Sunday 31 December 2023

Friday 29 December 2023

Partnership enables cost-effective digitalisation.

Patti Engineering has announced their partnership with Arduino, an open-source hardware pioneer with 32 million active developers worldwide. Patti Engineering joins the Arduino System Integrators Partnership Program as a Platinum Partner, designed to fuel growth for professional service companies integrating Arduino technology in commercial projects for enterprise clients.

“We believe that Patti Engineering’s wealth of experience and proficiency in Industry 4.0, robotics, control systems integration, and asset tracking will bring unparalleled value to our community,” said Paul Kaeley, Strategic Sales Advisor to Arduino. “Together, we look forward to pushing the boundaries of what is possible and driving innovation in the world of technology and manufacturing.”

Arduino has recently expanded its product offerings to include Arduino Pro, a line designed for integration into industrial product markets. Patti Engineering plans to implement Arduino as a low-cost Edge device for legacy machinery, reducing the need for IO modules and enabling a platform-agnostic approach for end-products, independent of the specific PLC in use. The partnership with Arduino enables Patti Engineering’s engineers to work with clients further on digitalizing plant-floor data by connecting machinery to the Edge and Cloud.

“Our staff is excited to partner with Arduino,” says Sam Hoff, CEO of Patti Engineering. “Many of our team members have experience with Arduino outside of Patti Engineering in their education projects. We are excited to bring this innovative product line to our offering. It will allow us to help our clients with their digitalization journey as we look to close the gap between the plant floor and the cloud.”

Patti Engineering has developed extensive industry expertise throughout the rigorous Arduino partner application process which resulted in Platinum status. As a Platinum Partner focusing on hardware, software, cloud, and general solutions, Patti Engineering receives access to select supply agreements from Arduino.

@PattiEng @arduino #PAuto #USA

Friday 22 December 2023

Biogas, beyond a mere source of energy.

Enhancing sustainability through accurate biogas upgrading measurements.

In an era where sustainable and renewable energy sources are imperative, biogas stands out as a promising solution. However, maximizing its potential necessitates efficient utilization, achieved through accurate biogas upgrading. These systems play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality and utility of biogas, propelling it beyond a mere source of energy.

Pic: SFP

One notable example is Pentair, a recognised leader in engineering advanced biogas upgrade systems. Pentair's expertise lies in designing and implementing cutting-edge solutions that elevate biogas to a standard comparable with natural gas. With precise engineering and innovative technologies, Pentair empowers biogas to seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure, unlocking a spectrum of sustainable applications. Pentair has been instrumental in deploying sustainable solutions, including CO2 recovery plants and biogas upgrading systems.

Biogas upgrading systems play a pivotal role in maximising the potential of biogas as a sustainable and clean energy source. These systems enhance the energy content of biogas by concentrating methane and reducing impurities, enabling it to match the quality of natural gas. This upgraded biogas, often termed biomethane or renewable natural gas, can be seamlessly integrated into existing natural gas grids, providing a direct, clean, and renewable energy supply. It serves as an environmentally friendly fuel, significantly lowering carbon dioxide emissions when utilised for electricity generation, heating, or transportation. Moreover, the ability to store and transport upgraded biogas efficiently enhances its role as a reliable and sustainable energy storage solution.

By transforming organic waste into valuable energy and supporting a circular economy, these systems contribute to waste reduction and the efficient utilisation of biomass resources. “In our pursuit of sustainable progress, we believe in remaining vigilant and thorough, implementing careful controls to minimize revenue losses for our customers while ensuring that our biogas upgrading plants minimise methane slip during purification, making a positive contribution to the energy transition and sustainability goals,” explains Machiel van Essen, NPD Project Manager ─ Technology at Pentair.

Pentair operates a facility called Pentair Haffmans in Venlo, in the Netherlands, where they engineer and manufacture analysis equipment for breweries, CO2 recovery installations, and biogas upgrading systems. Sustainable Fuel Plant (SFP), an innovative facility dedicated to the production and advancement of sustainable energy solutions, approached Pentair to evaluate the biogas upgrading system that had been installed by Pentair at the SFP site, located in Westdorpe, in the Netherlands. This collaboration extended further through Pentair's partnership with Vaisala, a leading provider of measurement instruments, which played a crucial role in the successful assessment of the biogas upgrading system.

The Challenge.
The assessment of the biogas upgrading system at SFP presented a specific set of challenges that demanded a meticulous approach. Firstly, achieving precise analysis of both the biogas feed flow and the process permeate flow (offgas) was deemed critical due to the complex composition of gases involved. Any inaccuracies in the process had the potential to cause elevated methane (CH4) levels in the permeate flow, which could significantly impact the revenue of biogas upgrading sites. Operating under challenging wet conditions was an additional hurdle, requiring analysers that could function effectively despite high relative humidity in both the biogas feed and permeate flows. Moreover, compliance with ATEX zones and safety requirements in biogas facilities, had to be ensured. Conducting in-situ analysis was also vital, minimising the need for new analysis lines and providing a more accurate representation of real-time conditions. Lastly, the analysis was intended to be temporary, necessitating easily implementable and removable analysers that could adapt to evolving requirements during the assessment process.

The Solution.

To surmount the array of challenges posed by the biogas upgrading assessment, Pentair joined forces with Vaisala, utilising their extensive experience in the field, to propose a strategic solution for the evaluation. The cutting-edge Vaisala MGP261 and 262 multigas probes were recommended, which proved to be instrumental in addressing the specific requirements of this assessment.

The MGP261 and 262 multigas probes offered a remarkable capability to provide real-time process values, within the defined levels of accuracy and ranges for both CH4 and CO2 . A significant advantage was their adaptability to challenging wet conditions, ensuring reliable performance even in high-humidity environments - a crucial factor given the nature of biogas processing. In addition, these probes were simple to install, and comply with the ATEX and safety regulations of biogas facilities.

By synergizing the data obtained from the biogas feed, retentate, and permeate streams, a comprehensive analysis of the entire process was conducted. This holistic approach allowed for a thorough assessment, enabling a deep understanding of the dynamics and efficiency of the biogas upgrading system. The analysis revealed that Pentair's process design conformed rigorously to the specified design criteria. This validation provided strong assurance to SFP that the biogas upgrading system was functioning precisely as intended, in alignment with the set objectives and performance expectations.

The MGP261 and 262 multigas probes delivered accurate and precise measurements throughout the assessment period. Accurate measurement and optimisation of CH4 and CO2 levels enhance the efficiency and sustainability of the biogas upgrading process.

“We are committed to sustainable progress, and we always strive to prevent revenue losses for our customers by applying rigorous controls,” Machiel van Essen explains. “Our biogas upgrading plants also reduce methane emissions which we measure with Vaisala MGP261 and 262 multigas instruments to optimise the purification process. This way, we contribute positively to the energy transition and sustainability goals.”

In summary, the collaboration between Pentair and Vaisala, leveraging the MGP261 and 262 multigas probes, demonstrated the effectiveness of these instruments in verifying the performance of the biogas upgrading system at the Sustainable Fuel Plant site. The ease of installation and their reliable performance make these probes a valuable extension of Pentair's process analysis kit. This solution has the potential to be offered to Pentair customers in the future, enabling the tracking of both process and material performance, aligning with Pentair's commitment to sustainable and responsible solutions in the field of gases.

@VaisalaGroup @Pentair @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Energy

Thursday 21 December 2023

OTA measurement.

Anritsu Corporation and EMITE have announced the enhanced functionality to the Over-the-Air (OTA) measurement solution, allowing measuring to compliance with the latest Wireless LAN standard IEEE 802.11be.

IEEE 802.11be is being standardized as the successor to IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6/6E) and is targeted to realize high-speed communications that significantly exceed IEEE 802.11ax. The standard is expected to be a fundamental technology supporting the latest applications and services, such as ultra-high-resolution video streaming beyond 4K and AR/VR.

Anritsu’s Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A has been integrated with all portfolio of EMITE Anechoic and Reverberation Chambers (picture of E-Series Reverberation Chamber as an example), allowing developers to measure the OTA Total Radiated Power (TRP)/Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) performance of IEEE 802.11be devices in a repeatable environment.

Offering integrated communications protocols and optimized performance for testing, EMITE chambers and Anritsu MT8862A provide reliable characterization of the Wi-Fi 7 devices on the market.

“We are glad to commit ourselves to our customers and lead the market with the implementation of the latest technology for WiFi (IEEE 802.11be). Having the collaboration of Anritsu and by working with top tier companies in the telecommunication market lead us to strive for excellency,” said Miguel Mora, Head of Support department at EMITE.

Keita Masuhara, Product Manager, IoT Test Solutions Div., Anritsu Corporation, said, “We are proud to release the latest solution with leading-edge company. The newest standard enables wider bandwidth on the new frequency band. Anritsu makes effort to contribute to providing valuable test solutions collaborating with leading partners.”

@Anritsu @AnritsuEMEA @EMITEIngenieria @NapierPR #TandM #IoT #Wireless

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Digitising packaging lines.

Drug manufacturer Heel has successfully implemented Werum PAS-X MES 3.3.0, Körber's NextGen MES for pharma, biotech, and cell & gene therapy, at its main plant in Baden-Baden (D). The pioneer in scientific research into natural pharmaceuticals has been producing medicines, such as Neurexan® and Traumeel®, based on natural active ingredients for over 80 years.

Built on more than 30 years of expertise and leading IT technologies, PAS-X MES 3.3.0 is GMP-compliant and designed to meet the future requirements of the industry. It can be integrated into any IT infrastructure via simple and secure interfaces – whether in the customer's data center, in the cloud or as a Körber-managed “Software as a Service”.

The NextGen MES offers maximum functionality as standard, so the system has been implemented “out-of-the-box”, allowing for seamless upgrades in the future. The implementation process followed the proven ready-fit-build-run method: many of the MES implementation tasks were taken over by Körber, which reduced the customer's workload and accelerated the implementation of the system.

“The successful introduction of PAS-X MES for the digital processing and documentation of packaging orders is an important milestone in the digitalization of our production,” says Monika Gartner, Head of Digital Transformation, Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH. “We have a very good, open and cooperative business relationship with the Körber team, characterized by mutual trust.”

With the help of PAS-X MES 3.3.0, Heel has digitized the first four packaging lines, replacing the paper-based packaging documentation of its products. The integration was implemented almost as standard, so that more than 2,000 finished products can be processed with just a few generic MBRs. SAP ERP is fully integrated via a standard interface. The customization of numerous bills of material and production versions from SAP has paid off: Heel can now automatically perform reconciliations in Electronic Batch Recording and benefit from the parallel Batch Record Review.

“Both the project team and the packaging team contributed greatly to the successful implementation of the project. They have been involved from the very beginning and have received comprehensive information and training through our specially developed training concept,” she continued.

In the next step, Heel will introduce PAS-X KPI in the packaging area. The software application is designed to monitor the performance of packaging machines in real-time, ensuring that machine utilization and overall equipment effectiveness is maximized.

“We are looking forward to further projects on the path to digital transformation and our 'Factory of Excellence'. In the coming months and years, we are going to gradually roll out PAS-X MES in other production areas. Integration into all processes is an essential step towards full digitalization,” concluded Monika Gartner from Heel.

@KoerberPharma @WerumKarriere #Heel #PAuto #Pharma

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Pioneer work in polyurethane technology recognised.

The FSK Innovation Young Talent - Technology' category award, a prestigious recognition for pioneering ideas related to materials, was awarded to Eduard Kremer, a scientific assistant in the field of polyurethane technology at IKV Aachen.

Eduard Kremer with award
The FSK Innovation Award annually acknowledges outstanding innovations in the domains of design and aesthetics, technology, as well as process and chemical engineering, emphasizing sustainable approaches. The competition is open to young talents, companies, and professionals submitting projects related to foam plastics and polyurethanes.

Eduard Kremer impressed the jury with his groundbreaking work on sensor-based process monitoring in PUR-RIM. His research allows for reducing the burden on the operator and significantly increasing the number of high-quality parts. By employing temperature, pressure, and DEA sensors, alongside considering ambient parameters such as temperature, air pressure, and humidity, process variations are detected early on. This not only leads to improved product quality but also eliminates issues like skin detachment and incomplete mold fillings. A graphical dashboard visualises all relevant data, enabling efficient monitoring and control of the process. 

Eduard Kremer's achievement highlights the potential of sensor-based technologies in enhancing efficiency and quality in industrial processes.

The award was announced and presented during the FSK Symposium on 22nd November 2023.

@RWTH @PresseBox #IKV_Aachen #PAuto #Research

NTN NB-IoT Protocol tests validated.

The first NTN NB-IoT Protocol Conformance Tests have been validated on the 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR powered by the Sony Semiconductor Israel (Sony)’s Altair device according to an announcement from Anritsu Corporation.

NTN NB-IoT is a key IoT feature that useful in cases where the devices need to be deployed in remote regions without terrestrial cell network coverage. This is especially useful for asset tracking in maritime, logistics, mining, automotive and other areas.

“3GPP Release 17 which is described as the next stage for 5G and LTE, NTN enables new use cases and monetization opportunities for vertical industry segments,” said Kameda Keiji, General Manager of Mobile Solutions Division at Anritsu Corporation, “We are proud that our collaboration with Sony enables us to help the industry validate the new features quickly to market and enable certifications in GCF/PTCRB to bring certified devices to enable new applications”.

The conformance tests are defined by 3GPP in TS 36.523-1 corresponding to core requirements in TS 36.331 and have been submitted to 3GPP Radio Access Network Working Group 5 (RAN WG5) by Anritsu.

"We are thrilled about our partnership with Anritsu,” said Christophe Flechelle, GM France & System Engineering Director at Sony Semiconductor. "By establishing a certification program for NTN, we're paving the way for faster integration of crucial satellite technologies into tracking devices and wearables. This collaboration marks a significant step towards technological advancement and widespread adoption in the industry."

5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR.
The ME7834NR is a test platform for 3GPP-based Protocol Conformance Test (PCT) and Carrier Acceptance Testing (CAT) of mobile devices incorporating Multiple Radio Access Technologies. It supports 5G NR in both Standalone and Non-Standalone in addition to LTE, LTE-Advanced, LTE-A Pro, W-CDMA and now NTN. When combined with Anritsu’s OTA RF chamber MA8171A and RF converters, the ME7834NR covers the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G NR frequency bands.
The 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR is registered with both the GCF and PTCRB as Test Platform 251.

@Anritsu @AnritsuEMEA @sonysemiconil @NapierPR #Communications #TandM

Monday 18 December 2023

Real-time measurements in a metals refinery.

Sensmet's continuous metals monitoring technology has been evaluated in a field trial conducted by Metso at its facilities in Pori, Finland. The trial compared Lithium and Sodium measurements by laboratory ICP-OES analysis with the Sensmet µDOES® continuous analyzer, and demonstrated excellent correlation between the two different methods.

Traditionally, hydrometallurgical production processes have relied heavily on regular sampling and laboratory analysis for process control. However, as Sensmet CEO, Dr Toni Laurila explains: "Lab analysis is costly and incurs a significant delay, which means that real-time control of such processes has not hitherto been possible. Importantly, this trial was conducted under field process conditions, and has confirmed the widely held view that our µDOES® continuous metals analyser represents an enormous opportunity for the optimization of lithium production processes."

Comparing µDOES® with lab ICP-OES.
During the trial, samples were taken from a process in which battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate was produced from spodumene concentrate treated by high-temperature conversion in a rotary kiln. The hydrometallurgical technology, developed by Metso, produces battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate by soda pressure leaching. In this application, the analytical performance of the µDOES® analyser was evaluated for the continuous optimization of pressure leaching and conversion leaching.

Over sixty samples were drawn from the process and analysed by a µDOES® continuous analyser and a laboratory ICP-OES. Sodium and lithium concentrations were measured in each sample, and the results showed an excellent degree of correlation between the online instrument and laboratory reference analysis. The calculated R² (coefficient of determination) for the two elements were 0.98 for the lithium comparison and 0.95 for sodium.

"We were impressed by the outcomes of the measurement campaign, conducted in a challenging environment replicating real-life conditions. Despite the rigor, the µDOES® and ICP-OES delivered congruent results," explains Metso's Veli-Matti Järvinen, Vice President – Automation Product Group. "This is significant — we anticipate that the µDOES technology will bring substantial value to the realms of battery metal production and recycling processes when integrated to Metso Courier® HX system."

µDOES® inside.
Metso is a global frontrunner in minerals processing and metals refining, possessing expertise covering the extraction of lithium from brines and pegmatite ores up to battery-grade lithium salts. When it comes to adopting analytical technologies into production processes and automated measurement systems, Metso upholds the most stringent standards for technology reliability.

The Metso evaluation confirmed the exceptional performance and great potential of µDOES® to transform the way Li and Na analyses are conducted in brines. Following the trial, Metso will adopt µDOES® technology in selected Courier® HX systems for Li and Na analysis, and the new systems will be available globally in 2024.

Explaining the importance of the Metso trial, Sensmet CEO, Dr Toni Laurila says: "Previously, we have demonstrated the advantages of µDOES® in battery metal analysis; delivering increased efficiency, lower costs, and improved product quality. However, one of the first questions that every customer asks is: do we have comparison data with laboratory ICP-OES from real processes?

"We are therefore delighted that an industry leader like Metso has performed such a verification and shared these exciting results. The Li and Na comparisons with ICP-OES illustrate the high analytical performance of the µDOES® and the tremendous potential of real-time analysis in brines."

Sensmet's patented µDOES® technology is based on atomic emission spectroscopy. A micro-discharge (electric spark) is created directly inside the aqueous sample, causing a microscopic volume of the fluid surrounding the spark to be flash-heated to 10 000 °C. Molecular species in the micro-discharge are dissociated into atoms, which are excited to their respective higher electronic states. Upon returning to their ground state, these atoms release their excess energy by emitting light at their characteristic wavelengths. The µDOES® measures this atomic emission spectrum to derive quantitative analysis of the metals contained in the sample.

µDOES® is able to continually repeat these measurements 24/7 delivering results with a user-selectable measurement interval of 5 - 30 minutes.

Summarising, Sensmet CEO Toni Laurila commented: "The third-party evaluation shows how µDOES® technology allows operators to consistently produce high-quality, continuous 24/7 measurements, akin to results obtained in a laboratory. This capability is accessible directly at the process plant, avoiding the delays of lab analyses, and exploiting the benefits of real-time process monitoring."

@Sensmet_Ltd @_Enviro_News #PAuto

Focus on security and affordability of energy.

The 2021- 2023 energy crisis and its impact on the global energy system, increased prices in oil, gas and electricity markets. As a result. emphasis and attention from policy-makers refocussed on security and affordability of energy. While this implied a detour on the path to net zero, this also signalled an under-appreciated benefit of the energy transition—that greater energy security and independence can result from a reduced reliance on imported fossil fuels and an increase of renewables says the report Energy Trends 2024 - Targets, trajectories and temporalities - Contextualising net zero.

“The energy sector stands on the brink of its next evolution. Innovators are leading the way into a fresh era characterised by a strong emphasis on sustainability and efficiency, which are now considered essential rather than optional. At the same time, to achieve net-zero emissions, companies are redefining their strategies, embracing a flexible approach to energy utilisation as a core asset in remaining competitive within in this new landscape. Flexibility is key to ensure the success of the energy transition to a net zero future” commented Michael Phelan CEO and co-Founder at Gridbeyond.

However, there are a series of issues connected to renewables which are about their intermittent nature and the integration challenged faced by grid operators. This challenge is further compounded by the diverse array of energy resources scattered across the power grid in terms of both size and location, requiring grid operators not only to take account of the system as a whole, but to manage and respond to in some cases very localised constraints.In addition, the report looks at energy storage and it identifies it as a beneficiary of the transition to a renewables dominant energy mix. This is largely because batteries contribute other services and benefits to the grid besides energy. Energy storage can transform intermittent clean energy— primarily derived from wind and solar—into a reliable source of 24/7 generation.

Finally, Energy Trends 2024 looks at how some markets have taken action to further expand the flexibility available from the demand side to support the grid during peak periods such as the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) in Britain, the ERCOT Contingency Reserve Service in the US, introduction of ancillary services in Japan.

@GridBeyond_ #PAuto #Power #Security

Executive appointments for global technology group.

Andreas Pauly, previously Head of the Test & Measurement Division has joined the Rohde & Schwarz Executive Board as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). With three members, the Executive Board is now well positioned to keep the company on course for growth. Christina Gessner has taken over as Head of the Test & Measurement Division and is now a member of Rohde & Schwarz Corporate Management.

Andreas Pauly
Rohde & Schwarz is strategically positioned to address key future connectivity and security technologies and has a strong market position. The company has grown for several years in succession. The appointment of a third Executive Board member is now laying the foundation for the future development of the technology group.

With Andreas Pauly, Rohde & Schwarz has bolstered its top management team from within the company's own ranks. Pauly joined the Test & Measurement Division in 1996. In 2003, he qualified for his first management position and in 2015 was appointed Vice President Signal Generators, Audio Analyzers and Power Meters. Two years later, he took over as Executive Vice President of the Test & Measurement Division and kept it on track for continued success. He also bolstered the division's resilience to market fluctuations by consistently focusing on a diversified product portfolio and investing in future technologies.

As CTO, Andreas Pauly will concentrate on R&D topics while maintaining a focus on T&M equipment. Peter Riedel, who joined the Executive Board in 2014, will remain President and COO. He will focus on the growing project business and other areas. Managing Partner Christian Leicher will continue to head the Executive Board as President and CEO.

Adding the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is the logical next step for Rohde & Schwarz. Since its founding, the group has stood for innovation and technical expertise. To stay relevant in its markets, the company invests a double-digit percentage of its revenue every year in research and development. With an eye to achieving its growth targets, the Executive Board also needs to focus even more closely on the project business. Allocating responsibilities to the three presidents creates the capacity needed to do so.

Christina Gessner
Leicher and Riedel welcome the decision: "We are very much looking forward to working with Andreas Pauly. He has made a significant contribution to the growth of the company in recent years with the Test & Measurement Division. We are convinced that together we will take Rohde & Schwarz to the next level."

Christina Gessner (50) has succeeded Pauly in the Test & Measurement Division. She has therefore also joined Rohde & Schwarz Corporate Management. In her most recent role, she served as Vice President Spectrum & Network Analyzers, EMC and Antenna Test Equipment.

She joined Rohde & Schwarz as a technology manager in 2004. In 2011, she became Head of Product Management for Spectrum and Network Analyzers. In the following years, she held several leadership roles before being appointed Vice President of the entire business unit in 2018. With Gessner's appointment as Executive Vice President, Rohde & Schwarz again recruited a longstanding and experienced manager.

Pauly has full confidence in his successor: "Christina Gessner has an entrepreneurial mindset, drives innovation and focuses on customer needs. She has demonstrated this in several management functions and especially in her role as Vice President. That is exactly what is needed to take the Test & Measurement Division to the next level."

Gessner herself welcomeed the challenge: "I'm delighted with the trust shown to me. The Test & Measurement Division, with its highly qualified employees, has played an essential role in the company's success for years. In my new role, I will continue on this path and ensure that our customers can still rely on T&M solutions from Rohde & Schwarz in the future."

@RohdeSchwarz #TandM

Friday 15 December 2023

Information and communication technology leader expands presence in North America.

HMS Networks AB has entered into a binding agreement with Spectris Group Holdings Limited to acquire the Red Lion Controls business, a well-established US-based provider of industrial automation solutions, through the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in Red Lion Controls Inc. and Red Lion Europe GmbH as well as certain assets in other jurisdictions (“Red Lion”), significantly expanding HMS’ presence in the North American market and complementing HMS’ offering.

Staffan Dahlström, HMS and
Marcel van Helten, Red Lion
“We are very happy to welcome Red Lion into the HMS Networks family, the companies are a great match both when it comes to products, geographic presence, and cultural aspects." said Staffan Dahlström, CEO of HMS. "The combination of Red Lion’s product portfolio, which is complementary to HMS’ offering and has limited overlap, and the geographic match with Red Lion having a strong position in the attractive North American market, and HMS with its core markets in Europe, will generate good cross-selling opportunities."

"Red Lion’s “Access” products fit well with HMS’ Anybus and Ewon product lines, while Red Lion’s “Connect” offering adds what HMS has been searching for several years; a strong Ethernet Switch offer with a strong market position. Finally, Red Lion’s “Visualize” offering brings new opportunities for HMS to explore the Data Visualization offering that is becoming more and more interesting with its central role in the Industrial Automation environment and its ability to provide additional value on top of HMS’ connectivity and network offering.

"We are eager to start working together and to realize the synergies between the companies and to enable each other to take the next steps on our common future journey once the transaction closes.”.

Summary of the acquisition.

  • HMS has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Red Lion for a cash consideration of USD 345 million (approximately €315) , on a cash and debt free basis (Enterprise Value).
  • Red Lion is a well-established US-based provider of industrial automation solutions with an innovative product portfolio with premium brands. The acquisition will significantly strengthen HMS’ presence in North America and enable cross-selling of both.
  • HMS’ and Red Lion’s products through their respective market channels. The combination of HMS and Red Lion had annual sales exceeding SEK 4.4 billion (€0.39 billion) , during the twelve-month period ending on September 30, 2023, with an adjusted EBIT margin of approximately 24 percent.

The acquisition is expected to close during the first half of 2024, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions of the USA and the EU.

@hmsnetworks @redlioncontrols @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Communications

Control on world’s widest paper machine.

ABB has been selected as a project partner for the installation of the world’s widest uncoated machine-glazed (MG) paper machine at Gascogne Papier’s kraft pulp and paper production plant in Mimizan (F) They began deliveries early in 2023, with QCS and drives deliveries to the plant planned for 2024, along with commissioning of the machine.
“We have an established relationship with Gascogne and are delighted to continue supporting them in their mill production goals,” said Pamela Murphy, European Operations Manager for Pulp and Paper at ABB. “The project also underscores our important collaboration and the complementary technology and expertise that we will bring to Gascogne.”

Replacing three older machines, the facility’s PM7 will be fully integrated and standardized using the ABB Ability™ System 800xA® distributed control system (DCS), the ABB Quality Control System (QCS) for pulp and paper, drives and motors. Advanced QCS controls will enable automatic grade changes and multivariable cross-direction. The full scope of supply includes 8000 I/O, ACS880 multi-drives and ABB’s energy-efficient SynRM IE5 motors. The package will help Gascogne Papier save on energy costs while simultaneously reducing waste by making more on-spec paper.

ABB’s technologies will be used on the new paper machine that has a web width of 6.8 meters and a design speed of 1,300 meters per minute. It will be capable of producing 125,000 tons per annum of basis weight paper between 25 and 120 grams per square meter, setting a new industry benchmark for uncoated MG papers.

IE5 ultra-premium SynRM motors are the same size and output power as commonly used IE2 induction motors but offer up to 50 percent lower energy losses and significantly lower energy consumption. Additional benefits include lower bearing and winding temperatures for enhanced reliability and long life, and less motor noise. They can be used in a wide range of demanding industrial applications for accurate control and high efficiency a range of speeds.

@abb_automation @ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @admiralpr #gascognepapier #PAuto #Paper

Progress towards sustainable development recognised.

Servomex has been awarded the EcoVadis Gold Rating for sustainable business practices for the second year in a row.

Servomex achieved its first Gold Rating in 2022, with EcoVadis recognizing areas including the environmental emergency measures the company has in place, and its specialized treatment and safe disposal of hazardous substances.

Renowned as the leading assessment platform for supplier sustainability, EcoVadis ratings provide insight into a supplier’s Corporate Social Responsibility performance, leading to improvements.

In confirming the rating for 2023, EcoVadis noted how Servomex has maintained its environmental standards and made continued progress towards its Sustainable Development Goals.

Mike Proctor, Director: Sustainability and Strategic NPI at Servomex said: “We are delighted to have improved our overall score by 3%, but with a 20% improvement in the Sustainable Procurement Category. It is also noted the EcoVadis scores are competitive rankings, therefore our improved scores show our relative improvement against strong baseline improvements across all industries.”

The externally assessed accreditation measures environmental, social, and ethical performance, providing customers with confidence that Servomex will support and enable their own sustainability efforts.

It also puts Servomex in the top 5% of all manufacturing companies rated by EcoVadis across the year.

Servomex President Andy Cowan said: “It’s great to achieve the EcoVadis Gold Rating for a second successive year. Servomex is committed to empowering change in global industries, to create a cleaner, healthier, and more productive world.
“Part of this means helping our customers to make their processes more sustainable, as well as developing the technologies that will power a greener future. Our expertise empowers them to make more informed decisions, transform their processes, and make a meaningful impact.
“But we also recognize that we must take responsibility for our own business operations and ensure we work responsibly. Sustainability remains at the heart of the Servomex culture and ethos, and this rating recognizes our ongoing efforts to make a positive change in the world.
“We have continued to build on our efforts to lower our energy consumption, improve the environment around our sites, and reduce our emissions, and that’s a journey we will continue into 2024 and beyond.”

@Servomex @ecovadis @codacomms #PAuto #Sustainability

Refrigerant manufacturer is plant of the year.

FieldComm Group has announced that the Daikin Industries Ltd. Plant in Kashima, Japan, has been selected the 2023 Plant of the Year*. This is the 21st annual awarding of this unique international honor, presented to end user companies in the process automation industry to recognize the exceptional and valuable application of FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus, FDI™ and/or HART® Communication technologies.

The Daikin Kashima plant produces a wide range of fluorochemical products used in air conditioning equipment, automobiles, semiconductor production, and other applications. Advanced digital technologies have been applied at this site as part of a digital transformation (DX) initiative. The team has implemented HART-enabled instrumentation, and associated digital diagnostic tools and predictive analytics, all combined with artificial intelligence (AI), so the facility can transition from traditional time-based maintenance to more effective condition-based maintenance.

By first learning normal plant behavior from historized big data, the AI system can then perform nonlinear regression analysis on live data using a neural network, enabling the anomaly detection and prediction needed to address potential problems and avoid unexpected shutdowns.

Many valve positioners, pressure transmitters, and Coriolis flowmeters were already HART-enabled, and the team used Fast Ethernet-based HART converters to access other equipment, along with various DCS/PLC systems. Daikin officials point out that success of AI depends on the accuracy of available data, and HART devices made a difference in this regard.

“The HART signals of each device are wonderful data packed with the know-how of each device manufacturer. By having AI learn this along with various process data in the plant, it's more likely to be able to learn various signs of equipment anomalies,” said Masumi Yoshida of the Daikin Industries engineering department.

Condition-based maintenance at this plant over the past three years has reduced maintenance costs by an estimated US $400,000, and the team is looking to expand the technology to many more production sites around the world.

* A complete list of recipients and their success stories are available here
• See also Process Plant of the Year (6/7/2023)

@FieldCommGroup #PAuto #Communications #Japan

Champion in solving operational challenges impacting the manufacturing.

Seeq has been named a silver winner in the Enterprise Product of the Year - All Other Software category in Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged each year by prominent editors and reporters from top-tier publications in North America.

Best in Biz Awards 2022 honors were conferred in 100 different categories, including Company of the Year, Fastest-Growing Company, Most Innovative Company, Best Place to Work, Customer Service Department, Executive of the Year, Marketing Executive, Most Innovative Service, Enterprise Product, Best New Product, App, CSR Program, Environmental Program, Website and Film/Video of the Year.
Seeq is being recognized for its self-service, advanced analytics and industrial AI platform that accesses and leverages vast amounts of historically underused data. By incorporating leading-edge technologies, including AI, machine learning and other capabilities, into its platform and leveraging its global partner network, Seeq powers a range of use cases for employees across the enterprise to accelerate digital transformation outcomes such as operational excellence and profitability, workforce upskilling, and sustainability.

The 13th annual program saw intense competition among more than 600 entries from public and private companies, representing all industries and regions in the U.S. and Canada and ranging from some of the most iconic global brands to the most innovative start-ups and beloved local companies. This year’s judges highlighted the winning companies’ breadth and depth of innovation, their novel approaches to employing new technologies, impressive workplace benefits and employee diversity and inclusion programs, as well as continued community involvement and critical investments in environment and corporate social responsibility programs.

“As a leading provider of self-service, enterprise SaaS solutions, we’re pleased to receive the Best in Biz Award for the Enterprise Product of the Year - All Other Software category,” said Dr. Lisa Graham, CEO at Seeq. “Industrial companies are turning to digital solutions to scale, empower, and maximize access to data to drive sustainability, operational excellence and profitability. Our advanced analytics and industrial AI platform empowers these organizations to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives by making operational time series data insights available to all stakeholders for improved business outcomes.”

Since the program’s inception in 2011, winners in Best in Biz Awards have been determined by independent judging panels assembled each year from some of the most respected national and local newspapers, TV and radio outlets, and business, consumer, technology and trade publications in North America. Thanks to the unparalleled expertise and experience of the editors and reporters serving as judges and the impressive diversity of outlets they represent, Best in Biz Awards judging panels are uniquely suited to objectively determine the best of the best from among the hundreds of competitive entries. The 2023 judging panel included, among others, writers and contributors to Ad Age, Computerworld, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Portland Tribune, Washington Post.

“As in years past, determining winners in some categories was a matter of selecting the very best from among the very good and came down to the smallest details,” said Best in Biz Awards staff. “Each year, the judges are impressed by the innovations, growth, and change emanating from the winning companies and permeating across layers of society, from their employees through clients to local and global communities.”

@SeeqCorporation @BestinBiz_  #PAuto #Manufacturing #USA

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Gas analyser safeguards packaging environmental compliance.

A global packaging company is monitoring VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds) continuously at its facility in Ireland - primarily to manage and improve the plant’s environmental performance and to demonstrate regulatory compliance. Due to a changeover in equipment, a short-term requirement arose for VOC monitoring with a flame ionisation detector (FID) that was hired from the Signal Group.

Feedback from the project indicated that the Signal analyser proved to be accurate and reliable, and provided the packaging manufacturer with a problem-free transition as it updated its monitoring regime. However, there was a delay in the work, and the rental of the Signal analyser was extended for several months.

The plant’s VOC emissions arise from printing and laminating processes, and are treated by an oxidiser, after which an FID analyser measures the total organic hydrocarbon content post-oxidation. By monitoring the emissions continuously, the plant’s operators are able to refine their processes to improve efficiency, and to minimise emissions.

The hired Signal equipment included a heated FID analyser, a heated line with controller, and a filter. “We manufacture all of these items, whihc means that the complete system is delivered ready-to-go, so that clients can be assured of compatibility, accuracy and reliability,” explains Signal MD, James Clements. We have hundreds of these systems in operation all over the world, so our staff are highly skilled and experienced in delivering support.

“As the world strives to meet the COP28 goals, manufacturers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as the carbon footprint of their supply chains. Lowering VOC emissions is one of the ways in which companies can help achieve these critically important objectives.”

@GasAnalysers @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment #Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Strategic partnership to exceed customer expectations.

Kollmorgen has announced a new partnership with RML Machinery.

With over 40 years of hands-on experience, RML Machinery is acknowledged as a reliable and experienced one-stop-shop machine builder, specializing in customized system solutions and AGV applications. As industries increasingly seek to expand automation in their intralogistics, RML Machinery finds itself at the forefront of delivering tailored solutions where quality, precision, and innovation constitutes the core of their business.

“We see this partnership as a powerful alliance," says Tobias Byfeldt, Vice President & General Manager, at Kollmorgen Automation AB.“RML Machinery's experience and commitment to addressing the unique needs of customers, allows us to together offer automation solutions that exceeds the end-users’ expectations.”

By utilizing the proven technology, service, and support offered by Kollmorgen, RML Machinery is dedicated to deliver comprehensive expertise for their valued customers in New Zealand, Australia, India, and South East Asia.

@AboutKollmorgen #RMLM #Machinery #PAuto

Wireless module IoT range expanded.

Anglia Components has expanded its wireless module range with Telit Cinterion*. After Telit’s acquisition of Cinterion, Thales’ cellular IoT product business, Anglia’s existing partnership with Cinterion has been expanded to stock, sell and support the entire range of products and services from Telit Cinterion. Anglia’s FAEs have been trained on the expanded offering.

Commenting on the expansion, John Bowman, Marketing Director at Anglia, said, “Ever since our partnership with Cinterion began in 2008, the wireless modules have been in high-demand among our customers for a diverse range of applications including remote utility metering, e-tolls, POS terminals and asset tracking systems. The expansion of Anglia’s partnership to encompass the combined Telit Cinterion product range and associated services provides an even richer portfolio of IoT solutions to support our customers’ designs. We look forward to promoting the innovations that will emerge from this acquisition in future.”

Pete Horwat, Senior Sales Director from Telit Cinterion responded, “This is a very exciting time for Telit Cinterion, and we need the right partners to take our full product range and services to market. Anglia has played an important role in Cinterion’s success, and their technical support and service is exceptional. We look forward to them supporting us in taking the combined Telit Cinterion range to UK customers.”

*Telit Cinterion was established in January 2023 when Telit completed the acquisition of Thales’ cellular IoT products business, Cinterion, which was a market-leader in modules enabling wireless machine-to-machine communication. The acquisition established California-based Telit Cinterion, as a leading provider of IoT solutions and expanded the portfolio of products, services, and bundles comprising hardware, software, and connectivity solutions.

@angliaComponent @NapierPR  #Components  #IoT #Wireless

Towards the quantum internet.

Quantum networks will be the infrastructure for many disruptive applications, such as efficient long-distance quantum communication and distributed quantum computing. A quantum communication testbed is now operational between Universität des Saarlandes (D) and Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes Saarbrücken (D), with dimensions that can simulate real life applications. TOPTICA lasers control the quantum memories and synchronize the two network nodes.

Groups of Jürgen Eschner and Christoph Becher at the Saarland University (UdS) are using single trapped ions and single photons to develop and study the basic building blocks for future quantum networks.

Bridging 30 km with Entangled Photons
An essential aspect of these networks is the ability to distribute entanglement between distant network nodes using photonic channels, such as free-space transmission or fiber networks. In this joint experiment, quantum memories based on single trapped Ca+ ions and SnV centers in diamond are controlled and manipulated in two separate laboratories connected by a 15 km fiber optic link, provided by a local telecom company.

Distributed Entanglement by means of synchronized frequency combs.
Distributed entanglement will be achieved in several steps: The trapped Ca+ ions and SnV centers are excited to a short-lived upper state, emitting a single photon as they decay. This so-called lambda-type transition allows to entangle the spin state of the atom with the polarization or emission time of the single photon. The generated photons have wavelengths of 854 nm (Ca+), and 619 nm (SnV), respectively. To avoid high loss during the transmission via fiber, the photon frequencies are shifted to commonly used telecom bands at ~1550 nm using polarization-preserving quantum frequency conversion (QFC). The fiber link guides the two photons from each lab to a Bell-state measurement setup in which a successful photonic projection measurement heralds the entanglement of the two dissimilar quantum systems. In order to have the temporally overlapping, both experiments are synchronized to within a few nanoseconds. Notably, the QFC must render the frequencies of the two photons indistinguishable; hence the synchronization and stabilization of all involved lasers is essential. Furthermore, the read-out of the atomic states for verification of entanglement or its application in quantum communication requires a typical optical phase reference at the respective wavelengths provided by two synchronized frequency combs.

TOPTICA has provided most of the lasers for trapping, cooling and interrogating the atoms as well as an optical parametric oscillator (TOPO) for the QFC. Two DFC frequency combs synchronize the experiments, while two transfer lasers at telecom wavelengths and active fiber noise cancellation ensure low-noise photon transmission.

Their Laser Rack Systems are designed to not only support quantum communication, but also quantum computing, quantum simulation, quantum sensing and many other exciting quantum-technologies.

@TOPTICA_AG @htw @PresseBox #PAuto #Communications