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Safer Driving Through Sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

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Analog Devices, a semiconductor, and Seeing Machines, an advanced computer vision technology company that designs AI-powered operator monitoring systems to improve transport safety, announced a collaboration in support of high-performance driver and occupant monitoring system (DMS/OMS) technology on January 3, 2023.

Long-haul driving and congested traffic are two scenarios where driver fatigue and distraction often occur and frequently cause accidents, resulting in injury or worse. New and sophisticated advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are rapidly evolving to support safety across increasing, varied levels of autonomous capability.

The collaboration pairs ADI’s advanced infrared driver and high-speed Gigabit Multimedia Serial Link (GMSL) camera connectivity solutions with Seeing Machines’ artificial intelligence (AI) DMS and OMS software to support powerful eye gaze, eyelid, head, and body-pose tracking system technology that more accurately monitors driver fatigue and distraction. The combined solution will readily meet European Commission General Safety Regulations (GSR) and European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) requirements. It is also conducive to enabling future occupant monitoring features and a range of in-cabin camera placement options, previously unworkable due to challenges related to power efficiency, functional safety, hardware footprint, and image quality.

Semi-autonomous driving systems rely on in-cabin DMS and OMS to recognize and address driver fatigue and distraction. These systems must operate in all lighting conditions and require proper infrared lighting to ensure image quality on a frame-by-frame basis necessary for eye tracking in real time. The combined solution from ADI and Seeing Machines leverages ADI’s industry-first infrared driver for DMS and OMS, capable of delivering up to 100W of peak power in a compact and functionally safe solution. This allows for a non-intrusive, smaller camera module in a vehicle’s cabin.

Seeing Machines’ AI software interprets signals from the optical hardware, monitors and diagnoses the problem, and combines with ADAS features to enable output signals to warn drivers and vehicle occupants when necessary.

“Seeing Machines exists to get people home safely, and our work with ADI aims to support semi-autonomous driving with increased safety levels to deliver what we call ‘supervised automation’,” said Nick DiFiore, SVP and GM of Automotive at Seeing Machines. “ADI’s proven automotive-grade, near-infrared drivers and GMSL devices enable a sophisticated optical path to provide critical illumination and high-speed video bandwidth for real-world and real-time processing of interior cabin environments.”

“Cabin monitoring is complex and requires careful integration of infrared illumination, image capture, data processing, and algorithm layers to achieve a real-time response,” said Yin Wu, Director of Automotive Product Line Management at Analog Devices. “Together with Seeing Machines, we are supporting the automotive industry with pragmatic solutions to help reduce collisions and save lives.”

ADI’s MAX25614 IR LED driver and GMSL serializer and deserializer (SerDes) connectivity solutions are supporting Seeing Machines’ FOVIO DMS and OMS solutions.

 

ADI’s Automotive Electrification and Cabin Experience Solutions

ADI’s innovations are making a positive planetary scale impact in automotive electrification and experience. By leveraging technology synergies across Automotive and Sustainable Energy, ADI aims to accelerate the transformation of mobility and the grid towards Net Zero emissions. ADI is also enabling the Digital Cabin and Safe Mobility revolution through its technology leadership in Audio Processing, Data, and Video Connectivity platforms which are advancing consumer applications and safety-critical ADAS in the vehicle. Our leadership in Battery, Power, and Energy Management solutions enables high performance, reliable, and safe operations across the entire electrification ecosystem—including EVs, Energy Storage Systems, the Clean Energy Grid, and more. With a focus on measuring and advancing sustainability at every step, our innovations in software and wireless technologies allow for localized real-time mission-critical decisions to enable Intelligence at the Edge.

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Radar Level Transmitter for Safe, Optimised Operations

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Emerson has introduced the Rosemount 3408 Level Transmitter, a non-contacting radar device designed to optimise ease-of-use at every touchpoint, leading to increased site and worker safety and enhanced plant performance. The Rosemount 3408 is a versatile level measurement solution, suitable for use in a wide range of industries and applications, such as chemical storage, mixing tanks and open air applications.

While the benefits of radar level measurement are widely acknowledged, leading to the technology’s fast-growing adoption across multiple industries, radars are still sometimes perceived as being complex to commission, operate and maintain. Addressing this concern, the device provides a range of functions that reduce complexity throughout its lifecycle, including a highly intuitive interface, Bluetooth wireless technology remote capabilities, predictive alerts, in-situ verification, data historian and an upgradeable design.

The user interface provides clear pictorial instructions, allowing operators to be easily guided through installation, commissioning, proof-testing, operation and maintenance. This increased ease-of-use gives process and manufacturing organisations the confidence to replace time-consuming manual procedures, thereby helping to increase safety and maximise productivity.

The new device is based on frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) technology, which enables extremely accurate and reliable measurement, even in challenging process environments. It is also suitable for use in critical safety applications such as overfill prevention, as it is Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2-certified and designed according to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC 61508 standard relating to functional safety.

Emerson’s proprietary Smart Meter Verification software provides an easy means of verifying the health of the device, without interrupting the process. Official records of device verification are generated, simplifying compliance with regulatory requirements. In addition, an advanced diagnostics suite continuously monitors key device health and process parameters. This provides actionable information and predictive alerts that support preventative maintenance strategies, streamline troubleshooting and help increase process availability. A built-in historian enables users to access stored process data and alerts to gain process insights and aid troubleshooting.

The transmitter can be proof-tested remotely and in-situ, which makes the procedure quick and easy, saving time and increasing plant and worker safety. In the event of device failure, its exchangeable design enables the simple replacement of a cassette within the transmitter housing, rather than replacing the entire transmitter head. This saves both time and materials, making the device extremely cost-effective.

“The new generation of engineers expect modern automation technology to be very easy to implement, operate and maintain,” said Thense Korsbo, director of product management for Emerson’s radar level measurement business. “The onus is therefore on us to provide solutions that simplify operator tasks as much as possible, especially in safety-critical applications such as overfill prevention, and this was Emerson’s focus when designing the Rosemount 3408. This optimised ease-of-use will help organisations improve plant efficiency, reach their production targets and achieve the highest levels of safety.”

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New business facilities in Mexico

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Endress+Hauser Mexico has invested roughly 10 million euros in a new building. The recently occupied sales and service center is located in Naucalpan in the Mexico City metropolitan area. With 4,100 square meters of usable space, the center includes modern office facilities, an extensively equipped customer experience and process training center and a complete calibration lab.

 

Strengthening customer relationships

The building in Naucalpan reflects the solid growth of the Sales Center in recent years. It demonstrates a connection with the market and customers and enables further growth. At the heart of the building is a process training center where customers can practice using a variety of measurement instruments and simulate conditions similar to their own operating environments. Working together with experts from Endress+Hauser, they can then develop new solutions for their applications.

 

Attractive work setting

The building features numerous spaces and facilities designed with the needs of the employees in mind, allowing them to flourish and feel at home in their new work environment. The amenities include a gym, a nursing room for mothers, and a library, plus various places for individual and collective work in open spaces to ensure that the day-to-day work activities can be carried out in a productive and attractive setting.

 

Focus on sustainability

Endress+Hauser places a value on sustainability and energy efficiency with all of its construction projects. The new building in Mexico thus features solar panels. In addition, a water treatment and cleaning system was developed that feeds 7.2 cubic meters of water into the climate control and plumbing systems on a daily basis. Because of these measures, the new building was certified gold under the LEED system (Leadership in Energy and Environment), proving that it achieves significant energy and resource savings over its lifetime.

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Closed-loop recycling system for carbon fiber

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Together with the National Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu College and Tokyo University of Science Asahi Kasei, a diversified Japanese multinational company, has developed a new technology for recycling carbon fiber plastic compounds.

Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) are highly attractive for various industries in demanding application fields due to their unique balance of rigidity, mechanical strength and light weight – also compared with conventional glass fiber reinforced plastics. However, CFRPs are expensive and challenging from a recycling perspective, as it is difficult to extract the carbon fibers from the resin after usage.

 

Together with its project partners at the National Institute of Technology at Kitakyushu College and the Tokyo University of Science, Asahi Kasei has developed a recycling method that allows carbon fibers to be extracted from CFRP or carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) used in automobiles. This results in high-quality, inexpensive continuous carbon fiber that can be recycled perpetually, contributing to circular economy. Unlike carbon fiber that is chopped up during the recycling process, Asahi Kasei’s method allows carbon fiber to be extracted from a plastic compound seamlessly, resulting in continuous strands of carbon fiber that can be reapplied in exactly the same manner while retaining properties identical to the original substance.

The conventional technologies for recycling carbon fibers by chopping and re-applying them results in a product with lower quality and less durability, insufficient for high-performance applications. To address this issue, Asahi Kasei has developed an “electrolyzed sulfuric acid solution method” that allows the carbon fiber to retain its original strength and continuous nature while fully decomposing the resin the carbon fiber is embedded in. This allows for its continued use in high-performance applications and presents an inexpensive, circular solution to the end-of-life dilemma of carbon fiber plastic compounds. Thus, these carbon fiber compounds present in vehicles for weight reduction. It can be easily and inexpensively be broken down at end-of-vehicle-life and reapplied to new vehicles in the future. In addition, Asahi Kasei is developing a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic unidirectional tape (CFRTP-UD tape) that utilizes both recycled continuous carbon fiber and the company’s Leona polyamide resin. Boasting a higher strength than metal, this CFRTP-UD tape can be applied to automobile frames and bodies, further enabling the recycling of end-of-vehicle-life parts into different, new automobile parts. This presents a solution to the long-term challenge that carbon fiber usage for vehicles has posed on the industry and is expected to economically benefit and strengthen carbon fiber’s usage within the automobile industry on a global scale. Moving forward, Asahi Kasei will perform demonstrations and develop the business, aiming for practical application around 2030.

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