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6

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.

20

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.

59

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.

76

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

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.16.29 AMHouston-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.

47

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

 

 

90

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 ubimax.de. 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

36

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

23

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

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