SolutionsPT adds SCADA and HMI – from Citect – to its Wonderware offering!

SolutionsPT have issued a press release covering an expansion of their Wonderware offering from Schneider, to add SCADA and HMI Solutions. This reads as follows:

Industrial IT solutions specialist SolutionsPT has become the UK and Ireland distributor for world-class automation solutions provider Citect, strengthening its SCADA product portfolio.

Renowned for the development and application of SCADA and HMI solutions, the Citect brand is owned by Schneider Electric, and its range of products includes CitectSCADA, CitectHMI and CitectHistorian.

Schneider Electric already has a longstanding relationship with SolutionsPT, which has been the sole UK and Ireland distributor for its Wonderware suite of products since 1991. As a result, SolutionsPT was seen as the logical choice to take on the distribution of Schneider Citect software in the UK and Ireland because of its existing focus on, and technical expertise in, the automation sector.

To support the new product offering, SolutionsPT has promoted Anne Fletcher to the role of Citect Product Manager. Anne has been with SolutionsPT for six years, most recently working as Channel Relationship Manager.  Anne will be responsible for championing the Citect product set amongst SolutionsPT end users, OEMs and System Integrators to enhance the profitability and penetration of Citect products.

Martin Walder, VP Industry UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric, said: “Collaborating on sales and utilising SolutionsPT to support our Citect product will allow us to improve the service to Citect customers and enhance the breadth of our software offering. This deal will allow us to offer Historian, Batch Management and MES functionality as well as our targeted SCADA and HMI offerings. SolutionsPT is a well-established distributor and the right partner to work with to develop the overall market for Schneider software products.”

The press release ends there.

The outsider view

It is interesting to consider the background to this release, which on the face of it, is a little confusing, when you try to see it from the Schneider viewpoint. SolutionsPT is a long term independent but major Wonderware distributor and installer into UK and Irish industry. The relationship with Schneider only commenced after Schneider acquired Invensys plc: the acquisition process started with the takeover offer made in July 2013. This deal was not finalised until later in the year, after September.

In September 2013, Invensys plc, already subject to the acquisition offer from Schneider, acquired US based InduSoft, which was quoted as “a provider of HMI and embedded intelligent device software for the automation market”. This did indeed seem surprising, since Schneider had acquired a major HMI/SCADA software supplier when it bought Citect, many years before, in 2006. So why would the fairly inevitable Schneider/Invensys combined operation require two such similar companies?

This exercised several reports and analysis presented in the Industrial Automation Insider in late 2013, and some similar blog posts on

However, today, in 2016, the InduSoft website promotes their Web Studio 8.0 as SCADA/HMI software for Intuitive Dashboards, OEE and the Internet of Things, under the brand of Wonderware InduSoft. Their UK distribution is quoted as dealt with by the InduSoft office in Germany. The original UK agent for InduSoft prior to 2013 was a private company, AdProSys, run by Mike Bradshaw, an ex-Wonderware employee, who then joined InduSoft as an employee in September 2013 to promote direct and channel sales of InduSoft throughout Europe. He then left InduSoft in July 2104.

With the InduSoft product being Wonderware branded, surely SolutionsPT would be selling it, as a part of their Wonderware package:  but the SolutionsPT website solidly refuses to recognize InduSoft as a search term….

The logic of this suggest that SolutionsPT have done their homework rigorously, and have decided that the Wonderware-Citect combination is the best match, to meet their market requirement for HMI/SCADA in Wonderware based applications.








ABB 1.2 Million Volt Transformer

ABB has developed, manufactured and energized a 1,200-kilovolt (kV) ultra-high-voltage power transformer to support India’s plans to build a 1,200 kV transmission system, supplementing the existing 400 kV and 800 kV transmission grid as demand for electricity increases. The transformer was manufactured and tested at ABB’s state-of-the-art Vadodara facility in India.

Ultrahigh voltage (UHV) 1,200 kV alternating current (AC) power

Ultrahigh voltage (UHV) 1,200 kV alternating current (AC) power transformer installed at Bina site – Level 2

This 1.2 million volt transformer represents the highest alternating current voltage level in the world and is installed at the national test station at Bina, Madhya Pradesh in Central India, as part of a collaborative initiative by the country’s central transmission utility, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID).

India’s geographic span means that resource-rich generation centers and urban and industrial load centers are often far apart therefore requiring efficient power transmission. Along with the country’s commitment to enhance the contribution of renewables, these factors are driving the development of an ultra-high-voltage transmission infrastructure.

The 1,200kV transmission system will help strengthen the grid and enhance load capacity up to 6,000 megawatts (MW). Transmission at higher voltages enables larger amounts of electricity to be transported across longer distances, while minimizing losses. At the same time, less space is needed for fewer transmission lines, which reduces the environmental impact and overall cost.

“ABB has a pioneering track record in India and this 1,200 kV achievement is another concrete example of our commitment to support the country in the ongoing development of its power infrastructure” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division. “This project also underlines how ABB delivers differentiated value through innovation and customer collaboration, both key elements of our Next Level strategy.”

In addition to the transformer, ABB has also developed a 1,200 kV circuit breaker that was previously commissioned at the test station. This was the first hybrid gas insulated switchgear in the world to be energized at this voltage level. The uniquely designed circuit breaker is safely housed with the disconnector in a tank filled with insulating gas – resulting in a space saving potential of up to 60 percent compared with conventional designs.

BoOM from EU Automation

EU Automation has launched the “Book of Obsolescence Management”, or BoOM for short.

EU Automation stocks and sells obsolete, reconditioned and new industrial automation spares. Its own distribution centers and global network of partner warehouses, enable it to offer a unique service within the automation industry, spanning the entire globe. It provides worldwide express delivery on all products meaning it can supply any part, to any destination, at very short notice.

The company is based in the UK, in Stafford, and does appear to have a different approach to any other supplier. With interviews from suppliers like Renishaw, CopaData, Nexus, Megger and Rochester Electronics, the book gives the seven essential steps for companies looking to start or continue their journey on the road to obsolescence management.



Emerson acquires PermaSense

Emerson has announced the acquisition of UK-based Permasense Ltd, a leading provider of non-intrusive corrosion monitoring technologies for the offshore and onshore oil production, refining, chemical, power, pipelines, metals and mining and other industries. Permasense monitoring systems use unique sensor technology, wireless data delivery and advanced analytics to continuously monitor for metal loss from corrosion or erosion in pipes, pipelines or vessels, and reliably deliver high-integrity data from even the harshest environments.

The acquisition represents another step forward in the Emerson strategy to invest in its core business platforms and expand in markets that hold significant long-term growth opportunity.

“Corrosion and erosion can significantly impact the safe and reliable operation of our industrial customers’ infrastructure, which can have dire consequences. Wireless non-intrusive corrosion monitoring is a transformational shift that helps customers immediately understand the health and integrity of their infrastructure in real-time and enables them to fully optimise their operations while maximising safety,” said Mike Train, president, Emerson Automation Solutions. “For example, with the increasing complexity of the types of crude oil coming into a refinery, corrosion is becoming a significant issue in the uptime and profitability of a refinery. Now refinery infrastructure can be monitored and controlled using this non-intrusive technology.”

The Permasense product line will become part of the Rosemount portfolio of measurement and analytical technologies. Permasense technologies complement the Emerson Roxar intrusive corrosion monitoring and non-intrusive sand management systems and strengthen the company’s Pervasive Sensing applications that provide customers a more complete view of their operations and facilities. With Permasense and Roxar technologies in its portfolio, Emerson will be the largest provider of integrity and corrosion management solutions in the marketplace.

Lal Karsanbhai, group vp, measurement and analytical technologies, Emerson Automation Solutions, added: “The addition of patented Permasense technologies along with our existing Roxar technologies enables Emerson to provide customers with a more complete corrosion monitoring solution and a clearer picture into the performance of their infrastructure based on what they’re demanding of it and the strategies needed to optimise production.”

Central to Permasense corrosion monitoring systems are sensors that employ proven ultrasonic wall thickness measurement principles. The sensors are battery powered and communicate wirelessly, which minimises the cost of installation and enables use in remote areas and on a large scale. The sensors are also designed so they can be deployed in hazardous areas.


New President at Universal Robots

Following their recent (2015) acquisition of Universal Robots A/S of Denmark for US $285m, Teradyne Inc has announced the appointment of a new President to steer the company’s future, leading the growing market for collaborative robots (Cobots). They have named Jürgen von Hollen as President with immediate effect. Von Hollen was most recently the Executive President of the Engineering Solutions Division of Bilfinger SE, which includes their Automation and Controls business in Mannheim, Germany: they are a leading international engineering and services company. In his rôle at Bilfinger, he was responsible for a global staff of nearly 10,000 and annual sales in excess of Euro1billion.

“We’re delighted to have Jürgen leading Universal Robots through this period of explosive growth,” said Teradyne CEO Mark Jagiela. “Jürgen’s experience developing and leading global teams serving a broad range of industrial and commercial customers is tremendously important as we drive the adoption of easy to use, safe, and economical UR Cobots across the globe.”

unnamed“I am excited to join Universal Robots as they work to fundamentally reshape automation across the global economy,” said von Hollen. “The opportunity to lead and expand a high powered organization like UR with such a long term, high growth outlook is very rare and I look forward to working with our worldwide distributors, partners, and customers in the days ahead to realize the full potential of collaborative robots.”

Von Hollen began his career with Daimler-Benz aerospace and held senior management roles at Daimler-Chrysler Services, Deutsche Telecom and Pentair. He will now be based in Odense, Denmark.

Background to UR

Universal Robots is the result of many years of intensive research at Denmark’s successful robot cluster, which is located in Odense, Denmark. The company was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard, who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial robots that are safe to work with and on their own can be used to streamline processes in the industry.

The product portfolio includes the three collaborative robots UR3, UR5 and UR10 named after their payload in kilos. Since the first UR robot launched in December 2008, the company has experienced considerable growth with the user-friendly robots now sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. At just 195 days, the average payback period for UR robots is the fastest in the industry.

The company, now a part of Boston-based Teradyne Inc, is headquartered in Odense and has subsidiaries and regional offices in the USA, Spain, Germany, Singapore, Czech Republic, India, and China. Universal Robots has more than 300 employees worldwide.

Teradyne Inc

Listed on the NYSE, Teradyne is a leading supplier of automation equipment for test and industrial applications. Teradyne Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) is used to test semiconductors, wireless products, data storage and complex electronic systems, which serve consumer, communications, industrial and government customers. Industrial Automation products include Collaborative Robots used by global manufacturing and light industrial customers to improve quality and increase manufacturing efficiency. In 2015, Teradyne had revenue of $1.64 billion and currently employs approximately 4,200 people worldwide.

Wonderware demo in Telford UK

Industrial IT software solutions provider, Wonderware UK, a division of SolutionsPT, is to host a two day event at which it will exclusively reveal the next generation of Wonderware industrial automation software, including updates to its HMI and SCADA offerings.

For 30 years, Wonderware has led the way with the world’s most innovative industrial software. On Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th November at the International Centre in Telford, UK, SolutionsPT will unveil ‘what’s next’ from Wonderware, showcasing the new software it believes will set the bar in industrial automation.

As well as allowing delegates an exclusive first look at Wonderware’s groundbreaking new SCADA release, the conference will also reveal the latest ‘Software as a Service’ offerings and will unveil the ways in which manufacturers can take a pragmatic approach to the Industrial Internet of Things with networking, data collection and cyber security solutions. The conference will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the exclusive software distribution partnership between SolutionsPT and Wonderware in the UK and Ireland.

Conference timetable

The first day of the event will feature presentations from international keynote speakers, including a product representative from Schneider Electric, and Marc Van Herreweghe, Associate Vice President at the International Data Corporation (IDC), who will provide an industry expert perspective on the future of industrial automation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to listen to presentations from experts on topics including line performance, cloud solutions, disaster resilience and cyber security.

The conference’s Expo area will feature demonstrations of the next generation Wonderware software in action, as well as demonstrations by a number of the SolutionsPT partners, including ACP, Citect and Stratus Technologies. Other partners confirmed to appear at the Expo are ecom instruments, MDT Software, Ocean Data and WIN-911.

On the second day, SolutionsPT will host multiple training workshops, giving guests the opportunity to get hands-on with a variety of systems, including Wonderware Line Performance Suite, Next Generation HMI/SCADA, Wonderware Online and ACP ThinManager, which have all been designed to help build smart and connected industrial environments.

Hosted by SolutionsPT

Sue Roche, General Manager at SolutionsPT, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be able to unveil the next stage of Wonderware software, and demonstrate how the ‘factory of the future’ can become a reality.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAgMAAAAJDE0N2FlYzEwLTMwMzUtNDVkOS04MzgyLWM4MWIzMGRlMTJhNQ“Delegates will be able to experience the next generation of industrial automation and get a first look at cutting-edge software solutions that are making connected, future-proof manufacturing environments a reality. We’re also looking forward to raising a glass to the long-standing relationship between SolutionsPT and Wonderware, and preparing for many more successful years to come.”

The event runs from 9:15am until 5:30pm and includes an evening gala dinner. Overnight accommodation is also available. Those interested in attending should register here:

Noise mapping offshore using wireless sensors

Many of the latest technology developments in relation to offshore oil and gas production installations have emerged from Norwegian research studies, because that industry represents the major part of the economy in Norway.  Such research studies do not only relate to better and more efficient methods of working, but they also investigate the health and safety aspects of the industry: an area of particular concern has been hearing damage to workers offshore, which is the predominant cause of work related illness. At the Yokogawa User Group meeting held in Budapest in May 2016, Simon Carlsen of Statoil ASA in Norway explained the background to a recent project that was undertaken to improve the efficiency of the noise surveillance and monitoring systems Statoil use offshore. This was also presented to a Society of Petroleum Engineers International conference on Health and Safety in Stavanger in April (Ref 1).


The main Health & Safety tool used for monitoring noise exposure is the ‘Noise map’, which provides noise level contours within rooms and around machinery where workers are active. These are used to establish a course of action where noise levels exceed allowed limits, whether this action is to reduce or remove the noise source (if possible), insulate the area, issue PPE to workers, and/or impose working time restrictions. Noise maps have historically been based on manual surveys that take single point readings, which are then plotted onto a site map, typically from CAD drawings. Manually taking and plotting these measurements is arduous and time consuming, and typically would be updated only on around a four year cycle. Plus the readings are (obviously) not continuous, only record the conditions when each reading was taken, and generally do not record the added effects from workers using different machinery and tools in the area.

Statoil R&D on wireless & noise instrumentation

Simon Carlsen of Statoil joined the R&D Department in 2006, bringing expertise in wireless instrumentation, and started investigating the feasibility of using wireless sensors and software techniques to create a real-time noise map. The system subsequently commenced became known as WiNoS, for “Wireless Noise Surveillance”, when formally initialised in 2013. This will consist of a network of wireless noise sensors, continuously monitoring the noise in the process area, using sound pressure level (SPL) measurements of four types: A-weighted SPL (I.eqA), C-weighted SPL (I.eqC), peak SPL (I.peak) and thirty one separate third-of-an-octave frequency band measurements from 25Hz to 16kHz. This data is much more comprehensive than the simple noise level measurements used to establish the noise maps, but will superimpose this data onto the historically available maps. These readings can then be used to update the map in real time, and create alarms available to operators.

The WiNoS sensors then use an industry standard wireless network infrastructure, which transmits the data into the control system, where special software produces the updates to the noise maps – typically on a one minute update rate (ie almost continuous). This live information can be used to create alarms to report back to workers in the area, to control their noise exposure. The objective is to reduce work-related hearing damage, by knowing the actual on-site conditions; to optimize operator time working on/near tools, to reduce daily exposure; and to provide instant feedback on the effect of noise reduction measures. In addition WiNoS allows for time synchronized measurements amongst the sensors in the network, and also allows the control room operator to trigger a download of a high resolution frequency spectrum waveform from any sensor of particular interest, to analyse the signature of the noise. This latter is a major part of the future development of the monitoring system, which will feed into plant condition and process performance monitoring studies.


The WiNoS project development employed the expertise of the Norwegian companies Norsonic AS in the microphone design and the sound level measurements, and the Department of Acoustics at the research company SINTEF to develop the PC software that records the data and creates the noise maps. The software was also required to conform to the Statoil qualified communications protocol.

Choice of wireless network

A major part of the research feasibility study that preceded the WiNoS project was devoted to the choice of the wireless network to be used to efficiently and reliably transmit the data, relatively continuously from multiple sensors. The two suitable networks that were emerging at that time were WirelessHART and ISA100.

The WirelessHART system is now well-known and fairly widely used in Statoil facilities, but the early research trials showed mixed experience with the system and the relevant vendors – some of this was related to the lack of specification details written into the WirelessHART standard. But there were also challenges with achieving the power efficiency in the transfer of all the data required, and the requested large data transfer of the high-res waveform was not readily achievable.

The ISA100.11a wireless transmission standard was also in use in Statoil, and had been adopted for the wireless flammable gas detector pioneered by GasSecure in Norway – Statoil had been involved with the prototype field trials offshore. The initial trials on ISA100 equipment from Yokogawa provided high flexibility for the different application demands, allowed all the 31 one third octave values to be packed into one transmission telegram, and allowed a well-defined block transfer. The sensor could also achieve the two year life required from the installed battery pack, at the 1 minute update rate.

The decision was made that ISA100.11a was to be the preferred protocol for WiNoS, from a technical and project model perspective. Based on the earlier experience of development co-operation with Statoil, it was decided to invite Yokogawa to join the WiNoS project as a Co-Innovation partner, a role that they were keen to develop. In addition to providing the ISA100.11a wireless interface electronics for the sensor, and the interface into the third party control system, Yokogawa worked with Norsonic to develop the mechanical housing for the microphone sensor, and the electronic hardware to process the sound measurements using the Norsonic software, with the whole sensor assembly meeting ATEX requirements.


A Yokogawa wireless temperature transmitter adapted to include the Norsonic microphone

Full system test

In March 2016, a network of 7 off Yokogawa ISA100 enabled wireless noise sensors were tested within the (land-based) industrial lab hall at Statoil Rotvoll, in Trondheim, which has dimensions 35x25x15 metres – and contains various pumps and process equipment. Further synthesized test noise sources were created using loudspeakers. The wireless sensors, the noise mapping software and the IT backhaul architecture all operated reliably and successfully.


Dynamic noise map generated with the system test


A further test, offshore on an operational Statoil platform, is planned and scheduled for Spring 2017, for which Yokogawa will supply 20 production sensors and the ISA100.11a wireless system. A typical platform deck of 50×50 metres might in practice require around 12 noise sensors for effective coverage.


Possibly future noise mapping sensors will be added in high noise plant areas

The Statoil WiNoS system is now ready for development into a commercially available product for use as an offshore platform noise mapping tool. Future research on this system will involve investigation of 3D noise mapping systems. Statoil consider that the equipment application has potential for expansion into machinery condition monitoring, to include automatic process upset or fault and leak detection.

© Nickdenbow,, 2016