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12:44 am
April 30, 2016
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ITT i-ALERT2 Condition-Monitor App Now Available for All Mobile Devices, Including IOS, Android, and Tablets

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.44.02 PMITT’s PRO Services (Seneca Falls, NY) has announced that its i-ALERT2 Bluetooth Equipment Health Monitor is now optimized for iPad and Android devices. Originally released for iOS iPhone, the app will now make use of the larger iPad screen size for a better tablet experience and be available for free for Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, and S7, and LG Google Nexus 5x, 6, and 6p devices.

Smaller than a credit card, the i-ALERT2 condition monitor, tracks vibration, temperature, and run-time hours 24/7. According to the manufacturer, the device is the first of its type to combine the latest in Bluetooth low-energy and sensor technologies in a single industrial package.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.39.07 PMRated for use in environments with explosive gases, dust, and fibers, the i-ALERT2 features a wireless range of up to 100 ft. (30 m). Syncing to the mobile app, which, in turn, can scan multiple devices at once, it enables quick, safe, accurate inspection of equipment by allowing users to view real-time and historical data, diagnostic information, and machine records, even in hazardous environments.

For more information on ITT’s i-ALERT2, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE for videos of the i-ALERT2’s mobile app capabilities.


9:45 pm
April 27, 2016
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Honeywell Process Solutions Establishes Digital Transformation Biz

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 4.21.16 PMHouston-based Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has announced the establishment of a new Digital Transformation business unit to help end users harness the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and rapidly deploy technologies to better manage and analyze data. The goal is to assist organization in making their operations safer, more reliable, and more efficient than ever.

Andrew Hird has been named vice president and general manager of the new  unit and will report directly to HPS president Vimal K Kapur. Hird most recently served as HPS’s global vice president of sales, where he gained exposure to customers in industries ranging from oil and gas and mining to power generation, and pulp and paper. He has more than 20 years of experience in industries ranging from oil and gas and mining, to power generation and pulp and paper, including 12 years with Honeywell.

Honeywell technologies that help operators prioritize and manage a growing amount of operational data include, among other things, DynAMo alarm and operations management; Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager; Assurance 360, a multi-year cooperative service arrangement to maintain, support and optimize performance of the corporation’s control systems; and Honeywell Pulse, a mobility app that allows plant managers to easily monitor real-time operations from a smartphone.

HPS’s IIoT solutions utilize Honeywell’s patented software infrastructure that provides a simple method for capturing big industrial data in a secure portal that can be scaled to meet the varied needs of single-site or enterprise-wide operations.

For the refining and petrochemical industries, HPS will leverage the expertise of Honeywell UOP, a leader in inventing and licensing technologies used globally to turn oil and natural gas into transportation fuels and petrochemicals.

For more information on Honeywell Process Solutions, CLICK HERE.


9:05 pm
April 27, 2016
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Condition Monitoring Services Inc. Partners with SMEC to Deliver Complete Asset Management Package

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.45.59 PMCondition Monitoring Services Inc. (Nipomo, CA) has partnered with the Australia’s SMEC consulting group to provide predictive maintenance support for existing and future customers.

Headquartered in Melbourne, SMEC serves a global clientele from more than 75 offices across North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Its customer base reflects a broad range of industry sectors, including: Transport; Hydropower and Energy; Water and Environment; Urban and Social Development; Resources; and Industrial and Manufacturing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.46.24 PMServices offered by CMS include vibration data collection and analysis, infrared inspections, ultrasound surveys, oil sampling and analysis, in-place machine balancing and alignment, motor current analysis, continuous online monitoring systems (including installation), and several PdM training courses to support in-house monitoring programs.

Combining SMEC’s capabilities, which include a dedicated Asset Management function, with CMS’s service offerings, the two companies can deliver a complete package for improving operations performance and asset dependability at end user sites anywhere in the world




8:59 pm
April 27, 2016
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Google Glass Lives!

UBiMAX's Gerhard Pluppins models his wearable eyeware unit.

UBiMAX’s Gerhard Pluppins models his wearable eyeware unit.

In January 2015, Google announced that they were going to cease offering the Google Glass product to consumers. As far as the popular press and casual observers, like me, were concerned, at best it would be some time before we would see the technology on “store shelves” again. At the time, I was convinced that the technology was too important to simply die, but the negative geek factor that surrounded the product meant that the consumer version was/is going to have to come back in a very different form.

Today, at Hannover MESSE, I learned that Google Glass didn’t die in January 2015. In fact, in the industrial world, the technology is thriving quite nicely, thank you.

I acquired this knowledge when I visited the UBiMAX GmbH booth and met with GErhard Pluppins and CEO Dr. Hendrik Witt. UBiMAX is located in Bremen, Germany and can be found at I stopped at the booth only because Gerhard, wearing a smart eyeware unit (that’s what they’re called now), said hi as I was walking by. I immediately stopped because the question that popped into my head was, What are those things doing at a show of this magnitude? They should be on a shelf collecting dust.

Turns out that UBiMAX, which is one of ten Google Glass certified partners, has been cooking along quite vigorously, developing smart eyeware software for a variety of business applications and, according to them, the implementation has a good head of steam. Dr. Witt says they expect to see the market explode in 2017.

UbiMAX offers three “solutions” at this juncture.

XPick is a “pick-by-vision” order-picking solution that supports manual order picking; incoming, outgoing, and sorting of goods; and inventory management.

XMake is a “make-by-vision” solution for manufacturing, assembly-line support, and quality assurance.

The third solution is the one that stood out for me. XInspect is an inspect-by-vision solution that targets all types of service and maintenance processes in just about any industry. Gerhard Pluppins and I talked at some length about the many possibilities this technology offers to reliability and maintenance professionals. The strength is that it’s two-way technology. If you’re dealing with a problem in a plant, you can receive information over the network, such as repair procedures, equipment performance history, and and parts information. In other words, you can see in your eyepiece just about any information that is available in the network pertaining to that asset.

But the best part is that you can also transmit new information back to the network. That can be in the form of an audio file, photos, and, I would speculate, limited text information. Also integrated into the software are Internet of Things tie-ins that can take this technology to a higher level in terms of data handling and transmission.

I got to wear Gerhard’s smart eyeware unit. I was surprised at how unit’s apparent durability. They always look so flimsy to me. I also expected it to feel clunky on my head, particularly over my eyeglass. Not so, and I had no trouble at all adjusting the heads-up display so I could see it clearly.

He had what looked like a pump diagram displaying in the eyepiece. I was absolutely stunned at the clarity, apparent size of the image, and how easy it was to implement the on-screen information. I expected to have to strain to see any detail, but it was right there, large enough to be of use and clear as a bell. At no time did I feel that the display was obstructing my vision and could be a safety problem.

I’ll probably never have a need for one of these things but will now be keeping a close eye 😉 on this technology because I think it can be a difference maker for reliability and maintenance professionals.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director


3:56 pm
April 27, 2016
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Additive Manufacturing Prominent at Hannover MESSE

One of the technologies that has a very real, and I’m sure rapidly growing, presence at Hannover MESSE is additive manufacturing (3D printing). Siemens Corp. showed examples of several different approaches to additive manufacturing. This video is a simulation of how people at Hoedtke GmbH & Co. KG, Pinneberg, Germany use the directed-energy deposition technique to produce ship propellers.

The end result of this demonstration is this piece:

This propeller part was manufactured by Hoedtke GmbH & Co. KG, Pinneberg, Germany use the directed-energy deposition technique.

Here are other pieces produced by the directed-energy-deposition method:

Some other parts manufactured by Hoedtke GmbH & Co. KG, Pinneberg, Germany use the directed-energy deposition technique.

Many other examples at the show indicate that 3D printing is going to be a major player in future manufacturing. Reliability and maintenance professionals need to start looking at how the various forms of this technology can help improve plant reliability. — Gary L. Parr, editorial director


7:25 pm
April 24, 2016
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TTIP Promoted at Hannover MESSE Opening Ceremony

The United States is the selected partner for the 2016 Hannover MESSE trade fair.

The United States is the selected partner for the 2016 Hannover MESSE trade fair.

Contrary to what the protestors in downtown Hannover wanted, President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel used their opening-ceremony speaches to promote the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) agreement. Both emphasized the value it would deliver to U.S. and European Union economies in terms of jobs, economic growth, and energy stabililty. Apparently opposition concern is rather widespread and persistent because both leaders also urged manufacturers and others to promote TTIP’s benefits to their various companies. They stated rather emphatically that there is significant pressure to finalize the agreement this year. Obama suggested that, if TTIP isn’t finalized in 2016, political changes could cause it to languish for a long time.

President Obama was also put in the awkward position of having to encourage attendees to come to the U.S. to do business. He realized how strange it was to be a guest of a fellow industrial power and ally and ask people to “Select America,” but he handled it well, made his sales pitch, and moved on. I’m sure it wasn’t his favorite part of the speach.

As the partner country, the U.S. was afforded the opportunity to provide all of the entertainment for the cermony. New York City provided two dance songs and two performances from stars of the musical “Wicked.” I was disappointed that there wasn’t an entertainment offering from Germany.

The opening sequence was an impressive choreography between robots and dancers. It was fascinating to see how flexible/manipulative/responsive robots have become. However, I had to chuckle a bit after that impressive display when two stage hands hand-carried the speaker podium to its position on the stage. They later carried it away to make room for the NYC performances, then brought it back for President Obama and Chancellor Merkel. It seemed such a clunky way to handle a part of the opening ceremony for a show that offers the most advanced in technology. In the interest of putting things in a positive light, I’m going to give them credit for using the opportunity to show that, no matter the degree of automation, the job can’t be completed without humans.

Overall, an enjoyable ceremony and strong kickoff to a week of showcasing the latest and greatest industry has to offer.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director


2:14 pm
April 24, 2016
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Hannover MESSE and TTIP

The Hannover MESSE trade show is being held April 25 to 29 in Hannover, Germany.

The Hannover MESSE trade show is being held April 25 to 29 in Hannover, Germany.

I’m in Hannover Germany this week, attending Hannover MESSE, the world’s largest industrial manufacturing trade show, as a guest of Siemens Corp. The opening ceremony is later today (Sunday, April 24) and President Barack Obama will join German Chancellor Angela Merkel to open the show.

According to reports, the topic of Obama’s speech will be the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), an agreement that is primarily a deal to drop tarriff and regulatory trade barriers between the U.S. and European Union countries. The supporters, as usual, claim that it will generate large amounts of jobs and revenue for both sides.

I haven’t been paying much attention to international trade news lately. My focus has been on the first-place Chicago White Sox and plant reliability and maintenance. But, yesterday, I got a first-hand dose of international trade and TTIP.

I arrived a day early in Hannover, so had a rare business-trip opportunity to be a tourist. That meant an afternoon exploring the city of Hannover, particularly the old section. I love old architecture, so it was real treat for me.

My day started by looking out my hotel-room window and seeing a dozen or more police SUVs, two full-sized police buses, and a large number of officers. I figured they were assembled for a day of training but didn’t see any urgent or organized activity.

When I got to the city, I also noticed a large police presence, but didn’t give it much thought because there were a lot of people in the town, it was a Saturday, the weather was nice, and I’ve never been to Hannover so what did I know.

One thing that caught my eye was that a good portion of the people were carrying flags that suggested they wanted nothing to do with TTIP. I thought that carrying around flags on a Saturday while shopping was a unique way of protesting something, but to each their own. I asked a couple of people what TTIP was all about, but couldn’t find anyone who could explain it in broken, limited English. Again, I just thought it was interesting and went about my touring.

I really started to pay attention when I saw this sign:

Some folks in Hannover Germany are not happy about TTIP.

Some folks in Hannover Germany are not happy about TTIP.

That clearly suggested to me that TTIP was more than just a local squabble. I asked the owner of the sign about TTIP. He understood what he was protesting and spoke English well enough that he could explain it to me. He also suggested that, as an American, I should be opposed to it because it wasn’t any different than the NAFTA agreement. He tempered himself, but it was also clear that he wasn’t at all happy with the U.S. and felt that we were, once again, intruding on other people’s business. Fortunately, I had zero knowledge so was in no way able to agree or disagree. I thanked him for the information and went back to tourist mode.

When I returned to my room, I immediately looked up TTIP and at least informed myself enough to understand the basics. I also learned that somewhere in the town there was a peaceful protest involving some 30,000 people and it became clear to me that the police presence in the plaza outside my hotel room was the staging area for a large force of officers who spent the day ready to deal with any problems.

Here’s a link to the BBC story about the protest. It contains links to several stories about TTIP so you can decide for yourself whether it’s good or bad, if you’re interested.

The opening ceremony is Sunday at 6:00 local time. It’ll be interesting to hear what our president and the German Chancellor have to say. It’ll be even more interesting to attend this massive trade show and learn what lies ahead for manufacturing from a global perspective.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director


7:01 pm
April 22, 2016
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LUDECA Expands Offerings and Reach through Partnerships with EASY-LASER and SDT Ultrasound Solutions

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.29.55 PMLUDECA has announced two new partnerships to improve and diversify its product offerings. The first is an exclusive arrangement with Sweden’s EASY-LASER, to promote and sell next-gen precise, user-friendly laser-alignment systems throughout industry.  The second partnership is with SDT Ultrasound Solutions, to bring proven solutions for for leak and fault detection and optimized bearing lubrication.

According to LUDECA, the two recently announced partnerships mean that the company’s customers can rely on a best-in-class approach to alignment, vibration, ultrasound, and condition monitoring systems built upon decades of industry-leading knowledge, experience and technology.

As the company moves forward with its new offerings, so will its Doral, FL-based Service Center. The facility now calibrates and services EASY-LASER and SDT Products, while continuing to perform NIST traceable calibrations and service for Pruftechnik alignment and vibration products.

In addition to the new EASY-LASER and SDT product lines, LUDECA still sells alignment and condition-monitoring systems by Pruftechnik. It also provides technical support and training for any systems that users purchase from the company, as well as for loaners, equipment rentals, and field-service operations.

As an SMRP- and MSAT-approved provider, all of LUDECA’s 3- and 4-day shaft-alignment and balancing training courses are mapped to the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals’ Equipment Reliability Body of Knowledge and UPTIME ELEMENTS for continuing education credits.

To view a short video on LUDECA’s expanded product lineup and capabilities, CLICK HERE.