April 2018 issue


  1. Improvement of Heat Source System Efficiency Using a Cloud Service
  2. An Online Anomaly Detection System Supporting Batch-Process Operator Decision-Making
  3. A New Environmental Control System Responsive to the Preferences of All Building Occupants
  4. Natural Gas Measurement Using Temperature-Dependent Thermal Conductivity
  5. Development of a Demand-Response System and Its Application to a Virtual-Power-Plant Construction Demonstration Project


1. A Next-Generation Smart Robot with Force-Sensing Technology
Yutaka Harada, Tetsuya Tabaru, Sumihisa Iwashita
Azbil has developed a next-generation smart robot with built-in force-sensing technology implemented especially in its robot-arm and hand to enable tactile functions. We also implemented a visual function using image processing technology. Demonstration equipment using this robot was exhibited at the System Control Fair / Measurement & Control Show 2017 held in Tokyo from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2017. Although the robot is still a prototype, we are working to develop it for commercialization in order to contribute to the automation of production lines.
2. Development of a Governor Monitoring System to Support Earthquake Countermeasures by the City Gas Companies
Hiroko Makita, Tsuyoshi Kitai, Yoshinori Koizumi
The term IoT (Internet of Things) is now common, and gas companies are required to strengthen the functions of remote monitoring systems in order to solve the problems that emerge in every time when the earthquake disaster may occur. Therefore, we developed a governor monitoring system (GMS) that has a function that can strongly support even in the occurrence of the earthquake and that the system may be introduced easily.
3. An IC with Universal Input/Output Terminals
Taichiro Kato, Hideki Kuribayashi, Hiroaki Teshima, Yauhiro Kogiso, Tetsuya Kajita, Hirofumi Hirayama, Taro Inami
In devices having signal input/output circuits, such as industrial controllers, there are cases where input or output configurations should be changed or added after installation. In order to reduce the number of additional devices as much as possible while facilitating additions and changes, it is desirable to be able to handle various types of input and output connections using the same terminal. Furthermore, by having only one signal input/output circuit configuration it is possible to reduce the number of I/O board types and thus to reduce inventory. For the above reasons we developed an IC, the UIO chip, which has a universal input/output function, allowing a variety of signal inputs or outputs using the same terminal simply by setting the register.
4. Extending the Measurement Range of a Sapphire Diaphragm Vacuum Gauge to 13 Pa
Takuya Ishihara, Masaru Soeda, Masashi sekine, Hidenobu Tochigi
The pressure measurement range of sapphire vacuum gauges has been mainly from 133 Pa to 133 kPa for use in film formation processes such as CVD and ALD in semiconductor manufacturing. We extended this range to 13 Pa with the aim of enabling gauge use for etching and sputtering deposition. We developed a capacitance diaphragm vacuum gauge capable of self-heating up to a heretofore unattained 200 ℃ by solving various technical problems that do not arise at 133 Pa or more. To make a pressure of 1/10000 of atmospheric pressure to be the full scale amount, we thinned down the diaphragm to 20 µm, and we found methods to deal with other difficulties such as pressure hysteresis and sticking due to the thinness of the diaphragm. As a result, the sapphire vacuum gauge can be used in new process applications requiring high temperature measurement in a low vacuum.
5. A UV Tube with Extended Wavelength Sensitivity
Yuki Nakashima, Munekazu Katagiri, Keisuke Sumiyoshi, Nanako Yanada
We have developed an ultraviolet phototube for our AUD20 tube unit which can detect the flame of particular fuels. To do so, the AUD20 must be able to detect UV wavelengths from 185 to 270 nm. The range of wavelengths detectable by the UV tube is determined by the material of the cathode, which is the element receiving the ultraviolet light. To detect wavelengths of 185‒270 nm, the material of the cathode must have a work function of less than 4.6 eV. The cathode of the AUD20 is copper-plated rolled cupronickel. Using a thermal process to control crystal orientation and nickel segregation on the surface, we are able to control the work function of the cathode material.
6. A Heat-Source Control Solution for the IoT Era
Hironobu Kobayashi, Akira Yamada
In a mature heat-source equipment market typified by boilers and cold/hot water equipment, many challenges remain, such as devising measures to counter global warming, to promote energy efficiency, to minimize the burden on the environment, to counteract declining birthrate and an aging population, and to realize a safe and secure society.  Manufacturers of heat source and related equipment are working to make high-performance and advanced-function equipment that can help to meet these challenges. In this paper we report on the development of a flexible controller for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of industrial heat source equipment. The controller can handle a variety of user requirements, and it incorporates Azbil’s latest combustion safety technology in order to provide a high level of both controllability and safety.

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