Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New range of Ethernet Switches from Westermo

Westermo (Sweden) - New range of Ethernet switches manage increasing demand for high-speed communication networks on-board rail vehicles.

To meet the growing need for more capacity in train communications networks, Westermo has introduced a new generation of Ethernet train switches that provide highly robust networks to support many end devices and high data rates. Specifically designed for train applications, the wide range of interoperable Viper switches delivers reliable and versatile solutions for train networks, enabling optimal configuration for every need.

Based on the previous well proven and highly popular train switches from Westermo, the new models provide a range of 12 and 20 ports standard Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and PoE (Power over Ethernet) variants as well as additional routing functionality to enable the connection of subnets and improved overall network performance.

The Viper is available with up to 5 gigabit ports to meet the need for connectivity of gigabit end devices, such as WLAN access points and network video recorders. Simultaneously, lightning fast failover on gigabit ring ports can be achieved.

The Viper offers eight PoE ports that support the IEEE 802.3af/at plug-and-play PoE communications standard. PoE enables both power and data to be transmitted on a single multi-core cable, especially useful for camera applications, reducing overall wiring and enabling faster installation. The Viper with PoE is available in variants for low or high voltage power supply range allowing installation in any rail vehicle regardless of power standard. The Viper can also provide gigabit speed over the PoE ports, making the switch ideal e.g. for WLAN access points.

Specifically designed to provide highly robust networks and long term field operation, the Viper range has been tested and approved to exceed the EN 50155 on-board railway standard for electronic equipment, as well as an extended range of approvals with NFPA 130 (NA fire & smoke) and shunting radio EMC requirements from European rail authorities.

The Viper has been designed to be very compact and ultra-thin, enabling installation within the confined spaces of railcar panels. The M12 connectors are integrated into the housing to reduce size and further protect against vibration. With an ultra-robust design, sealed to IP67 and vibration resistant to military standards, these units are ideal for situations where mechanical stress, moisture, condensation; dirt or continuous vibrations could adversely affect the function of standard Ethernet switches. A GORE-TEX(R) membrane is used to prevent condensation build up by normal climatic day/night cycling.

As well as high levels of reliability, the switches offer unique functionality that simplifies the creation, installation and maintenance of networks. The Viper switches’ WeOS operating system provides an extensive suite of IP networking features and protocols allowing resilient and flexible networks to be created.

WeOS is also able to balance data traffic on the network to maintain maximum throughput and stability. The introduction of increased traffic from new cameras or video streams will therefore not affect the stability of the network. In the event of any link or hardware failure Westermo’s unique FRNT technology is able to re-configure a large network in 20ms.

For easy configuration, the Ethernet switches can be safely accessed from anywhere in the network using the WeConfig network configuration tool, or directly via a console port on switch.

For more information about the New Ethernet Switches from Westermo click here.

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Altium Announces the Acquisition of Leading Netherlands-Based Reseller Transfer BV

Altium Limited (Netherlands) – Altium has announced the completed acquisition of Transfer BV, a long-time and leading reseller of Altium. Transfer BV is based in the Netherlands covering the regions of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Altium will leverage the strong capability of Transfer BV with Altium’s unique direct transactional sales model to drive future growth in Northern Europe.

Altium’s CFO, Mr Joe Bedewi welcomed the acquisition of Transfer BV, commenting “We are extending our direct reach into Northern Europe to sell directly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Altium is pleased to have the highly capable and strongly motivated Transfer BV team join our direct sales force to lead our sales in Northern Europe. Transfer BV will implement Altium’s successful direct transactional sales model that has proven success in the Americas and the DACH region of Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).”

Altium’s acquisition of Transfer BV involved consideration including a combination of cash and an earn-out structure, based on sales performance for the next three years.

“This is an exciting development for us” said Transfer BV’s CEO, Mr Peter de Ruiter. “Our vision for the PCB industry has always been aligned with Altium and we look forward to driving sales growth strongly in Northern Europe and putting Altium’s leading-edge PCB design tools into the hands of engineers.”

As Altium furthers its multi-product strategy and expands its reach into the higher-end of the PCB market, the company will be seeking to sell direct in key markets in Europe.

About Transfer BV:
Transfer BV has been established in Benelux since 1988 to provide Electronic Design Automation (EDA) training, electronics design software and development services. Transfer BV delivers knowledge and tools with which oitsur customers can keep controlling the increasing complexity of the electronics development process.

Also for companies that develop EDA tools Transfer BV is known as the EDA distributor that has excellent knowledge and know-how.

About Altium:
Altium Limited is a multinational software corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, that focuses on electronics design systems for 3D PCB design and embedded system development. Altium products are found everywhere from world leading electronic design teams to the grassroots electronic design community.

With a unique range of technologies Altium helps organisations and design communities to innovate, collaborate and create connected products while remaining on-time and on-budget. Products provided are Altium®, Altium Designer®, Altium Vault®, Autotrax®, Camtastic®, CircuitMaker®, CircuitStudio®, Codemaker™, Common Parts Library™, DXP™, Easytrax®, NanoBoard®, Octopart®, PCBWORKS®, P-CAD®, Protel®, Ciiva®, PDN Analyzer™, SmartParts™, ActiveRoute™, Draftsman®, Situs® and the TASKING® range of embedded software compilers.

Founded in 1985, Altium has offices worldwide, with US locations in San Diego, Boston and New York City, European locations in Karlsruhe, Amersfoort, Kiev and Zug and Asia-Pacific locations in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney.

For more information about Altium Limited click here.

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ARBOR Launches a Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Switch with four PoE+ Ports

ARBOR Technology Corp. (Taiwan) – ARBOR Technology, a leading provider of embedded computing solutions, is pleased to announce the availability of the ARBOR AES-5204, an industrial Ethernet Switch with four IEEE 802.3at PoE (Power over Ethernet) ports. The AES series is a new addition to ARBOR’s industrial automation product lineup, designed to fulfill the requirements of PoE-enabled devices such as IP security cameras in vehicle, office and other surveillance applications.

The AES-5204 offers up to 25.5 watts per PoE+ port, which satisfies the growing demands of high power-consuming network devices, and ensures stability and safety in operation.

The very compact AES-5204 Ethernet Switch is small enough to be installed virtually anywhere. It provides four 802.3at PoE+ ports that saves installation costs, reduces wiring arrangements, and supports cost-efficient remote power feeding. To guarantee the smooth and secure operation, an integrated MCU monitors power for power loss detection, and 2KV surge protection is also provided. The AES-5204 has a broad operating temperature range from -40~75°C, and accepts a wide 9~36VDC input voltage range to handle potential power fluctuations.

The AES-5204 comes with six ports: one 1000Base-X SFP WAN connector and five GbE RJ45 jacks, including the four PoE-enabled ports, for IP camera connection. It can also support up to eight cameras when attached to another controller such as an ARBOR ARTS series in-vehicle surveillance Box PC. Also there is a 5-pin RS-485 terminal block connector that can serve as a camera console port.

The AES-5204 Ethernet switch supports DIN-rail and wall-mounting installation. It has CE and FCC Class A certifications to guarantee the highest standards in the field of protection and security.

For more information about the New Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Switch from ARBOR Technology Corp. click here.

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Baumer launched the New MESAX 70 multi-spot Laser Distance Sensor for glossy and very coarse surfaces

Baumer Holding AG (Germany) - MESAX 70 multi-spot - the unique laser distance sensor for glossy and very coarse surfaces.

Baumer presents an innovative and compact sensor for measurement of demanding surfaces. The new multi-spot MESAX laser distance sensor is immediately ready-to-use and provides accurate and repeatable measurement results, without elaborate conversion or external software.

The innovative multi-spot measuring principle from Baumer is based on the light section method. In the sensor, up to 600 measured values of an object are recorded and the distance is then calculated on the basis of intelligent analysis. The sensor takes up to 500 distance measurements per second at a resolution of up to 2 µm (0.008% of the measuring range), providing extremely stable measurement results even under varying ambient light conditions. This makes the MESAX multi-spot a unique solution in the field of optical laser distance measurement and the optimal tool for a variety of applications in testing and measurement. Example application fields are precise measurement of glossy objects in quality inspection or optimal positioning of grinding disks with extremely coarse surfaces.


For more information about the New MESAX 70 multi-spot Laser Distance Sensor from Baumer click here.

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Delphin Technology AG introduces the New Expert Logger 400

Delphin Technology AG (Germany) - Data acquisition and test stand automation using an OPC UA interface.

Delphin Technology AG (Bergisch Gladbach) has extended its Expert Logger range with the new type 400 model equipped with an OPC UA Client/Server interface. This enhancement to the independently functioning data logger system ideally equips it for the universal exchange of measurement data at field level and for the requirements of Industry 4.0. The Expert Logger device is also equipped with ProfiBus, ModBus, CAN-Bus and serial interfaces. PCs are connected via USB, LAN, WLAN and LTE.

The new type 400 is equipped with 16 universally usable, differential analog inputs for measuring mV and mA signals or any type of thermocouple. 24-bit precision and a maximum rate of 1000 measurements per second meets the highest demands required from a data logger. The new Expert Logger also has the option of measuring Pt100(0) sensors using 2, 3 or 4 wire technology or DMS. The device has a total of 24 switchable digital inputs/outputs which can record edge and fault events at microsecond precision as well as output alerts. A total of 6 analog outputs enable the operation of regulating and control elements.

The Expert Logger series offer a range of model types with 16 to 46 analog inputs which are ideal for independent data acquisition and test bench automation. Monitoring functions can also be performed independently within the device. Measurement data and threshold violations can be immediately transmitted to subsystems via OPC UA. The OPC UA interface also offers data exchange to PLC systems and connecting to PLT systems.

Furthermore, the ProfiSignal Go software – for portraying and analysing measurement data online and offline – remains a fixed element of every Expert Logger device.

For more information about the New Expert Logger Data Logger from Delphin Technology AG click here.

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steute’s New Ex Position Switch for use in temperatures down to -60°C

steute Schaltgeräte GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) – Compact and extremely robust.

They look like "completely normal" compact position switches with standard dimensions according to DIN EN 50047. But the construction details of the light and robust Ex 97 switching devices with plastic housings now available from the steute business unit "Extreme" make these devices unique.

The switches are tested and certified according to ATEX and IECEx for use in Gas Ex zones 1 and 2, as well as dust Ex zones 21 and 22. They can also be used in temperatures down to -60°C, which is a terribly demanding, most particularly for the construction and sealing of the housings. For example, the high protection class (IP 66) has to remain guaranteed at such low temperatures, even during a 7-Joule impact test.

For this reason the robust housings are manufactured from high-quality plastic with a glass fibre reinforcement which is partly textile in structure. In addition, the housing covers are completely vulcanised, guaranteeing that they remain sealed even upon impact. To seal the plungers, the steute developers have implemented a redundant sealing system comprising an external sealing cuff suitable for low temperatures and an internal Teflon sealing ring.

The sealing materials used have been classified by their own manufacturers for temperatures down to -95°C, and the lubricants used for temperatures down to -75°C. There is thus sufficient "safety clearance" before the -60°C certified for the Ex 97 switches is reached. This means that users, e.g. in the offshore oil and gas industry, can be certain that the new position switches will work reliably even in their truly extreme environments.

Due to their comprehensive range of actuators (plungers, roller levers, turning levers, push buttons) and compact dimensions, the Ex norm switches, available as snap action or slow action, are very versatile and can easily be integrated in an existing construction. Their protectively insulated plastic design also makes earthing and potential equalisation unnecessary.

With their unique set of features – in particular their enormous temperature range – they are suited to the position monitoring of flaps, valves, covers and other moving components, for example in plants within the oil and gas industry (onshore and offshore) or in shipbuilding and ports. Other application areas include handling systems on oil rigs, as well as position monitoring on crane booms. Safety applications, e.g. on maintenance flaps and guard doors, are a further possibility.

For more information about the New Ex Position Switch from steute click here.

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Introducing the Impinj xSpan RAIN RFID Gateway for Inventory Management, Asset Tracking and Supply-Chain Applications

Impinj (USA) – Elegant enough for retail stores, yet rugged enough for warehouses, the Impinj xSpan gateway helps businesses reduce costs and increase sales by providing item monitoring and transition detection in real-time.

Impinj announced xSpan, a new RAIN RFID gateway that delivers the real-time identity and transition detection of inventory, assets and other business-critical items. Ideal for use in facility entrances and exits, doorways, hallways, hospital rooms and similar spaces, xSpan is optimized to track items as they move along a path. xSpan has the aesthetics to blend into high-end retail stores yet is rugged enough for warehouse logistics and shipping environments.

xSpan joins Impinj’s existing xArray gateway in providing both item identity and location along a path. Impinj’s gateway products are part of the connectivity layer of the Impinj platform, which includes endpoints, connectivity and software.

xSpan’s Features Combine Real-time Monitoring and Transition Detection in a Simple-to-Deploy Package

Real-time Monitoring: A single xSpan provides continuous item visibility in a coverage area up to 1,000 square feet. Multiple xSpans combined with other Impinj connectivity devices can cover larger areas.

Transition Detection: Able to track items as they move along a path, xSpan can help companies understand when items are entering or exiting areas, or transitioning between zones.

Simple Deployment: xSpan is power-over-Ethernet (PoE), low-profile and lightweight, making it versatile and easy to install on both ceilings and walls. xSpan maintains peak performance with Impinj’s patented Autopilot™ technology, which automatically optimizes xSpan’s settings based on its environment.

"Businesses that need to monitor items transitioning from one space to another, or determine item location along a path, will find the Impinj xSpan well-suited to their requirements," said Craig Cotton, VP of Marketing and Product Management. "We’re excited to expand our industry-leading gateway portfolio to provide customers robust choices when looking for RAIN solutions to solve critical business problems.”

Deploy Standalone or as part of the Impinj Platform:
xSpan is Gen2v2 and ISO/IEC 18000-63 compliant and can be deployed as part of an Impinj platform solution or in a mixed RAIN deployment. Customers who deploy the Impinj platform, including Impinj endpoints, connectivity devices and enterprise-class software, achieve enhanced functionality over a mixed deployment. Impinj’s enterprise-class software, ItemSense, delivers item identity and location information from xSpan and other Impinj connectivity devices to partner applications, while also simplifying system configuration, deployment and management.

Shipping in October, customers can order xSpan now.

For more information about the New xSpan RAIN RFID Gateway from Impinj click here.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dairy producer reduces refrigeration energy use by 18-21% with Dyneo Permanent Magnet Motors

Emerson Industrial Automation (Belgium) - A Belgium-based producer of dairy products is achieving minimum energy savings of at least 18% from its refrigeration process as a result of switching to Dyneo permanent magnet motor technology from Control Techniques & Leroy-Somer. The solution, which also features a Leroy-Somer Powerdrive high-power modular drive, is being used in an industrial refrigeration system that cools milk after pasteurisation or sterilisation.

Based near Ghent, Inex specialises in products including milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, fermented milk, yoghurt, cream and butter. The company, founded in 1898, manufactures and packages both fresh and long-life produce for large European retail chains and multinationals. It has around 440 employees and annual sales of circa €150 million.

Since refrigeration is a key element in the manufacturing process, optimum operation and reliability is paramount. As part of a recent investment package, Inex acquired four new industrial refrigerator systems based on Sabroe SMC 106E reciprocating ammonia compressors. At the time, the company had heard good reports of permanent magnet motors and wanted to install one as a trial. As a result, three of the compressors were supplied with standard Leroy-Somer IE2 (90kW) asynchronous AC motors, and one with a Leroy-Somer IE4 (105kW) synchronous permanent magnet motor from the Dyneo range.

The refrigeration systems are used to cool water to 1°C, which in turns cools milk to around 4°C. The installation operates almost continuously, but at variable load. Here, the benefits of permanent magnet motors come to the fore as their performance retains almost constant partial load, unlike standard asynchronous motors, generally leading to a reduction in energy consumption.

To put the theory to the test, Control Techniques and Leroy-Somer’s experts visited Inex after the installation was complete. They discovered that the refrigerator operating with the Dyneo permanent magnet motor was delivering significant energy savings.

Using a digital energy analyzer, the drive and motor experts made a series of power measurements comparing two refrigeration units working at the same conditions. One featured the LSRPM280SC-T synchronous magnet motor (105kW) running at 1500 rpm and Leroy-Somer Powerdrive, while the other housed the standard LSES280MK-T (90kW) asynchronous motor running at 1487 rpm and a competitor drive.

It was found that energy savings were being achieved using the permanent magnet motor across a range of different load profiles. Depending on the type of measure – involving number of pistons, speed, evaporation temperature and condensation temperature – the calculated energy savings were between 18-21%, taking into account any losses from the drive and the motor.

For more information about the Dyneo Permanent Magnet Motors from Emerson Industrial Automation click here.

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ProSoft Connect™ demonstrates the benefits of a Container and Microservices Cloud Architecture

ProSoft Technology, Inc. (USA) - By Keith Blodorn Director of Wireless Program, ProSoft Technology.

ProSoft Technology has delivered valuable products and services helping industrial customers connect automation equipment across different networks for nearly thirty years. Today, as its customers are looking to benefit from the Industrial Internet of Things, ProSoft introduces a new secure, cloud-native platform called ProSoft Connect to help customers do more.

ProSoft Connect provides some unique advantages because of the Container and Microservices cloud architecture that it’s built on. This paper describes the Container and Microservices architecture and illustrates how ProSoft customers benefit from it.

What are Containers and Microservices?
“Containers” and “Microservices” are terms used to describe an approach to developing applications for use in a cloud environment. The term Container brings to mind a shipping container – a standardized box used in shipping to make it easier to move products overseas, through ports and across railways. In cloud application development, a Container is a standardized set of services that support the application running inside the container and provide connection to the cloud host environment.

Microservices are the applications that run inside the Containers. As opposed to writing a single, monolithic program to deliver all user functions, developers build Microservices that perform a very specific task.

Various Microservices come together to form what appears to the user as a complete cloud-based service. Yet, since each Microservice and the Container it resides in is fully self-sufficient, these functions are not dependent on each other.

This concept is a departure from the predominant software development approach of the recent past. For many years, software developers built full programs that would install on a computer and run in a specific computer operating system. All of the functions of the program exist within the code, and the entire program is installed together. The program then depends on the operating system to provide the required connections to the world (input devices like the keyboard, output devices like the monitor, network connections, etc.). In addition, all of the functions within the program depend on each other. This approach to programming worked well as long as there would always be a fairly complex host to run the program – the computer operating system.

As more computing functions are moved to cloud hosted systems, this paradigm is no longer the ideal way to develop computer programs. Many applications have been ported to the cloud simply by running a virtual machine with a specific operating system, and installing an existing PC- or server-based program to that virtual machine. This is a very inefficient approach since many aspects of the operating system are not needed by the program. Further, since all of the functions of the program are interdependent, a failure in any part of the program can crash the entire service. Booting up a new VM with the service can take minutes. Reliability is improved by adding “failover” servers, which are entire copies of the virtual machine running side by side.

Containers and Microservices provide a better way to build software for cloud deployment. This approach begins with the compartmentalization of program functions into Microservices. A Microservice is just a specific function of the program. Think of the payment service on an online retail site. The overall service may have many such Microservices providing different functions. The other key element of this approach is the Container. The Container is a standardized interface between the Microservice and the rest of the world, similar to how the operating system provided the interface for the monolithic program in the old paradigm.

Containers offer quite a few advantages in the cloud hosted environment.

They are much less resource-intensive compared to virtual machines and full operating systems, so it’s easy to deploy multiple instances of a particular Microservice to handle traffic and provide better reliability.

Containers “spin up” in less than a second, so failure recovery is extremely fast. Making functions fully independent from one another also allows the development team to use the best programming language for each function, rather than choosing one language for all functions. If one function is most easily deployed in python, and another function in C++, each function can be developed in the optimal language for that function and deployed in its own Container.

Think of the old approach of monolithic programs running on virtual machines as a warehouse. The warehouse, like the virtual machine, is designed to house any manner of contents. It is quite large and time-consuming to build, and the contents inside are all dependent on the integrity of the warehouse – and can even be affected by problems with other contents. In addition, each warehouse is built with different configurations – aisles, shelving, doorways – so moving contents from one warehouse to another will require changing how the contents are stored. When things are busy, the warehouse may be full, while at other times, it will be nearly empty. Yet it takes up the same amount of space either way.

By contrast, shipping containers are really very small, modular warehouses.

Each one has standard dimensions, handling provisions, and configuration.

Containers hold all kinds of different contents, yet it is very easy to manage many containers by stacking them on ships or in shipyards. Individual containers take up much less space than a warehouse, and it’s relatively easy to add containers when more contents need to be stored. In busy times, the shipyard may be full of containers stacked in rows. When it’s not busy, far fewer containers are needed. If anything happens to a container, only the contents inside that container are affected, and a replacement can be ready quickly.

Just as the advantages of shipping containers make logistics operations more efficient, cloud-native container technologies make cloud-based programs easier to develop, deploy, and operate.

How the Container and Microservice Architecture Benefits ProSoft Customers
ProSoft Connect allows customers to securely access industrial automation devices – such as PLCs and HMIs – remotely from anywhere in the world.

Secure remote access allows system integrators, machine builders, and large end users to troubleshoot problems with their systems more quickly, to gather data from machines or plants around the world, and plant operators to manage process equipment spread globally. The unique advantages of the Container and Microservice architecture includes enhanced service reliability, improved security, and superior ease of use.

For manufacturing customers, reliability is always a critical attribute.

Secure remote access services are no different. When a machine is down, engineers need to access the machine control system and begin troubleshooting immediately. ProSoft Connect users enjoy highly reliable service in part because the Container/Microservice approach allows the service to run multiple simultaneous sessions with minimal consumption of cloud computing resources. In fact, there are always at least three of every service running! There is no need for the “fail-over” servers that old VM-based systems used for reliability. Even if all of the current instances of a service were to suddenly stop, a new instance can be started up in under a second. This means that when an engineer needs to access a remote machine, ProSoft Connect will be ready to make the connection.

As more industrial processes connect to the Internet, cybersecurity is an important aspect of connectivity solutions. The Container and Microservice architecture helps ProSoft Connect deliver a higher level of security for users. First, ProSoft Connect is a fully cloud-native solution that requires virtually no user-installed software. This eliminates a significant attack surface that past cloud connectivity solutions opened up. User-installed software is vulnerable to tactics like “watering hole attacks,” where hackers embed sniffer code inside the software download and use that to gain access to equipment. Also, software must be kept up-to-date as vulnerabilities in the underlying software services are discovered and patched. ProSoft Connect requires only a browser and an OS-native VPN client to work, so these threats are greatly reduced.

Second, the Container and Microservice architecture enables ProSoft Connect developers to build a very robust and secure service using the latest state-of-the-art cloud development tools. Containerized functions prevent potentially cascading issues, since each function operates autonomously in its own Container. Finally, Containers provide the basic supporting services that a piece of code needs to run. This means there are fewer components that might be vulnerable to attack, compared with a full VM and operating system.

The most noticeable advantage of ProSoft’s choice to use Containers and Microservices is in the ease of use. ProSoft Connect functions were built using the best programming language and supporting services for each function, which contributes to the simple user experience of the service.

For creating VPN connections to remote equipment, ProSoft Connect offers EasyBridge™ technology, which forms a Layer 2 connection between the user’s PC and the remote PLC network. Containerized services running in the ProSoft Connect service handle the complexity of network routing, so the user can connect to the remote network just as if they plugged an Ethernet cable into the remote Ethernet switch.

A Platform for the Industrial Internet of Things:
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of ProSoft Connect and its modular architecture is the promise of things to come. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. As new technologies develop to help manufacturers cut costs, improve productivity, and deliver products faster, ProSoft Connect users will have a powerful secure platform to connect industrial data to high-value cloud services.

ProSoft already helps customers around the world get data from machines speaking one protocol to machines that speak a different protocol. We’ve now built the foundation to help customers take those machines and deliver the value the IIoT is promising.


Keith Blodorn is the director of ProSoft Technology’s Wireless Program. He has worked in the Industrial Automation industry for more than 20 years.

For more information about ProSoft Connect from ProSoft Technology click here.

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Quantifying Touch: changing how the Automotive Industry defines feel

SynTouch, LLC (USA) - The world authority on quantifying touch and the provider of a tactile measurement system that mimics and exceeds human perception – is changing the way the automotive industry designs cars and trucks.

No automobile would enter production without precise measurements defining its look and color, but for how it feels? The haptics of automotive interiors were previously defined using subjective adjectives, physical samples of interiors sent for approval (or rejection) and quality control measurements that didn’t capture the essence of what humans feel.

SynTouch improved that process.

The SynTouch Standard® consists of an instrument to measure the fifteen dimensions of human touch including aspects of texture, friction, thermal, compliance and adhesion.

Designers using our measurements rest assured that their preferred feel for a material is specified for production engineers. Then suppliers and buyers use these measurements to provide materials that meet the designers’ needs.

Increasingly, car interiors are where automakers establish their unique brand, define the driver experience and create sensations of luxury, dependability, exoticism or power. Interior Motives‘ summer focus feature on color and materials highlights this new emphasis. Touch is perhaps the most human of our senses. When you sit in a car and touch the steering wheel, seat, or infotainment center, each interaction alters your perception of quality. The automakers using our services can now deliver precisely the perception that they intend.


SynTouch provides services and test instruments to the automotive industry and companies making consumer electronics, personal care products, garments and many other items that you touch on a daily basis.

SynTouch provides no-cost initial consultation to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.

For more information about the SynTouch Standard® from SynTouch, LLC click here.

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Systems Modeling and Verification Software Added to the Altair Partner Alliance

Altair Engineering, Inc. (USA) – XLDyn is now available for download by HyperWorks users.

The Altair Partner Alliance (APA) added systems engineering software from XLDyn, LLC to its lineup of software partnerships. The software is made up of two modules, XLSE and XL1D, which work together to automate the creation of system models and perform one dimensional (1D) multi-physics simulations.

"Our partnership with XLDyn is one we’ve been looking forward to,” said Carlo Damiani, Vice President System Modeling at Altair. “One of the most exciting aspects is that it offers a great interface with solidThinking Activate, which will provide our joint users with not only top-notch system modeling capabilities, but also an easy to use environment for requirements and verification.”

XLSE is a model and math based systems engineering tool to automate the creation of system models whose requirements can be verified by tightly integrated simulation and tests. The software synchronizes the Object Management Group Systems Modeling Language (OMG SysML) diagram, Table and Word document views of the design requirements to support parametric, block definition, requirement, package and internal block diagrams. XL1D provides 1D multi-physics simulation for controls, mechanical, electrical, and thermal elements with multiple solution types. These modules together create an excellent tool for balancing requirements and design parameters at the system, subsystem and component levels.

"We are thrilled to be joining forces with the Altair community,” said Thomas Tecco, Chief Operating Officer at XLDyn. “Our systems modeling software brings new and innovative capabilities to complement those already a part of the Altair offering, so we are confident this partnership holds many good things to come for systems engineers across our global user base.”

The XLDyn software is widely applicable across industries, and is best suited for those with interdependent and complex requirements. It provides systems and product development engineers with the ability to develop and track product requirements and graphically document the requirement verification methods to appropriately balance and optimize the designs to be sure targets are met.

About the Altair Partner Alliance:
Altair’s HyperWorks platform applies a revolutionary subscription-based licensing model in which customers use floating licenses to access a broad suite of Altair-developed, as well as third-party, software applications on demand. The Altair Partner Alliance effectively extends the HyperWorks Platform from more than 20 internally developed solutions to upwards of 60 applications with the addition of new partner applications. Customers can invoke these third-party applications at no incremental cost using their existing HyperWorks licenses. Customers benefit from unmatched flexibility and access, resulting in maximum software utilization, productivity and ROI.

About XLDyn, LLC:
The XLDyn mission is to develop system engineering tools that are fully integrated with an intuitive and easy to use graphical interface. We have two modules developed in Microsoft .NET 4.5 Framework. XLSE for authoring OMG SysML compliant system models and XL1D for authoring and simulating detailed 1D multi-physics systems models. The XLDyn technology is covered by three approved U.S. Patents, plus one pending.

Product success requires meeting or exceeding the customer expectations. Engineers need to define requirements, trace relationships, verify status against targets in one easy to use software tool. The solution to this is XLDyn as it provides the most integrated and easy to use Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) software for requirements and verification tracking. It has a wide range of functionality needed by Systems and Simulation Engineers and at the same time provides a “project view” capability that is ideal for managers and teams to keep abreast of project status. XLDyn is the perfect tool for balancing designs at the system, subsystem and component level.

About Altair:
Founded in 1985, Altair is focused on the development and application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance. Privately held with more than 2,600 employees, Altair is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA with more than 45 offices throughout 20 countries, and serves more than 5,000 corporate clients across broad industry segments.

For more information about the Solutions from Altair click here.

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NuTec completes $2.5 Million Medical Assembly Automation Project

NuTec Tooling Systems, Inc. (USA) – NuTec’s latest medical assembly automation project is the eleventh iteration built in cooperation with a large medical device supplier. The project, consisting of six separate automation stations, including two of NuTec’s proprietary TrayTender products, was built for the assembly and testing of a sophisticated medical device. A device is produced every 9 seconds and the line can run many variations of the product. The multi-million dollar project took just under a year to complete.


About NuTec:
NuTec Tooling Systems, Inc. is a solutions oriented provider and designer of factory automation solutions and industrial robotics for contract manufacturers and manufacturers of complex components. NuTec specializes in factory automation solutions for industries such as: medical, small electronics/devices, electro-mechanical automation, energy storage, consumer products, and more.

For more information about the Automation Solutions from NuTec Tooling Systems click here.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Eurotunnel Selects ARBOR Technology to Maximize Check-in Efficiency of Toll Booths

ARBOR Technology Corp. (UK, France) – ARBOR’s rugged FPC-7701 industrial fanless Box PC has been chosen for its reliability and configuration flexibility.

ARBOR Technology, a leading provider of embedded computing solutions, is pleased to announce that Eurotunnel has selected ARBOR’s FPC-7701 fanless Box PC for both its manned and fully automated toll booths which require reliable ruggedized embedded computing systems to maximize check-in efficiency. Processes such as number plate recognition, barrier control and ticket printing are controlled through this PC interface.

Built in 1994, the Channel Tunnel between United Kingdom and France is a key connection for the European high-speed transport and plays an important role for regional economic development. The Channel Tunnel is used by 2.5 million cars, 1.5 million trucks and 21 million people every year. High-speed passenger trains and rail freight trains also run through the tunnel.

Originally the Industrial Box PC was specified as a fan cooled system, ARBOR Technology UK proposed a more reliable fanless solution. Selecting the FPC-7701 from ARBOR’s extensive range of ruggedized Industrial Box PC products, gave the ideal base platform, additional I/O was then added using the PCI and PCIe expansion ports. This coupled with the Intel® Core™ i5 CPU and an extended operating temperature range of -20 ~ 55°C, meant that the ARBOR fanless Box PC FPC-7701 exceeded the required specifications.

A demo system was delivered within 1 week of request, allowing Eurotunnel to evaluate the proposed hardware, check compatibility with their custom software and conduct the extensive testing required to ensure the long term reliability would be achieved.

Custom metalwork was designed by ARBOR Technology UK to enable the Fanless Box PC to fit onto the existing mounting points. By using in-house CAD modeling the design concepts could be evaluated without the need for prototyping.

Industrial PC manufacturing by ARBOR Technology in Taiwan with configuration and testing at the ARBOR UK facility allows ARBOR to achieve cost effective pricing whilst offering customers the local UK sales, technical and aftersales support that they require.

Eurotunnel’s UK Support Manager, Nigel Hales said: “ARBOR Technology UK offered the local technical and manufacturing support we wanted, meaning the fanless Box PCs could be configured to our specification and meet our exact expectations.”


About Groupe Eurotunnel SE:
Groupe Eurotunnel SE (Euronext Paris: GET and London Stock Exchange: GETS) manages the infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel and operates accompanied truck shuttle and passenger shuttle (car and coach) services between Folkestone, UK and Calais, France. Eurotunnel holds the concession until 2086 to operate the Channel Tunnel, the fastest, most reliable, easiest and most environmentally friendly way to cross the Channel. In 21 years, over 366 million people have used the Channel Tunnel. This unique land crossing has become a vital link between the continent and the United Kingdom. Eurotunnel also runs a rail freight business through its subsidiary Europorte, which offers a wide range of integrated rail freight services.

About ARBOR:
ARBOR Technology Corp., founded in 1993, is a leading provider of Smart City and IoT solutions. With more than 20 years of experience in providing customer-driven, high performance, and industrial strength computing solutions in various industries. ARBOR strives to provide a complete solution from board to system, computing to communication in healthcare, transportation, industrial automation, mobile computing, digital signage, retail, intelligent building and home. ARBOR is ISO-9001, ISO-13485 and ISO-14001-certifiied and commits to deliver high quality products with international standards and well-defined production process.

ARBOR Technology (UK) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARBOR Technology Corp., a leading supplier offering clients solutions, sales service, technical support, warehousing and RMA facilities. ARBOR UK has provided industrial hardware solutions to some of the UK's largest Defense, Aerospace, Medical & Automation companies with totally customized, cost-effective and bespoke solutions.

For more information about the Rugged FPC-7701 Industrial Fanless Box PC from ARBOR Technology Corp. click here.

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EtherCAT-Enabled Panel PC Raises Production Speed by 40% with Simplified System Architecture

NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) - NEXCOM's EtherCAT-enabled panel PCs have taken the place of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and human-machine interface (HMI) to boost the production speed by 40% for a manufacturer of corrugated metal sheets and rolling forming lines. By empowering roll forming lines to hit a line speed of 70 meters per minute (m/min), NEXCOM APPC 1530T enables the manufacturer and its clients to produce more corrugated metal sheets, serve more customers, and generate more revenue.

Having a spate of applications, corrugated metal sheets is a construction material widely used for roofing, siding, and wall cladding. Facing overwhelming market demand as well as heavy competition, the manufacturer was under the mounting pressure to build new roll forming lines which can deliver a higher volume of corrugated metal sheets in a shorter time span than previously anticipated. Challenged to speed up roll forming lines, the manufacturers has embraced NEXCOM' APPC 1530T, an EtherCAT-enabled 15" panel PC, over PLCs.

NEXCOM's Solution:
Installed in roll forming lines, the APPC 1530T is used to control and display operation information of a series of manufacturing processes. The APPC 1530T begins with unrolling a galvanized steel coil into a flat sheet which is then transferred and guided to roll forming units to shape a beautiful trapezoidal or sinusoidal profile. Next, the APPC 1530T sets fly shears into action to cut the corrugated metal sheet into pieces of a desired length, and then weighs and stacks the finished products, which are produced at a line speed of 70 m/min.

It is a seemingly simple work yet requiring roll forming lines to show mastery of high-speed, multi-axis, multi-point control that was lacking in existing roll forming lines which took two Modbus RTU PLCs and a 7" HMI to do the same work and maxed out at about 50 m/min.

Solution Benefits:
Building roll forming lines with the APPC 1530T gives the manufacturer unprecedented speed, control, and simplicity over PLCs. The EtherCAT-enabled APPC 1530T outruns Modbus RTU PLCs in terms of the communication speed and is powerful enough to serve as both a PC-based controller and HMI. Compared to their predecessors, new roll forming lines orchestrated by a single unit of powerful APPC 1530T have a much simpler architecture that not only is easier to maintain but also demonstrates great simplicity in system integration.

With the support for IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen standards, the APPC 1530T enables the manufacturer to reuse already-written motion control functions by copying ladder diagrams, function block diagrams, and motion control libraries from existing roll forming lines to new lines. As a result, the manufacturer is allowed to accelerate time to market of innovations with reduced programming efforts.

For more information about the Panel PCs from NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. click here.

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Industrial Cloud Routers Unveiled by Delta Electronics

Delta Electronics, Inc. (Taiwan) – Delta Electronics has recently launched its innovative 3G Cloud Router DX-2100 series and Industrial Ethernet Cloud Router DX-2300 series, both to be displayed at the major industrial show SPS Italia 2016, in Parma from May 24 to 26. These state-of-the-art routers enable a built-in secure tunnel between the DIACloud cloud service and a set of industrial devices such as PLCs, HMIs, AC motor drives, AC servo systems, sensors and more. Users can connect to DIACloud through Apps, web browsers or PC Windows platforms. The new DIACloud service offers simple and efficient control of automated facilities.

Designed to support fast and reliable two-way data collection, DX-2100 is a rugged wireless router that establishes a secure ‘tunnel’ between the user and the remote networked devices or PC (via the cloud server) without the need for VPN servers. This makes it possible to perform remote configuration, remote firmware upgrades, scheduled tasks and remote management operations. The device is targeted at a host of remote connectivity applications that include industrial automation, smart homes, smart buildings, smart grids, surveillance and transportation monitoring.

Superior performance based on quick, strong and secure connectivity is viable with these advanced new devices. Able to support Modbus TCP and RTU protocols, the DX-2100 is downward compatible with GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G networks. Both the DX-2100 and the DX-2300 offer HSPA+ data transmission rates of up to 21.6 Mbps (downlink) and 5.76 Mbps (uplink). Before purchasing any router, users are advised to determine how fast it transmits data.

For the Industrial 3G Cloud Router, further benefits include automatic APN parameter matching and connection redial, therefore minimising offline time in the event of internet drop-out. In addition, there are various peripheral interfaces that include RS-485, RS-232 and Ethernet ports to meet all user device connectivity requirements, while an integral RTC (Real-Time Clock) also features along with support for NTP (Network Time Protocol) synchronisation over a network.

From a security perspective, the firewall offers many advanced functions, including SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) and the prevention of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. What’s more, the firewall also provides NAT (Network Address Translation), port triggering and port mapping functionality, along with IP address, MAC address and URL filtering. All of this helps to make Delta’s DX-2100 and DX-2300 some of the market’s most secure industrial cloud routers.

Additional user advantages include networking failure diagnostics, device and PLC interlocking, and custom alarm conditions with email alerts.

For more information about the New Industrial Cloud Routers from Delta Electronics click here.

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