Category Archives: Industrial

industrial automation, control, data acquisition, sensors, vision, process control

OPC Training for Honeywell Experion PKS

The OPC Training Institute will develop customized OPC training for Honeywell based on Experion PKS. The course is ideal for Honeywell engineers, end-users, EPC contractors, and system integrators. The class will equip attendees with an understanding of OPC technology and planning, designing and implementing secure and reliable OPC interface to Experion PKS Systems. The training will be held at Honeywell’s Automation College locations globally. OPC is a global industrial connectivity standard that enables process control and manufacturing applications to communicate with each other using an interoperable, reliable, and secure connection.

More info: OPC Training Institute

Fujitsu MB91470 Motor Control Kit

The A91470-MOTOR-Kit, from Fujitsu Microelectronics, is a motor control starter kit that supports development with the MB91F479 32-bit RISC microcontroller for industrial applications. The kit is ideal for driving a 3-phase brushless DC motor (BLDC) or permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) found in washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other consumer white goods. The kit simplifies the evaluation and implementation of the MB91F479, reducing design cycle time and enabling faster time-to-market. The new motor control starter kit is available now at $650 each.

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iWOW M2M Open Protocol

The iWOW M2M Open Protocol (iMOP) is an event-driven software engine that offers developers a simpler and easier way to automate the communication of data in Machine-To-Machine (M2M) applications. Embedded atop iWOW’s TR-800 GSM/GPRS modules, iMOP is specially designed to suit the requirements for applications such as remote monitoring, fleet management and asset tracking.

iMOP aims to replace programming efforts to trigger data sending with user-friendly configurations for wireless reporting, controlling and monitoring. The software stack eliminates the need for external microcontroller to control the data sending; instead it relies on the more user-friendly AT commands to invoke a basic response during predefined events. Profiles of these events and actions can be defined and edited easily over-the-air through SMS, TCP/IP GPRS and CSD or directly via the serial port.

iMOP can be configured to send periodic reports, providing real time information and enabling enterprise managers to make decisions that reduce risks and improve their business processes. An alert in the form of SMS or data packet (via TCP socket or CSD) will be sent when a user-defined event occurs. For example, an alert will be sent to the fleet manager when a vehicle has moved out of its predefined area. iMOP also enables remote controlling by executing commands and queries from authenticated incoming SMS and TCP Socket.

The flexibility and ease-of-use of iMOP enables companies to rapidly develop M2M applications without any additional investment on hardware or dependence on other complex programming processes. With iMOP, iWOW’s customers stand to benefit from the enhanced features, as well as considerable cost savings and efficiency in the development of their M2M applications.

More info: iWOW Connections

Radiocrafts, Sensinode Team on IP Control Platform

Radiocrafts AS and Sensinode Ltd. recently launched a new platform for integrating the Internet with sensor networks. The IEEE 802.15.4 compliant radio modules from Radiocrafts combined with the 6LoWPAN compliant NanoStack from Sensinode offers integrators super compressed IPv6 over low power radios in a very compact module solution. The use of end-to-end open source IP technology over a proven radio platform provides an excellent and scalable solution for IP-based monitoring and control systems like AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) and WSN (Wireless Sensor Networks).

The Sensinode NanoStack meets the 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low power WPAN) specifications released in 2007 and offers a scalable and robust architecture for a wireless mesh network where all nodes cooperate to transport information almost like the Internet. By using many small radio modems, a low-power wireless network can cover large geographical areas using the license-free frequency band at 2.45 GHz. The self-configuring and self-healing properties of the 6LoWPAN network offer redundancy and low maintenance cost.

More info: Radiocrafts | Sensinode

ZigBee Commercial Building Automation

By 2008, ZigBee sensor networking technology should start finding significant adoption in commercial building applications, according ABI Research. There are three major markets for sensor networking: the home, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. ZigBee targets all three of them. In the home, there are alternatives to ZigBee, and in industry there are some questions about its suitability. However, according to an ABI Research, commercial building automation is a market where ZigBee is competitively positioned against other wireless sensor technologies.

ABI Research believes commercial buildings represent a huge addressable market of field equipment currently using wired field buses to connect sensors and actuators with lighting, heating, ventilation, access control, and safety systems. ZigBee’s features and functionality are ideal for commercial building applications.

Of the five top vendors of building automation systems, which together control about 70% of the market, four – Johnson Controls, Siemens, TAC, and Trane – have introduced wireless products based on ZigBee in the past year, and the fifth – Honeywell – is moving toward doing so.

Over the next five years, up to 20% of commercial building automation system field equipment may “go wireless,” seeking the lower costs, better control, and greater flexibility that such systems deliver. However, there are regional differences. Building owners and managers in Asia are more interested in using wireless than their counterparts in North America and Europe, where it is more a question of replacing existing wires.

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Symposium on Industrial Embedded Systems

The IEEE Symposium on Industrial Embedded Systems (SIES) will take place July 4-6, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. I know, the event is about seven months away. I thought I would post this announcement now for those of you who might be interested in submitting a paper.

The purpose of the symposium is to bring together researchers and practitioners from industry and academia and provide them with a platform to report on recent developments, deployments, technology trends and research results, as well as initiatives related to embedded systems and their applications in a variety of industrial environments.

Topics of Interest

  • Embedded Systems
    Design and Validation of Embedded Systems; Real-Time Issues; Models of Embedded Computation and Formal Methods; HW/SW Co-Design; Design and Verification Languages; Operating Systems and Quasi-Static Scheduling; Timing and Performance Analysis; Power Aware Embedded Computing; Adaptive Embedded Systems; Security in Embedded Systems.
  • System-on-Chip and Network-on-Chip Design & Testing
    Design of Application-Specific Instruction-Set Processors; Design and Programming of Embedded Multiprocessors; SoC Communication and Architectures; NoC Communication and Architectures; Design of SoC/NoC; Platform-Based Design for Embedded Systems; Reconfigurable Platforms; Multiprocessor SoC Platforms and Tools; Testing of Embedded Core-based Integrated Circuits.
  • Networked Embedded Systems
    Design Issues for Networked Embedded; Middleware Design and Implementation for Networked Embedded Systems; Self Adaptive Networked Entity Sensor Networks: Architectures, Energy-Efficient Medium Access Control, Time Synchronization Issues, Distributed Localization Algorithms, Routing, Distributed Signal Processing, Security.
  • Embedded Applications
    Industrial Automation and Controls; Automotive Applications; Avionics Applications; Building Automation and Control; Power (Sub-)Station Automation and Control; Intelligent Sensors, etc. ; design, maintenance, fault tolerance & dependability, networks, infrastructure, safety and security.

Deadlines for Paper Submission

Long papers (limited to 8 double column pages)
Deadline for submission of long papers: February 4, 2007
Notification of acceptance for long papers: March 18, 2007
Final manuscripts due for long papers: April 22, 2007

Work-in-Progress (limited to 4 double column pages)
Industry Practice (limited to 8 double column pages)
Deadline for submission of WIP & IP papers: April 1, 2007
Notification of acceptance of WIP and IP papers: April 22, 2007
Final manuscripts due for WIP & IP papers: May 6, 2007

Special Sessions
To enhance the technical program and focus on specific topics and areas, the SIES’2007 Symposium will include special sessions, in addition to regular ones. Special sessions can cover subjects or cross-subjects belonging to the topics of interest, or novel topics related with the ones identified within the topics of nterest. Special sessions can also have the drive from specific R&D projects or clusters of projects, namely EU-sponsored R&D projects.

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U.S. Army is Looking for a Few Good Nanotechnologies

Over on EE Times, is an article about the U.S. Army searching for ways to improve armor on vehicles that have been a prime target for improvised explosives and roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. A requirement for lightweight ground vehicles is the ability to join different materials when adding armor.

Reactive Nanotechnologies Inc. has been researching a solution to the problem. Their research focuses on reactive multilayer joining of silicon carbide and titanium. Their patented technology is called nanofoil, which is designed to precisely control the instantaneous release of heat for joining applications. The company has been using the Army’s small business innovation program to fund their research.

Too Much Industrial Control Data

Real-time processing that can handle higher volumes of data has become critical in industrial-control design. From complete factories down to the individual electromechanical device, real-time data acquisition is critical to the control and feedback that lie at the heart of automation. While advanced VLSI technology offers ever higher performance, it is also enabling increasingly sophisticated control options, which in turn are cranking out higher volumes of data. The data acquisition hardware has to do more and do it faster, within a smaller package. Read the article on Embedded.com.

Hard Real-Time with Windows XP Article

Check out the Hard Real-Time with Windows XP article on Embedded Star. Phoenix Contact created a Soft PLC with the convenience of the Windows(R) XP interface on the user side, while at the same time providing hard real-time by utilizing the Windows(R) CE real-time operating system – all running on a single Intel XXX based computer. KUKA Controls’ CeWin(R) software was used to bridge the two operating systems. The article explains the advantages of Soft PLC over the standard embedded control PLC, and the criteria used by Phoenix Contact when implementing PC WORX.

So, why would anyone wish to choose Windows PC as a control platform with the functionality of a PLC? Afer all, just about everyone has had their pc blue screened at one time or another. The answer is simple. A Soft PLC offers the reliability of a standard embedded control PLC (dedicated hardware) on the one hand, while on the other, providing all the convenience and high processing capacity of a PC environment.

According to the article, KUKA Controls CeWin real-time extension platform is the key element which makes the new industrial PC solution able to operate in hard real-time. With CeWin, Windows XP can be operated on the same CPU in parallel with the Windows CE real-time operating system, without Windows XP negatively impacting on the ability of the system to operate in real-time.