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Tektronix and Rapid Electronics announce increased technical partnership in the UK

Tektronix, a global leader in measurement technology, announces an increased technical partnership with Rapid Electronics, based in Colchester, UK.

This increased partnership means customers in the UK will benefit from easier access to solutions for their test and measurement requirements and more technical assistance from both the Tektronix and Rapid Electronics sales and engineering teams. Rapid Electronics will be a technical and commercial point of contact for the Tektronix entry and mainstream portfolio, as well as the extensive Keithley portfolio, with a focus on expanding into busy engineering environments and continuing their exemplary work in the education sector.

“Working closely with Rapid Electronics allows us to serve more customers and grow into more markets together, whilst at the same time positioning the Tektronix & Keithley brands strongly in the UK. Rapid’s experience in both the education and industrial sectors will be a benefit to us both.” says Maria Heriz, Vice President, Commercial Operations, EMEAI.

Tektronix is ​​an engineer-for-the-engineer company. Our experts are here to understand the design & test requirements of our customers deeply, allowing us to bring solutions which help accelerate our customers’ innovations to market faster, from research and design, through to launch of their innovations into the market.

“This extension to our already successful relationship will enable much closer cooperation with our colleagues at Rapid and allow both Tektronix and Rapid to further expand their reach in the UK, bringing class leading equipment to the wider engineering community. Rapid already has a trusted name in industry and in education with their status as a NUWPEC accredited supplier and this partnership will allow us both to grow” says Nick Tarling, Tektronix Distribution Account Manager, UK/IRL/BENELUX.

“We are delighted to have become a Tektronix Technical Partner,” said Louise Cayless, Sales & Marketing Director at Rapid. “This represents a significant moment in the development of our relationship with Tektronix, with whom we have worked closely for several years. Our customers will receive a high level of support before and after they have purchased a Tektronix or Keithley product from Rapid, especially in the areas of technical troubleshooting and support. Our technical and sales team, are all receiving extensive training from Tektronix and will be able to provide an excellent service for customers to help them get the best out of Tektronix test and measurement equipment”.

Tektronix has confirmed its continued commitment to working closely with all of its existing sales partners in the UK.

Contrinex’s robust stainless-steel inductives help keep wind turbines turning and our lights on

Wind turbines contributed 24% of the UK’s energy in 2020, with 13% of the UK’s energy use being supplied from turbines sited offshore. This success relies upon the performance and reliability of the wind turbines being able to operate in remote and highly demanding environments.

Turbine rotation velocity is a key operating parameter that requires robust sensor systems to provide accurate real-time measurement – Contrinex’s uniquely rugged stainless-steel inductive sensors to the exceptional reliability of wind turbines, which because of their remote locations and height have limited opportunities for maintenance.

Customer application

A wind turbine manufacturer also provides engineering support for its systems installed around the world, utilising 24-hour remote data monitoring to provide early detection of potential problems. Exceptionally reliable monitoring systems are required because site access is difficult. After all, most turbines are located in remote locations and the turbine housing itself is a considerable height.

Traditional rotary-encoder technology can struggle to withstand prolonged exposure to outdoor, often salt-laden, environments. The slow rotational speeds typically require more complex and costly mechanical encoders, making inductive proximity sensors even more attractive a solution.

The company required a simple, contactless system that provides fit-and-forget operation with extended maintenance intervals. Sensors must be mechanically robust and must withstand prolonged exposure to harsh outdoor conditions including seawater. An industry-standard interface is desirable to avoid the need for specialised control systems.

Customer solution

Rugged Full Inox inductive sensors from the Contrinex Extreme range, available from PLUS Automation, are ideal for this application. Highly reliable and rated to IP68 / IP69K, these units provide a cost-effective alternative to rotary-encoder technology.

These surprisingly affordable sensors have a one-piece body that is machined from a solid piece of AISI 304 (V2A) or 316 (V4A) stainless-steel body. Their vacuum-encapsulated electronics make this device particularly suitable for the hostile environment, and the sensing distance of 10mm in the M18 sensor selected allows fully contactless operation.

A single sensor is mounted in each turbine head, immediately adjacent to the main mounting ring for the blade assembly. The blade’s rotation includes the mounting ring, and so the inductive sensor detects the presence of the mounting bolts as they pass the sensing face. The angular spacing of the bolts is consistent and so by measuring the time that elapses between successive signals the rotation velocity of the blades can be calculated.

The sensor is configured with an industry-standard PNP normally-open interface and includes the IO-Link serial-connection protocol included at no additional cost. The version of the sensor with an integrated M12 connector is selected to enable easy removal and replacement during routine maintenance if required.

The sensor’s high corrosion resistance has contributed to excellent reliability providing the customer with a cost-effective solution for a simple, fit-and-forget system.

element14 Introduces the Low Power IoT Design Challenge with Infineon Technology

element14 Community, an Avnet Community, today introduced its Low Power IoT Design Challenge in partnership with Infineon Technologies. The challenge encourages element14 Community members to utilise Infineon Technology kits to build low-power IoT devices that enhance industrial design.

There are several industrial design applications that can benefit from a lower power and easier to use embedded solutions, ultimately saving companies time, money and operational bandwidth for optimised system power. Dedicated to improving industrial design through efficient IoT applications, Infineon Technologies provides users with the optimal hardware and platform to build smart, energy-efficient, and secure IoT systems, along with an easy-to-use and flexible software to bring ideas to life.

In its’ latest element14 design challenge, element14 Community members are invited to use the Infineon Technologies PSoC 6S2 + AIROC WiFi/Bluetooth Pioneer Kit along with the ModusToolbox Software environment to build a low-power IoT device to create an innovative design. Example applications could include a factory automation sensor hub, predictive maintenance module or air quality monitor.

“We are always so impressed by the innovative solutions element14 community members develop during our design challenges,” said Phil Hutchinson, Senior Specialist, Community Programs, element14 community. “By giving contestants the tools they need, Low Power IoT Design Challenge contestants have the opportunity to create efficient and secure IoT systems that benefit industrial design.”

Applications are now open to become one of 20 challengers and receive the PSOC 6S2 + AIROC Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Pioneer Kit to build your chosen project. The challengers, announced on 2nd August, will have about 10 weeks to build their projects, and develop 10 blog posts sharing their progress with element14 Community members. Entries will be judged by a panel of judges on originality, innovation and technical merit.

Winners will be announced in October: the first prize winner will receive an 11” iPad Pro 128GB and a solar powered charger, second place will receive an iPad mini with a solar powered charger. For a chance to win one of these prizes, contestants must build their low-power project using the Pioneer Kit and ModusToolbox™.

To participate, element14 community members should submit their applications by July 25, please visit: Low Power IoT – Design Challenge

TE Connectivity named among Forbes best workplaces for new graduates

TE Connectivity, a global leader in connectivity and sensors, has been named by Forbes magazine as one of the Best Employers for New Graduates in the United States.

“I’m pleased that TE’s purpose of working toward a safer, sustainable, connected and productive future has resonated with recent graduates just embarking on their careers,” said CEO Terrence Curtin. “I believe we have created a workplace culture in which they can build their skillsets, discover their passions and help us change the world.”

The Forbes ranking was determined through a survey of 20,000 Americans with fewer than 10 years of experience working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Respondents were asked to rate their companies on a variety of criteria, including workplace safety, compensation, opportunities for advancement, diversity and inclusion initiatives and company image.

TE’s presence on the list doesn’t come as a surprise to the members of TEYP, an employee resource group for young professionals that boasts a network of more than 2,300 people around the world.

“From the very first day I discovered TE at a career fair, I was instantly impressed and was drawn to the company,” said Brooke Glassman, a product development engineer based in Middletown, Pennsylvania, who joined TE in 2019. “This wasn’t only because of the innovation and technology they were working on, but because they emphasized how much they cared about their employees and their personal and professional development. TE is a company that is willing to develop and invest in the next generation of employees, and to me, that stands out.”

TE has committed to building a pipeline of new talent through internships, as well as its rotational program, which offers new graduates exposure to a variety of careers and industries within the company along with the support of experienced mentors.

 

HENSOLDT wins billion-dollar contract for “PEGASUS” reconnaissance system

Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT has been awarded a contract by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to supply the airborne electronic signals intelligence system “PEGASUS”.

The detection and evaluation of electromagnetic signals is one of HENSOLDT’s special capabilities. Photo: HENSOLDT

“PEGASUS is of great industrial policy importance for Germany as a whole as a high-tech location. The overall responsibility for the system lies in Germany and the value creation largely takes place through national companies,” said HENSOLDT CEO Thomas Müller. “This gives the Bundeswehr unrestricted access to all the technologies used.”

“We have developed the modular and high-performance HENSOLDT reconnaissance solution KALAETRON on the basis of the already flight-proven ISIS reconnaissance system. KALAETRON offers unique reconnaissance capabilities based on powerful German key technology. PEGASUS thus forms the core for a sovereign reconnaissance network and the basis for future capability development in the field of self-protection and electronic warfare,” said Celia Pelaz, HENSOLDT’s head of strategy and head of the Spectrum Dominance and Airborne Solutions Division.

In a ceremony scaled down for corona reasons, the contract for the development, production and integration of the signal-capturing reconnaissance system PEGASUS, including the three Bombardier “Global 6000” aircraft and associated evaluation stations, was signed yesterday. HENSOLDT acts as general contractor and is also responsible for the production of the entire reconnaissance technology. Lufthansa Technik, based in Hamburg, is responsible for the procurement of the aircraft from the manufacturer Bombardier and their modification (cabin conversion, installation of reconnaissance technology). Altogether, almost 30 companies, many of them medium-sized, from all over Germany are involved in the project as suppliers and partners.

Analog Devices announces long-reach industrial Ethernet offerings to achieve last mile connectivity in process, factory and building automation

Analog Devices, Inc. has expanded its ADI Chronous Industrial Ethernet portfolio with solutions that bring long-reach Ethernet connectivity from the edge to the cloud and enable real-time configurability, lower energy consumption, and increased asset utilisation. The new ADI Chronous offerings support the 10BASE-T1L physical layer Ethernet standard allowing new data streams from edge nodes in remote and hazardous locations across process and building facilities. This previously unavailable data can now be seamlessly accessed across the network and used to assess factors such as asset health, raw material usage, and process parameters enabling cleaner manufacturing.

“Many process plants and buildings are struggling with constant manual local intervention required by service personnel and limited ability to optimise assets at an enterprise level,” said Mark Barry, General Manager of Automation and Energy at Analog Devices. “By providing long-reach Industrial Ethernet solutions that adhere to the 10BASE-T1L Ethernet standard, we’re making it possible for our customers to achieve reliable communications over much longer distances, covering the last mile in connectivity.  This truly enables the benefits of digitalisation through seamless access to edge data and improved control of remote assets.”

The newest ADI Chronous offerings enable customers to reduce energy consumption in buildings as well as their overall carbon footprint through improved control of building parameters. The ADI Chronous ADIN1100 and ADIN1110 Industrial Ethernet solutions can transfer data over 1.7 kilometres or more than a mile (a significant increase from previous Ethernet standards) through a single twisted pair of Ethernet cables, which helps reduce space, weight, and cost. These cables are lighter and more malleable than traditional Ethernet cables, and can support reuse of existing cabling infrastructure, reducing commissioning cost and complexity.

The new Industrial Ethernet solutions are offered in two flexible options: MAC PHY and PHY. The MAC PHY (ADIN1110) enables the industry’s lowest power systems, which simplifies retrofitting for Ethernet in field sensors or actuators and preserves existing investment in software and processor technology. The PHY (ADIN1100) provides standard Ethernet interfaces and supports use in more complex designs such as field switch developments or building controllers.

Electrocomponents announces extension of Project nautilUS

Electrocomponents has announced that Project nautilUS has entered the validation phase of its highly innovative inspection robotic platform developed for non-destructive testing (NDT) on storage tanks used in the petrochemical industry.

nautilUS 2 is a 12-month extension to the three-year project, enabling it to move forward from the initial phase of development and testing to the delivery of a commercially viable product based on the underlying technology. Field trials are now taking place on 10 water tanks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) conducted by project partner Sonomatic, a leading oil and gas exploration service provider, which is supplying the NDT sensor and service. Two further consortium partners are providing remote support during this second phase, with project lead Electrocomponents responsible for fulfilling delivery, and InnoTecUK providing the robotics platform.

Oil and fuel storage facilities require a robust and reliable infrastructure and regular inspection is critical to ensure that tanks are fit for purpose. Existing inspection methods often result in storage tanks being taken out of service to be drained and inspected for corrosion, which is hazardous, time consuming and costly work.

However, one answer to this problem is a small robot that can monitor and plot its own position while carrying out inspections. The nautilUS robot uses active real-time remote controls to move around a tank and an ultrasound probe to take measurements of floor thinning. It then records data regarding location for post-processing following retrieval of the robot. The robot’s design also offers the smallest possible footprint to allow entry to liquid storage tanks via small manholes.

“The project has now been extended by a further 12 months, supported by additional funding from this innovative industrial consortium, which brings together complementary skillsets from many different companies and organisations in the UK,” said Mike Burrows, Senior Innovation Adviser at Electrocomponents.

“We are excited to see the project deliver proof of concept and move to the next stage in its evolution with field trials and possible commercialisation. The platform and the NDT inspection devices have gained significant interest from more than 60 operators and inspection companies. Additionally, we believe the platform will not only prove to be of significant value to the petrochemical industry, but also will open up many opportunities for the reuse of the technologies being deployed in the robotics and in the system.”

Project nautilUS is a UK-based consortium championed by several leading global companies and institutions, which started working together in February 2018 to design and develop a multi-million-pound certified non-destructive testing (NDT) solution. Co-funded by Innovate UK, the full consortium includes InnoTecUK, London South Bank University, Sonomatic, and TWI. In addition, the Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) model for the project was developed via RS Monition, Electrocomponents’ maintenance engineering specialist service.

The nautilUS project’s initial three-year development programme began in February 2018, and the prototype robot undertook its very first oil tank inspection in an industrial environment in the summer of 2020, achieving successful proof of concept for the project.

In addition to activities carried out by the project members, Electrocomponents’ DesignSpark engineering platform has been part of the multidisciplinary team throughout the project. Project nautilUS is detailed is this article: https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/nautilus-the-answer-to-low-cost-oil-tank-inspection and further information about the field trials is available at: https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/project-nautlius-to-commence-field-trials.

Free consultancy helps industry see sense in data

As UK industry seeks to bolster productivity and efficiency in the wake of 2020’s lockdown, automation specialist Novotek UK and Ireland is urging businesses to strengthen their data strategy with advanced industrial analytics software. To this end, the company has partnered with GE Digital to offer six hours of free data analytics consultancy with purchase of GE Digital’s Proficy CSense software through summer 2021.

Proficy CSense from GE Digital is one of the world’s most powerful industrial analytics platforms, using machine learning (ML) AI algorithms to allow engineers to mine historical data and make use of predictive analytics. The software combines data from sources all across industrial operations to identify issues, highlight causes of problems and control setpoints in real-time.

The accompanying consultancy from Novotek is provided as six one-hour sessions, which are structured to allow industrial businesses to make the most of the CSense software. The sessions begin with developing a data plan and identifying outcomes, and then proceeds to cover areas such as translating those plans into the CSense setup and the best techniques for using the software’s powerful capabilities.

“Even the best industrial software is only as powerful and helpful as its deployment,” explained George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland. “The capabilities of modern industrial software are continually expanding, so it’s not uncommon for industrial businesses to overlook features and functionality that can add value, improve processes or reduce problems.

“UK industry was hard hit by lockdown last year. It has made strides in recovering in recent months, but there is more to be done to catch up on lost production. With the consultancy sessions, we want to get all UK businesses up and running effectively on CSense within the span of six hours. That means less time spent wondering if there is more you can get from your data, and more time mining insights from that data instead.”

Proficy CSense allows engineers to rapidly develop, test and deploy calculations, predictive analytics and process optimisations based on the insight from historical plant data. Coupled with the AI-led functions of the software to automate actions, Novotek believes the software can play a pivotal role in improving quality, productivity and efficiency of industrial operations.

To find out more about Proficy CSense from GE Digital and discuss consultancy with Novotek UK and Ireland, visit the company’s website.

Orange, Sierra Wireless, LACROIX, and STMicroelectronics join forces to launch IoT Continuum

Orange, Sierra Wireless, LACROIX, and STMicroelectronics announced today the creation of the IoT Continuum – a partnership that aims to simplify and accelerate the mass deployment of IoT in Europe and beyond.

By bringing together for the first time expertise across the entire IoT industry (Connectivity, Hardware, Software, Design and Manufacturing) under one roof, partners of the IoT Continuum will support international businesses to accelerate the deployment and industrialisation of Massive IoT over LTE (including Cat M and Cat 1) and 5G.

A three-step process (“start, prove, deploy and scale”) has been put in place by the partners to support businesses’ IoT projects on cellular networks, from ideation to industrialisation, without having to liaise with multiple players on the market. IoT Continuum offers a combination of leading industry players who will improve project risk management for businesses. Customers will be able to join the process at any stage, according to their needs.

As part of these processes, the partners will:

  • Provide any business and their vertical of choice a set of components and solutions validated on the Orange network, and the necessary industrial tools to deploy wide-scale IoT services on cellular networks
  • Reduce the complexity, development time and cost for businesses to realize IoT use cases by providing already pre-integrated building blocks including hardware and software (STMicroelectronics, Sierra Wireless), connectivity and IoT Services (Orange), design and manufacturing (LACROIX)
  • Provide guidance and expertise to ease the overall process and help customers maximize their benefits to scale IoT deployments economically

The IoT Continuum aims to increase the confidence of businesses by addressing the current uncertainty, complexity and reduce costs to IoT deployment, bolstering the burgeoning IoT ecosystem in Europe and beyond. The partners will also promote eSIM and 5G technologies to drive Massive IoT and are committed to helping customers develop a digitalised approach on IoT Continuum.

This will also enable new business models to accelerate the digital transformation of international industries and unleash the potential of IoT technology in areas of critical growth, including Smart Buildings, Automotive, Health, Smart Cities and Smart Industries.

IoT Continuum partners state: “We joined forces and created the IoT Continuum to streamline the management of cellular IoT projects in Europe and beyond.  By combining our various expertise and knowledge of the IoT industry, we create a joint and unique offering to meet market demand and bring customers to more successful at scale IoT deployments on cellular networks, furthering the digital transformation of international businesses, no matter their vertical.”

Farnell offers exclusive discounts and great prizes with launch of Escape Game competition

Farnell, an Avnet Company and global distributor of electronic components, products and solutions, is seeking to bring a feel-good factor to customers this summer with the launch of its Escape Game challenge. Customers across Europe have the chance to test their skills and get creative by taking on a series of challenges to ‘escape to better days’. Participants can also win exciting prizes and access a wide range of products at discounted prices.

To take part in the challenge, participants must register online and start by completing weekly tasks. Players will earn or lose points depending on how successful they are at each task. Updates will be shared via email to highlight each participant’s progress and to alert on tips to help players increase their scores.

At the end of the competition, players with the highest scores will be rewarded with great prizes including an Apple Watch, Bose BLE Speaker, 3D printer, 3D pen, E-vouchers and more.

Participants will also have the opportunity to access exclusive discounts on Multicomp Pro and other popular brands, including:

  • Up to 18% off brand new to market Rohde & Schwarz NGU401 source measure units.
  • Up to 50% discount on Microchip development kits.
  • Reduced prices on more than 4,000 products from Farnell’s interconnect range.
  • Buy one get one free on FLUKE products (when spending over €200).

Malgorzata Szemel, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA, at Farnell, said: “We understand how tough this past year has been and we wanted to provide some enjoyment with our new summer challenge. Customers can play our fun online games, with the opportunity to win great prizes and access exclusive discounts on selected products from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Our seasonal challenges have become more popular every year, and this summer in particular we wanted to help our customers have fun, win prizes and access the products they need at even lower prices.”

Farnell’s Escape Game competition is now open, to find out more and enter online visit games.Farnell.com.