NOISE & VIBRATION

Products & Services Guide

The numbered entries are indexed against on or more indexing terms. Further indexing terms will be introduced as required

Accelerometers 4, 11, 33, 58, 59, 69, 71, 79, 90, 91

Acoustical materials (absorption) 21, 27, 86

Acoustical materials (isolation) 61, 92

Acoustical materials (analysis) 82

Amplifiers 70

Analysers (real time) 9, 22

Antivibration structural bearings 49, 85

Audiometric equipment 68

CAD/CAM equipment 12, 95

Condition monitoring equipment 5, 24, 32, 42, 43, 52, 60, 62, 70, 72, 74, 81, 89

Data acquisition 8, 19, 41, 45, 50, 51, 56, 73, 75, 76, 84, 94

Data memory systems 16, 17

Dosimeters 23

Dynamometer - vibration resistant 28

Dynamic alignment equipment 13

Engine testing 28

Hearing conservation 15

Hearing protection evaluation 15, 68

Louvers (acoustic) 29

Machine diagnosis - See Condition monitoring

Machinery mounts 38, 80, 92

Modal analysis 83

Noise control 6, 78, 92

Noise control installations 2

Noise evaluation 12, 82

Noise monitors 2, 64

Noise meters 3, 23, 35, 65, 66

Non-destructive testing 63

Oscilloscopes 37, 47, 84

Piezoelectric devices 44, 52

Recorders 75

Signal analysis 8, 54, 62, 67

Signal processing equipment 34, 40

Silencers 46

Sound level meters 3, 23, 41, 35, 48, 64, 65, 66, 87, 88

Sound monitoring equipment 53

Steel (sound-deadened) 1

Traffic analysis 57

Transducers 41

Tranducer calibrators 36

Ultrasonic testing 17

Vibration isolation 61, 85

Vibration measuring equipment 7, 14, 20, 26, 30, 36, 72, 89

Vibration measuring equipment (hand-arm) 10

Vibro-acoustic evaluation - structures 25

 

 

1. Sound Deadened Steel Reduces Vibration During Polyethylene Foam Manufacture

Sontech, a sound deadened steel developed by BSD, part of British Steel, is helping Zotefoams plc, a world leader in the production of closed cell polyethylene foam, to overcome problems caused by the occurrence of severe vibration during a specialised expansion process.

Faced with a violent disturbance following the introduction of compressed air and heat into an autoclave containing 200 trays of foam slabs, the engineering department at Zotefoams plc turned to BSD for advice on how Sontech might eliminate or control the vibration.

It was discovered that damage to the slabs due to their displacement from a central position as they expanded from 700 mm x 350 mm x 12 mm to a finished size of 2000 mm x 1000 mm x 36 mm was caused by resonance, as the air was introduced from above at a pressure of 13 Bar. Movement during this process caused the fully expanded slabs to become trapped in the side frames of the trays which prevented their extraction after discharge from the autoclave.

Following the installation of a baffle above the shelves as a preliminary measure it was realised that resonance in the mild steel shelf at the top of the nest was creating vibration in those below in a Newton's Ball effect as the air between them was progressively disturbed downwards.

By covering only the top shelf and the end frames with Sontech, which consists of two outer skins of steel divided by a thin layer of visco elastic polymer, Don Palmer, a project manager at Zotefoams plc, believes that the energy causing the damage was reduced by half. He said: "I was surprised at how little of the Sontech was required to achieve this level of reduction. I am now suggesting to our machinery suppliers that wherever appropriate they should consider its use for noise and vibration control."

More information from BSD Product Development, Blackamoor Road, Walker Industrial Estate, Guide, Blackburn BB1 2LJ. Tel: +44 (0)1254 55161. Fax: +44 (0)1254 678263.

 

2. Noise Formula

A small UK electronics company has come up with a brand new solution to the old, old problem of controlling over-enthusiastic DJ's and Bands.

Where there is a permanent installation, such as a club, Formula Sound's AVC2 Automatic Volume Control Unit does the trick without cutting the power. The more the DJ tries to push the level above a preset limit, the more attenuation comes in and by the time the DJ has run out of head-room, the level is likely to be a bit lower than if he had stuck to the agreed limit. A bar graph gives a visual indication of the increasing attenuation, so that there are no surprises. The AVC2 does not operate as a compressor, but is a genuine automatic volume control unit, energised by the signal from a microphone.

Where bands and mobile DJ's are employed, there cannot be the same type of permanent installation, and so the older control method, which cuts mains power, has to be used. However, Formula Sound do this differently. Their Sentry Unit has the capacity to control a whole ring of power sockets, so frustrating attempts to by-pass the system by plugging in at an uncontrolled socket. Once the indicating lights on the Sentry have put the unit into the cut-out mode the power stays off until it is reset manually. This involves the problems of earlier systems, where the power comes back automatically after the noise level is cut, perhaps causing surge damage to equipment.

Formula Sound, based in Stockport, also supply a unit which links to the fire alarm in addition to the audio system. The levels of the music channels are reduced when an alarm sounds, but the microphone continues at a high level, enabling safety instructions to be heard. All units are robust and designed to defeat the above average tamperer!

More information from Formula Sound Limited, Ashton Road, Bradbury, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 2SR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)161 494 5650.

 

3. Industrial Noise Surveys Made Easy

The new CR:704B Sound Level Meter has been designed to make routine noise surveys simple and easy to carry out. The instrument has been programmed to provide the functions needed for Noise at Work measurements, including Leq and Peak parameters, as well as other often required for Industrial Noise Measurements.

The twin ranges and data logging allow the instrument to be used for both industrial and environmental noise applications, with the standard configuration providing the most common measurement parameters. The CR:704B can store up to 256 measurements, and up to 25,000 time history elements.

The instrument complies with BS EN 60651 and BS EN 60804, meeting the requirements of Type 2, making it suitable for most measurement situations.

Windows download and configuration software and a download cable are supplied as standard with the instrument, with additional software available for further analysis of the data stored. The CR:704B can also be supplied as a complete measurement kit, with all of the accessories needed to carry out an accurate noise survey. In addition, accessories are available to form an outdoor measurement system.

More information from Cirrus Research plc, Acoustic House, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire YO14 0PH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 891655. Fax: +44 (0)1723 891741.

 

4. Endevco Accelerometers Selected for Sikorsky Hums

Endevco Corporation has signed an agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to be the exclusive supplier of vibration accelerometers for the Health & Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and active vibration control system on the S-92 helicopter. The agreement also calls for Endevco to be the recommended supplier of accelerometers supporting the Sikorsky installed HUMS option on the S-76 helicopter.

With an estimated total value of six to seven million dollars, the agreement will be in effect throughout the life of both programmes. Endevco will supply three types of accelerometers to Sikorsky for use in various airframe, gear box and hanger bearing locations throughout each aircraft.

The HUMS monitors a helicopter's critical dynamic systems (engines, gear box and rotors) for excessive wear and tear. Data is analysed by aircraft maintenance experts to detect potential system failures. The result is enhanced helicopter safety, extended time between required maintenance, longer component life and reduced operating costs. HUMS systems use accelerometers to determine the exact gear or bearing where a fault is developing as well as indicating the specific nature of the fault.

More information from Endevco UK Ltd, Melbourn, Royston, Herts. SG8 6NA. Tel: +44 (0)1763 261311. Fax: +44 (0)1763 261120.

 

5. 'Intelligent' Machine Diagnosis Program 'Learns' from Experience

In order to upgrade traditional fixed-rule computer diagnostics, which commonly fail when a problem does not fall within a strict set of pre-programmed rules, Vibration Speciality of Philadelphia, PA, has added neural networks to the latest release of PROTECT, its vibration-based predictive maintenance software. Neural networks simulate a person's ability to 'learn to use good judgment'. Their addition to PROTECT allows the computer to refine its evaluation of impending machine failures based on past machine problems. The addition of neural net 'intelligence', the first to any commercially available PM program, is part of Vibration Specialty's on-going commitment to automation designed to prevent non-specialists from compromising on performance.

Like a doctor with a sick patient, PROTECT automatically searches for the best fit among 'symptoms' in order to arrive at its diagnosis. As a doctor's diagnostic ability improves with experience, so after a machine problem, PROTECT improves the sophistication of the fit and thus its success rate.Because PROTECT's diagnosis is based on a variety of factors, even if some indicators do not appear as expected, the program still arrives at a reasonable diagnosis (although with a lower degree of certainty assigned).

Based on its knowledge of each class of machine stored in its extensive library, PROTECT automatically identifies as many as 60 individual 'symptomatic' peak levels in the vibration spectrum. These include 1/rev, 2/rev, phase shifts, gear-mesh sidebands, low-order harmonics, sub-synchronous, and odd-order harmonics. Depending on its probable importance, PROTECT assigns to each peak an individual neural 'weight'. Weights are subsequently modified based on increased experience with past problems with the same or similar machines.

PROTECT software, combined with Vibration Specialty's SpectrVIB Data Collector, provides a complete predictive maintenance system for warning of impending machine failure, and recommending a course of action based on when failure will occur and what mechanism is at fault. Such systems are widely used throughout the world to lower the high cost of unexpected downtime in a variety of manufacturing facilities, power plants, refineries, rolling mills and aboard ships.

More information from Vibration Specialty Corporation, 100 Geiger Road, Philadelphia PA 19115-1090. Tel: +1 215 698-0800. Fax: +1 215 677-8874.

 

6. Hygienic Noise Control

Hygiene and noise control techniques generally go together like fish and bicycles. Enclosures and other control techniques used to reduce noise levels often create new problems related to cleaning, access and maintenance. Companies in the food/pharmaceutical/electronics and other industries where hygiene must be maintained frequently have to endure high costs and inconvenience to reduce noise levels by conventional means.

The Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre alternative is to make use of the best of current innovative engineering technology to reduce noise at source. This not only has few hygiene implications, but is also low cost. Examples of the technology in action include a vibratory feed system where far from causing problems, the noise control techniques used improved performance, cut down-time and maintenance and reduced the noise level from 99 dB(A) to 77 dB(A) - at 10% of the cost of an enclosure.

A technical note on hygienic noise control technology backed by a selection of case studies covering a wide range of industries and processes is available free of charge from the INVC. More information from Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre, Burnham House, 267 Farnham Road, Slough, Berks. Sl2 1HA, UK. Tel: +44 (1)1753 530414/570044. Fax: +44 (0)1753 570311.

 

7. PAK Multi-Channel Acoustic and Vibration Measurement and Analysis System

Strategic Test has announced the availability of the PAK multi-channel acoustic and vibration measurement and analysis system, developed by Muller-BBM GmbH in Germany.

As one of the largest noise and vibration consultancies in Germany, Muller-BBM originally developed the PAK system for their own use. Their primary design philosophy was to develop a system which embraced open standards, would meet the broadest range of applications, could be expandable to cover future requirements and yet be easy and efficient to use.

However, these characteristics have proved to be of interest to other organisations such as Audi, BASF, Bosch, Daimler-Benz Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Opel, Rolls Royce-BMW, Siemens, Valeo, Volkswagen, ZF and BMW who have now installed 16 PAK systems. The PAK system is based on a Hewlett-Packard XVI measurement front-end, together with HP9000 Series 700 workstation which runs the PAK measurement and analysis software under the HP-UX operating system.

A full-suite of analysis software is available, covering time and frequency domain analysis, octave analysis, order tracking and psychoacoustic analysis. For engine test applications, it is also possible to capture additional parameters such as temperature, pressure torque, etc., which can be related to the engine speed or measurement time.

Two industry standard databases are supported (Yard and Oracle) which are used to archive and retrieve test details. Data can be retrieved following a search on any test parameter, such as operator, product serial number, test date, etc.

A flexible and easy to use report generator is provided, which allows the user to create document layouts which can be saved and re-used in the future. The graphical report can be fully annotated and historical data compared. The VXI front-end supports up to 256 measurement channels from a range of plug-in interface cards which offer 12 bit and 16 bit resolution and sampling rats to 192 K anti-alias protection and software controlled zero and offset calibration.

More information from Strategic Test & Measurement Systems Ltd, 11 Ashton Road, Wokingham RG41 1HL, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 979 5950. Fax: +44 (0)118 979 5951.

 

8. Solve Wavelet Applications Using LabVIEW

National Instruments has announced the LabVIEW Wavelet and Filter Bank Design Toolkit, a multi purpose add-on package for Wavelet and filter bank design and analysis.

Wavelets are a new signal analysis method that provide an excellent alternative to fourier analysis. Because wavelets compress large data sets, benefits include smaller memory requirements and faster processing.

The LabVIEW Wavelet and Filter Bank Design Toolkit delivers Wavelet and filter bank tools for researchers and developers in signal and image processing, computer vision, biomedical signals and imaging, physics, and mathematics. Applications include restoration and noise reduction, edge detection, texture analysis, pattern recognition, echo cancellation, and speech, audio, and image compression. For developers who are not LabVIEW users, the toolkit includes a ready-to-run application for designing Wavelet and filter coefficients that can be used in other software applications such as C and Visual Basis.

More information from National Instruments Corporation (UK) Ltd, 21 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berks. RG14 5SJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1635 582400. Fax: +44 (0)1635 524395.

 

9. Norsonic Sound Analyser Upgrade

The real time frequency analysis functions of the NOR-110 have now been augmented by the addition of the ability to calculate the Ln value in each octave or third octave in real time. This gives a direct read out of the percentile spectrum, the L90 spectrum for example is of considerable use in calculating the masking that the background noise level will afford against a new source that is to be introduced into an environment. The L10 spectra is also specified for the assessment of the intrusiveness of sound transmission in multi-screen cinemas it allows the sound track to be used as the noise source. Calculation and display of the percentile spectra is preformed in real time and may be viewed along side the conventional power and maximum spectra during the measurement. At the end of a measurement sequence the pre-selected Ln value may be changed and new values calculated based on the stored data. As a result any value of Ln may be calculated in the range L0.1 through to L99.9. Results may be downloaded to computer in standard formats for direct use in reports or alternatively printed directly from the meter on a standard serial printer.

To meet the requirements of the UK's Noise Act 1996 all the Ln values calculated in the NOR-110 are now to a precision of 0.1 dB. This feature along with the comprehensive time mode allows all of the measurement requirements required in conjunction with the Night Noise Offense to be covered by the instrument. The full range of data provided will allow the residual level and the offending noise to be measured with all significant occurrences being indicated on the time trace by use of the marker functions.

More information from Norsonic A3, PO Box 24, N-3408 Tranby, Norway. Tel: +47 32 85 20 80. Fax: +47 32 85 22 08.

 

10. Predict 'White Finger'

In the light of increasing compensation claims for vibration white finger, the new CEL-90259 hand arm vibration meter from CEL Instruments enables assessments to be made of the potential hazard of vibration and to take pre-emptive action to head off litigation.

This addition to the CEL range, conforming to ISO 8041 and ISO 5349, is a lightweight hand-held instrument offering both instantaneous vibration levels and the equivalent 8 hour exposure. It allows 7 separate vibration measurements to be collected in each run then gives the user options to enter exposure time for all relevant measurements to give an overall daily (8 hr) dose level. Graphic profiling is also possible of measurement runs.

An analogue output of the reference tone is available for DAT recording providing a convenient means to store raw data. Automatic data storage is provided to the meter's on-board memory which is capable of saving up to 99 measurement runs and this data can be output to both printers or PCs.

More information from CEL Instruments Ltd., 35-37 Bury Mead Road, Hitchin, Herts., SG5 1RT, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1462 422411 Fax: +44 (0)1462 422511.

 

11. Accelerometer with Ruggedness

Endevco UK has launched model 63B, a new lightweight piezoelectric accelerometer with integral electronics. Featuring a compact and rugged design, the model 63B is specifically designed for modal testing in laboratory, transportation and aerospace environments. This triaxial accelerometer also takes advantage of Endevco's unique EZ-Mount quick release system which reduces set-up time and improves mounting accuracy.

According to Endevco, the 63B can operate in the most rigorous environments without sustaining internal damage. In addition, it offers excellent dynamic range and frequency response in a very small package.

The 63B is easy to install, using a single connector and flexible cable. As well as being compatible with Endevco's EZ-Mount system, it can be magnetically mounted with an optional adapter.

Based on Endevco's PIEZITE Type P-8 crystal elements, the 63B provides high transduction efficiency without sacrificing ruggedness. The accelerometer also features a wide operating temperature range of -55 to +125°C and weighs only 9 grams.

Two types of 63B are available: the -100 version has a dynamic range of 50g and a voltage sensitivity of 100 mV/g, while the -500 version provides a dynamic range 10g and a voltage sensitivity of 500 mV/g.

More information from Paul Marchant, Endevco UK Ltd., Melbourn, Royston, Herts. SG8 6NA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1763 261311 Fax: +44 (0)1763 261120.

 

12. SoundPLAN for Windows

Braunstein + Berndt GmbH have redesigned SoundPLAN and now announce the September launch of a major new version of this noise and air pollution evaluation software - SoundPLAN for Windows NT/95 (SoundPLAN Wins).

SoundPLAN is an integrated software package for noise and air pollution evaluation, with modules for road noise, rail noise, aircraft noise, industry noise, indoor to outdoor factory noise, expert system industry noise, wall design/barrier optimization air pollution dispersion, cartography, 3D graphics expert, other graphics and tools.

Because many private firms, universities and government offices use SoundPLAN for environmental planning, research and evaluation through to various public presentations, this software has been especially designed to make projects and presentations efficient and effective. For power users SoundPLAN Wins has maintained the strengths of the previous versions, for novices and casual users the Windows environment and user interface help speed up the learning curve.

The new graphics interaction and calculations are easier for novice users while maintaining speed for the experienced power user. Graphics now support native Windows drivers for printers and plotters enabling you to use any device for colour output. WYSIWYG editing features have been incorporated. Hybrid data consisting of scanned maps, vectorised DXF data, and data digitised within SoundPLAN are sandwiched together forming map layers. A triangulated mesh derived from secondary sources can provide elevation information while digitising data from scanned maps. Industry noise frequency range is now 25-20000 Hz. 3D frequency dependent directivities have been introduced and the model has been extended to calculate the sound propagation for very large distances under adverse meteorological conditions (temperature and wind profiles, inversions, etc.). And, our already fast calculation times are now even faster for industrial calculations and large calculation areas.

All SoundPLAN modules have extensive full colour graphic capabilities on screen and in printed form, suiting all requirements for project, community and court room presentations. Graphics include: single point calculations for spreadsheets and tables; grid noise maps; noise contour maps; difference maps and cartography.

More information from Braunstein + Berndt GmbH, Robert-Bosch-Strasse 5, D71397 Leutenbach, Germany. Tel: +49 7195 178828 Fax: +49 7195 63265.

 

13. Pruftechnik Breaks Alignment Measurement Barriers

Laser-optical shaft alignment pioneers Pruftechnik AG of Ismaning, Germany, announce a breakthrough that allows rapid alignment of severely misaligned machines - even over distances of 20 m or more, where just slight misalignment causes any laser beam to leave its sensor as the shafts are turned. How about a sensor, then, of infinite size? Pruftechnik have now perfected a simple method, known as Infinirange, which effectively eliminates the range limitations that plague less-sophisticated laser alignment sensors: the system prompts the user to readjust the beam in mid-measurement. The patented procedure saves time by eliminating unnecessary 'rough alignment' cycles of measurement and adjustment, so that even users with little training can attain 'spot-on' alignment results with minimal machine moves.

Combined with other innovative features such as continuous sweep measurement mode and automatic elimination of coupling backlash effects, this development further establishes the money-saving advantages of ROTALIGN and OPTALIGN PLUS as the most accurate and easiest-to-use shaft alignment systems on today's market. Pruftechnik AG already holds an impressive 200 patents granted worldwide for its high-tech offerings in industrial maintenance and other areas.

More information from Pruftechnik Dieter Busch AG, Postfach 1263, D-85730 Ismaning, Germany. Tel: +49 89 99616-0 Fax: +49 89 99616-200.

 

14. Concerto Boosts F.G. Wilson's Acoustic Design Capability

F.G. Wilson Engineering Limited, a leading European manufacturer of diesel generating sets, has selected OldB's Concerto noise and vibration measurement system for use in product development at its Larne plant.

A massive five-year investment plan by US-based owners Emerson Electric and Caterpillar Inc. is currently aimed at expanding F.G. Wilson's facilities in Larne and creating new production facilities at Monkstown and at Springvale in West Belfast. The company is building on an established world presence to become the global centre of excellence in the design and production of emergency and standby power equipment.

Where Europe leads in implementation of noise control legislation, the rest of the world will surely follow, in the opinion of Dr Kieran Doherty of F.G. Wilson's research and development department in Larne. "Acoustics performance is becoming increasingly important to our customers as a selection criterion," he confirms. "Our purchase of the Concerto system supports our drive to meet and exceed the requirements of current and proposed EC directives, confirming F.G. Wilson as a world leader in acoustic design of generator sets."

F.G. Wilson purchased the Concerto system from OldB's distributor in the UK and Ireland, AcSoft of Leighton Buzzard. The system is being used in production testing and commissioning, measuring both noise and vibration, but primarily as an acoustic design tool.

"Our main reason for increasing the sophistication of our noise measurement facility was to obtain a more detailed picture of noise performance, speeding successive design iterations and aiding us in verifying the performance of our equipment prior to independent type certification. We looked at a number of dedicated and PC-based systems, and chose Concerto because it was the most cost-effective package we could find for performing a range of measurements.

"Using Concerto, we are identifying noise sources, pinpointing avenues for design modification, and evaluating design fixes more quickly and accurately. One of the benefits of Concerto is that we can perform one-shot testing, storing data from a single test run on disk for subsequent analysis using a variety of post-processing alternatives. The end benefit to our customers is the solution of noise problems at source, enabling us to enhance our reputation for outstanding acoustic performance."

In addition to wide-ranging capabilities for design verification, the flexible Concerto suite also provides easy-to-use, compact facilities for environmental noise measurement applications. Concerto is just one of many advanced software-based solutions for noise and vibration measurement available from AcSoft.

More information from AcSoft Ltd., 6 Church Lane, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard LU7 0RU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1296 662852 Fax: +44 (0)1296 661400.

 

15. Simple Hearing Protector Suitability Check

Hearing conservation company, SJK Scientifics, is now offering 29.50 software which allows you to calculate the effectiveness of hearing protection in a given noise environment. It is simple to run under Windows. You can enter your noise data either as traditional Octave Bands, or as 'A' and 'C' values for the new, easy-to-use and effective HML method. Both techniques are approved under current European and British standards.

The program runs on any PC and uses your noise data to rate a data bank of approximately 30 hearing protector specifications. It tells you which are acoustically acceptable and which are unacceptable. It also gives details about the selected protector, including pictures.

More information from SJK Scientifics Limited, Epsilon House, University Research Park, Chilworth, Southampton SO1 7NS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1703 767954 Fax: +44 (0)1703 767293.

 

16. HP Launches 17 New VXI Products

Hewlett-Packard has announced a new set of VXI products whose innovated designs and technologies reduce the typical hardware costs for building a VXI test system by about 35 per cent.

The 17 new HP VXI products feature a new mainframe family, mezzanine modules, C-size cards and B-size cards, all of which have been designed to help users customise their test systems to meet their individual needs. All are VXIplug&play-compliant, and each instrument comes with a VXIplug&play instrument driver for the Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows NT framework. Together, these products are designed to lower the price point for building a VXI test system significantly.

The new set of products includes the HP E8400A 13-slot, C-size mainframe, the first in the new line of HP VXI cardcages. Designed to provide high reliability for all manufacturing environments, the cardcage is equipped with an innovative cooling system capable of protecting a full complement of even the most system-taxing VXI cards. New monitor lights on the front panel provide system status at a glance, while the auxiliary connector - also now on the front panel - offers access to a variety of diagnostic information. Priced at 208 per slot, this full-featured, 13-slot mainframe has the lowest cost per slot in the industry.

"Our goal in designing the HP E8400A was to help users measurably and significantly lower the cost of test," said Jack Trautman, general manager of HP's Measurement Systems Division. "With its array of new features and low price point, the HP E8400A is poised to become the market's new standard for price/performance."

Among other items in the new 17-product set are the HP E2251A C-size mezzanine card carrier and the HP E2200 series of nine mezzanine modules (M-Modules), which increase VXI system flexibility by combining the European M-Module standard mezzanine architecture with the VXI architecture. Users can now plug up to six modules onto one M-Module carrier, each individually addressed and operating independently. This lowers the cost of test by providing multiple, smaller blocks of functionality on one C-size VXI card.

The HP E2251A and its nine complementary M-Module cards eliminate the need to use multiple cardcage slots when the user's application requires different types of switching, digital and serial interface combinations.

More information from Hewlett-Packard Ltd, Cain Road, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1HN, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1344 366666.

 

17. 100 MHz Data Acquisition

Data Translation Ltd, a major provider of data acquisition and imaging products for PCs, is now offering a series of very high speed data acquisition boards for the PCI and ISA bus. Data Translation Ltd now supply and support the PC-SCOPE series of boards from IMTEC GmbH.

These boards are designed for a range of high frequency specialist applications such as Ultrasonic Testing (medical diagnosis, materials testing), laser measurement systems, ISDN - telephony and modem testing and radar signal analysis.

The latest 8-bit board in the range is the T100/8 which offers sampling rates of up to 200 MHz, two channels - and is available in ISA or PCI bus formats. To ensure optimal matching of boards to application and to allow for long duration tests, the on-board memory is configurable to a maximum of 32 MBytes.

Up to 10 boards can operate simultaneously in a single, suitable, PC providing up to 20 analogue inputs. Each channel has a software programmable amplifier with ranges from 100 mV f.s. through to 50 V f.s. Signals are then digitised by 8 bit flash converters and buffered or stored in on-board SRAM. Programmable offset is also provided.

Sophisticated triggering facilities are provided to ensure that events are successfully captured first-time - essential for non-repetitive tests. Pre-and post-event buffers are fully size-programmable. External clocks enable the boards to be synchronised against external equipment. Separate trigger circuitry is provided for each channel including trigger level or rate of change with Multi-board systems able to combine these features via a trigger bus. The Windows-based INSIGHT 'instrument' software acquires and analyses the data with extensive on-line displays to provide real-time views of time histories and frequency domain.

More information from Data Translation Ltd, The Mulberry Business Park, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 2GY, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 979 383 Fax: +44 (0)118 979 6140.

 

18. FREE VXI Solutions Product Guide

National Instruments has now published the 1997 VXI Solutions Product Guide, a new 160-page catalogue and technical reference featuring product information on the company's VXI controllers, mainframes, software, and new VXI-DAQ instruments. With the new XVI-DAQ instruments, users can develop systems using a PC Card for PCI, PCMCIA, AT, or EISA, and move to VXI with no software rewrite. From design validation, to production test, to service, engineers across an organisation can reuse their software, creating an enterprise-wide scalable test solution. The catalogue includes a director of more than 20 VXI systems experts from the National Instruments Alliance Program who can help design industry-specific custom solutions. VXI is used in test, measurement and high-performance data acquisition systems.

More information from National Instruments, 21 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5SJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1635 523545 Fax: +44 (0)1635 523154.

 

19. Also FREE

The 1997 version of National Instruments' DAQ Designer software configuration utility for Windows NT/95/3.1 is now available. DAQ Designer 97 is an interactive, easy-to-use package that asks the system developer questions about application requirements, such as the quantity and types of signals and sensors, and signal conditioning needs. DAQ Designer analyses the answers and produces a summary report, recommending appropriate solutions including plug-in DAQ boards, signal conditioning products, cable assemblies, and software best-suited to the application.

DAQ Designer 97 works with Windows NT/95/3.1. New features of DAQ Designer 97 include: VXI-DAQ modules; PCI data acquisition boards; PCMCIA cards for portable data acquisition; Image acquisition; Windows NT software options.

National Instruments is a leading manufacturer of virtual instrumentation hardware and software for test, measurement, and industrial automation applications.

More information from National Instruments, 21 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5SJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1635 523545 Fax: +44 (0)1635 523154.

 

20. Pruftechnik Alignment Tolerance Tables

Pruftechnik Ltd is offering valuable expertise and guidance on alignment tolerances in the form of their shaft alignment tolerances table. The easy to use and straight forward chart suggests alignment tolerances which are general values based upon 15 years of experience, and in theory and in practice they should not be exceeded. In most cases a quick glance at the table will tell whether coupling misalignment is allowable or not. As an example, a machine running at 1800 rpm has coupling offsets of -1.1 mils vertically and +1.6 mills horizontally; both these values fall within the 'acceptable' limit of 3.0 mils. The table also accounts for values for coupling diameters of 100 mm or 10.

All tolerances are given as acceptable or excellent measurements. 'Acceptable' limits are calculated from sliding velocity of lubricated steel on steel, using a conservative value of 0.5 in/sec for allowing sliding velocity. These values also coincide with those derived from elastomer shear rates, so they apply to short couplings with flexible elements.

The 'excellent' values draw on vibration observations made from a wide variety of industrial machines to determine the critical misalignment for vibration.

More information from Pruftechnik Ltd, Burton Road, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LN, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1543 417722 Fax: +44 (0)1543 417723.

 

21. Friendly Fibres

In addition to its extensive range of sound absorption products, UK's The Noise Control Centre has launched its latest innovation, FiberForm, the friendly alternative to glass fibre and mineral wool.

FiberForm is a totally new type of noise absorption material based on a special structure of polyester fibres containing no resins or binders. The fibres, which are locked together during the manufacturing process, are non irritant and do not release into the atmosphere even in high velocity air streams or when subjected to serious vibration. The product is fire resistant to Class O Building Regulations, odourless and gives off no harmful/toxic fumes when consumed in fire.

FiberForm is available in standard sheet form at either 25 mm or 50 mm thickness and can be supplied in a variety of surface finishes, with the option of self adhesive backing. Custom made components can be produced and can include cut shapes, edge sealed and three dimensionally moulded design features. The acoustic performance of FiberForm is excellent and compares very favourably with both fibre and absorptive foam products.

More information from The Noise Control Centre, Crown Business Park, Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray, Leics. LE14 3NQ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1664 821800 Fax: +44 (0)1664 821830.

 

22. "Loudness"

"Loudness" is a new method for the evaluation of a human's perception of the differences in sound levels. It applies to emissions from products and is of particular relevance to Noise and Vibration Hazard (NVH) engineers involved in the automotive, household appliance, machinery manufacturing industries or aerospace and telecommunication companies.

Because the assessment of the effects of noise on humans is a complex process the 'A' weighting frequency correction previously used for such measurements is now considered to be inadequate because the perceived impression of sound has been proved to be dependent upon both frequency and amplitude.

The international standard ISO 532 Part B: 1975, based on work by Dr Zwicker, establishes a single number descriptor to define the audible effect of "loudness" as perceived by a listener. It is based on steady state noises which can be measured in full octaves or third octave bandwidths. Groups of frequency bands are added together and amplitude based corrections are then applied to determine a unit which can be expressed as "Sones" or "Phons".

"Loudness" measurements require considerable processing power usually only provided by large and complex laboratory analysis systems but the 500 range of Real-Time Analysers from CEL Instruments uses Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology to offer the equivalent power but with the convenience of a hand-held instrument that can be used with equal effect under field or laboratory conditions.

CEL's 500 Series Real-Time Sound Level Analysers can calculate a steady state spectrum, in third octaves, of either 100 or 500 milliseconds duration. This is possible because the instrument uses group averaging of 10 millisecond spectral data. These steady state spectra can then be used to calculate the Loudness value, the Loudness level and the Loudness/Time history profile.

A CEL-500 analyser fitted with the Loudness module was used recently at a major automotive manufacturer to meet their need for a more reliable way of assessing the human perception of the differences in sound levels which could be shared between a number of manufacturing locations. Previously the company had relied upon subjective assessments but these could not be used as reliable indicators. The instrument was used in a car wind test with the window open and closed. Using the dB(A) scale the difference between the two was only 0.1 dB(A) but, when using the Loudness application, the difference was a significant 5 Sones which closely matched the subject's perception of the actual noise.

The 500 series can be specified with a standard 500k or 2 Mb memory to enable the instruments to cope with the most demanding measurement sequences. The stored data can then be output directly to a standard printer, in a preset report format, or downloaded to a computer for further processing or the preparation of full reports.

More information from CEL Instruments Ltd, 35-37 Bury Mead Road, Hitchin, Herts. SG5 1RT, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1462 422411 Fax: +44 (0)1462 422511.

 

23. New Personal Noise Dosemeter from Cirrus

The CR:701B is a new Personal Noise Dosemeter that makes measurements simple. It gives all of the measurements needed throughout the European Union to comply with the Noise at Work regulations.

The data logging instrument can store many different parameters such as Leq, Lep,d, % Dose and Peak(C) Levels. In addition, the unit can store a profile of the noise levels throughout the measurement period. All of the information can be downloaded using the Windows software supplied as standard with the instrument.

In addition, the measurement parameters of the CR:701B can be altered and updated by the user to take account of any changes in future legislation.

A full range of accessories is available for the CR:701B, and the instrument can also be supplied as a complete measurement kit.

More information from Cirrus Research plc, Acoustic House, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorks. YO14 0PH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 891655 Fax: +44 (0)1723 891742.

 

24. New Position Sensing Probe

GWI announce the latest addition to their range of sensors, the DISTEC Model 915. This is a new pre calibrated high performance, high stability Probe for measuring micro displacements or positioning up to 1500m without making contact with the target. The DISTEC can be used in both static and dynamic modes. The principle of operation is based upon the fact that the inductance of any RF coil as it approaches conducting materials, is reduced due to eddy current effects.

A high frequency signal is radiated from the probe tip into the conductive target. Eddy currents are produced and after conditioning and linearisation, a DC voltage signal is produced which is proportional to the distance from the target. On rotating targets an AC signal is produced. The newly developed high stability sensor coil with MACOR will operate over the frequency range DC to 28 Khz and in the temperature range -30 to +70° C, and is submersible. An output of 8 volts for full range is available, with linearity better than 1%. The miniature encapsulated signal conditioner module can operate 4.5 m from the probe, and the output is sufficiently high that no additional amplification is required prior to connection to the readout device.

DISTEC can be used to measure proximity, profiles, radial or axial vibration, thrust, rotational speed, thickness, eccentricity, bearing wear and tear, machine tool positioning.

More information from Graham & White Instruments Ltd, 135 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 4LZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1727 861110 Fax: +44 (0)1727 844272.

 

25. LMS Numerical Technologies into High-Frequency Vibro-Acoustics

LMS Numerical Technologies has announced the release of SEADS, a CAE product to predict the vibro-acoustic behaviour of structures for medium-to-high frequencies.

SEADS, Statistical Energy Analysis Design System, uses advanced SEA techniques to simulate in the design and even early design stage, the vibration and sound levels of large and complex structures. SEA methods are especially useful at higher frequencies where traditional Finite Element (FE) and Boundary Element (BE) Methods fail, due to the very small wavelengths and due to the large variability of the response at these high frequencies.

SEADS can be used to study the vibro-acoustic response in large structures, such as ships or aircrafts. Other representative application areas include the train, automotive, aerospace, submarine, construction and appliance industries.

Typical uses of SEA include:

- simulation of vibration transmission paths through body structures - determination of sound pressure levels in compartments

- vibro-acoustic responses due to turbulent boundary layer and diffuse pressure field excitation

- optimization of vibro-acoustic characteristics

- energy flow evaluation in buildings

- effect of damping treatment

- acoustic radiation from complex struc-tures

- simulation of acoustic leakages

- high-frequency pass-by noise prediction

- signature analysis of underwater vessels.

More information from LMS Numerical Technologies, Interleuvenlaan 70, Research-park Haasrode Z1 30001 Leuven, Belgium. Tel: +32 16 384-500. Fax: +32 16 384-550.

 

26. Hand-held Vibration Meter Helps Protect Industrial Machinery

Monitran's portable vibration meters are used around industrial sites to monitor vibration levels on all types of rotating machinery, allowing engineers to predict when maintenance is needed, so avoiding costly plant shut-downs.

For maintenance engineers embarking on the new scientific approach to monitoring of motors, gearboxes, fans, pumps and any rotating or vibratory plant, the VM vibration meter offers an ideal low-cost entry level instrument.

By regular monitoring of vibration levels on important production machinery, trends in deteriorating machine components are highlighted, allowing engineers to plan when maintenance work is to be carried out at the most convenient time to minimise production loss. In the long term this avoids total failure of the machine, with the high cost of complete plant shut-down.

The VM meter is battery-operated for portability and comes with a hand-held probe, or can be connected to a vibration sensor permanently fitted to the machinery. It monitors acceleration, velocity or displacement in either peak or rms mode, with a choice of three ranges for each parameter.

A large LCD digital display gives an easy-to-read value of the vibration level and an optional output is available for further detailed analysis of the signal on other ancillary equipment.

Further information from Monitran Ltd, Monitor House, Hazlemere Road, Penn H10 8AD. Tel: +44 (0)1494 816569 Fax: +44 (0)1494 812256. e-mail: monitran@ndirect.co.uk

 

27. SonaSpray K13 - Spray-on Acoustic System

SonaSpray K13, a versatile spray on acoustic system produced by the International Cellulose Corporation of Houston Texas, is now available in the United Kingdom from Oscar Acoustics. It is a product that has been extensively and successfully used across the USA and Europe and the proven acoustic characteristics of SonaSpray K13 provide a simple, easily applied and cost effective means of significantly reducing noise reverberation in all types of manufacturing, assembly and processing areas.

Most industrial type buildings have 'hard' internal wall and roof surfaces and any noise generated internally will reverberate, that is the sound will reflect or bounce from the hard surfaces and spread throughout the whole area. Using SonaSpray K13 to line buildings introduces highly absorptive acoustic surfaces which will prevent noise build up by reverberation. This treatment can also reduce significantly the need and cost for acoustic treatment that may be required for noisy equipment, ie because the building fabric will not reflect the noise around the work area, open top enclosures may provide sufficient noise reduction or simple barriers may give adequate reduction to direct paths of noise to nearby work stations.

Further information from Oscar Acoustics, Michaels Lane, West Yoke, Ash, Kent TN15 7HT, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1474 873122 Fax: +44 (0)1474 8795544.

 

28. High Performance Engine Dynamometer

The new Magtrol Ed-715 engine dynamometer from Huco Engineering Components has been designed specifically to withstand the severe, high vibration conditions inherent in internal combustion engine testing. It is ideally suited for emissions testing but the dynamometer will also provide superior performance on the production line, in the inspection bay or research and development laboratory.

This new product has high speed capability of up to 20,000 rpm. Speed readings can be controlled either manually or via a PC-based controller. It also provides highly accurate torque - 0.25% full scale; maximum torque is 6.5 Nm.

To ensure the engine dynamometer is robust enough to withstand continuous vibration, its design includes a large, rugged stainless steel shaft, an additional front shaft bearing for greater support, a specially reinforced load cell and gusseted pillow blocks. It is also blower-cooled to maximise heat dissipation.

Precise and frictionless torque loading, independent of shaft speed is provided by Magtrol's unique hysteresis braking system. It also ensures excellent torque repeatability and a long operating life. As the system includes no wearing parts other than the bearings, low maintenance is another important benefit.

Further information from Huco Engineering Components, Merchant Drive, Hertford, Herts. SG13 7XL, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1992 509888 Fax: +44 (0)1992 509890.

 

29. British-built Acoustic Transfer Grilles Offer Sound Performance

Allaway Acoustics has introduced a new acoustic transfer grille, designed to deliver suppression of cross-talk in buildings incorporating ventilation or conditioned air systems. The ATG-D44 is tested in accordance with three different British Standards (BS 2750, BS 4718 and BS 5821) and will be built to order in the company's UK based manufacturing facilities.

Unlike conventional grilles for air flow, the ATG-D44 is constructed with a channel section front and rear and incorporates a number of blades to create an acoustically treated labyrinth. Suitable for use in any area considered noise sensitive, transmission loss of up to 24 dB is achieved, alongside insertion loss of up to 18 dB.

In addition to impressive performance standards, Allaway Acoustic's in-house design and manufacturing capability ensures a high degree of flexibility to meet individual customer requirements. The ATG-D44 is available in a wide range of materials, including extruded or sheet aluminium, sheet zintec and stainless steel with optional polyester powder finish to any RAL or BS colour. Any width size can be accommodated and opening heights start at 136 mm, increasing in increments of 70 mm. The frames are supplied pre-drilled for fixing screws, complete with sealing gaskets.

More information from Allaway Acoustics, Old Police Station, 1 Queen's Road, Hertford, Herts. SG14 1EN. Tel: +44 (0)1992 550825 Fax: +44 (0)1992 554982.

 

30. User Friendly Vibration Measurement

The GA2000 Vibration Meter from the Castle Group combines simplicity and technology to make the measurement of vibration a simple, quick process, with results that are easy to read and meaningful, for machine and bearing vibration, as well as environmental levels.

The versatility of the GA2000 includes machine condition monitoring, HFD bearing condition and building/environmental vibration, from which results can be stored via the data-logging facility for up to 250 monitoring stations and up to 10,000 measurements. The data can then be viewed on screen, printed out direct to the portable printer both graphically and numerically, or downloaded to the Castle dBdataW vibration software.

Castle have used the latest micro processor technology to design a meter that operates with logical and simple key strokes from the menu system to measure current value, Lav and max in rms, and peak for acceleration, velocity and displacement. The GA2000 has frequency filters for condition monitoring, bearing vibration and linear measurements, the meter will also record data in 10 octave bands from 16 Hz to 8 KHz. The GA2000 general purpose vibration meter is available in complete kit format, with flex cable, accelerometer, magnetic mount, spike, printer and cable and protective kit case.

More information from Castle Group Ltd, Salter Road, Scarborough, North Yorks. YO11 3UZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 584250 Fax: +44 (0)1723 583728.

 

31. Challenging Sound Assumptions for Industrial Noise Surveys

A new series of sound level meters will, say CEL Instruments, challenge the traditional view of noise measurement instrumentation for industrial noise assessments and hearing protection programmes.

The complexity of operation that is normally associated with noise measurement instruments has been eliminated in the new CEL range by careful attention to the user interface. The attractively styled instruments include an icon based keypad and a large screen that displays information on the chosen criteria and the measurement results in a clear and legible format. The screen icons are arranged to reflect the position and functions of the buttons on the keypad which makes the selection of parameters and functions intuitive and therefore easy to learn.

The 400 series, based on the advanced technology used in CEL's 500 real-time sound level analyzers, are modular in nature to provide a wide choice of models.

There are two main models in the range, the 440 standard version and the 480 which offers additional timed measurement functions that can be used to automatically start, stop and store a number of measurement 'runs' during a working period.

A wide choice of measurement criteria and ranges are available in each model to enable the instruments to meet the demands of differing regulatory requirements for noise assessments and product compliance testing.

To eliminate the need for hand written records the 400 series also have on-board memories and data download capabilities. It is possible to store measurements automatically or by manual instruction and data can be printed out, in a preset report format, to any standard printer. Results can also be downloaded to computers, using a CEL Windows software program, for further processing and report writing.

For further information contact CEL Instruments Ltd, 35-37 Bury Mead Road, Hitching, Herts. SG5 1RT. Tel: +44 (0)1462 422411 Fax: +44 (0)1462 422511.

 

32. Reliable Vibration/Bearing Monitoring at Low Cost

Monitoring of operating condition parameters is a sound strategy for reducing machine downtime - but the expense involved often limited its use to only a few large machines. Now, however, the modular VIBREX system by Pruftechnik AG provides affordable monitoring and automated alarm-based switching for one or two channels. Its dual-function standard sensor cuts hardware and installation costs by measuring both machine vibration (ISO) and shock pulse signals (dBsv) of anti-friction bearings.

Separately-adjustable warning and alarm limits allow separate actions - such as warning signals followed by automatic machine shutoff - with separate on-board LED indicators and an adjustable delay to prevent false alarms. A 4-20mA output allows connection of PLC/PCS (with control room display). Evaluation modules are contained in an IP65 industrial housing; specialized modules are also available expressly for gear vibration and low-speed machines. Self-diagnostic routines clearly show short circuits, broken connections and power status with LEDs. The AC/DC-powered system includes sensors, cable, mounting accessories and instructions for quick installation - perfect for original equipment and delivery or for afterfitting at the production site.

More information from Pruftechnik Dieter Busch AG, Postfach/PO Box 1263, D-85730 Ismaning, Germany. Tel: 089/99616-0 Fax: 089/99616-200.

 

33. New Low-Cost, High-Frequency ICP Accelerometer

The Industrial Monitoring Instrumentation (IMI) division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., has introduced the new 603A01 industrial accelerometer. This low-cost, high-frequency ICP sensor is structured with a ceramic shear sensing element and built-in microelectronics in a hermetically sealed, stainless steel, industrial housing. The dual case design and electrical case isolation assures clean signals in harsh environments. A wide frequency response, low-noise performance and 100 mV/g sensitivity give this sensor a broad range of applications. The Series 603A01 is available with a two-pin military style connector and is compatible with predictive maintenance data collectors and on-line condition monitoring systems. Additional versions of the Series 603 are available with three-pin military-style connectors, integral cable and armor jacketed cable.

More information from Industrial Monitoring Instrumentation, 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, New York 14043, USA. Tel: +1 716 683 0003 Fax: +1 716 684 3823. e-mail: IMI@PCB.COM

 

34. New Voltmeter measures signals at selected frequencies while rejecting all others

EG&G Signal Recovery has announced the availability of a new measurement tool designed to offer the technician, engineer or scientist the ability to measure signals that are accompanied by unwanted noise or interference. The new model 7310 Noise-Rejecting Voltmeter (NRV) is a multi-purpose unit which uses the latest Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques to provide a cost-effective answer to the problems encountered when measuring noisy signals and making measurements at selected frequencies.

Technicians, engineers and scientists frequently need to measure AC voltages and currents. When the signal of interest is large in comparison to any accompanying noise, DVMs and oscilloscopes will prove to be inadequate to make accurate measurements. If the signal is not large enough, the DVMs and oscilloscopes are not adequate. The traditional use of analog electronic filtering, prior to the measuring instrument, offers limited improvement due to the inherent instabilities and errors of the electronics involved and may require a different configuration for each new task. The advent of modern DSP technology has provided the means to overcome these inadequacies, which EG&G has utilised to provide a cost-effective solution to these problems. The model 7310 is, in effect, a precision, true rms voltmeter together with a signal filtering and conditioning stage all in one box and gives the user the ability to measure a signal at a selected frequency while rejecting all others.

More information from EG&G Signal Recovery, Sorbus House, Mulberry Business Park, Wokingham, Berks. RG41 2GY, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 977 3003 Fax: +44 (0)118 977 3493.

 

35. CR:274 Sound Level Meter

Accurate yet simple monitoring of potential noise problems in the work place is becoming increasingly important, especially where high levels are encountered and hearing protection is required.

The CR:274 is a fully featured Digital Integrating Sound Level Meter meeting the requirements of BS EN 60651 and BS EN 60804 Type 2. The instrument provides measurement of Leq and Peak(C), allowing full compliance with the Noise at Work regulations. The CR:274 also features an integrated octave band filter set, which provides the instrument with the facilities required for the selection of hearing protection and measuring the effectiveness of noise control programmes.

The CR:274 can be supplied as a complete measurement kit, which includes a suitable acoustic calibrator, windshield and miscellaneous accessories in a carrying case.

More information from Cirrus Research plc, Acoustic House, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorks. YO14 0PH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 891655 Fax: +44 (0)1723 891742.

 

36. Vibration Transducer Calibrator Automates Sensor Test

Beran Instruments has launched the Model 475 Vibration Transducer Calibrator designed for the fully automatic calibration of accelerometers, velocity and displacement sensors.

The 475 is a dedicated calibrator providing the shaker stimulus signal, closed loop control, reference and test sensor measurement channels and result processing and graphic display. The Sine Correlation measurement technique is used in the 475 in order to reject any harmonics and noise introduced by the shaker mechanism. Frequency Response and Amplitude Linearity calibrations may be performed with the typical test time for each device being in the order of three minutes after mounting to the shaker.

More information from Beran Instruments Ltd, Hatchmoor Industrial Estate, Torrington, Devon EX38 7HP, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1805 624304 Fax: +44 (0)1805 624093.

 

37. Combined Features of Oscilloscopes and Recorders

The new Yokogawa DL708 'ScopeCorder', available in the UK from Martron Instruments, is the first of a new generation of test and measuring instruments combining features of both oscilloscopes and recorders.

The new instrument, which costs significantly less than either an oscilloscope or a recorder of equivalent performance, has been developed because of users' increasing needs for both high-frequency and high-resolution signal measurements in electrical and mechanical testing applications.

A wide choice of signal-conditioning modules is available, and up to eight channels can be plugged into the mainframe for simultaneous data capture or recording. High-speed modules have a frequency bandwidth of up to 2 MHz, while high-resolution modules incorporate 16-bit A/D convertors for maximum amplitude accuracy.

Internal analysis capabilities include voltage measurement, timing measurements and FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) analysis. A waveform parameter measurement function allows signals to be analysed in terms of characteristics such as overshoot, frequency period, standard deviation and risetime.

The DL708 is suited to application areas such as machinery inspection, engine testing, variable-speed drive analysis and transient capture. It is compact, and light enough for field use.

More information from Martron Instruments Ltd, Wellington Road, Cressex Industrial Estate, High Wycombe, Bucks. HP12 3PR, UK.

 

38. Steel Spring Mounts to Enhance Isolation of Vibrating Machinery

Allaway Acoustics has introduced an extended range of spring mounts, designed to prevent vibration from equipment being transmitted to buildings and structures. Unlike traditional rubber blocks and mounts, the new products incorporate high deflection steel springs and high-frequency isolation pads and grommets to deliver significantly improved vibration isolation.

The new range encompasses a total of 48 different mounts, from light duty models to double-spring units capable of supporting and damping over two tonnes apiece. Typical applications include the isolation of pumps, air handling units, generators, cooling systems and industrial machinery. Equipment can either be fitted to inertia bases supported by the spring mounts, or attached direct.

More information from Allaway Acoustics Limited, The Old Police Station, 1 Queens Road, Hertford SG14 1EN, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1992 550825 Fax: +44 (0)1992 554982.

 

39. Low Pressure Sensors Utilise Finite Element Analysis

The heart of these sensors is a novel chip by EG&G IC Sensors, featuring a double-bossed design capable of producing a higher sensor output (100 mV typ) for 1 psi, compared to 40 to 60 mV for competitive products, along with improved temperature performance, linearity and hysteresis.

Using finite element analysis, along with process simulations/test procedures, has resulted in a sensor affording improved mechanical structure, optimal siting of the sensing resistor and a stable device output.

In competitive products, higher sensor output is normally a trade-off against pressure linearity, but the EG&G ICS device maintains a 0.1% pressure linearity within mid-pressure ranges.

More information from Eurosensor, 20/24 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)171 405 6060 Fax: +44 (0)171 405 2040.

 

40. New HiQ Signal Processing Toolkit

National Instruments has released the HiQ Signal Processing Toolkit, an add-on package with frequency and time domain design and analysis functions for HiQ. The new toolkit can be use to analyse complex signals, and then use the advanced visualisation and documentation features in HiQ to create reports and documents. The HiQ Signal Processing Toolkit is ideal for applications such as speech processing, sound analysis, sonar, radar, machine testing, vibration analysis, and dynamic signal monitoring. The HiQ Signal Processing Toolkit contains frequency and time domain design and analysis functions including Fourier and Hartley transforms, power spectrum analysis functions, transfer functions, FIR and IIR filter design, and time domain design.

More information from National Instruments Corporation (UK) Ltd, 21 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berks. RG14 5SJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1635 572400 Fax: +44 (0)1635 524395.

 

41. Piezoresistive Transducer for Low Pressure OEM Applications

Endevco UK has announced the availability of a new piezoresistive transducer for low pressure measurements in OEM applications. The new model 8903 is a miniature OEM piezoresistive pressure transducer featuring high sensitivity and internal temperature compensation. The transducer is available with 5 psig full scale ranges and offers excellent accuracy with over pressure of more than seven times full scale.

The 8903 transducer uses a four-active arm strain gauge bridge that is ion implanted into a unique sculptured silicon diaphragm. The sensor is hermetically sealed onto a thick, strong ceramic board and is protected by a plastic cover. Electrical connections are made via solder pads located on the end of the ceramic board. An internal compensation resistor provides temperature compensation from -55 to +125°C without the need for external components.

The new 8903-2 and -5 transducers are designed for a variety of OEM applications where low pressures are measured. These include medical instrumentation, avionics, specialised automotive measurements and process control.

More information from Paul Marchant, Endevco UK Ltd, Melbourn, Royston, Herts. SG8 6AQ. Tel: +44 (0)1763 261311 Fax: +44 (0)1763 261120.

 

42. On-Line Power Plant Optimiser for British Steel

Zeefax Limited have won a contract to supply an on-line performance and condition monitoring system, including a full plant modelling and on-line optimisation package. The system is to be supplied to British Steel for use within the large and complex power and steam generation plant at Scunthorpe Works in the North East of England, which is the largest fully integrated steel plant in Europe.

The system will use a high speed, real time data acquisition engine based on PowerLog, which will be acquiring data from multiple sources concurrently. Live and calculated data will also be shared to other PC workstations via the dedicated local area network. PowerLog will be used to provide the main operator interface, with all data being displayed via a range of display types, including plant mimics, graphical trends and chart recorder displays.

The operator interface will be configured to allow the system users to input sets of operational demands or constraints. These items will be used by the optimiser, to continuously advise the unit operator of the best possible operating regime at any one time. Live plant data will also be passed onto the on-line optimiser, which will be based on Power Technologies dpm Optimize.

More information from Zeefax Ltd, Zeefax House, 320 King Street, London W6 0RR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)181 748 7808 Fax: +44 (0)181 748 7188.

 

43. New Signal Conditioning System

Micro Movements have launched the M3000, a new 16 channel fully programmable signal conditioning system which links with a control PC to give real-time data acquisition, archiving or detailed analysis with the SnapMaster software. There is a choice of plug-in modules to suit all types of transducers.

More information from Micro Movements Ltd, The Centre, Reading Road, Eversley RG27 0NB. Tel: +44 (0)118 973 0200 Fax: +44 (0)118 932 8872.

 

44. PCB Piezotronics

The Pressure and Force Sensors (PFS) division of PCB Piezotronics Inc announces the release of their new Piezoelectric Pressure Sensor Catalog. The catalogue features both charge and ICP sensors for dynamic pressure measurements, including engine combustion, ballistics, closed bomb, free-field and underwater blast, acoustics, turbulence, hydraulics, pulsations and other dynamic pressure phenomena. Signal conditioning, cables, accessories and calibration equipment associated with this product line are also included in the catalogue.

More information from PCB Piezotronics Inc, 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495, USA. Tel: +1 800 828 8840 Fax: +1 716 684 0987.

 

45. National Instruments

National Instruments are offering a free eight-page HiQ brochure which describes the company's interactive problem-solving software for technical professionals. The brochure highlights some of the hundreds of built-in functions included in HiQ, such as data fitting, geometry, integral equations, numerical integration, and more. Advanced features include powerful built-in analysis, data visualisation, and interactive report generation. Scientists and engineers can use HiQ to generate 2D and 3D graphs from both data and functions and immediately view the results.

More information from National Instruments Corporation UK Ltd, 21 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berks. RG14 5SJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1635 572400 Fax: +44 (0)1635 524395.

 

46. IAC

Industrial Acoustics Company has published an updated technical guide to its range of Quiet-Vent Silencers. The silencers help eliminate the transfer of noise from room-to-room and can be installed on doors, inside or on walls, ceilings and conventional ventilation ducts. Air passes freely through the silencers in either direction while noise is reduced in both directions. Quiet-Vents are suitable for any application where privacy and ventilation are required including offices, apartments, conference, interview, music rooms and reception areas.

The guide contains information on Quiet-Vents for doors, windows, walls, floors, and ceilings with illustrations on how these air transfer units are used. The noise reduction capability of each silencer is shown as well as installation details, dimensions, weights and pressure drop data.

More information from Industrial Acoustics Company Inc, 1160 Commerce Avenue, NY 10462, USA. Tel: +1 718 931 8000 Fax: +1 718 863 1138.

 

47. Waveform Presentation and Analysis Software for Digital Oscilloscopes

Martron Instruments has announced the availability of Data Viewer, a new software package designed to analyse waveforms captured by digital storage oscilloscopes.

Running under Windows on any standard PC, Data Viewer provides facilities for voltage measurement, waveform parameter analysts, frequency investigation using FFT analysis, and timing measurement.

Conversion of the oscilloscope's binary data can be made to a CSV file, enabling information to be opened in a spreadsheet such as Excell for further processing.

More information from Martron Instruments Ltd, Wellington Road, Cressex Industrial Estate, High Wycombe, Bucks. HP12 3PR, UK.

 

48. New Super-Slim Digital Sound Level Meters

The Model 50 series is a family of slim digital sound level meters housed in a strong diecast case. Two instruments, with different performances, have been built around a central core instrument.

The Model 51 meets Type 1 of IEC 651, the precision grade, while Model 52 meets the Type 2 general purpose grade.

All the units in the series measure from 30 to 140 dB and feature Maximum Hold, 'A' and 'C' weighting with Slow, Fast and Impulse responses, together with a 'freeze reading' and a back light for the LCD display.

All of the parameters of the Model 50 family are designed to better than the full standard of IEC 651 Type 1. Only when the microphone is connected is the design specification determined to the general purpose or precision grade.

As the units feature both 'A' and 'C' weighting, they can be used in nearly all industrial hygiene situations and in a general factory safety role. In addition, their very good noise floor performance means that the Type 1 unit is ideally suited for use by Environmental Health Officers.

Further information from Pulsar Instruments Ltd, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, YO14 0PH, UK, Tel: +44 (0)1723 891662.

 

49. How igus Beat Noise, Wear and Tear

igus, world renowned for state-of-the-art energy chain products and maintenance free polymer bearings have developed a new product range - the DryLinR-T linear guide system.

DryLinR-T are used in environments typically regarded as aggressive, especially in the paper converting, textile, packaging and woodworking industries. Conditions in which water, alkaline solutions and acids are present also present no problem for DryLinR-T.

Benefits and advantages of cost saving DryLinR-T engineering features include adjustable clearance, extreme weight saving whilst maintaining high rigidity and high static load capacity. No lubrication is necessary as DryLinR-T runs dry. There is noise reduction over conventional types of slide. They can be used in the presence of water, dirt, dust and chemicals. In dry operations DryLinR-T have the lowest coefficients of friction.

The DryLinR-T linear guide system consists of two components, a guide rail made of hard anodised aluminium and a sliding carriage. The guide rail is available from igus in lengths of up to six metres, the carriage is pre-mounted and precisely adjusted to suit the guide.

The individually adjustable sliding elements are manufactured from polymer compound iglidur J which has been developed for low coefficients of friction during dry operation. The stick slip characteristic is negligible. This is of utmost importance at low loads and low speeds. This low coefficient of friction also means that iglidur J can be used at gliding speeds of 1.5 m/s. Anodised aluminium is the ideal partner for iglidur J. The combination of polymer and aluminium means that DryLinR-T is very lightweight, while maintaining the required rigidity for a linear system.

The DryLinR-T linear system is adjustable to any desired tolerance. However it is not recommended that tolerances are too tight when high sliding speeds are required. The running clearance of the carriage can be adjusted at any time by tightening the individual sliding elements. When two linear systems are used in parallel one carriage should be set as a fixed bearing (regular adjustment), whilst the other should be adjusted to give wider running clearance.

The six separate polymer sliding elements give low friction and low wear. The whole system offers greater static stability than linear rolling element slides. This high stability together with the elasticity of the polymer elements allow the use of DryLinR-T systems in applications which encounter impacts and vibrations. Roller element bearings can present a major problem as the balls tend to get flattened. However, this type of loading has no adverse effect on DryLinR-T.

One of the design criteria for DryLinR-T Linear System was to reduce noise. igus DryLinR-T is virtually inaudible during normal operation - the usual 'crashing' noise of balls has disappeared.

The DryLinR-T Slide System is produced to the same dimensional standard as other linear systems and is therefore directly interchangeable with conventional types. Like all other iglidur plain bearings and DryLin linear bearings, no lubrication is necessary. The bearings are completely maintenance free.

More information from igus (UK) Limited, 10 Newton Close, Drayton Fields, Daventry, Northants NN11 5RR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1327 310366 Fax: +44 (0)1327 310350.

 

50. More Functionality and Ease of Use for Data Acquisition

Adept Scientific has released WorkBench PC for Windows Version 3.0, a major upgrade to Strawberry Tree's graphical data acquisition software that lets users collect, analyse, display and log data and control external systems without programming, simply by dropping icons into place and wiring them together. This new release gives better support to process monitoring and factory-floor applications as well as general data acquisition; while the optional VITool makes it easy to visualise processes and specify graphical interfaces.

Designed for powerful and easy data acquisition, WorkBench PC for Windows provides a wide choice of modules representing data inputs, outputs, controls, displays and functions for data reduction, signal analysis, mathematical and statistical routines. Setups are configured from a pull-down menu of modules. The user selects from the comprehensive range and connects the modules together on-screen in a data flow format, without programming. The software includes a built-in tutorial and a context-sensitive Help system to shorten the learning curve.

More information from ADEPT Scientific plc, 6 Business Centre West, Avenue One, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 2HB, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1462 480055 Fax: +44 (0)1462 480213 e-mail: info@adeptscience.co.uk WWW: http://www.adeptscience.co.uk/

 

51. Also from ADEPT ...

A new catalogue of data acquisition and control products from leading US manufacturer ComputerBoards is now available from UK master distributor Adept Scientific, free of charge on request. ComputerBoards is one of the world's leading manufacturers of plug-in data acquisition and control boards. It offers a comprehensive range of good quality products at highly competitive prices. These are ideal for OEMs and end users needing cost effective data acquisition hardware that is easy to install and use.

Up to now, each of ComputerBoards' main product ranges have had their own separate catalogues. Volume 15 is the first complete compendium of the company's products. The 64 page booklet, just under A4 in size, is fully illustrated with colour photographs of all boards and associated software and peripherals, together with detailed technical information. In addition to the company's existing boards, peripherals and software, the catalogue introduces 28 new products.

More information from ADEPT Scientific plc, 6 Business Centre West, Avenue One, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 2HB, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1462 480055 Fax: +44 (0)1462 480213 e-mail: info@adeptscience.co.uk WWW: http://www.adeptscience.co.uk/

 

52. Three-Component Force Sensor

PCB Piezotronics' newest product is the Model 260A13 charge output three-component force sensor. Each sensor is structured with a preloaded quartz element providing long-term stability, high stiffness of 40 lb/min in the z-axis (15 lb/min in the xy-axis) and a wide dynamic range of 10,000 lb in the z-axis (4000 lb in the xy-axis). The sensor provides a charge output of 15 pC/lb in the z-axis and 32 pC/lb in the xy-axis. These features, along with rugged, hermetic stainless steel construction, make this sensor suitable for a variety of applications including: monitoring cutting tool forces, modal analysis, engine mount analysis, biomechanics and impact testing.

More information from PCB Piezotronics inc, 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043, USA. Tel: +1 800 828 8840 Fax: +1 716 684 0987.

 

53. Outstanding Cost/Performance from AcSoft for Sound and Vibration Analysis

UK-based AcSoft has concluded a distribution agreement with Sound Technology of California. As a result, AcSoft introduces into the UK Sound Technology's Spectra SOFtest Series of powerful sound and vibration analysis products.

Spectra SOFtest keeps the costs down by running with any Windows sound card to transform the PC into a high-performance analysis system. All versions of Spectra SOFtest include versatile signal generator capabilities.

Spectra SOFtest packages are designed to take advantage of 32-bit Windows 95 and NT, and to make full use of multimedia. They also work with other Windows versions with extension software. The four packages offered by AcSoft span a wide range of applications. SpectraRTA is a good starting point for studio and pro-audio applications, and for electro-acoustic applications with distortion measurements available as an add-on. SpectraPLUS, SpectraPRO and SpectraLAB packages offer progressively more sophisticated facilities for industrial applications. Ultimately the software provides all the features of a high end analyser, such as fast high-res FFT, phase, spectrogram and waterfall plots, and so on. Calibration for engineering transducers is built in.

The systems are easy to use and upgrade. Naturally performance depends on the quality of the hardware. AcSoft can help by offering total solutions, with support for a wide range of analogue and digital interfaces.

More information from AcSoft Ltd, 6 Church Lane, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard LU7 0RU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1296 662852 Fax: +44 (0)1296 661400.

 

54. New Product Catalogue

Issue Three of the EG&G Signal Recovery product catalogue is now available. The new 64-page booklet provides concise details of all products and associated accessories in the signal recovery instrumentation range. These products are used extensively in many areas including spectroscopy and light measurement, electrochemistry, electronics, engineering, semiconductor studies and medical research. Workers in these fields and other scientific and research based disciplines will find that the new catalogue provides a definitive listing of products available from EG&G Signal Recovery enabling them to decide easily as to which instrumentation is correct for their particular experiments.

The product range includes: Preamplifiers; Lock-in Amplifiers; Light Choppers; Boxcar and Digital Signal Averagers; Transient Recorders; Photon Counting Systems; Digital Delay Generators. More information from EG&G Signal Recovery, Sorbus House, Mulberry Business Park, Wokingham, Berks. RG41 2GY, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 977 3003 Fax: +44 (0)118 977 3493 e-mail: info_sigrecovery@egginc.com

 

55. Three VXIbus Instruments in One

Racal Instruments has announced a new waveform generator with two separate pulse generator outputs providing users and system integrators with three XVIbus instruments in one module. The 3171, an 80M samples/second waveform and dual output pulse generator, is the latest addition to Racal's VXIbus module and chassis ranges. This module combines multi-instrument density and high-frequency performance in a single-slot width, C-sized VXIbus format. Offering a powerful solution for a wide variety of test stimulus requirements, the 3171's isolated waveform output is in the range 100 mHz to 400 MHz with 12-bit vertical resolution and has a built-in range of standard and arbitrary waveforms. This, combined with two 50 MHz pulse generators, packs high-performance, multi-channel signal generation into a small package. Reducing system integration costs, the 3171 maximises valuable VXIbus chassis space with improved system density in comparison with GPIB or single-function VXIbus module formats. The 3171 is really three independent waveform and pulse generation instruments in one module which may be used simultaneously for three separate purposes or together to create complex pulse or trigger sequences.

More information from Racal Instruments Ltd, 480 Bath Road, Slough, Berks. SL1 6BE, UK.

 

56. DAQ-i616 - the World's Fastest PCMCIA Data Acquisition Card

Strategic Test have announced the availability of the DAQ-i616, the world's fastest data acquisition card for the PCMCIA bus which is capable of sampling at speeds up to 625K samples/s. The DAQ-i616 is ideally suited for a wide range of Notebook PC-based applications including: laboratory, industrial and in-vehicle data acquisition, transient capture, noise and vibration analysis. The card also functions as a low cost chart recorder and oscilloscope.

The DAQ-i616 is a Type II PCMCIA card which has 16 analogue input channels, a 625 kHz 12 bit resolution A/D converter, built-in anti-alias filters and a unique 5V/200mA supply for ICP accelerometer, etc., sensors. Both unipolar and bipolar voltage ranges are provided from 625mV to 10V and can be selected by software together with level and edge pre-triggering. For machine status monitoring or control, 8 TTL level digital I/O lines are provided.

More information from Strategic Test & Measurement Systems Ltd, 11 Ashton Road, Wokingham RG41 1HL, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 979 5950 Fax: +44 (0)118 979 5951 e-mail: BobG@strattest.co.uk.

 

57. Online Traffic Analyses with fuzzyTECH and DIAdem

As a result of close co-operation between Inform and GfS, two software companies in Aachen, Fuzzy algorithms have been integrated into DIAdem. The PC workshop DIAdem offers as a standard, a wide range of methods for processing acquired data. Fuzzy algorithms, which have been created by Inform with fuzzyTECH, can now also be implemented in DIAdem.

One application, which was shown recently, is the determination of the current traffic flow on the motorways. The required data is gained from induction loops in the road. The traffic density and average speed of passenger cars and trucks is determined from the acquired signals, with the aim of reducing accidents and traffic jams by means of traffic control.

The signals from the induction loops are acquired by DIAdem and supplied to the Fuzzy block. After the Fuzzy evaluation, DIAdem displays the results on the screen; for example, whether a truck or a passenger car is driving over the induction loop. The problem is to differentiate between passenger cars that drive close behind each other, and trucks. However, the Fuzzy block contains the rules for this kind of differentiation and performs the task. Thus one can see which kind of vehicle (car or truck) is driving past. In accordance with the task at hand, the data can then be processed into tables, diagrams and statistics in DIAdem.

More information from Strategic Test & Measurement Systems Ltd, 11 Ashton Road, Wokingham RG41 1HL, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 979 5950 Fax: +44 (0)118 979 5951.

 

58. Rugged Accelerometers from Endevco

Endevco UK has introduced its model 7591 and 7592 variable capacitance MICROTRON accelerometers that are suitable for military, industrial and automotive applications.

These products incorporate mechanical overrange stops and gas damping which allow them to withstand high shock loads up to 10,000 g. Available in 2, 10, 30 and 100 g versions, the units provide sensitivity up to 1000 mV/g depending on model.

The 7591 and 7592 offer exceptional shock tolerance and high sensitivity at low cost, making them a good solution for OEM applications with circuit board mounting requirements. These transducers are designed for measuring low levels of acceleration after the occurrence of severe shock or vibration. Ideal applications include military guidance systems of artillery projectiles, industrial down hole drilling, high-end automotive testing and shock recorders. The 7591 and 7592 have been tested to endure 90,000 g shocks with only a slight variance in performance.

The accelerometers are based on a patented variable capacitance microsensor fabricated in an array of three micromachined single crystal silicon wafers.

Because the microsensor is on a separate chip from the electronic circuitry, the accelerometers are easily customised allowing for application-specific solutions. The units are completely self-contained, requiring no external resistors or calibration., The tiny, gold-plated Kovar or optional stainless steel cases are hermetically sealed and resistant to condensation that often occurs in extreme environments.

More information from Endevco UK Ltd, Melbourn, Royston, Herts. SG8 6NA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1763 261311 Fax: +44 (0)1763 261120 e-mail: sales@endevco.co.uk

 

59. Low-Cost Low-Frequency ICP Accelerometers

The Industrial Monitoring Instrumentation (IMI) division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., has introduced the new 601A02 Industrial Accelerometer. A high sensitivity of 500 mV/g and a low frequency response to less than 0.5 Hz makes this sensor ideal for monitoring low speed rotating equipment. This low cost, low frequency ICP sensor is structured with a ceramic shear sensing element and is hermetically sealed in a stainless steel industrial housing. The dual case design and electrical case isolation assures clean signals in harsh environments. The Series 601A02 is available with a two-pin military style connector and is compatible with predictive maintenance data collectors and on-line condition monitoring systems. Additional versions of the Series 601 are available with three-pin military style connectors, integral cable and armor jacketed cable.

More information from PCB Piezotronics, Inc., 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495, USA. Tel: (900) 828 8840 Fax: (716) 684 0987.

 

60. Neural Networks to Dramatically Simplify Condition Monitoring of Complex Machinery

Neural Computer Sciences has been selected to provide neural network expertise to the European Neural-Maine project. The project aims to lower the economic entry barriers to the adoption of condition-based maintenance (CBM) by simplifying the application of condition monitoring to complex machinery, thus enabling a wide range of industries to significantly reduce the need for expert vibration and tribology analysis. Neural Computer Sciences (NCS) will develop embedded neural networks that will help fuse multiple sensor inputs into clearly targeted maintenance suggestions and fault diagnoses.

Neural networks have been successfully applied to many industrial problems. Recently, the technology has been the focus of some preliminary investigations involving condition monitoring of large, complex machinery installations, from power generators to letter sorters and food processing plant. These are indicative of the types of machinery that generate extremely diverse, inter-related, condition indicators, such as vibration levels, oil debris content, temperatures, tool wear and so forth.

While many of these parameters can be processed by focused systems - for example, the high-performance on-line vibration monitoring systems found in today's electricity generating stations - no current system can provide a comprehensive analysis of all the parameters, inhibiting the plant manager's ability to make correct maintenance decisions.

The Neural-Maine project partners have adopted a hierarchical approach. Data fusion modules will combine low-level inputs from individual pieces of equipment into high level inputs to the plant 'overseer' package. The overseer then integrates global plant parameters with the data fusion module inputs, creating a comprehensive machine state analysis for the plant manager. Both hierarchical levels will make extensive use of NCS' intelligent software technologies.

Intelligent software technologies - such as neural computing - are being used to solve real-world problems that are too complex, laborious or not sufficiently well understood to be addressed by conventional processing methods. Neural networks learn the relationships present in data through a training process and, once trained, will then respond accurately to new input data. NCS will lead the technical development of the neural network software, developing Kohonen-style neural networks to process the data. Kohonen networks are self-organising neural networks that introduce a competitive learning concept, enabling it to discover data clusters or associations in the condition monitoring data without either supervision or previous examples.

On average, plant maintenance costs European industry 6% of revenue. CBM has been shown to cut these costs by some 20%, with the highest gains in those areas where the machinery is fundamental to the business and a failure results in a significant loss of revenue. CBM also provides valuable input into plant life extension programmes, enabling businesses to better plan their equipment replacement expenditure.

Neural-Maine is funded under the European Union EUREKA initiative and managed in the UK by the Department of Trade and Industry. The project is a consortium of UK and Dutch partners.

More information from Neural Computer Sciences, Unit 3, Lulworth Business Centre, Nutwood Way, Totton SO4 3WW, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1703 667775, Fax: +44 (0)1703 663730.

 

61. E-A-R Damping Material Stops Noise and Vibration

ISODAMP C-1000 Series thermoplastics, highly damped vinyl materials from E-A-R Specialty Composites, provide vibration isolation, shock protection and noise control in a wide range of OEM applications. Three formulations - C-1002, C-1100 and C-1105 - are available as standard and custom-molded isolators, such as grommets, bushings, and equipment mounts and feet. C-1002 and C-1105 are extruded as sheet or roll materials as well, and come in a variety of standard thicknesses.

Three temperature-tuned ISODAMP formulations offer the optimum combination of stiffness and damping in three discrete temperature ranges. ISODAMP C-1002 is formulated to perform in a range from 13°C to 41°C; C-1105 from 27°C to 54°C; and C-1100 from 35°C to 63°C.

As molded isolators, ISODAMP materials exhibit extremely low amplification at resonance and quick return to system equilibrium after shock or vibration input. ISODAMP grommets, mounts and isolators, therefore, are ideal for use in electronics and electromechanical equipment, particularly devices with high component density.

As sheets and roll materials, these thermoplastics are easily and cleanly cut into energy-absorbing strips, gaskets and shock pads. They can isolate mechanised devices from adjacent surfaces, decouple interconnecting frames and components, and provide damping for machinery housings.

More information from E-A-R Specialty Composites, 7911 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Tel: (317) 692 1111 Fax: (317) 692 3111.

 

62. Two-Channel Dynamic Signal Analyser

The SR785, now available from TTi (Thurlby Thander Instruments), is a 2-channel dynamic signal analyser which is suitable for analysing both electrical and mechanical systems. Typical applications include modal analysis, machinery diagnostics, vibration testing, control systems and acoustic measurements. The computational heart of the SR785 is a 32-bit floating-point digital signal processor which delivers a true 102.4 kHz real-time bandwidth on both channels simultaneously. Bandwidth is not sacrificed for the number of channels utilised.

Two precision 16-bit analogue/digital convertors provide 90 dB dynamic range in FFT mode and 145 dB in swept-sine mode. With up to 800 lines of spectral resolution, the SR785 allows the user to zoom in on any portion of the 476 mHz to 102.4 kHz range. A unique measurement architecture allows each input channel to function as a separate analyser with its own span, centre frequency, resolution and averaging modes. Thus the user can view a wideband display and at the same time zoom in on specific spectra. The same new measurement architecture provides simultaneous storage of all measurements and averaging modes. Vector-averaged, RMS-averaged and unaveraged data are all available without the need to start the measurement again. The unit is equipped with a wide selection of averaging techniques to improve signal/noise ratio. Vector averaging eliminate noises from synchronous signals, while RMS averaging reduces signal fluctuations. Peak-hold averaging is also available.

More information from Thurlby-Thandar Instruments Ltd, 2 Glebe Road, Huntingdon, Cambs. PE18 7DX, UK.

 

63. New Acoustic Emission (AE) Sensors Include Micro Miniature Types

Acoustic Emission sensors of two types, one with applications in large scale structural inspections, and the other for analysing AE signals generated over exceptionally wide frequency bands, are new products from Orion Devices. The resonant frequency AE sensors utilise the resonance of the piezoelectric ceramic element to obtain high sensitivity and ensures that even weak AE signals are picked up with excellent signal/noise ratio. Resonant frequency up to 1 MHz is utilised. Applications include non destructive inspection of large pressure vessels used in power and petrochemical industries, towers, bridges, dams, monitoring for tunnel collapse, and detection of landslides. Materials testing of metals and compounds, and damage inspection of machine tool cutters are amongst other uses. Wide Band AE sensors aim to obtain flat curves of frequency characteristics by suppressing the resonance and foregoing the high sensitivity of the resonance type AE sensors.

This type enables a frequency range of up to 5 MHz to be measured. A middle range would be 200 KHz - 2.5 MHz, which is a much wider measuring range than is obtained with accelerometers.

Applications are to be found in use as an analyser device in atomic power stations, aerospace, and geological surveys, amongst many others. For testing compact specimens, both types of AE sensors are available in microminiature form, e.g. the AE sensor being on 3 mm diameter x 3 mm long and 0.2 gm weight. Microminiature types for measuring frequency range 500 KHz - 5 MHz, or utilising resonance frequency at 800 KHz are typical of the range.

More information from Orion Devices Ltd, 27 Red Lion Street, Aylsham, Norwich, Norfolk NR11 6ER, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1263 732345 Fax: +44 (0)1263 732365.

 

64. The Blue Box

Complaints about loud noise escaping from places of entertainment are on the increase. Pulsar have introduced the Blue Box Music Monitor to their range of sound level meters.

The Blue Box may be easily installed by any competent electrician and is wired between the electrical fuse unit and the 13 Amp sockets supplying the amplifiers. A microphone, located out of reach of the public, senses the sound level which is compared to a pre-set threshold. If the threshold level is exceeded, the Blue Box switches off the power to the amplifiers.

A visual indication of the sound level is provided by warning lights on the front of the unit, allowing the user of the sound system to maintain the sound below the selected trip threshold. When tripped, the Blue Box automatically restores the power after twenty seconds.

More information from Pulsar Instruments Ltd, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire YO14 0PH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 891662.

 

65. Dedicated Night Noise Meter

The controversial Night Noise Act is now in effect which, if adopted by local authorities, will put extra strain on their resources.

In particular, the Act requires measurements of both background (or underlying) noise levels as well as the specific Noise nuisance level which, with conventional equipment, can take a significant amount of time to set up and complete.

To speed up this process, CEL Instruments have developed a dedicated Night Noise Offence meter. The CEL-1-2-3 automates the process by measuring and calculating the underlying noise, the LAeq source noise and the Level Difference between the two in accordance with DOE guidelines. The operator simply operates an Offence 'hot key' to display the measurement results. At the completion of a measurement a direct hard-copy print out can be generated on the standard, battery powered, ink-jet printer, which is included in the kit. The information for both the pre and post measurement calibration is given in addition to the offence details.

An internal real-time calendar clock will time stamp all measured data and also enables the instrument to be set to operate a fully automatic offence detection system. In this mode the CEL-1-2-3 starts a 15 minute data run until it is automatically terminated by the clock or stopped by manual command.

More information from CEL Instruments, 35-37 Bury Mead Road, Hitchin, Herts. SG5 1RT, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1462 422411 Fax: +44 (0)1462 422511.

 

66. A Sound Level Meter Ideal for Noise at Work Surveys

Under the Noise at Work Regulations 1989, Noise Assessments must be carried out to ensure that employees are not exposed to the risk of hearing damage from high noise levels.

The equipment used to assess the impact and risk of noise levels should provide the necessary parameters, whilst meeting the requirements as given in the 'Noise Guides 3 to 8'.

The CR:272 Integrating Sound Level Meter has been designed to be simple to use, whilst providing all of the measurements required by the Noise at Work Regulations 1989. Both the average noise level, LAeq, and the 'C' Weighted Peak Sound Pressure can be measured simultaneously. The instrument also gives the instantaneous Sound Pressure Level, SPL, with a maximum hold.

The instrument meets the requirements of BS EN 60651 and BS EN 60804 for a type 2 unit, and is supplied with a certificate of calibration.

The CR:272 can also be supplied as a complete measurement kit, which includes a CR:513A Acoustic Calibrator, a Windshield and miscellaneous accessories housed in an attache case.

Further information from Cirrus Research plc, Acoustic House, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire YO14 0PH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 891655 Fax: +44 (0)1723 891742.

 

67. World's Fastest 12-bit VXIbus Waveform Generator

Racal Instruments has introduced the world's fastest 12-bit waveform generator. The new 3161, single slot, C-size VXIbus module is a 300 M samples/second, frequency agile, waveform synthesiser. It combines a 300 MHz bit rate with frequency agility and the powerful ability to modulate the 3161's output waveforms with external digital and analogue signals. Offering a comprehensive solution to a wide variety of test signal stimulus requirements, the 3161 module's isolated waveform output is in the range 100 uHz to 150 MHz with 12-bit vertical resolution.

More information from Racal Instruments Ltd, 480 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 6BE, UK.

 

68. A Real Tester for Audiometry

Audiometry has come a long way since the days of ticking the boxes and filling in endless examination result forms, and now Castle are leading the way in easy to use Audiometers, with the PC based Excalibur.

To carry out Audiometric Testing in today's industrial environment, the process needs to be efficient and thorough. The Excalibur uses the processing speed of a computer to test any number of workers, and the memory capacity to store the information so there is no paperwork to slow the process down. All the stored data can then be analysed in depth, at a time convenient to the employer.

The Excalibur is supplied as a full kit, including ear phones, software, microphone and patient response button. The Excalibur fits in to most PCs and lap tops, and the test is run from the computer screen. The data is then stored in PC format so that vital information can be easily accessed, such as format options and in-depth analysis facilities, which means the operator can view HSE warning and referral levels or even send a letter and report to the patient. Other facilities offered by the Excalibur include comparisons with previous test results and full statistical analysis of any number of tests to give management reporting information.

More information from Castle Group Limited, Salter Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 3UZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1723 584250 Fax: +44 (0)1723 583728.

 

69. Humphrey Thermal Accelerometers

The Humphrey Models LA01 and 02 single and biaxial low 'g' accelerometers utilise a patented technology that features a heat transfer based design, with no moving parts or flexure, utilising Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs) as acceleration sensing elements. Natural convection around the elements provides for a stable and repeatable means to measure the low 'g' acceleration over a wide and diverse temperature range. The sensor provides a 2g operating range with frequency ranges from dc to 4 Hz or10 Hz or 30 Hz. Affording low resistance, and therefore lower noise susceptibility than their capacitive piezo equivalents, the devices provide low 'g' accelerometer and/or inclinometer performance through 360°, unlike the more conventional slower fluidic tilt sensor.

More information from Eurosensor, 20-24 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)171 405 6060 Telex: 24504 Fax: +44 (0)171 405 2040.

 

70. Engine Trim Balance Solution with Constant Bandwidth and Constant Q Filters

Endevco UK has introduced the new models 68221, 68222 and 68321 Computer-Controlled Digital Tracking Filter Amplifier Systems (TFAS II). They are the first available systems for jet engine vibration monitoring and engine trim balance applications with both constant bandwidth and constant Q filters.

By offering both constant bandwidth and constant Q filters, the TFAS II systems offer unmatched flexibility and user convenience. The systems include a combination of single-channel 6647 vibration amplifier boards, 27865 tracking filter interface cards and one or two four-channel 6728M5 digital tracking filter boards.

Key features include constant bandwidth, data averaging, more Q filter values, improved analogue board features, automatic tracking mode, dynamic signature analysis using sweep and FFT, multiple tachometer and data inputs and IEEE-488 computer control.

The TFAS II system model 68221 is a four-channel tracking filter system comprising a model 4970 19 in rack, a model 26752-9 digital controller, one to four model 6647 analogue amplifier channels and one four-channel model 6728M5 tracking filter card.

The TFAS II system model 68222 is an eight-channel tracking filter system comprising a model 4970 19 in rack, a model 26752-9 digital controller, two to eight model 6647 analogue amplifier channels and two four-channel model 6728M5 tracking filter cards.

All TFAS functions are programmed and monitored by the microprocessor-based 26752-9 digital controller board via IEEE-488 GPIB commands. This board features zero powered ram to prevent the loss of system setups during a power outage. It also contains an oscillator for operational verification of the tracking filter system with the following system functions: 26752-9 digital board self-test on power-up, 6647 board self-test, calibration and cable testing, 6728M5 tracking filter board self-test and an external calibration input.

More information from Endevco UK Ltd, Melbourn, Royston, Herts. SG8 6NA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1763 261311 Fax: +44 (0)1763 261120.

 

71. New High Pressure Dynamic Impulse Calibrator

The Pressure and Force Sensors (PFS) division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., has announced the Model 913A10 High Pressure Impulse Calibrator, capable of generating dynamic pressures up to 125 kpsi. The unique design of this system utilises a NIST traceable, PCB quartz shear ICP accelerometer to accurately determine pressure. A free falling known mass is dropped onto a piston creating a hydraulic pressure pulse in a pressure calibration cell. The accelerometer, located on the mass, measures the deceleration of the mass while striking the piston. The deceleration of the mass, coupled with the geometry of the piston and cylinder, accurately determines the pressure generated in the calibration cell. The resulting system yields an NIST traceable dynamic pressure calibration.

More information from PCB Piezotronics Inc., 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, New York 14043-2495, USA. Tel: +1 716 684 0001 Fax: +1 716 684 0987.

 

72. Vibration Sensors Monitor Plant in Paper Industry

Monitran's vibration sensors are helping engineers in the paper processing industry plan their maintenance schedules and avoid expensive plant shut downs by monitoring the vibration levels on roller bearings, motors, fans, mixers, etc. With this information of increasing vibration level trends, they can predict when corrective work needs to be carried out to avoid production plant breakdowns.

On most rotating components in industrial processing plant, an increase in vibration level means that the parts are suffering from wear, misuse or overloading. Sensors are being used more and more by engineers to monitor the increase in vibration levels, helping them to plan maintenance schedules. The necessary work can then be planned to cause minimum production loss and avoid complete plant shut down. This is particularly important in the paper industry where plants usually run continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a roller breakdown means substantial costs in lost production.

More information from Monitran Ltd, Monitor House, Hazlemere Road, Penn, Bucks. HP10 8AD, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1494 816569 Fax: +44 (0)1494 812256 e-mail: monitran@ndirect.co.uk

 

73. New Data Acquisition Software

The Wavedisk in Windows software, from Biodata, now captures data from both Ethernet units and data acquisition cards for the PC.

The software allows speeds up to 1 MHz on four input channels simultaneously. It scans the hardware and builds a default set-up file, making it quick and easy to get started. Users can immediately start capturing data, or, through dialogue boxes, can first tailor the system to their needs.

Set-up options available include giving the channels names and setting the input range of each individual channel. Users can set whether data collection is triggered when they press a button in software or when an external event occurs (software or hardware triggering). Pre-trigger data can be collected, so events immediately before the triggered capture can be analysed. All settings can be copies to other input channels - so speeding up the initial configuration. A library of set-up files can be kept for different test and measurement situations.

After capture, data is saved in a choice of file formats: twos complement (binary) for compactness, ASCII for use in most applications, Famos, optimised for the Famos data analysis package, and Replay, optimised for the Windmill Replay and ReView packages. Data can be re-loaded into the hardware and used for waveform synthesis.

Wavedisk in Windows does not require any programming: users just fill in dialogue boxes. It runs under Windows 3.11, Windows 95 and Windows NT. A DOS version is also available. More information from Biodata Ltd, 10 Stocks Street, Manchester M8 8QG, UK. Tel: +44 (0)161 834 6688 Fax: +44 (0)161 833 2190 e-mail: info@microlink.co.uk

 

74. Vibration Sensor Guide for Pulp and Paper Machinery

Wilcoxon Research now has a sensor guide available to the Pulp and Paper Industry for fast, easy and effective sensor selection. The Vibration Sensors for Pulp and Paper Machinery guide features Wilcoxon Research's most popular models used for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of pulp and paper machines. The guide lists both product specifications and recommended applications to assist in determining the appropriate sensor for a specific need. Wilcoxon sensors are compatible with most major condition monitoring equipment.

More information from Wilcoxon Research Inc, 21 Firstfield Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, USA. Tel: +1 301 216 3019 Fax: +1 301 330 8873.

 

75. High Performance Pen Recorders with Built-in Disk Drives

The Yokogawa ELR Series, now available in the UK from Marton Instruments, is a new generation of high performance pen recorders with built-in floppy disk drives for the digital transfer of recorded data to a PC for further data analysis or archiving. The new recorders are available with one to 12 channels, and may be configured in upright or flatbed form. The instruments use high speed felt tip pens with a maximum speed of 1600 mm/s and acceleration of up to 78 m2. Each pen has its own individual A/D convertor operating at a high sampling rate, and can be configured for the measurement of voltage or temperature. A built-in signal-conditioning card allows a wide range of thermocouple and RTD sensors to be selected individually for each channel.

An integral digital printer generates date and time information on the moving chart, and updates the analogue traces with digital measurement information at periodic intervals.

More information from Marton Instruments Ltd, Wellington Road, Cressex Industrial Estate, High Wycombe, Bucks. HP12 3PR, UK.

 

76. New PCI and ISA Bus Data Acquisition Shortform from LeCroy

A new shortform catalogue from LeCroy details their new range of PCI and ISA bus signal acquisition and signal generation cards for the PC platform.

The 14 new cards provide the fastest sample rate available on a PCI card. Onboard acquisition memory is up to 16M and cards can also transfer data to PC DRAM at 100 MB/s. 8-bit cards 500 MS/s with up to 2M of memory, and 12-bit cards offer up to 100 MS/s.

Signal generation cards offer 80 MS/s with12-bit resolution. Portable computers with up to eight free slots, industrial PCs and an extended range of software drivers is also available.

More information from LeCroy Ltd, 27 Blacklands Way, Abingdon Business Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 1DY. Tel: +44 (0)1235 524288 Fax: +44 (0)1235 528796.

 

77. More Orders for VXIbus

Racal Instruments has won further orders for its integrated VXIbus and IEEE based automatic test systems, from the Cheltenham-based Defence Systems division of Smiths Industries Aerospace, in support of the Apache Longbow, programme - bringing Racal's total value of orders for this programme to over 1.3 million (US$2,000,000).

Racal's VXIbus expertise and proprietary system integration design software enabled the company to reduce the non-recurring engineering costs to meet the stringent requirements of Smiths Industries Aerospace. Racal's integrated VXIbus and IEEE based ATE systems will be used to support the high rate production test of the Electrical Load Centre (ELC) units and High Power Switching Module (HPSM) units of the Electrical Power Management System (EPMS).

The Smiths Industries Aerospace Defence Systems contract for the Apache Longbow programme calls for the development, production and supply of Electrical Power Management Systems (EPMS) for the McDonnel Douglas AH-64D Apache helicopter. The EPMS switches and protects primary ac, dc and battery power as well as switching and protecting secondary loads in dedicated load centres. The initial order for Racal's ATE systems supported this development and long lead programme, covering reliability and quality testing as well as performance verification on development hardware.

According to Mark Evans, supplier manager for Smiths Industries Aerospace Defence Systems, Racal's technical expertise and professional approach was key to meeting the difficult cost challenges. "Once again Racal responded promptly by providing the ideal solution with costs firmly under control, allowing us to continue the outsourcing of our ATE requirement for the Apache Longbow programme," said Evans.

More information from Racal Instruments Ltd, 480 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 6BE, UK.

 

78. Information from E-A-R

Specialty Composites has published a new brochure that gives customers an overview of the company's materials and processing technology, state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities and problem-solving experience. The booklet describes E-A-R's extensive manufacturing and fabricating facilities, and features the company's diagnostic and testing equipment, laboratories and materials processing expertise as well. It also outlines the engineering assistance and technical support that E-A-R routinely provides to customers having design problems with noise, vibration or shock.

More information from E-A-R Specialty Composites, 7911 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268, USA. Tel: +1 317 692 1111 Fax: +1 317 692 3111.

 

79. New Accelerometers for High G Shock Measurement

Endevco UK has announced the new 7270AM6 series of mechanically filtered piezoresistive accelerometers. Designed for high g shock measurements, these rugged accelerometers feature a built-in mechanical filter that screens the high-frequency content of a shock pulse, protecting the sensor from high g, high frequency inputs that can cause data loss. Target applications include shock testing on large structures, pyroshock events and other high g applications in military, industrial and laboratory environments.

The mechanical filter of these accelerometers provides a unique solution for high-frequency shock testing and broadens the possibilities for high-impact measurements. It also offers a significant advantage over undamped designs which may resonate during high-frequency shock testing, causing loss of accelerometer test data due to over-ranging.

The model 7270AM6 accelerometers are available in ranges of 6,000 20,000 and 60,000g full scale. Specifications include a frequency response from DC to 10kHz over the temperature range from -34 to +66°C.

Developed by Sandia National Laboratories, the accelerometer's built-in mechanical isolator comprises an aluminium housing lined with two layers of elastomer filter for cushioning. The elastomer on both sides of the accelerometer ensures that response is the same to both positive and negative accelerations. This mechanical isolator has several advantages over previous mounting designs that featured a mounting plate glued to a stud with the adhesive as the cushioning element. In contrast, the model 7270AM6 design features a thin layer of rubber as a cushion in the top and bottom sections of the housing.

More information from: Paul Marchant, Endevco UK Ltd, Melbourn, Royston, Herts SG8 6NA. Tel: +44(0)1763 261311, Fax +44(0)1763 261120.

 

80. Premi-Glas SMC for Mercury Marine gear housing

A gear housing compression moulded for Mercury Marine in an advanced, engineering grade Premi-Glas SMC gives superior sound damping and vibration isolation compared with the aluminium parts it replaced.

The SMC used in this application is Premi-Glas 1200-30VE, a vinylester-based moulding compound manufactured in Europe by Permali Premix. It is available in various grades for either compression or injection moulding of parts requiring minimal wall thickness. Its high strength and dimensional part repeatability make it particularly suitable for automotive underbonnet applications.

Mercury Marine's reason for using Premi-Glas 1200-25VE in preference to another thermoset material was that its zero-shrink properties allowed the moulder to achieve a flatness of .005" combined with very tight concentricity on the moulded shaft holes. The compound's strength ensures excellent fatigue characteristics in the high vibration environment of a marine engine. In addition, it offers better dimensional stability, creep resistance and bolt torque retention in comparison with engineering thermoplastics.

A member of the UniPoly group based in Gloucester, Permali Premix offers a comprehensive range of standard and specialist moulding compounds.

More information from Permali Premix, Bristol Road, Gloucester, GL1 5TT. Tel: +44 (0)1452 528671. Fax: +44 (0)1452 304215.

 

81. Additions to Solartron's 1051 System

Solartron has enhanced the application potential of its 1051 On-line Condition Assessment System with the addition of a powerful reciprocating machinery support suite. The 1051's comprehensive display functions enable vibration analysts to monitor reciprocating compressor performance, investigate the source of problems and make logical condition-based maintenance decisions that optimise plant availability and production throughput.

At the same time Solartron has extended the operating performance of the 1051's hardware synchroniser and added additional display facilities that enable the system to better support reciprocating machinery and the faster run-up/coast-down exhibited by high speed compressors and pumps. Together, these new facilities expand the 1051's application scope into oil and gas export from offshore platforms and land-based pipeline applications - where compressor failure inevitably results in a significant loss of revenue - as well as chemical processing.

Solartron's 1051 offers a combination of dynamic and static measurement combined with powerful analysis facilities for turbomachinery run-up and coast-down. Leading-edge computer technology allows signal and data processing power to be distributed throughout the system to maximise results throughput, while the software offers a powerful machine-state sensitive graphical interface to improve the productivity of both plant operators and machinery analysts.

Reciprocating machinery is different

Reciprocating machinery vibration differs from that of rotating machinery. The rapid changes in direction and acceleration inherent in such machinery produce data acquisition problems other than the need to measure higher frequencies. Solartron has significantly increased the acquisition performance of the system's front-end measurement modules in order to maintain lock at high accelerations, and so capture and process vibration data in real time.

Measured values and key derived parameters, such as shaft displacement, crosshead overtravel, rod drop and crank angle, can be acquired and displayed against a simple time base. Alternatively, the 1051's comprehensive multiplot with several parameter types displayed together can be called up, enabling vibration-analysts to gain a complete overview from a single screen. In addition to standard time-based plots, this multiplot compressor function can be configured to display further useful plots, such as displacement data against either crank angle or rod position together with static analog data, typically suction and discharge line pressures.

Feature-rich software

Solartron's 1051 gives vibration analysis access to a feature-rich set of software facilities, including configurable alert and alarm functions, analytical displays and data management. Comprehensive trending of recent or long-term history enables several linked parameters to be compared quickly - a good technique for revealing impending faults at a very early stage.

Unlike heavy industrial turbomachinery, motor-driven pumps or compressors found in applications such as high pressure wind tunnels, do not require long, slow run-up or run-down times. The addition of logarithmic plots of synchronous and asynchronous spectral data allows analysts to examine key low amplitude vibration information in detail in these applications.

Solartron's systems are in use in a wide variety of power and process plants, ranging from petroleum refining to large nuclear facilities.

More information Solartron Ltd., Victorian Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7PW, UK; Tel: +44 (0) 1252 376666; Fax: +44 (0)1252 583854.

 

82. Analysis of Acoustical Performance of Materials

Automated Analysis Corporation (AAC) has announced the introduction of an acoustic software package for analyzing products using absorptive materials - Structural Acoustic Foam Engineering (SAFE). The use of SAFE in the design process, before investing in costly prototypes, should result in significant time and cost savings in the product development phase.

With acoustic performance becoming an important parameter for new products, the need to use sound absorption materials to improve product acoustics is also increasing. This requires a complete acoustical analysis which SAFE performs.

SAFE enables product engineers and designers to predict the noise performance of a wide variety of materials such as glass fiber, mineral wool and open or partially open cell foams. These materials are found in a large number of products such as headliners, seats, carpets, trim lining, panel damping, aircraft skin insulation, building wall insulation, machinery and enclosure liners and continue to be used in more applications.

The SAFE module includes the ability to evaluate the effects of the material used to attach absorptive materials to the product. This is especially important, because the interaction between absorption materials and adhesives can significantly affect the acoustical performance of a product.

The ability to perform sensitivity analysis is particularly useful. It can predict changes with respect to changes in geometric properties, material properties and/or boundary conditions. SAFE can be used to model two-dimensional, three-dimensional and axisymmetric geometries.

According to Jim Thompson, AAC's General Manager of Engineering Services, "SAFE provides a powerful tool that can be used for the design of optimal noise control treatments using foam and other absorptive materials, and there is no comparable tool available for the complete solution of acoustic problems for absorption materials."

SAFE is a new addition to COMET, a suite of acoustic software for advanced noise prediction. COMET is already an established technological leader for acoustic analysis in the automotive, aerospace, consumer products, speaker and heavy equipment industries. COMET provides the link from the users' current structural analysis software or test data to acoustic computations. It analyzes the propagation, radiation and scattering of noise and supplies information to the user on how to achieve noise reduction and improve sound quality.

COMET is just one example of how AAC leverages innovative technology and expert support to help engineers solve complex engineering challenges. AAC is a leading provider of computer aided engineering and design consulting services. Services include analysis and design in acoustics, noise/vibration/harshness, structures, powertrain, seals, nonlinear analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and training in most of these areas. Founded in 1983, AAC is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has branch offices in Illinois and the UK with twelve distributors worldwide.

More information Automated Analysis, Unit C, Enak House, Redkiln Way, Horsham, W. Sussex. Tel: +44 (0) 1403 218718. Fax: +44 (0) 1403 218728.

 

83. Modally Tuned Impact Hammer

The Industrial Monitoring Instrumentation (IMI) division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. has introduced the Model 086C41 Modally Tuned Impact Hammer. Resonance testing and modal analysis are excellent root-cause failure analysis techniques. The Model 086C41 can be used to excite structures and machinery for predictive maintenance analysis. This hammer includes a series of four removable tips for modifying the frequency range of excitation. Designed to test medium to heavy structures, the Model 086C41 Modally Tuned Impact Hammer is ideal for impacting motors, pumps, compressors, and pedestals in industrial environments. The Model 086C41 is equipped with an internally amplified force sensor for two channel frequency response functions. Each hammer is supplied with a custom carrying case and a calibration certificate to 2 kHz. This unit provides a simple, inexpensive method to field test structures and machinery to help diagnose the root causes of vibration problems for permanent design solutions.

More information from PCB Piezotronics, Inc. 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495 USA. Tel:(800) 828-8840. Fax: (716) 684-0987.

 

84. LeCroy Announces LSA1000 Signalyst

LeCroy has introduced a new king of high performance waveform digitiser/analyser, with 100 Base-T fast Ethernet interface, that is easily integrated into customer's data acquisition, analysis, and test systems.

The first of LeCroy's Signalyst series, LSA1000 is developed to deliver the performance of LeCroy's state-of-the-art digital oscilloscope in compact package optimized for embedded, system integration applications.

LSA1000 offers two input channels with 750MHz system bandwidth and 1GS/s sampling rate on each channel. It also offers a long acquisition memory of up to 2Mbytes per channel. When only one channel is used, its sampling rate and memory length is doubled to 2GS/s and up to 4Mbytes respectively.

Its on-board 96MHz PowerPC processor is a powerful computation tool for fast, accurate waveform measurement and analysis. In addition to over 50 standard waveform parameters, an extensive range of advanced analysis software packages is available for efficient data process and reduction before transfer. 100 Base-T Fast Ethernet interface provides a fast and convenient communication to the computer.

More information from LeCroy Limited, 27 Blacklands Way, Abindgon Business Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1DY. Tel: 01235 533114. Fax: 01235 528796.

 

85. Vibration Applications at SKF

Large fans such as those found in power stations or heavy industrial plants represent a considerable challenge to the bearing designer. Sometimes operating conditions give rise to excessive vibration in fan systems that can lead to failure and, consequently, plant shutdown.

SKF's CARB™ bearings have been tested in this application, and results have shown significantly reduced vibration problems. The use of CARB™ bearings has been coupled with the use of a different type of housing that allows easier access during service. As the CARB™ bearing remains part of a solution that uses standard components, customers can still benefit from an economical answer to excessive vibration.

Parallel condition monitoring

Practical experience in operation and profound knowledge of the behaviour of machines and machine components has led SKF to develop mechanical condition monitoring methods known as MCM.

The different modules of the MCM series are based on two of the most efficient techniques. The first, the vibrational velocity effective value, is an excellent parameter for evaluating malfunction. By recording the cumulative vibration value of a machine or a component and then comparing the result with the machine reference value, it is possible to spot changes in the machine condition.

The second technique is based on the vibrational enveloping curve and permits the detection of high-frequency malfunctions such as defects of rolling bearings and tooth flanks in gear units.

Parallel application of both methods with one sensor signal makes condition monitoring a comprehensive, efficient operation.

More information AB SKF, 415 50 Gothenburg, Sweden.

 

86. VASCO Sounds Like Good News For Vehicle Designers

New from Salex Acoustic Materials Ltd is VASCO (Vehicle Acoustic Shield Composite), a high performance acoustic absorber and barrier laminate. VASCO is particularly intended for acoustically treating areas in a vehicle which it is difficult or impossible to do by more conventional means, giving designers the freedom to design 3D acoustic components to be installed around other vehicle features. VASCO is multi-layered in construction, sandwiching an integral moulded-in acoustic absorber inner layer between rigid outer barriers designed to provide sound transmission loss. It can be moulded to shape simply and accurately using conventional low cost aluminium forming tools. The product comes as an integrated component with the outer barrier layer density and acoustic element especially tailored to suit individual customer applications. A number of facings are available for both outside and inside faces, dependent on individual requirements such as durability and cleaning.

More information from: Salex Acoustics Materials Ltd, Newcomen Way, Severalls Industrial Park, Colchester, Essex. CO4 4YR. Tel: +44 (0) 1206 508080, Fax: +44 (0) 1206 854445.

 

 

87. New Radio Control For Building Acoustics System

A radio control device is now available to enable building acoustics measurements to be made easier in difficult environments. The new CEL-504K A radio control is designed to work with a building acoustics system from CEL instruments and eliminates the use of unwieldy cable connections. The system is formed by combining the hand-held receiver/transmitter with a CEL-500 real-time sound level analyser and an electronic sound source. The new device remotely controls and triggers the system to allow a series of building acoustics assessments, including Reverberation and Transmission Time measurements, to be made at the touch of a button. Considerable time savings are also possible as the CEL analyser can carry out an automatic series of identical measurements once the system has been triggered. The main advantages of a radio controlled system are that the difficulties experienced with cables are eradicated and, as the signal will pass through doors and concrete walls, more accurate measurements are made possible as noise "leeching" through open cavities is avoided.

More information from: CEL Instruments Ltd., 35-37 Bury Mead Road, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 1RT Tel: +44 (0) 1462.422411 Fax: +44 (0) 1462.422511 Website: http://www.cel.ltd.uk.

 

88. Sound Level Meter for Environmental & Industrial Noise

The CR:703B is a Dual Range Type 1 Sound Level Meter to BS EN 60651 and BS EN 60804, with data logging capability, designed to meet the requirements of most Industrial and Environmental measurement standards.

The instrument can store up to 2,500 Events, and up to 100,000 Time History elements. Each Event measured has associated with it different measurement parameters, and the default include Leq, Peak, Lmax, Lmin, SEL and 3 user defined Ln's. The duration of the time history elements can be adjusted to give different resolutions and measurement durations.

The 700Setup for Windows download and configuration software is supplied as standard, allowing the instrument to be programmed to store different parameters, as well as defining automatic Event measurements. Additional software is available for detailed analysis of download time history data, as well as special software packages for different applications.

More information from: Cirrus Research plc, Acoustic House, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire YO14 OPH. Great Britain. Tel: UK +44 (0) 1723 891655, Fax: UK +44 (0) 1723 891742.

 

89. Vibration sensors that can take the heat

Monitran has added a new series of vibration sensors to their product range which will operate successfully in conditions of high temperature up to 250°C and also in radioactive areas emitting up to 1 X 1010 rad. level of radiation. The sensors are robustly constructed in stainless steel and sealed to IP67, with special attention being paid to its design to ensure that it will operate normally under the stresses of high temperature and nuclear radiation. The piezoelectric devices have measurement ranges up to 250g with a frequency response over 2 to 8000 Hz. and a transverse sensitivity of 5%. The compact vibration sensors weigh approximately 100 grams and are offered with a choice of mounting styles including male or female threads, quick-fit studs and a range of magnetic fittings. They are supplied fully calibrated and will fulfil applications in scientific and research projects analysing vibration levels and waveforms, but equally will suit industrial use for the vibration monitoring of process and production plant to warn of imminent plant wear or potential costly shut-down.

More information: Monitran Ltd. Monitor House, Hazlemere Road, Penn, Bucks. HP10 8AD. Tel: +44 (0) 1494 816569 Fax: +44 (0) 1494 812256. E-mail: monitran@ndirect.co.uk.

 

90. Capacitive (DC) Accelerometer Kit

The Model 300A20 Capacitive (DC) Accelerometer Kit features an economical, single-channel measurement package to bring to the customer's readout device. Designed for measuring low-level acceleration at low-frequency or for steady-state conditions, the 100 mV/g Model 370A02 Capacitive Accelerometer provides excellent resolution and a measurement range of 20 g peak. It is powered by the Model 478A01 Power Supply that includes such features as a four-pin connector for connection to the capacitive accelerometer; a BNC output connector for connection to the readout device, an offset adjustment knob to zero the sensor offset with a 2-volt swing; and three 9-volt batteries, supplied. The kit also contains an input cable to connect the accelerometer to the power supply and an output cable to connect the power supply to the readout device. Operation consists of pressing a power switch on the front of the unit. A power light confirms this. A low battery light, also on the power supply unit front, indicates when available battery power has dropped below +15 volts.

More information from: PCB Piezotronics, Inc. 3425 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY 14043-2495 (800) 828-8840 Fax: (716) 684-0987.

 

91. Economical Alternative to the Servo Accelerometer

Kistler's new K-BEAM® 8370 series are high precision accelerometers for measuring low frequency acceleration and temperature. The sensor is electrically and mechanically compatible with most servo accelerometers.

The sensor provides a full scale output of 2.66 mA. Available in four ranges, 1 g, 2 g, 10g and 20 g, the voltage sensitivity can be precisely adjusted to the user's specific needs by the addition of an external load resistor.

The sensing element consist of a very small inertial mass and a flexure element chemically etched from a single piece of silicon. This design eliminates wear and shock sensitivity usually associated with mechanical servo accelerometers.

The sensor and electronics are protected in a lightweight hermetically welded stainless steel case. This ensures reliable operation in harsh environments where high levels of humidity and shock occur.

The "Pendolino" tilting high-speed train has a stabilisation control system that is dependent on this type of accelerometer. Other applications include heave and pitch compensation on ships, braking systems for vehicle ride and comfort studies, radar stabilisation, navigation systems, robot control and drilling platform stabilisation.

More information: Kistler Instruments Limited, Alresford House, Mill Lane, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2QJ. Tel: +44 (0) 1420 544477. Telefax +44 (0) 1420 544474.

 

92. EXTON 28 ACOUSTIC FLOORING SYSTEM

Recent figures have shown a 25% rise in noise complaints over a one year period, so there is an ever increasing requirement for the upgrading of existing timber floors in the refurbishment and conversion of buildings, in particular multiple occupancy, dwellings such as Houses, Flats, Hospitals, Hotels and Nursing Homes.

To solve this problem "field tests" were carried out by A.I.R.O Ltd (Namas approved Testing No. 0483) in accordance with BS 2750 Parts 4 and 7 1980 ref. 1 on an existing timber floor which achieved 41dB (DnT,w) airborne and 68dB (L'nT,w) impact. When Exton 28 Acoustic Flooring System was laid onto the original floor, it improved the (DnTw) to 51dB airborne and (L'nTw) 59dB impact. Both of these results would satisfy the performance requirements for conversions in the Building Regulations 1991.

More information from: Exton UK, 3 Solent Industrial Estate, Shamblehurst Lane, Hedge End, Southampton S030 2FX. Tel: +44 (0) 1489 788909 Fax: +44 (0) 1489 788828 E-mail: extonuk@msn.com

 

93. Now - New Thin Cast PORON 4701-50 Urethane

Rogers Corporation has introduced thin versions of its high performance PORON® urethane foam that are specifically designed for making thin gaskets and pads used in small, portable electronic devices. These thin PORON 4701-50 materials are cast in thicknesses down to 0017" (0.43mm). They are cast to this dimension, rather than thinned down by microgrounding.

Thin cast PORON urethane materials were developed in response to customer requests for more resilient compressible gasket materials that will fit in smaller, lighter, and more rugged portable electronic devices and communication equipment. The thin cast materials retain the outstanding resistance to compression that characterizes PORON formulations. Thin PORON materials are ideal for making LCD lens gaskets for pagers, personal organizers, cellular telephones, and navigation or GPS systems. These materials can also hold and separate stacked components inside densely packed electronic housings serve as speaker gaskets in handsets, cushion pads for batteries and circuit boards, bezel seals for portable and hand-held computer screens, and as environmental gaskets for hard disk drives.

More information from: Rogers Corporation, Poron Materials Unit, 245 Woodstock Road, Woodstock, CT 06281-1815. Fax: 860-928-3906.

 

94. Lowest-Priced PCI Bus-Mastering Data Acquisition Board

Data Translation, Inc. has announced a new series of multifunction PCI data acquisition boards, including the lowest-priced PCI bus-mastering data acquisition board available on the market. The new DT300 Series, beginning at just 350, includes four 12-bit boards with maximum sampling rates ranging up to 333kS/s, and two 16-bit resolution cards with maximum sampling rates of up to 250kHz. The entire range is provided with an unrivalled set of additional features such as 7 counter/timers, dynamic digital inputs, intelligent triggering and optional DACs, thus making the boards suitable for the widest variety of applications. More information from: Data Translation Ltd, Ringway House, Bell Road, Daneshill, Basingstoke, Hants. RG24 8FB. Tel: +44 (0) 118 979 3838 Fax: +44 (0) 118 977 6140.

 

95. DesignSpace for Mechanical Desktop 2

Ansys has launched a version of DesignSpace for Mechanical Desktop 2. DesignSpace is a new design tool that gives engineers easy access to important design performance information, enabling them to assess how their designs will perform while working within their solid modeler.

During the design process, design engineers ask questions that can impact product performance. DesignSpace was created to answer question such as: Will my design perform according to specifications? Will it break? Where will it break? How does it deform? How does it vibrate?

It comprises three distinct modules: the DesignSpace Explorer, the DesignSpace Stress Wizard, and the DesignSpace Vibration Wizard. The wizard modules provide easy-to-use stress and vibration analysis capabilities as plug-ins to the solid modeler. The DesignSpace Explorer provides additional capabilities, including: management and organisation of the user's design space - his distinct set of design goals and constraints; parametric studies; advanced engineering, such as time-dependent effects; and powerful, animated 3D graphics.

The latest version, DesignSpace 3.0, is the first design performance simulation package to support collaboration among engineering over the internet/intranet. Using standard web browsers, engineers, analysts, managers and suppliers can access and review DesignSpace engineering reports in real time from any location worldwide, giving product development organisations a competitive edge through increased agility and flexibility.

More information: ANSYS Europe, Wyvols Court, Swallowfield, Reading, RG7 1PY. Tel: +44 (0) 1189 880 229.