It is with a mixture of foreboding and uncertainty the people of Britain are looking forward to this years Halloween – 31st October 2019. The feeling in the rest of Europe may be described as sorrow mixed with total incomprehension. Business struggles on however and continues to function despite the planned and unplanned difficulties chosen by the people and/or their elected representatives.
“Will I go or will I stay?”
As an example the annual Advanced Engineering event at Britain’s National Exhibition Centre (the NEC) near the English midland city of Birmingham. It is described by the organisers as “The UK’s must-attend event for advanced manufacturing technology, innovation and supply chain solutions” where the many thousands of visitors will be guaranteed to “come away from their visit with ideas to grow their businesses for the future. See, touch and discover the newest technologies to achieve production efficiencies, reduce time and costs, and get you ahead of your competitors.”
With opportunities to network with some 15,000 professionals from OEMs and supply chain partners, Advanced Engineering provides a platform for knowledge transfer and business discussions across R & D, design, test, measurement & inspection, raw materials & processing, manufacturing, production and automation.
If, as is now widely expected, Britain drops out of the European Union at 11.00 pm on the 31st of October the complete business picture of trade within and outside of the United Kingdom will have altered in a mirad of small and great ways.
The European Union will have been diminished by one member state from 28 to 27 independent states. Suppliers and their goods, and buyers from states outside of the United Kingdom, freely admitted to the country to attend the show will experience, many for the first time, the sort of border controls and delays that are usual for those travelling to “third countries,” if they delay their departure to the day after the event finishes. This appears to be the implication of the current British Home Secretary if the Daily Telegraph newspaper’s report is to be believed. “Freedom of movement by European Union nationals into the UK will end overnight from October 31 in the event of a no deal Brexit, Priti Patel has signalled.”
As somebody, a Citizen of the European Union, who travels frequently to Britain for this and other events this is a new hurdle to be crossed and to be taken into consideration when travelling to this new “third country!” It will be so much easier to travel to such events in Germany, France and Italy. It will be so much easier to get goods and people from these countries than from what used to be the closest and easiest to deal with country.
But of course we have no idea how this whole thing. Still! How plaintive do the words of outgoing head of the European Commission in 2016 sound now, “But I thought they had a plan!” And how grimly prophetic sound those blunt words of the outgoing European Council President more recently when he mused on “What that special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely”
At the moment this writer is undecided on travelling to this event. I have my car insured now to travel in a third country but I am uncertain if I am prepared to weather the delays that must occur as I endevour to board a ferry.
Since this was published news has broken that valid Irish insurance discs will serve as proof of insurance for those driving Irish registered vehicles in Britain and Northern Ireland, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
One thing I am sure that Britain will muddle through this puzzle but how I am not sure. Nor am I sure do the powers that be!
Our last article on this topic ended with the statement “Nobody knows!”
Not much has changed and everything has changed and yet “Nobody knows!”
• An interesting aside that I have seen rarely mentioned, is that all those born in Northern Ireland whether or not they voted for or against this decision may remain as citizens of the European Union by virtue of their right to be Irish Citizenship whether or not Britain leaves, remains or drops out of the Union. This is guaranteed by the International Agreement signed by the United Kingdom and Ireland and guaranteed by the European Union and usually referred to as the Good Friday Agreement.
Flow Research has completed one of the most comprehensive studies ever published of the worldwide flowmeter market. This study is called Volume X: The World Market for Flowmeters, 7th Edition. This All-in-One Study tells you 2018 market size and market shares, and forecasts through 2023 for all flowmeter types used in process environments.
World Market for Flow-meters, 7th Edition
Included in study. Market size in 2018 of the worldwide market by flowmeter type in dollars and units
Market size forecasts by flowmeter type through 2023 in dollars and units
Market shares for each flowmeter type in 2018
Both worldwide and regional market size and forecast data
Growth factors and market trends for all flowmeter technologies
A technology description and analysis for each flowmeter type, including major competitive strengths and weaknesses
Company profiles with product information for easy comparison.
In addition to Volume X, they are publishing a companion volume called Module A: Strategies, Industries, and Applications. This popular volume gives segmentation by industry and application for each flow technology. It also discusses the underlying growth factors and driving forces behind the different industries and applications. The strategies section shows you how to gain an edge in a competitive market.
Over the past nine months, over 500 questionnaires have been sent to all known suppliers of every flow technology. The questionnaire asked for geographic distribution and revenue information, along with industries, applications, fluid types, and projected growth from the base year of 2018. The results have been analysed and a complete study written of the worldwide flowmeter market. This is the 7th edition of this tudy, which was first published in 2003. At that time, the worldwide flowmeter market was $3.1 billion. The market has grown substantially since that time, and we’ve been there to document its growth every step of the way.
The Flowmeter Market in 2018 Hightlighted
2018 was a very exciting year in the flowmeter market, and it was one of recovery. Some technologies appear to have experienced unprecedented growth, especially in the magnetic flowmeter market. Our new Volume X captures this growth and makes it easy to determine which flowmeter types benefited most from the recovering market in 2018. Volume X captures the growth in all the flow technologies, including Coriolis, ultrasonic, positive displacement, turbine, variable area, and other types. 2018 is likely to be remembered as a year of unprecedented growth.
Volume X makes it easy to compare market size, market shares, and growth rates for all types of flowmeters. We use the bottom-up method of determining market size for each flowmeter type, and then put these numbers together for the worldwide picture. This is the only way to get a reliable picture of the world flowmeter market and to find out how the different flowmeter types compare with each other. For complete details, go to http://www.flowvolumex.com. We have been able to gather this information because we began researching these markets nine months ago.
The country of the Netherlands is where the Rhine enters the sea. It is a country which has physically built itself out of the inhospitable North Sea. Often called Holland – which is the name of one (actually two) of its provinces – it even more confusingly for the English speaking world inhabited by the Dutch speaking Dutch. If you really want to know more about Holl.. er sorry, The Netherlands watch the video at the bottom of this piece.
Although not officially the capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is, The Hague is the seat of Government and official residence of the King. It was selected by the Emerson User Group as the venue for their European, Middle East & African assembly, refereed to as #EMrex on twitter. These assemblies – can we say celebrations? – occur every two years. The last was held in Brussels, the capital of the neighbouring Kingdom of the Belgians and of the European Union. An sccount of happenings there are in our postin “All change at Brussel Centraal.” (18/4/2016)
Lots of pictures from the event!
The size of this event was in marked contrast to the Brussels meet which was overshadowed by the terrible terrorist attacks in that city only three weeks earlier which presented transport difficulties. This time there were over one thousand six hundred delegates filling the huge hall of the Hague Convention Centre.
Another difference referred to in many of the discussions both formal and informal were the two great uncertainties effecting all businesses and industries – the possibility of a trade war with the USA under its current administration and nearer home the aftermath of the BREXIT decision – the exit of the British from the largest economic bloc on the planet. Many developments have been put on the long finger pending clarification on these issues.
Mary Peterson welcomes delegates
Why are we here?
This event continued in the vein of previous meetings. The emphasis continuing to move to perhaps a more philosophical and certainly a more holistic view of how the automation sector can help industry. This was made clear in the introductory welcome by Novartis’s Mary Peterson, Chair of the User Group, when she posed the question, “Why are we here?”
“This is a conference for users by users.” she said. It is a place to discuss users’ practical experiences; continuing our profissional development; learning best practice and proven solutions and technology roadmaps. But above all it presented an opportunity to connect with industry leaders, users and of course Emerson experts.
For other or more detailed information on happenings and/or offerings revealed at this event. News Releases and on Twitter #EmrEx
The emphasis is on the totality of services and packages not on individual boxes. Emerson’s European President Roel Van Doren was next to address the assembly. We should know our plant but be unafraid to use expertese and knowledge to keep it fit for purpose. Monitor the plant constantly, analyse what is required and then act. This means seeing how the latest advances might improve production. This means harnessing the “new technologies.” In passing he drew our attention that Emerson had been recognised earlier this year as ‘Industrial IoT Company of the Year’ by IoT Breakthrough.
The path is digital
A very striking presentation was given by Dirk Reineld, Senior VP Indirect Procurement with BASF. He brought us to the top of Rome’s Via de Conciliazione on 19th April 2005. We saw the huge crowd looking towards the centre balcony as the election of a new pope was announced. He then moved forward to the 13th March in 2013, the same place but what a difference in such a short time. This time it seemed that everybody had a mobile phone held to take photographs of the announcement of the election of Francis. All we could see was a sea of little screens. He used this to emphasize a point “We are underestimating what is happening & its speed.” This is not helped by a natural conservatism among plant engineers. Change is happening and we either embrace it or get left behind. It is becoming more and more clear that in front of us “the path is digital!” He presented some useful examples of digitalisation and collaboration at BASF.
Emerson Exchange 365 is separate from the Emerson Exchange website that presenters & delegates used before Exchange in The Hague. So, to verify your attendance at this year’s conference, you must provide the email you used to register for Exchange in The Hague. If you are not already a member of EE365 you will be required to join.
To access the presentations, visit The Hague 2018 and follow the prompts. The first prompt will ask you to join or sign in.
Something in this particular EmrEx emphasised how things are moving and those unprepared for the change. Among some of the press people and others there was disappointment expressed that there was not a printed programme as in previous years. This correspondent is used to going away into a corner and combing through the printed agenda and selecting the most relevant sessions to attend. This was all available on line through the “Emerson Exchange Web App.” This was heralded as a “a great preshow planning tool.” All we had to do was enter a link into our our web-browser on our phones and away you went. Yes this is the way to go certainly and although I am inclined to be adventurous in using social media etc I and some (if not many) others found this a step too far to early. It was not clear that a printed version of the programme would not be available and the first hour of a conference is not the best time to make oneself au fait with a new app.
Having said that while many of the journos took notes using pencil and paper they were not adverse to taking photos of the presentation slades so they could not be said to qualify as complete luddites!
Terrific progress but…
Rewards of efficiency
This event was being held at the same time as CERAWeek 2018 in which Emerson was an important participant. Some Emerson executives thus made the trans Atlantic journey to make presentations. One of those was Mike Train, Emerson’s Executive President who delivered his talk with no apparent ill effects. In effect he was asking a question. “Just how effective is progress?” Yes, we HAVE made phenomenal progress in the last 30 years. “Modern automation has made plants more efficient, reliable and safer, but, the ‘Efficiency Era’ is reaching diminishing returns….Productivity seems to be stagnation while the workforce is stretched.”
Automated workflows: Eliminate repetitive tasks and streamline standard operations.
Decision support: Leverage analytics and embedded exportise.
Mobility: Secure on-demand access to information and expertese.
Change management: Accelerate the adoption of operational best practices.
Workforce upskilling: Enable workers to acquire knowledge and experience faster.
Making the future!
Making the future
The next speaker was Roberta Pacciani, C&P Manager Integrated Gas and Upstream Technology with Shell. She is also President of the Women’s Network at Shell Netherlands. She spoke on leveraging the best available talent to solve future challenges. I suppose that we would have classified this as a feminist talk but of course it isn’t. As the presenter said it is not so much a feminist issue as a people issue. “Closing the gender gap in engineering and technology makes the future.” This was a useful presentation (and in this correspondent’s experience unusual) and hopefully will be helpful in changing perceptions and preconceptions in STEM and our own particular sector.
As partof EmrEX there is an exhibition, demonstration area. Delegates may see innovative technologies applied to their plant environment. They meet with experts about topics such as getting their assets IIoT ready or how to use a Digital Twin to increase performance and explore options to prepare their plant for the future. As a guide – printed as well as on-line – the produced a Metro-like guide.
Using this we could embark on a journey through products, services and solutions where Emerson together with their partners could help solve operational and project challenges.
One of the most popular exhibits was the digital workforce experience. Here we visited a plant and were transported magically to former times to see just how different plant management is now and particularly with the help of wireless and digitisation.
One of the good things about this sort of event is the opportunity to meet friends for the first time though social media. Sometimes one does not know they are attending unless the tweet something. Thus I realised that an Emerson engineer was present and so I went looking for him in the expos area. This it was that Aaron Crews from Austin (TX US) and I met for the first time after knowing each other through twitter & facebook for a frightening ten years. Another of these virtual friends, Jim Cahill, says, “It hasn’t happened without a picture!” So here is that picture.
The following morning there were a series of automation forum dedicated to various sectors. The Life-Sciences Forum was one which was very well attended. Ireland is of course a leader in this sector and we hope to have a specific item on this in the near future. Emerson have invested heavily in the national support services as we reported recently.
Each evening there were social events which provided further opportunities for networking. One of these was a visit to the iconic Louwman Transport Museum where reside possibly the largest collections of road vehicles from sedan chairs through the earliest motor cars up to the sleekest modern examples. These are all contained in a beautiful building. The display was very effectively presented and one didn’t have to be a petrol-head – and believe me there were some among the attendance – to appreciate it.
It is impossible to fully report an event like this in detail. One can follow it on twitter as it happens of course. And there will be copies of many of the presentations and videos of some of the sessions on the website.
The Emerson User Group Exchange – Americas will continue “spurring innovation” in San Antonio (TX USA) from 1st to 5th October 2018. It looks exciting too.
We promised at the top of this blog an exposé of the country often called Holland in English –
NIDays welcomed hundreds of delegates from across Northern Europe to the historic Sandown Park Racecourse in England in November 2017, for its annual conference and exhibition. Each event was designed to educate and inspire the engineering community. Delegates to NIDays were given exclusive access toinnovative technologies and could explore NI’s latest software, in a full day of keynote speeches, technical presentations and hands-on sessions.
Northern European Engineering Impact Awards
The night before, some of Northern Europe’s best engineers attended the prestigious Engineering Impact Awards. The well-respected Engineering Impact Awards celebrated the most innovative engineering applications based on NI hardware and software.
Coventry University’s Dr Bo Tan won ‘Application of the Year’ for his system that combines passive WiFi sensing hardware and machine learning algorithms to monitor the health, activity and well-being of patients within nursing homes, allowing staff to improve their levels of efficiency and care.
“The Northern European EIA’s were incredible this year. The breadth of applications showed what our products can do in the hands of world-class scientists and engineers!” says Dave Wilson, Vice President – Product Marketing for Software, Academia and Customer Education.
Professors, researchers and design engineers were amongst the audience of the morning keynote ‘Testing and Deploying the Next Generation of Technology’ hosted by NI VP Dave Wilson. In this session, NI experts explained how the NI platform is accelerating innovation in applications ranging from transportation safety to the IoT.
During the afternoon keynote, Stuart Dawson, Chief Technology Officer at the University of Sheffield’s (GB) Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) was welcomed to the stage to discuss how super-trends like Industry 4.0, energy and the electrification of transportation are changing the way we live and work. Charlotte Nicolaou, Software Field Marketing Engineer, walked through how NI are continuing the LabVIEW legacy with the evolution of the world’s most productive and efficient engineering software, introducing LabVIEW NXG 2.0 and other new software releases including NI Package Manager.
Delegates had a chance to ‘dirty their hands!’
Delegates also had the opportunity to view application specific demonstrations that showcased the latest NI products and technology in the Expo Area, with plenty of NI engineers on hand to discuss their engineering challenges and technical questions. Participants also enjoyed an array of track sessions that included LabVIEW Power Programming and Test & RF Hands-On, giving users the opportunity to learn practical skills and network with specialists and peers.
Throughout the day, several guest presenters took to the stage including Jeff Morgan and Garret O’Donnell of Trinity College Dublin (IRL) and Niklas Krakau from Saab Aeronautics who discussed their incredible application enabling efficient testing of the world’s most cost-effective fighter plane, the Saab Gripen E.
“NIDays allows us to highlight game-changing industry trends, whilst unveiling new, innovative technologies. However, it is the attendees, presenters, partners and exhibitors that provide the conference’s true highlights. What was my favourite part of the day? Learning how Coventry University is using WiFi signals to wirelessly monitor patient health through-walls? Meeting elite researchers and heads of industry during the dedicated networking sessions? Taking a tour of Cardiff University’s historic race car? Or sampling a ‘perfect pint’ of ale, courtesy of the robot bartender from Leeds University? NIDays was packed with inspiring moments and experiences that I will remember for a long, long time to come” says Richard Roberts, Senior Academic Technical Marketing Engineer.
12 exhibitors joined the lively atmosphere of the main exhibition hall, including Amfax, Austin Consultants and The Formula Student Silverstone 2017 winners, Cardiff Racing, who proudly displayed their history making Formula 1 car. Many more NI customers and partners filled the hall with their impressive applications, some of which won awards at the Engineering Impact Awards the previous evening.
The first thing that Great Britain’s new government, under Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, did was to quash talk of a new referendum that might end Brexit before it actually gets started. The government says it plans to go ahead with the exit of Great Britain from the European Union, despite angry words from Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which client states voted emphatically to stay in the EU.
This impacts manufacturing and automation system companies in quite a few different ways. The membership of Great Britain and Ireland in the EU made it possible to conduct business across country barriers with so much ease that the borders were essentially invisible. Personnel could be sent wherever needed, not where they were citizens. Inventory could be stored anywhere in the EU for shipment anywhere in the EU and things like FAT tests and FEED projects could be done anywhere without regard for borders.
“The connection of just about anything via the Internet is expected to grow rapidly through 2016 and well into the future, significantly boosting opportunities for tech specialists, particularly cybersecurity professionals. Complicating this is the recent investment by the EU of US $500 million to fund research into cybersecurity, and its call for industry to invest at least three times that amount to protect the EU economy from cyberattacks. Under the plan, the European Commission (EC), the EU’s executive body, has launched a public-private partnership under the European Cyber Security Organization, which calls for EU member states and cybersecurity bodies, including market players, research centers, and academia, to strengthen their cooperation and pool their knowledge to increase Europe’s cyber resilience. It’s not clear at this point where, or if, the UK would fit into this program.” –Ron Schnieiderman on IEEE Careers site.
This will no longer be true, as Brexit takes hold, and companies are now having to do significant amounts of strategic planning based on this very large Great-Britain-sized hole in the EU. Further, other countries are making noises like they might want to break up the EU entirely, which is a different bucket of fish entirely. European automation companies have prospered because of the borderless and customs-less conditions under which they have worked in the EU.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, especially with Scotland making independence noises again, less than two years after a failed independence plebiscite.
• The Insider’s Health Watch column also reports on some Brexit related influences!
*The Automation INSIDER is an independent monthly e-mail newsletter and editorial report on the continuing evolution, development and convergence of industrial automation, instrumentation and process control technologies worldwide for automation and process control system users, designers, installers and suppliers. It is compiled by Walt Boyes.
Scope Rider sent into space to initiate quest for innovative and unusual applications for handheld oscilloscope
Rohde & Schwarz has launched a competition to find the most innovative use for its recently announced R&S Scope Rider, the rugged portable oscilloscope with lab performance. Ten shortlisted entrants will each receive a GoPro Hero4 silver camera to make a video of their idea, and the overall winner will receive a R&S Scope Rider.
Steven Edwards, Director Sales Operations & Marketing at Rohde & Schwarz UK Ltd. said, “Since launching R&S Scope Rider, customers have come to us with no end of really different ways in which they are using the instrument, so we decided to start a thorough search for the most unusual or innovative applications. The instrument has been rigorously tested by Rohde & Schwarz. It is now in the hands of our customers and we are asking them to tell us “How would you use it?”
To start the event, Rohde & Schwarz launched a R&S Scope Rider into space. After a flight of two and a half hours at up to 32km in temperatures of -60°C, the instrument was still fully operational. This is a ten-minute documentary of the flight.
Steven Edwards continued, “We believe the ruggedness, robustness and performance of R&S Scope Rider will open it to a whole host of new applications. We came up with the space flight as an unusual use of our own and we’ve put it on video. The team at Rohde & Schwarz now want to see as many innovative ideas as possible.”
As a first step, entrants just need to write a brief description of how they would use Scope Rider and post it online here. A panel of Rohde & Schwarz judges will select the 10 most unusual or innovative entries and each will receive a runners-up prize of a GoPro Hero4 silver camera which is theirs to keep. They will also be provided with a R&S Scope Rider on loan and be invited to create their own 2-minute video demonstrating the idea. All videos will be released on the Rohde & Schwarz Facebook page and other social media channels. Finally, one lucky winner will be selected based on a combination of social media reaction and the judges’ final opinion. The winner will be presented with the star prize of a R&S Scope Rider.
Entries are open from today, 1 June 2016 and the first stage will close on 1 August. Full details of the competition are available in this two-minute video.
The Rohde & Schwarz Scope Rider is the first handheld oscilloscope with the functionality and touch and feel of a state‑of‑the‑art lab oscilloscope. It is equally impressive in the lab and in the field. With an acquisition rate of 50,000 waveforms per second, a 10‑bit A/D converter developed by Rohde & Schwarz and a maximum bandwidth of 500 MHz for the analogue input channels, it outperforms comparable bench instruments. R&S Scope Rider is based on a high‑performance oscilloscope featuring a precise digital trigger system, 33 automatic measurement functions, mask test and XY diagram mode. In addition, it integrates four further instrument functions: a logic analyser with eight additional digital channels, a protocol analyser with trigger and decoding capability, a data logger and a digital multimeter.
Emerson User Group EMEA in Brussels, Belgium – 12th – 14th April 2016
“Seems to me that #EMrex is focusing not so much on new technologies, though important, but looking closer at how we do things.”our tweet on day one.
Brussels looked lovely on the morning that the Emerson User Group meeting opened. There was little to suggest the trauma that the city had faced just a few short weeks previously as delegates strolled through the sun-lit streets to the conference centre. The security however was markedly tighter as we entered the building however with strict adherence to the best security practices. However once inside the building things were as normal.
Speaking with the organisers it promised to be a bumper event, stretched as it was over three days examining all aspects of automation, experiences, applications and of course exciting new products and concepts. The attendance was slightly down on the last time in Stuttgart, some were reluctant to travel, others were unable to make it due to the inability of the severely damaged to adhere to a normal service. Those who attended were in part in broad agreement with the message penned by Emerson’s Travis Hesketh – Standing up for Brussels. Indeed the User Group very quickly confirmed after these terrible events that they were going ahead with #EMrex. At several of the social events at the periphery, like the evening reception for publishers and journalists the people who suffered were remembered.
The venue was a modern conference and the one hundred or so presentations and industry forums were stretched over about six floors including an exhibition floor and at the very top of the building was a cyber café and a wonderful panoramic hall with the breathtaking view (featured at the top of this page from a tweet by Emerson’s social media guru – Jim Cahill)
But on to the the meeting!
Peter Iles-Smith of GlaxoSmithKline opened proceedings as chair of the Users Exchange Board. He welcomed the over two thousand delegates from so many countries through out the EMEA who travelled for the event.
Steve Sonnenberg, President Emerson Process Management (pictured right) and Roel VanDoren, their President in Europe, in a joint presentation entitled “New Reality, New Opportunity” addressed the changes and challenges facing companies in the 21st Century. They did not talk about products or applications but on ways of doing things. Indeed during the presentation we tweeted: “Emerson’s approach – yes equipment, but more importantly perhaps is attitude or culture.”
Nobody does business the way they it was done even twenty years ago, when the internet was a baby and nobody imagined never mind thought possible social media platforms like twitter, yet in many cases industry is way behind in adapting to change. Possibilities are there which were inconceivable a short time ago and these need to be harnessed for the good of humanity.
Research into these possibilities, new technologies are leading to changes especially the importance of planning including all stakeholders at the earliest opportunity. This thinking is leading to an innovative technology and engineering-based approach for improved capital efficiency such as their Project Certaintyapproach which aims to tackle complexity by decoupling the dependencies suppliers have on each other, eliminating bottlenecks and allowing concurrent work streams. In a word it aims to transform capital investment and releasing the frightening amounts of money currently being lost in big and not so big projects.
And these figures are frightening. If the type of approach spoken of here is adopted savings of up to €400 Billion (yes BILLION) would be released to invest in, for instance, production, reliability, safety, energy, training, security and innovation.
So what is involved?
Xavier Marchant, (right), Emerson’s Vice President Process Systems and Solutions in Europe, gave dramatic examples of the possible savings in labour and materials. For instance the decision to use smart junction boxes in a large project could save both money and space (95% in control room space). Spare parts are another area where there is phenomenal waste. He quoted a spokesman from a International Energy and Chemical Company, “On our last construction project we overspent on maintenance spares to the tune of €50,000,000…we just wrote it off….because we did not have a robust spares analysis process.” Reduce the complexity by the involvement of stake holders at the start of planning for a project and allowing them to develop it side by side. One simple idea is to separate software from hardware in the development. The “old way” is to tie them together from the start whereas this way the software can be developed using virtual systems and then later on when the actual operation is seen to work in the virtual world (he called it virtual FAT – Factory Acceptance Test) it may be introduced to the real or concrete world – or “late binding” as he called it.
Virtual FAT has far less chance of harming one than the real thing?
He quoted François Davin of Sanofi “Emerson’s Remote Virtual Office allowed us to collaborate with experts and resources from multiple sites to conduct our Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). The result was less travel and site disturbance to our operations. Also, more operators could participate remotely which improved the new automation system adoption.”
We were introduced to the concept of quartile performance and their site Top Quartile Performance is a exposé of how they view this as a concept and how it is influencing their thinking as a group.
Of course all these changes would be impossible without the availability and enthusiastic embracing of the so-called “new” technologies. Peter Zornio (right), Emerson’s irrepressible Chief Strategic Officer, gave us an insight into these and how the company is using these and its co-operative involvement with the pioneers in these , the Internet of Everything(CISCO), Industrial Internet (GE), Smart Planet (IBM) and The Internet of Things (Microsoft). These technologies, and others embryonic or not even conceived of are guiding the current and future development of technology used in the manufacturing and processing sectors.
Keynotes: The Emerson User Exchanges whether in the USA or EMEA always have exciting and inspirational keynote speakers each day. This event was no exception. Jack Uldrich, a futurist spoke about future-proofing business. The majority of businesses are not ready for what is happening in the real world or for the speed at which it is happening.
Another of these speakers Prof Jan Rotmans who spoke about change. He maintains that we are not living through an “era of change” as a “change of era!” Many of us are in the old era, our mobile phone is just that, we read newspapers, buy books in bookshops. Our kids live on their mobile phones, they are their liveline. We are “old-fashioned” our kids are “cool!” Change is disruptive and the old ways are totally unable to cope. The old top-down certainties are dissolving and the “common man” is taking charge, sometimes violently. Chaos is the name of the game.
Finally a veteran at EmrEX, David Beckman, brought all the thoughts and ideas of New Reality, New Opportunity together. In view of Rotmans’ talk earlier the title he chose was more than relevant as he introduced delegates to the “Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook.” Although he prepared us for worst case scenarios he described real opportunities for industrial automation.
Presentations. The various threads were divided into five headings or sectors, Business & Projects; Operate Safely, Securely and Legally; Process Optimisation; Maintenance & Reliabilitym and, Control System Applications & Migrations and were held through each of the days.
Forums: There were also Industry Forums with panels and general discussions on the various specialities e.g. Life Sciences or Refining & Petrochemicals. These were opportunities for participants to learn and exchange information and experiences with each other.
Training: There were also training sessions and other sessions (called Roadmaps) on Emerson products and possible future developments.
Solutions EXPO: Of course no event is complete without actually seeing product and EmrEX is no exception. The floor was divided under the same zone headings as the threads of presentations above. (See sketch on left).
There were several unique exhibits. One was the Operations Centre of the Future. This was an imaginative presentation of a plant with a H.A.L. like computer responding (or not) to commands or requests from the operatives. It featured a drone delivery of spare parts and a really effective alarm situation which featured a realistic vibration of the floor. Of course the real message is that though it is the future most of the technology used is possible today.
Of course the Project Certainty concept featured prominently in the Business & Projects area and we were show possible scenarios. They had also rather bravely set up a wall where delegates could post what they consider are the features that should be addressed in projects. This should help “to focus ruthlessly on what’s directly relevent to a company strategy.”
Of course there were actual instruments on display to examine and handle.
Notable was this industry first, the Rosemount X-well system, a wireless transmitter, accurately measuring process temperature without need for thermowell. Accurate process temperature measurement is possible without requiring any intrusions or penetrations into the process, allowing for quicker and easier installation along with simplified long-term maintenance. Users do not have to design, size or maintain thermowells. Wake Frequency Calculations are eliminated, as well as time spent determining material compatibility, the right insertion length and the necessary profile.
Also the new Emerson Wireless Pressure Gauge created quite buzz among delgates. Th“This new gauge design fundamentally will change how customers use pressure gauges by helping them make better business decisions!” It is another industry first. Does this signal the end of the Bourdon Tube?
Energy management is of course critical in all processes. It is effected not only by cost factors but also by legislation driven by concerns on pollution and global warming. Here Emerson demonstrated some prototypes of monitoring and control equipment not yet available. They emphasised savings on space occupied and of course ease of use by operatives.
Another very popular item was on the Maintenance & Reliability Zone. Here was an opportunity to experience the immersive training simulator. A goggle like apparatus was placed on the head and using a game-like hand piece the engineer is able to travel through a plant and see where various problems may be without any danger to him or her. It is a fascinating experience and one really feels that one is travelling through the plant rather than sitting or standing in a control room or office. In this picture we see Emerson’s Chief Blogger, Surface Dweller, Head of Social Media enter the virtual world for real! We can confirm that he returned to real reality afterwards.
Around the periphery of the EXPO were the booths of companies which compliment the Emerson offering – what they call their complementary and strategic partners.
There was also a section dedicated to history featuring milestones in science and automation over the years. It was a demonstration of change in the past. What will feature in future shows? The new opportunities taking advantage of the new realities of the past.
Always a major highlight of the Emerson User Group events is waht the call the “Networking Event.” This year was rather unique in that it was a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Magritte Museum. This was an unique opportunity to see the best of Belgian painters – creativity of a different type than that extolled during the day sessions. Artists such as the Brueghels, Rubens, Jordaens and Magritte were enjoyed during this evening. Food and beverages were served – Belgium is famous for its beers of course but it also has its own cuisine and of course it’s chocolate is to die for.
This years event, despite the unexpected difficulties, was on a par, indeed because of these difficulties had perhaps more user participation than previous ones. There were many exciting things to see, concepts to understands and friends with which to share experiences. And of course fun with a capital F.
Look at this and tell me people weren’t enjoying themselves! (Twitter pic @Julian_Annison)
Emerson’s Travis Hesketh and Nick Taylor appreciating (?) art.
The videos here give an impression of each day: Day One
• We have written about our travelling experiences to and from Brussels in our personnel blog (Sa Bhaile: (“Home” in Irish). These were relatively smooth if labourious but there is indeed no comparison to the experiences of Nick Denbow of ProcessingTalk which he outlines on their blog: My worst week as an air traveller!
Read-out was asked to moderate the automation stream at the National Manufacturing & Supplies conference held last week outside Dublin. (26th January 2016). In their wisdom the organisers selected “Future Factory!” as a title for this half day seminar and there were 11 speakers organised to speak on their particular subjects for about 15 minutes each. This was replicated in the the over a dozen different seminars held on this one day.
Long queues lasted well into the morning to enter the event!
We were a little sceptical that this would work but with the help of the organisers and the discipline of the speakers the time targets were achieved. Another target achieved was the number of attendees at the event as well as those who attended this particular seminar.
In all between exhibitors, speakers and visitors well over 3000 packed the venue. Probably far more than the organisers had anticipated and hopefully a potent sign that the economy is again on the upturn. Indeed it was so successful that it was trending (#MSC16) on twitter for most of the day.
But back to our seminar. If you google the term Future Factory you get back 207million links, yet it is difficult to find a simple definition as to what it means. The term automation similarly is a very difficult term to define though the term in Irish “uathoibriú” perhaps is a bit clearer literally meaning “self-working.”
Good attendance at the Seminar
The world of automation has changed to an extrordinary degree and yet in other ways it remains the same. The areas where it has experienced least change is in the areas of sensing – a thermometer is a thermometer – and final control – a valve is a valve. Where it has changed almost to the point of unrecognisability is in that bit in the middle, what one does with the signal from the sensor to activate the final control element.
From single parameter dedicated Indicator/Controller/Recorders in the sixties which transmitted either pnuematically (3-15psi) or electrically (4-20mA). Gradually (relatively speaking) most instruments became electronic, smaller in size and multifunctional. The means of communication changed too and fieldbus communication became more common to intercact with computors which themselves were developing at breaknech speed. Then transmission via wireless became more common and finally the internet and the ability to control a process from the computer that we call the intelligent phone. There are problems with these latter, internet/cellphone, of course. One is that the reach of the internet is focussed at present on areas of high population. Another is the danger of infiltration of systems by hostile or mischivous strangers. The importance of security protocols is one that has only recently been apparent to Automation professionals.
The Presentations Maria Archer of Ericsson spoke on the enabling and facilitating IoT in the manufacturing industry. Diving straight into topic she drew on her experience of big data, e-commerce, media, cyber security, IOT and connected devices.
The second speaker was Cormac Garvey of Hal Software who addressed Supply Chain prototyping. The Supply Chain ecosystem is incredibly complex, usually requiring significant integration of each suppliers’ standards and processes to the manufacturer’s. Cormac will introduce the concept of supply chain prototyping, where easy-to-use, standards-based technology is used to wireframe out the entire supply chain ecosystem prior to integration, thus significantly reducing cost, time and risk on the project. This wireframe can then be used as a model for future integration projects.
Two speakers from the Tralee Institute of Technology, Dr. Pat Doody and Dr. Daniel Riordan spoke on RFID, IoT, Sensor & Process Automation for Industry 4.0. They explained how IMaR’s (Intelligent Mechatronics and RFID) expertise is delivering for their industrial partners and is available to those aiming to become a part of Industry 4.0.
Smart Manufacturing – the power of actionable data was the topic addressed by Mark Higgins of Fast Technology. He shared his understanding of the acute issues companies face on their journey to Business Excellence and how leveraging IT solutions can elevate the business to a new point on that journey.
Assistant Professor (Mechanical & Manuf. Eng) at TCD, Dr Garret O’Donnell, explained how one of the most significant initiatives in the last 2 years has been the concept of the 4th industrial revolution promoted by the National Academy for Science and Engineering in Germany- ACATECH, known as Industrie 4.0. (Industrie 4.0 was first used as a term in Germany in 2011).
Another speaker from Fast Technologies, Joe Gallaher, addressed the area of Robotics and how Collaborative Robots are the “Game Changer” in the modern manufacturing facility.
Dr. Hassan Kaghazchi of the University of Limerick and Profibus spoke on PROFINET and Industrie 4.0. Industrial communications systems play a major role in today’s manufacturing systems. The ability to provide connectivity, handle large amount of data, uptime, open standards, safety, and security are the major deciding factors. This presentation shows how PROFINET fits into Industrial Internet of Things (Industrie 4.0).
Maurice Buckley CEO NSAI
The CEO of NSAI, the Irish National Standards Authority, Maurice Buckley explained how standards and the National Standards Authority of Ireland can help Irish businesses take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution and become more prepared to reap the rewards digitisation can bring.
The next two speakers stressed the impact of low forecast accuracy on the bottom line and how this coulbe be addressed. Jaap Piersma a consultant with SAS UK & Ireland explained that low forecast accuracies on the business performance is high in industry but with the right tools, the right approach and experienced resources you can achieve very significant result and benefits for your business. Following him Dave Clarke, Chief Data Scientist at Asystec, who mantains the company strategy for big data analytics service development for customers. He showed how are incredible business opportunities possible by harnessing the massive data sets generated in the machine to machine and person to machine hyper connected IoT world.
The final speaker David Goodstein, Connected Living Project Director, GSMA, described new form factor mobile SIMs which are robust, remotely manageable which are an essential enabler for applications and services in the connected world.
All in all a very interesting event and useful to attendees. Papers are being collected and should be available shortly on-line.
It is hoped to do it all again next year on 24th January 2017- #MSC17.
In line with its newfound status as an All-Ireland ‘must-attend’ annual event, the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition has switched to a larger and more conveniently placed venue, moving from the Aviva Stadium to the Citywest Hotel to the west of Dublin city. The one-day event is expected to attract over 2,000 delegates from across Ireland with 100 exhibitors offering over 2,000 products and services.
Designed with the objective of connecting key stakeholders across the full spectrum of Irish manufacturing, including the food, pharmaceutical, medical, chemical, life sciences and electronics manufacturing sectors, the third National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition will be held on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016.
The Conference is held in conjunction with an Exhibition of the latest processing and supply chain technology available to Irish industry. Suppliers from all key industrial sectors will be exhibiting at the 2016 event.
Now in its third year, The National Manufacturing & Supply ChainConference & Exhibition provides a forum for manufacturers and operators involved throughout the supply chain from across Ireland – North and South – to gather to discuss pressing issues facing Irish industry.
The theme of the 2016 event is ‘Creating an Innovative Manufacturing & Supply Chain Eco-System’ and an impressive line-up of speakers from manufacturing, academia and government agencies will explore the key problems, challenges and opportunities facing Irish industry.
Colin Murphy, Managing Director of Premier Publishing & Events, organisers of this event says, “A list of 75 speakers is currently being finalised along with the various free workshops and 20 supporting associations. The speakers at the Conference have been carefully selected from senior management within Irish industry and academia, who have a successful track record of delivering quantifiable results in sustainable manufacturing and throughout the supply chain, and who can offer delegates a clear pathway to enhancing competitiveness and innovation.”
Speakers at The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2016 include: Colm J Murphy, Senior Human Resources Manager at Hollister ULC; Arthur Stone, CEO of OEEsystems; Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dr Richard Keegan, a specialist in the areas of Lean/World Class Business and Benchmarking with Enterprise Ireland; and Liam Cassidy, Managing Director of LCL Consult Ltd. Representatives from Pfizer, Lake Region Medical and Mondelez International will also be speaking at the event.
The Citywest Hotel complex with its easy access and free car parking is strategically placed to host All-Ireland events of this nature.
New For 2016 – Jobs Expo
A new feature at the 2016 event is the Jobs Expo area, dedicated to highlighting the many employment opportunities currently available throughout the Irish manufacturing and supply chain sectors. This purpose-designed jobs, employment and recruitment section of the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition will act as an interface between suitably qualified job seekers and representatives from both national and international companies with vacancies. With many businesses experiencing skills shortages, the new addition is timely.
The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2016 will provide an ideal forum for meeting Government agencies and supporting associations, and gaining free advice from experts. It will also provide networking zones to connect buyers and suppliers.
The layout of the Conference & Exhibition is intended to maximise the opportunity for delegates to network and make new contacts.
Looking back at the past 10-15 years of the electronic instrumentation industry, it is certainly disappointing to realize that the market for new test equipment in 2015 is about the same size or less. What does this tell us and will the industry perform better in the future?
Recently, Frost & Sullivan published three market insights about the future of the electronic industry and what will determine it, where the new opportunities for growth are, and how to stay profitable in changing economical environment.
“In the past decade, the electronics instrumentation industry did not maximize the revenue opportunity coming from the move towards connectivity and the proliferation of electronics as most companies missed out on dramatic changes happening in the customer base,” says Jessy Cavazos, Industry Director for Test & Measurement, Frost & Sullivan.
Over the next 5-10 years, 5G and other technologies will take the electronics instrumentation market to higher frequencies spelling significant growth opportunities for test manufacturers. The move towards a more connected, zero-latency, and autonomous world will certainly provide room for growth for the electronic instrumentation market. With the Internet of Things (IoT), a myriad of devices will be connected to the Internet. While low latency will not be provided for all applications and devices in the short term due to costs, the desire for low or no latency for a number of devices and applications is here and will provide opportunities to test manufacturers.
While wireless communications and aerospace and defense will remain significant end-user segments for electronic test and measurement equipment, demand is likely to increase in smaller end-user segments such as automotive and industrial electronics due to the greater integration of wireless technology in various devices.
The world is also on the path to become more autonomous with mobile robots, drones, and autonomous cars. While all of these technologies will translate into demand for electronic instrumentation, some, such as the autonomous car, will generate significant opportunities for test manufacturers due to the onus put on safety. Leading automotive OEMs are currently embracing automated driving translating into significant R&D opportunities for test manufacturers.
The hyper connectivity of customers will also call for a greater focus from test manufacturers on their go-to-market channels. While online channels have grown in importance for mid and low-end test equipment, this trend is also relevant to more high-end expensive test equipment from a digital marketing perspective.
“The next decade will not come without challenges for the electronics instrumentation industry. However, trends are favorable to the future growth of the electronic test and measurement market. Test manufacturers must not only be aware of the evolution of technologies and related test requirements but also expand their horizons to understand the impact of other trends on their business,” summarised Ms. Cavazos.