EUROMET compares standards in moisture measurement at leading institutes!


When four of the world’s leading national metrology labs took the bold step of comparing their primary moisture standards, the tool of choice  –  a Tiger Optics LaserTrace – performed admirably. Measurements deviated less than 2 percent over the course of the three-year, multinational inter-comparison, thereby permitting the facilities to establish a much-needed baseline for future work. The groundbreaking study – undertaken by the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET)  – relied solely upon the company’s LaserTrace, along with a back-up compact HALO instrument, also from Tiger Optics.

The performance of the Tiger Optics instruments permitted scientists to compare standard generation facilities by shipping the analytical instruments — in lieu of cumbersome standards — to the participants in the United Kingdom (National Physical Laboratory), the United States (National Institute of Standards and Technology), Japan (National Metrology Institute of Japan), and Germany (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt).

The measurement of trace amounts of moisture contamination is of utmost importance to a number of manufacturers and suppliers of purge and process gases. The semiconductor industry, for example, regards moisture as one of the most difficult impurities to measure and to control. As manufacturers develop moisture analyzers to detect ever-smaller amounts of contaminants, there is an equally pressing need for traceable calibration. Hence, EURAMET’s desire to compare facilities and quantify the variability among the standards and their accuracy at fraction amounts.

Until this study, an inter-comparison of such facilities was untenable, due to the characteristics of trace water-vapor standards. Such standards are produced via a dynamic method, e.g. gravimetrically, or a frost-point generation, involving large, weighty, and complex pieces of equipment that are not readily brought together for comparison purposes. To resolve that problem, EURAMET elected to transport instruments, rather than standards.

The study was designed to compare the performance of each of the national metrology institute’s facilities over the range of 10 ppb to 2000 ppb. For the first time, participating laboratories were able to quantify the comparability of their trace water-vapor standard generation facilities, which proved to be excellent across the full range of measured amount fractions, as Figure 1 illustrates.

“While we learned that such studies take considerably longer than anticipated, the chance to support the noble aim of achieving a comparable moisture standard worldwide was well worth it,” said Lisa Bergson, Tiger Optics’ founder and chief executive, adding, “Beyond that, we are proud of our analyzers’ precision and robust performance. It’s great to be in a position to offer them to our friends in the institute community.”

Full details of the inter-comparison can be found in EURAMET 1002: International comparability in measurements of trace water vapour, P J Brewer, M J T Milton, P M Harris, S A Bell, M Stevens, G Scace, H Abe and P Mackrodt, published in June 2011. On line from the NPL website.

Sensors sensing growth?


We have talked about Promising signs in process automation market recently, which had an American flavour,  and we also shared an article which had a British viewpoint on recovery, Manufacturing recovery firmly on track!
Here Tony Ingham of Sensor Technology answers the question Could the sensors sector be a microcosm of the whole national economy? He certainly thinks so. Here he looks at what it will take to run a small technology company in the second decade of the millennium and suggests parallels with the wider world. Yes he is talking about the British experience but surely there are also lessons to be learned in other economies large and small.

Sensing Growth Opportunities
By Tony Ingham

Tony Ingham

You might think it perverse to say something positive about the recent recession, but it had a characteristic that I have rarely seen before – in bad times or good. It helped a lot of people realise what really makes economies tick.

In previous recessions, most peoples’ reaction was to work harder on winning sales, i.e. keep doing what they had been doing and hope for an upturn. This time though, people saw the weaknesses of the whole financial sector and began to analyse how and why economies work.

There has been a realisation that there is a massive difference between fast paper profits and fundamental wealth creation. The engine room of the economy is not the City of London, it is the primary industries, such as manufacturing and agriculture. These create thousands of jobs up and down the country, rather than concentrating so much wealth into the hands of a few lucky individuals that they become divorced from economic reality.

In fact, manufacturing, engineering, science and technology have all fared relatively well over the last couple of years – most of the pain was felt in other sectors. So it is not that surprising that manufacturing is currently our strongest sector.

But the important point is that it must remain so. Manufacturing can be wonderfully profitable if managed correctly over the whole term of its products’ lifecycles. It creates masses of jobs at all levels. It creates yet more jobs in the supporting sectors such as research, development, engineering and design. Its products are easily exportable, so will suck overseas revenues into our coffers. It is also very stable; the need for capital production equipment, highly skilled staff and a sophisticated supporting infrastructure makes it relatively difficult to relocate once it is established.

At the moment, the government is full of praise for manufacturing, but this simply is not enough. This and future governments must support manufacturing and the other technical industries. It needs to develop policies that encourage and promote manufacturing, help exporters, support enterprise and finance R&D; that generate enough trained scientists, engineers, technicians and designers, that improve the social status of those that serve their country via the technology industries. It’s a big ask, but the Chinese and Indians are doing it; the Japanese and Germans did it 50 years ago and the Americans did it 50 years before them.

So where does the sensor sector fit into all this? Well sensors are now widely used across so many areas that they are a bell-weather for the whole economy.

Overall, the sensor sector weathered the downturn well. Early in the recession many car makers and other major industries shut down production for 3 months to reduce stock. But they also took the opportunity to invest in new manufacturing systems, including sensors. Furthermore, sensors are wonderfully exportable, so manufacturers often remained busy servicing clients abroad.  And while the recession was bad, the sectors that suffered the most – finance, banking etc – were not major direct purchasers of sensors.

The UK sensors sector is currently underdeveloped, so offers many opportunities for building strong manufacturing companies that could easily become world leaders and major exporters.

The sector got going on a worldwide basis in the late-1970s or early 1980s, when traditional craft-based instrument making was giving way to sophisticated manufacture of high tech sensors. Unfortunately, at this time manufacturing was definitely not in favour in the UK. Instead, the government of the day was happily clearing away what it saw as union-infested, decrepit,  smokestack industries, so that new sunrise industries could take root (in a free market, without government support). So while the UK got call centres and pension advisors, sensor manufacturing flourished in countries where capital enterprise was supported, where labour forces did not have a black name, where a growing manufacturing sector provided a domestic market.

I must at this point say that there were exceptions, notably our own company Sensor Technology which researches, designs, develops, and manufactures sensors in the centre of England. It is a self-evident truth that what we have achieved could be replicated by other sensor manufacturers, especially if general UK manufacturing grows.

There is a virtuous circle to be developed. The more sensors that are used, the greater the manufacturing volumes; this lowers unit prices and also allows investment in automated production and improved quality systems, which encourages yet more usage.

The driving forces for the development of sensor technology include miniaturisation, robust solid state controllers replacing delicate mechanisms, wireless solutions, increasing intelligence, improved connectivity and ‘open’ communications. New drivers will also emerge, and new markets will open up.

Since Sensor Technology first set out its stall, cars have gone from having a handful of sensors to literally thousands, factories have become automated, soaking up sensors, entirely new markets have opened up such as home electronics, mobile devices, medical equipment, CCTV and surveillance, etc. Future growth will be even greater, and it is there for the taking – hopefully by a strong UK sensor manufacturing industry!

Promising signs in process automation market


Promising signs point toward a continuing recovery for process automation market during this year and beyond

Automation expenditures for process industriesPromising signs continue to point toward a sustained process automation market recovery to continue through 2011. During 2010, the automation market was at the point where suppliers serving the installed base with MRO activities fared better than those relying heavily on project business. Suppliers ate through a huge chunk of their project backlog and finished product inventory while new projects were postponed or canceled during the recession. Also, shipments for many new project orders received during 2010 were delayed until 2011.

ARC expects the tepid growth seen during 2010 to accelerate in 2011, but remains skeptical about the process automation market reaching pre-recession growth levels. Historically, the process automation market has been characterized by slow yet steady growth, and we expect the market will return to this pattern with an overall CAGR of roughly 6 percent over the five-year period of 2009-2014. “Suppliers with quick access to raw materials and components and an efficient supply chain to enable quick ramp-up of production and inventory will be in the best position to partici-pate in the increase in demand,” according to Senior Analyst David Clayton, the principle author of ARC’s Automation Expenditures for Process Industries Worldwide Outlook .

Global Manufacturing PMIs Show Expansion
Purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) provide a good barometer of overall health in the manufacturing and automation markets. PMIs typically in-clude data, such as production level, new orders, supplier deliveries, inventories, and employment level. A PMI reading below 50 indicates a general contraction in the manufacturing economy being measured while any reading over 50 indicates expansion. The J.P. Morgan global manufacturing PMI edged up to 57.8 from 57.1 in January, marking the second-fastest reading ever in the global gauge, which is based on other surveys covering over 7,500 purchasing managers in nearly 30 countries. Output and new order components accelerated, and the input price gauge rose to 76.7 from 73.3 in January. The US ISM represents 28.6 percent of the gauge, followed by Japan at 12.3 percent, China at 7.4 percent, Germany at 5 per-cent and the UK at 4.2 percent.

Plan for Increasing Demand
Most automation suppliers followed a conservative strategy of cutting cost and inventories to match declining demand during the lengthy economic slowdown. Suppliers accustomed to taking risks should put themselves in a position to take advantage of growth opportunities that are taking root in developing countries. Sluggish demand has hurt the bottom lines of sub-suppliers, making them more open to negotiate on both prices and terms.

As the economy recovers, automation suppliers must make plans to make the necessary changes and emerge as stronger organizations that are able to meet renewed demand. However, this confidence will only come if there is a clear understanding in their organizations about the long-term trends that drive demand for automation and develop strategies to satisfy those demands.

Some of these long-term trends include:
• Emerging markets will need to expand their power grids for years to come
• Mature economies in North America and Europe will have to renew their aging infrastructures
• Energy efficiency initiatives will be implemented across all areas of industrial organizations
• Industry must efficiently comply with regulatory agencies without losing productivity
• Most countries must tackle climate change before the emissions from the growing use of fossil fuels stifles progress, an issue that is plaguing China
• The intense competition of global markets will continue to drive industry to become more efficient
• Many of the easy gains have already been realised by industry, so now they will look for new ways to raise productivity
• Organizations will require even more information to make optimised business decisions
• Sustainability will be part of all discussions and implementations
• EH&S requirements will drive new automation investments beyond productivity improvements
• Discovery and production of new energy sources, such as shale gas, geothermal, and clean coal

While one can list many more long-term trends, the message is that new strategies must be formed based on these emerging trends, which will im-pact automation suppliers in a variety of ways, from new product development programs, to establishing added service capabilities, to making regional investments. Satisfying these long-term trends will require producing automation that provides manufacturers with improved productivity, energy efficiencies, optimised processes, real-time data and asset management programs, along with personnel that have a profound under-standing of these industrial processes.

Suppliers should limit their exposure and begin identifying preferred sub-suppliers and define a product mix that will be most in demand. Suppliers should plan appropriate inventory based on production and sourcing lead times and demand forecast. The most important step is to carefully analyse end user purchasing history and projected demand. When combined with supply chain and logistics efficiency, it could mean the difference between success and failure. Miscalculations in these areas will hurt profitability; getting it right will allow suppliers to leapfrog the competition.

• See also Manufacturing recovery firmly on track says CBI for a British point-of-view in DPA on the Net!

Assessing nuclear threat in Japan

The probability of a full nuclear meltdown is low – Energy shortage is a bigger cause of concern


Update 15/3/2011: Since we put this item up on 14th March three of the reactors at the Fukushima complex have been hit by explosions and damage has spread to the fourth reactor too. Japanese Prime Minister Kan has addressed the nation: “The level [of radiation] seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out.”Later there was an unprecidented television address by Akahito, the Emperor of Japan.17/3/2011: The crisis continues both at the complex and the indescribable hardship being borne by the people of Hokkaido and Honshu. We have added further assesments from Frost & Sullivan at the bottom of this blog.

The Irish Red Cross are facilitating contributions to assist survivors of this disaster!

We will continue adding to this blog as we learn of further developments!

Frost & Sullivan’s nuclear expert Enguerran Ripert has commented on the energy crisis in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

“The hydrogen blasts at Japan’s Daiichi 1 and 3 reactors located in the Fukushima province gave clear signals the reactors were in trouble. The explosion created by the exposure of fuel rods to the air, which increased the temperature of the core and set fire to hydrogen, split the outmost structure of the Daiichi 1 and Daiichi 3 reactor, but did not damage the pressure vessel.

Random Blogs

Taking Nukes Off Line Will Take 30 Years (ISSsource 31/3/2011)

Nuclear progress in Japan as death toll rises (HazardEX 21/3/2011)

Stress Test for the Global Supply Chain (Steve Lohr NYT 19/3/2011)

Scientist who studied nuclear worst-case scenarios talks about Fukushima worst-case scenario (Maggie Koerth Boing Boing 17/3/2011)

Japan’s Quake May Hurt Battery, Chip-Wafer, LCD-Panel Markets (Mariko Yasu Bloomberg 16/3/20112)

“Lessons from Japan: What the earthquake and tsunami should teach us” (Walt Boyes Control 14/3/11)

Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl (William Tucker WSJ 14/3/11)

Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Japan’s Manufacturing Sectors (Shinichiro Kai, ARC Japan 14/3/11)

Fukushima: More questions than answers (Buenes Aires Herald 14/3/11)

Japan quake fuels nuclear debate in Australia (M&C News 14/3/11)

You Can Stop Worrying About A Radiation Disaster In Japan — Here’s Why (Business Insider 13/3/11)

Impact to TEPCO’s Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (Power Company’s press release 13/3/11)

Nuclear Experts Explain Worst-Case Scenario at Fukushima Power Plant (Steve Mirsky, Sciebtific American 12/3/11)

Inside the “black box” of power plants (Maggie Koerth-Baker 12/3/11)

The Fake Japanese Nuke Scare (Seán Linnaner 12/3/11)

Japanese nuclear reactors and the 11 March 2011 earthquake (Barry Brook 12/3/11)

Nuclear plant issues in Japan are the least of their worries (Rod Adams 12.3.11)

Information on the Japanese Earthquake and Reactors in That Region (NEI News Service)

Japan’s Quake and Nuclear Emergency Coverage (IEEE Cover developments)

e14 have a Japan Emergency website to “aid information flow for the Electronics Industry!”

The water level, which normally covers the fuel rods completely, was too low due to a system failure in the class 1 pumps caused directly by the earthquake tremors. The tsunami, then flooded the backup circuit and generators normally used to stabilise the flow of water, and keep the cooling operational. The sea water now used to increase the water level in the reactors will lead to heavy corrosion within the reactor, and put it out of use indefinitely. These reactors, built in the 70s, were due for retirement but could have gone on for another 5 years.

Despite the spectacular blast, the level of radiation is 10 to 15 times below legal limit, and the damage to internals is extremely limited. Rather than an imminent meltdown, it is the cost of repairs, and the indirect cost of a dramatic loss of power supply which Japan and the rest of the world will suffer the consequences of.

Currently, major companies such as Toyota, Sony, Matsuchita and Nissan amongst many others, have had to halt their production for a lack of available electricity. Japan already has very little room to manoeuvre as real interest rates are very close to zero, and its exposure to re-insurance risk is very high, which will likely drag the global economy down with cost repercussions extended to the next 2 to 3 years”.

17/3/2011: Further assesment from Frost & Sullivan on the continuing threat:
Their nuclear market experts Jonathan Robinson and Enguerran Ripert comment on the energy crisis in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

It is still too early to say exactly how damaging the Fukushima incident will be for the nuclear power industry, but we can speculate on the potential impact on Europe. Prior to the explosion, a number of European countries had been bringing forward plans to develop new nuclear projects – what could happen now?

In the short-term, the impact is already clear. Safety checks for plants will be tightened up and life extension decisions are likely to be delayed; the talk from politicians will be of making sure existing plants are safe as opposed to discussing new units. But the longer-term impact will likely depend on how this current situation plays out. Frost & Sullivan has outlined three scenarios below.

Scenario 1: The situation is contained in the next 48 hours, the media firestorm subsides and the consensus is that the radiation impact is negligible.

This is the best case scenario and gives the greatest potential for nuclear. Even under this scenario, there is a significant chance that Angela Merkel decides not to risk the wrath of the German voters in state elections through the course of the year and reverses the life extensions granted in 2009. The Italian referendum on allowing new nuclear (scheduled for June) would likely be defeated, unless it is delayed. Even a delay may not be enough; the opposition left parties that are currently tipped as most likely to form the next government are broadly opposed to nuclear and could abandon a future referendum or effectively block plans for new plants. France would reaffirm its commitment to nuclear power, Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic would push ahead with new units, following increased safety assessments. The delays caused would be minimal, given that many projects are currently on hold due to financing constraints and
also lack of electricity demand caused by the economic downturn. Areva’s and other competitors’ PWR designs would gain an initial edge on BWRs.

Scenario 2: The situation is not controlled within the next 48 hours and critical radiation leaks are still a risk to the immediate surroundings. There is still no substantial evidence that the radiation will damage public health

The German closure program is re-instated and Italy is almost certain to be a no for nuclear. UK public opinion starts to swing against nuclear and the government brings forward the closure dates for older reactors. Concerted opposition in the UK deters utilities from bringing new projects forward, leading to further substantial delays. The private sector’s concern over the viability of nuclear power increases substantially, making it almost impossible for state utilities that lack capital funding to find it at a price that makes projects commercially viable. Technically, reactor designs will need to carry autonomous power systems protected from external damage such as terrorist attacks and tornados and be able to run for an extended period of time without grid supply or refuelling.

Scenario 3: The situation deteriorates to a full meltdown, drawing in technical emergency support from other nuclear countries. The risk to public health increases, with significant risk of contamination within a weather-influenced radius.

Nuclear projects indefinitely delayed across Europe, with even France reluctant to consider constructing any new plants. There is high political pressure on countries to close BWR reactors that are of the same age. Technically, BWRs become the focus of intense scrutiny compared with PWRs which use more internal safety loops amongst other features. Fusion projects ITer and HiPER would gain further momentum in the longer run, but would face further safety scrutiny which will further delay schedules. Research radiation absorbing materials, intelligent nanotech for specific use in a nuclear plant environment will be of increased interest, but nuclear power would still play a part of the overall global energy mix.

Of course all these scenarios do not consider such factors as the future price of carbon, climate change pressures or the potential discovery of new gas deposits, all of which could benefit or derail nuclear. One thing is certain though – the future of nuclear in Europe is once again in significant doubt.

User conference to tour world


Focus on achieving Operational Excellence using an open enterprise control system

Invensys Operations Management will host a series of international events focused on enabling Operational Excellence with innovative technologies and strategies.

OpsManage’10 kicks off in North America at the Peabody Orlando hotel in Orlando, Fla., October 18 to 22. Additional OpsManage’10 conferences will be held November 8 to 10 in Sydney, Australia; November 17 in Tokyo, Japan; November 24 in  Seoul, Korea; December 2 in Taipei, Taiwan; November 16 and 17 in Paris, France; and December 1 and 2 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The event series will be a multi-discipline educational experience that will give attendees an in-depth look at how the company’s InFusion Enterprise Control System (ECS) enables new opportunities for Invensys clients and partners to deliver Operational Excellence across four key areas: Control, Asset, Productivity and Environment & Safety. The latest open technologies and collaborative business models will be explored, along with the role of Invensys’ industry-leading Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, SimSci-Esscor, Skelta, Triconex and Wonderware brands, all components of the InFusion ECS, the world’s first enterprise control system.

“Last year’s OpsManage event series garnered a 98 percent approval rating from attendees, and we have put together an even more comprehensive and valuable program this year,” said Mark Davidson, vice president, global promotional marketing and communications, Invensys Operations Management. “We are offering 12 different vertical industry strategy and solutions tracks, along with product brand and user-group tracks, hands-on experiences and training that cover virtually all aspects of enterprise control, from industry and business strategy to instrumentation to connecting with ERP systems. We anticipate that more than 3,000 clients and partners from around the world will be collaborating at the OpsManage’10 event series. While there, they will be able to explore how to overcome traditional barriers to achieving real-time visibility, enterprise-wide profitability and Operational Excellence.”

This year, the OpsManage’10 Expo area will host a wide variety of Invensys ecosystem partners who will present methodologies and solutions expertise for achieving Control, Asset, Productivity and Environment & Safety Excellence. Industry-specific presentations will showcase manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, products and software experiences, and attendees will be able to participate in hands-on demonstrations of Invensys Operations Management and partner solutions. Additional detailed product and application training opportunities are also offered as part of the conference agenda. As global sponsors, Microsoft and Cognizant will be on hand to discuss the results of co-innovation between Invensys, other Invensys partners and Invensys customers using their latest technology and services capabilities.

“The success of our co-innovation with Invensys demonstrates the power of Microsoft’s partner-led approach in addressing the mission-critical needs of our customers,” said Chris Colyer, senior director, Worldwide Alliances, Microsoft. “Microsoft and its partners deliver the strongest heterogeneous platform to provide end-to-end solutions for collaboration, analytics and integration.”

The events will include educational sessions covering asset management and effectiveness, mobile solutions, safety practices, manufacturing intelligence, process automation and energy management. Forums focused on specific vertical industries, including food and beverage; mining, metals, and minerals; facilities management; power; water/wastewater; upstream oil and gas; hydrocarbon processing; pharmaceuticals; and chemicals, will also be featured.

Keynote speakers in Orlando will include Chris Trimble, business innovation expert and author of Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators from Idea to Execution, and Sudipta Bhattacharya, chief executive officer and president of Invensys Operations Management.



Amicable split completed

GE Intelligent Platforms to continue focus on software and services, control systems and embedded computing; FANUC to promote industry-leading CNC portfolio globally

GE and FANUC LTD have announced that the two companies have completed their agreement to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation Joint Venture. This agreement reverts the respective portions of the joint venture back to the parent company and allows each company to focus on its existing businesses and pursue growth in its respective core industry of expertise. The two companies signed the final agreement on Friday 11th December 2009, in Chicago (US), and will now operate independently as GE Intelligent Platforms and FANUC LTD.

See our August story Partnership to dissolve!

FANUC LTD, headquartered on the foot of Mt. Fuji, Japan, is the most diversified manufacturer of FA (Factory Automation), robots and Robomachines in the world. Since its inception in 1956, FANUC has contributed to the automation of machine tools as a pioneer in the development of computer numerical control equipments. FANUC technology has contributed to a worldwide manufacturing revolution, which evolved from the automation of a single piece of machine to the automation of entire production lines. FANUC develops better and more reliable products into the twenty-first century.

About GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of software, hardware, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile and reliable technology providing customers a sustainable advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Intelligent Platforms is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA and is part of GE Enterprise Solutions.

“Today begins the next phase in GE Intelligent Platforms’ focus to provide our customers with a sustainable advantage through industry-leading technology and the passion and expertise of our people,” said Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of GE Intelligent Platforms. “We will continue to invest in our product and solution platforms that allow our customers to compete and succeed in a challenging economy. In addition, we intend to utilize our world-class enterprise software as a platform for faster growth for the entire GE portfolio. ”

GE Intelligent Platforms continues to be a leading high-performance technology company that serves a vast array of industries around the world including government & defense, telecommunications, energy, water, transportation, and consumer packaged goods. The company delivers software and services, control systems, and embedded systems globally.

FANUC Honorary Chairman Dr. Seiuemon Inaba said, “Our joint venture has achieved great success in the computer numerical control (CNC) business. We have achieved many things together, but FANUC is now looking forward to focusing our efforts on our industry-leading CNC portfolio and the opportunities unique to our industry that will deliver great benefits to our customers.”

The two companies will continue to work together in a commercial relationship related to GE’s motion control and motor products with no interruption in supply of these components. In addition, GE intends to support its CNC customers in the Americas through its CNC services business.

Sylvester added, “We are truly grateful to Dr. Inaba and his team at FANUC for their partnership with GE over these past 20 years, and we wish them continued success in the future. We are confident that this change will allow both companies to serve our customers better as we continue to innovate and solve some of our customers’ toughest problems.”

GE Fanuc split


Partnership to dissolve

We received a news release a short time ago that GE Fanuc as a co-operative venture is to dissolve. The dissolution will probably be completed by the end of the year.

GE Fanuc Logo soon to be a memory!

GE Fanuc Logo soon to be a memory!

The release was dated 18 Lúnasa 2009 02:09:10 ASÉ (18th Aug 02.09 Irish time) and I read it at around 7.00am It is a sign of the times that when I googled “GE Fanuc to dissolve” I got back “about 2,850 for GE Fanuc to dissolve” coming up on the screen.

This surprising announcement will probably have little impact on the automation market. The GE side of the business – now to be called GE Intelligent Platforms – will continue to market PLCs, while Fanuc will hold the CNC segment of the businesss.

    The release says :
    GE retains the software, services, embedded systems and control systems businesses globally. The company will be known as GE Intelligent Platforms, and will be led by current GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms CEO Maryrose Sylvester.
    FANUC retains the global CNC business.

GE Fanuc Automation Corporation was established in 1986 as a joint venture by GE Corporation of the United States and Fanuc of Japan. There’s has been a very successful partnership.

The Chairman of Fanuc confirms “Over this time period, markets and opportunities also have changed dramatically, and both companies further expanded into adjacent segments. Today’s market conditions are such that it’s imperative we pursue these expanded opportunities, and while we have achieved great things together, it’s in both our best interests that we focus our efforts on industry opportunities unique to our respective companies and that will deliver greater benefits to both our companies.”

Thus both will be active in the businesses they know best. “Stick to the knitting!” I think Tom Peters called it way back in the eighties!