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Cool solution streamlines air conditioning design

SOFTWARE that allows air conditioning companies to design system layouts accurately and efficiently without leaving the office is being rolled out globally.

Plandroid, a program from Delft Red Simulation Technology in South Australia, uses a standard floor plan drawing to create the optimal heating and cooling solution for a property and provides a project quote in minutes.

International demand for the software has grown over the past year from zero to about 10 per cent of the company’s revenue and includes customers in South Africa, New Zealand and the United States.

Delft Red Simulation Technology founder Mike Garrett said he expected exports of Plandroid to rise significantly in the next year and estimated the business to almost double in size by 2018.

He said the company was expanding rapidly to meet demand and was aiming for a push into Europe in the coming months.

“The industry standard is still graph paper and drawing rough hand designs with crayons,” he said.

“It’s inefficient and using Plandroid they can do all the planning in a fifth of the time.

“The thing about Plandroid is it’s a simple, point-and-click, drag-and-drop program that anyone can use – you don't need to be an engineer to get the right design.”

The software is targeted towards large manufacturers such as Advantage Air, which then use installation teams to deliver their products.

These smaller teams are able to choose from a stock list of items from the air conditioning companies and drag them onto a CAD-style ducting design superimposed over a house plan. This eliminates the need for custom designing of a project.

Plandroid calculates basic heat loads, the total design cost and creates reports for the customer, installer and supplier.

It also saves favoured designs as pre-sets to be used on other buildings.

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Garrett said Plandroid would be beneficial for shopping centres, airports, factories and large commercial buildings but was primarily used for high-end houses.

Delft Red Simulation Technology has more than 350 clients around the world and is in the process of expanding the program to include more features.

“We are working on a lighting mode right now,” Garrett said.

“The old barriers between electricians, plumbers and air conditioning installers are being reduced and our program will expand into more of those jobs.

“In the future you will be able to do solar panel installations, underfloor heating and more electrical designs throughout the house.”

Using remote access technology, the company supports customers across Australia and the world.

Delft Red Simulation Technology is based in South Australia’s capital Adelaide, at the Base64 business centre run by technology entrepreneur Simon Hackett.

Hackett was part of the group that developed the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) – the first emergence of the Internet in Australia.

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Yokogawa introduces release 4 of the SMARTDAC+® GX/GP Series paperless recorders and GM Series data acquisition system

–With new functions for high-speed measurement and PID control–

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it will introduce release 4 of the SMARTDAC+® GX series panel-mount type paperless recorder, GP series portable paperless recorder, and GM series data acquisition system on May 19.

With this latest release, new modules are provided that expand the range of applications possible with SMARTDAC+ systems and improve user convenience. New functions include sampling intervals as short as 1 millisecond and the control and monitoring of up to 20 loops.

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Overview of new release and background of development

Recorders and data acquisition systems (data loggers) are used on production lines and at product development facilities in a variety of industries to acquire, display, and record data on temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, pressure, and other variables. Yokogawa offers a wide range of such products, and is one of the world’s top manufacturers of recorders. Since releasing the SMARTDAC+ data acquisition and control system in 2012, Yokogawa has continued to strengthen, with the introduction of a variety of recorders and data acquisition devices that meet market needs and comply with industry-specific requirements and standards.

With this release, Yokogawa provides new modules with strengthened functions that meet customer needs for the acquisition and analysis of detailed data from evaluation tests. These modules decrease the cost of introducing a control application by eliminating the need for the purchase of additional equipment.

Enhancements

The functional enhancements available with release 4 are as follows:

  1. High-speed analog input module for high-speed sampling

To improve the safety of electric devices such as the rechargeable batteries used in everything from automobiles to mobile devices, evaluation tests must be run to acquire and analyze detailed performance data. For this purpose, sampling at intervals as short as 1 millisecond is desirable. However, this normally requires an expensive, high-performance measuring instrument. When the new high-speed analog input module available with release 4 is mounted, a SMARTDAC+ system can sample data at intervals as brief as 1 millisecond, which is 1/100th that of any preceding Yokogawa product. This is suitable for such high performance applications as the measurement of the transient current in rechargeable batteries and vibration in power plant turbines. A dual interval function has also been added that enables the SMARTDAC+ to efficiently and simultaneously collect data on slowly changing signals (e.g., temperature) and quickly changing signals (e.g., pressure and vibration).

  1. Proportional integral derivative (PID) control module

In applications that need both control and recording, such as controlling the temperature of an industrial furnace or the dosage process at a water treatment plant, there is a need for systems that do not require engineering and can be quickly and easily introduced. To control temperature, flow rate, and pressure, it used to be necessary to use a recorder and a controller for each control loop, or to engineer a solution that combined a recorder with a programmable controller or touch panel display. When the new PID control module available with this release is mounted, the SMARTDAC+ can control and monitor up to 20 loops. PID control is a kind of feedback control. It controls process variables such as temperature, pressure, and flow rate for each loop. A loop is a series of control operations involving the receipt of a reading from a sensor or some other detecting element, the calculation of the difference between the measured and the targeted value, and the issuance of an instruction to a valve or some other control element to correct the measured value. With the GX and GP series recorders, an intuitive touch panel user interface and screens for the monitoring and operation of temperature and flow rate are available. In addition, web functionality that is a standard feature on all GX and GP recorders allows for remote monitoring and control via a web browser.

  1. Four-wire resistance temperature detector (RTD)/resistance module for precise temperature measurement

Temperature sensors operate on the measurement principle that the electrical resistance of a metal varies in proportion to changes in temperature. While three-wire RTDs are widely used in many fields, research institutes and manufacturers of products such as air-conditioning equipment require the higher level of precision possible with 4-wire RTDs. To satisfy this need, Yokogawa has released a 4-wire RTD/resistance module for the SMARTDAC+.

Major Target Markets

  • GX series: Production of iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, pharmaceuticals, and electrical equipment/electronics; water supply and wastewater treatment facilities
  • GP series: Development of home appliances, automobiles, semiconductors, and energy-related technologies; universities; research institutes
  • GM series: Both of the above target markets

Applications

Acquisition, display, and recording of process data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure.

About SMARTDAC+

SMARTDAC+ stands for smart data acquisition and control. SMARTDAC+ offers input and output modules for a variety of signal sources and widely supports manufacturing processes and product performance evaluation testing. As a leading company in the recorder market, Yokogawa will continue to respond to a wide variety of needs to help its customers.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa's global network of 114 companies spans 59 countries. Founded in 1915, the US$3.7 billion company engages in cutting-edge research and innovation. Yokogawa is active in the industrial automation and control (IA), test and measurement, and aviation and other businesses segments. The IA segment plays a vital role in a wide range of industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and food. For more information about Yokogawa, please visit http://www.yokogawa.com

About Yokogawa Europe B.V.

The European headquarters of Yokogawa were founded in Amersfoort in the Netherlands in 1982. Throughout Europe Yokogawa has its own sales, service and engineering operations. This dedicated network has been extended to Central and East Europe to further enhance the coverage and support associated with serving the process control and automation market place. Yokogawa develops and produces flowmeters at Rota Yokogawa in Germany and liquid analysers and industrial safety systems in the Netherlands. In addition to this dedicated network of Yokogawa subsidiaries, a select organisation of Test & Measurement (T&M) subsidiaries and distributors is established in certain areas to support the specific customer needs of this continuously developing and specific market of T&M instrumentation.

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Join us at Intersolar Europe for the presentation of our new archelios™ O&M

The new archelios™ O&M

Join the archelios™ Suite’s team at this event and be part of our exciting, new product launch of the eagerly awaited archelios™ O&M.

2017 05 15 090652This is the new and improved version of archelios™ Pro and archelios™ Calc – that offers the complete design and feasibility study of any PV installation of any size along with its calculation, sizing and control.

Intersolar Europe will take place at the Messe München exhibition center, in Munich, Hall A3, stand A3.536, 31st May – 2nd June. The archelios™ Suite´s team will be there to welcome you and be available to answer any questions.

Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition event for the solar industry. The main areas of focus during this event will be: Photovoltaics, Energy Storage, Renewable Heating and Products and Solutions for Smart Renewable Energy.

About Trace Software International
With 30 years of experience, Trace Software International is a company specialized in the development of software solutions and services dedicated to the industrial engineering, with unique expertise in the design of electrical installations. Trace Software International has subsidiaries in France, Spain, Morocco, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, China, Brazil and Colombia, with a worldwide presence via distributors and authorized partners.

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Sulzer breathes new life into older pumps with reverse engineering

Large pumps have generally been designed to perform for decades, making them a valuable asset that requires periodic maintenance. When the performance of an older pump begins to deteriorate, it may be a sign that the impeller is worn or the volute has become corroded, and by the time this happens, finding new parts can be a considerable challenge. Fortunately, modern design techniques and manufacturing processes can create a vast range of components using reverse engineering.

Jesse Jackson, Customer Services Manager at Sulzer’s Mobile Service Center in Alabama, looks at what can be done to resurrect an ageing pump asset.

Over the years, pump manufacturers have created many different designs of pumps for a whole host of applications and each one used the technology available at the time. As the older models continue in service, access to spare parts becomes more and more difficult until the manufacturer has none available and they need to be created on a one-off basis. In some cases, the company may have gone out of business but the pumps still require continued maintenance.

2017 05 15 075451The original impeller, which has suffered from over 100 years of corrosion

In cases where the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is available, it may be possible to order new components, even if they have to be manufactured from the original drawings as a special build. The advantage here is the drawings, which provide all the necessary detail to create a new component. The problem is usually the lead time. Most manufacturers’ fabrication facilities are dedicated to the current pump models and reassigning them to a one-off task may incur an additional delay.

The second issue with this approach can be cost. OEM parts are unique to their products and manufactured to certain standards, so carry a price premium. As the stock of spare parts for the older pumps diminishes, so creating new parts has a higher cost threshold, which can increase prices further.

Recreating an original design

The alternative is to find a third party with the engineering capability to create a new component, without drawings or reference material. In the past, this has been common practice for less intricate components, but the complex geometry of pumps has made this task very difficult. The advent of sophisticated coordinate measuring machines, 3D solid modeling software and laser scanning has made it possible to recreate complex designs.

In addition to new manufacturing technology, there have also been significant developments in materials. Older pumps are often created using materials that cannot be easily welded such as cast iron and bronze. In many cases, the original materials can be upgraded; the replacement of bronze with stainless steel is a common occurrence.

2017 05 15 075515The new impeller fabricated by Sulzer was optimized for efficiency

Pumps, especially large ones, are often used in abrasive or corrosive conditions, which can significantly reduce the expected operational life of components such as the impeller. Upgrading the base material causes a relative increase in the initial repair cost, which will improve the service life and reduce the overall cost of ownership.

In addition to the materials used to create the pump, the detailed design can also be improved as part of this process. Since the original pump was installed, the purpose or performance requirements may have changed and this can be addressed as part of the design process when creating a reverse engineered component. The hydraulic design is critical to the performance of the pump and the latest design software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used to deliver the optimum design.

Improved manufacturing processes

Modern technology has also improved the manufacturing process. It’s no longer necessary to build a pattern and ship it to the foundry; a computer model can now be emailed. Foam cores and patterns can be made for one-off components, which reduce both the expense and the time to complete the process. In addition, the advent of 3D printing can also be used to create molds for smaller components, again speeding up the process to create replacement parts.

2017 05 15 075536By using sophisticated coordinate measuring machines, 3D solid modeling software and laser scanning has made it possible to recreate complex designs

Delivering reverse engineered projects still takes time, but the process can be estimated accurately, allowing equipment owners the opportunity to plan any process shutdowns and minimize the impact of the maintenance project. In some industries, such as power generation, a pump failure may have to be rectified with a temporary solution until a scheduled outage, when the pump can be removed and repaired with a more robust solution. In cases such as this, the detailed measurements and modeling can be done during the initial repair process, allowing the new component to be manufactured before the scheduled outage to minimize downtime.

Rejuvenation after 100 years’ service

Sulzer has adopted all of the technological advances in pump component manufacturing and applied them to projects around the world. Recent examples include a pump that was built in 1912 and used as a dry dock pump. It had suffered considerably from corrosion to both the volute and the impeller, but there was no possibility of finding a replacement part ‘off the shelf’.

With a vertically driven impeller, the volute weighed 25,000 lbs (11 tonnes) and was built in two halves, while the impeller itself weighed 5,000 lbs (2.25 tonnes). Pump engineering specialists from Sulzer accompanied site service engineers to help with the removal of the pump, prior to its shipment to the Mobile Service Center, where brand new components were manufactured.

2017 05 15 075554The hydraulic design of the pump can be improved with the latest design software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

A similar service was provided for a Westinghouse cooling pump that needed a new impeller and matching suction bell. The new impeller was manufactured from 316L stainless steel and weighed 5,000 lbs (2.25 tonnes), while the new suction bell was fabricated from 304L stainless steel. The matched components were installed during a planned outage at the power generation plant.

These, and many other examples, show that it is possible to deliver precision-crafted replacement parts for large pumps cost effectively in a much shorter time frame than the OEM, if they are still in existence. Furthermore, advances in design technology enable significant improvements in performance and durability to be included, reducing the long term cost of ownership.

About Sulzer:

Sulzer is the leading worldwide, independent service provider for the repair and maintenance of rotating machines including turbomachinery, pumps and electro-mechanical equipment. With a global network of over 150 technically advanced manufacturing and test facilities, Sulzer offers a collaborative advantage that delivers high-quality, cost-effective, customized and turnkey solutions, providing its customers with the peace of mind to focus on their core operations.

Sulzer Rotating Equipment Services, a division of Sulzer, can accommodate all brands of rotating equipment including turbines, compressors, generators, motors and pumps. With an enviable track record, dedicated teams of on-site engineers provide best-in-class solutions to ensure that the most effective service is delivered.

Sulzer is dedicated to providing superior service solutions to a range of industries including power generation, oil and gas, hydrocarbon and chemical processing, water and air separation. Every solution is customized to suit the business needs of each application – whenever or wherever that may be.

With a long history of providing engineering service support, Sulzer is headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland where it began in 1834. Today, with sales over US$ 3 billion and with approximately 15,000 employees, the Sulzer footprint spans across the globe. The core aim is to deliver a flexible and cost-effective service that optimizes customer operational efficiency and minimizes downtime.

For more information on Sulzer, visit www.sulzer.com

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X-FAB and Exagan Successfully Produce First GaN-on-Silicon Devices on 200-mm Wafers

Silicon Foundry and GaN Start-Up Achieve Major Milestone in Establishing a 200-mm, Fully CMOS-Compatible Process While GaN Power Products Gain Market Traction

X-FAB Silicon Foundries and Exagan, a start-up innovator of gallium-nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters, have demonstrated mass-production capability to manufacture highly efficient high-voltage power devices on 200-mm GaN-on-silicon wafers using X-FAB’s standard CMOS production facility in Dresden, Germany. This accomplishment is the result of a joint development agreement launched in 2015, enabling cost/performance advantages that could not be achieved with smaller wafers.

2017 05 11 092022Exagan and X-FAB have successfully resolved many of the challenges related to material stress, defectivity and process integration while using standard fabrication equipment and process recipes. Combined with the use of 200-mm wafers, this will significantly lower the cost of mass producing GaN-on-silicon devices. By enabling greater power integration than silicon ICs, GaN devices can improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of electrical converters, which will accelerate their adoption in applications including electrical vehicle charging stations, servers, automobiles and industrial systems.

The new GaN-on-silicon devices have been built using substrates fabricated at Exagan’s 200-mm epi-manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France. These epi wafers meet the physical and electrical specifications to produce Exagan’s 650-volt G-FET™ devices as well as the tight requirements for compatibility with CMOS manufacturing lines.

The industry’s previous work with GaN had been limited to 100-mm and 150-mm wafers due to the challenges of layering GaN films on silicon substrates. Exagan’s G-Stack™ technology enables GaN-on-silicon devices to be manufactured more cost effectively on 200-mm substrates by depositing a unique stack of GaN and strain-management layers that relieves the stress between GaN and silicon layers. The resulting devices have been shown to exhibit high breakdown voltage, low vertical leakage and high-temperature operation.

“This is a major milestone in our company’s development as we accelerate product development and qualification,” said Frédéric Dupont, president and CEO of Exagan. “It demonstrates the combined strengths of our epi material, X-FAB’s wafer fab process and our device design capabilities. It also confirms the success of our vertically integrated fab-lite model, with expertise from materials to devices and applications. It’s perfect timing to establish GaN technology and products on the most competitive 200-mm platform just as GaN power products are getting broad traction in IT server, consumer electronics and automotive markets.”

“We have high confidence in Exagan’s leadership team and product performance roadmap,” said Rudi De Winter, CEO of X-FAB. “Through this productive partnership, X-FAB is leveraging its resources and expertise to bring Exagan’s technology into manufacturing and provide the power conversion market with a reliable supply chain.”

Exagan will showcase its innovative GaN technology and G-FET transistors in booth #9-230 at the PCIM Europe trade show, May 16-18 in Nuremberg, Germany.

About Exagan

Founded in 2014 with support from CEA-Leti and Soitec, Exagan’s mission is to accelerate the power-electronics industry’s transition from silicon-based technology to GaN-on-silicon technology, enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters. Its GaN power switches are designed for manufacturing in standard 200-mm wafer fabs to provide high-performance, high-reliability products through a robust supply chain. The company’s G-FET products offer very high power-switching performance with extremely low conduction losses, enabling unprecedented power integration and efficiency levels in electrical converters for applications including solar power, automotive and IT electronics. Exagan is based in Grenoble, France. For more information, visit www.exagan.com