Closing historic gap in machine and factory automation.

01/05/2017

B&R, the largest independent provider focused on product- and software-based, open-architecture solutions for machine and factory automation worldwide has been acquired by ABB.

B&R, founded in 1979 by Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer is headquartered in Eggelsberg, Austria, employs more than 3,000 people, including about 1,000 R&D and application engineers. It operates across 70 countries, generating sales of more than $600 million (2015/16) in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market segment. The combination will result in an unmatched, comprehensive offering for customers of industrial automation, by pairing B&R’s innovative products, software and solutions for modern machine and factory automation with ABB’s world-leading offering in robotics, process automation, digitalization and electrification.



A video of This announcement and other details here on the ABB Website (4 April 2017)

Benefits for Austria
With this acquisition, ABB becomes the largest industrial automation player in Austria. ABB has operated in Austria for more than 100 years. With the strong future role, B&R and its headquarters in Austria will play as part of ABB, Austria, particularly Upper Austria, will benefit. The planned expansion of the R&D and production activities in Eggelsberg and Gilgenberg will strengthen Austria’s high-tech industrial landscape.
Transaction financials
The transaction multiple is in line with peer valuations. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. ABB will finance the acquisition in cash. The transaction is expected to be operationally EPS accretive in the first year, and is expected to add significant synergies of about 8% of B&R’s stand-alone revenue in year four. The transaction is expected to close in summer 2017, subject to customary regulatory clearances.

Through the acquisition, ABB expands its position in industrial automation and be uniquely positioned to seize growth opportunities resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industrie 4.0). In addition, ABB takes a major step in expanding its digital offering by combining its industry-leading portfolio of digital solutions, ABB Ability, with B&R’s strong application and software platforms, its large installed base, customer access and tailored automation solutions.

“B&R is a gem in the world of machine and factory automation and this combination is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This transaction marks a true milestone for ABB, as B&R will close the historic gap within ABB’s automation offering. This is a perfect fit and will make us the only industrial automation provider offering customers the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions around measurement, control, actuation, robotics, digitalization and electrification,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “This acquisition perfectly delivers on our Next Level strategy. With our unique digital offering and our installed base of more than 70 million connected devices, 70,000 control systems and now more than 3 million automated machines and 27,000 factory installations around the world, we enable our combined global customer base to seize the huge opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“This combination offers fantastic opportunities for B&R, its customers and employees. We are convinced that ABB offers the best platform for the next chapter of our growth story. ABB’s global presence, digital offering and complementary portfolio will be key for us to further accelerate our pace of innovation and growth,” said Josef Rainer, co-founder of B&R.

“This is a strong signal for our employees as our operations in Eggelsberg will become ABB’s global center for machine and factory automation,” said Erwin Bernecker, the other co-founder of B&R. “The most important thing to me is that the companies and their people fit so well together and that our founding location will play such a key role.”

Complementary strengths
With the acquisition, ABB will expand its industrial automation offering by integrating B&R’s innovative products in PLC, Industrial PCs and servo motion as well as its software and solution suite. ABB will offer its customers a uniquely comprehensive, open-architecture automation portfolio.

B&R has grown successfully with a revenue CAGR of 11 % over the last two decades. Revenues more than quintupled since 2000 to more than $600 million (2015/16). The company has a rapidly growing global customer base of more than 4,000 machine manufacturers, a proven track record in automation software and solutions and unrivaled application expertise for customers in the machine and factory automation market segment.

Both companies have complementary portfolios: ABB as a leading provider of solutions serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure; B&R as a leading solution provider in the automation of machines and factories for industries such as plastics, packaging, food and beverage. The joint commitment to open architecture increases customer choice and flexibility facilitating connectivity in increasingly digitalized industries.

Substantial investments in innovation
Innovation is at the heart of both companies. B&R invests more than 10 percent of its sales in R&D and employs more than 1,000 people in R&D and application engineering. ABB spends $1.5 billion annually on R&D and employs some 30,000 technologists and engineering specialists. Going forward, ABB and B&R will continue to invest considerably in R&D.

Automation of machines and factories is a key driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the IoT. ABB will continue B&R’s strong solution-based business model and build on its deep domain expertise to develop new software-based services and solutions for end-to-end digitalization. ABB’s industry-leading digital offering, ABB Ability, will now capitalize on the large installed base, application and solution know-how, simulation software expertise and advanced engineering tools of B&R.

Proven integration approach
On closing of the transaction, B&R will become part of ABB’s Industrial Automation division as a new global business unit – Machine & Factory Automation – headed by the current Managing Director, Hans Wimmer. Both companies consider B&R’s management and employees as a key driver of future growth and the business integration together with their counterparts from ABB. The co-founders of B&R, Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, will act as advisors during the integration phase to ensure continuity.

The integration will be growth-focused and live by the “best-of-both-worlds” principle, with ABB adding its own PLC and servo drive activities to the offering of the new business unit in a phased approach. ABB underlines its clear commitment to continuing the B&R growth story by articulating a mid-term sales ambition to exceed $1 billion.

ABB is committed to further investing in the expansion of B&R’s operations and to building on the company’s successful business model and brand. B&R’s headquarters in Eggelsberg will become ABB’s global center for machine and factory automation.

@ABBgroupnews #PAuto #Industry4

#EmrEX: All change at Brussell Centraal.

18/04/2016
Emerson User Group EMEA in Brussels, Belgium – 12th – 14th April 2016

“Seems to me that #EMrex is focusing not so much on new technologies, though important, but looking closer at how we do things.”  our tweet on day one.
Cfrpq9-UUAE8qVi

Brussels looked lovely on the morning that the Emerson User Group meeting opened. There was little to suggest the trauma that the city had faced just a few short weeks previously as delegates strolled through the sun-lit streets to the conference centre. The security however was markedly tighter as we entered the building however with strict adherence to the best security practices. However once inside the building things were as normal.

 Emerson Exchange Brussels – The Videos!

Other Reports (as they appear)
• Operational Excellence at Emerson Exchange Brussels (Emerson’s Stuart Turner – 20/4/2016).
• Nick Denbow ‘s travel travails: My worst week as an air traveller!  (30/4/2016)

Speaking with the organisers it promised to be a bumper event, stretched as it was over three days examining all aspects of automation, experiences, applications and of course exciting new products and concepts. The attendance was slightly down on the last time in Stuttgart, some were reluctant to travel, others were unable to make it due to the inability of the severely damaged to adhere to a normal service. Those who attended were in part in broad agreement with the message penned by Emerson’s Travis Hesketh – Standing up for Brussels. Indeed the User Group very quickly confirmed after these terrible events that they were going ahead with #EMrex. At several of the social events at the periphery, like the evening reception for publishers and journalists the people who suffered were remembered.

The venue was a modern conference and the one hundred or so presentations and industry forums were stretched over about six floors including an exhibition floor and at the very top of the building was a cyber café and a wonderful panoramic hall with the breathtaking view (featured at the top of this page from a tweet by Emerson’s social media guru – Jim Cahill)

But on to the the meeting!

Peter Iles-Smith of GlaxoSmithKline opened proceedings as chair of the Users Exchange Board. He welcomed the over two thousand delegates from so many countries through out the EMEA who travelled for the event.

Steve_SonnenbergSteve Sonnenberg, President Emerson Process Management (pictured right) and Roel VanDoren, their President in Europe, in a joint presentation entitled “New Reality, New Opportunity” addressed the changes and challenges facing companies in the 21st Century. They did not talk about products or applications but on ways of doing things. Indeed during the presentation we tweeted: “Emerson’s approach – yes equipment, but more importantly perhaps is attitude or culture.”

Nobody does business the way they it was done even twenty years ago, when the internet was a baby and nobody imagined never mind thought possible social media platforms like twitter,  yet in many cases industry is way behind in adapting to change. Possibilities are there which were inconceivable a short time ago and these need to be harnessed for the good of humanity.

Research into these possibilities, new technologies are leading to changes especially the importance of planning including all stakeholders at the earliest opportunity. This thinking is leading to an innovative technology and engineering-based approach for improved capital efficiency such as their Project Certainty approach  which aims to tackle complexity by decoupling the dependencies suppliers have on each other, eliminating bottlenecks and allowing concurrent work streams. In a word it aims to transform capital investment and releasing the frightening amounts of money currently being lost in big and not so big projects.

And these figures are frightening. If the type of approach spoken of here is adopted savings of up to €400 Billion (yes BILLION) would be released to invest in, for instance,  production, reliability, safety, energy, training, security and innovation.

So what is involved?

Xavier_MarchantXavier Marchant, (right), Emerson’s Vice President Process Systems and Solutions in Europe, gave dramatic examples of the possible savings in labour and materials. For instance the decision to use smart junction boxes in a large project could save both money and space (95% in control room space). Spare parts are another area where there is phenomenal waste. He quoted a spokesman from a International Energy and Chemical Company, “On our last construction project we overspent on maintenance spares to the tune of €50,000,000…we just wrote it off….because we did not have a robust spares analysis process.” Reduce the complexity by the involvement of stake holders at the start of planning for a project and allowing them to develop it side by side. One simple idea is to separate software from hardware in the development. The “old way” is to tie them together from the start whereas this way the software can be developed using virtual systems and then later on when the actual operation is seen to work in the virtual world (he called it virtual FAT – Factory Acceptance Test) it may be introduced to the real or concrete world – or “late binding” as he called it.

vFAT
Virtual FAT has far less chance of harming one than the real thing?

He quoted  François Davin of Sanofi “Emerson’s Remote Virtual Office allowed us to collaborate with experts and resources from multiple sites to conduct our Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). The result was less travel and site disturbance to our operations. Also, more operators could participate remotely which improved the new automation system adoption.”

We were introduced to the concept of  quartile performance and their site Top Quartile Performance is a exposé of how they view this as a concept and how it is influencing their thinking as a group.

Peter_Zornio

Of course all these changes would be impossible without the availability and enthusiastic embracing of the so-called “new” technologies. Peter Zornio (right), Emerson’s irrepressible Chief Strategic Officer, gave us an insight into these and how the company is using these and its co-operative involvement with the pioneers in these , the Internet of Everything(CISCO),  Industrial Internet (GE), Smart Planet (IBM) and The Internet of Things (Microsoft). These technologies, and others embryonic or not even conceived of are guiding  the current and future development of technology used in the manufacturing and processing sectors.

Keynotes: The Emerson User Exchanges whether in the USA or EMEA always have exciting and inspirational keynote speakers each day. This event was no exception. Jack Uldrich, a futurist spoke about future-proofing business. The majority of businesses are not ready for what is happening in the real world or for the speed at which it is happening.

Another of these speakers Prof Jan Rotmans who spoke about change. He maintains that we are not living through an “era of change” as a “change of era!” Many of us are in the old era, our mobile phone is just that, we read newspapers, buy books in bookshops. Our kids live on their mobile phones, they are their liveline. We are “old-fashioned” our kids are “cool!” Change is disruptive and the old ways are totally unable to cope. The old top-down certainties are dissolving and the “common man” is taking charge, sometimes violently. Chaos is the name of the game.

Finally a veteran at EmrEX, David Beckman, brought all the thoughts and ideas of New Reality, New Opportunity together. In view of Rotmans’ talk earlier the title he chose was more than relevant as he introduced delegates to the “Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook.” Although he prepared us for worst case scenarios he described real opportunities for industrial automation.

Presentations. The various threads were divided into five headings or sectors, Business & Projects; Operate Safely, Securely and Legally; Process Optimisation; Maintenance & Reliabilitym and, Control System Applications & Migrations and were held through each of the days.

Forums: There were also Industry Forums with panels and general discussions on the various specialities e.g. Life Sciences or Refining & Petrochemicals. These were opportunities for participants to learn and exchange information and experiences with each other.

Training: There were also training  sessions and other sessions (called Roadmaps) on Emerson products and possible future developments.

projcertExpo

ExpoEmrEx16274Solutions EXPO: Of course no event is complete without actually seeing product and EmrEX is no exception. The floor was divided under the same zone headings as the threads of presentations above. (See sketch on left).

There were several unique exhibits. One was the Operations Centre of the Future. This was an imaginative presentation of a plant with a H.A.L. like computer responding (or not) to commands or requests from the operatives. It featured a drone delivery of spare parts and a really effective alarm situation which featured a realistic vibration of the floor. Of course the real message is that though it is the future most of the technology used is possible today.

Of course the Project Certainty concept featured prominently in the Business & Projects area and we were show possible scenarios. They had also rather bravely set up a wall where delegates could post what they consider are the features that should be addressed in projects. This should help “to focus ruthlessly on what’s directly relevent to a company strategy.”

Of course there were actual instruments on display to examine and handle.

Ind1stNotable was this industry first, the Rosemount X-well system, a wireless transmitter, accurately measuring process temperature without need for thermowell. Accurate process temperature measurement is possible without requiring any intrusions or penetrations into the process, allowing for quicker and easier installation along with simplified long-term maintenance. Users do not have to design, size or maintain thermowells. Wake Frequency Calculations are eliminated, as well as time spent determining material compatibility, the right insertion length and the necessary profile.

pressure_gaugeAlso the new Emerson Wireless Pressure Gauge created quite buzz among delgates. Th“This new gauge design fundamentally will change how customers use pressure gauges by helping them make better business decisions!”  It is another industry first. Does this signal the end of the Bourdon Tube?

Energy management is of course critical in all processes. It is effected not only by cost factors but also by legislation driven by concerns on pollution and global warming. Here Emerson demonstrated some prototypes of monitoring and control equipment not yet available. They emphasised savings on space occupied and of course ease of use by operatives.

Jim_CahillAnother very popular item was on the Maintenance & Reliability Zone. Here was an opportunity to experience the immersive training simulator. A goggle like apparatus was placed on the head and using a game-like hand piece the engineer is able to travel through a plant and see where various problems may be without any danger to him or her. It is a fascinating experience and one really feels that one is travelling through the plant rather than sitting or standing in a control room or office.  In this picture we see Emerson’s Chief Blogger, Surface Dweller, Head of Social Media enter the virtual world for real! We can confirm that he returned to real reality afterwards.

Around the periphery of the EXPO were the booths of companies which compliment the Emerson offering – what they call their complementary and strategic partners.

history-passageThere was also a section dedicated to history featuring milestones in science and automation over the years. It was a demonstration of change in the past. What will feature in future shows? The new opportunities taking advantage of the new realities of the past.

Always a major highlight of the Emerson User Group events is waht the call the “Networking Event.” This year was rather unique in that it was a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Magritte Museum. This was an unique opportunity to see the best of Belgian painters – creativity of a different type than that extolled during the day sessions. Artists such as the Brueghels, Rubens, Jordaens and Magritte were enjoyed during this evening. Food and beverages were served – Belgium is famous for its beers of course but it also has its own cuisine and of course it’s chocolate is to die for.

This years event, despite the unexpected difficulties, was on a par, indeed because of these difficulties had perhaps more user participation than previous ones. There were many exciting things to see, concepts to understands and friends with which to share experiences.  And of course fun with a capital F.

Look at this and tell me people weren’t enjoying themselves! (Twitter pic ‏@Julian_Annison)

CgARbxJWQAAV7Vc

Emerson’s Travis Hesketh and Nick Taylor appreciating (?) art.


Our unedited photos from the conferenceon the Read-out Facebook page.

Follow on twitter #EmrEX

The videos here give an impression of each day:
Day One


Day Two


Day Three

• We have written about our travelling experiences to and from Brussels in our personnel blog (Sa Bhaile: (“Home” in Irish). These were relatively smooth if labourious but there is indeed no comparison to the experiences of Nick Denbow of ProcessingTalk which he outlines on their blog: My worst week as an air traveller! 


Previous EmrEX EMEA Events.
2014: Stuttgart: Revving up in Stuttgart!
2012: Duesseldorf: Automation returns to Düsseldorf!

All our reports on EmrEX Events (including North America).


#EMrex #PAuto @EmersonExchange @EmersonProcess #PAuto #IoT

Creating an Innovative Manufacturing & Supply Chain Eco-System. @natmancom

21/12/2015

Word-Cloud-LogisticsMatter-2010-920x300

In line with its newfound status as an All-Ireland ‘must-attend’ annual event, the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition has switched to a larger and more conveniently placed venue, moving from the Aviva Stadium to the Citywest Hotel to the west of Dublin city.  The one-day event is expected to attract over 2,000 delegates from across Ireland with 100 exhibitors offering over 2,000 products and services.

meetingDesigned with the objective of connecting key stakeholders across the full spectrum of Irish manufacturing, including the food, pharmaceutical, medical, chemical, life sciences and electronics manufacturing sectors, the third National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition will be held on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016.

The Conference is held in conjunction with an Exhibition of the latest processing and supply chain technology available to Irish industry. Suppliers from all key industrial sectors will be exhibiting at the 2016 event.

National Forum
Now in its third year, The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition provides a forum for manufacturers and operators involved throughout the supply chain from across Ireland – North and South – to gather to discuss pressing issues facing Irish industry.

The theme of the 2016 event is ‘Creating an Innovative Manufacturing & Supply Chain Eco-System’ and an impressive line-up of speakers from manufacturing, academia and government agencies will explore the key problems, challenges and opportunities facing Irish industry.

Colin Murphy, Managing Director of Premier Publishing & Events, organisers of this event says, “A list of 75 speakers is currently being finalised along with the various free workshops and 20 supporting associations. The speakers at the Conference have been carefully selected from senior management within Irish industry and academia, who have a successful track record of delivering quantifiable results in sustainable manufacturing and throughout the supply chain, and who can offer delegates a clear pathway to enhancing competitiveness and innovation.”

Speakers at The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2016 include: Colm J Murphy, Senior Human Resources Manager at Hollister ULC; Arthur Stone, CEO of OEEsystems; Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dr Richard Keegan, a specialist in the areas of Lean/World Class Business and Benchmarking with Enterprise Ireland; and Liam Cassidy, Managing Director of LCL Consult Ltd. Representatives from Pfizer, Lake Region Medical and Mondelez International will also be speaking at the event.

The Citywest Hotel complex with its easy access and free car parking is strategically placed to host All-Ireland events of this nature.

New For 2016 – Jobs Expo
A new feature at the 2016 event is the Jobs Expo area, dedicated to highlighting the many employment opportunities currently available throughout the Irish manufacturing and supply chain sectors. This purpose-designed jobs, employment and recruitment section of the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition will act as an interface between suitably qualified job seekers and representatives from both national and international companies with vacancies. With many businesses experiencing skills shortages, the new addition is timely.

Networking Opportunity
The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2016 will provide an ideal forum for meeting Government agencies and supporting associations, and gaining free advice from experts. It will also provide networking zones to connect buyers and suppliers.

The layout of the Conference & Exhibition is intended to maximise the opportunity for delegates to network and make new contacts.


Applications requiring multiple smultaneous signals drive demand for advanced signal generators.

10/11/2015

The increasing sophistication of consumer electronics, rising acceptance of 4G, and the constant introduction of innovative products all contribute to the growth of the signal generator market. Signal generators have evolved from mere continuous wave devices to advanced modulation devices with superior software control, modulation capabilities and user interfaces. These improvements, along with the use of new software techniques that enhance the linearity, bandwidth and signal creation capabilities, are stoking the market for signal generators.

FS_Graphic_360Degree_Curved_400New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of Opportunities for Signal Generators Market , finds that the market earned revenues of €693 million ($742.0 million) in 2014 and estimates this to reach €1043 million ($1127.5 million) in 2020. The study covers the segments of radio frequency (RF) tests, microwave tests, arbitrary waveform generators (AWG) and peripheral component interconnect (PCI) eXtensions for instrumentation (PXI).

Earlier, users found it challenging to synchronise multiple instruments for multichannel applications because of the closed architectural designs. This is now a thing of the past as these integrated systems share internal local oscillators.

“This will enable the synchronisation of multiple instruments and in turn, ease the tasks of test engineers.” said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “This is important as more applications are requiring multiple simultaneous signals.”

Another important technological issue in the microwave signal generators market is the management of phase noise. Phase noise increases with carrier frequency multiplication during the generation of higher frequencies. The use of yttrium iron garnet (YIG)-based microwave oscillators, rather than voltage controlled oscillators (VCOs), is expected to help achieve the desired level of phase noise performance.

In spite of their improved functionalities, signal generators’ prices have remained stable. Since alternative integrated test solutions and have become attractive options, one way to improve the revenue generation potential of the equipment is to offer modular options.

“Developments in semiconductors, including processors, field-programmable gate array and data converters, have resulted in cutting-edge modular solutions,” observed Bommakanti. “With the communication industry introducing new standards constantly, there is a need for scalable/flexible solutions, which in turn is driving the need for PXI-based instruments, including signal generators.”


Still fun, still irreverent and still Jim Pinto!

09/08/2015

Some years ago Nick Denbow, happily still involved with the Automation Insiders publication, wrote an article with the thought provoking title Who are the automation thought leaders?  Among those was the irrepressible Jim Pinto, who, to quote somebody else and out of context “hasn’t gone away you know!”

True he did retire after a fashion and commenced what he called his bucket trips, trotting around the globe with the lovely Deb at his side. Of course he did not give up writing and sharing is thoughts with us. As he said himself “But, I’m a writer. As my friend Jack Grenard said, ‘a writer cannot not write.’ So, I’ve decided to continue to write the “irregular and irreverent” JimPinto.com eNews.” And he does. We marked his chage of direction in our piece “Floreat Jim Pinto!” in 2012.

This week, on one of those bucket trips, they hit the medieval and very lively city of Galway, about 20 miles east of the Read-out hub on Galway Bay, on where, in the words of the Bing Crosbie classic, the sun goes down!

Eoin Ó Riain and Séimí Pinto!

Eoin Ó Riain (Read-out) and Séimí Pinto! (The prince formally known as Jim!)

Now when somebody of eminence in automation visits our neck of the woods we do try to meet up and make them welcome. I guess it’s an Irish thing! And so we did.

And we changed his name for the occasion to the Irish version of Jim, “Séimí!” His sur-name, like the man himself, is untranslatable!

So how to describe Jim Pinto’s impact! Dick Morley (another automation thought leader), said of his writing, “When you read Jim, you have the feeling that you’re looking through a telescope’s magnifying end. With Jim you get to use the telescope with the microscope in the right direction: you see clearer, and you see things you cannot see with the naked eye.”

Pinto’s Books
Leabhair_PhintoAutomation Unplugged: Pinto’s Perspectives, Pointers & Prognostication! (Published 2003: ISA Best Seller in 2004! pdf format only available)
Pinto’s Points: How to Win in the Automation Business. (Published 2006)

And for answers to all those questions you wanted to ask but were afraid to, just go to his website!Jpinto.com

Jim honoured me some years ago to right an introductory piece for a section of his 2006 book, “Pinto’s Points: How to win in the automation business!” and I think perhaps I could repeat some of what I said there. It is part biographical but mostly it described the impact of this man whom I first “met” on-line 20 years ago when the internet was but a babe! I had been visiting the US on and off for about ten years. I lamented the fact that Americans in jobs like maintenance engineers etc seemed older and more tired in comparison with what I was used to, Professional people were inclined to be as well but worked in perhaps a more dedicated and serious way, and for longer hours. There was one thing missing. That something was – humour.

“Like a breadth of fresh air in the frenetic rush-rush of the world of automation burst Jim Pinto. Like most of us who received the benevolent influence of Mother England’s domination, he managed to make her language his own, and – combining this with an incisive mind and a superb gift of observation – he earned the title of ‘Poet Laureate of Instrumentation and Automation.’ Everythinh he touched was fun. He called his company Action – and so it was. And when the internet finally started to infiltrate even the most conservative of companies, he was ther with the wonderul URL of actionio.com. Wonderful!”

I pointed to a word, among many that I learned from him – “DISINTERMEDIATION – it is a Pintoism that has stuck in my mind. It is a word typical of the man. It is a word which makes us smile before we ask, ‘What does it mean?’

“This I think is the essence of the Jim Pinto. And it is nowhere more evident than in his poetry. It is funny, but it is serious!”

This week Read-out met the man and sat down and chatted face-to-face. And we have a photo because as somebody said “If there isn’t a picture it hasn’t happened!”

Thanks for the fun Jim, and may your list of bucket trips never be exhausted! And may you never cease to be irreverent but always full of fun and laughter!

PS: DISINTERMEDIATION? Don’t know what it means? Let Jim tell you! As he told us 15 years ago.


Innovative biosensors incite use in non-traditional applications.

07/08/2015

Besides healthcare and food, biosensor devices are penetrating the mobile, security and automotive segments, notes Frost & Sullivan

Click image  for complimentary access to more information on this research.

Click image  for complimentary access to more information on this research.

The biosensors market is proving highly attractive as it exhibits continuous growth in applications, penetration into newer sectors, and development of devices resulting in higher revenue year after year. The global biosensors space has seen the entry of multiple participants each year with none having exited the market so far.

Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global Biosensors Market, finds that the market generated revenues of $11.53 (€10.54) billion in 2014 which is estimated to more than double to $28.78 (€26.31) billion in 2021. Though innovation has facilitated biosensor penetration into a number of diverse markets, healthcare and food pathogen detection are currently the largest application segments.

“With health and wellness becoming a priority for all concerned in the value chain – individuals, governments, healthcare institutions, diagnostic device developers, system integrators, the medical fraternity and insurance companies – biosensors are acquiring more importance,” said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Principal Dr. Rajender Thusu. “For instance, strict food safety regulations enacted by federal governments to improve the health of consumers, require the use of biosensors for compliance monitoring.”

Under these regulations, meats, milk and milk products must be tested for the absence of a number of pathogens before being processed and supplied for consumption. Along with the rising trend of testing fresh vegetables and processed food for the presence of different pathogens, these norms are fuelling the adoption of testing kits.

Significantly, the use of biosensors is expanding to diverse end-user markets. While security agencies are using biosensors to detect drugs, banned substances and explosives, biosensors are also a valuable tool for monitoring health of soldiers.

Realizing the benefits, biosensor manufacturers have started to move to mobile platforms which will enable users to monitor key health parameters in real-time. Biosensor relevance in automotive applications will grow with the use of cognitive biosensors to boost driver alertness and enable safety.

Manufacturers must strive harder to meet the stringent and specific requirements of a number of industries such as wearable medical devices, food processing, environmental, bio-defense, and automotive.

Biosensor manufacturers must also look into other issues such as the long detection times associated with existing test methods in some applications. As samples need to be enriched in some cases before one can test for the presence of pathogens.

“Several companies are investing in R&D to innovate and improve biosensor technology, make it highly sensitive, and develop technology platforms to reduce detection time appreciably,” noted Dr. Thusu. “Since the long development cycle of biosensor devices is another challenge, manufacturers are trying to address this by deploying both optical and non-optical technologies.Rapid detection biosensor devices are the need of the hour for a number of applications.”

Further, manufacturers are developing nano-biosensors, with features to detect pathogens at a concentration as low as one cell per five milliliters of water. Advanced-stage research is also being conducted to create unique biosensors that can detect cell-to-cell interactions in therapeutic monitoring.


Global HMI market!

25/04/2015

Human machine interface (HMI) solutions have made rapid strides in the last decade in step with changing customer demands. As the trend towards real-time factory intelligence gains widespread acceptance in industries, HMI software will continue to evolve. From merely providing plant data on a mobile device, HMI now delivers real-time data and actionable insights to operators. The consequent benefits, such as lower plant operation costs, higher process efficiency, and greater energy efficiency will power the adoption of HMI solutions.

globalHMI_F+SNew analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Global Human Machine Interface Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.94 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $3.60 billion in 2018.

“The development of Industrie 4.0 in Europe and Smart Factory in the United States will create a future for the manufacturing sector wrapped around the convergence of applications,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Guru Mahesh. “As a result, the need to constantly innovate and reinvent components will propel the uptake of HMI in discrete sectors.”

Unlike discrete industries, process industries such as chemicals, food and oil can get by with basic automation solutions for production in bulk quantities. Hence, advanced HMI solutions have found restricted use in the process sector.

While this trend continues to pervade several process industries, the food and beverage sector is gradually giving in to the allure of HMI solutions. Manufacturers in this increasingly competitive segment have understood that automation is critical in order to remain profitable. Likewise, growing awareness in other process sectors will open up new applications for HMI solutions.

“Real-time intelligence and big data analytics are expected to revolutionise the HMI space,” noted Mahesh. “To capitalise on these opportunities, HMI vendors must meet the demand for innovative features and value-added services from end users in the global market.”