April 2017 issue


  1. A Vial Loading System with Non-Contact Drive Mechanism Using Magnetic Technology
  2. A New Engineering Tool that Contributes to the Operational Efficiency of a Building Automation System
  3. A Compact Mass Flow Controller with Improved Noise Resistance,Designed for Mounting on Manufacturing Equipment


1. Local Computing Features in a Controller for Factory Automation
For the IoT era, we have developed a controller, model C7, that can operate as a local computing device for factory automation. Capturing the changes in the control system was made possible by quantifying the changes in control characteristics based on the results of PID calculations used for control. By continuously monitoring the resulting index, we can predict abnormalities. We aimed for simplicity in the user experience by adopting a touch screen LCD display for the product, separating the display and control, and installing them in different places, which makes it easier to see the changes in control characteristics. In addition, adopting a block structure for each feature of the controller enables quick response to market demand for additional features or for an increase/decrease in the number of inputs/outputs.
2. Development of a Robust and IoT-Ready Data Historian
As the world enters the era of the IoT (Internet of Things), sensor data collection and the data historians will have a more important role. We have developed a data historian known as ePREXION. In addition to simply collecting sensor data, it can produce results of a higher quality than existing systems and is equipped with data and circuit redundancies for improved robustness.
3. For Smarter Systems, a New LP Gas Meter with IoT Capabilities
Expectations for smarter utility meters are rising throughout the world. In Japan too, it is anticipated that the spread of smart meters will greatly increase. Our recently created LP gas meter was designed using highly reliable tests with a long history of valid results. The structure of the meter and the placement of its magnetic sensor were chosen carefully to maximize measuring ability. In addition, internal space for communication terminals was reserved to allow selection from various communication modules. With the flexibility to handle the rapidly appearing new Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) communication methods, etc., it is a smart meter that is prepared for the era of the Internet of Things (IoT).
4. Valve Analysis and Diagnosis Services for Increased Safety of Plant Operations
Although plant operators may possess a vast amount of data in order to understand the state of their valves, the data is not always utilized effectively. To address this problem, Azbil Corporation provides valve analysis diagnosis services. These services, which are based on expert knowledge gained through valve maintenance, contribute to safe plant operations by enabling the effective analysis of a vast amount of data and by reporting the results in a comprehensible way.
5. Cloud Computing Services for Building Management: Providing Best Practices for Facilities Management
In support of building management operations, Azbil Corporation has developed functions for facilities management as part of its Cloud Services for Buildings. The main purpose of these functions is to assist building facility operators with their daily duties by realizing the concept of “sharing best practices.” In this document, we focus on functions that assist operators with their daily duties using the diverse and enormous amount of data gathered daily, and on functions that offer assistance for long-term repair planning.
6. Report on the Integration of Smart Toilets with a Building Automation System
As one of the key sanitation utilities in any building, the toilet, with the addition of internal sensors, has the potential to provide various kinds of data useful for the conservation of energy and water. With the increasing prominence of the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), it is time to consider adding value to the toilet by connecting it to an external network. Accordingly, TOTO Ltd. and Azbil Corporation have developed a system that integrates a building automation (BA) system with smart toilets, and as a demonstration and test has connected toilets, urinals, and sinks to an existing BACnet BA system in a building. The data from the use of this equipment during a testing period was stored in Azbil’s cloud center for collection and analysis and has helped to provide valuable information for facility maintenance, resource conservation, and utility design.
7. A Vial Loading System with Non-Contact Drive Mechanism Using Magnetic Technology
In the market for freeze drying machines for the pharmaceutical industry, the demand for automatic loading and unloading systems is increasing. This kind of machine strictly requires clean and aseptic conditions to avoid adverse health effects and cross-contamination. Azbil Telstar has developed a new automatic system that uses a non-contact magnetically driven mechanism called a magnetic lead screw. Improvements achieved by this system include high cleanability by eliminating the bellows, sterilization of all parts going inside the freeze drying chamber, and compact layout by reducing the length of the front pusher and eliminating the rear pusher.
8. A Variable Air Volume Controller for Home Central Air Conditioning
Kikubari is a central air-conditioning system designed for individual homes. Its newly developed variable air volume (VAV) system enables each room to automatically receive the appropriate volume of air based on the room temperature and temperature settings. This system consists of a VAV damper (which is controlled by a VAV controller), a VAV remote control as a user interface, and a controller equipped with a proprietary air-conditioning control algorithm. The system is able to accommodate residences that experience large fluctuations in temperature or have diverse needs. The system is now 25 % more energy efficient than the earlier model.
9. A Technology that Contributes to Office Workers’ Well-Being and Conservation of Energy in Buildings: Fluctuating Air Temperature Control Based on a Study of Human Response to the Indoor Environment
As part of our research an experiment was conducted to examine the relationship between the indoor thermal environment and participants’psychological and physiological responses such as thermal sensations, thermal dissatisfaction, stress levels, and fatigue levels. As a result, it was discovered that the thermal dissatisfaction rate under cyclic fluctuating temperature control between 26 °C and 28 °C was similar to or lower than that under constant temperature control at 26 °C, and that stress levels, measured by the concentration of salivary alpha-amylase, were significantly reduced in environments with fluctuating temperatures compared with constant temperatures. An actuator gain (AG) cooperative control was designed to improve the tracking performance of the fluctuating temperature control for use in applications for offices. Its features are also described.

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