Mainstream adoption of LiFi will be available within LED light bars which will replace the most widely utilized light source in the world – fluorescent tubes.
The introduction of the first LED “light bar” is forecasted to replace the most conventional form of lighting within commercial and industrial facilities: fluorescent tubes; with an estimated 3-4 billion installed throughout the world.
pureLiFi and Linmore LED will demonstrate this new technology at LuxLive from the 15-16th of November 2017 (London GB) as part of their LiFi experience zone.
WiFi versus LiFi
Wireless connectivity is evolving. The spectrum now has to accommodate more mobile users and is forecasted to increase to 20 Billion devices (forming the IoT) by the year 2020 which will result in what is known as the Spectrum Crunch. However, LiFi can open up 1000 times more spectrum for wireless communications to combat this phenomenon. LiFi is a transformative technology changing the way we connect to the Internet by using the same light we use to illuminate our offices, home and streets.
Integration of LiFi within LED strip lights will drive mass adoption, enabling LiFi to easily move into full-scale implementation within offices, schools, warehouses and anywhere illumination is required.
Alistair Banham, CEO of pureLiFi says: “This partnership marks a step change for LiFi adoption. We can now offer new solutions that will help industry, future proof their spaces, devices and technology to ensure they are ready to cope with the increased demand for highspeed, secure and mobile wireless communications.”
LiFi utilizes LED lights that illuminate both our workspace and homes to transmit high-speed, bi-directional, secure and fully networked wireless internet.
What is LiFi LiFi is high speed bi-directional networked and mobile communication of data using light. LiFi comprises of multiple light bulbs that form a wireless network, offering a substantially similar user experience to Wi-Fi except using the light spectrum.
Lighting manufacturers are important players in the adoption of LiFi technology. Linmore LED has built its reputation in the retrofit market, and they ensure their portfolio of LED products perform in the top 1% for energy efficiency in the industry.
Retrofit fixtures are in great demand as many facilities seek to drive down energy costs by as much as 70-80% which can be achieved by converting to LED technology. This trend is also driven by the increased operating life that LEDs provide and the concerns of toxic mercury utilized within fluorescent lamps that complicates disposal. This provides a scenario where building owners and facility managers can adopt LiFi technology while dramatically decreasing lighting-related energy costs at the same time.
Paul Chamberlain, CEO of Linmore LED says: “Utilizing an existing part of a building’s infrastructure – lighting – opens up endless possibilities for many other technologies to have a deployment backbone. Internet of Things (IoT), RFID, product and people movement systems, facility maintenance, and a host of other technologies are taken to the next level with LiFi available throughout a facility.”
John Gilmore, Linmore’s VP of Sales talks about early adopters of the technology: “We’re very excited to be aligning ourselves with pure LiFi. We firmly believe the US Government will be an early adopter of this technology. Our position on GSA schedule will help buyers be able to easily access the technology.”
LiFi offers lighting innovators the opportunity to enter new markets and drive completely new sources of revenue by providing wireless communications systems. LiFi is a game changer not only for the communications industry but also for the lighting industry, and with LiFi, Linmore certainly has a brighter future.
Ray Dooley, Product Manager Industrial Control at Schneider Electric Ireland examines the importance of maintaining security as we progress through Industry 4.o.
Ray Dooley, Schneider Electric Ireland
A technical evolution has taken place, which has made cyber threats more potent than at any other time in our history. As businesses seek to embrace Industry 4.0, cybersecurity protection must be a top priority for Industrial Control Systems (ICS). These attacks are financially crippling, reduce production and business innovation, and cost lives.
In years gone by, legacy ICS were developed with proprietary technology and were isolated from the outside world, so physical perimeter security was deemed adequate and cyber security was not relevant. However, today the rise of digital manufacturing means many control systems use open or standardised technologies to both reduce costs and improve performance, employing direct communications between control and business systems. Companies must now be proactive to secure their systems online as well as offline.
This exposes vulnerabilities previously thought to affect only office and business computers, so cyber attacks now come from both inside and outside of the industrial control system network. The problem here is that a successful cyber attack on the ICS domain can have a fundamentally more severe impact than a similar incident in the IT domain.
The proliferation of cyber threats has prompted asset owners in industrial environments to search for security solutions that can protect their assets and prevent potentially significant monetary loss and brand erosion. While some industries, such as financial services, have made progress in minimising the risk of cyber attacks, the barriers to improving cybersecurity remain high. More open and collaborative networks have made systems more vulnerable to attack. Furthermore, end user awareness and appreciation of the level of risk is inadequate across most industries outside critical infrastructure environments.
Uncertainty in the regulatory landscape also remains a significant restraint. With the increased use of commercial off-the-shelf IT solutions in industrial environments, control system availability is vulnerable to malware targeted at commercial systems. Inadequate expertise in industrial IT networks is a sector-wide challenge. Against this backdrop, organisations need to partner with a solutions provider who understands the unique characteristics and challenges of the industrial environment and is committed to security.
Assess the risks
A Defence-in-Depth approach is recommended. This starts with risk assessment – the process of analysing and documenting the environment and related systems to identify, and prioritise potential threats. The assessment examines the possible threats from internal sources, such as disgruntled employees and contractors and external sources such as hackers and vandals. It also examines the potential threats to continuity of operation and assesses the value and vulnerability of assets such as proprietary recipes and other intellectual properties, processes, and financial data. Organisations can use the outcome of this assessment to prioritise cybersecurity resource investments.
Develop a security plan Existing security products and technologies can only go part way to securing an automation solution. They must be deployed in conjunction with a security plan. A well designed security plan coupled with diligent maintenance and oversight is essential to securing modern automation systems and networks. As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, users should continuously reassess their security policies and revisit the defence-in-depth approach to mitigate against any future attacks. Cyber attacks on critical manufacturers in the US alone have increased by 20 per cent, so it’s imperative that security plans are up to date.
Upskilling the workforce There are increasingly fewer skilled operators in today’s plants, as the older, expert workforce moves into retirement. So the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents a golden opportunity for manufacturing to bridge the gap and bolster the workforce, putting real-time status and diagnostic information at their disposal. At the same time, however, this workforce needs to be raised with the cybersecurity know-how to cope with modern threats.
In this regard, training is crucial to any defence-in-depth campaign and the development of a security conscious culture. There are two phases to such a programme: raising general awareness of policy and procedure, and job-specific classes. Both should be ongoing with update sessions given regularly, only then will employees and organisations see the benefit.
Global industry is well on the road to a game-changing Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is not some hyped up notion years away from reality. It’s already here and has its origins in technologies and functionalities developed by visionary automation suppliers more than 15 years ago. Improvements in efficiency and profitability, increased innovation, and better management of safety, performance and environmental impact are just some of the benefits of an Internet of Things-enabled industrial environment. However, without an effective cybersecurity programme at its heart, ICS professionals will not be able to take advantage of the new technologies at their disposal for fear of the next breach.
Inadequate training and a culture of complacency among many owners and operators of critical infrastructure are significantly raising the risks of highly damaging cyberattack throughout the world.
That’s the viewpoint expressed by Steve Mustard, an industrial cybersecurity subject-matter expert of the International Society of Automation (ISA), an European registered Eur Ing and a British registered Chartered Engineer and consultant with extensive development and management experience in real-time embedded equipment and automation systems.
Mustard, fresh off a trip to the Caribbean where he delivered a presentation on industrial cybersecurity to industry officials in petroleum and petrochemical operations, says that despite greater overall awareness of the need for improved industrial cybersecurity, not nearly enough is being done to implement basic cybersecurity measures and reinforce them through adequate staff training and changes in corporate culture.
“Everywhere I go I see the same issues, so this is not so much a company-by-company issue as it is an ‘industry culture’ issue,” maintains Mustard, an ISA99 Security Standards Committee member and an important contributor to the development of the ISA99/IEC 62443 industrial cybersecurity standards. “So much work has been done in the IT world on security that many believe they have mitigated the risks.
“For example, most security experts at the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) meetings on the US Cybersecurity Framework could not understand why we were still discussing the most basic security controls, but yet a visit to almost any critical infrastructure facility will reveal that while there may be established policies and procedures in place, they are not properly embedded into training and the operational culture. Too many owner/operators I meet believe that because they have not seen a cybersecurity-based incident themselves that it will never happen. This sort of complacency is why there will be a major incident.”
“There have been many incidents in the past 10-15 years that can be traced back to insufficient cybersecurity measures,” he says. “There are many every year, most of which escape public notice. In fact, it’s widely believed that there are many more that are never reported,” he discloses. “The RISI analysis shows time and again that these incidents are generally the result of the same basic cybersecurity control failures. It is often only the presence of external failsafe and protection mechanisms that these incidents do not lead to more catastrophic consequences. Many use these protection mechanisms to argue that the concern over the consequences of cyberattack is exaggerated, and yet incidents such as Deepwater Horizon should teach us that these protection mechanisms can and do fail.”
Emphasis on security seldom matches emphasis on safety; security influenced by significant reliance on third-party workers
While the need for safety is well understood in facilities such as offshore drilling rigs, attention to security is often minimal.
“This is partly because these facilities are usually so remote (i.e. 50 miles offshore) and/or appear to be secure (It’s not possible to just walk into an offshore or onshore facility without having the appropriate clearance.) and also because there is little or no experience of cybersecurity-related incidents, whereas there is usually some direct or anecdotal experience of safety-related incidents.
“Another issue is the very significant reliance on third parties to install and support IACS equipment,” Mustard continues. “This creates two issues—in-house staff often lack complete understanding of the equipment needed to provide reliable on-site support and there is a continuous flow of third-party staff in facilities. Although security is generally tight in these facilities, there is a lot of reliance on third parties to ensure their own contract staff are correctly vetted, and yet third parties may not be as thorough as owners and operators.
“Furthermore, third-party employees will have their own computers and removable media. The owner/operator may rely on the third party to scan their devices for malware before they are connected to the IACS equipment, but there is no guarantee that this is the case.”
USB flash drives and other USB devices continue to pose serious cybersecurity threats “Use of USB devices still remains one of the most common ways an industrial control network can be infected. There are a number of factors at play. Many, or even most, IACS equipment runs without anti-virus software. Rarely, is the equipment ‘security hardened’ and very often default accounts and passwords are either hardcoded or not removed/changed before go-live.
“In addition, the operating systems and applications are often not patched at all or if they are, they are not patched regularly. This creates a whole host of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware. While most standards recommend the elimination of USB removable media devices and that all ports be locked down, this is rarely the case. Since machines are usually not connected to the Internet, removable media is often the only way to transfer files. And while IT policies might enforce virus scanning of such devices before and after use, this often does not get enforced in IACS environments.
I heard recently anecdotally that a major oil and gas company detected the Stuxnet virus on its networks, and was found to have originated from an infected USB drive. This company has relatively good cybersecurity controls in place so you can imagine how easily this can happen in other organizations that have not yet grasped the importance of cybersecurity.”
Major installation at English sewage treatment works.
Wessex Water, an English water authority, is investing around £20m at its Taunton sewage treatment works to improve the facilities for wastewater and sludge treatment in a project that is due for completion by the end of March 2015. The upgrade to the works under the DWF (Dry Weather Flow) Improvements Scheme will increase the site’s treatment capacity whilst also improving the efficiency and quality of the treatment process, lowering energy costs and reducing the site’s carbon footprint.
Prior to the implementation of the DWF Scheme, the STW was comprised of an inlet pumping station and balance tank, coarse and fine screens, grit removal (detritor), primary settlement tanks, a conventional ASP & biological filter beds, final & humus tanks and final effluent lagoons. The construction work involves the creation of a new four-lane ASP to replace the existing 16 biological filters. To facilitate this, one of the lagoons and four of the filters are being taken out of service to create space for the new works, and this has allowed all development to remain within the existing site boundaries enabling most works to be constructed under permitted development rights.
Process optimisation of the new ASP stage will be achieved through implementation of Hach Lange’s Real-Time Control (RTC) system, which monitors influent ammonium concentration and dissolved oxygen concentrations along the aeration lanes, providing more efficient control of the fine bubble diffused aeration. The measurement of other quality parameters in the process train provides feedback to the RTC. A reduction of up to 15% energy usage is anticipated as a result.
Balfour Beatty has provided the civil works and Nomenca Ltd is responsible for the supply, installation, commissioning, and performance testing of the mechanical and electrical components of the new works. Contracts Manager Trevor Farrow says, “Nomenca’s reputation is built on a track record of successfully delivered projects, and the relationships that we develop with both clients and suppliers are key to this success. We have already worked with Hach Lange’s instrumentation on a wide variety of projects, so we are confident that this project will be a further success.”
As Project Manager for Wessex Water, Garry Orford says: “The drivers for this works upgrade include an increased treatment capacity requirement and a tightening of the consent, taking in to account longer-term requirements that may be implemented in AMP6. We have already implemented Hach Lange’s RTC process optimisation systems at our Holdenhurst plant – 175,000 PE – near Bournemouth, and this has delivered energy savings of around 25% so we are confident that we can repeat this success at Taunton – 85,000 PE.”
Following completion of the new works, the site will meet the following consent conditions:
Dry Weather Flow (DWF) 30,595 m3/d
Sanitary parameters BOD:SS:AmmN 15:30:3 mg/l
In addition to the upgrade of the sewage treatment facilities, a third anaerobic digester (AD) is also being built at the Taunton works. “This will increase our capacity to generate renewable energy and further reduce our electricity bill,” according to Garry Orford. “The power generation of the AD plants is fairly stable, but the energy demand of the treatment plant varies according to the load, so there will be occasions where we can sell energy back to the grid, and others where we will continue to have a power requirement. It is essential therefore that we use this power as efficiently as possible.”
Real-Time Control in industrial processes is commonplace. However, wastewater monitoring represents a greater challenge because of its physical and chemical variability. Historically, wastewater monitoring technology was prone to drift (especially galvanic dissolved oxygen monitors) and required a high level of maintenance, so RTC was not feasible. However, the latest sensors offer much higher levels of reliability than was possible in the past, with substantially lower levels of maintenance and recalibration. This has been a major factor in enabling the development of RTC in wastewater treatment. In addition, many of the latest sensors provide a ‘health status’ output in addition to the readings. As a result, if any problems arise they can be quickly remedied, and control systems can ignore data from sensors that are not performing to their target specification.
Monitoring technology The capital outlay for the addition of RTC to a treatment plant is relatively small; the most significant extra cost is the requirement for extra sensors plus the RTC unit. The Taunton build includes the installation of the latest sensors for dissolved oxygen, ammonium and turbidity, controlled by an sc1000 network, providing reliable data on the influent, and from within the treatment process.
The LDO sc dissolved oxygen sensor employs an optical luminescence method for calibration-free and drift-free measurements. Once the construction work is complete there will be four new lanes, each with three zones, so a total of 12 LDO probes will monitor dissolved oxygen.
In addition, two SOLITAX ts line dip probes will measure Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids (MLSS) content in the aeration lanes and the solids content of the Returned Activated Sludge. The RTC at Taunton will also control sludge retention time, which enhances plant efficiency. The suspended solids probes employ a patented dual scattered light method with a built-in wiper, to provide colour-independent measurement of solids without a requirement for calibration. Ammonium measurements will be undertaken at both the entrance and exit of the aeration lanes with two AMTAX sc instruments; high-precision analysers that continuously collect samples via an air-bubble cleaned filter probe. The ammonium analysers will be mounted directly over the filters to minimise the distance travelled by samples.
Real-Time Control The Hach Lange RTC is implemented on an industrial PC which communicates with an sc controller network and the local PLC. The RTC system determines the most efficient aeration level and continuously feeds DO set points to the PLC which controls the blowers. This means that under RTC, DO set points are no longer ‘fixed’, instead they ‘float’ according to the load. The RTC modules continuously deliver set points to the PLC, which applies them to the process. This ensures that response to changing conditions is immediate. The algorithms employed by the N-RTC (Nitrification Real Time Controller) are mainly based on the Activated Sludge Models of the International Water Association.
The N-RTC also constantly reads the NH4-N concentration at the outlet of the aeration lane. This value provides a feedback control loop and ensures that the DO concentration is fine tuned to achieve the desired ammonium set point at the end of the ASP. In this way, the N-RTC control module combines the advantages of feed forward and feedback control, which are (1) rapid response, (2) set point accuracy and (3) robust compliance.
Aeration to achieve the biological oxidation of ammoniacal compounds to nitrate is the most energy intensive process at activated sludge plants because blower power consumption can represent over 50% of total costs at some plants. However, in addition to the advantages of the process optimisation system, four new Sulzer high speed HST-20 turbo-compressors are being installed by Nomenca, following trials on similar units by Wessex Water. These machines employ a control system that manages both the number of blowers to run, and the speed of the blowers, which will further improve energy efficiency.
Summarising, Garry Orford says: “Wessex Water has an ambitious long-term objective of carbon neutrality, and these improvement works projects provide us with useful opportunities to make a significant contribution to that goal.”
The automation world was a bit stunned to read the following tweet from major automation pundit and personality Walt Boyes: “I will be leaving Putman and Control magazine to return to Spitzers & Boyes. My last day will be December 13.” He made the same announcement on his face book page! Later he amended it “Oops, now it seems I will be leaving Putman November 30, not December 13.”
Of course we don’t know the full story nor I suppose should we pry too much. Indeed one of the responses to the news on social media says “Realising there is untold backstory here, I hope this turns out as a super good thing for you!” Suffice it to say that nearly all print publications, especially, those in dedicated or dare I say, niche, markets are struggling to find a position in a world dominated by electronic communication. How they react is perhaps a measure of their understanding of their audience.
Control Magazine, like all automation periodicals has shrunk somewhat in size although, under Walt’s editorship through its internet presence, ControlGlobal it has managed to reach audiences far beyond the shores of North America. Another comment hearing the news, “It will be Control Global’s loss and Spitzer & Boyes gain! If I remember….they didn’t have an on-line magazine until you took over as editor. You and your connections brought them world-wide exposure.” Probably true but in fact an on-line presence would have happened whether Walt was there or not. It is valid however, to surmise that it would not be as effective as it is without his lively input!
Walt, needs little introduction in the area of automation. This writer has known him since the eighties at least and indeed maybe further back through his involvement as a leader in the International Society of Automation. His authoritative presence in the ISA Publications Department, including as Publications VP, was an inspiration to many. When he was appointed as Editor in Chief of Control Magazine his ethical side came to the fore and he disengaged immediately from involvement in any ISA activities which could have been seen as compromising to the society’s interest. This was not universally recognised and led to some estrangement from some members especially in the early days. However thankfully the Society has recognised his expertise and dedication when he was created a Fellow some years ago. He continues to support ISA in those areas where there is no clash of interests and indeed at the ISA Automation Week earlier this month was presented with another award by the Management Division recognising his “special contributions,” to that division.
He is a man who calls a spade a spade. Sometimes people might think him to be too forthcoming in his opinions but what no one can deny is his sense of devotion to what he sees and understands as the truth. One might say that in automation terms his motto might be “Fiat justitia ruat caelum!” His robust interventions in the wireless standard debates are a case in point. His well named “Sound-Off Blog” is a never to be missed yet at times very personal commentary on the automation sector. It is to be hoped that Putman sees fit to leave these postings on the control website rather than remove all trace of his prodigious input.
His venture with David Spitzer in Spitzer & Boyes, is another useful resource and David’s monthly e-zine is a welcome delivery in many automation mailboxes advice and explanations of the various technologies. This is a consultancy providing flow and level measurement engineering, market research, and related consulting services to instrumentation users, manufacturers, and representatives on a worldwide basis. We look forward to Walt’s & David’s strengthening of this input into our discipline. “You have an amazing ability to improve things wherever you may be. Best of luck with this, and all your endeavours.” says another on hearing the news!
We mentioned previously that we have known Walt for many years. A very human being who has had his share of sadness especially when his wife of many years died suddenly a few years ago. He has recently found happiness with a lady called Joy (in name and in nature!) and indeed we in Read-out cherish their visit to us in Ireland during his honeymoon in the Summer. All his many friends were delighted that in Joy he has again found a soul-mate.
Hopefully in this development automation professionals throughout the world will be able to continue to benefit from Walt’s unique expertise and opinions for many years into the future.
Reading this it looks like an obituary but of course it isn’t thank God. It is however an opportunity for this writer at least to express appreciation and perhaps gratitude for a contribution to the world of automation that is the life to date of Walt Boyes!
Good luck Walt, and every good wish for success in this new phase of your life.
Lipták, a patriotic Hungarian by birth, has done much to pass on his considerable knowledge to the next generation of automation professionals. He is a worthy recipient of the ISA’s Life Achievement Award for his history of dedication to the instrumentation, systems, and automation community as evidenced by his teachings, writings, and inventions. He has published over 200 technical articles and has written 34 technical books, including four editions of the multi-volume Instrument Engineer’s Handbook.
He has published a series of articles through the years on the role of automation and more specifically how its correct application might have have prevented some of the sometimes fatal and always catastrophic nuclear disasters that have occurred down the years. Events such as that at Three Mile Island (USA) in 1979 or in Chernobyl (Former USSR) in 1986.
Of course the most recent such incident is the Fukushima Power Station irrepairably damaged after the major earthquake and subsequent tsunami in North East Japan. All these studies have been published in Control Global, or its sister publication and normally we would just put a link on our news pages (and indeed may have in some cases at the time of publication). This time we are using this method because he has published several articles at different times continuing his thoughts on this major and still alarming disaster.
A large proportion of all ships plying the oceans are propelled by MAN Diesel & Turbo. With around 12,500 employees, the company is the leading supplier of two- and four-stroke engines for maritime use and for installation in power stations, for example.
In recent years, demand for electronically controlled B&W two-stroke diesels has risen sharply. Advanced control systems that manage fuel injection and compression contribute to better fuel economy and reduced emissions.
Special requirements at sea
With the progressive tightening of environmental requirements, ship owners are also increasingly interested in installing electronic control in existing vessels. As a bonus, modern control systems also facilitate operation and maintenance by the crew, including lubrication of the engines.
At sea, reliability takes the highest priority. Downtime costs big money. To prevent and avoid problems, the engine control system consists entirely of carefully selected, high-quality electronic components such as computers. Vital functions are also duplicated.
Since the summer of 2011, robust industrial computers from Beijer Electronics have been used in the onboard systems. In the first six months or so since deliveries started, around 150 computers from the EPC series have been commissioned, “Without a single complaint,” stresses Kennet Palm, Head of Hardware Development at MAN Diesel & Turbo, who is responsible for all the hardware used in the control electronics.
Industrial computers for tough jobs
These EPC boxes are specially designed and made for maximum reliability in the most demanding environments. Private PC buyers are mainly concerned with performance and low price. The occasional ‘blue screen’ may be irritating, but it is not a major problem. It is quite different at sea – particularly on a big tanker or freighter hundreds or even thousands of miles from port.
When MAN Diesel & Turbo chooses components for its electronic control systems, reliability combined with a long service life is crucial. “We build engines with a lifetime of 30 years, which have to work day in, day out in a tough maritime environment with all that this implies in terms of heat, humidity and vibration,” explains Palm, emphasising that factors like purchase cost and warranties are not irrelevant either.
A secure supply of products and spare parts, with ‘just in time’ delivery, is just as high on the list as quality, “to guarantee the supply of components, we made a decision at the group level to have two, or preferably three, alternative sources for every key product that we need.” Kennet Palm and his colleagues leave no stone unturned in their constant efforts to identify the best and most reliable products on the market. They search the world for computers, screens and other hardware for the control system.
Thomas Lehnemann, Kennet Palm and Niels Torres Engel at MAN Diesel & Turbo put reliability at the top of their list. “A ‘blue screen’ at sea simply isn’t an option”
Tests leave nothing to chance
The adoption of Beijer Electronics as one of very few PC suppliers to MAN Diesel & Turbo has been a lengthy process. The EPC boxes have been tested, methodically and very thoroughly, over a long period.
Niels Torres Engel and Thomas Lehnemann, who are responsible for research and reliability, leave nothing to chance. For their rigorous testing, they have a small ‘torture chamber’ at their disposal in the company’s Research and Development division. “Among the formal requirements, the products have to be type-approved by the leading maritime classification associations,” says Niels Torres Engel, explaining that, after the preliminary screening, the different computers are installed in test beds to confirm their compatibility, performance and quality.
Ready for a harsh environment
In the engine room of a ship, it can get really hot. That is why checks are made to ensure that the computers will still work in 70-degree Celsius temperatures. The EPC boxes from Beijer Electronics met this challenge – as well as the vibration and humidity tests. “By ‘stressing’ the products, we pick up any faults that might not show up at first.” Thomas Lehnemann stresses the importance of ensuring that manufacturers do not make any sudden design modifications. Even minor changes to components can affect the programs running in the computer. “We perform constant spot-checks to ensure that the equipment supplied is up to the mark, and we are in constant contact with our partners.”
The partnership with Beijer Electronics is described as personal, relaxed and good. As Kennet Palm says, if communication with the suppliers isn’t working, it doesn’t matter how good the products are: “We feel that our wishes are listened to and we get all the help we need” and Niels Torres Engel readily agrees. He freely admits that MAN Diesel & Turbo could be described as a ‘difficult’ customer: “Although we’re not buying vast quantities of industrial computers, we are extremely fussy about the quality of what we get. Not just that the collaboration works well; it also saves time because all EPC boxes are supplied pre-configured.”
The computers supplied are ready to use right out of the box. The operating system and the relevant drivers and programs are already installed by Beijer Electronics before delivery.
This close dialogue has brought improvements in the onboard systems, which also increases safety. If a control computer should fail – against all the odds – the crew on board can re-install the operating system and programs. This backup copy used to be held on a CD, but unfortunately the mechanisms in the CD drives could not always cope with the vibration they were exposed to. The EPC boxes introduced the idea of restoring from a USB stick, a much more robust solution. “It is a pleasure to work with suppliers who suggest ideas that provide value and inspiration,” they conclude.
The technology in brief
The Beijer Electronics EPC box is a robust, maintenance-free and well-protected industrial computer for tough environments. In purely technical terms, it is built around Intel processors with Windows XP Embedded. Fanless processors keep the temperature down and reduce wear. The industrial computer is IP20-rated according to DIN EN 60529. Plenty of connections make for great flexibility. Parallel and serial ports are standard, along with USB 2.0 sockets and 100 Mbps Ethernet. MAN Diesel & Turbo has chosen flash disk for data storage. The alternative is a traditional vibration-tolerant hard disk. Beijer Electronics’ EPC series is certified by the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), Bureau Veritas, DNV, Germanischer Lloyd, Lloyd’s Register and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
A mechanical giant
All development, both electronic and mechanical, of MAN Diesel & Turbo’s two-stroke engines is carried out in Denmark. Although some special parts are still made in Denmark, the engines are now built under license in countries like Korea and China by partner companies such as Hyundai Heavy Industries – physically close to the shipbuilding yards that buy the engines.
The electronic control systems manage enormous forces. The engines may output up to 115,000 horsepower and weigh up to 2,000 tons. The cylinders, between six and fourteen in number, have a stroke length of almost five meters. A mechanical efficiency of over 50 percent – the best cars achieve 25 percent – makes for high energy efficiency.
It is no accident that MAN Diesel & Turbo uses industrial computers from Beijer Electronics as human machine interface (HMI) for the company’s giant B&W engines. The choice was based on a very thorough evaluation and negotiation process, in which suppliers from all over the world were compared against each other. On board ships, reliability is absolutely crucial, so all components in the redundant control system have to be of the highest quality.
“Arriving at #SPS/IPC/DRIVES. Looking forward to a great show”
Busy entrance area! (IE Book)
This was one of the first tweets we saw on this, possibly the biggest automation exhibition in the world this year. The SPS/IPC/Drives show is held annually in the Northern Bavarian city of Nuremberg. This year the dates were the 27 to 29th of November, As last year we were unable to make it this time, however there were some excellent reports which we have used (and linked to) in compiling this brief impression.
As might be expected the automation industry presented its capabilities in full force at the exhibition. There was a record number of 1.429 exhibitors which attracted more visitors than in the past, as 56.321 trade visitors filled the 12 halls to gather information about the latest products and solutions in electric automation. Well may it be said that SPS IPC Drives 2011 set a clearly positive sign for the future despite the gale-force winds blowing in financial circles for the last three years.
The conference which took place in parallel to the exhibition also recorded an increase this year with an attendance of 349 delegates. For three days the conference provided a platform for intensive discussions between product developers, suppliers and users. The opportunities for users to exchange information and knowledge were at the heart of the newly introduced user sessions.
Like a lot of European events there was not a small number of tweets from various sources and in various languages, but those that did tweet helped form an impression of how things were. One of the most prolific of these was Leo Ploner of the IE Book who gave us a sort of running commentary on his day interspersed with twitpics of stands and products which impressed him. This comprehensive collection of pictures have been added to the IE Book Facebook Page and we recommend that you pay a visit and see who you know and what products impressed him. “#SPS/IPC/Drives very busy on the first day of the show. Big crowds at all the stand” he reported after day one.
Put on those cans!
Also present on the first day was Control’s Walt Boyes, who gave up his Thanksgiving to be in Europe for the show. This is an interesting account in that it gives an American take on how things are done in Europe, simultaneous translations and the non-English keyboards (Now he knows how Europeans might feel in the U.S!)
Gary Mintchel of Automation World also found himself in Nuremberg during this week. His blog, Feed Forward, provides us with “a roundup of various announcements that I gathered during my sprint around the halls and press conferences.” He managed to squeeze in a visit to the Siemens plant in Amberg on the day before the show opened!
The Control Engineering Europe team attended the show in force, collecting a great deal of feature ideas, as well as details about some of the most innovative launches at the show. They promise that further details of the most exciting product launches from the event will be presented in the February issue of the magazine.
ARC Advisory also discuss day one in an article by Florian Gueldnerwhich looks at the Automation Outlook for 2012. He bases this report on that of the ZVEI, as well as companies interviewed at the event. Their David Humphrey reports on The big trends in a further report on day two.
A busy corner at the show!
Of course exhibitors tweeted on their own stands and new products. Heading the posse was Siemens, who were on their home ground and virtually occupied one complete hall (There were twelve halls in all!). They mounted an impressive press conference on the first day. Their “big” announcement was the naming of their full motor range, now called “Simotics”. They also introduced some extensions to their TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) portal. Jochun Koch’s blog features some video presentations with English voice-over – Automation and IT (their Scalance range) – take a look and remember to click for the English translation if needed!
Phoenix Contact have a video tour of their stand – as it was being set-up – which they entitle “Solutions for the future – Phoenix Contact.” There are in fact a number of other videos from Phoenix Contact on theie YouTube site. Their final tweet from the show as they rolled up the tent was, “What innovation! More than 3,000 visitors @ Phoenix Contact.”
The Pilz Stand!
Also using video to press their message is Beckhoff who have produced reports for each day. This is Day One. They exhibited their complete range of PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology and a large number of new products in all technological areas (IPC, I/O, Automation and Motion). The focus was on their new generation of controllers from the CX2000 series, the new proprietary-developed AM8000 servomotors and the release of the TwinCAT 3 software.
Suzanne Gill of Control Engineering Europereports here on some of the latest innovations that were introduced, which evidenced consumer technology moving into the industrial space and multi product combinations continuing to gain momentum.
Another American braving the Bavarian winter was Eric Byres of Byres Technology, recently acquired by Belden (see our article Major acquisition strengthens war on Stuxnet and other malware Sept20’11). It is I suppose unusual that a supplier reports on an exhibition so his viewpoint is welcome. Obviously he has a certain slant on things viewing the exhibits from the security standpoint. He advises that SCADA Security Solutions were scarce at show. “What concerned me was the lack of booth space dedicated to security of any type. Of the 1,429 exhibitors, only 16 reported supplying ‘Industrial security’ technologies or services according to the show guide. This is a hopelessly small number.” He was proud to report however that their “Tofino Security technology accounted for nearly 25% of that total!” More alarmingly he reports that many vendors stated that security wasn’t a concern for them, while users were very concerned and indeed did not quite know what to do about it! Not a pretty picture! He concludes “If the automation world is going to adopt industrial Ethernet with such enthusiasm (which I support), it might want to consider securing it too!”
We referred to the excellent tweeting by Leo Ploner of the IE Book earlier and his very comprehensive report Industrial networking still looking good tells in great detail what he saw as he moved through the halls. We’ve referred to their pictures above and here is a video which he took of an exhibit at the Sercos Stand.
Re-inventing the electric guitar
Equipped with an MLP industrial control from Bosch Rexroth, the robot guitar can read and play MIDI files. Bus terminals from Phoenix Contact are used to actuate lifting solenoids. Six to pluck the strings and 24 to operate the finger board. The automation bus from Sercos ensures the optimum operation of all components.
One final tweet from KUHNKE Automation sums up one impression “SPS/IPC/DRIVES was a complete success for us! Thank you for coming and the great constructive high-level talks!”
Next year’s automation filled show is scheduled for Nov. 27. – 29 2012. Will you be there?
#SPS11: Hydrostatic actuation desifn concept from Moog – Reliable hybrid technology used in a new energy-saving solution for a variety of industrial applications Moog Industrial Group featured a prototype for a new Electro Hydrostatic Actuator (EHA). Combining hydraulic and electric technology in a self-contained system, Moog’s innovative EHA … Continue reading →
#SPS11: Minicarrier board! – congatec AG presented the conga-QMCB, a new mini carrier baseboard for space-critical applications based on the Qseven standard. The baseboard is ideal for fast prototype design and compact, mobile applications. Measuring just 145×95 mm, the easy-to-integrate mini carrier board is … Continue reading →
#SPS11: TE Connectivity solutions – TE Connectivity showcases its Hybrid Connectivity Solutions Both the Power4Net and the Motorman hybrid connectors integrate several functions into a single compactly designed connector. The flexible Power4Net hybrid connector has space for up to eight power and four Ethernet contacts … Continue reading →
#SPS11 Dynamic reporting in process or energy management – COPA-DATA is to present their zenon Analyzer to the public for the first time COPA-DATA will present its new product for dynamic reporting, the zenon Analyzer, for the first time at the SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2011 trade fair. The software is designed … Continue reading →
#SPS11 Green automation initiative
Industrial communication technology facilitates plant-wide energy management within automation systems. HMS Industrial Networks presented a number of solutions targeting energy management in automation systems. Recent research from the AIDA group of German automobile manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, VW) and … Continue reading →
Yokogawa Technology Day in Ireland’s southern capital!
The southern capital of Ireland was the venue for the Yokogawa Technology Day organised by the Irish and European branches of the company and their Irish representative Irish Power and Process. Cork is a beautifully situated city in the valley of the river Lee and this event was held in the Silver Springs conference centre overlooking the river as it meanders to one of the largest natural harbours in Europe if not the world.
This correspondent had not attended a Yokogawa event before and we expected that it would not be that much different from other events of this nature. We found that it was and it wasn’t! Obviously each company has its own culture and way of looking at things and this company is no different. We gained information at the sessions some of which we were expecting and other which was completely new to us. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is to go briefly through the programme.
Attendees at the Yokogawa Ireland Technology Day 20th January 2011
Introduction Dónal Bourke, the Ireland Sales manager for the company welcomed everyone and how the day was planned to run. By and large this programme was adhered to. There were about thirty attendees from a wide variety of industries and other establishments.
Session 1: Reducing fuel costs and emissions
Noel Heary of IPP makes adjustments during the TDL Demo
Paul Carrington, their Product Manager Analysis Products discussed reducing fuel costs & emissions in large combustion processes using their Tunable Diode Laser (TDL). Processes can significantly reduce fuel costs, maintenance costs and the emissions of large scale combustion processes by using measurement techniques that enable enhanced combustion control. In summary it provides precise, fast measurement of simple gaseous molucules. It is non-sampling and low maintenancein in temparatures up to 1500 °C. He completed this presentation with a demonstration of the unit.
Session 2: Managing remote production facilities
The next session had Eduard Van Loenen of the Global SCADA Centre speaking on how new technology developments allow for the demanning of remote production facilities. He focussed on centralised sharing and visualisation of key operational information. The Yokogawa offering is FAST/Tools SCADA, through which a fully Web-based, secure and real-time SCADA management system is now a reality. He described the “Visions – From Transaction to Interaction” breaking it down to two concepts.
Real-Time intervention, where a work team identifies an issue with a production operation and promptly assesses the situation from an operations support center which can be geographically located anywhere. The virtual team makes a decision and then implements it, all within a span of about ten minutes. The second is Remote Collaboration The situation is similar to the first vision but in this example team members engage via a PDA and through a web-based collaboration network established with an equipment manufacturer.
He concluded with a demonstration showing a simulated control system in the North Sea Oil & Gas fields.
Session 3: Manufacturing execution This was the area that was new to many of the attendees. We were unaware of the product offering of the company in the area of MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems). In this session Bill Bambeck, their MES Pre-Sales Consultant (right), showed how implementing value added solution packages to plant control systems can allow users to increase the visability of their process and improve their bottom line. He introduced us to a whole new (for us) range of products produced by Yokogaway Marex on the Isle of Wight (GB). He introduced us to a whole plethera of products under the Exaquantum brand name – plant information management systems. This includes batch, Sequential Event Recording (SER), Movement Monitoring etc. He included an exposé of the RPO (Realtime Production Organiser) the suite of MES packages within the ISA 95 model. Many of the particpants were surprised at the comprehensiveness of the range.
Session 4: Integrated control & safety systems Speaking on Production Excellence with Integrated Control & Safety System (ICSS) – Centum VP & Prosafe RS, Ged Kelly – Manager Oil & Gas UK and Ireland showcased the latest HMI and Alarm Management updates in the Centum VP DCS platform. The presentation will also illustrate the features and benefits of an integrated DCS and SIS system. He started with a fascinating review of the innovation history of the company from the 1970 introduction of their YODIC600 Direct digital control system to the introduction ProSafe-RS, “a World first DCS-SIS Integrated Safety System,” and on to Centum VP and most recently Field wireless devices for both monitoring and control applications. His presentation presented a full condensation of their offering.
Session 5 : DP flow
We loved the title of this session: DP Flow ‘Alive and Kicking for gas and steam flow measurement.’ In this presentation Simon Hatch, Flow & Transmitters Product Manager, introduced DPharp sensor technology (DP high accuracy resonance pressure) and a success story with the National Transmission System in Britain as well as recent developments in diagnostics and digital signals. Like the previous session he started with a historical perspective from analogue DP transmitters up to the Digital transmitters of the nineties and noughties. He explained the philosophy and advantages of the silicon resonant sensor used in the transmitters.
Safety as standard!
The NTS is the system of delivery, or national grid, for natural gas in Britain. Independent evaluation of DP transmitters was completed in 1995 where the EJA transmitter outperformed all other transmitters. Standards developed and improved especially in the area of safety through the years culminating in orders for the current EJX transmitters and stocking of same. This transmitter meets safety standards as standard.
Session 6: ISA 100 Industrial Wireless
For many this was the most interesting part of the evening. Simon Hatch again was the presenter and he gave talk on the ISA 100 standard and how it can be used. He gave a useful explanation of the different terms like router or gateway as well as describing how the system worked. He also showed the unique battery pack used with their wireless transmitters.
Later that evening he gave a talk to a well attended Technical Meeting of the Ireland ISA Section where he went into considearbly more detail including an exposé on STAR and MESH topologies, how and where to use them and how effective they are. He also discussed the ISA 100 Wireless Complience Institute (formed in 2009).
The ISA 100 committee was set up in 2005 to establish standards and related information to define procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment. He was at pains to point out that it is an end-user driven standard. Although he did refer to the two IEC standards, WirelessHART and a Chinese system he was unwilling to discuss the controversies attached to the approval of these standards and ISA 100.
Both these talks culminated in an impressive demonstration of the wireless transmission from temperature and pressure transmitters.
ISA 100 demonstration at ISA Ireland Technical Meeting
Our journey to Berlin was somewhat disrupted by the vicissitudes of the Irish weather.
Coming out in obvious sympathy to the woes of what will hopefully bring an end to Ireland’s banking debacle, the weather decided to inflict the coldest cold spell for November on record with the resultant delays in flights.
But enough of our travel travails!
Why were we going to Berlin? And what happened when we eventually arrived?
Emerson Process Management organise a press event most years to discuss with members of the Europen press from the steppes of Russia to the rocky west coast of Ireland and the deep fjords of Norway to the level plains of Spain. Last year from the Netherlands we were introduced to their concept and activities under the heading Conquering Complexity. This time with the German capital Berlin as venue, this theme was utilised again, Conquering Complexity 2010. In effect what it presented was an insight into the way Emerson Process Management is engaging this complexity challenge and how the conquest is progressing.
During this event we tweeted comments and pictures from the #EMReu in Berlin for the benefit of those unable to attend. The reason we were able to tweet so effectively was because the facilities in the venue were easy to use and available free of charge. We just had to turn on our MAC and away we went…pictures, comments etc. as the event progressed. Kudos to organisers, HHC Lewis and to progressive hotel – the unique Radisson Blu, Berlin.
Thanks also to those who retweeted and acknowledged what we were doing?
Welcome and Introduction Update Emerson Europe
The Complexity Challenge
We were welcomed by Bob Sharp, last year’s “new boy” as Emerson’s President in Europe and now well into position. He presented us with a run down of the company and how it is endevouring to be local while harnessing the benefits of global experience. The Emerson presence in Europe was emphasised and indeed was further strengthened by the international character of the presenters and presentations.
He discussed the problems confronting industry the imminent retirement of those with much process experience and the growth in complexity of systems being managed by less experienced and indeed fewer operatives. Last year we saw some of the products being developed with a more human face. The philosophy could be stated:“To drive a car you don’t necessarily need to know what goes on under the bonnet!” Having pioneered the concept in automation they have been investing in this philosophical approach over the last six or seven years and today “human centred design is embedded in our culture.”
One point he emphasised (or maybe we thought he emphasised it!) was that there is only one international industrial wireless standard – the IEC standard which is WirelessHART. We were to hear it again!
The Project Challenge 1 Proving the economics
First presentations examined the project challenge with practical examples proving the economics and technology of using their Delta V I/O on demand. Here Vince Grindley, of Fluor Supply Chain Solutions, who made a study of the impact of electronic marshalling on the project execution process. The point was that “like the golf swing, projects are all about complexity.” Indeed one could say that complexity as a subject was invented for projects! This particular evaluation was undertaken to capture documentation and present the benefits offered by Delta V electronic marshalling and the impact on the project execution by comparison with a traditional DeltaV v10 engineering approach.
The Project Challange 2 Proving the Technology Frank Jouault is manager of the System Department at the Tavaux (F) plant of Solvay. His presentation was in French, with Emerson’s Wireless Sales Director, Ann Robin, as an able translator who refreshingly knew about the subject and so gave an intelligent and meaningful transmission to the presentation for those whose French was not up to standard. He talked about the company’s experience with CHARMS (CHARacterization ModuleS). His conclusions: They confirmed that the CHARMS to be compatible with all the field devices typically used by Solvay in Tavaux which included many devices from non-Emerson suppliers. He reckoned the “should make some profits” and more convincingly he anticipates they will use CHARM I/O on future projects, And, more tantalisingly maybe use wireless and CHARM I/O in the junction box in the field.
The Operations Challenge Taking control with wireless
The operations and maintenance side of a plant was the next area under scrutiny. Bob Karischnia, VP of Wireless at Rosemount, discussed the introduction of smart wireless for control applications. We have been familiar with the use of wireless for gathering information but control examples had been somewhat lacking. Wireless has now become the mainstream for monitoring applications in a plethora of installations. Here again the point was emphasised that there is only one internationally recognised standard and that is IEC 62591 (WirelessHART) . They believe that the progression in wireless control will broadly follow the same growth curve as its use in the gathering information. These applications started with the more difficult such as rotating applications and remote sites before advancing into more conventional applications where wireless replaces wired systems. We were told that there were over 1400 sites using this standard technology to gain new insights into processes and assets, with over 200 million hours of operation. He cited the North Star BlueScope Steel as a control application and there are others coming on-line. Emerson offers 14 Smart Wireless products today, with seven more available in 2011
During the coffee break there was the opportunity to see the advances being made in the business of human centred design, especially in the area of plant management ably presented by David Holmes (@texasdave if you use twitter) and Kim Polk (Marketing Comms Manager) both from the great US State of Texas. Through this we were able to assess just how far they have embedded this in the Emerson culture. “We work to understand our customers jobs and their interactions with others in the facility!”
Operative Hesketh prior to his promotion
The Plant Management Challenge Introducing AMS Suite Asset Performance Management
The next session consolidated this with a presentation from Stuart Harris, Emerson’s Vice President and General Manager Asset Optimisation. He was ably abetted by the irrepressible Travis Hesketh, VP Wireless & PlantWeb Europe, who started the session as a plant operative and finished as plant manager, possibly one of the fastest promotions in automation history.
This included a video presentation where a manager and his team have a morning meeting, looking at the plant but unable to really assess things as a co-ordinated whole. This presentation was to expose the conventional reactive decision making process (they called it Darkness)and how that is transformed using their AMS suite to what the call the Predictive which replaces Darkness with Insight. Then, with the help of their partnership with Meridium, on to the Proactive (Clarity Focus).Meridium on to the Proactive (Clarity Focus). Thus from the virtual unknowingness of the “Darkness” the process plant now manager gains first insight which increases reliability and allows the building of a maintenance programme and then through to the proactive which enable sensible and realistic business strategies to be developed. This new enhancement, which they call Asset Performance Management, thus enables management to integrate predictive intelligence with asset reliability information; view real-time analyses and reports of asset health and availability; and create management strategies for reaching new levels of performance.
Finally there was a question and answer session where the assembled journalists were able to put questions to the speakers and receive answers.
The event concluded with a question and answer session
All in all it was a useful meeting and showed the importance of companies not only in explaining what they are doing, their plans for the future but also in showing their philosophy in deciding these plans and concrete examples of where this philosopht or approach is helping the end user.
The event ended with the various press people dispersing to their various home bases with decidedly mixed success depending on the effect of the unusual weather especially in the western islands of Britain and Ireland. Some even had the pleasure of extra overnight stays at the expense of the air line because of airport closures.