New condition monitoring services seen at MAINTEC 2008

Nick Denbow reviews some of the new products and services that were of special interest at the MAINTEC NEC Show, to try to highlight some you may even have missed!

MAINTEC at the NEC early in March presented a good cross section of suppliers for condition monitoring, asset management and maintenance equipment and services, but what did this provide for the visiting plant engineer or manager to assess the ideas? The overload of input and possibilities, added to by the presentations in the learnShop sessions, would baffle an expert in the field.

Most of the exhibitors were pleased with the quality of visitors available, and the enquiries logged, but this was the downside of my MAINTEC experience: to get good information you needed to make a registered enquiry, and two weeks later not much of the promised data has materialised, even by post! Hopefully the customers, with actual money to spend, have received the responses they need, and the suppliers who did not have the info to hand will deal with a simple editor later….

However there were some interesting new developments to report on, and we have several of the stories from the more internet aware of the suppliers on Processingtalk already.

Starting with VIBRATION MONITORING, ifm Electronic showed their simple sensor family, the efector octavis, which provides vibration monitoring and analysis in a machine mounted unit.

A band of LED displays, which move from green thru to yellow to red to show when the monitored bearing needs attention: it uses its own DSP, digital signal processing, and diagnostics to choose the right frequency band for rolling element bearings and shaft imbalance monitoring.

A unit can even monitor four separate bearings at once.

Holroyd Instruments, as reported last year, are enthusiastic supporters of acoustic emission (AE) techniques.

This year their simplest sensors are now offered in a package which incorporates the AE sensor, signal conditioning and the decision software, giving an alarm signal straight from the sensor.

The trigger level for this alarm, and some of the programming, can be adjusted using a laptop connection.

It sounds fine: I hope we will get some PR from them to present to you! Sensonics on the other hand have supplied a good report to Processingtalk on their high temperature piezo-ceramic transducer that can monitor gas turbine vibration at temperatures up to 450C.

While normal commercial piezoelectric wafers pass out at 250C max, and most sensors because of the resins used in construction stop at about 150C, the crystal based transducers, using quartz or lithium niobate crystals can work fine at these temperatures, it just needs good mechanical design and practical experience to make a transducer that is suitable.

Sensonics seem to have specialised in these high temperature applications, possibly mainly in turbines and power generation units, for some time, and can satisfy most requirements in that area.

So it is no surprise to hear that they also have developed an eddy current type proximity probe for 240C operation, fully interchangeable with, but much less expensive than the established standard probe used for that market and application, for end float and shaft vibration monitoring.

Another name from the past made a return to MAINTEC this year: SPM Instruments, from Sweden.

SPM have for many years provided bearing monitoring hand-held instruments, for use by a plant engineer to monitor bearing conditions, and note any deterioration.

Monitran had a good show offer, with their current portable vibration meter equipment set available at a show price of GBP395: this is around GBP200 off the equivalent pre-show price.

While they did not sell too many on the first day, apparently, there were plenty of existing customers thought to be planning to snap up a bargain.

And the exhibition stand was certainly busy enough.

CONDITION MONITORING SERVICES AND TRAINING

The very reasonable approach from many plants is that they wish to outsource condition monitoring, or vibration measurement services, and the number of companies prepared to offer this as a service has grown rapidly in recent years.

CNES, Corus Northern Engineering Services, offer a whole toolbox of condition monitoring techniques, and their engineers use them all to provide such services, in alliance with their Praxis partner FAG Industrial Services (F’IS), on the next stand, under the Schaeffler umbrella.

FAG presented some simple devices to assist with drive belt alignment and tensioning, adaptations of the laser level and distance monitoring devices, which use the laser beam between one drive pulleywheel and the next, to paint a visible line across a sensor – basically a ruler, but a lot easier to apply: this is the Smarty2.

A similar device was available for measuring the belt tension between pulley wheels.

Reliability Maintenance Solutions, run by Dean Whittle, is one of the most experienced UK sources for training and consultancy on condition and vibration monitoring, also acting as the UK agent for the Mobius courses on the topic, and a member of the UK organizing committee for BINDT courses and conferences (next conference due in July, in Edinburgh).

Another condition monitoring consultancy and training company, AV Technology, presented a new aspect to their service, the Spi-VR vibration data collector, in addition to providing lecturers for the BINDT vibration training programme, and organizing special half day CM operator training sessions, free of charge, during MAINTEC.

The Spi-VR stands for Spectrum Inspection and Vibration Recorder, but this is not just another portable vibration monitor.

Using the Spi-VR the data collected by plant operators is down-loaded into an AV Technology analysis programme and database, which then allows web access to the site engineers to see the data.

Anything he does not like the look of, or wants further advice on, can be referred to an AV Technology vibration monitoring consultant, who can access the waveforms available.

In this way the site engineering people learn to monitor the equipment, but always have an expert on hand to consult.

The approach of taking data and transmitting this to a central database for analysis and possible review by CM experts seemed to be the major trend identified in the MAINTEC show, and was also strongly featured on the Rockwell Automation stand, who see transmission of data to their own hosted server, remote from the site, as the answer to the aging workforce, which is leading to a developing shortage of skilled condition monitoring engineers.

The hosted software takes advantage of the Mobius analysis programmes, which are acknowledged to be the best available for condition monitoring, yet allows both Rockwell engineers and the site engineers to access and configure the data.

Data can be collected and transmitted to this system using hand-held portable data collectors, such as the Rockwell Enpac, which is also a powerful analyser of vibration measurement data, or can be collected over the standard Rockwell Automation network systems and downloaded via wireless or a direct internet connection.

Further wireless multi-channel vibration monitoring devices were offered by Icon Research, an interesting supplier who have provided application articles relating to marine diesel engine monitoring and and power station fan monitoring.

MOTOR TESTS AND PUMPING STATION MONITORS

Whitelegg Machines were the only people I saw at MAINTEC discussing motor testing systems, demonstrating the Baker Instrument test equipment, and stressing how motor testing can detect inefficient operating conditions.

An alternative condition monitoring technique introduced at MAINTEC last year by Artesis, using an electrical waveform monitoring system on the power supply phases, has been installed in one un-named European City to monitor the water supply pumping system: the results so far have shown a significant reduction in maintenance costs: one of the MAINTEC presentations was a joint effort between Artesis and United Utilities, explaining how such a system is being evaluated for use in improving the efficiency of their water supply network.

FOOD INDUSTRY

The MAINTEC Exhibition featured several food industry suppliers: a release from PetroCanada features their new Purity FG, an industrial strength food grade lubricant product line, now containing Microl – the first and only antimicrobial preservative currently approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in food grade lubricants.

This new additive inhibits microbial growth in the lubricant to prevent degradation in tough plant environments: Petro-Canada is the world’s largest producer of the pharmaceutical grade 99.9% pure white oil used in a variety of food processing industries, offering a complete line of industrial lubricants suitable for ancillary use in food processing plants.

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Foundation Fieldbus World General Assembly 2008

The Fieldbus Foundation this year conducted their 2008 Worldwide General Assembly in Antwerp, in February: Nick Denbow presents a review of the presentations.

Attended by around 230 delegates, including suppliers, contractors and end-users, the theme of the assembly was to show “Why FOUNDATION has become the technology of choice” for process automation in both greenfield and brownfield projects.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus was quoted as preferred by a growing number of end users worldwide – in oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and power.

Quoting a recent ARC Advisory Group survey, Rich Timoney, President and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation, presented the facts and figures to the assembled European press.

He claimed that over a million FF field devices are now in service worldwide, in the intelligent networks for the process industries, leading to a 68% market share for this sector for FOUNDATION Fieldbus, with 27% being taken by Profibus PA, and 3% on other protocols.

Challenged to provide support for this claim, the distribution of the devices was explained to be 44% in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 27% in the Americas, and 24% in Asia Pacific.

The significant growth in the EMEA share was mainly attributable to a number of major projects in the Middle East, but in the last year FF has also seen major installations in India and Brazil, the newly developing and maturing areas, as well as in China.

While the early adopters of this technology were indeed the oil and gas industry, Rich Timoney also said there is now rapid growth in the uptake of FF in the utilities, with the first nuclear plant using FOUNDATION Fieldbus currently in start-up mode.

Another significant user of fieldbus technology is the pharmaceutical industry, with 22 plants on San Juan, including those of Amjet, Genzyme and SmithKline Beecham, all instrumented using FF systems.

Novartis, both in Singapore and Europe, was quoted to have adopted FF technology, following the experience gained in the major pharmaceutical plants recently established in Ireland.

End-user presentations at the General Assembly described the installations and benefits achieved with FOUNDATION Fieldbus at the Stork GLT natural gas fields and distribution system in the North of Holland, and also at the Serbian Natural Gas Distribution system; at the INEOS Chlor plant at Runcorn (a separate Processingtalk Special Report will present a description of this application); and at the oil distribution terminal run by Vopak for the Shell Pernis refinery and petrochemical complex in The Netherlands.

These were followed up by two presentations from Jacobs Engineering and Bechtel on major and mega-projects, who confirmed that all new work referred to them is now specified as “Fieldbus-based” or at least “Fieldbus systems should be considered”.

An interesting approximate analysis of the 230 strong General Assembly audience, which could have been expected to be mainly enthusiasts over the technology, showed that around 30% were suppliers, 66% were existing FF users, and the remainder consisted of 6 contractors/installers and 3 potential new users.

The independent keynote address at this year’s assembly was provided by Dr Norbert Kuschnerus, President of the NAMUR Board of Management, Senior Vice President of Bayer Technology Services, and a member of theInterkama Advisory Board since 2002.

His keynote address was entitled “User’s Experiences, Requirements and Expectations”, which concluded that Fieldbus is a key technology, and needs to be an enabling technology for Asset Management, Advanced Process Control and Performance Monitoring”.

However, after 20 years of use, Dr Kuschnerus states that we are still at the beginning of the real use of fieldbus technology, and there is room for improvement.

Firstly the problems evident in product replacement, such as the incompatibility hazards arising from different software revisions in outwardly the same devices need to be solved: and secondly the selection of field devices must no longer be determined by issues of device integration – rather devices should be able to be selected according to their suitability for the process application.

The strong message was that the devices must offer vendor independent functionality, with Dr Kuschnerus making the comparison with the standardisation achieved using the 4-20mA protocol that has worked so well, for all transmitters.

The FOUNDATION Fieldbus organization announced various initiatives that will address these aspects of the technology during 2008, as developed following advice from their various End-User Councils.

These include the co-operation with HART and Profibus in an effort to develop a common interface to a wireless gateway, and rigorous host testing and registration according to FOUNDATION standards, (ie making the control system interface interchangeable) to strengthen fieldbus interoperability and system integration.

The Foundation Fieldbus End User Committees are a major strength within FF in guiding the development and promotion of fieldbus techniques, and now new committees have been established in India, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, S Africa and Sweden, plus one covering the CIS and Baltic States.

Further, the FOUNDATION Safety Instrumented Function demonstrations, now being created at various user sites around the world, use asset management diagnostic information to confirm the health of safety valves and various pressure and temperature devices, and improve the availability performance of safety loops.

Planned to operate up to SIL3, Protocol Type Approval has been achieved with the help of TUV Rheinland Industrie Service.

These demonstrations will be created in 2008 at BP Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Chevron in Houston, Texas.

Also expanding the European profile for FOUNDATION Fieldbus, a number of training seminars are scheduled across Europe and the Middle East.

The need for training, and the ageing of the experienced workforce was a major discussion topic, and the third day of the conference was devoted to FF training courses at ACTA, a local FF Certified Training Centre: these are now established in Holland and Belgium.

One such customer training and user applications discussion seminar is scheduled in Reading UK for Wednesday 9 April.

The easyfairs Solids and Bulk Handling Expo2008

A report on products of interest found at the easyfairs Solids and Bulk Handling Exhibition, held at the NEC from 11-12 March, by Nick Denbow

The easyfairs Solids and Bulk Handling Exhibition at the NEC from 11-12 March presented some of the products we hear a lot about, such as radar level measurement systems from Vega Controls and Endress + Hauser.

Both companies presented new, low cost radar sensors for level and contents monitoring on smaller silos, up to 15m height.

The Vegapuls 67 is a light weight (1.2Kg) radar sensor that Vega offer for foods, aggregates, cement or crushers, that can also work measuring the load on conveyor belts, or equally in liquid tanks or sumps.

Using the standard Vega programming and software from their longer range sensors, the Vegapuls 67 brings radar technology to the price level of ultrasonic systems, and avoids the problems that some users have found from the hanging probes and wires needed with guided wave radar level systems.

Endress + Hauser introduced a similar low cost radar system at the show, aimed at replacing guided wave measurement systems, and light enough in weight to be suitable for mounting on the top of any small silo.

With a typical 4-20mA level measurement output, this unit is also available with PROFIBUS communications, and is programmable using their standard Fieldcare software.

E+H are celebrating 40 years in their Manchester base, interestingly located in ‘Floats Road’: their original building is now replaced with a much more modern head office, production, test and training centre.

Over the 40 years employees in Floats Road have grown from 20 to 200, and eventually the flow calibration facilities will also be incorporated into the new building.

The E+H replacement for the ubiquitous ‘float’ operated liquid level switch is the Liquiphant, and the solids version of this is a twin vane vibrating sensor known as the Soliphant.

A new version of the Soliphant is now available with much shorter forks, making it suitable for smaller bin and hopper installations, with only a marginal reduction in the sensitivity to the powder density that it can detect reliably.

Another well established name in the UK solids handling market is Golconda, formed in 1975, who are specialists in silo level control systems: they have recently added the Bindicator solids level switch product range from the USA to their European portfolio.

However far more interesting was the latest product on show on their stand, the APM 3D level scanner.

This is a totally different approach to level monitoring, but it still uses ultrasonic profiling of the level of solids in a silo or storage bin.

However three ultrasonic beams illuminate the surface, and the built in microprocessor presents an image of the surface across the bin in 3D.

The volume contents is computed, based on the different heights monitored, to give an actual stored volume measurement: essential for such people as highways managers trying to estimate the volume of salt or sand left in their storage areas.

But the information is also important to process plant managers, where it can give a visual picture of product hang-up in the silo, and show when an apparently empty signal from point sensors does not mean the tank can take a full delivery.

Already on trial at a petrochemical plant in the UK, in squat storage tanks, the APM 3D sensor is proving its worth: direct from the exhibition stand APM interrogated the silo and showed a large build up, or hang up, of powder on one sidewall: the tank was 30% full (by volume) yet the left hand discharge port was not able to deliver any of the stored contents.

The 3D Level Scanner is inevitably a retrofit product at the moment: so it uses radio to transmit the image from the tank top to the site manager’s PC, and publishes the info to a website.

So, Golconda reckoned they had the best new product to present at the show: but their stand did not win the prize for the best surprise! Orthos Engineering looked like a peaceful, tranquil stand, presenting some polished stainless steel vibratory screeners from Allgaier: no doubt in real life they would present a much noisier image, separating lumps and stones from finer particles.

But Orthos provide a range of dry processing equipment, which includes pneumatic conveying systems, and the Firefly dust explosion suppression systems.

Basically its simple, the Firefly sensor detects a sudden source of heat, so triggers a suppression system a little further along the line.

The demonstration on the stand used a lighted match, dropped into the simulated line in Perspex (thankfully through a very small hole): passing the detector the hot matchstick triggered the sensor, switching on a sort water deluge blast, which thankfully stayed inside the Perspex pipe.

It certainly made me jump! These Firefly systems are not just used in pneumatic grain conveyors, they are also used on tissue paper plants, underneath the web, and in wood processing machines in particular, where the forming of the wood into a skirting board moulding for example produces a great deal of heat, in a rather combustible atmosphere.

They also do a similar thing with tobacco leaf, but they tend to divert the fires into a separate branch of the line so that wet (and possibly smoked) tobacco does not get into the cigarettes.

Next to Orthos, an associate company, Lindor, showed their low shear drum blenders for fragile products such as foods or nutraceuticals.

Further along Kason showed their range of sifters and vibratory separators for pharmaceutical and food products.

Personally I certainly missed my true vocation, which would have been associated with spectral analysis in optical instruments, as you would have realized from previous reports.

So I found an interesting product range on the NDC Engineeering stand, with the IR reflectance measurements from bulk materials on conveyors providing several different chemical analyses on the transported material at once.

By changing the spectral measurement waveband the same instrument can measure the water, sugar, oil, protein, nicotine or caffeine! Apparently a lot of these relate to tobacco too.

As for my vocation, instead of researching optical instruments I spent a long time engrossed in flowmeters, and any decent flowmeter gives better than 1% accuracy on a clean clear liquid: the good ones are at 0.2 or 0.1%.

So to see a solids flowmeter claiming a 0.25% accuracy at easyFairs Solids seemed quite something.

Minsterport had the CLever flowmeter from Rembe on display (Note: their capitals, not mine, and not very clever, the almighty Word programme does not like you doing that) which claims 0.25% on bulk flow measurements of solids.

While you might dismiss this meter as another impact device, it is not: the flow of the solids is constrained to move in an arc in the ducting, and the wall that defines the plate is mounted with a strain gauge to measure the centripetal force transmitted as the solids are directed through the arc.

It sounds like a lot of CFD has gone into the meter design to be able to ‘regularise’ that force into one arc, and achieve 0.25%.

Minsterport come from Shipley, so must be OK, and are also Bindicator agents, so we look forward to some installation reports for the Rembe flowmeter.

There’s another UK bred supplier of solids level control systems, and that is Synatel.

Also specialists in speed monitors, Synatel have maybe applied this expertise to the classic paddle type high solids level alarm system, that normally uses a stalled motor and clutch system.

Synatel introduce their Step-A-Matic unit using a stepper motor, and getting rid of the problems of burnt out clutches and motors on these probes.

As a supplier of the simplest of solids level alarm probe, Synatel also achieve a bonus by creating a paddle design that can be inserted through the standard 1inch BSP instrumentation boss on the silo.

Last of all, we have to think about safety, and Newson Gale were at easyFairs Solids demonstrating their wide range of earthing systems and monitoring points for specialised solids handling applications, particularly they were showing the new Earthrite RTR earthing station for tanker loading points.

Even if the operator were to try to fool the clamping tool, in an attempt to by-pass the pump lock-out, the intelligent circuitry knows the expected capacitance value of a road tanker, and unless the correct measurement is seen on the probe, the pump is still locked out.

Braby also attended easyFairs Solids, showing some of their new Hapman conveyor systems.

A new name for me was Silocare, who provide steeplejack inspection and repair services for maintenance work on silos (www.silocare.co.uk), but that takes us into the realm of the associated Maintec Exhibition, which will be reported separately.

At the rear of the Hall holding easyFairs Solids, if you followed the Exhibition plan, just as you fell off the edge of the page another set of stands appeared.

This turned out to be ‘Industrial Environment at easyfairs Solids’, where you could find all the people who did not really fit under the “Solids” title: like liquids handling, water treatment and pollution monitoring people.

Level alarms for dry solids storage

Adrian Morris of Synatel reviews the methods for fixed point level alarm monitoring on silos, tanks and containers for powders, plastic pellets or granules.

Anywhere materials are being conveyed, transported, mixed or stored, there is a need for some form of level control.

In some cases, continuous level control is required but the workhorse of the industry is the fixed point level indicator.

This review looks at some of the many principles by which fixed point level detection can be achieved in powder silos and hoppers, and the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

It concludes with details of a brand new approach which it is believed will handle a wider variety of applications than any other level probe principle with a high degree of reliability.

Firstly, the capacitive proximity sensor is now extremely popular, providing low cost, highly reliable detection in simpler applications.

Usually self contained, these units have no moving parts and a single adjustment.

They are available as two lead universal voltage sensors making them ideal replacements for old electro-mechanical sensors with a simple mechanical switch output.

They are also available with 3,4 or 5 wire outputs, the latter incorporating a relay.

Proximity sensors are ideal for use in smaller containers and in applications where dust or material builds up is unlikely, as they cannot differentiate between product and dust or build up.

Typical applications occur in seed treatment plants, and plastic granule hoppers for moulding machines.

In more arduous applications, these devices can still be used, fitted within a plastic sheath or pocket to avoid abrasion.

This is an important consideration because the electronic circuitry is contained within the body of the unit, most of which is inserted into the bin.

Protection of the sensor is particularly important in applications where combustible dust may be present.

These areas may well be certified as ATEX zone 20 (continuous hazard).

Whilst the sensor may carry approval to 1D and hence be suitable for the zone, if the enclosure of the sensor (usually plastic) is worn away by passing material, internal circuitry, sometimes at mains potential, can be exposed.

A further popular method of installing capacitive sensors is by fitting polycarbonate windows into the hopper wall and installing the sensor outside, pressed against the window.

This method has the benefit of removing the risk of abrasion and allowing visual inspection of the bin contents.

Using a similar principle but totally different in operation are radio frequency capacitance probes.

These units generally have all of the electronic circuitry external to the bin and housed in a tough enclosure.

Process parts are generally of solid stainless steel and plastic making them immensely strong and suitable for the most arduous environments.

They are very adaptable, probe rods can be cut, extended or modified to suit the application.

Units are now available with digital displays to aid calibration and show process parameters.

Some incorporate automatic or semi-automatic adjustment.

Years ago, capacitance probes were considered unsuitable for applications where sticky products could adhere to the probe.

Many manufacturers now incorporate an electronic shield which eliminates the effect of material adhesion and this type of probe is now suited to most applications.

Perhaps its biggest disadvantage is that non electrical users tend to regard it with some suspicion.

“It doesn’t move, so how it can work?” Once people have used capacitance probes they often standardise on them for all applications.

Tuning fork or vibrating probes have also been widely used.

These consist of either twin tubes (tuning fork) or a coaxial probe having one tube inside another.

In both cases the principle is similar.

One probe vibrates at high frequency and the vibration is picked up by the other which vibrates in sympathy.

When covered with material, the vibration is damped and hence presence of material is detected.

Coaxial versions tend to have more general appeal as material can jam in the forks of the tuning fork version.

In both cases however they have the benefit of no moving parts and no user adjustments.

They are “fit and forget” devices with a long life expectancy.

Their disadvantages are that the probe length cannot easily be altered by the user and by their nature, they are inherently less robust than many other types.

In some applications material adhering to the forks will prevent vibration and give a false signal.

In others, light material may not damp the vibration thus failing to detect the product.

In these cases, lack of adjustment can actually be a major disadvantage.

Finally rotating paddles are perhaps the most common method of level detection.

They are available from many manufacturers and range in price from very low cost to extremely expensive depending upon quality and features.

In their simplest form, they consist of a geared synchronous motor and clutch mounted on a spring loaded quadrant arm, which is in contact with either of two micro switches.

The motor drives a shaft fitted with a paddle.

When no material is present the arm is held against one micro-switch by the spring and the motor turns freely.

When material covers the paddle and jams it, the motor continues to turn forcing the quadrant arm to move against the spring away from the first micro switch thus giving a “probe covered” signal.

The motor continues to rotate, eventually operating the second micro switch which cuts motor power.

The system remains in this state until material falls away from the probe.

The spring then pulls the quadrant arm back, reconnecting motor power and operating the first micro switch to indicate “uncovered”.

The process then repeats.

One problem with this simple system is that should the motor / gearbox / clutch fail, the system will show a healthy state until the bin overfills.

This can be overcome by monitoring rotation of the motor using an electronic sensor.

If the motor stops without material present the quadrant arm will be in the rest position, and a simple logic circuit detects a fault and gives a “covered” signal.

The addition of electronic circuitry also allows this type of unit to operate on 24v dc or 110 / 230v ac supplies rather than a single supply.

Paddle probes have been produced for many years and can be very reliable.

However, until recently, they have always contained a motor / gearbox and often a protective clutch in case the paddle is forced to rotate by passing material.

Gearboxes and clutches are frequently prone to failure.

Recently, a new patented paddle probe has been launched by Synatel which uses a direct drive stepper motor connected directly to the paddle.

This eliminates both the gearbox and clutch making the product virtually indestructible.

It also allows paddle rotation both clockwise and anticlockwise to avoid compaction of material against bin sidewalls and the paddle also “shakes” to shed unwanted material.

There is no quadrant arm, the motor position being fixed.

Rotation and hence presence of material is detected by electronic circuitry.

Torque control allows a single paddle to be used regardless of material density and the unit will operate on virtually any supply.

The system is more expensive, but provides reliable, fail safe operation for virtually any material and has a life expectancy running to decades.

In conclusion, there are a wide variety of probes available to suit every budget and every application.

Modern electronic design and manufacture means that these products are inherently very reliable under the correct operating conditions.

They need however to be matched carefully to the application.

Often, a little extra spent at the outset will pay huge dividends over the product life.

Synatel products are further described on http://www.synatel.co.uk.