News

New Fluke ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager detects electrical discharge

The new Fluke ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager uniquely enables the detection of corona and partial discharge from a safe distance of up to 120 meters. Teams can operate safely, minimise the risk of fires and help reduce outages. The Fluke ii910 also offers greater sensitivity to detect compressed air, gas, and vacuum system leaks, reducing downtime which can cost up to EUR 1000,- per minute.

Regular routines – no training required

Electrical discharge detection or leak checking can be carried out as part of a regular maintenance routine. The handheld imager enables users to quickly, and visually, pinpoint the location of faults from a safe distance and record data for later analysis. Even small, low-pressure or low-density leaks are now detected easily. The rugged ii910’s intuitive operation means no training is required – it is simple to learn and easy to use. The straightforward, intuitive interface allows technicians to isolate the sound frequency of the leak and filter out background noise in even the noisiest environments.

Fast and visual leak and discharge detection

The rugged, handheld casing of the Fluke ii910 has a seven-inch LCD touchscreen which overlays a SoundMap on a visual image for rapid identification of discharge or leaks between frequencies of 2-100 kHZ. The array of integral microphones converts ultrasound signals into clear visual images on the backlit touchscreen. Captured data can be transferred via an integral USB-C socket directly to a PC. From here, the data can be uploaded to the Machine Learning PDQ Mode Reporting Platform. This will provide the most important partial discharge insights, including partial discharge type identification. The ii910 provides video recording of up to 5 minutes and has a battery life of at least 6 hours.

Power generation, production or maintenance added value

Fluke’s innovative SoundSight technology now enables corona and partial discharge to be easily located. For technicians working with high voltages in power generation and transmission and with industrial high voltage equipment, the Fluke ii910 provides more sophisticated detection than standard ultrasonic tools while offering the visual performance of more expensive UV cameras. It detects, locates and provides visual reporting and severity assessment of corona and partial discharges. Technicians in production locations can isolate the sound frequency of the leak and filter out background noise in even the noisiest environments. Industrial maintenance technicians can identify leaks at a safe distance considerably faster than using traditional diagnostic methods, even during peak production periods.

For more information about the new Fluke ii910 Precision Industrial Imager, please visit www.fluke.com

21st Annual J A Woollam Spectroscopic Ellipsometer Workshop

Date: 13 September 2021 from 9.00am to 4.45pm

Venue: Rooms CTLP09,10 & 11, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus

Quantum Design UK & Ireland is celebrating 21 years of Spectroscopic Ellipsometry workshops with its partners, J A Woollam.

This free of charge workshop is aimed at both experienced ellipsometry users as well as people new to ellipsometry. The format of the workshop includes an introduction, fundamentals of ellipsometric data analysis, and an overview of ellipsometric applications in both research and production. New emerging applications are highlighted.

Application engineers from J A Woollam will give talks on the following topics:

  • Theory and Fundamentals of Spectroscopic Ellipsometry
  • Applications and Data Analysis Examples of Spectroscopic Ellipsometry
  • Overview of J A Woollam Ellipsometers including the alpha-SE Ellipsometer

To find out more about the workshop or to register, please visit: https://qd-uki.co.uk/spectroscopic-ellipsometer-workshop-2021/

Over half of manufacturers have their sights set on digital transformation initiatives to enhance operations

Following the concerns bought about by the Covid pandemic, over half of manufacturers now have their sights set on digital transformation initiatives to enhance their operational performance, according to research from InfinityQS. The company’s 2021 Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey reveals that 52% of respondents have already, or are exploring the option of adopting a digital transformation initiative, with advanced analytics (24%) as their top priority.

This growth in the number of manufacturers looking to enhance their manufacturing operations by leveraging digital transformation comes after a challenging year for the industry, which has seen many putting their strategic agendas on hold while they contend with unprecedented operational challenges, as well as market volatility and economic uncertainty.

Jason Chester, Director of Global Channel Programs at InfinityQS comments: “One thing that the pandemic did was expose significant and often widespread operational weaknesses within incumbent manufacturing environments. It brought into sharp relief where legacy systems and outdated processes exacerbated the problems that manufacturers faced alongside new challenges such as the rapid shift to remote working, and supply chain disruption.”

Jason continues: “Prioritising digital transformation initiatives is the key in helping to address these new challenges. Data for example, is a great way for manufacturers to increase visibility into their operations as it can provide important insights into each stage of the production process. These valuable insights can then be leveraged to help make more informed and tactical decisions to secure long-term resilience and growth.”

In addition to advanced analytics, the other most popular technologies on the priority list include Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud computing.

Jason explains: “It’s understandable to see IIoT and cloud computing also being top of the agenda. Manufacturers want to leverage real-time data to make proactive decisions which can maximise performance, respond to fluctuations in demand, ensure flexible operations, and even build resilience for future “black-swan” events -all while maintaining high levels of product quality and safety.”

“For manufacturers to stay ahead of competition and remain at the top of their industry they need to constantly adapt to their environment by making tactical digital investments. It is great to see the majority are rebounding from the pandemic and embracing digital transformation to increase their agility and maintain competitive edge, as companies that do are better equipped to improve their operations at a faster speed and even anticipate changes before they occur.” Jason concluded.

Seven-year warranty announced for Dewesoft DAQ systems

Dewesoft are pleased to announce that all of their DAQ systems delivered after 1 June 2021 will be covered by a 7-year warranty.

During the 7-year warranty period, Dewesoft guarantee to keep your equipment in working order by repairing or replacing it. The Dewesoft 7-year warranty is valid worldwide, no matter where the equipment is located.

There are no hidden service costs or maintenance fees.

The only requirement is that the system be sent annually for calibration and check-up to an authorised Dewesoft calibration and service centre.

Products that were delivered before 1 June 2021, but less than seven years ago, can also be covered by this warranty, upon payment of 1% of the system’s original invoice amount per year of service, and upon sending it to an authorised Dewesoft service center for paid calibration and maintenance. No-cost repairs or replacement makes the process fast and convenient. Reduced downtime means increased productivity.

All Dewesoft DAQ systems come with award-winning DewesoftX software. DewesoftX software is constantly being improved with new features and functionalities. Software updates and improvements are also free.

More details are available at: https://dewesoft.com/products/services/warranty

Manufacturing & Engineering Week launches at the NEC, June 2022

A celebration of the best in UK manufacturing and engineering excellence and innovation launches at the NEC June 2022, and includes the launch of three sector specific events; Design Engineering Expo, Engineering Expo and Manufacturing Expo.

In a first for the sector, Nineteen Events are working closely with MAKE UK, IMechE, IED and stakeholders from across the industry, to build and deliver the UK’s first week-long event celebrating the UK’s manufacturing and engineering sector. A series of live events that showcase the complete manufacturing and engineering solutions and supply chain, alongside additional exclusive virtual events that together will encourage conversation, knowledge sharing and action.

The UK remains a global force for manufacturing and engineering; driving innovation, leading on the industrial agenda, the green economy and industry 4.0, however in a post-Covid and post-Brexit world, Britain’s standing, and its future, will require engineering and manufacturing to grow and strengthen. Manufacturing and Engineering Week or M&E Week seeks to celebrate the sector, showcasing innovation, sharing successes and future insight, raise critical discussion and is a destination for professionals to source suppliers and solutions in order to secure the right partners to keep them competitive and grow the UK sector.

Three new sector specific events:

  • Engineering Expo is dedicated to the driving force behind manufacturing, keynotes lifting the lid on the latest developments and most interesting engineering projects will run alongside practical workshops and an innovative showcase of the latest technologies and solutions.
  • Design Engineering Expo focuses on the challenges and innovations at the heart of the sector. Covering electronics, embedded design through to testing, the event will showcase the latest technologies propelling the future of design engineering.
  • Manufacturing Expo will cover all aspects of the manufacturing process and supply chain, showcasing the best in British suppliers, innovations and technologies to enhance performance.

The events in June 2022 will each showcase the UK’s best products and services, giving buyers the opportunity to see live demonstrations, meet the teams behind the services and save time by reviewing suppliers under one roof.

Running alongside the exhibitions will be a full programme of free to attend content, including keynotes from industry leaders, practical how to sessions and workshops – all CDP accredited.

M&E Week is proud to have the support and direction from an Advisory Board of leaders in the sector which includes; Libby Meryick, CEO, Institute of Engineering Designers, Eric Wilkinson, CEO, Cambridge Consultants, Andrew Burrows, Director, PA Consulting, Philippa Oldham, Partnerships Director, Advanced Propulsion Centre and Stephen Phipson, CBE, Chief Executive, MAKE UK.

Together the three shows, additional collocated events and a programme of virtual events, provide a compelling, value packed week celebrating the sector enabling visitors to save time sourcing new partners, stay up to date and get ahead of the competition and exhibitors an unrivalled opportunity to meet face to face and do business with cross sector manufacturing and engineering professionals.

Stephen Phipson, CBE, Chief Executive, MAKE UK, says: “There has never been a more important time for our sector to pull together and to work together, to create a shared agenda, help promote and encourage manufacturing and engineering innovation, and see our sectors grow and Manufacturing and Engineering Week will do exactly that. I am delighted to be part of the M&E Week Advisory Board and that MAKE UK are a partner for this groundbreaking event.”

Libby Meyrick, Chief Executive at Institution of Engineering Designers adds: “Design doesn’t stop – it’s dynamic, forthright and exciting, and the IED is supporting the launch of the Design Engineering Expo to help showcase all of these elements and the outstanding work of the design community now and in the future.“

Ed Tranter, Event Director, Manufacturing & Engineering Week comments: “Manufacturing & Engineering Week is an incredible opportunity to support and serve one of the most important sectors in the UK economy. We are delivering brand new live events and an exclusive series of virtual events that celebrate manufacturing and engineering, the innovation, the technologies and the role it plays in the green agenda and our future.

“M&E Week is a cross sector event helping businesses secure the right solutions and partners to keep them competitive and optimise future strategy and we are proud to be supporting British manufacturing and engineering.”

To find out more about Manufacturing & Engineering Week please visit: www.mandeweek.co.uk

Contrinex inductives help get the beers in

A drinks producer needs to conduct a final inspection check of cases of bottles after the lid of the corrugated cardboard case has been closed and sealed. A bottle count is performed by verifying the position of bottle caps through layers of cardboard at the top of each sealed case.

Customer Application

Bottles that are packed into corrugated cardboard cases require both the verification of the placement and number of bottles in the case, ideally after they have had their lids hot-glued closed. A concern is that a bottle can break on impact with the bottom of the case, contaminating the machinery and subsequent packages. Bottles can also be absent or wrongly positioned or a cap might be missing from a bottle.

Whilst a vision system could be used, this would need to be done before the lid of the case is closed, whereas verification of the closed case would be preferable.

The absence of a bottle cap in a specified position is a good indicator of a missing or shattered bottle and so the challenge is, therefore, to detect bottle caps through multiple layers of corrugated cardboard material of varying thickness and density.

Customer Solution

Contrinex’s rugged Extra-Distance inductive sensors from the ‘500 Series’ are ideal for this application, being robust and accurate. These highly reliable, IP67 rated, M30-diameter sensors have a chrome-plated brass body with a PBTP sensing face and vacuum-encapsulated electronics. Well suited to operating in a hostile environment, the 3x sensing distance of 22mm enables fully contactless operation in this relatively high-speed packaging process.

A sensor array is placed over the conveyor and travel path of the cardboard cases. For each lane of bottles in a case, an M30 diameter inductive sensor is mounted on the array. A non-embeddable sensor is chosen as it most closely equates to the size of the bottle cap and yields the greatest sensing distance for the available target area and is sufficient to allow for minor variations in the height of the case as it passes under the sensor bridge. This not only ensures reliable sensing but also keeps the sensor at a safe distance from any impact, avoiding consequent downtime, with the sensors interfaced with a controller that makes the logical decision to accept the package or reject and divert it.

Discover Contrinex sensors at PLUS Automation: www.PLUSAx.co.uk

Analog Devices expands BMS portfolio to enable continuous battery monitoring

 Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has announced its expanded portfolio of battery management system (BMS) products including ASIL-D functional safety and innovative new low-power features to enable continuous battery monitoring. These new devices further differentiate ADI’s BMS platform that today delivers the industry’s best proven accuracy, and supports all key battery chemistries—including zero-Cobalt LFP (lithium iron phosphate)—for mass market electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems (ESS) used for reuse and recycling of battery packs.

Sales of full EVs continue to accelerate as consumers increasingly move to greener transportation and governments act to create a more sustainable future. Automakers are challenged to scale their EV fleets economically, while also staying ahead of evolving safety requirements across the world. Furthermore, to ensure maximum range per charge, the vehicle power consumption must be managed not only during driving, but also when the vehicle is parked. ADI’s newest BMS products support multiple battery cell configurations and deliver innovative low-power features that enable the battery to be monitored continuously even when the vehicle is turned off to ensure safety under all conditions while maximising vehicle range.

“Collaborating with Analog Devices has allowed us to scale our electric vehicle range to meet increasingly strict regulations and the growing demands of today’s EV owners,” said Zhu Jun, General Manager of New Energy Business at SAIC. “These new BMS solutions will enable us to advance our commitment to safety and at the same time continue to make EVs accessible for mass market consumers.”

As EVs become mainstream in the market, requirements for BMS are growing.  Receiving the ASIL-D rating signifies the new BMS solutions meet the highest possible standards for road vehicle functional safety required by regulatory agencies across the world.

“Our customers have come to rely on ADI as the performance leader for BMS, especially as they are challenged to scale their EV fleets and stay ahead of new market requirements,” said Patrick Morgan, Vice President of Automotive at Analog Devices. “Our latest BMS products not only enable new features such as continuous battery monitoring, but also support battery recycling and reuse in energy storage systems to support the circular economy.”

Key Features and Benefits

ADI’s BMS products are optimised for 6-18 cell modules and offer a range of features including low-power continuous battery monitoring, state-of-the-art functional safety, and the world’s best accuracy guaranteed across the entire vehicle lifetime and device temperature range.

Endress+Hauser improves further in independent EcoVadis audit

Endress+Hauser has achieved 76 out of 100 points in the international EcoVadis sustainability rating, four more than in the previous year. The Group achieved a ranking in the top group for the fifth year in a row in 2021 and is now among the top one percent of the companies compared.

Endress+Hauser achieved further improvements in the areas of environment and sustainable procurement. In terms of ethics, labor and human rights, the Group was able to maintain its very good position in the benchmark comparison. As a result, Endress+Hauser entered the top group in terms of results and now achieves a platinum medal after the gold standard – the highest performance level of the EcoVadis audit.

Sustainable corporate culture

The idea of sustainability is deeply rooted at Endress+Hauser. “Comprehensive responsibility is a core value of our corporate culture. As a family business, we want to combine economic success with ecological and social progress,” emphasized CEO Matthias Altendorf. Since 2014, therefore, Endress+Hauser has been producing a sustainability report together with its annual report, which relates ecological, social and economic factors.

The annual EcoVadis audit serves as a key strategic indicator for the sustainability of Endress+Hauser’s development. The goal is continuous improvement in this area as well. “We support our customers in producing sustainably. That’s why we also want to be a leader in terms of the sustainability of our business and production processes,” said CFO Dr Luc Schultheiss.

Continuous improvement

Endress+Hauser’s products, solutions and services help customers in the process industry to use resources efficiently, reduce pollutant emissions, avoid waste and protect the environment. But the company is also continuously improving its own ecological footprint. For example, Endress+Hauser increasingly supplies buildings and infrastructure with sustainably generated energy, and video conferencing reduces travel.

EcoVadis uses 21 criteria from the environmental, social and ethical fields to evaluate companies worldwide in terms of their sustainability. In addition to a sector comparison, companies receive suggestions for improvement. They can also rate their own suppliers accordingly on an internet platform. To date, around 75,000 companies worldwide have been certified by EcoVadis.

Endress+Hauser publishes detailed information on the EcoVadis sustainability audit at www.endress.com/ecovadis

Fischer LP360 connector wins in two categories of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021

The Red Dot Design Awards stand for outstanding achievements in product design. The jury evaluates thousands of entries each year. For its Fischer LP360 connectors from the Fischer Freedom Series, which have already won numerous industry awards, Fischer Connectors has now been awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design in two categories: the “Mobile Phones, Tablets and Wearables” category, and the new “Smart Products” meta-category. The judges praised the connectors’ unique design concept, which makes them both appealing to users and particularly easy to use.

What was rated “smart” in the Fischer LP360 is the connectivity solution’s multifunctional integration capability and modularity. The new connector is indeed truly multi-talented. It is a miniaturised active device, a fastening mechanism and an electrical signal and power connection all in one.

The rugged, low-profile connector was expanded in 2019 into a versatile technology platform that serves as an enabler for wearables and connected ecosystems in the Internet of Things and of Humans (IoT/IoH). The breakthrough plug-and-use technology benefits both engineers and end-users. Multiple configuration options facilitate application design. The panel plug can easily be extended to multifunctional wearables, such as biometric sensors, communication systems, GPS, lighting and bodycams. These can be snapped quickly and easily onto the cabled receptacle, which is integrated into flexible structures like ready-to-use smart personal protective equipment (PPE) vests. Since the connector has no key code, it can be plugged in any position, optimising cable routing and power management. Contacts are IP68-sealed with a membrane, ensuring that the connector is fully cleanable. The low-profile design enables easy integration into any application, such as smart work vests. Mobile workers thus benefit from lightweight equipment without cable clutter, faster and more intuitive setup, easy handling and cleaning, reliable connectivity, and fast data transmission for enhanced safety and performance.

These features also convinced the Red Dot Award jury. In the citation for the award in the Smart Products category, the jury said: “These connectors impress as a miniaturised and, at the same time, versatile technology platform with innovative 360-degree plug-in connectivity.” For the award in the Product Design category, the LP360’s user-friendliness was particularly highlighted: “The LP360 is impressively intuitive to use. It can quickly be inserted into the socket and is integrated into a connected vest, forming a hub.”

Jérôme Dabonneville, CTO and R&D Director of the Fischer Connectors Group, explains: “Initially the Fischer LP360 design had to solve users’ pain points in a way that helped unify the connector’s form and function, transforming “how it works”. On that journey, our teams went beyond our heritage as a connector manufacturer and ended up proposing a connectivity solution platform. The Fischer LP360 connectors are indeed more than just connectors. They are also smart devices which are opening new doors for designing devices, contributing to the development of the Internet of Things, smart electronic ecosystems, as well as wearable technology and its networking and digitalisation. We are very honoured to receive these two Red Dot Awards as a testimonial of the Fischer Connectors Group’s connectivity solution that goes beyond the connector.”

Jonathan Brossard, CEO of the Fischer Connectors Group: “At Fischer Connectors, we have always seen ourselves as innovation drivers. The development of the Fischer LP360 is a real milestone in our company history. We’re very proud that our developers’ outstanding performance has now been honoured with two Red Dot Awards. This recognition of our achievement in industrial design by renowned experts is also an incentive for us to continue developing our connectivity solutions in such a way that they contribute to a networked industry and to the connected human”.

The winners of the Red Dot Awards 2021 will be announced during the virtual Red Dot Design Week from June 21-25, 2021. During the entire week, the award winners will be given a digital stage. The event will centre on a web special on the Red Dot website. All the award-winning products will be presented there. Moreover, the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany, will display impressions from its two special exhibitions.

Farnell further enhances range of experiential learning tools with Inksmith

Farnell, an Avnet Company and global distributor of electronic components, products and solutions, has signed a global distribution agreement with InkSmith to enhance its educational product range and drive cross curriculum learning.

The Climate Action Kit’s project-based learning experiences are designed to teach students how to apply technology to solve real world problems through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Every project provides a unique hands-on opportunity for cross-curricular learning, with students encouraged to work collaboratively in groups or independently, in the classroom or remotely. Early to senior level students will develop coding and design skills through a variety of experiential learning challenges to design and prototype solutions using the BBC micro:bit.

Now Made in Canada, InkSmith’s Climate Action Kit helps students take on climate change issues through challenge based learning. The kit introduces students to a variety of climate issues pertaining to SDG15: Life on Land. The projects allow students to explore topics such as deforestation and fertilization run-offs while challenging them to design their own solutions, such as automated tree planters or automated watering systems for vertical or indoor farming. Each of the following curriculum-aligned projects promote critical thinking and problem-solving while learning about environmental issues associated with advanced agriculture, deforestation, carbon farming, insect farming, and plants and pollinators.

The Climate Action Kit, now available from Farnell, includes:

  • All motors, sensors and accessories required to tackle a number of different Climate Action projects
  • Teaching resources and curriculum for five project-based lessons (Deforestation, Plants and Pollinators, Insect Farming, Carbon Farming and Advanced Agriculture)
  • COVID ready online curriculum course packs designed by InkSmith’s in-house education experts to be compatible with remote, in-class, and hybrid learning environments.
  • One Climate Action Breakout Board to connect a BBC micro:bit
  • An accompanying Teacher’s Guide with easy to follow instructions

The Climate Action Kit requires the use of a BBC micro:bit which is available separately.

Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and SBC at Farnell, says: “The Climate Action Kit is the ultimate tool for modern educators wanting to stimulate inquiry-based learning and inspire students to solve real world problems using technology. Technology is our greatest asset to ensure our young leaders of tomorrow have the skills and capability to overcome major global issues such as poverty, climate change and societal justice. Farnell’s market leading distribution network will dramatically expand the global reach of InkSmith’s immersive, hands-on learning experiences and ensure educators can provide creative cross curriculum learning opportunities to students at every level.”

Jeremy Hedges, CEO and Founder at InkSmith, says: “Our global distribution partnership with Farnell means that educators around the world will have access to our Climate Action Kit and the valuable digital, critical thinking and design thinking learning opportunities that it enables. It’s important to us that while we empower the next generation of makers, coders, and problem solvers that we do so as equitably as possible – regardless of socioeconomic and now geographic limitations. The UN Global Goals are a key driver behind why we do what we do, and this partnership helps further that mission”.

Farnell has worked with multiple educational organisations and governments to support strategic rollouts of STEM learning solutions into the classroom, and stocks a broad range of education devices that can be supplied in classes, schools and multiple-school quantities. Farnell can also offer support with provision and bundling of equipment for bespoke large-scale programmes similar to the Super:bit programme in Norway.

InkSmith’s Climate Action Kit is available from Farnell in EMEA and element14 in APAC.