Archive | April, 2015


8:05 pm
April 30, 2015
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SMRP Launches New Education Program

MT.May.News.logo.SMRPThe Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) announces the launch of its Approved Provider Education Program, established to recognize its Industry Partners who provide training aligned with physical asset management and/or SMRP’s current Body of Knowledge (BoK).

The new members-only education program allows SMRP Industry Partners to gain an additional level of acknowledgement for their education and training offerings, while helping practitioners feel confident they are receiving quality training that has been vetted by a neutral third party.

For more information, visit


8:02 pm
April 30, 2015
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Allied Reliability Group Acquires Keynect, LLC

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 3.14.41 PMAllied Reliability Group, LLC, a provider of reliability and maintenance services, has acquired Keynect, LLC, headquartered in Kennesaw, GA. Keynect provides electrical testing that includes arc flash risk assessment, electrical safety program design, grounding and lightning protection surveys, and infrared thermography in its service offering.

The Charleston, SC-based company said in an industry release that the addition of Keynect and its 2014 acquisition of Thermotest, Inc., strengthens its presence in the electrical testing and services field and expands its geographic footprint. The transaction represents Allied’s second strategic acquisition since the Pfingsten private equity firm became the company’s majority shareholder in August 2013.


8:01 pm
April 30, 2015
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Shell Oil to Co-Engineer Concept Car

Shell Oil Co. has announced its collaboration with renowned Formula One race-car designer Gordon Murray and engine specialist Osamu Goto to co-engineer an ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based on the internal combustion engine. Initiated by Shell, the endeavor, called Project M, brings together Shell’s Lubricant’s Technology Team, The Gordon Murray Design Group and engine specialist Geo Technology. Under this relationship, development of the lubricants, engine and vehicle will be completely integrated.

The car will be a redesign of the Gordon Murray Design T.25 car developed in 2010. That car’s design and use of specially formulated lubricants and engine-oil from Shell gave it a test-course fuel efficiency of 97mpg. Project M, scheduled for a November unveiling, is expected to produce a simple, practical city car that leverages lightweight engineering, streamlining and driveline efficiency. Shell will provide all fluids for the car in an effort to show what can be achieved when its products are integrated into the design from the start.

Gordon Murray, known for his Formula One race-car designs, works on Project M.

Gordon Murray, known for his Formula One race-car designs, works on Project M.

Project M was launched last month at the Shell Eco-marathon in Detroit. Eco-marathon is a global series that challenges student teams to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles.


7:54 pm
April 30, 2015
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PMMI Releases New Mechatronics Certificate Test

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 2.58.02 PMThe Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (also referred to as the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies) has released “Motors and Motor Controls,” the newest test in its mechatronics certificate program. The test was created to help technical schools and colleges, the industry and allied associations and organizations in their efforts to build a stronger workforce.

PMMI’s Mechatronics Certificate Tests are part of the National Association of Manufacturing-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. This series of stackable credentials helps manufacturers identify the qualified, skilled talent they need for today’s in-demand technical jobs. Each person who successfully passes a PMMI mechatronics test receives a nationally recognized certificate. PMMI offers six tests and plans to add a Programmable Logic Controllers 2 test later this year. For more information, visit


7:52 pm
April 30, 2015
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Timken Opens Gear-Drive Manufacturing Facility in Houston

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 2.58.19 PMThe Timken Co. opened a new, 27,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art gear-drive manufacturing facility in Houston last month. Part of the Timken Power Systems group, the new plant is expected to improve production efficiencies in the manufacture of its Philadelphia Gear-brand high-speed drives. A long-time designer and innovator of high-speed gear drives serving the energy industry, Timken opened the dedicated facility to expand the company’s ability to capture strategic opportunities with new and legacy original-equipment customers.

The facility is equipped with two 5-axis machines that employ gear-milling technology instead of the traditional hobbing process. The machines can perform up to six different operations used to produce helical gears, shafts and pinions from raw material, and have the potential to significantly reduce the production cycle. The new, EPA-compliant plant adds to Timken Power Systems’ geographic footprint that now provides services from more than 20 locations in seven countries.


7:42 pm
April 30, 2015
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ABB Formally Introduces Its Dual-Arm Robot

ABB, the power and automation technology provider, formally introduced its YuMi collaborative dual-arm industrial robot at last month’s Hannover Messe trade show in Hannover, Germany. The robot, whose pre-unveiling presence has already attracted attention at events in the U.S. and abroad, was described as another step in ABB’s Next Level strategy, which is aimed at accelerating sustainable value creation.

“The new era of robotic coworkers is here,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer in an industry release. “YuMi makes collaboration between humans and robots a reality … and will change the way humans and robots interact.”

ABB has said its new dual-arm robot, named YuMi, will change the way humans interact with robots.

ABB has said its new dual-arm robot, named YuMi, will change the way humans interact with robots.

Designed to meet the flexible production needs of the consumer electronics industry, YuMi has equal application in any small-parts assembly process, thanks to its dual arms, flexible hands, universal parts feeding system, camera-based part location, lead-through programming and precise motion control. The unit can operate in close collaboration with humans due to an inherently safe design. Its lightweight, magnesium skeleton is covered with a floating plastic casing and soft padding that absorb impacts. If the robot senses an impact, it can quickly pause its motion, and be restarted with the push of a button.



3:40 pm
April 30, 2015
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Flowrox Deposition Watch Reduces Pipeline Damage

Flowrox-Deposition-WatchThe Flowrox Deposition Watch is of instrumental value to energy companies seeking to reduce or eliminate pipeline damage by monitoring and controlling the buildup of asphaltene depositions and paraffin wax that can create choke points that reduce the flow of heavy oils.

Beyond the instrument’s ability to monitor deposition in the pipeline, the Flowrox Deposition Watch also has the ability to provide multi-phase flow images, such as percentages of oil, sea water or sand.

Additional problems related to asphaltene and paraffin depositions in pipelines include adding stress to equipment such as pumps, which in turn leads to increased energy consumption. Flowrox’s patented algorithm monitors depositions with a 3D view of the pipe, tracks data on buildup growth rates and reports the available volume within the pipe—all leading to a proactive maintenance approach, rather than having to repair or replace a pipe after the damage.



8:53 pm
April 29, 2015
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Schneider Electric Introduces Modicon M580 Ethernet Programmable Automation Controller

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.36.39 PM
Schneider Electric introduced the Modicon M580 Ethernet programmable automation controller (ePAC) this week at the company’s 2015 Global Automation Conference in Dallas. The latest addition to the Modicon family of controllers, this high-availability solution for mid- to high-end applications has been designed for users who need traceability in their processes and programs.

According to the company, the M580 is the first PAC built for the Industrial Internet of Things, as well as the preferred PAC of PlantStruxure, Schneider Electric’s integrated automation architecture. Among other things, it features larger memory and processing capabilities that allow new integrated functions to improve cyber-security capabilities and time stamping of values for all variables in the most complex and demanding processes.

In addition to offering hot-standby CPUs and power-source redundancies, the Modicon M580 ePAC maximizes uptime with the capability for online configuration changes without stopping the process. The product’s CANopen fieldbus is natively integrated through a new embedded CANopen module.