Friday 29 September 2023

Filling and packaging systems for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical production.

PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce Certified  partnership certificate has been awarded to machine manufacturer Bausch+Ströbel.

The partnership between Körber and Bausch+Ströbel enables customers to seamlessly integrate Bausch+Ströbel's filling and packaging systems with PAS-X MES, Körber's leading Manufacturing Execution System (MES). This significantly reduces manual configuration efforts for customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, or cell and gene therapy industries, as the machines can be easily connected to PAS-X MES with just a few clicks.

Lars Horning, Körber
Lars Hornung, Senior Principal Alliances & Technology Partners Software in Körber's Business Area Pharma, expressed delight with the new addition to Körber's Ecosystem Partner Program: "The successful collaboration with Bausch+Ströbel in recent years confirms the acceptance and added value of the PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce interface in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical production. We are pleased to welcome Bausch+Ströbel as an MSI partner in our new partner program."

The innovative "PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce" interface facilitates a smooth and efficient integration of both systems. The no-code integration is based on standardized message-based communication, as described in the concept paper of the ISPE Plug & Produce Working Group.

Andreas Bühler, Head of Automation Project Design at Bausch+Ströbel, added: "The 'PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce Certified' partnership certificate is the result of our longstanding and open collaboration in many projects. I look forward to our partnership, which provides our mutual customers with the assurance of an efficient and secure integration. With the standardized and verified PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce interface, the cumbersome coordination of handshake signals is eliminated, and allows to immediately focus on the essential order and reconciliation data.”

@KoerberPharma @WerumKarriere #PAuto #Pharma

IT and OT - a relationship?

The recent annual national conference of Cyber|Ireland, the national cyber security cluster organisation that brings together Industry, Academia and Government to represent the needs of the Cyber Security Ecosystem in Ireland was held in Galway city last week (27 September 2023).

Cybersecurity is of course on everybody's lips these days, particularly hear in Ireland after the criminal attach on the health services systems in the midst of the COVID 19 emergency forcing our already overburdened health professionals back to using pen and pencil as the Information Technology (IT) people struggled to bring the software systems up and running again. Many attending the conference were worried about this type attack on their IT systems. Some were also interested in the workings of their factory, Operational Technology (OT) and how exposed they were to attack. This vulnerability can be, and usually is, very different to that of IT.

The day before the actual conferences there were a number of special meeting examining various sectors effected in different ways by this ever-present threat of infiltration or disturbance, malicious (isn't it always?) or otherwise.

Automation professionals became acutely aware of a threat to their systems in July 2010 when we first heard the word Stuxnet. We first heard about it from an Americal pioneer in security, Eric Byres. Semantic's Liam Ó Murchú, one of the first to understand it described his reaction, “Everything in it just made your hair stand up and go, this is something we need to look into.” The Signpost instituted a page as a guide to developments and articles on STUXNET, "the little varmint!" as Byres called it. This ran from July 2010 to 2013 and is still accessible.

Of course things have progressed since then and most, if not all, of the major process and manufacturing entities are aware of the threat and are taking steps to defend themselves. The International Society of Automation, the automation Standards organisation in particular sprang into action and quickly strengthened their security committee developing over time the Cybersecurity Series of Standards now adopted by the IEC - ISA/IEC 62443.

Speakers at Cyber|Ireland OT Forum
LtoR: Damian White, Billy O'Connor, Ita O'Farrell, Dónal Óg Cusack, Eoin Byrne.

The OT Forum.

Cyber|Ireland, as one might expect,  has established a special OT Security Special Interest Group, The Cyber Ireland OTSec SIG,   under Dónal Óg Cusack (yes the hurler!) of DePuy Synthes as chair, with members from industry, vendors and other experts. One of the meetings was organised by this group. The introduction gave an interesting break down of the leading manufacturers/processes in the country and where they stand in the European marketplace (see slide reproduced above).

The first speaker, Ita O’Farrell, Head of Compliance, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), outlined the work of the NCSC, set up by the Government, and outlined the law and clarified those responsible or answerable. The political agreement (NIS2) was formally adopted by the European Parliament and then the European Council in November 2022. It entered into force in January. Member States now have until 17 October 2024, to transpose its measures into national law. The NCSC are expanding their services now to small and medium-sized enteprises(SMEs) through the development of an SME Cyber Security Document. 

Dónal Óg Cusack introduced
the OT Forum

Damian White, of DataLogiX Solutions, specialists in securing OT networks used by manufacturers and processes. He stressed the importance of ensuring that management were aware of the importance and the very different challenges facing the production process in their factories.

The view of the user was presented by Johnson & Johnson's Billy O'Connor. Again he spoke of the importance understanding of the differences experience from the IT perspective and the operators' integrity. There has always bee a tension here and his final comment was humorous but emphasises the importance of dialogue. "The IT people are trying to break away from their relationship with OT and the OT didn't know that there was a relationship!"

Perhaps the real answer is communication and trust.

Cyber|Ireland OT Security Special Interest Group

@CyberIreland @ncsc_gov_ie @DataLogiX #CINC2023 #PAuto #Cybersecurity #Ireland

Thursday 28 September 2023

Current leakage filters.

Schaffner’s new FN304X series of low leakage current filters are filling a significant gap in the robotics market and other industrial applications for low-profile 3-phase filters.

Anticipating supply challenges creating hurdles in the market, they developed flexibility in their manufacturing processes to mitigate this impact which has resulted in high availability of the new low leakage current filters. The FN3040, FN3041, FN3042 and FN3043 electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) filters are rated for currents of 10 A–30 A at 50oC. Produced specifically to meet customer demands, the tight-packaged filters are smaller than their predecessors yet offer superior performance in different levels (Ferrite or Nano Crystalline versions), Flexible design possibilities are available thanks to the embedded terminals being easy to connect and optional (FN3042 / 43) DIN Rail mounting.

Meeting European EMC requirements.
Designed to satisfy the particular EMC requirements of the European market, the FN304X filters are especially well-suited to grids with very tough requirements and other applications that have safety and reliability as a main focus. A plastic housing combined with a metal ground plate achieves the lowest possible product weight without compromising EMC behavior while fixed, hinged terminal covers enhance safety levels by protecting against contact with live conductors.

Other features of the industry standard form factor filters include leakage current between 0 mA and 0.40 mA depending on voltage level and inductance from 0.5 mH to 12.9 mH at 1 kHz.

Ecologically designed.
The new low leakage current filters are ideal for use in applications such as robotics, electrical and electronic equipment, industrial automation, test & measurement devices and small machines. Designed with sustainability in mind, the filters feature raw materials that can be easily separated at the end of the product’s working life for environmentally safe disposal.

@NapierPR #Schaffner #HMI #Electrical

Sensors up to 2 bar.

Analog Microelectronics is adding further models with pressure ranges up to 2 bar to its high-precision AMS 5935 pressure sensor series. Until now, the AMS 5935 series of board-mount sensors was only available for differential pressure measurements in the ultra-low and low pressure ranges up to 100 mbar. Now several new pressure ranges are added, with which overpressure and vacuum measurements up to 1 bar as well as absolute pressure measurements up to 2 bar are possible. This expands the application possibilities of the AMS 5935 considerably.

In medical technology, the AMS 5935 can now be used for insufflators, IPC systems, hyperbaric oxygen therapy or blood pressure measurements. Further applications can be found in breath monitoring, ventilators, CPAP systems and spirometers. The extremely low power consumption of the AMS 5935 also allows it to be used in mobile, battery-operated devices with wireless data transmission technology.

The new AMS 5935 are especially distinguished by their high measurement accuracy at room temperature (0.1 %FSO for 1 bar pressure sensors) and the low total error (TEB = 0.25 %FSO) in the temperature range from -25 to 85 °C. In addition, they offer a resolution of 18 bits, an I2C / SPI output and a ceramic DIL package for PCB mounting.

To simplify the first experiments with the AMS 5935, an evaluation kit for Windows and an Arduino board are available.

@AnalogMicro @PresseBox #PAuto 

Indoor air quality monitor.

Sensirion and AirTeq have announced their partnership for the launch of the indoor air quality monitor AirCheq Pro Series. This collaboration combines the precision and quality of Sensirion's Swiss-made sensors with AirTeq's commitment to delivering exceptional indoor air quality solutions for commercial and residential environments.

“This partnership underlines our shared commitment to delivering high-quality indoor air quality solutions. Sensirion's reputation for producing some of the most advanced and reliable sensors aligns seamlessly with AirTeq's dedication to ensuring user comfort and health. By integrating Sensirion's sensors into the AirCheq Pro Series, we aim to provide users with a dependable and user-friendly tool for understanding and enhancing their indoor air quality” says Arie den Hartog, CEO at AirTeq.

Both companies are committed to providing high-quality indoor air quality solutions. The AirCheq Pro Series is specifically designed to provide comprehensive insights into indoor environments, ensuring that users can enjoy healthier, more comfortable living and working spaces, empowering them to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to optimize air quality. The AirCheq Pro Series is a versatile solution that puts the comfort and health of users first and the sensors included in the device offer an array of benefits.

Humidity and temperature sensor: Sensirion’s SHT4x series are highly accurate and reliable humidity and temperature sensors that offer the best price-performance ratio on the market. They build on an optimized CMOSens® chip that offers reduced power consumption and improved accuracy specifications. Tape and reel packaging combined with its suitability for standard SMD assembly processes make it ideal for high-volume applications.

Particulate matter sensor: The SEN55 environmental node from Sensirion is a straightforward sensor platform for the accurate measurement of particulate matter. Thanks to proprietary algorithms, it can be easily integrated into various applications and allows device manufacturers to save valuable project time and personnel resources. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) sensor: Sensirion’s VOC and NOx sensor offers a solution for two sensors on a single chip, facilitating design-in and saving design costs. The two sensor signals can be used to automatically trigger the removal of indoor air gas pollutants.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) sensor: The SCD4x is Sensirion’s miniature CO2 sensor and offers high accuracy at an unmatched price and smallest form factor. The SMD assembly allows cost and space effective integration with maximum design freedom. Tape and reel packaging makes the SCD4x ideal for high-volume applications.

@sensirion #AirQuality #Environment

Empowering connection and supercharging production in the future.

A strategic investment through Emerson Ventures, Emerson's corporate venture capital arm, in First Resonance, a Los Angeles-based start-up transforming manufacturing with its ION Factory Operating System (OS) has been announced. Through Emerson Ventures’ value-add strategic investment approach, Emerson’s investment will support further growth and development of First Resonance’s ION Factory OS, which enables companies across industries to conduct day-to-day operations and connect workflows to power modern operations, from production to supply chain procurement and quality.

“As Emerson continues to accelerate its growth as a leading global automation company, we are constantly searching for innovative companies supporting the development of world-changing software and technologies,” said Thurston Cromwell, vice president of development and innovation, and head of Emerson Ventures. “This strategic investment brings together Emerson’s deep expertise in automation and First Resonance’s operating system that helps companies modernise their technology, automate their processes and build transformational products of the future.”

With its discrete manufacturing platform that equips manufacturers with a digital thread, ION helps remove barriers by providing tools to improve collaboration, move information more freely, and use the power of data to deliver insights that result in better quality and faster delivery.

“First Resonance’s mission aligns well with Emerson’s focus on innovation and its ongoing commitment to support manufacturers building revolutionary products,” said Karan Talati, co-founder and chief executive officer of First Resonance. “From climate and energy to new forms of transportation, space exploration and robotics, we are empowering companies to address the most pressing global challenges across both traditional and emerging industries. Through our people, the ION Factory OS, and now with the support of Emerson, we will continue to empower thousands of engineers, operators and manufacturers to connect and supercharge the future.”

@EmersonExchange @Emerson_News @EMR_Automation @firstresonance @HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Manufacturing

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Sustaining IoT innovation.

A substantial investment from Innovation Industries, a leading deep tech VC fund in EnOcean has been announced. This strategic partnership not only provides EnOcean with the necessary capital to support its continued growth but also signifies a strong alignment of strategic goals between the two entities.

The investment from Innovation Industries underscores the starting point for EnOcean's additional organic and inorganic growth strategy, providing vital resources to accelerate the development of new sustainable IoT solutions and widen its market footprint. This infusion of capital follows on the heels of EnOcean’s first acquisition in late 2022.

From top: Raoul Wijgergangs
Chris Sonnenberg
“This investment marks a significant milestone for our company and exemplifies the strong alignment of our objectives and our strategy going forward. We believe that this strategic partnership is a testament to the strength of our vision and the exceptional potential we hold in the market,” said Raoul Wijgergangs, CEO of EnOcean (right - top). “We are excited to embark on this journey together and are confident that this step will pave the way for our continued growth and innovation. We are truly pleased with this development and look forward to the promising future it brings to all parties involved."

Chris Sonnenberg ( from Innovation Industries added: "Partnering with EnOcean in their pursuit of sustainable IoT solutions is a remarkable opportunity for Innovation Industries. We are excited to expand our investment portfolio into the vibrant German market, and joining forces with a company that holds a leadership position in the sustainable IoT sector is truly inspiring. The dedication EnOcean is showing to drive innovation in products, channel, and business model while prioritizing environmental sustainability aligns seamlessly with our own values. This investment not only signifies our confidence in EnOcean's capabilities but also our commitment to fostering technology-driven positive change. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact our partnership will bring to both the company and the IoT landscape as a whole."

With this positive strategic alignment based on a continued buy-and-build strategy, EnOcean envisions further acquisitions with separate capital raises that will complement its portfolio and enhance its capabilities. The strategic partnership with Innovation Industries provides a strong foundation for these future endeavors, with both entities committed to fostering growth and innovation.

@EnOcean @NeeshamPR #Pauto #IIoT

Flowmeters with faster and more reliable data transmission.

The CoriolisMaster and ProcessMaster flowmeters from ABB can be powered over the same ethernet cable used for data transmission, eliminating the need for separate cabling. The new feature reduces installation time and cost, and increases the speed and reliability of data transmission.

One of the key challenges facing customers in process industries is the need to reduce the complexity and cost of installation and operations of field instruments, infrastructure and systems. The new ABB CoriolisMaster and ProcessMaster flowmeters featuring ProfiNet with Power Over Ethernet address this challenge by providing a single-cable solution.

ProfiNet is a protocol utilized in the field of Operational Technology (OT) that operates at the application layer. Incorporating ProfiNet into ABB’s CoriolisMaster and ProcessMaster flowmeters enables seamless and real-time exchange of data, and monitoring of alarms and diagnostics. It also allows for diverse configurations to ensure reliable and efficient communication between the flowmeters and across both local area and wide area networks (LAN & WAN).

“Remote monitoring and control are becoming increasingly important in many industries,” said Harald Grothey, Global Product Manager at ABB. “ProfiNet's high-speed communication capabilities with fast and reliable data transmission mean remote operators can make informed decisions in real-time, reducing the need to travel for on-site support. We are always looking for ways to help our customers become more efficient. By reducing the need for separate cabling, the new CoriolisMaster and ProcessMaster flowmeters are a stepping stone to a more resource-efficient future.”

The CoriolisMaster and ProcessMaster with ProfiNet ensure reliable data transmission by providing a stable and consistent power supply. This helps to reduce the risk of data transmission errors caused by power fluctuations or interruptions and ensures that the data received by the control system is accurate and reliable. Transmitted in real time, information on flow rates and densities is always up-to-date.

The easy-to-access built-in webserver minimizes time spent for set-up and parameterization of the flowmeters significantly. Users get access to all parameters, such as measurement range, units, IO configuration, verification and diagnostic settings as well as a data-logging function. With this, a reduced overall commissioning and engineering time results in additional cost savings.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @AdmiralPR #PAuto

Monday 25 September 2023

"No warehouse left behind!"

The launch of the new “Movu Robotics” brand has been announced by the stow Group. This has been developed to strengthen its “Robotics” business unit and to meet increasing customer demand for Automation and Robotics solutions. The new brand replaces the name “stow Robotics”.

Movu Robotics is a new and dynamic warehouse automation brand that stands out by bringing easier Logistics automation solutions to the world’s warehouses and ensuring that, when it comes to opportunities for automation, no warehouse is left behind. Movu is based in new headquarters located in Lokeren, near Antwerp (B) that, under a single roof, includes engineering, R&D, production, and a state-of-the-art Experience Centre where the latest technologies can be demonstrated live in operation to customers and partners.

stow Group itself is a highly successful company with 40 years’ experience as a supplier of logistics and materials handling solutions, and a product DNA based on racking. As customer and market demand for automated solutions increases – driven by labour shortages, the need to increase profitability, efficiency, flexibility, accuracy as well as shortening lead times – stow has been delivering innovative solutions to meet these challenges.

stow Robotics was established in 2021 as part of the stow Group and has developed a comprehensive and competitive portfolio of automation and robotics solutions for pallets, bins and items that provides a more energy efficient and practical alternative to stacker crane based solutions. This comprises Movu atlas, one of the leading pallet shuttle systems in the market; Movu escala, an innovative ramp shuttle solution for bins; Movu ifollow, a collaborative Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) system for pallets and additional load carriers and the new picking robot Movu eligo.

Despite all their advantages, automated technologies and robotics are perceived by many customers as being complex, expensive, resource intensive with long lead time for installation. Movu Robotics addresses this issue by bringing easier automation to the world’s warehouses.

No warehouse left behind.
For projects in the main vertical markets, especially in e-commerce, FMCG and cold storage in Europe and North America, Movu Robotics will deliver simple, standardised plug and play solutions that require less engineering and grant short lead times for execution, allowing customers to keep their operations running.

Jos de Vuyst
Jos de Vuyst, CEO of stow Group commented: “Faced with challenges of labour shortages, cost increases, storage density, growing volumes and improving accuracy, companies are turning to robotics and automation for solutions. Movu Robotics offers an integrated ecosystem of standardised and scalable automation technology that speeds roll out and reduces risk for all kinds of customers. We want to democratise materials handling through bringing the opportunities of easier automation and robotics to warehouses that would otherwise find them hard to attain. Expecting the global material handling equipment market to reach USD 350 billion and understanding the key driver AS/RS systems and Robotics for this, we are optimistic that Movu Robotics will become an essential player.”

Stefan Pieters, CEO of Movu Robotics, commented: “Smart enough to make any operation feel simple and easy, Movu robots help to take a load off the customers’ minds as well as their shelves. Our solutions are designed to make warehouse automation and robotics not only more accessible, but also more scalable.

Stefan Pieters

They will enable any warehouse around the world – big or small, regular or awkwardly shaped – to be upgraded and become more productive, more efficient and more successful. This is the philosophy behind our brand claim: ‘Movu – No warehouse left behind’.”

Group structure. stow Group now has two independent brands under its roof: stow Racking and Movu Robotics. While both of these brands retain their independence, they strongly impact each other in terms of expertise, know how, technology, and global resources.

All products, business activities and operations of stow Group in the field of Robotics and Automation, including R&D, production, sales and finance, will be grouped as an independent and stand-alone business unit under the Movu Robotics brand in the new headquarters in Lokeren. This includes the operations of the ifollow business, which is now the brand name of the Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) offered by Movu.

The management team will be led by Jos de Vuyst, CEO of stow Group and Stefan Pieters, CEO of Movu Robotics. Both stow Group and Movu Robotics are driven by a strong team of board members, comprising experience from the Logistics Industry and from other sectors.

Movu Robotics technologies. Unlike many automation companies that have a single product, the new Movu Robotics brand includes a range of key technologies: Movu atlas pallet shuttles, Movu escala bin shuttles and Movu ifollow Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) for pallets and roll cages that work either stand-alone or as collaborative robots. Joining these is the new Movu eligo picking robot, which is offered as a picking workstation for escala.

Movu Robotics provides solutions for easier automation that can make better use of every corner of the warehouse – irrespective of the customers’ storage space or what they are storing, conveying, picking or handling. Customers gain the key advantage of seamless integrated racking and robotics solutions – for example, the Movu atlas shuttle system working with Movu ifollow mobile robots, or Movu eligo acting as a workstation for Movu escala. A key benefit is that a customer talks to a single face representing a single partner, providing efficient project management and reliable lead times. They will also receive efficient project commissioning for a safe and resilient supply chain that assists in delivering high service levels to their customers.

Autonomous sub-systems for minimal TCO.
Technologies in the Movu Robotics product portfolio can be integrated into a single autonomous sub-system as a solution, with components including racking, shuttles or AMRs, software, wi-fi and commissioning. This enables easy installation, adaptability to new business needs through simple integration of new applications and a minimal Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach. This makes upgrading warehouses easier, not only for existing users of logistics automation who want to upgrade their systems with plug and play robotics and automation, but also those yet to adopt automation but who urgently want to take the first step.

Standardisation and simplification, which is an essential part of Movu Robotics, results in shorter lead times and lower engineering costs, producing higher profitability. To maximise flexibility, Movu Robotics systems are modular in design, acting as a set of building blocks to minimise complexity and cost of upgrading. This makes the systems highly scalable – installations can start small and then expand or, if needed, they can downsize just as easily. Modularity also enables a fast roll out for projects.

For not leaving any warehouse behind, Movu Robotics will target the market with a dual strategy: providing end users with a direct channel, for which Movu relies on a network of sales offices in main territories. Its portfolio of simple, standardised, scalable, and flexible systems provide opportunities for SMEs with as few as 5000 pallet locations to automate, to address challenges such as labour shortages and cost efficiency – a huge growth area. The other part of this strategy is the indirect channel where Movu can supply a fully functional storage sub-system from its portfolio to a systems integrator for integration into a complete project.

All of this is supported by a global network in customer service and stow’s 40 years’ industry experience.

Movu Robotics is working to improve existing technology for the customer, with innovation, R&D and entrepreneurial thinking being an integral part of the dynamic business unit. The next product launch is planned for 2024, to further expand the portfolio.

@stow_Group #Automation #Robotics #PAuto

Cameras in a storm.

Water and sewerage companies are installing Meteor MRC remote cameras at an increasing number of wastewater discharge and storm overflow locations; primarily to check the veracity of event duration monitors (EDMs), but also to avoid unnecessary site visits, save costs, lower the carbon footprint of operations, and help identify the sources of pollution.

The British government has instructed all water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) operating in England, to install monitors on every storm overflow by the end of 2023. These EDMs must provide information on the frequency and duration of storm overflow spills.

Their Environment Agency’s EDM data for 2022 (1) showed that the ten WaSCs in England have 14,580 storm overflows, and that 91% of these were fitted with EDMs. On average, each overflow spilled 23 times for an average of 5.8 hours.

“Where frequent spills are being reported, or when a WaSC suspects that an EDM is reporting falsely, a site visit may be required, so we are experiencing a heavy demand for rugged, low-cost cameras that are able to deliver reliable high-quality images of discharges to verify the EDM data without, necessarily, having to make a site visit,” explains Matt Dibbs, MD at Meteor Communications.

Meteor’s MRC cameras have been designed to operate unattended in remote locations where normal power and communications may not be available. The MRC cameras require just a small battery and a solar panel for year-round operation, and there are currently around 2,500 MRC cameras in use around the country.

Matt says: “One of the most popular features of the MRC cameras for discharge points, is the facility to attach a robust, reliable water level sensor so that the cameras can be automatically prompted to collect images when water levels rise.

“With the benefit of MRC remote cameras, WaSCs have ‘eyes in the field’ to improve the reliability of EDM data and avoid the over-reporting of spills, whilst reducing the number of site visits - saving time, and lowering both costs and carbon footprint.”

(1)Environment Agency EDM data 2022. 

 @MeteorComms @EnvAgency @_Enviro_News #Environmental #Water #Britain

Future proof cyber protection.

In this article, James P. Chiang of Moxa, examine, key challenges faced by two smart manufacturing applications: (1) interconnecting new devices on a large scale for real-time facility monitoring and (2) integrating multiple networks for optimal management. In addition, the article has practical recommendations for how to protect these types of operations from cyber threats.

In 2022, the manufacturing sector recorded more cyberattacks than any other major industry worldwide. The main reason for this phenomenon is the dissolution of the air gap between industrial control systems (ICS) and the Internet, also known as Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) convergence, which exposes OT infrastructure to new cyber threats. However, modern manufacturing cannot quarantine itself from the outside world if it wants to remain competitive.

A new threat targeting smart manufacturing systems.
The rise of smart manufacturing, or Industry 4.0, has seen a growing number of cyber threats in the industrial sector as an unintended consequence of OT/IT convergence. While merging OT and IT infrastructure achieves better efficiency and value creation, it also exposes traditionally isolated OT systems. Combining an ever-expanding threat landscape with manufacturing organizations’ extremely low tolerance for downtime makes this a high-profile target for cyberattacks.

A deeper look at the types of industrial applications that have been targeted reveals some common challenges but also some clear areas for improvement. Let’s look at two practical examples of industrial applications, how cyber threats can affect them, and how to mitigate their vulnerability to cybersecurity risks.

Application 1:

Real-time facility monitoring and control systems.

Applications enabling real-time monitoring and control for large-scale industrial networks are increasingly susceptible to cyber threats. These applications generally require deploying many connected devices on a large scale to collect, send, and analyze large amounts of data from the field at the control center.

Consider the following cybersecurity concerns:
Hundreds of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and sensors at the edge need to be connected to collect data about manufacturing facility conditions and to optimize energy usage. Each of these devices is a new node that could potentially fall prey to cybersecurity attacks such as unauthorized access or malware attacks.
Vulnerabilities are amplified when these networks expand and aggregate large numbers of edge devices into the distribution layer. If the network is not properly segmented, the whole network is vulnerable when just a single node is compromised.

For these applications, operators should consider a defense-in-depth approach. This involves selecting secure devices, building robust network defense layers, and identifying network statuses to ensure network security and availability. Selecting security-hardened devices that have passed international security certifications, or have security functions based on internationally recognized standards, such as IEC 62443 and NERC CIP, can provide solid building blocks when adding new network nodes. Segmentation and threat prevention also provide another layer of protection to guard against attacks and help prevent unwanted intrusions and threats from propagating to other network nodes. Last but not least, constantly monitoring the security status of your network nodes allows you to stay aware of and respond to any issues or abnormalities.

Application 2:

Industrial machine integration.

Another manufacturing application vulnerable to cybersecurity threats is the integration of industrial machinery into networks for optimized management. Traditionally, industrial engineers would build a closed network environment and use similar patterns to assign IP addresses to machines.

The Moxa EDS-4000/G4000 Series is the world’s first IEC 62443-4-2 certified Ethernet switch due to the built-in hardened security that was developed by following the stringent software development lifecycle described in the standard. Along with Moxa’s extensive network security portfolio, Moxa helps create a secure network foundation to safeguard and futureproof industrial operations

Nevertheless, connecting industrial networks to the Internet is necessary in order to enable remote control and administration of industrial machinery. When these traditionally isolated machines need to be connected to a centralized management system, using the same pattern to generate IP addresses for all machines can result in IP conflicts and may cause network downtime. All machines will need their IP to be reconfigured, a time-consuming task that can easily result in security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, when they are connected over an Internet-enabled public network, they are exposed to all types of new cyber threats. Predictable IP addresses in particular quickly become a target for cyberattacks.

Simplified management and enhanced security can go a long way in addressing these vulnerabilities. For example, system integrators could take advantage of network address translation (NAT) technology to protect IP addresses from prying eyes and streamline device integration. More recent hardware solutions also offer embedded intelligent threat prevention mechanisms that automatically block data coming from unauthorized IP addresses. Combined, these tools provide another robust layer of protection for machine networks.

Overcome OT networking hurdles and transition to a smart digital future.
As you converge your OT and IT networks on the path to digitalization, network security must evolve to face emerging new cyber threats. Regularly monitoring network infrastructure and keeping protection mechanisms up to date are vital parts of a dynamic security policy to protect connected systems and reduce costly downtime. It can be challenging for OT engineers to maintain their systems' intelligence and security at the same time, however, because they may have little training or expertise in the most recent IT.

To defend against cyber threats, it is crucial for system integrators and industrial operators to futureproof their manufacturing networks with integrated industrial networking solutions and employ a defense-in-depth approach designed for OT engineers. 

• Learn more about how to strengthen the defense of manufacturing facilities by downloading this Application Note from Moxa.

@Moxa_Europe @OConnellPR #PAuto #Cybersecurity

Friday 22 September 2023

Dual thermal-visible camera for mobile devices.

The FLIR ONE Edge, the wireless dual thermal and visible camera system for mobile devices has been announced. Purpose-built for applications across remediation, automotive, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing, the new model offers the same detachable form factor as the FLIR ONE Edge Pro with Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, but with features tailored to the needs of consumers, small businesses, and enterprise volume purchases.

“Bringing the FLIR ONE Edge to market opens new doors for thermal imaging to experienced prosumers and new-to-thermal consumers, using the detachable form factor they’ve been missing,” said Chris Bainter, vice president of business development, Teledyne FLIR. “DIYers to professional tradespersons to enterprises now have a future-proofed option that works with both iOS and Android mobile devices, along with guided inspection apps and free cloud storage, to make thermal inspection more effective and convenient.”

The FLIR ONE Edge connects to a smart device through the FLIR ONE app available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, allowing users to identify thermal hot or cold spots that could indicate faults and developing issues. Similar to the FLIR ONE Edge Pro, FLIR ONE Edge provides superior context and clarity for everyday decision support through Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX®), a patented image enhancement feature that overlays visible edge detail on the thermal image without sacrificing any thermal details.

Reporting and customization made easy.
To support thermographers both new and experienced, the FLIR ONE Edge is compatible with a rich set of software tools from Teledyne FLIR. FLIR Ignite™ cloud connectivity enables easy sharing, backup, web editing, and reporting with a free 1 GB of storage or annual subscriptions starting at 10 GB of storage and up starting at $30 USD per year. In October, Teledyne FLIR will add guided inspection apps for iOS and Android users that will enable thermographers of all experience levels to easily find hidden problems in their respective homes, vehicles, and more. The goal of these apps is to simplify camera use by providing step-by-step instructions for inspections and advice on how to interpret resulting images.

The FLIR ONE Edge is also compatible with third-party apps developed through the FLIR mobile SDK available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, including those that support construction, shipping, home insulation, dental, metal working, and more.

Individuals to large organizations can create custom, proprietary applications to realize the full benefits of scaling thermography within existing systems or to simplify and improve workflows*. 

Hardworking features at an affordable price.
The evolutionary hardware design of the FLIR ONE Edge eliminates the need for cables or connectors to plug into the device, offering an operating-system-agnostic thermal imager, including compatibility with the iPhone 15. MSX enhances the radiometric 80 × 60 resolution Lepton® thermal camera paired with a 640 × 480 resolution visible camera, creating a crisp and easily interpretable image. The design is also inherently rugged and versatile with an IP54 rating and a drop-test rating of up to 2 m (6.6 ft), while the ergonomic form factor gives users the option to easily hold It with one hand, attach it to a companion mobile device, or rest it on a ledge for remote hands-free monitoring.

The FLIR ONE Edge is available today to buy globally at an MSRP of $349.99 USD from Teledyne FLIR and its authorized dealers. To learn more or to purchase, visit .

* This is a complete list of existing, approved third-party applications

@flir @mepaxIntPR #TandM #PAuto

Small packed with power.

The onsemi AR220 is now available from IDS with uEye+ XCP cameras

With the rolling shutter sensor onsemi AR2020, IDS Imaging Development Systems adds the technical successor of the onsemi AR1820 to its portfolio – making the company the first manufacturer in the industrial camera market to do so. With 20 MP, the sensor provides an impressive 5K UHD resolution that makes even the smallest details reliably visible. This benefits applications such as surface inspection and quality control as well as laboratory analyses. The sensor is now available in combination with the compact uEye+ XCP cameras.

The product line is characterised by its compact design with a closed housing (29 x 29 x 17 mm) and a convenient USB3 interface. This series is part of the low-cost product range from IDS, which also includes the uEye+ XLS board-level cameras. Integration of the new sensor into the tiny uEye+ XLS models (29 x 29 x 7 mm) is already in preparation.

IDS offers the onsemi AR2020 in colour and as a monochrome variant. The latter is suitable for low-light applications and microscopy, which often require the highest possible sensitivity. Compared to the onsemi AR1820, the new sensor has a larger diagonal and therefore a higher resolution (5136 x 3856 pixels). With a frame rate of 15 fps, many demanding applications (such as quality control) can be realised. In FHD mode with 1920 x 1080 pixels, live videos with 27 fps are possible. Due to the larger pixels (1.4 μm), users also have more leeway when choosing the appropriate lens. This enables a favourable system price.

@IDS_Imaging @mepaxIntPR #PAuto

Thursday 21 September 2023

Setting new standards in innovation in the analytical space.

The mixed-model production line increases the output by 100 percent and reduces lead times by more than 30 percent.

ABB has partnered with Porsche Consulting, a leading management consultancy and a subsidiary of the sports car manufacturer, to reshape the landscape of analyzer manufacturing, solidifying ABB’s position at the forefront of the analyzer market.

The collaboration drives the deployment of a mixed-model production line for ABB’s process and laboratory analyzers manufactured in Canada, leveraging best practices from the automotive industry. The new production line offers optimized logistics, quality control and operations management, leading to 100 percent increase in output within the same floor space, and more than 30 percent decrease in lead times.

The production floor of the ABB factory in Quebec City, Canada

During the project, every aspect of the manufacturing process – from the production line setup and logistics to quality control methods and operations management principles – was examined and reimagined. In addition, change management approaches were introduced to prepare the factory staff for addressing the market's evolving needs, such as enhancing manufacturing and planning methods with test automation, live operations KPIs, and decoupling manufacturing subassembly product lines.

"Porsche Consulting helped us rethink our manufacturing systems. We wanted to be closer to the customers with better lead times and better reactivity, and to offer customers better visibility of the status of products during manufacturing,” said Marc Corriveau, Head of Global Operations, Analytical Busines Line, ABB. “The smart, digital and lean manufacturing process pioneered through this collaboration will shape the future of analyzer production, meeting the ever-evolving demands of the market and enabling us to maintain unmatched quality and service for our customers.”

Since the delivery of the first units in the spring of 2023, production has ramped up to double capacity, a testament to the efficiency and success of the innovative approach. Furthermore, the reduction in lead times has empowered ABB to respond swiftly to dynamic market demands.

The collaboration marks the latest chapter in a long-standing partnership between ABB and Porsche Consulting, which has encompassed diverse projects from strategic visioning to pragmatic operational transformations.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @PorscheConIta @AdmiralPR #PAuto #Canada

Visible wavelength and optical spectrum analysers.

The AQ6373E visible wavelength and AQ6374E wide range optical spectrum analyzers has been released by Yokogawa Test & Measurement. Designed as successors to the AQ6373B and AQ6374, which feature high resolution and close-in dynamic range, the new analyzers offer the same high level of performance as well as features that improve operability to meet a variety of optical spectrum measurement needs in both R&D and production settings.

Development Background.
Leveraging the technologies and expertise that it has acquired over the past 40 plus years in this field, Yokogawa has designed the AQ6373E and AQ6374E to meet the growing need to test new optical devices and components in the visible to near-infrared wavelength bands for medical, biological, and material processing applications. The new models improve usability while inheriting the high wavelength resolution and wide close-in dynamic range of the current AQ6373B and AQ6374 models, which have been highly evaluated as laser spectrum measuring instruments.

Both the AQ6373E and AQ6374E meet the CE marking requirements.

In the medical and bio fields, light-emitting devices are being increasingly used due to their accuracy and non-invasiveness, which in turn demands precision measurement during development. For the manufacturing of semiconductors, the characterization and quality testing of lasers used in the production process also requires measurement by a high-performance optical spectrum analyzer. Meanwhile, given the widespread use of tablets and smartphones, users have come to expect a touch-based and intuitive interface that enables even those who are not familiar with the various settings and functions of optical spectrum analyzers to easily perform optical spectrum tests. The Yokogawa AQ6373E and AQ6374E fit the bill.

Main Features.
The AQ6373E optical spectrum covers the same wavelength range between 350 nm and 1200 nm as the current AQ6373B. In addition to a standard performance model, the lineup now includes a high-resolution model optimized for laser evaluation applications and a limited model designed for production testing applications.

The AQ6374E optical spectrum analyzer can be used not only for the evaluation of light-emitting devices such as lasers but also for the characterization of optical fibers. It offers the high optical performance of the previous AQ6374 model, providing the industry's only wide measurement wavelength range (350 - 1750 nm).

The new optical spectrum analyzers both feature improved usability, including an APP mode designed to speed up customers' R&D and production testing tasks. APP mode provides a device under test (DUT) specific user interface that navigates the user from configuration setting to the output of test results, so that even customers who are unfamiliar with optical spectrum analyzers can use them easily. They are also equipped with a large LCD touch panel, making operation even easier and more intuitive.

@Yokogawa, @Yokogawa_EU, @Yokogawa_Europe  @NapierPR #Automation #TandM

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Robots for production flexability.

Ultra-precise robots, high-performance connectors and innovative couplings combine to enable a unique assembly concept says Ralf Högel.

In its factory in Weil am Rhein (D), Stäubli Electrical Connectors is showing how unprecedented flexibility can be achieved in series production. The company has introduced a pioneering system here, in which mobile assembly modules equipped with robots can be docked onto the production line in less than a minute. And it doesn’t stop there.

It takes a high degree of creativity and expertise to be confident of realizing an assembly line like the one that has been in operation at Stäubli Electrical Connectors since the third quarter of 2022. To understand what the Stäubli team and the plant manufacturer involved have achieved, it is necessary to look at the range of tasks performed on the assembly line, where sockets and plugs are fitted with a MULTILAM in a multitude of variants.

Stäubli’s patented MULTILAM contact technology boasts unrivaled electrical and mechanical properties and exemplifies the highest standards of quality and reliability in electrical connector manufacturing. In a production context, this means robot-supported zero-defect precision assembly in the tolerance range of 20 to 30 mm, with widely fluctuating batch sizes of 20,000 to 2,000,000 units. Further, when demand and workloads are high, the system can be expanded, and a specific item can be assembled simultaneously on two parallel production lines.

Mobile assembly modules with integrated robots.
Identifying suitable robots for this high-precision assembly was relatively easy for Stäubli, as the most accurate machines on the market are made by the company itself. Five of them (four six-axis TX2-40s and one TS2-40 SCARA) now work in the assembly plant at Weil am Rhein. There was initial skepticism about the feasibility of docking a mobile assembly module plus robot, together with all its complex peripherals, onto the line within a one-minute time limit and starting production without having to first calibrate the robot or make other adjustments.

"Not possible," said many. 

"Oh yes it is," said Stäubli, and then provided the proof. John Dallapiccola, Managing Director Stäubli Electrical Connectors Weil am Rhein (right), describes how the squaring of the circle became possible: “The concept of this unique system is based on the utilization of synergy effects within the Stäubli Group. We have our own precision robots and innovative interface solutions, which in this case were key to the realization of the plant. And, of course, we had a brilliant idea.”

Connector technology and precision couplings: the key to realizing this advanced concept.
What Dallapiccola means becomes clear on closer inspection. The decisive factor for the realization of this concept was the ability to dock the mobile modules onto the line with precision down to the hundredth of a millimeter. The time factor played an additional decisive role. The specification was to position the module manually, center it automatically, lock it in place and set it to work. Production start-up was to be within 30 seconds.

During this short period, the energy and compressed air supply must start flowing to all components of the module. The robot, parts feed, separation and image processing, power, signaling and pneumatic connections of each component must be connected reliably and simultaneously. This is where the CombiTac modular connector from Stäubli Electrical Connectors comes into play. Hovering next to both the assembly station and the mobile module, the CombiTac automatically connects all power and media circuits in sync with the docking process. High-precision mechanical guides and a pneumatically actuated quick coupling supplied by Stäubli Fluid Connectors ensure that the mobile module is correctly positioned on the assembly line.

Four- and six-axis robots mounted on mobile modules.
In the current expansion stage, the complete assembly line consists of no fewer than 12 modules linked to each other by means of a Beckhoff XTS linear transport system. Four more modules are to be added later. There are currently 20 magnetically driven movers in operation on the transfer system, which move along a route consisting of fully integrated motor modules. An industrial PC with TwinCAT automation software enables independent control of the movers with individual motion profiles. The degree of precision – one hundredth of a millimeter – is yet another remarkable feature of the system.

Fixtures specific to different parts are located on the movers, which the first two Stäubli six-axis robots on modules 1 and 2 equip with a MULTILAM and, depending on the variant to be produced, with a plug or a socket. “Gripping and positioning these miniscule components with dimensions in the millimeter range requires the highest precision from the two TX2-40s mounted on their mobile modules, and it also has to be done with maximum dynamics,” says Production Manager Sebastian Wiech. “The six-axis machines perform this demanding task with aplomb.” Asyrill vibration platforms with image processing systems suspended above them ensure process-reliable parts supply as well as the transmission of gripper positions to the robots.

The components then reach the processing station, where the MULTILAM is married to the socket or plug. Depending on the variant, further work steps follow. If, for example, a socket ring has to be fitted, this task is performed by an ultra-compact Stäubli TS2-40 SCARA. The four-axis machine is impressive not only for its small footprint, but above all for its impressive precision and dynamics.

One hundred percent quality control.

Jan Schwarzwälder
Stäubli connectors are among the best of their kind in the world, so, as you would expect from this manufacturer, every connector undergoes one hundred percent quality control. Supply Chain Manager Jan Schwarzwälder: “Ensuring product quality is one of the most important tasks performed by this production line. To this end, we integrate quality assurance into several sub-steps. We fully document the quality produced, of course, and can guarantee traceability on an individual part basis.”

In the process, each connector goes through a mating force test, in which the specified tolerances must be adhered to precisely. Missing or duplicate MULTILAM components would be immediately detected by the system.

At the end of the line, a camera-based final inspection takes place. Sebastian Wiech: “To keep cycle times to a minimum, we have equipped the station where the pass/fail parts inspection takes place with two modules. A camera system measures the inner diameter and checks the number of pins on the MULTILAM.” The handling of completed parts at this station is the task of another Stäubli TX2-60. With its high dynamics, the six-axis machine ensures compliance with the specified cycle time.

Short changeover times thanks to synergy effects.
The changeover processes on the line are also optimized down to the last detail. Jan Schwarzwälder: “Depending on the complexity of the end product, the changeover time varies from two to a maximum of 20 minutes. We owe these short changeover times not least to the MPS 025 robotic tool changer from Stäubli Fluid Connectors, which operates with a precision of ±1.5 µm and eliminates the need for time-consuming manual changes.”

Currently, the system is running seven product variants, the so-called high-runners for use in e mobility and welding automation. Further variants will follow. Likewise, the integration of a fully automated packaging line is planned, which will further expand the plant’s scope of delivery.

“That’s the beauty of this pioneering system,” says John Dallapiccola with justifiable pride. “Thanks to its immense flexibility, we are no longer subject to any restrictions. We can produce any number of variants and integrate further processes as required. The synergy effects of Stäubli’s Robotics, Fluid and Electrical Connectors business units have played a major role in the realization of this unique assembly plant.”

@PresseBox #Stäubli #Manufacturing #Robotics

Upgrade gives better performance and faster updatability.

Almirall, the specialist in medical dermatology, has upgraded Körber's Werum PAS-X MES Manufacturing Execution System at its plant in Reinbek (D). Almirall is a leading supplier of prescription and over-the-counter dermatics and uses PAS-X MES for the manufacturing of the Optiderm® and Tannosynt® product lines, among others.

The existing PAS-X MES system was getting on in years and had customer-specific adaptations that needed a great deal of effort to maintain. That is why Almirall wanted to revamp and, at the same time, create a single version that could also be rolled out to all other sites.

“Werum PAS-X MES is at the heart of our manufacturing operations, managing the execution of our manufacturing orders digitally and in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice requirements,” says Kai Sauerbier, Pharma Operations Senior Director at Almirall. “We now have a new version that runs faster and with enhanced performance, thus increasing our production throughput. Next, we want to make improvements to the master batch records and make good use of the new software features to meet the increasing demand for quality and efficiency.”

“Implementing an upgrade across ten versions is always a major technical challenge. However, thanks to the intensive collaboration with Körber's software team, we were able to successfully bring our system up to the new standard,” adds Martin Jakobs, Business Process Manager at Almirall.

The pharmaceutical company now benefits from faster processes, elimination of safety gaps and improved future upgradability. PAS-X MES is used as a full-scope MES in the entire manufacturing process – from weighing to mass production and packaging. It integrates the in-house Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The underlying Oracle database has also been upgraded to a new version.

Almirall has also introduced the latest PAS-X MES version – including warehouse management and the replacement of the legacy manufacturing execution system – at its highly automated plant in Sant Andreu (ES).

@KoerberPharma @WerumKarriere #Almirall #PAuto #Pharma

Chair of body promoting standard for industrial device management.

André Uhl, vice president of technology and architecture for Schneider Electric’s Industrial Automation Business, has received a unanimous vote to serve as the Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors.

André Uhl
The Chairman's primary role is to ensure that the Board of Directors effectively sets and implements the organization’s strategy and governance of the standard. The IEC 62453 standard directly benefits global manufacturing industries with a unified environment for industrial device management supporting brownfield, greenfield and new smart manufacturing initiatives in the process, hybrid, and discrete markets.

Mr. Uhl replaced Lee Lane from Rockwell Automation as chairman due to his departure to a new role. Other board members include Shinji Oda, Yokogawa; Ed Silva, Flowserve Corporation; Rolf Birkhofer, Endress+Hauser; Paul Brooks, Rockwell Automation and Michael Kessler, PACTware.

FDT Group Managing Director Steve Biegacki congratulated André Uhl on his new post. “We appreciate the service Lee Lane provided to our organization. André’s industry expertise in technology and standards supporting the process and factory markets will guide the FDT organization and roadmap focused on promoting open integration and harmonized device management, driving future innovation field to cloud.”

Mr. Uhl has over 20 years of industry experience managing Research & Development (R&D) centers for industrial and motion control applications and automation solutions for flagship products in the process, hybrid, and machine builder markets. Currently serving as vice president of technology and architecture for Schneider Electric’s Industrial Automation Business, André has served as a member of the FDT Board since 2016 and presently sits on the ODVA Board and OPC Foundation Unified Architecture Field Xchange (UAFX) steering committee shaping the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). His dedication to working across the industrial automation ecosystem demonstrates clear leadership and support for the executive strategy of the organization that provides governance over the open FDT standard.

“I’m thrilled to lead the FDT community focused on eliminating intelligent device management barriers for industrial automation markets,” said André Uhl. “I’m passionate about open technology innovation and FDT’s vision to transform manufacturing excellence by collaborating and expanding access to these technologies enterprise-wide on a data-centric platform critical in supporting the modern, connected industrial world.”

@FDTGroup @SchneiderElec #PAuto #Standards

Expansion shows commitment to large scale remote access technologies.

Westermo formally opened its new site in Westland Park, Dublin (IRL) recently.  Plans for continued growth in Ireland, expanding capacity and adding a range highly skilled engineering, research, and supply chain positions, along with a broad range of additional support roles were announced.

This expansion of Westermo’s R&D and technology centre in Dublin includes plans to hire 50 new employees over the next three years and will be supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

LtoR: Mary Buckley, Executive Director of IDA Ireland, Declan Carew, MD at Westermo Ireland, Jenny Sjödahl, Westermo CEO and Minister Dara Calleary T.D.
Having previously operated as Virtual Access, which was acquired by Westermo in 2019, the Dublin team have been designing, developing, and manufacturing in Ireland since 1996 and have consistently demonstrated their capacity to innovate and deliver industry leading solutions. With solutions that are engineered with tools for remote provisioning, management, and control – Westermo ensures that networks are more sustainably commissioned and operated over extended lifespans for minimal environmental impact.

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company regulation, Dara Calleary TD said: “I am delighted to hear that Westermo have announced plans to expand their presence in Ireland creating 50 new engineering and supply chain roles in Dublin. It is encouraging to see a globally recognised technology company further invest and grow in Ireland. The announcement again underscores Ireland’s position as a global hub for the world’s leading tech companies. Our skilled workforce is highly sought after, and this announcement ensures they will again play a huge part in advancements in the software and technology space. Best of luck to all the team at Westermo.”

"This investment is a critical part of Westermo’s investment commitment to the market for large-scale remote access technologies where quality and reliability capabilities are so essential," said Westermo CEO, Jenny Sjödahl. "The closeness of our development-and deployment-teams in Dublin demonstrates how deep technical expertise and support is such a great foundation to securing strategic long term framework agreements in critical infrastructure markets right across the globe’’.

“As a leader in our segment, we are proud to invest in technologies that play a key role in important societal infrastructure such as trains, railways, energy production and electricity distribution. There is a wealth of talent in Ireland, and we are excited to be able to invest in the engineers of the future.” 

Mary Buckley, Executive Director of Ireland's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) added: “The expansion of Westermo to grow their R&D and Supply Chain teams here is most welcome and Ireland is an ideal location in terms of availability of talent. Westermo’s focus on minimal environmental impact through sustainably operated networks is a great development in the area of green energy. I wish the team continued success here.’

See also Remote substation connectivity. (18/9/2023) 

 @WestermoUK @westermo @DeptEnterprise @IDAIRELAND @daracalleary@HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Power #Ireland

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Pyrometer saves costs in iron foundry.

One of the leading foundries in Germany, Hundhausen Casting GmbH – a member of the Beinbauer group – specialises in the production of cast iron parts with nodular graphite. Its high-quality products and first-class service are designed to meet the demands of renowned customers from the automotive, mechanical engineering, railway technology, and hydraulics sectors.

The company was looking for a reliable temperature measurement solution to be installed at its Schwerte foundry to support high product quality while reducing lifetime costs. The automated mould tapping processes used at the foundry require accurate, consistent measurement of the temperature of each part tapped in moulds to ensure continuous quality control of the process and documentation for each casting part produced (reformatted).

Dipping thermocouples traditionally used for these measurements contributed significantly to ongoing operational costs, and do not take into account temperature variations during tapping, or time differences between the thermocouple measurements and the tapping. The thermocouple readings were accepted for several taps over longer time periods, not detecting any temperature differences during this time interval.

Additionally, the company was seeking a way to capture the continuous data that would allow it to optimise the automated process and further improve quality.

To address the needs of the Schwerte foundry, AMETEK Land supplied the SPOT+ MM Application Pyrometer, a smart, non-contact infrared thermometer specifically designed to measure liquid metal temperature in foundry tapping applications.*

With an intelligent integrated Meltmaster (MM) application mode and optimized signal processing functions, it provides a single-sensor solution for liquid metal and tapping stream temperature measurements, overcoming the challenges caused by the continuous surface and condition changes common to those applications.

The SPOT+ MM is easily integrated into new and existing process control systems, enabling the operator to monitor and control the tapping process in real time. Analog and digital communications can be used, including worldwide leading and essential cybersecurity features. By using the SPOT+ MM application pyrometer at their Schwerte foundry, Hundhausen saw a rapid return on investment.

Jonas Störmer, Electrical Engineer at Hundhausen Casting GmbH, said: “By purchasing the SPOT+ MM pyrometer, the liquid iron temperature measurements using dipping thermocouples can be mostly omitted, which results in cost savings.

“In addition, we now receive continuous casting temperatures in our casting process, building the basis for process optimisation and quality improvements.”

The Case study (pdf) maybe viewed and downloaded here!

@landinst @codacomms #PAuto