Computers, Software & Automation Technology

Sept. 1, 2010

DPD testing methods using chlorometer

The Chlormeter handheld chlorine tester has been launched from Paintest that uses the DPD testing method in conjunction with a photometric analyser. The end result is said to produce "near-instant, accurate results without extensive product training or data interpretation that could cause error".

The Chlorometer is operated using four straightforward buttons and a menu in universal symbols instead of individual languages. The waterproof (IP 67) unit can conduct tests ranging from 0.01-5.0 mg/l for free and total chlorine levels. The last ten test results are stored in the device's memory, for easy comparison.

The energy efficient instrument operates on low power with automatic shut off; under typical use, two AA batteries last for 5,000 readings. The unit's memory maintains calibration between uses, or can be reset for each test. The Chlorometer comes with either a hard or soft case to store the instrument reagents and test tubes together.

Support to deliver Water Industry Telemetry Standards

Kepware Technologies, involved in supplying communications for automation, has released the Water Industry Telemetry Standard (WITS) support within the KEPServerEX DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol) Ethernet and Serial Drivers due to the "ever growing need to improve efficiencies within the control systems of the Water industry".

Kepware is adding WITS support to its set of DNP3 communication drivers as an additional feature set to meet efficiency standards in the water industry. The WITS functionality will enable the DNP3 drivers, with added security through authentication, additional data sets specific to the water industry and the ability to manage device assets and device attributes.

Kepware anticipates the WITS specification and feature will be a significant addition to its DNP offering. Increased environmental concerns, legislation, and higher business demands are putting pressure on the water industry to update many of its outdated control systems, the company said.

Updating these control systems is critical to deploying new strategies aimed at reducing operating costs and improving the bottom line, it added.

Dave Hammond of MAC-Solutions based in the UK, said: "A goal of the OPC Foundation was to reduce the number of made-to-order applications and give the end user choice of best-in-class options across all aspects of the control system...WITS is doing the same, thus creating a more open and competitive market."

Tony Paine, president and CTO of Kepware Technologies, added: "With the water industry standardising on WITS over DNP, we recognized that we needed to enhance our existing DNP offering to allow our customers to implement next generation infrastructures."

Model 360 Flame Photometer for sodium analysis

A five-element instrument from Sherwood Scientific has been launched for applications such as the analysis of sodium in drinking water and wastewater. The Model 360 is a single channel unit built around the very same mixing chamber, burner stem and burner head found in Sherwood's Model 410. It also incorporates automatic flame optimisation technology from the dual channel 420 series.

The design places all the controls, the pressure gauge, air regulator and sample introduction on the front of the instrument.

The sample work area features a spill containment tray which is said to be easy to remove and clean.

LEDs on the front panel indicate the filter selected — sodium, potassium, lithium, calcium or barium — and the flame status. A display 'hold' button ensures that readings are not lost before they have been recorded and the peak picker function presents unambiguous results.

The instrument is sized at 20 x 30 cm and a mixing chamber, burner head and burner stem come apart for cleaning without tools and the five-element filter stick is simple to remove. Electronics and pneumatics are housed in separate 'pods' which are easily detached from the main instrument chassis.

Jon Copsey, Sherwood Scientific's marketing manager, said: "The 360 responds to the current demand for five filters as standard in a low-cost instrument. However, incorporating Sherwood's world-renowned stable flame technology eliminates the need for constant recalibration during use, while providing the levels of precision, reliability and ease of use typically associated with a much higher cost unit."

Asheville to roll out smart metering water program

The City of Asheville, North Carolina has selected Mueller Systems to help it improve the efficiency and service of its water operations through the implementation of a comprehensive, smart metering water program.

Mueller Systems will provide Asheville with a turnkey solution, including installation services, project management, Automated Meter Reading (AMR) modules and water meters for 52,000 connections.

Brandon Buckner, superintendent of Meter Services for Asheville, said: "With our increasing awareness of the need to better manage our priceless water resources, it is even more important that we, as a conscientious municipality, accurately account for every drop of water that is treated and distributed through our system."

Mueller Systems' AMR system enables utilities to improve customer service while simultaneously increasing operational efficiencies.

According to the company, the Hot Rod™ transmitters enhance utilities' ability to capture drive-by meter readings, and the open architecture of the AMR system component allows the solution to work with other brands of encoded meters that utilities may already have installed. The Hot Rod AMR system also includes a data logging feature that allows for six months' worth of hourly usage data stored at the meter, with graphically displayed alarms to enable utilities to quickly respond to customer questions and proactively approach customers about possible leaks or tampering.

The system also provides a seamless migration path from AMR to the Mi.Net™ Mueller Infrastructure Network for Utilities Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system as needs and service areas grow.

The Mi.Net System is a communications network that fully automates the meter-reading-to-billing process, linking meters, distribution sites and control devices in a single, highly efficient data network.

Topography challenges of Asheville were said to place a requirement on transmission speed.

Jim Hendricks, area manager for Mueller Systems, said: "Asheville needed an AMR system that was fast, and our two-second transmission —- the fastest in the industry -- exceeded this requirement."

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