Process & Control

Close-up views of surface defects

Steel producers have a new tool for automatic inspection of surface defects.

Metallurgists at French company Matra Systemes & Information have developed Save equipment to provide engineers with realtime web and strip defect information.

This should lead to better quality and lower production costs.

Said to be the only equipment capable of displaying continuous realtime stripsurface images, Save can be set up for automatic, semi-automatic or teach modes.

Sollac, part of the Usinor steel group, has installed four systems.

Matra will show Save at ATS, Paris, on 8/9 December and is looking for distributors.

MATRA SYSTEMES

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Centrifuge maker Ferrum has redesigned its vertical axis machine used for dewatering crystals and particles in fine chemicals manufacture.

The move overcomes the problem of removing some types of cake from the filter using a conventional peeler knife and air jet.

Thixotropic products are most difficult since applying a shear force makes the cake more plastic.

Ferrum has replaced the peeler knife with what it calls a pull action filter. By stretching the filter in the vertical axis, the cake breaks up and falls out through the bottom of the centrifuge.

SULZER TECHNOLOGY

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Mitsubishi is targeting the process control sector with the FX2N series micro PLCs which bridge the gap between machine controllers and system level products, the company says.

A faster processor – with an instruction execution time of 80 nanoseconds – bigger memory and powerful communications have been added to this new member of the FXoN family.

The FX2N has up to 128 I/Os with relay or transistor outputs, expandable to 256 I/Os using additional FX2N units or an FXoN expansion unit. Program memory is 8K expandable to 16K with a memory cassette. Function cards provide a choice of communications and networking connections.

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC

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Modern control panels installed to monitor process conditions and alarms at Harlow Chemical have improved the reliability of the chemical process, contributing to a 40% increase in output of polyvinyl alcohol which is a suspending agent for PVC.

The Three Zone 1 explosion-proof panels supplied by Max Wright control the hydrolysis plant, solvent extraction and product dryer.

They report via intrinsically safe barriers to a main control panel which houses the pneumatic solenoid valves, bead reactor control and a Toshiba PLC. The last controls plant interlocks and dosing sequences.

A main benefit of the new panels is the move from pneumatic to electronic valve actuation, extending the range of measurements.

MAX WRIGHT

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Control simulation software company Cape is offering the first 10 respondents a free trial.

The lucky few get a 60-day 300-tag evaluation copy of VPLink 2.5, a circa £3,000 Windows program for developers and testers of Allen Bradley, Modicon, GE Fanuc, Moor, Foxboro or SattLine networks.

CAPE SOFTWARE

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