Tuesday 12 January 2016

Recognising Irish automation expertise and service!

The 34th annual Honours and Awards Ceremony of the Ireland Section of the International Society of Instrumentation (ISA) was held last month (Dec 2015). This event is held to acknowledge recognise and encourage excellence for those training or working in the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation sector.
LtoR-Front; Lord Mayor Cork  Chris O’Leary, John Power, Alan Bateman, President ISA Ireland
Back: Colin Levis, Aoife Monahan, Grzegorz Perka,
Niall Cahalane,(H&A Chair), 
Rodger Condon & Liam O'Brien.
There were seven awards presented, four of which were submitted by Third Level institutions and three industry awards.

The event was held in the elegant and historic Common Room of University College Cork by kind permission.

The Awards
• Craft Person Award
The Craft Person Award is awarded, on the nomination of Cork Training Centers and/or Carlow Institute of Technology, to the best final year instrumentation Apprentice for notable academic and practical achievements in instrumentation.
Rodger Condon
This year Mr. Rodger Condon of Cork Training Centre was the recipient and was nominated by Mr. Pat Mc Carthy & Jim Doyle, Cork Educational and Training Board.
"Rodger is completing his apprenticeship as an Electrical Instrumentation craftsperson and took his studies very seriously. He has achieved practically all credits in every subject for phase 2,4, and 6. He took advise easily and is attending college by night to complete a degree in Applied Physics and Instrumentation.
Rodger has also completed other in-house and external courses. He is currently serving his apprenticeship with Dornan Engineering on several of their projects around Cork while studying by night."

• Degree Award
Ms. Aoife Monahan was the recipient of the Degree Award which is awarded, on any nomination, to the best final year Degree student specialising in any area of Automation Instrumentation or Control. She was Nominated by: Mr. Gareth Roe of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).
Aoife Monahan
"Aoife Monahan has been an outstanding student on the degree course in Physics & Instrumentation at GMIT. This is evidenced by her results from 1st year and 2nd year where she achieved overall results of 85.5% (GPA) and 90.2% (GPA) respectively and is further supported by her 3rd year degree results. In 3rd year Aoife’s overall average was 80% with all her individual module results, bar one at 69%!, being at distinction level or well above and this in subjects ranging from Computerized Instrument Systems (79%) to Robotics & Automation(80%) to Physics (77%). She displays a natural aptitude and enthusiasm combined with a determined persistence in her studies of both the theoretical and practical aspects of instrumentation and applied physics. Through her coursework and experience to date Aoife has a proven impressive ability in both the theory and then the practical implementation of instrument systems .
Aoife has also demonstrated a distinct ability for both individual project work and collaborative work as part of a team.
In her 2nd year individual project she took on the challenging task of building a working transmittance heart rate monitoring system. This involved constructing the sensor system and associated signal conditioning, interfacing the processed signal to a PC and then developing and using a LabViewTM program to interpret and display the incoming signal in terms of heart rate. The end result was a system that was not only fully functioning but was also delivered with significant attention to detail."

• Honour’s Degree Award
The Honour’s Degree Award was achieved by Mr Colin Levis on the nomination of Mr. Gerard Geaney of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Cork Institute of Technology.
Colin Levis
"Colin displayed the ability to analyse and develop a process. The process consisted of a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator simulating a wind turbine. The model emulated modern wind turbines used to reduce losses and provide a more efficient system. This model incorporated automation consisting of hardware such as Siemens S7-1200 PLC, Analog Input module, Analog output signal board, Siemens Sentron PAC 4200 energy meter, Allen Bradley Power flex 4M VFD, LEM current transducers, Kubler incremental encoder, Voltage rectifiers, 1 kW PMSG and a 2 kW induction motor. In order to obtain data and determine the capabilities of the PMSG the following software is used Simatic Step 7 V12, Kepware, Simulink/Matlab, Wonderware ArchestrA, MS Excel and MS Access.
To control the speed of the motor a PI controller was designed using the Root Locus method. The controller designed has a conservative response to eliminate any system overshoot and have a stable response. This entailed deriving a transfer function for the motor within Simulink and Matlab from real time data. The designed controller and actual response were verified to show an accurate model was created. To visually display the results and effects of operating conditions by the use of SCADA software developed by Wonderware."

• Innovation Project Award
Recognising a project which has made a significant contribution to the advancement of industry in Ireland through the use of Automation Technology is the purpose of the Innovation Project Award.
The recipients were Mr Grzegorz Perka and Mr Adam Sikorzynski of Vistakon in Limerick on the nomination of  Mr. Declan Fagan also of Vistakon.
Grzegorz Perka
"Their contribution recognised that extracting data from a complex process with no measurement systems built in was very difficult until they developed their replica pallet.
Using a very clever solution Grzegorz and Adam designed a process monitoring system built into a replica process pallet that could be used to navigate through the production line collecting information throughout its movement path. The replica process pallet used the same physical dimensions as a typical pallet however it had a purpose built PC board designed into the pallet to monitor and store process critical data.
Grzegorz then developed custom software to upload the data from the process pallet which could then be analysed offline to make critical process improvement changes.
The outcome from the project was a self-contained intelligent module which had the ability to Collect 10 measures per second (temperature and 3 axis acceleration)
Measure acceleration 50 times per 100ms and store max value
Time stamp for each record.
Can show real-time data on the PC screen
This was truly a revolutionary step in that it was now possible the monitor and measure data in real time throughout the entire process which was previously impossible. Information such as forces applied to the product as well as temperature monitoring is extremely useful in processes."

• Automation Champion Award
Mr. Liam O’Brien was awarded the Automation Champion Award "in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of instrumentation, automation, IT or industrial system and / or technology in Ireland." He was nominated by Mr. Dermot O’Callaghan of Enterprise System Partners (ESP).
Liam O'Brien
"Liam has more than 25 years experience managing IT/Automation companies supplying solutions to the life science sector. Over his career, the automation industry has benefited from his technical insights and execution & management of solutions, coupled with an unrivalled entrepreneurial flair to grow two world-class service companies in this field.
In 1994, Liam co-founded and managed ProsCon (now a Rockwell owned company), as the original automation integration company supporting life sciences in Ireland. Under his leadership, the company grew from zero to over 200 resources within a 5 year timeframe with an annual turnover greater than 15M euro per annum. He oversaw the development of a management team, project management team, quality system, infrastructure and premises including system build facility to provide full turnkey solutions for PLC/SCADA and DCS systems. The customer base included all the major pharmaceutical manufacturers primarily in Ireland, but also had begun development in the UK and Singapore. Today, the business has a global reach as a Rockwell automation company.
In 2003, Liam co-founded ESP and continues to act as Managing Director today. Liam identified the trend towards MES in the early 2000s and was involved in managing the first EBR implementation for Pfizer worldwide. During this project, ESP was born. Under his guidance, the company has grown to be one of largest system integrator of MES in the life science industry worldwide, headquartered in Cork Ireland, with active projects throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

In addition, Liam has and continues to provide consulting support for some of the companies global clients including Pfizer, Genzyme (Sanofi) and AstraZeneca. Liam provides a unique blend of technical and commercial skills to support such clients in visualisation, planning and commercial management of global system programs for these corporations requiring roll-out of multi-site manufacturing systems and their integration with the automation layer."

• Pioneer Award
This award recognises a lifetime devoted to Instrumentation/Automation in Ireland.
This year Mr John Power, of the Power Group and fourth President of the Section (1981-1983) was nominated by Senior Members Mr Bob Shine and Mr Billy Walsh.
John Power
"John Power is founder and President of “The Power Group” and was one of the early presidents of ISA Ireland in the 1981 and 82. A native of Old Parish in County Waterford, John has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the control and automation sector going back longer than he would care to mention.
Having gained significant expertise and knowledge in Electrical Engineering and automation control with a variety of engineering and chemical companies in his early career John soon established several companies of his own to serve the sector. By 1982 he had established The Power Group of companies, comprising; Powerflow Electronics, an Electronic design and manufacturing company, and Power Engineering, an Electrical engineering/automation company.
One of the pivotal moments in John’s career was the invention and successful worldwide patenting of a range of electronic timers for switching and controlling solenoid valves. These original products proved to be highly successful, revolutionising the compressed air condensate market, and paved the way for the development of a comprehensive range of control and automation equipment. Powerflow continue to develop and manufacture at their headquarters in Waterford, supplying many of the world’s leading automation companies and exporting to more than sixty countries Worldwide.
As well as the company’s own range of branded products, designed and manufactured in house, the group also work in conjunction with global leaders in the field of instrumentation and process control, to develop and integrate cutting edge solutions for today’s modern manufacturing and process control environment.
John’s formative years involved a keen interest in electrical engineering and automation, which eventually led to him joining MF Kent Electrical contractors of Clonmel. During this time he worked on the installation and commissioning of large scale industrial plants throughout Ireland, proving valuable experience for the years ahead.
Following his time with MF Kent John was employed by Pfizer’s Quigley Magnesite division for 13 years as Electrical and Automation Engineering Manager at their facility in Dungarvan, and also covering the Tivoli plant in Cork and the mining / quarrying facility in Kilkenny. During his period with Pfizer-Quigley Magnesite, which was a unique plant in Ireland, producing synthetic magnesia, John and his team pioneered many new methods and technologies, including the measurement of mass flow density and inline rock weighing systems, using nuclear radiation sources, magnetic flow meters and speed encoders. Some of those developments revolutionised the efficiency of the plant, and subsequently went on to be used widely in the industry. John describes the plant “as a wonderful place to work. You could nearly class it as a production laboratory and test facility, with a new challenge to overcome every day, in power distribution and automation. The facility encompassed almost every aspect of measurement and control”. It proved to be a fabulous environment to develop his analytical and problem solving skills, which he would go on to use throughout his career.
Following the closure of the Pfizer-Quigley plant in Ireland, John was keen to utilise the skills and knowledge acquired so began work as a Consultant Engineer and was instrumental in the design and construction of several high-tech multinational manufacturing facilities in the Cork area, in the early eighties. It was also during this period that the Power Groups’ Electrical and Automation division Power Engineering was founded. Now with more than three decades of experience John is proud to say that his company has designed and manufactured Power Distribution systems, automation control panels and SCADA solutions for most of the larger manufacturing plants in Ireland, such as, Boston Scientific, GSK, Lake Region, The Dawn Group, Glanbia, as well as projects in the U.K. and France.
Today the Power Group remain at the forefront of technology and John continues to head up a dedicated team, developing and patenting several new products

annually, and he continues to combine his passion for instrumentation, innovation and entrepreneurship. John is immensely proud to be a long standing member of the ISA and the work the organisation carries out to promote the principals of excellence in engineering and instrumentation."

The President thanks the sponsors of the event who also sent representatives to the event.

Some of the sponsors
The Ireland Section of ISA, which is voluntary body with a membership of over 160, received its charter in 1978. Its purpose is to bring together all personnel involved in the instrumentation and related disciplines in order to enhance their capabilities in instrumentation design, manufacture and use. It one of the most successful sections world wide and a number of members have assumed leadership responsibilities both in the Europe, Middle East & African District,  and in the Global governance of the Society down the years.

@IrelandISA #PAuto #ISAuto @ISA_Interchange 

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