Saving time and money with smart instrumentation

January 2014 Image

Topic: Saving time and money with smart instrumentation

For a printable copy with maps, click here

January Speakers:

Ricardo Chavez, Northeastern Solutions Business Manager, Endress+Hauser and Bob Mohr, Eastern Regional Sales Manager,  Pepperl + Fuchs.

Ricardo has almost 20 years of experience working in instrumentation, process control and data integration into PLC/SCADA systems using different technologies including Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks. He has implemented several wireless networks including tank farms for inventory control and data acquisition systems. Ricardo holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and has completed additional studies in process dynamics, process control, tank gauging and inventory control.

Bob Mohr brings over 30 years of experience in the process automation and controls industry with technical expertise with Foundation fieldbus, Profibus, FDT, HART protocol, distributed control systems, single loop control, HMI, process interface, temperature, pressure and flow technology. For the past seven years, he has been employed as the Eastern Regional Sales Manager at Pepperl + Fuchs, and serves the industry with Hazardous area protection including; intrinsic safety, purge and pressurization and explosion protection enclosures.

Attendees will receive a certificate for
PDH (Personal Development Hours) credits.

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LEED certification takes center stage at November meeting

Terry Ives Photo Kath Beacher Photo
Terry Ives Kath Beacher

Introduced by section president Fred Capanna, Terry Ives, outgoing president of the International Society of Automation, opened the meeting. He described how ISA is attempting to adapt to technical challenges and market trends in the global economy. He said that ISA can help members and companies share best practices, collaborate on innovation, and exchange insights and ideas.

Kath Beacher, Specification Sales Project Specialist at Illuminations Inc., spoke on the various levels of certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Engineering (LEED) for new construction and major renovations of buildings. Continue reading

November meeting topic: Energy and Environmental Design

November 2013 Image

Reliance on foreign oil and non-renewable resources cannot continue indefinitely. The lighting load of a commercial office building typically is 40% of the building’s energy use. For these buildings to continue to remain cost-effective, and for our country’s environmental well-being, implementing effective lighting controls, utilizing natural daylighting and minimizing energy use must be explored, evaluated and implemented. Continue reading

September meeting showcases industrial wireless networks

Tour guide

Kevin Lavelle at right, Northeast Regional Sales Manager for our meeting host Endress+Hauser, served as tour guide to explain the whys and wherefores of the company’s new demonstration and training facility featuring flow and level instrumentation.


Downstairs view


Upstairs view

Speaker Joe Kurcon

Joe Kurcon, Senior Account Manger for Endress+Hauser, spoke on industrial wireless sensor networks.

Joe Kurcon of E+H provided the program content for the meeting. He started with a surprising item of trivia: the relationship between wireless networks and the late actress Hedy Lamarr. Mathematically talented, she and composer George Antheil are co-holders of the earliest patent for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping–the basis of industrial wireless. (Music, when you think  of it, is a series of hopping audio frequencies). They presented the idea to the U.S. Navy during WW II to deal with torpedo guidance to overcome enemy counter-measures, but the Navy ignored the idea (not invented here).

Kurcon explained the difference between two types of spread spectrum technology: FHSS and DSSS radio systems. FHSS signals quickly hop through multiple frequency channels. The transmitters and receivers are synchronized. DHSS radio systems spread a narrow frequency source by integrating it with a pseudo-random noise signal that widens it throughout a band.The receiver knows how to eliminate the noise.

He said that FCC rules permit use in three bands: nominally 900, 2400, and 5800 MHz. The highest band reaches the smallest distance so is infrequently used. The rules permit up to one watt of power without end-user licences. Kurcon went on to discuss network wireless topologies, such as point to point, star, and mesh.

He continued with a discussion of WirelessHART, which evolved out of the HART protocol in which digital information is superimposed on a 4-20 ma analog signal. WirelessHART enables users to quickly and easily gain the benefits of wireless technology while maintaining compatibility with existing devices such as flow, temperature, and pressure transmitters.

Usually a WirelessHART adapter connects to the existing HART instruments, forming a mesh network. Data can flow from any adapter to any other, avoiding interference from obstacles that come and go. The signals connect to a gateway that routes them via a wired fieldbus to control computers.

Kurcon concluded with some practical applications from his experience at Endress+Hauser. He said the office has a full-time person who deals with industrial wireless systems, but he happened to be in Germany at the time of this meeting.

Link to more meeting photos.

September meeting topic: Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks

Market interest in wireless industrial devices is growing rapidly in the process industries as their capabilities improve. Standardization of wireless network protocols for both devices and infrastructure makes the technology even more attractive. Interfacing these devices using standards such as … Continue reading

Message from the president

Dugary_Capanna photo

Bill Dugary (left) receives engraved silver plate from incoming president Fred Capanna to commemorate Bill’s two years of service as president of the Philadelphia Section.

As the new Philly Section President, I want to start by thanking Bill Dugary for his service as our previous president. Bill has done an excellent job re-invigorating our section. If you look at some of the speakers and topics we have had over the past two years, I think you would agree they’ve been excellent.

He also expanded our participation in related community and educational activities, such as Future Cities, ISPE meetings, and local training seminars.

We have a great core of leaders. At our recent kickoff meeting, they generated some innovative ideas to keep the momentum going.

For example, we will continue to have quality speakers with industry experts in the ever changing automation field. Continue reading