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7:30 pm
May 25, 2016
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Feature-Rich PlantStruxure PES V4.2 Automation System Debuts at Schneider Electric Connect 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 2.23.04 PMSchneider Electric Connect 2016, in New Orleans, is continuing to serve up a full plate of activities and product news today.

First up was this morning’s Plenary session focussing on  cyber-related issues, starting with a presentation on  “HMI & Alarm Management Best Practices.” by Bridget Fitzpatrick, of Wood Group Mustang.

Gary Williams, senior director of Technology, Cyber Security & Communications at Schneider Electric, then took the stage to put cyber threats into context for end users by encouraging attendees to “Be as AGGRESSIVE as a Hacker, or Lose Productivity.”

On the product front, Schneider Electric has announced the release of PlantStruxure PES V4.2 that integrates new hardware with capabilities from the company’s Modicon M580 ePAC lineup to meet demands of Industrial Internet of Things applications.

According to the company, the addition of Modicon M580 redundant controllers delivers exceptional plant and asset availability for critical continuous process operations and, thus helps to improve overall business performance.

How It Works
Fifty percent of today’s PlantStruxure PES projects require at least one pair of redundant controllers within the configuration. Schneider Electric notes that PES V4.2 meets next-gen requirements with the M580 ePAC and the ability to lock down ports within a single configuration environment. The company says the high level of cyber security offered by the  PES V4.2 “ensures nearly 100% uptime for customer systems.”

A core feature of the Modicon M580 ePAC is its Ethernet-based architecture. Integration into the PES solution improves system management and provides customers with a level of standard communication, guaranteeing a future-proof system.

The Foxboro, MA-based manufacturer says new services will be available for engineering and commissioning, which will make navigating a control program easier, as well as improve performance when making project changes. PlantStruxure PES V4.2 is also equipped with ready-to-use application and industry libraries, allowing systems to be built more quickly and with lower engineering costs. By integrating energy-management features from other Schneider Electric automation and power devices, such as asset-centric Altivar drives, the system can help users realize greater energy-cost savings.

The Schneider Electric Connect 2016 Automation Conference runs through Thursday, May 26, at the Marriott New Orleans Hotel. For more information from this event, CLICK HERE.


10:58 pm
May 24, 2016
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Schneider Electric Extends Universal I/O Capability for Foxboro and Triconex

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 4.25.03 PMSchneider Electric Connect 2016 has rolled into New Orleans in a big way this week. Organizers of this four-day automation conference at the Marriott New Orleans promised a busy, information-packed week for attendees, and if the event’s first full day is any indication, they’ve come through. In addition to an extensive slate of compelling keynotes, technical presentations, and workshops, the company is introducing several new products and technology enhancements.

Among the product announcements is today’s news of an update to the Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling solution. The new FBM 248 offering now includes redundancy capabilities that eliminate the costly, labor-intensive marshalling process traditionally required for control systems and further enhance the reliability and efficiency of control system design and operation. The company has also enhanced its Tricon CX compact safety system with the addition of the 3902X TMR universal I/O module.

Foxboro Evo FBM 248 and Tricon CX 3902X remove the dependency among control and safety system design and the installation of I/O systems. Universal I/O offerings for Foxboro Evo and Triconex enable process automation professionals to seamlessly adapt to last-minute I/O design changes and provides backup to eliminate the impact of any process downtime. of an update to the Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling solution.

Intelligent Marshalling with universal I/O and software-configurable modules allows users to configure I/O points from anywhere in the plant or in the world. They also enable flexible options for future expansions and upgrades, as well as significant cost savings by reducing marshalling infrastructure, increasing I/O density per cabinet, reducing field and maintenance labor costs and drastic reductions in the need for onsite replacement inventory.

For more information on the Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling solution, CLICK HERE.

Schneider Electric Connect 2016 continues through May 26. To learn more about it, CLICK HERE.


1:35 pm
May 23, 2016
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Updates From Mainstream Conference 2016

Mainstream Conference

May 22-25, 2016, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, Houston, TX

Businesses are demanding and new leadership styles, technologies and global standards are emerging. The big asset management shift is on and maintenance and reliability have moved beyond their operational role, transforming into a core, focused and disciplined strategic business function. People, technology and new standards are the essential enablers of this transformation. This year’s Mainstream program has evolved and progressed to be a celebration of the leadership, technology, ideas and innovations that are transforming asset management in North America. Michelle Segrest reports live from the show with audio updates here. Also, keep up-to-date on Twitter: @MTMagazine


Jumpstart: The Proven Magical Ingredients to World Class Reliability & Maintenance Programs

Tor Idhammar – President & CEO, IDCON, Inc.

With 20 years of consulting experience, Tor Idhammar presents his Top 4 magic ingredients to building a world-class reliability and maintenance program.


Jumpstart: Using “Working Styles” to Build & Maintain a Winning Team

Doug Whittle – President, Whittle Consulting Group

Doug Whittle breaks down the four top personality profiles using a color scheme and shows how to build a successful team using just the right combination of these personalities.



Keynote: Increasing People Engagement through Coaching, Mentoring & Empowerment

Stephanie Pullings-Hart – Executive Director, Operations, Nestle

Waterway 5-8

The Nestle Continuous Excellence (NCE) program is committed to operational improvement and engaging the hearts and minds of all employees in a consumer driven war on waste. Presenter Stephanie Pullings-Hart explains how when employees feel valued, they deliver more. By reducing waste, we create value and consequently free up our minds for more entrepreneurial and creative activities.


Turning Your Team into Reliability Believers: a Comparative Analysis Providing Proven Tactics to Ramp Up Your Reliability Efforts

Pedro Fuster – Director of Reliability, Resolute Forest Products

Tor Idhammar – President & CEO, IDCON, Inc.

The presenters describe a case study at a pulp and paper company that turned its employees into reliability believers. He presents his Top 15 tips for selling a belief in the importance of reliability.


Operator Focal Points: Leading Reliability From the Ground Up

Anthony A. Hermes – Reliability Leader, Seadrift Operations, The Dow Chemical Company

 Anthony Hermes explains the importance of knowing the equipment and taking ownership of it.  He says to be an “owner” and not a “renter.” The foundation of reliable equipment is folks with passion, ownership, and a drive to learn more.


Flying Blind: You Just Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Cliff Williams – Global Director of Maintenance, ERCO Worldwide, Author of “People, A Reliability Success Story”

Jeff Shriver – Managing Principal, People & Processes, Inc.

In this presentation, the speakers took the audience through real-world scenarios in which maintenance professionals were forced to solve problems. They present their Top 20 Tips for Reliability Success.


4:42 pm
May 19, 2016
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Schneider Electric Foxboro MagPLUS Flowmeters Solve Problems for Global Water/Wastewater and Food & Beverage Sectors

The recent introduction of Foxboro MagPLUS Magnetic Flowmeters by Schneider Electric (Foxboro, MA), represents a comprehensive lineup of flexible, easy-to-use, and reliable solutions for the water, wastewater, and food and beverage industries.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.21.01 AMIncorporating multiple flow-tube sizes and an array of transmitter configurations, the new MagPLUS family allows precise, bi-directional metering of a wide range of fluids, from beverages and processed foods to potable water, industrial water, and wastewater. Units feature robust, fully welded construction, a selection of global standard flanges and end-connections, rugged liners suited to all water and wastewater applications or hygienic sanitary design, and durable exteriors suited to underground installation and constant flooding (IP 68-rated enclosure).

According to the manufacturer, an innovative virtual grounding feature in these Foxboro MagPLUS flowmeters eliminates the need for grounding electrodes or rings, thus reducing installation complexity and cost, while increasing process reliability.

Startup and commissioning is said to an easy matter given the fact all MagPLUS transmitters share a common operating concept, feature displays in 14 operating languages (including Russian and simplified Chinese), and come with a Quick Start configuration menu.

Holding approvals for electrical and sanitary certifications and drinking water applications,MagPLUS devices are available in a wide range of sizes, with large diameters for large-scale production plants.

For more information on the MagPLUS family, CLICK HERE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For help with selection and sizing of any Foxboro flowmeter product, CLICK HERE for the online FlowExpertPro tool



4:07 pm
May 5, 2016
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Beckhoff ‘Azure Certified’ I/O Modules Simplify Microsoft Cloud Connectivity

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 7.58.27 AMThe EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler from Beckhoff Automation (Savage, MN) connects EtherCAT I/Os with the Microsoft Azure cloud directly and without the need for a specific control program. This capability, in turn, allows simple and standardized integration of I/O data with cloud-based communication and data services. According to the company, the “Azure Certified” status of the device fulfils an important requirement in this regard for a seamless and easily configured connection by way of an integrated website to the Azure IoT Hub.

Storing and analyzing process variables, such as energy or condition monitoring data, in the cloud, can enhance predictive maintenance efforts and increase the availability of monitored systems.

Beckhoff notes that the straightforward connectivity to Azure cloud services provided by its technology has benefits for applications throughout all industry sectors, from linking modular sensor technology and integrating industrial robots, to managing machinery and systems, such as wind turbines, buildings, and urban infrastructure, among others.

For more information, CLICK HERE.




5:29 pm
May 4, 2016
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United Electric Controls Offers 316 SS, Explosion-Proof Junction Box

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.46.51 AMWatertown, MA-based United Electric Controls (UE,) has announced the availability of a 316 stainless steel, explosion-proof junction box with global approvals for HazLoc switches and transmitters.

With the release of this product, the company now offers complete, all-stainless, corrosion-resistant switch/transmitter units suitable for use in Class 1, Div. 1 environments. Available assembled with other UE stainless steel products, including the compact, dual-seal certified, explosion-proof 12 Series pressure and temperature switches, and hermetically sealed TX200 pressure transmitters, it also can be purchased separately as as a kit.

According to the manufacturer, the new junction box holds a variety of worldwide certifications, including cCSAus, ATEX, IECEx and PESO. It also has IP 66 certification, representing resistance to dust and inclement weather.

The unit can be ordered as junction box option M432, with ½-in. NPT threads, or as option M433, with M20 threads. Either option can be skid- or wall-mounted.

For more information on United Electrical Controls and its comprehensive product lineup, CLICK HERE.



11:33 pm
May 3, 2016
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Schneider Electric Rolls Breakthrough Premset MV Switchgear into U.S. Market

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.38.37 PMSchneider Electric (Andover, MA) has announced the U.S. availability of Premset, the company’s breakthrough lineup of shielded, solid insulation, medium voltage (MV) switchgear solutions for power-distribution management.

According to the company, as the first global product of its kind, the earth-shielded Premset system offers unprecedented safety, i.e., reduced internal arcing risk, along with increased efficiencies and ease of use. The main circuit components are insulated by a layer of solid material covered by an external conductive coating with ground potential. There’s no electric field in the ambient air, because live conductors and the ground are confined within the switchgear enclosure.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.56.15 PM

Built with embedded smart technology for critical applications such as those found in data centers, industrial operations, and healthcare facilities, Premset offers, among other things, the following features and capabilities:

  • Shielded Solid Insulation System (SSIS) and screening of all live parts, ensuring exceptional levels of safety and reliability.
  • Simple, flexible, modular design with standardized dimensions, a reduced footprint, and front-accessible power connections that’s easy to install, upgrade, and maintain.
  • Advanced protection, control, and monitoring technology fully integrated for higher reliability and energy efficiency.
  • Automated redundancy (Auto Source Transfer) with pre-engineered, easily applied solutions.
  • Load management with integrated, smart metering.
  • VIP self-powered protection and communication relay for higher MV network availability.

Product Support
In addition to standard electrical, mechanical, and visual equipment inspections, to ensure equipment and components are functioning properly, Schneider Electric offers optional start-up and commissioning services for all Presmet purchases, including:

  • Confirmation that the system is installed properly and operating as specified.
  • Collection and evaluation of initial operational data to check insulation, current path, functionality, and sequencing to minimize future downtime and expenditures.
  • Verification of correct operation of interfaces between new and existing equipment.

Beyond the standard 18-month equipment warranty, Schneider Electric Services also provides a one-year extended warranty for all commissioned Premset devices at no additional cost.

For more information on Premset switchgear, including technical specifications, CLICK HERE.