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1:58 pm
December 7, 2016
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Schneider Electric Introduces RefineryWise Solution for Oil & Gas

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-05-01-pmSchneider Electric, has announced the availability of RefineryWise for the Oil & Gas industry.The manufacturer notes that this solution helps refiners transform their businesses to achieve greater operational excellence through improved visibility into contextualized, actionable data, from the process automation layer through the enterprise business system layer, and from crude feed planning to final product blending.

According to the company, RefineryWise addresses both internal and external pressures refineries face in maintaining a responsive, decisive and collaborative workforce amid industry challenges of dynamic demand, tightened regulations, and technology evolution. It does so by leveraging a portfolio of world-class applications from Schneider Electric Software and an Application Integration Framework that can be used with other legacy third-party content. Pulled together with a user-configurable unified data model, it then adds KPI Management and Decision Management with Workflows to enable the digital workforce.

Features and capabilities of RefineryWise include:

  • Improved collaboration and operational visibility of the entire value chain.
  • Improved collaboration and operational visibility of the entire value chain.
  • Optimization of the entire value chain from actionable business insights with industry-leading applications in process optimization, unified planning and scheduling, asset performance management, offsite optimization and mobile workforce management.
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through a user-configurable, unified data model,
  • Increased operational excellence through performance and asset benchmarking (including operating boundary thresholds) across the enterprise, i.e., a highly configurable user interface can generate any KPI or arithmetic expression(s).
  • Capture of critical plant knowledge and provide a linkage between performance events, their root cause, and a list of potential actions depending on financial and scheduling parameters within a single system to avoid time consuming data gathering and analysis.

Included in the offering is Schneider Electric’s Customer FIRST Software Maintenance and Support Program that enables access to the latest software upgrades, expert technical assistance, and self-help tools to improve operational effectiveness.

To learn more about RefineryWise, CLICK HERE.



8:06 pm
November 30, 2016
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Siemens Announces Upcoming Changes in U.S. Leadership

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-53-30-pmSiemens Corp. (Washington, DC) has announced that Eric Spiegel, CEO of Siemens in the U.S., will be leaving the company at the end of the year. Lisa Davis has been appointed chair and CEO of the corporation, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Judith Marks has been appointed Siemens CEO U.S., effective the same date.

“Eric has grown Siemens’ business and furthered our reputation in the U.S. as a critical contributor to the country’s economic, manufacturing, and innovation engines, and we thank him for his leadership,” said Davis, who heads the company’s global energy operations from its oil and gas headquarters in Houston. “Judy has a deep knowledge of Siemens’ entire portfolio that will serve us well during this time of transition and into the future.”

Marks began her career at Siemens in 2011 as president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies Inc., where she led the company’s approach to the federal market. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with Lockheed Martin and its predecessor companies. Marks will be taking on her new responsibilities as CEO U.S. in addition to her duties as the executive vice president of Siemens’ Dresser-Rand business.

Siemens has had a presence in the United States for more than 160 years, and has invested $35 billion in America just in the last 15 years alone. Today, the company has 50,000 employees and approximately 75 manufacturing sites in the U.S.

For more information, CLICK HERE.


6:35 pm
November 16, 2016
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ITT PRO Services Launches ‘Next-Gen’ PumpSmart PS220 Control And Protection Solution

ITT’s PRO Services brand (Seneca Falls, NY), characterizes its recently launched PumpSmart PS220 as a “next-generation” intelligent pump control and protection solution. Providing variable-speed control for single and multiple pumps, the PS220 is said to offer a number of important capabilities and benefits. Among them:

  • Patented pump-protection technology that protects against upset conditions such as dry run, minimum flow, and cavitation, resulting in improved reliability and safety of the pump systems.
  • Advanced sensorless algorithms that determine critical performance parameters and provide valuable process insight and diagnostic data. Premier process control functionality comes with robust redundancy to maximize process uptime.


Adarsh Iyengar, global director for the brand’s Monitoring & Controls business, points to a number of specific features of the PS220, including six-pump Multipump Control, a Flow Totalizer, Intelligent Sleep, Flow Economy, and minimum-flow bypass valve control. “These features,” he said, “deliver exceptional value to our customers as they better optimize pump control strategies and lower system design and operating costs compared to other variable-speed drives that have pump functionality.”

For more information, CLICK HERE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: By protecting against pump failure due to process upsets, PumpSmart technology keeps operations running longer and reduces unplanned repair activities and expense. By right-sizing pumps to the systems they are running, the technology helps reduce energy consumption and wear and tear on the process systems.

CLICK HERE to see how PumpSmart Technology works.



4:35 pm
November 16, 2016
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Zebra Technologies Introduces Rugged, Enterprise-Class TC5 Series Touch Mobile Computers

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-9-44-32-amAccording to Zebra Technologies Corp. (Lincolnshire, IL), its recently introduced TC5 Series of devices represents the “next evolution” in enterprise mobile computing. Developed for retail and field mobility applications, the lineup of rugged, enterprise-class TC51 and TC56 touch mobile computers has been designed to satisfy the durability, power, and security needs of business users, while offering intuitive consumer design that meets the expectations of today’s end users.

Features and Capabilities

  • Said to be “as easy to use as consumer smartphones,” devices in the TC5 Series are designed to withstand accidental drops into water or onto concrete and used in dusty areas.
  • Running the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system, the series is supported by Zebra’s Mobility DNA suite of application security, development tools, and mobile end-user apps.
  • A 1.8 GHz hexa-core 64-bit processor helps enterprise apps run up to five times faster while consuming 15% less power than other devices running on quad core platforms.
  • Innovative productivity-design features include an easily removable and replaceable battery pack, a large 5-in. display, and customizable Active Edge Touch Zones for one-touch access to the most frequently used device features and apps.
  • The TC5 Series also provides the operational ease of support for a better total cost of ownership (TCO,  as well as fastest, dependable wireless connections inside and outside with 802.11ac/r/k Wi-Fi connectivity for superior roaming capability, and 4G LTE WWAN.

For more information, CLICK HERE.


7:54 pm
November 15, 2016
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Kepware’s Release of KEPServerEX v.6 Software Delivers Single-Source, IoT-Friendly, Enterprise-Data Solution

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-18-36-pmKepware Technologies (Portland, ME), a PTC business, has announced the availability of KEPServerEX Version 6 software. A major release of the organization’s flagship industrial-connectivity platform, IoT-ready Version 6 strengthens Kepware’s core product offering for end-user sites requiring increased operational scalability, security, and support.

Leveraging OPC and IT-centric communication protocols, KEPServerEX provides a single source of industrial-automation data to enterprise applications. The platform offers a library of more than 150 device drivers, client drivers, and advanced plug-ins that enable connectivity to thousands of devices and other data sources.

According to the company, Version 6 features significant enhancements to the core server functionality and user experience that deliver an IoT-friendly industrial-connectivity platform, including:

  • Programmatic Changes via the Configuration API. The new REST-based API enables off-site users to remotely apply programmatic changes to the configuration via third-party client applications. Now customers can easily configure multiple KEPServerEX instances from their enterprise software, enabling improved security and collaboration between Operations and IT.
  • Localization for Japanese and German Markets. Core features and top-tier drivers have been localized to improve the accessibility, productivity, and safety of KEPServerEX for local customers in Japan and Germany as well as global multinationals.
  • Native Development of OPC UA Technology. Native development of core OPC UA technology provides improved performance, enhanced diagnostics, and a solid foundation for continued OPC UA functionality enhancements.
  • Streamlined Licensing. Updates to KEPServerEX, the License Utility, and My Kepware improve the user experience and simplify license management—providing customers with more streamlined tools to deploy, manage, and update their servers.
  • Improved User Interface (UI): An enhanced user interface streamlines project setup and deployment, enabling more effective and efficient interactions with KEPServerEX. The updates also promote a safe user experience, enable increased productivity, and improve accessibility.
  • Robust Security. Now included as a complimentary core server component, the Security Policies advanced plug-in complements an industrial defense-in-depth strategy by enabling customers to assign security access permissions on individual objects based on user role.

To learn more and/or download a free demo, CLICK HERE.



7:04 pm
November 15, 2016
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Rockwell Automation Commits $12M to FIRST Program

From left to right, following the announcement of his company's $12M, commitment to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), Rockwell Automation president and CEO Blake Moret is shown with several FIRST teams, Don Bossi, president and CEO, FIRST, and  and Jay Flores, Rockwell Automation global STEM ambassador, on the 2016 Automation Fair show floor.

From left to right, following the announcement of his company’s $12M, commitment to FIRST, Rockwell Automation president and CEO Blake Moret is shown with several FIRST teams, Don Bossi, president and CEO, FIRST, and and Jay Flores, Rockwell Automation global STEM ambassador, on the product-exhibition show floor at 2016 Automation Fair.

Rockwell Automation has never shied away from putting its muscle and money where its mouth is when it comes to developing the workforce of the future. The latest example is the company’s announcement of a $12M, four-year commitment to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

Highlighted at the recent Automation Fair event in Atlanta, this new $12M investment amounts to one of the largest gifts ever for FIRST, which focuses on boosting young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

According to Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST, the generous, multiyear commitment will help scale the organization’s programs and expose participants to a broader range of industry-leading products and applications.

A Long History of Support
Rockwell Automation has provided more than $15M of broad-based support over the past 10 years to address the critical need to fill science, technology, education and math (STEM) jobs that drive innovation. Many of these jobs go unfilled because of both the lack of awareness of the kinds of high-tech jobs available, and the lack of skills to qualify for today’s needs.

“Through our technology and people, we are helping to inspire the next generation of innovators to fill the talent pipeline for our customers and for our company,” said Blake Moret, President and CEO, Rockwell Automation. “Our strategic partnership with FIRST helps us increase our reach and visibility to STEM students around the world.”

(CLICK HERE to view “Engineering Our Future,” a short video about the company’s philosophy and approach, narrated by Rockwell Automation STEM Ambassador Jay Flores.)

In addition to being a global sponsor of the FIRST LEGO League program and sole sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award, nearly 200 Rockwell Automation employees around the world donate their time for the FIRST programs, and more than 300 employees volunteer for the organization in other capacities. The company also donates products integral to FIRST program games and scoring. These product donations are specifically used for the FIRST Robotics Competition playing fields and scoring systems and are included within the parts kits that teams use to build their robots.

Rockwell Automation is recognized as a FIRST Strategic Partner, which signifies the highest levels of sponsorship available at FIRST. It is also a FIRST Robotics Competition Crown Supplier.

More About FIRST
Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to promote an appreciation of science and technology in young people.

Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $30 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST LEGO League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST LEGO League Jr. for Grades K-4. FIRST’s Gracious Professionalism efforts focus on a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

To learn more, go to, or CLICK HERE.



6:44 pm
November 11, 2016
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Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards to Dana, MESNAC, OCME

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-12-12-27-pmRockwell Automation (Milwaukee), has named three organizations as recipients of its fourth annual Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards. The winners are: Dana Inc., a global supplier of powertrain technology; MESNAC, an equipment builder in China; and OCME, a global equipment builder in Italy.

This awards program recognizes companies that have a holistic safety program based on three key pillars: a strong safety culture, well-executed compliance procedures, and effective use of contemporary safeguarding and automation technology through capital investments.

The 2016 winners join a distinguished list of past honorees, including Bevcorp, The Clorox Company, Corning Environmental Technologies, General Motors, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Paper Converting Machine Company, PepsiCo divisions of Walkers Crisps and Pepsi Flavors, and Procter & Gamble.

The 2016 Winners
About Dana Inc.
Dana Inc. received a plant-level award for the outstanding safety program at its Fort Wayne, IN, facility. The site, which, coincidentally, was the focus of Maintenance Technology’s Sept. 2016 “Plant Profile” feature by Michelle Segrest, manufactures automotive gearing and axle components, places worker safety above all other site functions. “The health and safety of our employees is of the highest priority and importance,” said Mark Howard, plant manager, Dana Incorporated. “Throughout our facility, safety consciousness is a core attribute of our culture. It is shared by employees at every level, and it is an integral part in all of our processes and procedures.”

According to Jeff LaBelle, health and safety manager, Dana Inc.,  the company’s  dedication of significant resources for continuous improvement of its safety processes has yielded very positive results.  “Because safety is such a visible part of our everyday operations, employees feel empowered to identify and report potential hazards at first notice. Management reviews all suggestions and, as a result, employees readily share safety ideas. The bonus is that, while mitigating risks, suggestions also serve to improve productivity, quality and efficiency.”

The company’s safety program also includes a stringent process to assure compliance with required safety. Its “Design in Safety” risk-assessment process requires that equipment suppliers validate that machine safety systems will function as designed before installation. When new machinery is delivered, the engineering and safety groups collaborate to help meet all requirements.

MESNAC, a supplier of rubber and tire machinery, received an enterprise-level award for its companywide focus on safety. “Focusing on safety has enabled us to expand into new markets around the world,” said Mingjin Yu, vice president, MESNAC. “We build machines using the most stringent global safety standards while also continuously improving our own safety culture.”

MESNAC holds all employees accountable for safety, and it is the first topic covered during daily operations meetings. The environmental health and safety (EHS) team works closely with site management and company leadership to carry out the safety program.

The company designs productivity-enhancing safety features into its machinery. For example, zone control allows users to conduct maintenance on one zone while keeping the rest of a line running. “We help our customers realize that safety doesn’t have to come at the expense of productivity,” Yu said.

About OCME
OCME, global supplier of packaging, filling and handling solutions, as well as complete lines, received an enterprise-level award for its companywide focus on safety. Safety is a key differentiator for OCME. “We follow rigorous safety standards when designing our machinery,” said Antonino Eneide, project and portfolio director, OCME. “However, we go beyond compliance to deliver systems that help improve safety and plant productivity for our customers.”

OCME collaborates with its customers’ engineering and EHS groups to help make sure machinery achieves both of their goals. “This is especially helpful for large multinational customers who are responsible for compliance across multiple plants,” Eneide said. “We deliver systems with advanced safety features and documented risk assessments so it’s a win-win for both teams.”

The 2016 Manufacturing Safety Excellence Award recipients join a distinguished list of past winners, including Bevcorp, The Clorox Company, Corning Environmental Technologies, General Motors, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Paper Converting Machine Company, PepsiCo divisions of Walkers Crisps and Pepsi Flavors, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information about Rockwell Automation’s Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards Program, CLICK HERE.


5:34 pm
November 11, 2016
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‘Push-of-a-Button’ Panduit VeriSafe Absence of Voltage Tester Boosts Safety, Productivity

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-9-32-36-am According to Panduit (Tinley Park, IL), its patent-pending VeriSafe Absence of Voltage Tester simplifies the voltage verification process through automation, thus reducing risk of worker exposure to electrical hazards before equipment is accessed.

Introduced at the 2016 Rockwell Automation Fair Event in Atlanta, the product is said to help personnel determine an electrically safe environment in a fraction of the time required by hand-held portable test instruments.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-9-34-22-amOnce installed, a simple push of a button lets qualified electrical workers see an active visual confirmation of the absence of voltage. In addition to easing NFPA 70E compliance and improving personnel safety, by reducing testing-procedure time and complexity, the technology improves productivity. Other features/capabilities include:

  • fail-safe design with active indications
  • safety functions that meet SIL 3 per IEC 61508-1
  • designed for testing three-phase circuits up to 600V
  • installation on-line or load-side of electrical disconnect
  • capable of detecting presence of both AC and DC voltage.

The VeriSafe Absence of Voltage Tester is designed to comply with UL 1436 and UL 508 standards. For more information about it and other Pandit offerings, CLICK HERE.