Author Archives: Argus Embedded Systems

Industrial Applications of SCADA systems

Industrial Applications of SCADA systems

 What is SCADA ?

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system in a simplistic approach can be defined as a supervisory control system which monitor inputs and initiate the output action based on associated logic for input events. The traditional way its done by small industries are using manual human controlled actions. Installing automated SCADA system lets industries monitor and control the system using automated tools whose accuracy results in lowering production costs and in the long run turns out to be beneficial for the company.

SCADA systems can be bought from reputed companies and customized with additional costs to suits the Industrial manufacturing system or cost effective alternative is, in-house development of such systems as per the need of the industry.  As in-house development of SCADA systems requires expertise, Argus Systems unique “Design your own Product (DOP)” program, lets you acquire the expertise of dedicated individuals and helps you in creating products from custom requirements.

Industries where SCADA systems can be deployed  ?

SCADA Systems plays vital role by providing utilities for various Industrial application and are useful in Oil & Gas, Petroleum, Food, and Textile, telecommunications, water and waste control, energy, solar and transportation. A SCADA system for power companies ensures delivery of power in a reliable and safe manner. SCADA system for oil and gas industry has remote data collection, real time processing, storage, alarming, display, call-out and reporting capabilities. The SCADA capabilities can be further utilized to monitor grid protection relays, stations monitoring weather, energy meters, transformers, DC switches and Valves.

Architecture of SCADA systems

A SCADA system typically consists of four major elements:

  • Master Terminal Unit (MTU) :  The MTU initiates all communication with remote sites and is situated at operator’s control site.
  • Remote Terminal Unit (RTU):The RTU is located at the remote site and is responsible to gather data from field devices like panel, valves, alarms, etc. and keep them in memory until the MTU initiates command to send.
  • Communication Equipment: For MTU-RTU communication the system can employ more than one means including dial-up, DSL, ISDN, Ethernet, fiber optics, Wi-Fi, or any other broadband services.
  • SCADA Software: Typical SCADA system software provides a HMI or Human Machine Interface for the operator to visualize and control all the functions of the system.

Overall data acquisition is performed at the DC level as well as AC level. Different methods may be used for communication to the SCADA via ModBus. Both DC and AC side parameters, status and diagnostics can be continuously acquired by SCADA monitoring system.

PCB Design Challenges in SCADA System Design

The Industrial environmental conditions (significant radiated  and conducted emissions due to switching of heavy electrical/electronics cards) makes the SCADA product development quite challenging in terms of systems susceptibility for the harsh environmental conditions as well as ability to run the system with lower noise margins.

All the SCADA systems has ADC and DAC as their building blocks requiring lower noise floors for their proper operations which in turn requires special attention in electronic designs of the system.The SCADA systems usually  would have multiple communication interfaces running over longer lengths of external cables posing severe challenges for ESD/EMI compliant design.

Argus Systems experienced product design professional overcame the challenges and successfully delivered the product living up-to the standard set up by them. Argus systems is India’s leading vendor in providing customized SCADA solution for various Industrial domains.

Argus Systems offers complete range of Electronic Product Design Services and Electronic manufacturing services.

To know more about Argus Systems expertise in providing Electronic product design services for Industrial domain,contact us.

ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION (ANC) Headphones

ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION (ANC) Headphones for Defense/Military Application

In high Integrity electronic products which  caters  the need of  military and civil aerospace application unwanted environmental noise can cause distraction and can amount to loss of human resources as well as  major economic losses .  The unwanted sound can be reduced by using passive noise cancellation also known as noise isolation  or by using  active noise cancellation (ANR) /Active noise reduction (ANC) headphones.

Passive noise isolation fundamentally tries to block the offending sound wave by creating physical obstruction between the ears and the sound. In-ear canal and closed back headphones are few examples of headphones which are successful in reducing ambient noises by 8 to 12 dB.

Active noise-cancelling headphones uses two fundamental blocks that is the block which captures the sound and a speaker to amplify and play the sound in phase reversed form so that the the unwanted noise cancels out. ANR is the most effective defense against low-frequency noise like noises generated by engines, blowers, motors, fans, vacuums, pumps, generators and other similar devices are typically dominated by low frequencies —frequencies that cannot be stopped by passive earmuffs.

Argus Systems Designed and developed revolutionary ANR headphones caters to this niche aerospace domain and can also be utilized for any noisy industrial area.

Features:

• Revolutionary Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headphone system reduces annoying low frequency sound in noisy environment.

• The chip measure external ambient noise using ANC circuitry with its built-in microphone and synthesizer with a sound in the opposite phase to reduce significant background noise

• Typically reduces 15-20 dB for a tonal noise at 200 Hz frequency.

• Ear cup pivot points that tilt for optimum comfort and efficiency.

• Stainless steel headband distributes weight for low-pressure fit.

• Lightweight adjustable headband provides superior fit Full-size ear cups.

• Low power consumption

 

Specifications
Noise Reduction Bandwidth 20Hz to 600Hz.
Decibel Reduction 15-20dB active noise attenuation at 100 to 400Hz (tonal noise).
Compatibility 300 ohm impedance audio system
Weight Adds approximately 3ounces to original headset weight.
Power input: 9Volt DC power supply, +/- 5%
Power consumption 500 mA (max.)
Temperature/Humidity
Operation
-20°C to +70°C

Argus offers complete electronic product design servicesdesign analysis servicesPCB fabrication services ,PCB assembly services and testing services.

What are PCB test Jigs, test Fixtures and ATE?

Why PCB Tests are required

Any electronic product even if properly designed and built with utmost care is prone to bug and issues. It is very crucial to test the product or PCB thoroughly in early stages of design to save millions of dollars later. The testing can be done at PCB design level wherein after using various design analysis techniques like EMI, Signal Integrity and Power Integrity, the design issues can be minimized. But how do you test the PCB once bare- board PCB is in your hand or after components population i.e. assembly has been done? How do you make sure that there are no shorts, open or bad solder joints? How to make sure current capacity, performance, component value and Impedance are within proper and expected tolerance level?

What are PCB Test Jigs and ATE?

Also we should know and comprehend the common terms used in the Electronics hardware testing domain. Specialized and custom designed Test jigs and fixtures are used to test pcb. Test Point are identified and probed to identify the input to be given and output to be measured. A test jig can be identified as a device or machinery that holds a piece of machine work which now a days comprised of much electronic intelligence and guides the tools operating on it. It should not be confused with Test fixtures which are used to keep the object firmly in place. However, in PCB testing both the terms test jigs and test fixtures are interchangeably used as is meant as a electro-mechanical solution to test the printed circuit boards or PCB’s. Custom made Test jigs and test fixtures are made as per the application of the board to test its test points. Automated Test Equipment (ATE) are those apparatus which makes these tests automated and help to identify issues even at System-On-Chips and Integrated circuits levels. So how do we test PCBs ? we use test jigs, test fixtures and ATE to test the Printed circuit board.

Board testing at various levels

  1. Bare-Board Tests
  2. Assembly Level Tests

Bare-board tests

Bare-board test are the tests done on unpopulated boards where netlist defined circuit connection is verified properly on the fabricated board. A small voltage is applied and is verified at the appropriate points, a “short”, “open” are identified in these types of tests. Industrial CT scanning can show details of soldered path and connections by generating a 3D rendering of the board along with 2D image slices.

Assembly Level Tests & Functionality Tests

After the board has been properly assembled it may be tested in a variety of ways using either manual inspection or using expensive Automatic test equipment (ATE).

Automatic test equipment enables PCB test, and equipment test to be undertaken very swiftly. Automatic test equipment is quite expensive, and therefore it is necessary to select the proper type suitable for the application and board to be tested.

In-Circuit Test, ICT

In-Circuit Test, ICT is a form of ATE is very effective form to test printed circuit boards. It can find short circuits, open circuits, component values, and it can checks the operation of ICs.

JTAG boundary scan

JTAG boundary scan uses the dedicated test logic built into Integrated circuits (ICs), to check if each device is correctly soldered and is properly inserted onto the PCB. The devices which include this logic are FPGAs, CPLDs, microprocessors, DSPs, bus logic, SERDES, telecom encoders, PHYs, ASICs, and Bridges (PCI/PCIe).

Functional tester

When the function of the circuit is tested it is known as Functional test. Functional testers typically interface to the PCB or device under test via its test-probe points or edge connectors. This testing is the simulation of the final environment in which the PCB is meant to function. The test equipment can be chassis or rack based or test equipment which uses GPIB.

A company which has specialized knowledge on various aspects of PCB tests, can be in assistance of OEM and suggest the best test method and test equipment to improve and test the product reliability , defect and issues early in the product life cycle and can thus save both  the product development crucial factors cost and time.

 Argus Systems Test engineering team can design and offer customized solution for customer specific Requirements.

Services offered are

  •               In-Circuit Test Development
  •              DFT implementation and Probe accessibility audits
  •              Fixture fabrication data to support the vendor of your choice
  •              Complete documentation and test program conforming to your requirements
  •               Panellized  board testing
  •              Board testing utilizing dual access, bi-level fixturing
  •              Boundary-scan test support
  •              Rapid test program development

Electronic Product Design in India

Electronic Product Design in India 

As per Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) , Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India,

“While demand increased across all sectors, demand for high technology products, specifically electronic products has registered significant growth and going by current estimates, the demand for electronics hardware in the country is projected to increase from USD 45 billion in 2009 to USD400 billion by 2020 (Source: Task Force Report).

The estimated production will reach USD 104 billion by the year 2020, creating a gap of USD 296 billion in demand and production. This creates a unique opportunity for companies in the ESDM (Electronic System Design & Manufacturing) sector to look at India as their next destination to cater to the domestic Indian demand as well as act as an exports hub. “

Argus Systems is continuously committed  and specializes in the Electronic Design and
Manufacturing Services with experience in NPI, R&D and designing unique products for import substitution. Our core strength is proven turnkey capabilities for executing complex  projects within the specified time frame.  Argus Systems is one of the leading player in electronic product design located in  India, serving client all over the globe including USA and UK.

Power Integrity Analysis at System Level

Power Integrity ( PI ) Analysis at System Level 

Power Integrity is not a new term in high-speed digital design and analysis. Ever increasing count of PCB layout planes, form factor limitation, high IC density, cost constraint are few of many factors which results in complex electronic designs.

Power integrity ( PI ) Analysis is sometimes assumed as a sub discipline of Signal Integrity, but as they are coherently related they have distinctive features of their own which are to be done in different ways.  Signal Integrity analysis is based on transmission lines whereas in Power Integrity analysis we are dealing with power distribution through transmission planes.

Power Integrity can identify the potential problems and with appropriate modifications and validations the analysis can be done again, this trial and error approach helps to identify problem on virtual prototypes and saves in turn cost of actual manufacturing and later re-spin of boards.

As explained in one of the white papers as per IEEE EMC symposium the complete definition of power integrity for a power delivery network can be defined as:

  • A power delivery network (PDN) has to deliver sufficiently clean power supply to ICs.
  • The PDN has to provide low noise reference path to signals.
  • The PDN should not radiate excessively.

Depending on the above definition the Power Integrity analysis has different types of simulations which can be listed as:

  • DC Power Integrity ( IR-Drop analysis) : Analysis of trace and plane shapes to determine how much voltage is lost due to the resistance of copper.
  • Decoupling analysis : To meet low impedance requirements.
  • Noise analysis : Noise analysis of IC Power pins or from via to another.

For high-speed and highly-reliable PCB design it is essential to perform pre-layout PDN analysis and Power Integrity analysis is a must for it.

Argus Systems is leader in PCB and system-level design and analysis Services offering Power Integrity AnalysisSI analysis, Thermal Analysis,  Cross-talk analysisEMI Analysis, Reliability, availability and maintainability analysis for applications like Defense, Space, Avionics, Networking,Telecom, Industrial, Medical, Semiconductor, Robotics, Computing and Automotive.

How to become a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Designer ?

PCB Design-When it all started-History of PCB design

Paul Eisler is credited with the invention of printed circuit while working in England around 1936 on a part of radio. Around 1943 USA started using the technology to make proximity fuses which explodes automatically based on pre-set distance. Printed circuits only became popular around 1950’s and since then every decade has seen a new invention which makes this field very exciting and innovating. The advancement of technology has seen hand made PCB’s converted into complex multi-layer PCB’s.

Why you need PCB Designers?

Printed circuit Boards are the Heart of any Electronics. Expanding horizons in Electronics market has brought tremendous demand for trained and experienced PCB designers. There are millions of job opportunities waiting for right designer and thinkers. We need new, different, improved electronics products all the time, so sometimes this  field is also called as ever-green field.

How much PCB designer earn?

As per bls.gov (Bureau of labor statistics, USA) Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians average salary (2012 median pay) can be considered as $57,850 per year or $27.81 per hour.  In India as per statistics by the TimesJobs.com the salary in PCB design ranges from 100,00 to 1,000,000 in rupees as per experience.

Educational Requirements for PCB design Engineers

To work in PCB design on Electronics field a degree in Electronics field is a must. If you have passion to learn and explore and bachelor degree, diploma or masters in Electronics, this could be your career.

What are Courses and Certification to get into PCB DESIGN?

Unfortunately, there are no formal accredited degrees for Printed Circuit Board design. PCB Design tool vendors provide training for specific tools and then there are few leading companies like Argus who has world class training division which helps fresher’s and senior alike to get into PCB design area or to enhance their skill set. To clear C.I.D. through the IPC could be a starting point and can give you theoretical knowledge of PCB Design. But board design could be very specific like analog, digital, RF or high speed depending on the application it will be used. Hands-on experience with proper guidance is the way to make your career in PCB Design area.

How Argus can help you in your PCB Design career?

Argus has offices in USA, UK and India. We are customer-centric and have consistently delivered high quality high-speed multi layer PCB designs requirements. We are in constant lookout for fresher, or senior PCB design professionals who can join our ever growing achievers team. If you are fresher and want to start your career in PCB design drop us an e-mail or call us. If you are experienced and want to work on new and exciting products contact us.

With unpredictable and ever changing technology trends PCB designers gets chance to work on many  revolutionary products. If want to become PCB designer and interested for more information drop us an e-mail or call us.

 

Standards in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design

To develop and promote internet standards we have Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)  organization, likewise in Printed circuit boards (PCB) for design, assembly and production, the standards which are followed worldwide are IPC standards.

IPC is an association with more than 90 standard committees which are involved in making printed circuit board and EMS standards. It was founded in 1957 as  Institute for Printed Circuits. This name was later changed to Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits and was again renamed to IPC in 1999.

Given below are design standards as defined by IPC :

IPC-2221 Generic Standard on Printed Board Design
IPC-2222 Sectional Design Standard for Rigid Organic Printed Boards
IPC-2223 Sectional Design Standard for Flexible Printed Boards
IPC-2224 Sectional Standard for Design of PWBs for PC Cards
IPC-2225 Sectional Design Standard for Organic Multichip Modules (MCM-L) and MCM-L Assemblies
IPC-2252 Design and Manufacturing Guide for RF/Microwave Circuit Boards

Argus in-house PCB design team uses IPC compliant industry standard tools to support schematic, library creation and layout of simple to complex PCB technologies. Industry approved standard tools helps in increasing predictability and accelerate turnaround time.

Argus exceptional dedicated team of PCB design engineers with flexible business models in-house/onsite/offshore/near-shore makes sure that customer gets best service with best price.

EMI and EMC Simulation and Analysis at Product Design phase

All electronic products which are intended for commercial, residential, industrial or military use must pass EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) standards tests. They must perform their intended function in the electromagnetic environment and also must not  degrade the performance of other devices.

These standards are country specific and are governed by local organizations. The EMI testing on electronic equipment for the United States is  handled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is commonly referred as Part 15 testing. The EMI testing for Canada is presented in the Industry Canada ICES-003 standard. In Japan the EMI testing standard is outlined by VCCI. Majority of worldwide standards are derived from Comite International Special des Perturbations Radioelectriques (CISPR)  standards or International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) EMC/EMI/ESD standards.

EMC and EMI tests are often performed late in the product development cycle, generally at the system level using expensive anechoic chamber. This approach leads to lengthy development cycle  and turns out to be very expensive if violations are discovered at this stage.

It is recommended to opt for design analysis services if your product is time or mission critical. Many optimizations can be done at PCB design phase and layout can be modified with minimal cost and effort.Using design, analysis and verification techniques early in design cycle is recommended as it helps in eliminating many layout iterations.

Analysis of radiated emission, far and near field emission , EMC emission can be done. SI and crosstalk issues can be resolved at this stage  These analyses provide insights that helps in successful regulation compliance testing and thus avoid costly hardware re-spins and reduce time-to-market.

Argus Embedded System in USA, UK and India offers various design analysis services including EMI and EMC simulation services and will help you in Identifying EMI/EMC related  problems early in the design cycle to ensure success of your new product.

Electronic Product Design and Development Process- An Overview

Electronic product design and development process involves many stages. In the first stage verbal discussion is initiated between customer and the engineering team for requirement gathering. Once the engineering team has gathered sufficient data and requirements the feasibility analysis stage starts. Our technical team review the requirements and prepare a system and design architecture document which details in concept hardware and software partitioning and architecture of the product.

Discussion is initiated between customers and Engineers to come up with product cost and if any technical trade offs is to be done. By the end of this stage we are ready with complete detailed product specifications. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is conducted on the product at system and subsystem level to ensure the system built is full reliable.

Detailed PCB design and prototyping is next stage which involves library development, schematic design and capture, PCB critical placements, PCB routing , Gerber generation, Thermal analysis and BOM validation. Periodic customer feedback and approval process is followed throughout the stages.

Once hardware and software design is completed the final product design is released for manufacturing. Argus process does not end here, once the product is fabricated and assembly is completely done, we start verification and validation process as per customer requirements on prototyped boards. After only complete testing and verification is done the product is handed over to the customers. Argus believe in “First time, Right Solution” and our numerous positive customer testimonials echos it.

Argus appoints account manager for each and every electronic product design and development project and are directly involved in assuring success of every project.

Argus specializes in end-to-end electronic product design and development services. Our design process is structured to deliver highly efficient and reliable electronic products.We have expertise in wide range of technologies including domains such as Industrial automation, Process Control , Defence & Aerospace, Telecom & Networking, Automotive, Atomic Energy and Semiconductor.

Plenty of Jobs Unfold for PCB Designing

Argus view on career in PCB design featured in “Electronics for you” magazine.

Article Title:

Plenty of Jobs Unfold for PCB Designing

Issue : August  2014   Issue Vol. 46  No. 8

Article_MFY_August_14