Page 1

September 2010

MICA(P) 039/07/2010 | ISSN 0219/5615 | PPS 1561/06/2011 (028597)

System Migration:

Reducing Downtime

Network Redundancy:

Lab Automation:

Computer Systems:

Ensuring Handling Putting Thought Availability Performance Into Design

Singapore Tel: +65 6510 6688 Indonesia Tel: +6221 255 45200 Malaysia Tel: +603 8997 6688 Philippines Tel: +632 323 0588 Thailand Tel: +662 936 1500 Vietnam Tel: +848 6255 6400 www.

Fax: +65 6510 6699 Fax: +6221 255 45299 Fax: +603 8997 6699 Fax: +632 323 0561 Fax: +662 936 1510 Fax: +848 6255 6411


Rockwell Automation Southeast Asia Pte Ltd

New Perspectives with SIMATIC PCS 7 Process Control System Exceeding the Requirements of the Process Automation Market: SIMATIC PCS 7 – more than just a process control system INTERNET

Web Client – Bedienen und Beobachten – Maintenance

Data Monitor

Management Information / Manufacturing Execution System



Office LAN, Ethernet Security Module

OS / Batch / Route Control / TeleControl Clients SIMATIC PCS 7 Box

OS Single Station

Web Server / OpenPCS 7



Maintenance Station Client

Engineering Stationen

Terminalbus, single / redundant OS / Route Control Server

Batch- / ArchivServer

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SIMATIC ET 200M F-Baugruppen



DP / PA-Link

DP / PA-Link mit redundanten DP / PA-Kopplern













COx, NOx


DP / PA-Link SIMATIC ET 200pro



Integrated Drives

TCP / IP seriell


Active Field Splitter



TCP / IPWAN-Router

Modbus Ex-Bedienterminal


SIMATIC ET 200M mit CP 341

TeleControl zugeordnete Komponenten

Industrial Ethernet, Protokoll IEC 850-5



Active Field Distributors

Design and Engineering


weit verteilte TeleControlAußenstationen




Advanced Process Library with extended functionality*

Advanced alarm management

Change management (Version Trail, Change Log, etc.)

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New operation modes (Program, Out of Service, Local) * Centralized visualization schemas *

Direct Excel link to real-time and historical data (DataMonitor) *

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Batch and Route Control fully integrated into the OS

Powerful controllers with scan times as low as 10 ms

Redundancy (controller, I/O module, field/plant buses)

Enhanced trending boasting continuous x-y zoom, multiple trends and auto-scaling *

Advanced Process Control functionality

User-specific alarm filtering *

Bulk engineering functions including CAE/CAD connections

Wide-screen 16:10 and 16:9 resolution support

IO Modules for hazardous areas

Scalable client/server architecture, including a powerful web client

Common hardware platform for Process Safety Drag-and-drop AS-AS communication *

More adaptable CFC function blocks *

Straightforward navigation (Loop-in-alarm, source of interlocking, bypass identification, jump to faceplate) * Automatic signal quality determination *

SIMATIC PCS 7 AS RTX Microbox for economic solutions for labs, pilot plants and process OEMs Engineering Compendium with Engineering best practices *


Central, system-wide visualization, diagnostics and maintenance of all process control components

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Hot swapping of modules during operation

Installation and Commissioning

HART and FF fully integrated into PROFIBUS DP

TÜV SIL 3-certified communication with PROFIsafe

Redundant configuration of PROFIBUS and HART

Sequence of events and time stamping down to 1ms

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Step-wise strategies for modernizing existing systems

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contents September 2010

ISSUES & INSIGHTS Systems: 20 Computer Putting Thought Into Design

With constantly evolving technology, systems need to handle large amounts of data while considering future system expansion and compatibility issues. Robin Ma, AE team leader – APO (Asia Pacific), Embedded Systems, GE Intelligent Platforms Yaroslav B, Russia


24 Distributed Control Systems: Beyond Risk Mitigation

While system migration can be a challenging task, a phased migration using the right approach can help companies to enhance productivity in the long-term. Mike Vernak, DCS program manager, Rockwell Automation; John Bryant, engineering and maintenance manager, Arkema

Software & Networks

Ethernet: 28 Industrial Image-Based ID Readers

Facilitating setup and operation on the factory floor. By Didier Lacroix, senior VP, International Sales & Services, Cognex

Instrumentation & Measurement

Wireless Connection: 30 The Bridging The Gap In Communications

Going wireless in a workplace not only saves space, but also allows monitoring onsite and improves response times when system errors occur. By Henry Lee



Automation: 34 Lab Handling Performance

Rafal Gsdgs, Bangladesh

In response to growing demand for greater reliability and higher throughput, workstations offer functionality that meet both current needs and future expansion requirements. By Tim Cloutier, Global Applications team leader for ALH in Bio-discovery, PerkinElmer 2  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Technologies 38 Green In Buildings

Businesses can reap the benefits of energy security and reduced waste – all while maintaining profitability. By Chukiat Wongtaveerat, consultant, Asia Pacific Environment & Building Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

Move Your Automated Test Beyond the Box

Engineers around the world are making the software-


defined PXI platform the cornerstone of their test system architectures. With more than 1,500 modular instruments

PXI modular instrumentation

available from more than 70 vendors, PXI delivers the

NI LabVIEW graphical software

functionality and flexibility you need to build a better test

NI TestStand software

system while reducing cost and size.


Toll-Free 1800 226 5886

Learn how PXI can help you at National Instruments ASEAN Singapore 1800 226 5886 Malaysia 1800 887710 Thailand 1800 345 555 Philippines 1800 1888 3834 Other ASEAN Countries 65-6226 5886


Š2010 National Instruments. All rights reserved. LabVIEW, National Instruments,, and NI TestStand are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. 2036


z September 2010 IndustrialAutomationAsia September 2010

September 2010

System Migration | Network Redundancy | Lab Automation

FEATURES Product Tracking: From Pasture to Plate

| Computer Systems


Effective management of perishable goods in a supply chain requires mechanisms that ensure safety and accountability to all parties. By Jeff Baum, senior VP, Manhattan Associates International (Asia Pacific)

MICA(P) 039/07/2010 | ISSN 0219/5615 | PPS 1561/06/2011 (028597)

System Migration:

Reducing Downtime

Network Redundancy:

IAA Sep2010.indd 2

Technology: 50 Wireless Finding A Fit

Grafikd, Canada

Users can choose from a range of protocols, frequencies and options to suit different situations and applications. By John Schwartz, technology strategist, Digi International

Lab Automation:

Computer Systems:

Ensuring Handling Putting Thought Availability Performance Into Design

Cover: Rockwell

8/30/10 2:39 PM

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18 EtherCAT Technology Group

Refer to pg

13 Fieldbus Foundation 64 Products & Services 14 Profibus 67 Calendar of Events 16 CAN in Automation 68A Product Enquiry Card

4  industrial automation asia | September 2010


for Enquiry Numbers

The HVAC Inverter Fuji Electric

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dedication to HVAC applications. Friendly operation, easy maintenance, precise control and energy-saving contributions make Inverter the best choice for Pump, Fan, and Water-chiller applications in the buildings. It eliminates waste, saves energy and cuts costs for building owners and industry operators.

Fuji Electric Asia Pacific Pte Ltd ENQUIRY NO. 161

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QuestionOf Reliability The collapse of the US property market, followed by the plummet of security assets and the global economic slowdown between 2008-2009, brought up questions about the integrity of financial institutions. The 2010 Euro crisis also known as the Aegean Contagion, has further fuelled doubts in the management abilities of those in authority. As countries soldier on to get back on-track, some appear to be doing better than others. The manufacturing landscape in Singapore looks promising with 25 percent of manufacturers foreseeing an improvement in business conditions in the second half of the year – versus seven percent who expect an opposite shift. In line with this trend, JTC has commenced the construction of its US$22 million, Components Manufacturing and MRO Facilities (CMMF) at the Seletar Aerospace Park in the country. The zone will be used to house companies that support the operations of a future Rolls-Royce facility in the vicinity. At regional level, Oriental Motor is targeting industries such as semiconductors, factory automation, biotechnology and solar technology. The company expects its customer base to expand by 20 percent annually in South East Asia, India and Australia. Moving far east, ST Aerospace has finalised joint venture (JV) discussions with Guangdong Airport Management Corporation. This is for the setting up of a commercial aircraft maintenance facility in Guangzhou, China. The JV company, ST Aerospace (Guangzhou) Aviation Services Company, will have a total investment of US$99 million. As a testament of environmentally responsible behaviour, Thailand is ramping its efforts in generating clean energy. The project is being undertaken by Pro Ventum International and GE to build a 90-megawatt wind farm 250 km northeast of Bangkok. According to Dr Wannarat Charnnukul, minister of energy for Thailand, this project will support the government’s plans to use renewable resources for 20 percent of its power generation by the year 2020. Those in authority certainly have a huge responsibility. In many instances, the distinction between effective and mediocre governance makes all the difference in determining what’s fitting and what’s not.

Michael Tham Editor

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6  industrial automation asia | September 2010

System 800xA Extended Automation System 800xA Extended Automation The Power of Integration The Power of Integration

Integrated Process and Power Automation. ABB reduces capital expenditure and lifecycle costs by bringing process control, process electrification, substation automation powerand management together on a common 800xA platform, Integrated and Process Power Automation. ABB reduces System capital expenditure eliminating the need for multiple systems for your plant. Also, in one powerful, and lifecycle costs by bringing process control, process electrification, substation integrated, system, operations and maintenance unified, reducing automationplantwide and power management together on a commonare System 800xA platform, downtime productivity. For for more information visit eliminatingand theincreasing need for multiple systems your plant. Also, in one powerful, integrated, plantwide system, operations and maintenance are unified, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. For more information visit


Industry News Positive Outlook For Manufacturing In Singapore Singapore: Business outlook in the manufacturing sector remains positive for the second half of 2010. A survey showed a weighted 25 percent of manufacturers expecting business conditions to improve while a weighted seven percent foresee deterioration. Overall, a net weighted balance of 18 percent of manufacturers anticipate a more favourable business situation for the period July to December 2010 as compared to the second quarter of 2010. Though business outlook remains positive, the manufacturing clusters generally registered smaller positive net balances for business sentiments compared to the survey conducted a quarter ago. This is due to the expectations of a slower pace of growth globally in the second half of 2010. Within the manufacturing sector, the electronics cluster is the most optimistic with a net weighted balance of 33 percent of firms expecting an improved business situation in the second half of 2010. The firms foresee orders being sustained by demand for consumer electronic products such as wireless handsets and mobile computing devices. Manufacturers in the chemicals cluster are the next most optimistic, with a net weighted 19 percent of firms expecting the business situation to improve in the next six months. While the specialties and other chemicals segments project better

demand ahead, the petrochemical segment has a less positive outlook due to concerns of weaker margins as a result of excess capacities in the region. Output Forecast A net weighted 15 percent of manufacturers expect output to increase in the third quarter of 2010, as compared to the second quarter of 2010. The electronics cluster is the most upbeat with a net weighted balance of 45 percent of firms projecting a higher level of production in the third quarter of 2010 as compared to a quarter ago. This is due to higher export orders arising from the year-end holiday season. The general manufacturing industries and the precision engineering clusters also project higher output levels in the next three months. On the other hand, the transport engineering cluster projects lower level of production in the third quarter of 2010. This is due mainly to the marine and offshore engineering segment, which foresees a modest level of new orders that would be secured. The biomedical manufacturing cluster also forecasts a lower level of production in view of plant maintenance shutdowns and a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients to be produced.

JTC Commences Construction Of Aerospace Park

Singapore: JTC has started the construction of the Components Manufacturing and MRO Facilities (CMMF) at Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP). The CMMF comprises seven standard factory buildings and will occupy a 3-ha site at the southern tip of the SAP. The location of the S$30 million (US$22 million) CMMF is strategic, as it is near the future facility of the power 8  industrial automation asia | September 2010

systems and aircraft engines giant, Rolls-Royce. The CMMF is therefore suitable for companies that will support the operations of Rolls-Royce. It is also intended for companies engaged in Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) activities, and those that manufacture aerospace components. JTC aims to complete the seven CMMF by mid 2011.

Director for the Aerospace, Marine & CleanTech Cluster, Tang Wai Yee said: “With the construction of the CMMF and the opening of the West Camp Road, SAP is bustling with more activities. The CMMF and other developments in SAP will be home to companies that will contribute to the SAP’s annual value add target of S$3.3 billion by 2018.”

Industry News

Oriental Motor Hosts Showroom Fair In Singapore

Siemens Launches PLM Software Singapore: Siemens PLM Software has officially launched enhancements to NX software, the company’s integrated computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering analysis solution. Over 120 current and prospective customers attended the event, which was held at the Asian Civilisations Museum. The enhancements to NX 7 include additional functionality throughout all aspects of the software. In addition,

N X , t o g e t h e r w i t h Te a m c e n t e r software, support the High Definition PLM (HD-PLM) technology framework. According to Rajiv Ghatikar, VP and GM, Asia Pacific: “The mega trends in the world today like global warming, resource depletion and environment protection, are affecting how companies work. There are implications in product development – bringing products to market faster and getting them right.”

Yamatake Offers Program For Plant Development Singapore: The Oriental Motor showroom fair was held on Aug 6 in Singapore. According to Suetsugu Masaki, sales manager: “The purpose of our showroom fair is to introduce new products to our customers in Singapore and to build business relationships with them. It is an opportunity for us to obtain feedback from our existing clients and to understand their business needs. Price competitiveness and a shorter lead time are critical customer requirements.” Based in Singapore, Mr Suetsugu oversees operations in South East Asia, India and Australia. In the next 12 months, the company is targeting existing markets like semiconductors, factory automation as well as growing markets like the biotechnology and solar technology related segments. Oriental Motor has a line-up of marketing activities, which includes participating in exhibitions such as Globaltronics in Singapore and Metalex in Vietnam. Demand in markets like Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam has mainly been for replacement parts. However, there is a growing trend where local companies are beginning to build machines. “Our aim is to be able to serve such market segments in these countries,” says Mr Suetsugu. In terms of his customer base, he expects annual growth to be about 20 percent for South East Asia, India and Australia.

Tokyo, Japan: Yamatake Corporation has set a key policy for achievement of its medium-term management plan for the development phase beginning in 2010, by which it will extend its overseas solutions business to promote the role of azbil (automation zone builder) as an instrumentation partner in the global industrial market. The company will launch the global azbil Evolution Program (AEP) aimed at the continuous enhancement of its customers’ entire operating plant systems (including field instruments, distributed control systems, and operation support systems) in order to make the maximum use of existing systems. This program supports the long-term operation for existing plants by using an incremental development approach, and is being offered to customers worldwide. Existing systems which are using the services of the azbil Group are candidates for the program. More than 10,000 such systems are operating around the world today. In the targeted plants, many of these systems are more than 30 years old. The azbil group will develop programs that achieve the optimum Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), making maximal use of existing operating systems to meet customers’ needs, using strategies such as extensive use of the existing plant, partial renewal, improvement of operating efficiency, etc. Programs that are tailored to customer’s demands include: 1. Life-span extension program until 2025 – for existing controllers worldwide (more than 30,000 controllers and controller systems), which have been in operation for more than 30 years. • Repair or replacement of printed circuit boards incorporated in existing controllers. • New controllers which use existing software and databases. 2. Provision of a new control system that can also use software for more than 10,000 existing distributed control systems worldwide. 3. Provision of field solutions that add value to existing plants by the replacement of control valves or positioners, preventive maintenance, asset management, etc. Yamatake aims to double its overseas sales in industrial markets to 30 billion yen (US$0.35 billion) by 2013. September 2010 | industrial automation asia  9

Industry News

GE & Pro Ventum To Build Windfarm In Thailand Bangkok, Thailand: German wind developer Pro Ventum International is teaming up with GE to build a 90-megawatt wind farm about 250 km northeast of Bangkok. A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) was signed for GE to supply 36 2.5-megawatt wind turbines to the Thep Sathit Wind Farm in the Chaiyaphum province of Thailand. At the same time, the company also is looking into a potential equity investment in the project. It will be the first wind project in Thailand for both Pro Ventum and GE. When operational, it could potentially be one of the first wind farms of this scale in Thailand and the greater ASEAN region. The MOU was signed during a ceremony witnessed by Dr Wannarat Charnnukul, minister of energy for Thailand, who said: “This project will support the Thai government’s policy to promote cleaner energy, which calls for the country to use renewable resources for 20 percent of its power generation by the year 2020.” Supportive government policy will encourage more investments in the renewable energy industry. “Thailand’s multi-year incentives have made wind energy development a competitive proposition for potential investors. This MOU is testimony to how long-term policies that match the life cycle of an investment, are driving the growth of renewable power generation,” said Kovit Kantapasara, GE Energy’s country executive for Thailand and Indochina. “Renewable energy is important to Thailand as the country diversifies its power generation portfolio and reduces its dependence on imported fossil fuel.”

ST Aerospace To Establish Aircraft Repair Facility In China Guangzhou, China: ST Aerospace has concluded Joint Venture (JV) discussions with Guangdong Airport Management Corporation (GAMC) to set up a commercial aircraft heavy maintenance facility in Guangzhou, China. The JV company, ST Aerospace (Guangzhou) Aviation Services Company, will have a total investment of US$99 million. ST Aerospace will own a 49 percent stake of the JV company, while GAMC will own 51 percent. The JV company will be an associated company of ST Aerospace. It is expected to begin operations two years after incorporation. Construction of the facility will take about two years to complete. Located within the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the JV will occupy an initial area of 147,000 square metres, which will be adequate for two hangars. Each hangar will be able to accommodate two wide-body aircraft. The JV will provide maintenance and modification services for Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Operated and managed by ST Aerospace as part of its global network of MRO facilities, the JV will leverage the former’s Total Aviation Support capabilities and global customer base. The set up of this company increases the former’s establishments in China to four, and will enhance and complement the former’s Chinese business operations. The other three business operations include: • Shanghai Technologies Aerospace Company (STARCO), an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul JV with China Eastern Airlines in Shanghai • ST Aerospace Technologies (Xiamen) Company (STATCO), an engines MRO and total support services JV with Xiamen Aviation Industry • ST Aerospace Guangzhou Aero-Technologies & Engineering Company, an import/export facility. 10  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Schneider Electric In Energy Management Pact For Vietnam Supermarkets

Hanoi, Vietnam: Schneider Electric partners Big C, a retail distributor in Vietnam, to improve management of energy consumption, operations and comfort in ten of its supermarkets throughout the country. The company will design and implement an energy management system, allowing Big C to access energy data from its stores at its Vietnam head office in real time. The project includes power measurement equipment and three years of technical maintenance and services. The system allows the supermarket distributor to monitor the energy costs of each of its outlets. Big C will consequently initiate considerable improvement in the behaviour of users and employees in energy efficiency. The installation is slated for completion in August 2011. Big C is expected to save 40 percent on its lighting consumption, implying a payback time of 13 months as compared to their total energy efficiency investment cost.

APPOINTMENTS & NOTICES Baumer Singapore Appoints MD Baumer has appointed Kenny Ng W K as MD in Singapore. He has regional sales and marketing experience in the fields of industrial control and automation and electrical distribution.

Industry News

Expanded Board Of Management For Messe Frankfurt Exhibition

Frankfurt, Germany: Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, Stephan Kurzawski and Klaus Reinke have been promoted to senior VPs of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition. Iris Jeglitza-Moshage will be responsible for technical fairs and the future development of the international trade fairs in this segment. At the same time, she will build up the company’s ‘security technology’ area of expertise, which is represented worldwide by the Intersec and Secutec brands. She reports to Wolfgang Marzin, who has been in charge of all technical fairs except Texprocess, which remains the responsibility of Detlef Braun, since July 1. In future, Stephan Kurzawski will have overall responsibility for the development of the company’s brands in the consumer-goods sector, especially the traditional tradefair brand, ‘Ambiente’. He will continue to be in charge of the ‘Automechanika’ fairs. Klaus Reinke has assumed responsibility for setting up and running a group department, ‘new business’. He is also responsible for the development of event subjects in Frankfurt and for the repositioning of the ‘Messe Frankfurt Akademie’ as a provider of specialist seminars, conferences and congresses.

Rio Tinto To Invest Additional US$790 Million In Australia Melbourne, Australia: Rio Tinto is to invest a further US$790 million in its drive to expand the annual capacity of iron ore operations in the Pilbara to 330 million tonnes. This brings total investment funds approved in recent weeks to US$1 billion. The Pilbara expansion centres on increasing Rio Tinto’s port at Cape Lambert from its current annual capacity of 80 million tonnes to 180 million tonnes by 2016. This will be achieved through the construction of a new 1.8 kilometre jetty and four-berth wharf to run parallel to the existing jetty and four-berth wharf. The company’s planned growth of its Pilbara iron ore operations to 330 Mt/a capacity consists of the following steps: • 225 Mt/a by Q1 2011 - Dampier port systems efficiencies (in implementation) • 230 Mt/a by Q2 2012 - Dampier port incremental gains (in feasibility study) • 280 Mt/a by H1 2014 - Cape Lambert B 1st 50 Mt/a increment (now in feasibility study) • 330 Mt/a by H1 2016 - Cape Lambert B 2nd 50 Mt/a increment (pre-feasibility completed)

ABB Wins Marine Order For Power Systems Houston, USA: ABB has won an order worth $20 million to provide complete power systems, drilling drive and propulsion systems for a deep water drilling rig to be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) at the latter’s shipyard in South Korea. The rig is scheduled to be commissioned by early 2012. The company will supply complete electrical systems for the semisubmersible drilling rig, which will be used for oil and gas exploration drilling. The delivery includes power generation and the high and low voltage distribution systems, the drilling drive system, the propulsion drive system, as well as related engineering services. In addition to supporting the short delivery schedule, the company’s scope of supply was specifically selected to improve equipment reliability, efficiency and availability, securing a stable supply of power throughout all rig systems.

Digi And GroundedPower Team Up For Energy Solutions Minnesota, USA: Digi International has announced a partnership with GroundedPower, a provider of interactive software for energy efficiency and smart grid solutions. Under the partnership, the latter’s Interactive Customer Engagement System (iCES) has been fully integrated with the former’s X-Grid to connect consumers’ home energy devices. The X-Grid is an ‘extended grid’ that enables real-time, IP-based monitoring and control of home energy devices beyond the electric meter. The iCES system delivers energy customers an interactive application for better understanding their use and cost of energy, and tools to motivate sustained energy savings. September 2010 | industrial automation asia  11

Industry News

Delcam Reaches 1,500 Customers In China Birmingham, UK: Delcam has announced that the company has added its 1,500th customer in China; Zhejiang (Taizhou) Jianli Mould. To mark this achievement, Jiang Fang, GM of Zhejiang Jianli, was presented with a plaque by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to China, Sebastian Wood CMG, during the UK Advanced Engineering China Showcase held in Shanghai. The Showcase was organised by the UK Government to present the best of British advanced engineering to Chinese companies. It followed similar events in Brazil last year and in India during 2008.

Belden Announces Network Design Seminar Indiana, USA: Belden will be hosting the Hirschmann 2010 Mission Critical Network Design Seminar on September 19-22 in Orlando, Florida. The seminar provides training options to fit specific levels of expertise and is focused on industrial ethernet networking. It is intended for system integrators; network design engineers [with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) or Engineering P ro c u re m e n t a n d C o n s t r u c t i o n (EPC) firms]; and anyone involved with the design, implementation and maintenance of mission critical ethernet networks. During the seminar, attendees will learn how to effectively reduce costs and installation time by implementing a resilient network design. Presenters will speak on technical topics including isolating network traffic, implementing redundancy and network security. Each presenter has the experience and technical background to address current technology trends for designing mission critical industrial ethernet networks in a variety of industries including petrochemical; automotive; and power generation, transmission and distribution. 12  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Robots Get An Artificial Skin Munich, Germany: Robots are breaking barriers: They are entering fields of application such as the manufacturing, household and healthcare sectors. The requisite safety can be provided by a tactile sensor system, which can be integrated in a floor or applied directly to robots as an artificial skin. A mobile robot carefully transports a sample through a biotech lab where it is surrounded by the routine hustle and bustle. Lab technicians are conversing with one another and performing tests. One technician inadvertently runs into the robot, which stops moving immediately. An artificial skin covering the robot makes this possible. Consisting of conductive foam, textiles and an intelligent evaluation circuit, the sensor system detects points of contact and differentiates between gentle and strong contact. It registers people immediately. The shape and size of the sensor cells implemented in the skin can be varied depending on the application. They detect any contact. The higher the number of sensor cells, the more precisely a point of collision can be detected. A sensor controller processes the measured values and transmits them to the robot or alternatively, a computer, a machine or production line. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg have designed and patented this sensor system in 2008 for its assistant robot LiSA, which stocks incubators and measuring instruments in biotech labs with sample cups and relieves lab staff from such work. Since then the engineers have refined the sensor system for applications such as industrial robots and flooring. Contact with humans or objects will be reliably detectable in the future, a basic prerequisite for the implementation of robots in human environments without protective barriers. “Our artificial skin can be adapted to any complex geometry, including curved or flat. We use large-area floor sensors to define safety zones that people may not enter,” says Markus Fritzsche, researcher at the Fraunhofer IFF. Diverse variants of the tactile sensor system now exist, the shell material ranging from breathable to waterproof. “This opens entirely new fields of application such as medical engineering or manufacturing,” says Mr Fritzsche. “Pressure sensitive flooring is ideal for monitoring workspaces in factories or instantly registering fallen patients in a nursing home for instance. Robots and mobile equipment outfitted with the artificial skin register any collision and brake immediately. In addition, we can provide robot grippers a sense of touch and detect whether they are actually gripping something,” he adds.


Joins Fieldbus Foundation

Detector Electronics Corporation (DetTronics), a supplier of industrial hazard safety solutions, including flame detection, gas detection and hazard mitigation systems, has joined the Fieldbus Foundation. The company’s Safety Integrity Level (SIL)-2 flame and gas s a f e t y s y s t e m s r a n g e f ro m conventional panels to faulttolerant, addressable systems. The company designs and manufactures one of the industry’s largest selections of flame detectors, gas sensors and safety systems. It also maintains a complete fire and gas test facility. It has more than 280 employees, 76 representatives, and 18 sales offices around the globe serving the oil and gas, refining, automotive, aerospace, munitions, and chemical markets. Fieldbus Foundation marketing manager Bill Tatum welcomed D e t - Tro n i c s i n j o i n i n g t h e foundation, which corresponds to the growing market demand for fieldbus-based safety solutions. “Our Foundation fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions

(FF-SIF) development provides opportunities to leverage the capabilities of fieldbus instrumentation and advanced diagnostics to optimise plant safety systems,” said Tatum. “Det-Tronics is a major supplier to industrial safety users, and we welcome their contributions to our organisation and its technology.” By joining the Fieldbus Foundation, the company hopes to achieve recognition and access to new markets for its product line. As a division of United Technology Corporation, the company also expects to enhance its visibility within the fieldbus community and contribute to the growth of the market. “Our customers requested a fieldbus interface to safety products, and we would like

to suppor t them by offering a strong, industry-accepted communications protocol,” said DetTronics director of marketing, Cliff Anderson. “Our overarching goal is to help our customers achieve i m p ro v e d p e r s o n n e l safety and plant performance.” T h e c o m p a n y ’s f i re a n d gas safety systems suppor t addressable-loop and point-topoint architectures, and all of its solutions are fault-tolerant, configurable detection and releasing systems. The company’s optical flame detectors incorporate technologies in Ultraviolet (UV), Infrared (IR), UV/IR, dual IR, and multispectrum IR to maximise detection while minimising false alarms. In addition, the company’s gas detectors detect the presence of combustible and toxic gases. The full line includes Nanotechnology Metal Oxide Semiconductor (NTMOS), catalytic, electrochemical and IR absorption technologies. ENQUIRY NO. 6101 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  13

Industry Updates

Benefiting Applications Before the Fieldbus standards, automation was achieved with central automation structures. M u c h d i re c t w i r i n g t o t h e central automation stations was required. Solutions like special communication drivers, need to be available to communicate between these automation stations – causing limitations and inflexibilities. Out of this experience, the demand for an open and vendor-neutral standard has risen that has started open Fieldbus communication through Profibus. The association was created in 1989 in cooperation with different automation vendors. It has a global setup with 27 regional associations; one of them is located in Singapore and is responsible for South East Asia. Profibus is the international standard (IEC 61158/61784) for the field level. There a number of benefits in a Fieldbus solution. A conventional wiring of a 4-20 mA device has many wiring points like the junction block, terminal block, IO-Module etc. With a Fieldbus solution, this wiring can be reduced to two wires, which is the bus cable. Another benefit is the centralised engineering. With Fieldbus, it is possible to configure the process devices via the network instead going directly to these devices and configuring them on site. Standards like Electronic Device Description (EDD) or FDT 14  industrial automation asia | September 2010

(Field Device Tool) are available to standardise the configuration and to reduce the software tools to one framework. The devices can be configured and parameterised from one central point of engineering. This reduces both the handling of software tools and the training required for maintenance personnel. A Profibus solution also provides a range of diagnostic and maintenance possibilities, which makes a plant more robust, with less downtime. Profibus DP

Decentralised Peripheral (DP) is used for connecting distributed field devices, eg: Simatic ET 200 or drives with extremely fast response times. In a Profibus DP system there is

always a master-slave relationship. The DP-Master is an intelligent controller like a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) which manages the remote IOs. Profibus is based on different physical mediums like the RS485 where devices are connected in a daisy chain or fibre optics with ring, tree or line network structures. A segment has a maximum number of 32 devices connected to it. Beyond 32 devices, a repeater is required to refresh the communication signal. The maximum number of devices on a complete system is 126 stations. Typically, one of them is the DP-master and the other is the engineering station. This means that there are 124 DPslaves that can work with one DP-master.

Figure 1: Profibus cable with connector to build up a daisy chain.

Figure 2: Profibus diagnostic repeater to refresh the signal, create a new segment and additionally have a line diagnostic.

Figure 3: DP/PA-link and DP/PA coupler

Profibus has a bus speed of up to 12mbps; the transmission speed determines the cable length of the segment. For example, a maximum length of 200m is possible at a speed of 1,5kbps. Beyond this, a repeater is required to extend the length by another 200m and so on. Each DP slave can be used independently on engineering systems because each DP-slave provides a GSD file, which can be imported into any system that is Profibus capable.

ranging from a single line, up to coupler redundancy and ring redundancy. More than 2,500 Profibus products from several hundred vendors are available today. As of 2010, the installed base of the

product range is more than 31 million devices in over half a million applications for manufacturing and process automation. ENQUIRY NO. 6102

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The DP and PA variants support h y b r i d a u t o m a t i o n a n d a re suited for all process industry applications. The PA devices application profile was developed for process devices, in close coordination with users. This p ro f i l e i s a v e n d o r - n e u t r a l standard for a range of device types, such as control valves and measuring instruments for pressure, temperature, and flow used in the process industries. PA and DP both work with the same protocol layer. The difference is the bus physic. PA uses the Manchester Bus Power (MBP) method to communicate. That means power supply for the instruments and data on one cable. A PA-coupler is required to transfer the RS485 physical layer into MBP. Like a repeater, a PA-coupler is transparent on the network. By using a DP/PAlink, it is possible to open up a completely new sub network since the DP/PA-link is a slave on one side and a master for PA on the other. In this case it is possible to open up multiple PA networks. On the PA, there are different possibilities for network layouts,

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Static, Variable & Dynamic


system designer cannot change the assembling of the PDOs. This may be a disadvantage for more complex devices because the system designer cannot optimise the PDOs pertaining to the content. For example, it may be necessary to combine a CiA 401 compliant I/O module digital and analog inputs in the same Transmit-PDO. In motion control applications, it could be also useful to


The CANopen application layer specifies the Process Data Object (PDO) services and protocols. In addition, there are two defined parameter sets to configure the PDOs. The PDO communication parameter set provides object dictionary entries to configure the used CAN-ID, the transmission type as well as some timers. The PDO mapping parameter set is used to assemble the payload of a PDO, the kind and order of process data. The user may map one single process data (eg: a temperature value) or an assembly of process data (eg: a motion control-word and a velocity target value). The PDO mapping parameter set provides up to 64 pointers (consisting of the 16-bit index and the eight-bit sub-index) to the process data that will be transmitted in the related PDO. The object dictionary address (16-bit index) for the mapping 16  industrial automation asia | September May 2009 2010

parameter set of TPDO 1 is 1A00h. TPDO 2 is related to index 1A01h and so on. In total, the CANopen object dictionary allows the address parameter sets for 512 TPDOs plus 512 RPDOs. The mapping parameter set addresses for RPDOs starts Figure 1: The tool shows that TPDO 1 contains at 1600h. the eight-bit digital input process data, and TPDO 2 maps two 16-bit analog process data The first sub-index ( 0 0 h) o f a m a p p i n g parameter set indicates the number reconfigure the pre-defined PDOs of process data to be mapped into of CiA 402 compliant drives. the related PDO. The following Sometimes the optimisation leads sub-parameters contain the to a better use of the bandwidth, pointers to the process data or minimisation of used PDOs. and their length (eg: 08h for an If the PDO re-mapping is only Unsigned8 value or 10 h for an possible in the NMT state PreInteger16 value). Operational, this is called variable In order to reduce the neces- PDO mapping. The NMT master sar y RAM resources, simple device sets all CANopen devices CANopen devices provide a static transmitting or receiving the PDO mapping. dedicated PDO into NMT state This means that the mapping Pre-operational, and configures parameters are constant, and the the new mapping in all devices

before they are set again into NMT state Operational. This avoids problems with data inconsistencies in the TPDO and the corresponding RPDOs, because the CANopen devices do not transmit and receive PDOs in NMT state Pre-operational. Data misinterpretation may occur, when the newly mapped TPDO is received by an RPDO with an ‘old’ mapping or vice versa. Nevertheless, it is possible to

possible by disabling the desired TPDO by means of SDO write access to the COB-ID parameter (bit 31). After the remapping in the TPDO as well as the corresponding RPDOs, the TPDO is enabled again. On one hand, this so-called dynamic mapping is little bit more risky. But on the other hand the CANopen devices are still able to transmit and receive other PDOs, which are not under reconfiguration.

Figure 2: The tool displays a list of all supported PDOs and their mappings (the Map column indicates the number of valid sub-indexes)

Most of the CANopen configuration tools support the reconfiguration of PDOs regarding the mapping of process data configure the PDO mapping on the fly (in NMT state Operational) without mapping inconsistencies. The user needs to stop the transmission of the PDO, which is under reconfiguration. This is

Mapping Procedure The CiA 301 CANopen application layer specifies the mapping procedure, independent of variable or dynamic mapping. The user has to first disable the PDO by setting bit 31 of the COB-ID parameter to 1b. He then has to disable the mapping by means of setting the sub-index 00 h of the mapping parameter set to 00h. After this, he is allowed to re-configure the mapping parameters sub-index 01h to 40h. After finishing the re-mapping, the sub-index 00h of the mapping parameter set is set to the number of mapped process data. Finally, the PDO is enabled again by means of setting bit 31 of the COB-ID parameter to 0b. If anyone accesses by means of an SDO write service

when the PDO is not disabled, the CANopen protocol stack should respond with an SDO abort. If during the re-mapping, the CANopen device that detects the index and sub-index of the mapped object does not exist or is not allowed to map the object (eg: entry description attribute PDP mapping is specified as ‘no’), the CANopen protocol stack responds the SDO write access with an appropriate SDO abort. The same happens if the mapping is invalid or not possible (exceeding P D O l e n g t h , i e : m o re t h a n eight bytes). If the CANopen device receives a PDO that is longer than the RPDO mapping parameter set specifies, it will use the first data byte up to the specified length. It is recommended to send an emergency message with a corresponding error code indicating that the length has been exceeded. If the CANopen device receives a PDO that is shorter than expected, it should not process the entire PDO. It should transmit an emergency message with an appropriate error code (8210h). Most of the CANopen configuration tools suppor t the re-configuration of PDOs regarding the mapping of process data. Some of them even provide algorithms to optimise the PDO mapping at system level. The user describes the entire process data communication by means of a matrix (inputs and outputs). After the I/O linking, the tool configures all CANopen devices per taining to an optimised PDO mapping. ENQUIRY NO. 6103 September May 2009 2010 | industrial automation asia  17

Asia purely memory access. In this way, a part on a conveyor belt operated with standard motion control can be grasped and set aside by the robot ‘on the fly.’ Kinematic Transformation Kinematics is the study of the movement of points and bodies in space, described by the variables: • path s (change of position coordinates) • velocity v • acceleration a

Simple Integration Of


In PC Control

Robots are being used with increasing frequency due to their flexibility. The familiar articulated robots are not necessary for many applications; instead, simple and inexpensive bar kinematics can be used, such as delta robots. Historically, these robots have been equipped with their own controllers, which were usually PC-based. With ‘Scientific Automation,’ Beckhoff has extended the application range of the classic, PC-based automation technology with components such as robotics. Until recently, the use of robots has always required a special CPU. The robot controller often had to be connected to the actual machine 18  industrial automation asia | September 2010

controller by a special fieldbus. The programming of the robot required a software package and a specialised, usually manufacturerspecific programming language. H o w e v e r, t h e d i f f e r e n t controllers with the fieldbus connected in-between allowed no synchronisation between robots and motion control. The solution is found in the software. It eliminates the costs of the robot controller, the wiring and configuration of the fieldbus and, in particular, the costs of programming the robot. Precision synchronisation can be achieved by means of reducing the communication between the standard controller and robot to

The causes of the movement (forces) are not taken into account. In the context of robotics, the term ‘kinematics’ refers to the different movement possibilities. Since the structure and number of axes determine the workspace of the robot, this workspace is dependent on many parameters: arm lengths, angular range, centre of gravity, maximum load, etc. The arrangement of the arms and joints determines the kinematic structure, which is divided into two main classes: • Serial Kinematics – The current position of any axis is always dependent on the position of the preceding axis. The Tool Centre Point (TCP) is changed by each axis in the x, y and z planes. Examples: Selective Compliant Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) and crane kinematics. • Parallel Kinematics – The current position of the axis is influenced by the preceding axis in one direction only. The TCP is only changed in one plane. For example: delta kinematics, shear kinematics. C o o rd i n a t e s y s t e m s a re required in order to describe the positional behaviour of a system.

These are placed in the individual active joint axes. One can refer for example, to Cartesian coordinate systems, which are bound in such a way to the individual bodies so that a rotation or a translation takes place around or, as the case may be, towards the coordinate axes. Different coordinate systems can be used as a basis for programming: • The Cartesian coordinate system - right-handed - direction of rotation always positive (counterclockwise) • The Piece Coordinate System (PCS) is independent of the kinematics employed and is used for part-specific orientations. • The Machine Coordinate System (MCS) is independent of the kinematics employed and is used for machine-specific orientations. • The Axis Coordinate System (ACS) depends on the kinematics used and is utilised for referencing or homing. The robots are often programmed in the PCS or MCS. The type of kinematics in these systems does not need to be taken into account, since the appropriate motion sequences are calculated by a transformation. As opposed to this, when programming in the ACS, it is essential to take into account the structure of the axes, since the movement commands for the axes must be programmed directly. Therefore, this type of programming is used only in exceptional cases. Transformation Kinematics describes the investigation of the possible movements of the individual limbs of the robot in relation to each

other. It takes into account the velocities and accelerations that occur during the movement of the joints, but not the forces that occur or the type of drive of the joint (active/passive). A different arrangement of joints and limbs can produce an identical Tool Center Point (TCP) movement path. Transformation describes, in the context of the kinematics, the calculation necessary in order to change from one coordinate system to another. There are basically two problems in considering the kinematics of robots. The direct Kinematic Problem (KP), also called forward transformation, deals with the calculation of the position of the TCP in spatially fixed coordinates from the axis-specific joint coordinates of the robot. The Inverse Kinematic P ro b l e m ( I K P ) , a l s o c a l l e d backward transformation, is the reverse relationship, in which the axis-specific joint coordinates are to be determined from the TCP position. The task of a transformation is to change the position and orientation of the objects relative to one another so that the TCP traverses the desired movement path. Tracking A robot must cooperate with other machine components. A common task is driving to a specific position on a moving belt and synchronous movement along the belt. For example, the robot needs to pick up a part from a specific belt or to set it down in a certain position. The synchronisation and movement of the robot along with a moving part – in the translatory or rotary coordinate system – is referred to as tracking. T w i n C AT Kinematic Transformation integrates itself transparently in the existing motion control world: robotic and motion control functions can be optimally

synchronised using TwinCAT NC Point-To-Point (PTP) axis positioning or axis interpolation in three dimensions (NC I). All PLC and NC characteristics can be combined as desired on a common hardware and software platform. T w i n C AT Kinematic Transformation implements various robot kinematics on the PC. In addition to 2-D kinematics, it can also be used to calculate 3-D bar kinematics, delta kinematics as well as SCARA kinematics. The axes are controlled directly from the Motion Control system. The user thereby programs the robot movement directly in the Cartesian coordinate system. T h e t r a n s f o rm a t i o n i n t o the robot coordinate system is calculated in the software during each cycle. In order to minimise the oscillation tendency and to increase the positioning accuracy, another current pre-control can be activated for many kinematics. This is only possible if the drive amplifiers and the fieldbus are fast enough and interfaces are available for an additional current pre-control. The robot is configured in the TwinCAT system manager, the tool for configuring the I/Os, all axes and the robot. The bar and arm lengths as well as kinematic offsets are parameterised here. Masses and mass inertias of the robot can also be specified optionally for the pre-control. T h e Tw i n C AT K i n e m a t i c Transformation package provides the user with the possibility to simply integrate a robot, eg: the type delta or SCARA kinematics. Configuration takes place in the system manager. The calculation of the dynamic model makes it possible to minimise the path tracking distance. As a result, the position is maintained precisely with high repeatability. ENQUIRY NO. 6104 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  19

issues & insights

Computer Systems:

Thought Design Putting

Yaroslav B, Russia


With constantly evolving technology, systems need to handle large amounts of data while allowing future system expansion. Robin Ma, AE team leader – APO (Asia Pacific), Embedded Systems, GE Intelligent Platforms


igh-end computer system architecture can be divided into two categories: macro design and micro design. Macro design pertains to an entire large-scale computer network’s architecture, while micro design is for the single system/subsystem internal backplane architecture. In large-scale system design, distributed hierarchical network structures have been used in industrial, telecommunications, or defence systems, and this structure is not likely to see major changes in the short term. For micro system (single system/subsystem) 20  industrial automation asia | September 2010

architecture design, improvements have been made along with the constant development of processor processing capacity and data transmission technology. Promoting Innovation The micro architecture of traditional computer systems usually adopts a parallel structure based on VersaModule Eurocard (VME), Compact Peripheral Component Interconnect (CPCI), VME Extension for Instrumentation (VXI) and other standards. However, with the rapid development of semiconductor technology in recent years, various

structures have emerged such as System-on Chip (SoC), which increases the computing capacity of the single system (single node up to 574Gflops); and Fabric (backplane switching) technology, which is based on High Speed Serial Differential Protocol (HSSP) and solves the problems of high-speed, bulk data transmission through the backplane (micro backplane throughput can be increased to a magnitude of 100Gbps). There are different kinds of popular switching fabrics in the market such as the VPX, which is genera lly used for applications with more stringent requirements for environment, size, power consumption and weight. Eg: military, aerospace, automotive, high-end industrial data processing platforms. VPX is a kind of serial bus standard. Compared to parallel bus, it is a type of point-to-point style backplane switching fabric, which customises micro-system point-to -point data switching top o lo g y t h ro u g h mu lt iple backplane Host Sourced Serial Programming (HSSP) signals. HSSP signals that support this switching architecture design include serial Rapid IO (sRIO), PCI-eXpress, 10GigaNet, 40GigaNet etc. With the constant updating of 2-core, 4-core, 8-core, 100core and other core processors, the data switching capacity of the micro system can reach several hundred Gbps. Due to the limitations of bus clock, data-bit width and electromagnetic interference, the traditional parallel backplane system architecture may no longer be able to meet data traffic requirements. However, the high-speed data transmission and anti-jamming capacity (seria l low-voltage differential signal) of VPX has solved this problem. The high-speed differential signal rate is up to 10Gbps and it is not restricted by clock, data/ address bit width.

Figure 1: Single-star structure

Figure 2: Mesh structure

x8 PCIe Links



















sRIO DataI/O

T h is k i nd of h ig h - sp e e d differential signal can be used to bind ports according to the requirements of system design. It can allow multi-port parallel transmission and maximise data traffic. Data traffic of 300GB/s can easily pass through the VPX backplane – this is an increase in the throughput of the backplane by over 100 times that of traditional parallel bus architecture.






Serial Rapido0 Mesh

Architecture Models There are typically two kinds of VPX system switching architectures, namely the star and the mesh. The star architecture can extend the number of system loads, generally up to 18. It is generally divided into two types: single-star structure and binary structure. The type of structure can be selected according to the complexity of the system. Figure 1 shows a single-star structure,

from which all the load nodes achieve point-to-point interconnection via the same fabric board. D u r i n g t h e e a rl y s t a g e s of system de sig n, the me sh structure is often used to build lab platforms or small experimental systems. This can result in a point-to-point high-speed serial interconnection structure as well as reduce development costs. However, there are limitations

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September 2010 | industrial automation asia  21

issues & insights






Expansion Plane (DFP)

Expan Plane

Expan Plane

Expan Plane

Expan Plane

Expan Plane

Data Plane (FP)

Data Plane

Data Plane

Data Plane

Data Plane

Data Plane


Payload Slots




VPX 10

Expan Plane

Expan Plane

Expan Plane

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Data Plane

Data Plane

Data Plane

Data Plane

Data Switch



Control Plane (UTP)

Control Plane

Control Plane

Control Plane

Control Plane

Control Plane

Control Switch

Control Plane

Control Plane

Control Plane

Control Plane UTP

Management Plane (IPMB)











Utility Plane Includes Power

Figure 3: Hierarchical model of micro-system backplane architecture

high-end single board computers for Digital Signal Processing (DSP), which interconnect with each other through a high speed HSSP port. This system design concept – from macro to micro, from mixing to stratification – is likely to the basis for future large-scale system design. Figure 5 shows the VPX microarchitecture in this system. The system uses five DSP230 Single Board Computers (SBCs). These SBCs achieve high-speed backplane data switching via Serial RapidIO (sRIO) and the floating-point processing capacity of the system can go up to 384Gflops. System architecture design is constantly evolving. Designs need to take into consideration the complexity of future system expansion sRIO
























Rack-Mount VPX System Open Architecture Hardware/Software

and compatibility issues. As the processing capacity of the single micro-subsystem is increasing, the macro system of multiple subsystems combined into a micro subsystem is already technically feasible. In the foreseeable future, macro structure design should follow the hierarchical model. However, due to continued improvements in technology and processes and increased awareness in environmental protection, the design is likely to be simplified. For micro architecture, systems will be designed for performance, small size, low weight and low power consumption (SWaP).

sRIO Switched Fabric sRIO


Switch/ Management



Payload Slots


Going High-End Figure 4 shows a typical highend computer system design architecture, which applies to Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar applications. At a macro level, it adopts a three - layer network system str ucture; At a micro level, each system inside adopts the backplane-switching structure. Each micro - system uses five

Slot numbers are logical, physical slot numbers may be different


in terms of backpla ne load. Generally, one backplane can afford less than five loads in the entire mesh structure. Figure 2 shows the mesh structure with five loads. In the latest VPX standard, the design of the micro backplane architecture fully utilises the advantages of the hierarchical concept that is used in macrosystem architecture design. The backplane switching (fabric) signal is divided into five layers including the function plane, ma na ge me nt pla ne , cont rol plane, data plane and extended plane ( Figure 3). This allows clear traffic control for micro backplane data switching. Interconnections of e ach layer adopt the star or mesh topology structure. This design method is likely to be a major trend in the designing of future systems. D epending on t he system requirements, different switching plane combinations can be selected.


Figure 4: Structure of a typical high-end computer system 22  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Figure 5: AESA case


control point

Distributed Control Systems:

d n o y Be

Risk Mitigation

update the system all at once? How long does the company have to stop production? How can one budget a project of this type? These questions are universally voiced across industries when migrations are discussed. Making Choices Companies today view migration decisions as a key part of a business strategy, offering a competitive advantage. Migrating to newer equipment can offer benefits such as increased information flow through improved system integration, more production with greater throughput, less training and spares, and reduced energy costs through sustainable manufacturing systems. Most legacy systems we re de si g ne d for a

While system migration can be a challenging task, a phased migration using the right approach can help companies to enhance productivity in the long-term. Mike Vernak, DCS program manager, Rockwell Automation; John Bryant, engineering and maintenance manager, Arkema


igration decisions can be broken down into risk mitigation and performance improvements. Risk mitigation is about what keeps one up at night, and performance improvements are what provide a sustainable, competitive advantage.

24  industrial automation asia | September 2010

As companies look to migrations with a stronger strategic eye, they want to know and understand their potential gains in both areas. However, it is difficult to get excited about future productivity gains if it means crippling current production. Is it necessary to

specific use. A Distributed Control System ( DCS) once connected only to the process itself, whether for a chemical plant, steel mill or utility plant. Now, companies can replace DCS systems with a single, plant-wide, integrated system, connecting conveyor lines, discrete manufacturing, drives, batch and safety control systems, and the shipping department.

another area, allowing more time to evaluate the next move. Method Of Implementation A phased migration approach demands a high level of system, industry and project management knowledge. The installation company must have a solid knowledge of the new and legacy systems as well as a full understanding of the specific industry’s requirements. Project management experience is also

interoperate with the existing operator stations. New consoles can also be customised to have the same look and feel as the old system. Automation suppliers know that it can be an emotional decision to implement a migration. The company has already understood the old system’s technology and has employed operators who are well versed on it. Even though a migration is often justified, risk can still be a factor. However,

The length of time where production needs to cease, is a major consideration in system migration

essential, since execution timing and budgeting only allows for a very small margin of error. Nonetheless, the person doing the project needs to have the right skill level to get the job done. The key stage in the migration strategy order is when the customer replaces the least supported systems first − typically the HumanMachine Interface (HMI) consoles. Twenty years ago, before the influx of standardised protocols, these consoles were proprietary. Today, however, HMI systems are often no longer supported. Customers find it easier to spend money to replace operator consoles and engineering workstations with modern PC-based platforms. An additional benefit of this migration is that console replacements do not require downtime. HMIs are a plug-and-replace item and can

Petr Vins, Czech Republic

Using a single platform also helps to reduce maintenance and training costs, which is a huge fixed cost for most companies. The entire plant can see additional performance growth due to the increased availability of data and the corresponding improvement in information flow. A single, plant-wide system allows for an unlimited number of end-user enabled reports, which are easy enough for the company to create based on the increased data available. This means better control over quality, tighter process management and greater potential for a satisfied customer, all of which add to competitive advantage. In addition, exper t data sharing helps produce higher qua lity products, increa sed operator knowledge, and provides corporate entities with improved production capabilities. When a single, information-enabled system is used, plant managers have more data available to make faster and smarter decisions – and at a lower cost. To execute a rip-and-replace migration, customers must be willing to shut down the process for a period of time, which can get expensive. Today’s 24/7 market often makes downtime not an option. When a plant is not running 10 0 percent of the time, it may not make its projected profit. Although there is a proper time and place for a rip-and-replace strategy, companies often look for ways to reduce the short-term complexity and expense, even when total system replacement is the goal. Phased migration approaches offer many advantages. By looking at one section of the system at a time, the customer reduce s the risk of unseen complications halting the migration midstream. A migration in one area often provides more spares for

deploying new operator consoles side by side with the old ones – even before removing the legacy system consoles – helps ease the pain and the fear associated with migration. Another central element to any retrofit is making sure that operator stakeholders are included in the decision-making process, even when decisions are made purely based on feeling. Specifically when dealing with an existing system, emotional decisions do play a role. A supplier should meet with the operators, and the maintenance and production teams, so that there is a common understanding of how the processes are controlled, how the plant is maintained, and the type of production information that will be available. For example, if the feeling is that the new HMI screens look September 2010 | industrial automation asia  25

control point

too different from the version that the operators were trained on, additional training is needed. Plus, it may cause operators to misinterpret data and therefore not run the process correctly. This risk needs to be mitigated upfront. Ultimately, a migration project is not successful until the operators agree that it is successful. The second phase of a migration might include replacing the controllers. This step can take three months to three years depending on the customer’s interest, need

This allows manufacturers to build on past equipment investments. It also gives the supplier a more flexible migration strategy by which customers can revert back to their old system, if issues occur or if the process is beyond the customer’s comfort level. Migration enablers are tools to make upgrades and replacements more efficient and are particularly important with phased migrations. It is also important to note that migration enablers are rarely

Brian Lary, US

Customers find it easier to spend money to replace operator consoles and engineering workstations with modern PC-based platforms.

and budget. It is important to note that the new controllers can be installed before the HMI swap - out is complete, if the installation timeline is tight. This works with many customers, but is not the only approach for a particular migration. Running In Parallel To allow communication from the new controllers, many automation suppliers continue to develop interface solutions to legacy I/O infrastructures needing to be replaced. Also, new controllers can be installed in parallel with legacy systems, using the same I/Os. It takes on a monitor mode only until the system is verified as working correctly. Once both systems are up, old systems can be used until everything is double-checked. The transfer from the legacy control to the new control platform can then be completed. 26  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Enablers can provide value as long as the person using them understands the technology and potential limitations. valuable without a high level of system and technical knowledge. In the right hands, these tools will not only help reduce the risks associated with migration, but will also allow the manufacturer to benefit from the years of experience that were used to create such tools. Again, automation suppliers have seen this need and many

have developed enablers to convert databases, configurations, graphics and field I/O connections in order to reduce risk, increase speed, and reduce engineering efforts necessary for the migration. These enablers range from simpler, cross-referencing tools to elaborate ones that take extensive training to use and to verify proper outcomes. Enablers can provide value as long as the person using them understands the technology and potential limitations. A phase three migration might include adding more controllers. A not her e x a mple m ig ht b e customers who need to build a new system onto the existing system. A utilitie s compa ny that generates power – with a DCS system controlling the whole plant – finds that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires their coal-fired system to add flue gas scrubbers on all stacks. The company suddenly needs to build off its HMI infrastructure and add control systems to operate the scrubbers. They can start to deploy the control systems on these scrubbers and be completely interactive with the rest of the system that is already in place. Controlling Cost Phase three is also where the legacy I/O infrastructure is replaced. Certain automation suppliers have developed special cables to help retain the existing field terminations that bring instrumentation signals up to an I/O module. By incorporating the field wires into this termination unit and cabling the signals from that unit up to the I/O module, the supplier has essentially eliminated the need to touch the field wiring – a huge cost in any migration, as well as a prominent place for errors to be made. For example, replacing the customer’s cable, and taking out the I/O, and keeping the

NoWhay, UK

termination units in place, and then without applying experience plugging new cables into new I/O and wisdom to these numerical modules. This allows the customer outcomes, it is hard to consistently to cut over multiple I/O quicker achieve good migration project and without errors. Whenever a decisions. Both sides must work step can be eliminated, such as together in order for a migration to an electrician not having to touch be justified. field wiring, a risk is mitigated. ROI and NPV are some of the In addition, unnecessary labour financial tools that are used in prois reduced, including ject justification. timely operations like H o w e v e r, t h e s e Many of the formal ringing out new wires concepts are financial tools that and connections. relatively simple to are used to evaluate apply depending Often people seeking migration decisions like Return On to ju st i f y e qu ipme nt on the number and Investment (ROI) and type of variables Net Present Value to be used in the (NPV) are critical to evaluation. One can force the collection gain a rough idea and comparison of numbers and to o f s o m e o f t he consider alternatives. investment components appropriate to include in these models: acquir ing hardware and software, support, maintenance, training, spare parts, inventory costs, carrying costs, etc. To make modelling and data collection more manageable, it is often helpful to make projects more specific by looking at HMIs as one aspect of the project, a nd then creating financial evaluations on that portion alone. migrations are not from the finance department. Instead, Evaluating Economics they are middle managers who These investment costs will have are ultimately concerned with to be offset with performance manufacturing a quality product gains and risk mitigation. The on time and at a cost point that performance gains will depend on provides a competitive advantage. the manufacturing and competitive It is important for managers advantages that one gains from to realise that many of the formal new technology, such as improved financial tools that are used to system integration, increased evaluate migration decisions information flow, throughput to like Return On Investment (ROI) increase production, energy and Net Present Value (NPV) are reduction, and reduced training critical to force the collection and and spares. comparison of numbers and to This evaluation is sometimes consider alternatives. However, more difficult when doing a

phased migration over time, because some of the benefits may not be realised in the first phase of the project, and must be amortised over time. In some cases, most of the benefits will not be realised until phase two or three is complete. NPV models can help provide an understanding on what value the project offers today. Risk mitigation comes from reduced breakdown, easier access to parts, and other service and support. R isk m it igat ion ca n a lso result in executing the migration. C a r r y ing out m ig rat ion s in phases, using well- developed enablers that build efficiencies, and working with a migration team that has the system, industry, and project management knowledge to help evaluate, plan and execute the project successfully are keys to reducing risk. Additionally, understanding the areas that offer the greatest ROI upfront a nd work ing on t ho se a re a s f i r st c a n o f fe r g re ater shor t- ter m retu r n s. These short-term benefits may offset having to wait to receive the performance advantages of a completely new system. This way, customers can get the competitive advantage and performance advances right away. Plus, parts of the migration can be covered through budgets that have already been in place, without any distribution of capital funds. Instituting a phased migration is a major step for any manufacturing system. Although replacing an old DCS system with a single, plantwide system poses some risks, it is important to help the production team to realise the potential benefits. If executed correctly, a phased migration can offer increased productivity, a sharper competitive advantage and, ultimately, more satisfied customers. ENQUIRY NO. 6301 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  27

software & Networks

Industrial Ethernet:

Image-Based ID Readers

Facilitating setup and operation on the factory floor. By Didier Lacroix, senior VP, International Sales & Services, Cognex


oday’s automation products require ethernet connectivity. The question is whether to connect directly through Internet protocol, or indirectly via one of the entrenched industrial networks. Ethernet alone does not guarantee that two devices can talk to each other as there must be compatibility at the application layers. Making Connections Industria l ethernet enable s connectivity with both office and industrial factory floor environments and makes image-based ID readers easy to install, set up and integrate. Compared to other communication protocols, industrial ethernet provides noise immunity and speed and facilitate the integration of multiple readers into existing network environments for data access, control and the monitoring of individual readers. The readers combine code reading performance of up to 45 reads per second, and ease-of-use

28  industrial automation asia | September 2010

in a compact package. Fixed mount readers include lighting, camera, processor, and communications in a small, industrial-rated housing. There are several ways to connect to a reader via an ethernet interface. Readers can read code symbols right out- of- the - box. Simply connect power and press the read button to read codes within the field of view. The setup tool allows the customisation of a reader for a given application. At startup, the tool discovers any connected readers, both on the network and on serial interfaces RS-232 and USB. After connecting to a reader, the tool provides a user interface with real-time parameter setup, image download capabilities, and options to load and save configurations,

among other functions. The first step is to power up the reader, and then connect it to the network (both DHCP and Link Local are supported, so both network and direct link to the PC/laptop work) and launch the setup tool. The reader immediately shows up under “Network Devices” in the setup tool tree view. The default name is “DM200_” followed by the last six characters of the MAC address, which can be found on the label at the bottom of the reader housing. Connection to a reader can be made by either by double-clicking the item in the tree view or by selecting the item and clicking Connect. When the status indicates “Connected”, the setup tool is properly connected to the reader. Interaction can be made in realtime with the reader, eg: aligning the field of view while having “Live Display” enabled, changing the

When the status indicates “Connected”, the setup tool is properly connected to the reader.

parameter setup, downloading images, and loading or saving configurations. Establishing Communication To interface the reader to any controlling host device (PLC, PC or similar), a telnet connection can be established. This allows the user to read result strings that are automatically sent down the line. It is also possible to send programmatic control commands such as trigger, train, calibrate focus or brightness, or read/write settings to the reader. A telnet connection can be established by running a telnet client application on the host device. Telnet is a terminal emulation similar to serial interfaces (RS-232, USB-COM). One simple way of establishing a telnet connection is to use HyperTerminal, which comes with Windows installations. By using this tool, the user can test and validate the power that is built into the reader. HyperTerminal can be used to run demos, but only as proof of concept before fully integrating a reader into a control system. Any arbitrary connection name can be entered in the ‘Name’ field, although a meaningful name is recommended. In the next dialog box the user needs to first select TCP/IP (Winsock) under “Connect using” and then enter a host address (ie: the IP address of the reader to connect to), and the port number (the default is 23). To determine the IP address of the reader, users can use the reader entry in the setup tool device tree view.

To send comma nds from HyperTerminal to the reader, the user should alter two additional settings in HyperTerminal. Select File->Properties (or select the toolbar item accordingly), switch to the Settings tab, click ASCII Setup, and check both ‘Send line ends with linefeeds’ and ‘Echo typed characters locally.’ These settings are needed to correctly terminate entered commands when pressing the <Enter> key, and to obtain a local echo of what the user has typed. A rbit ra r y Data Ma n Cont rol Commands (DMCC) sequences can now be sent. Information Feedback A FTP connection can be used to store read results or images (or both) from a reader installed and in operation on a production line. In addition to collecting read string data from a reader, FTP connectivity can provide the user with direct feedback from a reader mounted in a production line on the factory floor. If the reader does not read a part, the associated ‘no-read’

image serves as feedback that can be archived for further analysis. The reason for “no-read” could be as simple as a missing barcode or a that code was not within the field of view. It may also be the result of a poorly marked code. This can be determined by collecting the data. There are various FTP server clients available – either as open source or at a cost. By using such tools, the user can install and setup an FTP server client on any Windows, Mac, or Linux system. In order to establish the FTP connection, the reader needs to receive the appropriate connection information from the FTP server to link to, via the setup tool. The user needs to enter the Server Address (ie: IP address of the FTP server) and port number (default is 21). In addition, a userna me a nd pa ssword (if enabled) are required. Once a connection has been successfully established, there are options which allow the user to specify which images to store (eg: all or no-reads only), as well as how to define the filenames for both results and images. It is important to note that FTP data transfer is considered a lower priority. Within high-speed applications the images are not guaranteed delivery in situations of communication traffic bottlenecks. This should not be an issue however, in normal applications where the task is to only save ‘noread’ images. ENQUIRY NO. 6401

There are options which allow the user to specify which images to store (eg: all or noreads only)

September 2010 | industrial automation asia  29

instrumentation & Measurement

The Wireless Connection:

Bridging The Gap

Shlomit Wolf, Israel

In Communications


ust as human interaction is important to the daily f u nc t io n i n g o f s o c ie t y, mac h i ne s re qu i re e f fe c t ive communication of information and instructions to perform efficiently. Telematics, the science of Machine to Machine (M2M) communication, combines the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for the transmission of data between connected machines. Often progressing in tandem with the development of ICT is infra str ucture improvement for this data communication. Connections between machines constitute the network necessary for data communication to take place; traditionally this would have meant the setup of a comprehensive system of wires and cables between the machines. 30â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

Going wireless in a workplace not only saves space, but also allows monitoring onsite and improves response times when system errors occur. By Henry Lee Un for t u nate l y, for t he se conventional wired platforms, system maintenance can become a headache due to the additional requirement of managing the labyrinths of wires and cables. However, this is set to change with the advent of the wireless connection. Not only does wireless technology free up precious space in plants, which would otherwise be taken up by cable and wire connections, it also opens up the possibility of connecting plants

across different regions without incurring hefty infrastructural costs of laying down physical infrastructure. With the increasing globa lisation of operations, this inter-region connectivity is fast becoming a necessity for performance assurance, swift maintenance response and rapid software upgrades. Recent developments have also seen the entry of telecommunications companies into the ICT market. With these companies lending their vast

regional networks to the field of telematics, it is now possible for plants in different parts of the world to be connected wirelessly to a common network. With the opening of many new possibilities, the wireless connection is set to become a standard in machine networks.

Bluetooth devices can be connected to each other by performing inquiries to locate other available counterparts within the radio range

Passing The Information Parcel The muscle empowering the wireless connection in M2M communications is the ubiquitous radio technology. A plethora of wireless technology has been developed at va r ious radio frequencies and conventional wireless networks can be set up using commercially available equipment. Most w irele ss system algorithms utilise the following technologies as the backbone for information relays: Bluetooth, Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) and ZigBee. Erkin Sahin, Turkey

Networking In Pairs Bluetooth technology operates in the licence-free, global 2.4 GHz ISM radio frequency band and connections can be made between fixed and mobile devices. Likewise, any device with radio reception can also be configured to respond to such inquiries. Each Bluetooth device is equipped with a unique 48-bit address. However, for security reasons, these addresses are generally not indicated in inquiries. In place of the addresses, user-friendly Bluetooth names, which can be set by the user, are usually displayed in the list of devices available for connection in such inquiries. Since each dev ice comes with a unique address, direct connections to specific devices, instead of making a general sweep for available devices in the vicinity, can also be initiated if the address of the required device is known. In general,

Bluetooth devices are set up to automatically accept connections through direct address requests, while general inquiries usually require the approval from the user of the receiving device before a connection can be established. In e ssence, Bluetooth con ne c t iv it y work s on t he principle of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pairingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; up compatible devices. Pairing usually requires authentication during the initial setup and a link is established between the devices thereafter. This link is saved in the paired devices and depending on user specification, the devices can be configured to connect automatically whenever they are within operating range, or to require user authentication every time. This link can be removed any time by deleting the connecting device entry on the recipient device. The flexibility of the Bluetooth connection makes the setting up

of a machine to machine network a bre e ze , since p er ma ne nt connections between specific devices can be initiated using direct address pairings. With a wide array of devices boasting Bluetooth capabilities available on the market, network expansion is also easy and customisable. Workhorse For Demanding Systems Wireless L A N technolog y is sy nony mous w ith the Wi - Fi alliance, a trade group, which upholds the IEEE 802.11 standards for wireless networks. Wireless LAN networks, like Bluetooth networks, also operate in the licence-free, global 2.4 GHz ISM frequency band. Due to the widespread use of IEEE 802.11 certified devices, as wireless LAN networks can achieve a high bandwidth, it is ideal for processes, which deal September 2010 | industrial automation asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x192; 31

instrumentation & Measurement

Patataj, Poland

Wi-Fi devices are the standard bearers for wireless LAN technology

with, or require high information throughput. Connected devices in a wireless LAN network are known as stations and are equipped with wireless network interface cards for data communication. These cards enable the stations to access the wireless network. Stations can be classified into two categories: access points and clients. Access points, usually routers, are the heart of the network. Access points are responsible for transmitting and receiving radio communications to and from the clients. For M2M communications, machines (clients) are hooked up to wireless device servers to enable client connectivity to the network. These device servers, however, serve more than simply connecting the machines to the wireless 32â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

network. The servers are often also equipped with scripts that allow them to monitor and respond to events independently of manual intervention. When required, the servers can also be programmed to direct the information gathered to a designated channel. ZigBee â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Wireless Mesh Network Standard ZigBee is a short-range wireless technology, which has become synonymous with wireless mesh networking. As with Wi-Fi, the ZigBee licence is a certification of wireless standards, specifically, the IEEE 802.15.4 sta nda rd. ZigBee wireless mesh networks are often used in specialties, which require field operations, and is hence

utilised for applications such as environment monitoring, asset tracking and scientific research. As with Wi-Fi networks, ZigBee networks consist of clients and access points. Mesh networks are designed to sustain signal s t re n g t h by b re a k i n g l o n g distances into a series of shorter hops through the presence of intermediate radio nodes. These nodes not only boost signals, but also act as routers. Since the area of coverage can be modified by the placement of intermediate nodes, ZigBee network s a re robust, mobile and fluid. The capacity for redundancy w it hin me sh net work s a lso ensures that in the event of node failures, the signal strength is not adversely affected. It is these advantages, which make ZigBee technology and wireless mesh networks a popular candidate for large-area operations. The Global Connection Expanding network connections to encompa ss pla nts in different regions has been an issue, which was once limited by the extent and availability of wired infrastructure. H o w e v e r, t h e e n t r y o f telecommunications companies into M2M communications has jumpsta r ted a generation of wireless networks, which makes plant to plant connections a possibility, without involving the costly miles of wirework. With the aid of their globe spanning radio and satellite networks, telecommunications companies offer an unprecedented area of coverage to the wireless network, and provide the keys to unlocking the ultimate wireless experience. A Wireless World While there is a limit to how many cables and wires that can be laid in a world that is increasingly

Paul Pasieczny, Poland

constrained by space and resource limitations, the possibilities of the wireless connection are limitless. With rapid transmission, low power consumption a nd low in sta l lat ion cost s involve d, t he w irele ss net work is set to become the sta nda rd for information relays. A s tele com mu nicat ions companies jump onto the bandwagon for M2M communications and services, the reach of the wireless network has also increased exponentially. With the possibility of global mobile acce ss to a ny pla nt network through an umbrella network, the wireless connection offers companies with global operations options that would not be available with just conventional wired platforms. ENQUIRY NO. 6501

Expanding The Network Beyond A Single Plant: Fujitsu & Amada Wireless technologies have found their way to the world of metalworking The synergy between telecommunication networks and M2M specialists in laying down a region-spanning wireless network has been put to the test with a partnership between Fujitsu and Amada. Amada, a metalworking machinery manufacturer, contracted Fujitsu to enhance the former’s maintenance services to the metalworking machinery installed at its customer locations. In recent years, the company has developed the FENICS II networking service, a global wireless network that leverages on the vast radio networks of its telecommunications partners. The networking system forms the backbone behind the company’s strategy in connecting Amada’s machinery to a common wireless network regardless of location.

To Empower & Monitor The company’s strategy to improving

Amada’s maintenance services consists of two approaches: a) To empower its service engineers with improved mobility and accessibility to information while on-site; b) To actively monitor its metalworking machinery on-site, and improve response time when system errors occur. The former is achieved by equipping Amada’s service engineers with access to its mobile FENICS II network. This community-based platform allows Amada’s service engineers remote access to repair and maintenance information while on-site, and improves the efficiency and quality of maintenance operations by reducing the time required to research a solution. Apart from providing assistance to the service engineers, the company goes a step further by installing real-

time monitoring tools on Amada’s machinery. These monitoring tools are linked together within each plant to a wireless network. These individual plant networks are then linked to the FENICS II global network via a communications module embedded into the control computers at each plant. By placing all plant data on a central network, Amada’s service engineers are then able to monitor the performance of machinery in real-time. System or hardware errors can also be immediately detected and reported, and service engineers are able to access information of the faulty device by remote access to the plant’s wireless network through the larger FENICS II entity. Mobile access to the FENICS II network is also possible, enabling the machine manufacturer’s service engineers to troubleshoot errors on the go. ENQUIRY NO. 6502

September 2010 | industrial automation asia  33

sector spotlight

Lab Automation:


In response to growing demand for greater reliability and higher throughput, workstations offer functionality that meet both current needs and future expansion requirements. By Tim Cloutier, Global Applications team leader for ALH in Bio-discovery, PerkinElmer


rom industry to academia, laboratory researchers are actively increasing their number of applications and tasks for automation in the interest of improving performance and productivity, while concurrently reducing costs and streamlining their research. These include automating simple functions like liquid master mix creation and reagent addition and plate washing or manipulation – to more complex applications such as nucleic acid/protein purification, ancillary device integrations (eg: plate readers, incubators, magnets, etc), and automating cell-based assays and high content imaging systems. Furthermore, the market has seen a steady evolution from simple automated pipetting systems to fully integrated workstations that can deliver a true a ‘walkaway’ automation solution. This progression is important because beyond the pipetting needs for an application, scientists require their automated (and semi-automated) platforms to perform all phases of their research in order to efficiently and cost-effectively accomplish their goals. Effective Handling Liquid handling is part of nearly all basic life science, drug discovery and environmental applications. Within these disciplines, an effective automated liquid handling workflow streamlines procedures, which increase reproducibility (precision and accuracy), reliability (reduced sample loss/contamination), flexibility (easeto-use, walk-away solutions freeing scientists from the bench) and throughput. The modular Janus automated workstations perform academic- and industry-standard liquid handling applications. In addition, the workstation also serves

34  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Iwan Beijes, Netherlands


as a scalable platform for laboratory automation where the integration of plate devices (incubators, washers, shakers, sealers, storage carousels, etc), purification systems (magnets, vacuums, centrifuges, etc), multilabel plate readers, thermocyclers or comparable technologies are required. It can support immediate application needs as well as provide the flexibility for growth into future application solutions. From lab-to-lab, basic liquid handling needs vary; yet, some customer segments do have specific liquid handling requirements for their applications. For example, driven by increasing demands to identify first-in-class drug candidates to fill discovery pipelines, pharmaceutical companies are instituting changes to their screening infrastructures to accommodate both lower volume pipetting and higher density plate formats. In the early part of this decade, many High Throughput Screening (HTS) assay miniaturisation technologies were viewed as the required critical component for successful drug discovery campaigns. Presently, the trend has shifted towards higher density screening (384-, 1536- & 3456-well formats) of focused small molecule and biologics libraries designed for specific target classes and disease states – of which there is an associated requirement for precise and reliable low volume pipetting capabilities.

Automated Processing As a manual process, cherry picking can be tedious, error-prone and time consuming. The technology provides an easy-to-use solution for unattended cherry picking and automated barcode reading capabilities. Its embedded software, WinPrep 4.7, allows users to easily import a variety of sample processing parameters including userdefined cherry picking work lists and programs for sample handling, as well as addressing the needs of downstream assay processing. Plate replication capabilities standardise the handling of complex sample sets into easy-to-use, systematic workflows that are suited for full robotic automation. Automated plate replications can also be used as the initial step in a workflow or as a separate task between assays. Molecular biology is a vast market with nearly every type of customer or institution utilising similar techniques and protocols. Although the technical procedures are similar, the automation needs of each customer segment may vary. Molecular biology research laboratories (including genomic, proteomic and diagnostic applications) require rapid, costeffective methods to produce and analyse high quality nucleic acids, proteins and biologics. To address these needs, workstations easily accommodate the gamut of procedures including nucleic acid/protein isolation, quantification and normalisation, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification, PCR and Deoxyribonucleic Acid ( DNA) sequencing product purification, biochemical and cell-based assays, integration to detection and imaging instruments, and other downstream analysis techniques – to effectively identify disease gene targets and assess potential therapeutic agents.

For genomic-ba sed laboratories, such a s forensics, public health or clinical facilities, the first step is to extract and purify nucleic acids from a variety of sample types including whole blood or stains, serum, buccal swabs, bacterial cultures, viruses, tissue and cultured cells. Sample Analysis Nucleic Acid Technology (NAT) protocols are diverse and are generally separated into subgroups that are distinguished by differing chemistries: (i) genomic DNA from blood, tissue and cultured cells, (ii) Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) from cultured cells, viruses and tissue, and (iii) plasmid DNA from bacterial cultures. Workstations are capable of automating genomic sample including most NAT applications spanning nucleic acid extraction to full sample characterisation. The workstations can also be configured to perform target separations by biomagnetic, vacuum or centrifugation technologies to prepare and purify nucleic acid for such assays as PCR, genotyping, Sanger and Next Generation sequence analysis, RNA interference (RNAi) screening, microarray construction, stem cell differentiation biomarker characterisation and others. In a global shift towards proactive epidemiological tracking, public health researchers and clinicians

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Workstations equipped with Modular Dispense Technology (MDT) NanoHead pipetting heads and/ or pin tools, come in either semi- or fully automated ‘walk-away’ platforms. These platforms become even more valuable within drug discovery when integrated to other instruments such as multilabel plate readers (eg: EnSpire or EnVision), plate storage devices, and other hardware to offer fully automated application solutions and allow the more efficient use of current resources. As stand-alone instruments or part of a fully integrated system, the automated workstations provide a platform to enable the fundamental processes that are critical for academic, clinical and pharmaceutical research including cherry picking, plate replication and automated bar code reading capabilities.

September 2010| industrial automation asia  35

sector spotlight

Iwan Beijes, Netherlands

increasingly use both DNA and RNA NAT to identify strains of viral outbreaks. This is to enable the tracking of mutations as they spread throughout a population. Leveraging these fundamental techniques, automated workstations are also vital to forensics. With the advent of DNA as a key evidentiary component for solving crimes, exonerating innocent persons and identifying victims of mass catastrophes, forensic labs are turning to automation for increasing their sample processing capacity. Currently, there is a significant backlog of forensic samples due to the increased demand for DNA analyses that outcompetes the existing manual sample processing capabilities. Hence, the inclusion of fully automated robotic workstations to perform the necessary extraction, quantification, normalisation, set-up and clean-up steps has shown to streamline protocols. They also improve reproducibility, reduce sample cross-contamination, and free forensic scientists for critical data analysis and review steps. The forensic workstation automates the sample processing steps from DNA isolation, real-time Quantitative PCR (QPCR) quantification, normalisation and dilution, and the setups for Small Tandem Repeat (STR) typing and DNA sequencing plates. The workstation enables the automation of a laboratory’s entire process from DNA purification through STR sequence analysis or can simply remove a single, critical bottleneck such as QPCR setup. This workstation is designed specifically for the forensic community with the goal of seamlessly streamlining the entire DNA processing workflow associated with casework and database samples to increase reliability, precision and productivity. Furthermore, to mitigate some of the challenges associated with system validation, it works with several forensic kit technologies including the Quantifiler Human DNA Quantification and Identifiler PCR amplification kits from Applied Biosystems. 36  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Variety Of Application Cell-Based Assays (CBA) are defined as any assay in which live cells are exposed to compounds or test samples. This is in contrast to biochemical assays where a purified protein or nucleic acid is the subject of the test. CBAs are used in a wide variety of disciplines spanning life sciences, medical research, drug discovery and product safety; however each may have different requirements and objectives to working with CBAs. For example, CBAs provide early indication of target ‘druggability’, more predictive efficacy, cellular accessibility and drug toxicity to pharmaceutical and biotechnology organisations. Conversely, CBAs represent more realistic biological models and enable more comprehensive ‘systems biology’ approaches to those focused on life science or academic research. Within drug discovery programs, there is a direct relationship between time and cost savings and these organisations are actively exploring innovative technologies to expedite the cycle times from target identification to clinical testing of a drug candidate. The industry has rapidly adopted multiple CBA platforms, including fully automated application workstations. Pre- clinical divisions use both human and rodent (or canine, monkey, etc) orthologs to facilitate specificity conclusions, and the lower assay costs with CBA can provide species dose recommendation prior to expensive animal model studies. These groups are also incorporating novel applications, such as RNA Interference (RNAi) and antibody biologics, and their accompanying robotic application solutions, to allow for faster and more thorough pharmacological and pharmacokinetic investigation. Furthermore, with increasingly demanding US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations (and its European sister organisations) that require drug companies to provide comprehensive mechanism-of-action data for all first-in-class drug candidates, researchers are committing resources to develop optimal and fast CBA that provide clinically relevant data. These resources span both newly trained human personnel and novel automation application solutions. Due to political pressure and resulting policy changes, multiple global industries are adopting CBA to characterise toxic properties of high production volume compounds and provide risk assessments. This goes beyond pharmaceutical and nutritional products to anything made in large quantities that will come in contact with humans, animals, or the environment.

Equipped For Study It is growing as a tool for performing genome scale loss-of-function studies. RNAi experiments are almost exclusively performed in a CBA format, using wholewell readouts or HCS instrumentation. RNAi has generated considerable interest and significant use in both academia and commercial drug discovery. It is largely responsible for bringing academia into the world of screening; such researchers are generally performing genome-wide screening, with tens of thousands of samples, in mammalian and nonmammalian cell systems using traditional cell-based or high-content platforms. In drug discovery, RNAi is used to identify and validate novel targets for therapeutic interventions, and is quickly being adopted by the screening groups as RNAi libraries become more readily available.

Liquid handling is part of nearly all basic life science, drug discovery and environmental applications.

Agata Urbaniak, Spain

Counting The Cost The time and expense to perform these studies in animal models is prohibitive, so significant research effort is going into developing CBA for various types of toxicants (eg: neurotoxins, reproductive, carcinogens and developmental toxins). Europe is leading the effort to ‘Replace, Reduce, and Refine’ animal testing by substituting CBA wherever possible. There is a current trend in the increase of CBA research methodologies across academia and the pharmaceutical industry. There has been increased adoption in automation and detection platforms (in both infrastructure and scientific expertise) designed to facilitate CBA research from engineered cells lines to stem cells, while increasing assay efficiency, performance and sample preparation. In stem cell research, understanding the mechanisms of cell re-programming, stem cell maintenance and cell differentiation calls for a wide range of investigative methods. However, as stem cells – specifically induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) and Embryonic Stem (ES) cells become more ingrained in drug discovery, it is the supply of these cells for assays that become a major bottleneck in the research and screening process. The holy grail then for most stem cell drug discovery campaigns is highly automated detection and cell-handling platforms that can culture, maintain, and assay ES and iPS cells to satisfy the increased throughput demands. As CBAs continue to grow in importance, there is a parallel increase in the types of novel and multifaceted applications that academic and drug discovery researchers want to implement into their CBA platforms; primarily RNAi and HCS. RNAi is used as a tool to knock down the production of protein(s) of interest in cultured cells.

All of these initiatives are made possible through the parallel introduction of automated application solutions into the research workflows. Several methods have been developed to introduce RNAi molecules – small interfering RNA (siRNA), MicroRNAs (miRNA) and small hairpin RNA (shRNA) – into target cells. However as with other nucleic acid-based approaches, large-scale RNAi library screens can be well-executed with an automated liquid handling workstation. The scale of these screens requires both a precise, automated workflow to ensure reliable data comparisons between several thousand collected data points and a sterile environment to protect the valuable and limited sample supply. For more specialised applications such as HCS (used for compound profiling, ADME/Tox, or assays with higher organisms) the Cell Explorer automated robotic platform is a turnkey platform that can be upgraded to accommodate enhanced functionality and throughput, especially when coupled with Operetta and Opera imaging systems. The Operetta is a compact, easy-to-use microplate imaging reader with confocal capabilities for high content research and screening. Coupled with its fully integrated image analysis software Harmony and preconfigured applications, it streamlines and simplifies the HCS process. Moreover, as HCS is adopted by more labs, this integrated robotic solution enables researchers to be more productive. This is while allowing more experienced users to develop their own assays with the user-configurable building blocks. ENQUIRY NO. 6601 September 2010| industrial automation asia  37


Green Technologies




Rafal Gsdgs, Bangladesh

ith the rise of energy costs and the threat of global warming, many businesses are now recognising the benefits of green technology in reducing their carbon footprints and to minimise waste. It is estimated that the global market for green technologies will grow to approximately US$800 billion by 2012. Some of the key contributing factors to the growth are the increasing concern about the financial and environmental implications of energy consumption, and the emphasis on energy efficiency. Buildings are one of the main users of energy. The focus on green technologies can be segmented into three sectors: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Building Automation System (BAS) and lighting.

Businesses can reap the benefits of energy security and reduced waste â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all while maintaining profitability. By Chukiat Wongtaveerat, consultant, Asia Pacific Environment & Building Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

38â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

Air Quality According to World Green Building Council, building operations consume 34 percent of the total energy and HVAC systems make up a major part of it. In the US, heating accounts for 36 percent of the energy used in buildings, while air-conditioning and ventilation systems account for 20 percent annually. Similarly in Asia Pacific, more than half of electricity consumption in commercial buildings and houses is by cooling or heating systems.

Global demand of HVAC systems is expected to reach US$70 billion in 2014 and will continue to grow at a steady rate. The market has expanded by an average of 6.5 percent annually since the introduction of green HVAC systems a decade ago. China will be the fastest growing market and will account for approximately 40 percent of new growth. In the worldwide HVAC market, cooling equipment will continue to outpace heating equipment especially in emerging industrial countries like China, India and Brazil. Researchers have designed HVAC equipment and controllers that use the optimum amount of energy to meet current cooling or heating demand. Currently, technological advances allow HVAC systems to intelligently reduce power once the ideal ambient temperature is reached, by lowering the power needed to run the unitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s compressor. This keeps electricity consumption below the set peak electricity demand as well as prevents unnecessary cooling or heating of rooms. Moreover, it automatically controls air-conditioning based on factors specific to the building, such as occupancy rate and the number of persons in the room or building space. In Japan, where 60 percent of utility bills are for heating and cooling, many multinational companies have

introduced a solution to ensure that there is no energy wastage in commercial air-conditioners. Such an application is able to reduce the utility bill by 50 percent. From the perspective of energy conservation, a team of European researchers has created an absorption chiller that is capable of using solar and residual heat as an energy source to drive the cooling system. This technology is able to minimise its energy consumption by combining the use of a lithium bromide solution for power generation to operate the machine as a substitute. It can reduce electricity consumption by up to 25 percent when fully implemented on the system. Market Preference Another development that is likely to accelerate the growth of green

HVAC is the phasing out of ozonedepleting refrigerants in older airconditioners. The development of the green HVAC technologies market varies from region to region based on economic demographic and culture preferences. In the US, there is an inclination towards the use of central air conditioning systems which are deemed more appropriate to be developed into energy efficiency systems. On the other hand, rising income levels in Asia especially China, will bolster demand for spilt and window-type air conditioners that promote energy efficiency. However, as end-users in developing countries are generally price sensitive, the adoption of green technologies in air-conditioning is somewhat limited. Another development that is likely to accelerate the growth of



green HVAC is the phasing out of ozone-depleting refrigerants in older air-conditioners. Having already phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) like R-11 and R-12 in 1995, the US and many countries have begun phasing out the use of the R-22 hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant since 2010. New airconditioners will be required to use the alternative R-410A refrigerant. The global BAS market is expected to reach US$25 billion in 2010 and is projected to grow steadily to US$33 billion by 2015. A building automation system comprises of a computerised and intelligent network of electronic devices designed to monitor and control the mechanical and lighting systems in a building as well as HVAC and fire alarm systems. The concept of implementing 16:40 Uhr

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In the global HVAC market, cooling equipment will continue to outpace heating equipment especially in emerging industrial countries like China, India and Brazil.

Lance Palmer, US

Tristan Benninghofen, Germany

The lighting market is likely to be dominated by the longer lifespan and environmentallyfriendly Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights in the near future.

green technologies in BAS started from the intention to further reduce operation costs in a building and to improve energy efficiency. The benefits of implementing green BAS, range from reducing the unnecessary use of electricity, to the reduction of life cycle cost of devices required for the system. Today, BAS can easily monitor complicated processes and operations in the building such as energy consumption and occupancy patterns. The data available for reports is more intensive in detail and can often be analysed for greater energy saving opportunities. System Control Advanced BAS is also used to minimise the number of devices that are required to achieve overall system functionality and allows all building control devices to share a single communications n e t w o r k . A d d i t i o n a l l y, t h e maintenance of fewer devices and networks lessens lifecycle maintenance costs. BAS can help users to analyse their energy consumption better, develop more effective conservation strategies, 40â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

and ultimately save on usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; operating cost. BAS that embraces green technologies can also improve safety and provide convenience by integrating the system with the Internet. The capabilities for building control technologies when combined with a global communications platform have reached another level; users now have the ability to access information and control buildings from anywhere with a variety of devices, ranging from desktop computers to web-enabled cell phones. This eliminates multiple databases and minimises management costs and time. A French company in Singapore introduced the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ZigBeecompatible self-powered switch. With this wireless, battery-less switch, the company is responding to market expectations for a product that is easy to install as the switch operates continuously and requires almost no or little maintenance. With the ability to integrate standard protocols with legacy systems from a variety of building automation providers, this

technology breaks traditional barriers between systems to create a seamless solution in BAS with the least energy required. With BAS, cost savings are estimated to be as low as 15 percent for partially occupied buildings, and as high as 70 percent in a fully occupied building. The building automation market is expected to grow slightly over the next few years with better opportunities in building retrofit activities. It is expected that retrofit activities will account for approximately 70 percent in the US, and 45 percent in Asia Pacific, of the BAS market. Green BAS supports both small and large systems, but is particularly effective for the latter along with the fact that smaller building owners are less aware of the benefits of building automation controls. Therefore, the market is mainly focused on implementing green BAS in large system buildings together with educating small building owners on the benefit of green BAS. Besides commercial buildings, the expansion of green BAS can also be expected in the healthcare and education industries. On the

Seeing The Light In the US, a company has launched an intelligent lighting system which uses a universal Input/ Output (I/O) module to connect standard lighting components such as low-voltage non-dimming ballasts, and occupancy sensors or photo sensors for digital control capabilities. This allows users to control their own workspace light levels from their desktop computer, and provides facility managers with energy management capabilities. The installation of an intelligent lighting system also provides a significant return on investment, and is expected to reduce lightingrelated energy costs by 50 to 75 percent while requiring almost no additional electricity for this system. Compared to the HVAC and BAS markets, the global lighting market is slightly larger with a US$78 billion market size in 2010. Nevertheless, the lighting market is likely to be dominated by the longer lifespan and environmentally-friendly Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights in the near future â&#x20AC;&#x201C; replacing traditional incandescent bulbs. A multi-national lighting company has introduced the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first dimmable LED bulb, which is compatibly used as home light fixtures. It consumes 90 percent less electricity than a standard incandescent bulb, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and saving consumers about US$280 annually. This LED bulb is said to last six times as long as an energy-

efficient Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb and 40 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Unlike CFLs, LEDs do not contain toxic mercury. This boom of LED is likely be a good influence for the betterment in green technologies all over the world. Australia, Ireland and Switzerland have phased out the CFL in 2009, to be followed by

Argentina, Italy, and the United Kingdom by 2011; Canada and the European Union by 2012, and the US between 2012 and 2014. A Better Future By 2012, traditional incandescent bulbs will no longer be sold in some developed nations. Hence, commercial and residential

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other hand, in most cases, only high-end residential buildings are equipped with an advanced BAS system. However, market participants in the market are anticipating greater integration of green BAS and Integrated Facilities Management (IFM), which is likely to have a positive and significant impact in the building industry in the future.

September 2010 | industrial automation asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x192; 41


applications will tend to move toward efficient lighting. It is estimated that the replacement of conventional light bulbs with LED in US could save electricity equivalent to the energy required to power an additional 17.4 million households. The dynamics of energy efficiency in the industries of HVAC, BAS and lighting can be summarized below: Green Technologies Market Drivers



Rising Consumer Awareness

Misconception on Cost of Implementation


Constant Support from Government

Intellectual Property issue


Competitive Advantages for businesses

Lack of Expertise


Operation Cost Minimisation Strategy

Resistance to Changes

The participation and involvement of all parties are needed in order to forward the green technologies market as each party plays different roles to contribute to the market’s development. Parties involved include governments or policy makers, the private sector or business entities, NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) and environmentalists. • Governments & Policy Makers Comprehensive education and outreach programs are needed to raise awareness among the public on green technologies and its benefits. Moreover, tax exemptions and tax credits can be applied on consumers to promote the purchase of green equipment such as HVAC systems, lighting or other home appliances. For example, in 42  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Japan, the consumers are entitled to up to a 5.0 percent rebate on their purchases of green consumer products. On the other hand, incentives and assistance can also be provided to green technology investors. In order to facilitate the growth of the green technologies market, financial investment and aid should be increased to boost the capability and capacity for innovation in green technology development. In Singapore, a fund has been established to provide financing for companies with innovative projects that will enable the island-state to attain its goal of environmental sustainability. However, incentive and awareness creation alone will not help to sustain the green technologies market in the long run. Patents and intellectual property rights are also crucial areas for investors to ensure that innovations and products are protected. With the fast-track patent examination initiative in Australia, the government is enabling green innovators to tap into the marketplace at a faster pace by giving priority to green technologies in the patent application system. • Private Sector Besides being able to achieve the common green goal, companies should regard green technology applications as an opportunity to position themselves at higher levels in the marketplace to boost competitiveness and green awareness in the market. In the global market where green advocacy is strong, it is advantageous to adopt green practices and innovate on green services and products.

Intensive research and development to cope with levels of competition in the green technologies market are progressing rapidly. Collaborations and the presence of market participants are now further strengthened through international conferences, congress, and forums – avenues for knowledge sharing, and potential partnerships among NGOs, public agencies, and private sectors. • NGOs & Environmentalists E n v i ro n m e n t a l i s t s a n d other NGOs addressing environmental issues can play a significant role in educating policy makers and the public, and to promote the understanding of the importance and benefits of adopting green technologies. E n v i ro n m e n t a l i s t s a n d NGOs have a certain degree of influence and are able t o a s s e r t p re s s u re o n governments and business corporations in the private sectors. Today, green technologies are no longer considered a niche market. It has become a trend-setter for the way business functions across the world. Going green while staying competitive can be challenging but it is more than just worthwhile. With the collaboration of all the stakeholders in the market, green technologies can create a future with greater energy security and lower energy emissions without compromising on the profitability of businesses.




Product Tracking:


Pasture To Plate

Effective management of perishable goods in a supply chain requires mechanisms that ensure safety and accountability to all parties. By Jeff Baum, senior VP Manhattan Associates International (Asia Pacific)


ood industry supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. The industry faces challenges especially with regard to cold-chain management where companies operating in this space must continually comply with regulatory standards (temperature control) and adhere to industry best practice. According to the Asia Cold Chain Centre, there is an increased awareness in supply chain management in the food industry, especially with regard to cold-chain management, given the unnecessary wastage of food

44â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

through poor, negligent and uninformed handling and transport by many parties in food supply chains. Steps Of Improvement The food industry is responding to these challenges by developing and introducing food safety measures and legal requirements to track and control the sourcing and distribution of food goods. In 2009 for example, the US Department of Agricultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) program went into effect. As the name implies, this

Implementing Ideas As a result, there are numerous challenges faced by processors, suppliers and retailers as they attempt to comply with COOL’s requirements. These include: • Tracking historic product movement – Pinpointing a product’s ‘ground zero’ (the country where its journey begins) is a fairly basic determination, but there are many touch points as it makes its way from pasture to plate. However, each participant in the chain may have different tracking systems that are not able to communicate with each other, thereby limiting transparency and true visibility into the end-to-end transaction. • Lack of electronic tracking – The majority of systems in place are manual processes with paper documentation that must be physically for warded. A s a result, records are only as accurate and timely as the paperwork submitted by the ranch that raises the cattle, the company that slaughters the beef and the distributor. Electronic solutions are able to automatically track inventory details down to a specific facility or a particular in-transit vehicle and forward them along the supply chain. However, no government standards have been established as to how data is to be collected, so companies are hesitant to risk creating the infrastructure needed to serve multiple-user supply chains that may not meet future guidelines.

• Limited functionality of manual systems – Paperbased systems provide only discrete snapshots as a product makes its way through the supply chain. This is a disadvantage in the event of a recall or quality-control issue, when time is of the essence and the retrieval of detailed data is critical. For example, while manual records might indicate the date that a product was shipped from the supplier and when it reached a retailer, electronic tracking could also provide insight into a given problem by showing the temperature of storage inside the delivery truck along the way. This goes beyond COOL’s requirements, but such comprehensive details are in line with its intent to better protect the food supply. Benefiting Evaluation In spite of the challenges, COOL could bring advantages to both consumers and businesses. If all participants in the supply chain adopted technologies that enable the electronic tracking of commodities, like bar coding, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and Advance Shipping Notices (ASN), advantages would be realised for both food safety and efficiency: • Aside from clear labelling at the time of purchase, consumers could use product serial numbers, lot

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requires that most meats, wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, macadamia nuts, pecans, ginseng and peanuts clearly indicate the countries where they were produced, processed and manufactured. Exempt are processed foods that have ‘undergone specific processing resulting in a change of character’ (eg: bacon) or foods that have ‘been combined with another food component’ (eg: breaded chicken tenders or fish sticks). On the surface, the COOL mandate may seem simple and straightforward. However, the US food chain is quite complex and was even called ‘antiquated’ when it comes to dealing with food safety, in a report from the Trust for American’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Ground meats, for example, may contain commodities that were born, raised and processed in three different countries. Further complicating this example is the fact that different products from multiple suppliers may also be combined to create the final item offered for sale to consumers.

September 2010 | industrial automation asia  45


The food industry faces challenges especially with regard to cold chain management where companies operating in this space must continually comply with regulatory standards and adhere to industry best practice.

Many industry warehouse management solutions offer capabilities that are designed specifically for companies operating in the food industry and cold chain management

numbers or other unique identifiers to find online data pertaining to product origin, its path to the retailer or to verify its authenticity. • Capturing electronic data as close to the source as possible will streamline operations for ‘downstream’ processing. ASN, for example, eliminates the need to manually open boxes to capture unit-level data before passing them along to the next stage in the supply chain. • In the event of a recall, comprehensive electronic data tracking enables companies to be proactive and immediately accountable. Panicked and chaotic attempts to gather relevant information would be eliminated. Health officials could be quickly furnished with relevant data for the entire length of the supply chain and only specifically identified items would need to be pulled from store shelves. Affected lots could be quarantined or destroyed before leaving warehouses or processors, and even be held on in-transit vehicles before being unloaded. 46  industrial automation asia | September 2010

• In the event of quality-control issues, manufacturers would be able to isolate and identify problem sources even in products containing commodities from multiple points of origin. Software Approach There are software solutions which ensure that companies have full product visibility throughout the entire supply chain. By implementing robust end-toend warehouse management solutions, companies operating in the food and cold chain industry can enjoy a number of specific benefits: • Track dates, lots and rotation to ensure that unique customer requirements are met and food gets out of the warehouse as quickly as possible • Obtain visibility across the entire supply chain to maximise efficiency • Receive alerts when bottlenecks emerge or exceptions occur so that organisations can respond quickly to avert problems • Increase throughput with barcode scanning and voice technology, while improving accuracy • Comply with regulatory and vendor requirements Many industry warehouse management solutions offer capabilities that are designed specifically for

companies operating in the food industry and cold chain management, including end-to-end traceability of goods and mobile access to the supply chain for remote users.   A mong the developments in wa rehouse management over recent years is the introduction of RFID (or smart tags) to capture constant temperature readings and feed them back into a centralised system. This allows cool chain operators to track temperature readings and also detect if a flaw has occurred at some stage throughout their supply chain. In terms of end-to-end traceability, which from the COOL program, is an important yet complex component of supply chain management, leading software vendors are developing warehouse management solutions dedicated to achieving this accurately and effectively. An example of this can be demonstrated in the Extended Enterprise Management (EEM) solution. Data Sharing Global sourcing, constricting economic conditions, supply chain outsourcing and advanced supply chain practices – each of these challenges increases risk in the supply chain and adds uncertainty around the flow of goods. The solution synchronises the flow of information and goods through a supply network by giving all trading partners the ability to share information within one platform. There are five key components of the solution that can assist companies operating specifically in the food and cold-chain management industry:

Another example of the type of capability being integrated into warehouse management solutions, which can be leveraged by the food and cold-chain management industry, includes mobile access to the supply chain. Mobile supply chain initiatives have become a priority for companies that require immediate visibility of supply chain processes while in the field, in real-time. Solutions that rely on Radio Frequency (RF) technologies are often impractical and need wireless connections that are not readily available. To address these needs, the FieldScout application can be used to put ground-level supply chain functions in the hands of frontline supply chain professionals. Facilitating Workflow Working with handheld devices, the application is designed for extended enterprises to deliver on-the-go visibility and decision-making power, even when users are occasionally disconnected. At the supplier or 3PL, companies can perform scan-based receiving at both the ASN and License Plate Number (LPN) level. They can also create and scan LPNs quickly for outbound shipments; print new outbound shipping labels and documentation when required; and dispatch shipments once fully loaded and ready for departure. SI-492 Cables 90x120p.


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• Supplier enablement – Enables companies to manage order fulfilment and automate communications through a centralised browser. • Hub management / logistics gateway – Enables hubs and third-party logistics (3PL) partners to provide instant visibility of orders, shipments and inventory. Companies can also share critical data in real-time to keep all transportation partners working together.

• Supply chain visibility – Provides a single, consistent, real-time view of the entire global supply chain. This provides greater inventory control.

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• Store / customer gateway – Allows customers and stores to track, receive and confirm their orders and shipments through one centralised portal.

September 2010 | industrial automation asia  47


If all participants in the supply chain adopt technologies that enable the electronic tracking of commodities, numerous advantages would be realised for both food safety and efficiency

At the store, companies can conduct scan-based receiving for all deliveries, whether they are in the back for a DC delivery or at the front door for local parcel shipments. In addition, companies can locate inventory anywhere in the store or in neighbouring stores and quickly manage ad-hoc inventory adjustments for in-store consumption or spot-counts. While the COOL program has been met with mixed reviews and still has a number of issues to iron out, it is probably a step in the right direction. Problem Solving Subsequently, it will be interesting to see if the US COOL program will become the ‘poster child’ for other nations or regions that are struggling to keep abreast of this pertinent but complex issue. Many countries have investigated the viability of introducing similar programs; however most have not delved into it to the extent of the US. For example, in 2007, Singapore launched TR 24: 2007 Technical Reference on Cold Chain Management for Vegetables – the first such national standard of its kind for the ASEAN region. The sta nda rd, which sets g uidelines for temperature and humidity, for the storage and handling of the vegetables throughout the entire cold chain is probably the most significant of its type 48  industrial automation asia | September 2010

to date in the region. As the name suggests however, this standard only covers vegetables. Given that a large volume of food produce is sourced from Asia by the US, it is likely that the US COOL Program will eventually have some impact on the food and cold chain industries throughout the Asia Pacific region. Only time will tell if the US COOL program is replicated at a country or regional level. However it is likely that the food industry is probably not the only segment that will face increased safeguards and monitoring. American food supplies have faced numerous challenges: salmonella, E Coli, mercury in fish and seafood, Mad Cow disease as well as concerns over trans fatty acids, high fructose corn syrup, artificial growth hormones and genetically modified foods, and products from cloned animals. COOL is more than likely just the first step to address these and other issues. It is unlikely the food industry will be alone in facing such dilemmas. Last year’s recall of Chinese manufactured toys and other products may be an indicator of the benefits that can be achieved through improved accountability, information transparency and the ability to take proactive action in other markets as well. ENQUIRY NO. 6801



Differing Advantages In some applications, ma nufacturers prefer the advantage of lower frequencies and ship 868 MHz products to Europe, 900 MHz products to the US and Canada, and 2.4 GHz products to Japan where neither of the lower frequency options is allowed. If the radio modules have the proper certifications, they can save tens of thousands of dollars in required testing and shave months off from time to market. In addition to a gency cer tifications, some module families are designed so that they can be interchanged with each other without modification to the host Printed Circuit Board (PCB). It is typical for modules to be pin compatible and interface with the host Microcontroller Unit (MCU) over a 3.3V Universal A s y n c h r o n o u s R e c e i v e r/ Transmitter (UART). 50â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

Wireless Technology:




Users can choose from a range of protocols, frequencies and options to suit different situations and applications. By John Schwartz, technology strategist, Digi International XBee modules can also operate with either a transparent mode or with a standard, compatible Application Programming Interface (API) that allows the modules to be exchanged without having to change the host MCUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s firmware. Because the radio module is essentially a daughter card to the

Grafikd, Canada


very device that intentionally emits radio signals has to comply with government regulations in the country where the device is deployed. Tested modules with pre-certifications are available to make this process easier. The US has ISM bands at 902928 MHz, 2400-2483.5 MHz and at 5.8 GHz. Because these frequencies allow for use without the need for specific site licenses, they tend to be among the most popular and the easiest to implement. In Europe, the ISM bands vary somewhat with 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz still available, but 868 MHz is used instead of 900 MHz because of cell phone frequencies. Lower frequencies have better range and obstacle penetration than higher frequencies. If a 900 MHz radio and a 2.4 GHz radio had the same output power and receive sensitivity, the wave from the 900 MHz would go approximately twice as far or penetrate twice as many walls as the 2.4 GHz signal.

main system, and as long as a similar form factor is used, modules can be interchanged within the same system whenever necessary. If frequency usage was the only constraint, it would simplify device selection, although radios would not be as flexible or fit into as many applications. Point-to-point and


DigiMesh Zigbee 802.15.4

Flexibility of Sleeping Devices point-to-multipoint are among the simplest types of networks. A pointto-point network consists of only two radios with one radio acting as a transmitter and a second radio acting as a receiver, or with both radios acting as transceivers. I n a p o i nt- to - mu l t ip o i nt network, several radios are located within range and share data among themselves or sometimes with one ‘master’ radio polling devices or acting as a communications arbiter. Besides being simple to install and implement, the main advantage of point-to-point and point-tomultipoint networks is that they have among the best latency and bandwidth performance. Since all devices are within range, no time needs to be taken for route discoveries or for forwarding messages through multiple hops. If installations are all within range, going with a simpler network will save design time and offer better download time for large data chunks for a given over-the-air data rate. Finding A Way What if all nodes are not within range of each other? With Radio Frequency (RF), one could use simple repeaters, but mesh takes the repeater concept to a higher level. In most mesh networks, not every device repeats every message. Rather, devices generally use a process to discover routes

and then only maintain the list of routes that are used most frequently. Different mesh topologies fit better into some applications than others. ZigBee uses three different device types within a network – its coordinator is responsible for picking a channel and forming a Personal Area Network (PAN). The router is always powered but can either receive packets or forward them on to the appropriate destination. End devices can operate in extremely low-power sleep modes that, in some cases, can enable batteries to last for more than five years. The networks work best in applications like home automation where routers are connected to lights or other devices that have continual access to power, while end devices, such as light switches, can operate for years on batteries. Other mesh technologies allow for all devices to sleep and can operate by having all devices wake and sleep in a synchronised fashion. With DigiMesh, all devices act initially as peers and nominate a coordinator from the nodes within the PAN. The nominated coordinator sends out periodic sync messages that allow the other nodes to coordinate their sleep/ wake intervals. Messages can only be sent when the whole network is awake, so message latency can take up

to the sleep interval time. The sleep interval for the network is programmable from 10ms on the low end to four hours on the high end. Battery life depends on the length of the sleep interval, the amount of time the network is awake during each interval and the number of times a given unit has to transmit. If the nominated coordinator is da ma ge d or goes offline, the network can automatically nominate a new coordinator to keep the units synchronised. Energy Savings Applications that deal with remote sensing often have minimal data communication needs, but because of where they are deployed, battery or energy harvesting power is a must. In these applications mesh is often a requirement, but the additional latency of a sleeping network is worth the latency penalties incurred. There is no technical reason why a handful of useful protocols cannot be put on a single processor. It is possible to put multiple RF front ends on a single PCB, giving several different frequency options. Putting every mesh topology onto a single processor would require a significant amount of memory and multiple front ends could get bulky relatively quickly. Either approach could drive up the device costs to the point where it could exceed design cost targets. By offering a selection of modules with a specific firmware load, different frequencies and different transmitting power, the device cost can be kept to a minimum. It can allow the flexibility of switching to another option as solutions require. Wireless technologies continue to evolve, and more options and changes to meet specific demands can be expected. ENQUIRY NO. 6802 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  51

EVENT review

ProPak Asia’s 18 th edition was held on June 16 - 19, 2010 at BITEC in Bangkok, Thailand. The event welcomed 908 exhibitors from 36 countries, who presented more than 2,500 products in a total area of 24,642 sq m. Visitors from 59 countries made their way to the trade show, contributing to the total number of 30,663 attendees, an increase of over 1,000 buyers on last year. The top ten countries that visited the show were Malaysia, followed by India, Singapore, Japa n, Mya nma r, Indone sia, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia. Beyond Tradition According to David Aitken, MD of Bangkok Exhibition Services (BES), the event’s organiser, this year’s achievements involves not only the overall increase in visitors, international buyers and international groups, but also the growth in the number of local trade buyers searching for processing and packaging technolog y for projects throughout Thailand and overseas. The trade show was able to achieve a significant increase in v isitors from beyond its traditional markets of South East Asia, the South Asian markets in particular registering strong growth. Trade visitors from India were up by 173 percent from 2009, Pakistan increased by 54 percent, Bangladesh rose by 19 percent and Sri Lankan attendees more than tripled. On Top Of Trends “The number of local visitors to the show also increased as a result of growing enthusiasm among Thai manufacturers about improving their technology and efficiency, 52  industrial automation asia | September 2010

ProPak Asia 2010

and staying updated on the latest trends in the processing, filling and packaging industry. This trend has been fueled by Thailand’s export growth that in May recorded a 42 percent increase,” explained Mr Aitken. D eput y f ina nce m in ister, Pradit Pattaraprasit, presided over the opening ceremony. He commented that: “ProPak Asia 2010 provides Thai manufacturers an excellent access to cutting edge technologies from around the world. Moreover, it is a promising platform for business networking between exhibitors and visitors within the region and beyond.” Clean & Green Supporting the theme ‘Go Clean Go Green’, the event featured an array of innovative products and solutions that concentrated on energy efficiency, manufacturing performance and environmental friendliness, which proved to be an important focus of the industry this year.

“We will continue the theme since it has been and will be of g loba l imp or ta nce . Ne x t year, highlights will include the international seminars such as the 2 nd International Brewing Conference, the A SEA N Food Innovation Conference by FIFSTA and the Pharmaceutical Industry Forum,” said Mr Aitken. A series of industry conferences, seminars, workshops and competitions comple me nte d P roPa k A sia 2 010 a n d a t t r a c te d s t r o n g attendance. Among these, the Packaging Design Workshop held by the Technology Promotion Association ( Thailand-Japan) and Japan Packaging Institute (JPI) provided attendees with updates on Japan’s food safety measures and what exporters have to do to meet its quality and safety requirements.

ENQUIRY NO. 6901 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  53

EVENT review



Fly High National pavillions show up in strength to bolster ProPak Asia as an international platform and gateway to business in the region. By Joson Ng and Tjut Rostina

The national pavilions have always been one of the main attractions of the trade show, where countries get to showcase their home grown businesses and product offerings. This year, countries from Asia and Europe have come together with an increase in attendance and showcase area.

Agreement (FTA) at the start of the year, I feel there are opportunities in this part of Asia.” Looking to use the event as a platform for their business, Mr Zhou is glad that the turnout of the show is good so far and he hopes it will improve in the final two days of the show.

China Hitting ProPak Asia 2010 in a big way is the China pavilion. Boasting 519 square metres in exhibition space, it is one of the largest of the international pavilion. Despite the recent political turmoil in Thailand, the Chinese contingent remains confident as Zhou Wu Yang, president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT ), Shantou Sub council explains: “With the signing of China -A SE A N Free Trade

Japan Leading the Japanese pavilion this year is Japan Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association (JPMA). With seven companies in this year’s Japanese pavilion, the association signals its intent to enhance the country’s export in packaging machinery by participating in ProPak Asia 2010. Says Masahiro Abe, assistant manager, international division of JPMA: “The total production value of packaging machines in Japan

54  industrial automation asia | September 2010

is currently about 400 billion yen (US$4.3 billion) but our export rate is around seven to eight percent. As we wish to increase the export rate to around 10 percent, we are looking for opportunities such as this to achieve our aim.” As far as Mr Abe is concerned, things are going to plan as he reveals that he is happy with the turnout of the show so far. Korea Participating for the first time at ProPak Asia 2010 is Gyeonggi Small and Medium Business Centre (GB). Leading 10 other companies from South Korea, the contingent took up a total of 96 square metres, an increase from 90 square metres last year. When asked about his thoughts on the show, Jang-Bin Im, manager of the exhibition team, GB was pleasantly surprised. “It is good. When I was in Korea, I thought that this show was very small, and that it was a local exhibition. However, I realise now that there are many foreign buyers from countries like India and Malaysia,” he says. Luckily for Mr Im, his initial thoughts were changed thanks to recommendations by Interfairs who introduced the show to him. “When I asked more on the size of the exhibition and about the visitors who attend it, I found out that it is a regional show. I wanted to experience it for myself, and found it to be a good platform for the association,” he says. Kel ly Ko, se n ior proje c t manager, Interfairs adds: “For someone like Mr Im, who supports the companies in the Gyeonggi province, and wants the exhibitors to meet the right buyers in order to generate leads for future business opportunities, this show is impressive.”

Singapore The Singapore Pavillion has nine participating companies, showcasing a range of services including packaging, separating and bottling. Carolyn Chew, senior manager of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation said that the show has been relevant to the industry, and the delegation is expecting a very good response from the show. “Especially for the new comers, they find this a good show to launch their products. As for the rest, it is to meet existing customers and also to meet new business prospects,” she adds. The Singapore companies have received a number of good quality leads, and are positive that there will be sales generated from these in future. Taiwan Eleven companies and 174 square metres combined booth space – these are the statistics of the Taiwan pavillion this year at ProPak Asia 2010. The reason for bringing such a strong contingent is simple, according to Dionne Tsai, exhibition section, World Trade Center Taichung. “We feel that ProPak Asia is a big and good show. So we have been taking part. Though there are some political uncertainties in the Thai political arena, we will continue to support this show as we feel this is a show with more buyers,” she says.

(L to R) Zhou Wu Yang, president of CCPIT, Masahiro Abe, assistant manager of JPMA, Carolyn Chew, senior manager of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation, Arielle Gernez, project manager, UBI France

The team from the Korean pavillion

Europe France returns, with an increase in area by 2.5 times, from 24 square metres last year to occupying 60 square metres at this year’s edition. This year’s delegation is made up of seven French companies. “Bangkok is a regional platform. I trust for ProPak Asia to gather qualified visitors and make business as usual,” says Arielle Gernez, UBI France’s project manager. She adds that due to the past year’s economic crisis, some of the companies had thought it was preferable to do business at home or go regional in Europe, as Asia is further away. As such, last year

did not see many participants for the France pavilion. This year, however, business seems to be better. “Some of these companies already have agents or distributors, so for them it is a way to see and feel how the market is doing. Others think that the regional and Thai market is growing. So, that’s why we’re here,” adds Ms Gernez. June 16-19, 2010 BITEC Bangkok, Thailand ENQUIRY NO. 6902 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  55

EVENT review


Fast Facts MTA Vietnam 2010 drew to a close on July 9, 2010 after four days at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City. Some 6,907 trade visitors turned up for the event to view the latest technologies showcased by 342 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions, including 11 international group pavilions from Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK. This year’s show saw many visitors who were keen to use the show as a sourcing platform to view a wide-ranging showcase of the

latest machine tools and solutions, and network with relevant potential business partners. About 70 group delegations from Vietnamese enterprises attended the show to check out machine tools and view product demonstrations from Vietnamese and overseas manufacturing players. Strong Support T he show is supp or te d by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the People’s Committee of HCMC, the Vietnam Automation Association,

Quotes “We sold our TruBend 7036 on the second day of the show so we’re happy with the quality of the visitors this year. We’re also in negotiations for the TruLaser 1030 which we’ll confirm in about a month. We’ve made reservations to be back in the show in 2011.” Edward Yuen, GM, Trumpf, Singapore. “This is my first visit to the show. I am here to network and gather new contacts. I am also here to source for high quality equipment, in particular the industry’s latest pressing machines and new technologies. I am pleased with what I have seen at the show.” Dinh Hoang Lien, director, Yen Tho Mechanical, Hanoi.

56  industrial automation asia | September 2010

6,907 Trade Visitors 342 Exhibitors From 23 Countries 11 International Group Pavilions 7,000 sq m Gross Exhibition Space

the Vietna m Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, the Vietnam Association of Mechanical Industry, the Vietnam Electronic Industries Association, the Vietnam Steel Association, and the Vietnam Society of Automotive Engineers. As such, the opening of the show witnessed the attendance of distinguished officials including Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Phan The Hao, director of the head representative of Ministry of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City, and Huynh Khanh Hiep, deputy chief of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Secretariat. MTA Vietnam will return to Ho Chi Minh City in 2011 for its eighth edition, from July 5 - 8. July 6 - 9, 2010 Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ENQUIRY NO. 6903

TMBA: Promoting Proximity

Exhibiting at MTA Vietnam is Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association (TMBA). Part of the strong Taiwanese contingent at the show, the association aims to promote Taiwan’s machine tool image to the global audience.

Putting itself in the thick of action according to CC Huang, president, TMBA, can reap rewards. He feels with the bulk of Taiwan machine tool manufacturers based in Taichung, which is some 140 minutes bus ride away from Taipei, it can benefit a show

which is organised in the vicinity. In addition to attending a show there, visitors can also take a quick tour of the makers’ factories nearby. ENQUIRY NO. 6904

Makino Aims To Be Visible In Vietnam

George Lim, VP (L) and Michael Tan, business development manager, Makino Asia

“Branding,” says George Lim, VP of sales, Makino Asia is one of the reasons for exhibiting in MTA Vietnam 2010. This strategy has seen the company take part in exhibitions both in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City since 2004. This branding exercise has a twopronged effect as Mr Lim explains: “We get to introduce our brand to the locals and at the same time, our presence here at trade shows gives a signal to our existing customers that we are here for them.”

Citing the emergence of new products over the past 18 months as another reason to participate this year, Mr Lim discloses that the milling line, which consists of the F a nd PS Series, a re actually making their debut in the Vietnamese market. Business In Vietnam – Mindset & Potential Pitfalls Widely believed by many to be one of the rising economies in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has posted some

impressive GDP growth figures in recent times, but the issue of inflation has threatened to derail the growth spurt. As such, Mr Lim advises caution when it comes to doing business in Vietnam. “It is not so easy for people who come here looking for low cost. They may be disappointed as there are some hidden costs. In terms of salary, an engineer here can cost as much as one in Malaysia,” he says. Mr Lim however concedes that the workforce in Vietnam is driven and ‘learns fast.’ In addition, language and culture can also be an issue. The diverse nature of the country makes it a challenge for the management team and often calls for a more flexible approach. Though Mr Lim feels it is not easy to setup an organisation in Vietnam and that it takes time to stabilise, the potential for growth and the benefits that come with it make the initial efforts worthwhile. As he aptly concludes: “Vietnam is no different from the Singapore and Malaysia of the past, that’s how everybody started.” ENQUIRY NO. 6905 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  57

EVENT review

Mitutoyo: Overcoming Challenges Metrology equipment from sma ll ha nd - held instrument to large capital machines have found relevance in the rapidly industrialising country of Vietnam – according to Desmond Yee, senior regional manager, Mitutoyo, who took part in MTA Vietnam. T h e r e a s o n a s M r Ye e explains is simple: With the incre a sing inf low of foreig n m a nu fa c t u r i n g i n v e s t m e n t , precision measuring equipment are inevitably needed. Commenting on the show, he feels that the organiser has done a good job in making sure the exhibitors get their money’s worth. To further illustrate the point, he says: “Last year, when the economy was bad, the organiser chartered buses to ferry people from industrial estates.” With the economy in a better shape this year, Mr Yee shares that quality enquiries received at the show have increased compared to last year. Manufacturing In Vietnam With international big names setting up manufacturing facilities in the country’s automotive, electronic, a nd semiconductor sectors,

58  industrial automation asia | September 2010

(From left) Rick Lim, senior regional manager, Vu Hoang Tam, manager and Desmond Yee, senior regional manager, Mitutoyo Asia

amongst others, manufacturing look set to drive the economy. Inline with popular beliefs, M r Ye e se e s Vie t na m a s a country with ‘big potential.’ The progression of the country is certain, but patience is needed.

“People need to improve their technical skills in order to supply the industry’s manufacturing needs. This is the challenge we face here,” he concludes. ENQUIRY NO. 6906

C o m m u n i c A s i a 2 010 a n d BroadcastAsia2010 were visited by 55,150 attendees including local and international visitors, conference speakers and delegates, and exhibitors. The event saw more overseas visitors this year, with visitors from Asia Pacific like China, India, Japan and Korea. It featured close to 2,000 exhibiting companies from 57 countries and regions. CommunicAsia2010 provided a venue for launches by exhibitors from Asia, such as Altek Corporation, Digilink, NTT Docomo and ZTE, as well as international players like Inmarsat, Skype and Yahoo. BroadcastAsia2010 featured 3D technologies.  International and local exhibitors such as AV8 Media, Cine Equipment, Harris Corporation, Panasonic and Sony Electronics announced their professional equipment, solutions and technologies for broadcasters and production companies.  The ‘live’ 3D showcase by exhibitors Broadcast Pro, Dayang, Evertz, Panasonic, Maestro, Ross Video and SeaChange brought 3D to life through the specially created content. It gave visitors a feel of the upcoming technology that Singapore consumers would soon enjoy as the commencement of 3D trials were announced on the first day. “The event enabled us to meet with over 300 potential and existing customers who hail from regions of Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.  This is an increase of more than 40 percent from the 200 meetings we had at the 2009 show.  Our participation at CommunicAsia2010 has been worthwhile, and we are looking forward to return again next year,” said Thong Poh Wah, director (PR), Asia Pacific Marketing & Strategy Department from Huawei Technologies Co. “Fiji TV will be setting up new TV stations and is looking at purchasing equipment such as digital broadcast cameras.   With



a budget of around US$2 million, we are also looking for suppliers to replace our aging equipment e specia lly tra nsmitters a nd satellites,” said Ken Clark, GM International, Fiji TV. Conferences at the event featured over 150 sessions and workshops and a line-up of over 200 industry speakers. The conferences addressed various issues and challenges affecting the

Information and Communications Technology (ICT), broadcasting and media industries and provided trade v isitors w ith insights on industry trends and growth opportunities. June 15-18, 2010 Singapore Expo Singapore ENQUIRY NO. 6907 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  59

Event Review


International Water Week

The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2010 has played a bigger role this year. In addition to providing water solutions and celebrating water achievements, it also tries to answer questions on long-term urban development and environmental sustainability. In its third year running, the SIWW was co-located with the World Cities Summit (WCS), held together at the Suntec Exhibition halls. The co-located events provide a platform for policy makers, industry leaders and academia to 60  industrial automation asia | September 2010

engage in dialogue on leadership and governance issues, explore innovative solutions and formulate sound financing strategies. These efforts promote the creation of integrated systems and ecosystems that are critical for effective water, urban management, and sustainable urban living. In a report released by the World Bank last year, rapid urbanisation was described as possibly ‘the single greatest development challenge and opportunity in our century,’ as the pace of urbanisation is faster now.

Urban Expansion The growth of cities and megacity regions has accelerated in recent years at an unprecedented rate. About 200,000 people move into cities and towns every day. By the year 2050, 70 percent of the global population will be residing in cities, as compared to the 50 percent today. It is expected that by 2025 the world can expect 29 megacities, compared to just two megacities in 1950 – New York and Tokyo – each with more than 10 million people.

Bernd Lieberth, secretary, Profibus Association South East Asia.

At the joint official opening ceremony of the SI W W a nd WCS, Singapore’s deputy prime minister and minister for defence, Teo Chee Hean underscored the importance of ensuring the right balance between socio economic growth and a vibrant, liveable environment to a city’s sustainable development. The need for susta inable development was emphasised again at the joint opening plenary by Mah Bow Tan, minister for national development. He said that despite high human density, high energy consumption, pollution and deforestation, cities posses the resources – the economic and human capital, as well as the technology, to counter the problems that they have caused. Mr Mah also shared examples of how good governance, active citizenr y a nd incorporating e le me nt s o f e nv i ro n me nt a l sustainability in development proje c t s cou ld br ing ab out widespread social, economic and environmental benefits for Bilbao City in Spain, Curitiba in Brazil and the Yellow River Conservancy Commission of China. T h i s y e a r ’s t h e m e o f ‘Sustainable Cities: Clean and A f f o r d a b l e Wa t e r ’ e c h o e d throughout the week among its five flagship events – Water Convention, Water Expo, Business Forum, Water Leaders Summit,

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize – and more than 100 co-located events. Over 12,000 attendees and 500 participating companies were involved in the dialogue on water solutions, and about 3,000 trade visitors attended the WCS. These included 379 delegates, ministers, mayors, government officials, global water industry leaders, heads of international organisations, researchers and practitioners at the Water Leaders Summit and over 1000 delegates at the Water Convention. The eight business forums covering t he a re a s of t he A mer ica s, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Middle East and North A frica, a nd Southe a st A sia, also saw deals and Memoranda Of Understanding ( MOU ) on solutions being signed. Representatives from cou nt r ie s such a s B ela r u s, Belgium, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Cyprus, Finland, Iran, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine participated in the SIWW for the first time. Launching Innovation At least 50 new products and technologies were unveiled at the Water Expo, with 26 being launched at the Expo’s Innovation Corner. Co-located with the World Cities Summit Expo, a total area

of 15,000 sq m of exhibition space was completely sold out, with 450 participating companies. In the a rea of process automation, Schneider Electric showca sed Pla ntStr u x ure, a collaborative system for process a nd energ y ma na gement. It provides enterprise resources pla nning, historia n a nd manufacturing execution system functiona lit y, together w ith features such as global data access, high availability, and distributed architectures with hot-standby redundancy. With its Intelligent Power and Motor Control Centre ( IPMCC), the system claims to optimise energy consumption through the use of high-performance variable speed drives flexible solutions based on multiple networks. Emerson introduced its ‘Smart’ wireless field network solutions,

Masao Hamaguchi, GM, New Water Business Development Dept, Microza & Water Processing Division, Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp

September 2010 | industrial automation asia  61

Event Review

comprising its range of sensors, meters, valves and transmitters that can be integrated into its Plantweb, DeltaV and Ovation systems. Based on the WirelessHART protocol standard, the various wireless devices can also be part of an Asset Management Solution (AMS) suite with predictive diagnostics, remote monitoring and device management capabilities. Its Smart Wireless Gateway provides legacy integration to Serial Modbus, Ethernet or OPC output. Siemens Water Technologies, a founding sponsor of SIW W, unveiled several of its technological innovations at SIWW. These are the low-energy desalination technology, wasteto - energ y sludge re duct ion wastewater treatment process and a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) testing facility. The company also unveiled the EcoRight MBR system, a wastewater treatment and reuse technology co-developed with Aramco Overseas Company. The system integrates MBR technology w ith additiona l purification processes to treat highly organic wastewaters, and will be pilot tested in the coming months. Filtering Technology A n o t h e r f o u n d i n g sp o n s o r G E , a lso showca sed severa l technologies. Launched at the show was the Re-Pak series of ultrafilration and reverse osmosis systems, simlar to the Propak series. The Sievers InnovOx OnLine Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analyser allows for the analysis of challenging industrial water samples on a routine basis using supercritical water oxidation. The analyser uses water as the solvent in the supercritical state, ie: at temperatures and pressures (>374Ë&#x161;C , 22.1 Megapascals) high enough to make water miscible with organic compounds, such that breaking down these organic molecules becomes easier. 62â&#x20AC;&#x192; industrial automation asia | September 2010

(L-R): Leonard Lau, business development manager; Raymond Cheong, regional process automation manager; Eric Tan, process automation assistant manager, Festo

In addit ion to p oly mer me mbra ne s, i n nov at ion s i n cera mic membra nes were a lso showca se d by va r iou s companies. Meidensha Corporation developed a FlatSheet Type Ceramic membrane (FSCM) that it claims is more stable with higher flux while using less energ y compared to conventiona l poly mer membranes. The FSCM is also designed with greater durability, heat and chemical resistance than

polymer membranes. Another Japanese company, Metawater claims that its ceramic membrane has an operation life of over 10 years without breakage, yet the ceramic membranes material are recyclable. SIWW 2010 closed on July 1. More than S$2.8 billion (US$2.05 billion) worth of projects, tenders, investments were announced, up by 27 percent from last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s S$2.2 billion. ENQUIRY NO. 6908


Global Tronics The 10th edition of GlobalTronics will be held on September 1315 at Singapore’s Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands. In a bid to keep itself current with the latest happenings in the electronics manufacturing industry, the event will also be presenting a feature on plastic electronics (a lso k now n a s Organic/Polymer/Printed/Flexible Electronics). Plastic electronics has been recognised as a development that has been supported by the government. T h e m a r k e t f o r p r i n te d electronics and organic/polymer is expected to exceed US$300


billion in the next 20 years from the current US$1.18 billion. Reed Exhibitions will be collaborating w i t h S PR I N G S i n g a p o r e to organise a conference alongside the event – with the aim of creating greater awareness and promoting the adoption of this emerging technology to the electronics manufacturing industry. With a focus on g reen technologies for electronics manufacturing, the event brings together regional buyers and international sellers from the Printed Circuit Board ( PCB) and Surface Mount Technology (SMT), testing & measurement, components, support services,

embe dde d systems, opto electronics, printed electronics and renewable energy sectors. It is a platform for international suppliers from countries such as China, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan and UK to present their late st te ch nolog ie s, lau nch products and services, and to foster business relationships in the region.

September 13 – 15, 2010 Sands Expo and Convention Centre Marina Bay Sands Singapore

ENQUIRY NO. 6909 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  63

products&&Services Services products Basler:


Basler has expanded the feature set on its runner GigE line scan camera family. The shading correction feature can be used to compensate for nonhomogeneous lighting conditions. In the resulting homogeneous images, the application software can more easily and accurately detect defects. The second improvement is in the runner’s input/output block. The frequency of an incoming trigger signal can be reduced by using the divider feature. The multiplier feature can increase the trigger signal frequency. To create the correct line acquisition rate for the camera, these I/O features offer different kinds of transformations for trigger and encoder signals from a conveyor belt. Both features can be implemented by simply determining the correct software parameters.

Cognex has introduced the In-Sight 5605, a high-resolution, selfcontained vision system for applications that require visualisation of small defects, even in a large field of view. The system offers a range of features including full 5.0 megapixel resolution, support for Gigabit ethernet communication, IP67 rating to withstand dust and wash down, plus a full library of high-performance vision.   The company has also released In-Sight Explorer 4.4.1. The software adds several key features and ease-of-use improvements, including 1DMax, a 1D barcode reading tool optimised for omnidirectional barcode reading. 

Line Scan Cameras

Vision System

Enquiry no. 6910

Enquiry no. 6911

Control Microsystems:


Control Microsystems has released ClearScada 2010, the company’s latest version of client-server enterprise software. This version provides improvements for remote control and telemetry, enhanced connectivity to modern databases, improved security and enhanced alarm handling. In addition to standard features such as an object-oriented database, scalable client/server architecture optimised for wide area networks and an integrated historian providing automatic data backfill, the software provides enhanced connectivity to external databases such as SQLServer, Oracle, and MySQL through linked tables – allowing for easy collaboration of data and reduced integration costs.

The VT 250 by Emco is equipped with an integrated self-loading system. Productivity, repeat accuracy and operability are the product features that characterise this machine. The turning machine has an integrated pick-up system and selfloads chuck parts with a diameter of up to 200 millimetres – saving the user the additional costs and programming time involved with the use of an automated unit. It is no longer necessary to align the automated unit with the machine, causing downtime. Also supplied as standard with a conveyor belt system, the machine can store up to 24 workpieces. In addition, the vertical, highpower spindle makes turning, drilling and threading operations easy.

Enterprise Software

Enquiry no. 6912 64  industrial automation asia | September 2010

Turning Machine

Enquiry no. 6913

products & Services



Farnese Australia has introduced the Quantum bridge saw. The saw provides X, Y and rotational motion for shaping stone kitchen and bathroom surfaces. It provides a cutting area of 3.7 x 2 metres. Four servomotors control the motion of the rotary saw tool – which moves over the worktable on a gantry. Two synchronised axes are used to drive the gantry along the worktable, because of the weight and rigidity of the tool that are required for precision sawing. The other two axes provide transverse movement along the gantry, and rotational motion of the tool head. The latter axis eliminates any need to reposition the workpiece or tool for changes in cutting direction, and can make angular and circular cuts to radii as small as 10 millimetres.

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the SBC612 rugged 6U OpenVPX single board computer. Featuring the 8-core QorIQ P4080 processor from Freescale Semiconductor, the computer is suited performance for applications including ISR, electronic warfare and mission computing. For many legacy applications based on Power Architecture, the computer will allow a multi-slot configuration to be reduced to a single slot, saving space and weight. As its power envelope is equivalent to that of previous dual core processors, it can also permit the addition of new functionality without exceeding the application’s current power envelope.

Single Board Computer

Bridge Saw

Enquiry no. 6914

Enquiry no. 6915



The Hawkeye video borescopes offer the convenience and image quality of video. Integrated CCD cameras are built into each of 18 models of Hawkeye Pro rigid borescopes, in five different diameters. When used in conjunction with the optional portable video monitor, or a computer, image and video capture is as easy as the touch of a button. Images can also be viewed on most any video monitor. Features include three viewing options, easy image capture and portability.

Metal formers and fabricators have another way to improve cut quality and lower operating costs in the form of the ArcGlide Torch Height Control (THC) from Hypertherm. According to the manufacturer, benefits include improved c u t q u a l i t y, optimised consumable life, an up to one hundred p e r c e n t increase in parts cut per hour, and rugged construction. The THC can achieve its performance benefits without operator input. Arc voltage is automatically adjusted as consumables wear so that the latter can reach their intended life expectancy.

Rigid Video Borescopes

Enquiry no. 6916

Torch Height Control

Enquiry no. 6917 September 2010 | industrial automation asia  65

products & Services



PTI-Europe in partnership with Sidel, is globally marketing a process which uses Injection Stretch Blow Moulding ( ISBM ) to create a type of container handle. Called Deep Grip packaging, the technology enables significant grip depth (more than 25mm or 1-inch on either side), with a thin (less than 0.3 mm or .01-inch) grip ‘web’ thickness. The end result is a grip that is deep enough for the average hand to completely close around without fingers touching the container wall. The comfort and handling ability is similar to that experienced with a traditional handle. Container size capability is broad – up to six litres or 1.5 gallons, and beyond. Maximum bottle diameter is 220mm or 8.6 inches.

Vanton Pump has introduced the Chem-Gard CGMC close-coupled, magnetically-driven thermoplastic centrifugal pump. Available with ANSI centreline suction and discharge, the pump allows removal for maintenance without disturbing existing piping, and can accommodate standard C-face motors. The thermoplastic wet end is encased by structural metal armour that is protected by a chemical resistant epoxy coating. This enables the pump to withstand hostile environments and to tolerate the same nozzle loadings as metal pumps.

Deep Grip Packaging

Centrifugal Pumps

Enquiry no. 6918

Enquiry no. 6919



Weidmüller is offering the multi-stripax PV, a multifunctional cutting and stripping tool. This tool speeds up the cutting and stripping process by making it possible to process a wide variety of solar cables from different manufacturers without having to change blades. The special inserts precisely remove the cable insulation of 2.5, 4 and 6 square millimetre conductor cross-sections. Precise insulation stripping lengths from 2.3 – 30 millimetres is made possible by a length stop, adjustable in millimetre steps. The insulation stripping operation is simply repeated for applications requiring longer lengths of stripped insulation. The integrated cable cutter precisely cuts flexible core cables up to six square millimetres and single-core cables up to 2.5 square millimetres.

Wyatt Technology Corporation has launched its Refractive Index (RI) detection instrument – the Optilab T-rex. The instrument provides the full range of detection and sensitivity across the entire dynamic range, meaning that there is no longer a need to compromise one for the other. It has 256 times the detection power and up to 50 times the dynamic range of RI detectors currently on the market. It has the ability to measure both large and small signals within the same data run. The range of the instrument can be used in almost any standard isocratic chromatographic conditions and for many gradient applications. Developments in heterojunction Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) allow the T-rex to have a light source 50 times brighter than previous instrumentation.

Cable Stripping/Cutting

Enquiry no. 6920 66  industrial automation asia | September 2010

RI Detection

Enquiry no. 6921

Calendar of Events



13 – 15 Globaltronics

25 – 28 CeMAT Asia

15 – 17 Industrial Automation Vietnam

27 – November 4 Singapore International Energy Week

Sands Expo and Convention Centre Singapore Reed Exhibitions Web: Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Hong Kong Exhibition Services Email: Web:

21 – 24 Automation 2010 Bombay Exhibition Centre Mumbai, India IED Communications Email: Web:

22 – 25 VietnamPlas

SECC Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Chan Chao Email: Web:

22 – 25 Linkage Metalworking SECC Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Chan Chao Email: Web:

October 5 – 7 ProcessCEM Asia 2010

Sands Expo and Convention Centre Singapore ASPRI Email: Web:

19 – 21 EP China 2010

China International Exhibition Center Beijing, China Adsale Exhibition Services Email: Web:

Shanghai New International Expo Centre Shanghai, China Deutsche Messe AG Email: Web:

Suntec Singapore Singapore Singapore International Energy Week Email: Web:

28 – 30 India Chem 2010

Bombay Exhibition Centre Mumbai, India Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Email: Web:

28 – November 2 JIMTOF 2010 Tokyo Big Sight Tokyo, Japan JMTBA Email: Web:


Bombay Exhibition Centre Mumbai, India Messe Muenchen International India Email: Web:

22 - 25 Emballage 2010 – World Packaging Exhibition Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre Paris, France Comexposium Email: Web:

24 – 27 Metalex Thailand 2010 BITEC Bangkok, Thailand Reed Tradex Email: Web:

30 – December 3 OSEA 2010

Suntec Singapore Singapore Singapore Exhibition Services Email: Web:


3 – 5 Autotek Indonesia 2010 Jakarta International Expo Jakarta, Indonesia FireWorks Indonesia Email: Web:

1 – 4 ProPak Indonesia Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran Jakarta, Indonesia Pamerindo Indonesia Web:

9 – 13 CIIF Shanghai New International Expo Centre Shanghai, China National Development and Reform Commission Email: Web:

16 – 19 Seoul Pack 2010 Kintex Seoul, South Korea Korea Packaging Machinery Association Email: Web:

To be considered for inclusion in the Calendar of Events, send details of event (name, date, venue, organiser contact) to:

18 – 20 Drink Technology India 2010

March 23 – 26 MTA 2011 Singapore Expo Singapore Singapore Exhibition Services Email: Web:

23 – 26 Inatronics 2011

JIExpo Jakarta, Indonesia GEM Indonesia Email: Web:

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