZoom IV smart memory technology provide faster insight into signal behavior. They will experience the enhanced usability of the industry’s largest capacitive touch display (12.1 inches) and innovative InfiniiScan Zone touch trigger capability. Additionally, these students will be able to take advantage of the unique integration of five instruments in one box: oscilloscope, logic analyzer, serial protocol analyzer, WaveGen 20-MHz dual-channel function/arbitrary waveform generator and three-digit DVM.

Forty-seven teams from 26 countries will gather in Australia on October 6th for the 2013 World Solar Challenge. The 3000km race from Darwin to Adelaide requires that each car get 100% of its energy from the sun or from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.

Straightpoint appoints distributor in Saudi Arabia

Force measurement, load monitoring and suspended weighing load cells manufacturer, Straightpoint, has selected NTE Projects as its distributor for the Saudi Arabia market.

Known as NTE Projects, Al-Najm Al-Thaqib Est is a sister company of the Hadi Hammam Group and has been established since 1978.

NTE Projects will be marketing, selling and distributing all products that are offered by Straightpoint to the Saudi Arabian market and will also be offering a calibration and loadcell rental service for the region.

Director of Straightpoint, David Ayling, said: ” By selecting NTE Projects we will have access to the skills and knowledge that is necessary to be effective at offering our products and services to the Saudi Arabian market. NTE Projects have the relevant expertise, experience, intellectual capital and contacts to promote Straightpoint products effectively, and they also bring a significant commitment to our business and our quality of service. We look forward to working with them in a partnership.”

Straightpoint have predicted that when it comes to customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there will be an interest in Radiolink plus, Wireless loadshackles and the wireless centre of gravity system due to the usability by companies across the region in oil and gas, construction, marine and general industries.

www.straightpoint.com

 

 

New imaging and spectroscopy magnets eliminate the need for liquid helium

Superconducting magnets supplier, Cryogenic, has developed a new range of products that, it states, will eliminate the need for costly liquid-helium in a number of imaging and spectroscopic techniques.

Laboratory imaging systems and high resolution spectrometers based on Magnetic Resonance rely on strong magnetic fields.  These are used to magnetise the atomic nuclei in the tissue or sample and the magnetisation generates signals that are manipulated to form images or yield information on chemical structure.

Generating such strong magnetic fields requires superconducting magnets, which must be cooled to close to absolute zero to function. Liquid helium is used for this, but is in increasingly short supply and becoming expensive.

Cryogenic have developed methods for cooling magnets without liquid helium and are now offering magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectroscopy.

This will bring numerous benefits to the many laboratories and research institutes employing these techniques. As well as saving money, in some places where liquid helium is very hard to obtain it could make such techniques viable to use for the first time. It will also save time and effort. 

Superconducting magnets can also quench occasionally – when the special wire stops being superconducting and suddenly starts generating lots of heat – and then any liquid helium surrounding the magnet rapidly boils off and must escape from the vessel housing the magnet. 

Systems using liquid helium therefore require large areas with suitable ventilation facilities. Cryogenic’s magnets can quench safely in a confined space making them more versatile.

Unlike existing systems, Cryogenic’s cryogen free magnets are cooled to low temperature by mechanical refrigerators which require only electrical power and cooling water. The coolers rely on the compression and expansion of a fixed volume of helium gas supplied under pressure in a closed and self-contained circuit.  The helium gas remains contained in the circuit and never condenses into liquid.

www.cryogenic.co.uk

Agilent expands its local calibration presence

Owners of Agilent electronic measurement instruments in Phoenix, Arizona, are to benefit from Agilent Technologies’ new calibration centre.

At the centre, measurements will be performed using OEM procedures for every warranted specification.

“We were excited by the outpouring of customer interest in local Agilent calibration service at our grand opening event,” said Eric Taylor, vice president of Agilent’s Service Solutions for the Americas. “We are committed to expanding our local calibration presence.”

The opening of the Phoenix Local Calibration Centre comes only two months after the opening of the Greater Toronto Area Local Calibration Center. Between Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, Agilent now operates four major hubs (repair and calibration), nine local calibration centers and 13 mobile calibration teams. In addition, 14 Agilent technicians are co-located on customer sites with calibration labs.

www.agilent.com/find/assist

AMETEK Process Instruments wins $4.6 million gas analyser contract

A contract to supply UV process gas analysers for the Sulfur Recovery Units (SRU) and Tail Gas Treating Units (TGTU) at the Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company’s  (Al Hosn Gas) Shah Gas Field project in the United Arab Emirates has been awarded to AMETEK Process Instruments. The contract is valued at approximately $4.6 million.

The $10-billion Shah Gas Field project, located approximately 120 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi, is scheduled for completion in late 2014. The project is among the largest green field gas development projects ever under taken and is expected to process approximately one billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of sour gas into 0.5 bcf/d of usable gas.

When completed, its SRU-TGTU complex is expected to be the largest in the world. Each of the SRU’s four processing trains is so large that it will require twin reaction furnaces with three tail gas analyzers per train, making the project the largest single order for tail gas analyzers ever. With additional associated analyzers, the SRU will have seven AMETEK analyzers per train for a total of 28 analysers.

The Shah Gas Field’s extensive gas reservoirs have not been developed previously due to challenging operating conditions.  The field’s sour gas contains an average of 23 percent hydrogen sulfide and 10 percent carbon dioxide. At those concentrations, the gas is able to corrode metals, poses a hazard to plant safety and requires extensive processing. 

The project includes installation of the following Western Research analysers:

• 12 Model 900 Air Demand Analyzers. The Model 900 was developed specifically to meet the requirements of the latest sulfur recovery processes. The versatile unit measures up to five species simultaneously, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), sulfur dioxide (S2O), carbonyl sulfide (COS), carbon disulfide (CS2) and sulfur vapor (Sv). Used in conjunction with an Advanced Sulfur Removal (ASR) 900 sampling probe, the Model 900 ensures maximum data availability for optimum operation of all sulfur recovery processes.

• 12 Model 931 Single-Gas Analyzers. The Model 931 is a rugged, single-component photometric gas analyzer housed in an explosion-proof package designed for a variety of gas monitoring and process control applications. It utilizes AMETEK’s proprietary high-resolution UV technology in a dual-beam, dual-wavelength configuration that features no moving parts. Typical applications include measurement of hydrogen, H2S COS, and CS2.and other applications in the SRU-TGTU process.

• Four Model 930 H2S Vapor Space Analyzers.  The Model 930 was developed to accurately measure H2S vapor in pits used to store liquid sulfur. The vapor poses a potential danger to plant operation and personnel and must be carefully monitored. The Model 930 utilizes AMETEK’s proprietary high-resolution UV technology and is field-proven to reliably monitor both H2S and SO2.

www.ametekpi.com

Keighley Labs highlights the importance of inspecting pre-production components in the oil, gas and marine industries

Publicised catastrophic failures of forged materials in deepwater applications have called into question the structural integrity of such products and focused industry attention on the need for carefully-managed ‘integrity management’ of key components.

Errors in material selection at the design stage, the use of incorrect heat treatment techniques and inconsistent mechanical testing regimes, often involving test pieces not taken from the actual components, can lead to product failures during operation, typically resulting in significant environmental, safety and financial costs.

With suppliers to the oil & gas and marine industries appreciating the need for integrity management of deep sea components to prevent expensive failures or prolonged shutdowns, Yorkshire-based independent heat treatment and metallurgical testing specialist Keighley Laboratories is experiencing an upturn in demand for first article inspection of pre-production components.

It is a preventative measure that the company believes could be adopted more widely, especially with the life expectancy of products extending from ten years to 25 years or more, often in extremely harsh and corrosive environments.

Leonard Stott, customer support manager for Keighley Labs’ Technical Services division, said: “More than ever there is a definite requirement for proven product reliability and fitness-for-purpose, as well as a need for consistent mechanical and corrosion properties that can only be achieved by applying the correct processing and heat treatment techniques. Also, product testing procedures need to be accurate, not least the correct positioning and orientation of test sample pieces, to ensure optimum and consistent test values.

“It would be costly for suppliers to set up the necessary in-house procedures to ensure critical mistakes don’t happen, so it is worthwhile sub-contracting the metallurgical testing of components to independent experts like ourselves.”

Keighley is a specialist in the analysis, testing and heat treatment of metals, holding many leading quality accreditations relevant to various industry sectors.

It was the catastrophic failure of a mooring shackle in the Gulf of Mexico and a second incident involving two sockets in another mooring system, which highlighted faults in the original heat treatment process as a likely cause. A subsequent report by the US Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) concluded that defective heat treatment during component processing resulted in a metal unable to meet Charpy impact test requirements for material toughness and that testing parameters were either not followed or not adequate to ensure specifications were met.

The MMS recommended that operators should revise their specifications to make sure that testing and manufacturing produces a satisfactory product, which will meet future usage demands. It also commented that operators should review their requirements for both destructive and non-destructive testing of critical elements, as well as ensuring that test coupons, or pieces, are properly representative.

It was later found that the test pieces were not samples taken from the actual product and subsequent research indicated the importance of sample positioning in achieving representative and consistent toughness values. Thus, while energy absorption in a longitudinal orientation achieved a satisfactory 70-80 joules, the same test in the transverse direction recorded a disastrously low 4 joules. It was also easier for a smaller test piece of 2” cross-section to pass the impact test, rather than a larger, more representative section.

www.keighleylabs.co.uk

NASA and its partners celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Mars Rover Curiosity landing

 

August 6th: the date that turned every space science Ph.D. into a giddy teenager. Glued to YouTube, our eyes fixated, we waited. And then, with two words, every confidence in NASA was restored. The Mars Rover Curiosity landed. 

Eruptions of applause filled JPL’s control room, followed by a string of hugs. That wave of elation wasn’t about individual glory; it was about taking a dream and turning it into a reality. And here we are, one year forward, still basking.

As a partner in this mission, FUTEK developed two sensors – a cryogenic multi-axial sensor and a cryogenic thru-hole load cell – to operate aboard the rover. Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Mars Rover Curiosity, the company is beyond ecstatic with the advancements accomplished by NASA and JPL.

It’s amazing how much NASA have achieved in 55 years. We may call Pixar and DreamWorks visionaries in making dreams reality, but NASA is the genuine article. Movies allowed us to see a man walking on the moon, but NASA made us believe it.

There’s an air of esteem associated with this program. It turned science into a celebrity. But unlike its contemporaries, NASA gained praise and recognition for intellect, ingenuity, and innovation. It wasn’t mere happenstance that the world grew to know this four-letter acronym so well. It was through the breach of boundaries that NASA became famous.

But even beyond the fame, at the very heart of NASA there’s an eternal enthusiasm that new discoveries always await. And so, as we embark on another year of canvasing the Martian world, we can only say: “I wonder what we will uncover next?”

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.