Invensys Eurotherm, a global supplier of measurement and instrumentation for process and machine control applications, has launched a family of new precision PLC products aimed at significantly increasing the profitability and efficiency of Heat Treatment and Thermal Processing systems. The new “E+PLC” product combines precision measurement and control, secure data recording, and a variety of visualisation solutions in a single standard PLC platform..
Previously to obtain optimum performance and meet accurate pyrometry specifications (eg. AMS2750E), companies needed to buy separate products for temperature control, data recording and visualisation. This was costly and inefficient. Combining all these products into one easy to use, flexible and highly functioning precision PLC platform simplifies commissioning and reduces engineering time. The E+PLC also targets operational efficiency and makes regulatory compliance much easier.
Tim Linnell, Product Portfolio Manager at Invensys Eurotherm explains how the E+PLC’s versatile functionality will have a significant impact on the manufacturing industry, meeting the most demanding challenges of modern processing needs.
He explains: “For many companies, in an increasingly competitive global environment, the efficiency of thermal treatments will be the difference between being profitable and not. Eurotherm’s unique fast reacting PID control minimises overshoot, improving accuracy and reducing waste.
“The high precision temperature control ensures the correct temperature is obtained quicker and stays at the optimum level required without deviation, ensuring high quality results first time without wasting time waiting for operating temperature to be reached. This increases throughput of a furnace or thermal treating machine in comparison with traditional PLC based control. Fast acting PID with overshoot inhibition can enable an extra furnace batch cycle to be completed within any 24 hour period. By eliminating damping of PID sets and relying on Eurotherm’s unique overshoot inhibition customers can heat aggressively up to temperature with the confidence of keeping within the required setpoint temperature tolerances.
“These benefits are easily realised in the E+PLC using standard software building blocks, with an auto-tuning function to match the control response to a particular application. This can reduce the time needed to programme and commission an application from days (and sometimes weeks) to hours.
“The E+PLC range also includes secure data logging designed to meet the requirements of thermal treatment standards such as CQI-9 and AMS2750 E. Indeed, Eurotherm has built its business over many years around the requirements of such standards, and is trusted by auditors and customers alike. Of course data logging is only one part of standards compliance, and our highly stable precision measurement circuitry assures compliance with accuracy specifications, aids conformance to System Accuracy Tests (SAT) and improves the output from Temperature Uniformity Surveys (TUS).”
He continued, “Data recording and temperature control is highly specialised and Eurotherm has a track record gained over 50 years in developing these products, building a peerless reputation with the leading businesses in the thermal treatment sector. Eurotherm operate also in some of the most stringently regulated industry sectors in the world, including the global pharmaceutical and biotech industries where our products and secure data recording infrastructure are trusted implicitly.
“Combining Eurotherm’s best of breed products and adding visualisation tools into this new self-contained precision E+PLC platform brings high efficiencies and reduced engineering time.”
Key features and benefits of E+PLC include:
• Straightforward compliance with thermal processing standards, for example CQI-9, AMS2750 E.
• Easy to commission precision PID control blocks with auto tuning.
• Set-point programmer. This easy configuration saves programming time and gives guaranteed operation, helping to lower processing costs.
• Precision measurement of process variables to give accurate, repeatable results which translates to minimum energy usage.
• Total data integrity and secure recording, keeping valuable process records safe by using highly robust file storage strategies to protect against power and network failures.
• Batch functionality and complete traceability.
• An open CODESYS platform, a de facto industry standard. Using an open platform, industry standard (IEC61131-3) the E+PLC is well supported through Eurotherm and an extended community of PLC programmers.
• Integrated HMI software platform with a variety of visualisation options.
• Flexible visualisation giving dynamic debugging of application programmes together with concurrent development of the final process visualisation.
An interesting development to be shown at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando next week, 10-13 February, is the Yokogawa multi-protocol wireless adaptor, which enables normally-wired digital field instruments to function as ISA100 Wireless devices.
The apparent Yokogawa “first” here is to adapt the typical wireless “Thumb” that can piggy back on a 4-20mA transmitter, or in some cases can power such a 4mA device, and extract the Process Variable information. The new Yokogawa unit appears to be able to power a device, but in addition digitally communicate with the communications system used and extract the full digital data. The first such units, which transmit this data over the Yokogawa preferred ISA100 network, are able to interrogate standard HART and RS485 Modbus based digital sensors.
From later in the year they are scheduling the release of models that can interface with other communications standards, such as Foundation Fieldbus and Profibus!
For the customer/user, this gives an opportunity to standardise on stock, using only one model of sensor for a particular analytical duty for example, but then being able to transmit that data over conventional wiring, or via ISA100 wireless, whichever is more appropriate for the installation. Plus they still would have access to the sensor diagnostics and calibration parameters.
An essential option will be options that are (a) waterproof and dustproof, and (b) an explosion-protected version, presumably intrinsically safe, that can be used in the presence of inflammable gases.
Yokogawa released their ISA100 field wireless system in July 2012, and is effectively now expanding the capabilities of this by extending the range of suitable monitoring and control applications for wireless technologies and devices into the standard sensors in use on site – in addition of course to the specific wireless sensors they have produced.
Hopefully the ARC Forum will show whether this wireless adaptor is indeed as versatile as is assumed, and we look forward to seeing the Yokogawa offer the promised further models.
The financial year for Endress + Hauser ends at the end of December, and in 2012 the results were published in May (reported in the INSIDER in June 2013, page 6). At that time Klaus Endress said that “2012 was not an easy year”, despite E+H sales increasing 11% and profit up 10%, after notably good results in the USA.
Now, for the 2013 results, Endress have already announced preliminary figures – although full results will be published in May. CFO Dr Luc Schultheiss advises net sales were up 7% at just over Euro1.8Bn, and profits also showed an improvement compared to 2012. This was slightly below the target set a year ago by then CEO Klaus Endress, who set an ambitious 10% target for sales growth – but significantly Klaus Endress had planned for 550 extra employees in the base business, and the actual increase by year end was 553.
A further 1300 employees joined the E+H Group through the major acquisitions during 2013: these new businesses also provided 2% of the total 7% sales growth. Most significant were the takeover of Kaiser Optical Systems in the USA, specialists in Raman spectroscopy, in November, and the German laboratory analysis equipment specialist Analytik Jena, where E+H took over management control in September.
Overall Dr Schultheiss stated the Group management were satisfied with these 2013 results, achieved despite a significant fall in value of the currencies of Japan and several of the emerging countries where E+H also trades.
Chevron Energy Technology Company and GE Oil & Gas have created a Chevron/GE Technology Alliance, which will develop and commercialize valuable technologies to solve critical issues for the oil and gas industry. This partnership builds upon an ongoing collaboration between Chevron and GE developing the GE Safire flow meter, now being tested and deployed on Chevron land-based well production lines in the western United States.
The Alliance provides a mechanism for commercializing early stage technologies from Chevron, GE or other technology partnerships. For example, GE flow meter products will be developed incorporating the Swept Frequency Acoustic Interferometry (SFAI) metering technology incubated in an alliance between Chevron and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). SFAI technology was originally developed by LANL for defence applications.
“Los Alamos develops unique technologies for our national security missions and these can have powerful applications for US industry,” said Duncan McBranch, chief technology officer for Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Strategic partnerships with industry allow us to accelerate breakthrough innovation in these areas. As the Chevron GE technology alliance demonstrates, national laboratories can serve an important role in connecting different industry partners to strengthen the U.S. innovation landscape.”
The GE alliance with Chevron
The Alliance, announced at the GE Oil and Gas meeting in Florence this month, builds upon a current collaboration on flow analysis technology for oil and gas wells and will leverage research and development from GE’s newest Global Research Center, the first dedicated to oil and gas technology.
“GE brings its leading manufacturing capabilities, worldwide marketing, distribution, and extensive R&D capabilities not only for oil and gas, but also other business sectors to this alliance,” said Paul Siegele, president of Chevron Energy Technology Company and chief technology officer. “Together, we hope to bring impactful new technologies to the industry.”
“Chevron’s deep understanding of the oil and gas industry, combined with GE’s long tradition of technology development and close collaboration with strategic partners, will uniquely position this new alliance to address the industry’s technology needs,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO, GE Oil & Gas. “The solutions developed by this alliance will take on even more industry significance given Chevron’s proven leadership in being first to field-test and deploy new technology breakthroughs.”
In addition to the flow metering collaboration, which is being conducted with the Measurement & Control business within GE Oil & Gas, the Alliance also is managing a coatings project and will be taking on additional high-value projects in the near future.
Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, California.