Environmental certification with no drain facility

Gloucestershire-based welding specialists Arc Energy Resources has had its environmental management system certified by Lloyds Register to BS EN ISO 14001:2004.

Arc Energy’s environment and procurement manager Andrew Robinson became an associate member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) as part of the process. The audit was completed within a month despite the unique problems posed by Arc Energy’s location, as Andrew explains: “The factory is situated on the site of an 18th century mill, and is bounded by the river Frome, the Stroudwater canal, a brook and a drainage ditch. This makes the site almost an island and, with no mains drainage available, made control of spills and runoff an area of particular importance.”

The ISO 14001certificate follows a long list of awards for the company in its 16-year history, including the BS EN ISO 9001:2008 and BS EN ISO 3834-2 quality management systems; qualification by the internationally renowned ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Certification organisation, which establishes the codes and rules for the design, construction, inspection and testing of pressure vessels, nuclear plant and boilers; and EMS certification.

Managing director Alan Robinson says the systems are the core of the company’s management philosophy.

SPX completes acquisition of Anhydro

SPX Corporation has announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Anhydro business, a Soeborg, Denmark-based global supplier of liquid concentration equipment, powder processing solutions, and dewatering plants and equipment.  The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Anhydro supplies a wide range of evaporation and drying solutions for dairy, food, and starch producers and for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries worldwide.  The transaction includes all Anhydro business units with the exception of its Danish Filter business, Simatek A/S, and its German, UK and US operations, as well as certain individual projects. The acquired business units employ 225 employees and are expected to generate 2010 full-year revenue of approximately 85 million Euros.

“The addition of Anhydro broadens our technology equipment offerings and systems capabilities and strengthens our ability to serve customers in the global food, pharmaceutical and chemical processing end markets,” said SPX Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher J. Kearney. “This strategic transaction also builds on our recent acquisition of Gerstenberg Schroder and underscores our commitment to expanding our Flow Technology segment, which remains a key component of our global growth strategy.”

SPX first announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Anhydro on June 18, 2010.  Anhydro will operate within the SPX Flow Technology segment. SPX products and technologies play an important role in the expansion of global infrastructure to help meet increased demand for power and energy and support many different sources of power generation, including coal and natural gas, nuclear, solar and geothermal. The company’s innovative product portfolio, containing many energy efficient products, includes cooling systems for power plants throughout the world; highly advanced food processing components and turnkey, scalable systems serving the global food and beverage industry; process equipment that assists a variety of flow processes including oil and gas exploration, distribution and refinement and power generation; handheld diagnostic tools that aid in vehicle maintenance and repair; and power transformers that allow utility companies to regulate electric voltage, transmission and distribution.

WirelessHART Approved as First European National Standard for Wireless

The HART Communication Foundation has announced that the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has approved the WirelessHART specification as a European National Standard (EN 62591). CEN released the standard to CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, whose members are the national electrotechnical committees of 31 European countries. CENELEC approved the WirelessHART European Standard on 01 June 2010.

“In March, the WirelessHART specification was approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission as a full international standard (IEC 62591Ed. 1.0),” says Ron Helson, Executive Director of the HART Communication Foundation. “Approval as a European National Standard further confirms acceptance of the technology by users and suppliers as a technically sound, reliable and secure solution for wireless communication in process automation.”

The IEC Standard was approved by CENELEC as a European Standard without any modification. According to the announcement of approval issued by CENELEC, “members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration”.

A growing number of WirelessHART compatible products are available today from major global suppliers including ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Nivis, Phoenix Contact, Pepperl+Fuchs, Siemens and others.

Released in September 2007, WirelessHART is an open and interoperable wireless communication standard designed to address the critical needs of industry for reliable, robust and secure wireless communication in real-time industrial process measurement and control applications.

WirelessHART is a backward compatible, evolutionary enhancement to the HART Communication Protocol, the leading communication technology for intelligent process measurement and control field devices and systems with more than 30 million devices installed and operating in process plant applications around the globe.

The CEN was founded in 1961. Its 30 national members work together to develop European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European internal market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy.CENELEC is a non-profit technical organization set up under Belgian law. CENELEC members have been working together in the interests of European harmonization since the 1950s, creating both standards requested by the market and harmonized standards in support of European legislation.

Siemens to supply 68 wind turbines in Scotland

Siemens has received an order from SSE Renewables (SSER) for the supply of 68 wind turbines with a capacity of 2.3 megawatts (MW) each. These are for the Griffin wind power farm, located approximately 19 miles northwest of Perth in the Scottish Highlands. The wind power farm will have a capacity of 156 MW upon completion in 2012, and is expected to generate enough power to supply over 80,000 homes.

The scope of supply for the Griffin wind farm includes the delivery, installation, and commissioning of 68 of Siemens 2.3-MW turbines. Of the 68 turbines, 61 will have a 101m rotor and 7 will have a 93m rotor. This is the first time that a SWT-2.3-101 will be deployed in the UK. Siemens will also provide services for turbine operation and maintenance for an initial period of five years.

In autumn 2009, Siemens and SSER signed a contract for the supply of wind turbines for SSER’s 350 MW Clyde project in Scotland. This project is planned for commissioning in 2012. “This follow-up order for the Griffin wind farm project from SSER underlines our leading position in the wind power market,” said Jens-Peter Saul, CEO of Siemens Wind Power globally. “Furthermore, the Griffin wind power farm will yield significant benefits for Scotland in terms of jobs and local value creation“. The project will provide over 100 jobs during the construction phase.

Siemens is also heavily engaged in skills and training to support the development of the wind power sector in Scotland and throughout the UK. Earlier this year Siemens announced its involvement with Carnegie College, Rosyth as part of the first pilot Wind Turbine Service Technician apprenticeship programme. This is designed to provide the renewable energy industry with the highly skilled workers who are crucial to the sector’s skills requirements.

Wind turbines are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2009, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR23 billion, making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, the company’s products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 210 million tonnes. This amount equals the combined annual CO2 emissions of New York, Tokyo, London and Berlin.

SonTek/YSI doppler flow sales hike

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 earmarked $14.6 million to the US Geological Survey for upgrades to its 7,500-station national streamgauge network, and in
direct response, USGS has purchased $3.4 million dollars worth of hi-technology electro-acoustic instruments from San Diego-based SonTek/YSI, for use in their national water monitoring programs.

In addition to the popular FlowTracker and Argonaut products, the order also included 33 of the award winning, multi-frequency RiverSurveyor S5/M9 systems. The acoustic Doppler instruments will be used for water velocity measurement in streams, rivers and canals to help provide critical information used to estimate flood dangers, protect fragile ecosystems, construct safe bridges and roadways, and monitor the effects of climate change on water availability.

“The need for rapid and accurate water flow data is not just a need in the USA” said Chris Ward, SonTek/YSI Director of Global Business development: “Over half of our products are exported overseas to water-stressed parts of the world such as China, India, and Australia.” The USGS collects streamflow information to determine how much water is available in different locations across the nation.  Because the effects of climate change on water availability could become a critical issue in certain regions of the nation, accurate long-term streamflow information is necessary to determine how water managers can respond and adapt to these changes.

ABB offshore wind power order worth $700 million

ABB has won an order worth around $700 million from the German transmission grid operator, transpower, to supply an 800-megawatt power link that will connect more offshore wind farms in the DolWin1 cluster, located in the North Sea to the mainland German grid.

ABB will deploy its innovative and environmentally friendly HVDC Light (high-voltage direct current) transmission technology to transmit power from the 400 MW Borkum West II wind farm and other wind farms to be developed nearby. The wind farms will be connected to an offshore HVDC converter station which will transmit electricity to the onshore HVDC station at Dörpen, on the northwest coast of Germany via 165 km of underwater and underground DC cables. The Dörpen/West converter station will in turn feed AC power to the mainland grid.

This is the largest power transmission order in ABB’s history. At 320-kilovolt this will be the highest voltage level of extruded cable ever used for HVDC. ABB will be responsible for system engineering, including design, supply and installation of the offshore platform, the offshore and onshore converter stations, and will also supply and install the sea and land cable systems. ABB is uniquely positioned with in-house manufacturing capability of converter stations,cables and semiconductors.

“Offshore wind power is becoming a key source of large-scale renewable energy and is making a vital contribution to the effort of lowering environmental impact,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. ”ABB has state-of-the-art transmission technologies for integrating renewable energy sources efficiently and ensuring grid reliability and stability.”

HVDC Light transmission systems offer numerous environmental benefits, such as neutral electromagnetic fields, oil-free cables and compact converter stations. It is an ideal solution for connecting remote offshore wind farms to mainland networks, overcoming distance limitations and grid constraints, while ensuring robust performance and minimal electrical losses. Scheduled to be operational in 2013, this network of offshore wind farms is expected to avoid three million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by replacing fossil-fuel based generation. Germany currently meets about eight percent of its electricity requirements with wind power and expects to double that by 2020. This is the second HVDC Light offshore wind connection supplied by ABB in Germany, the first being the BorWin1 project, the most remote offshore wind farm in the world.

Spectra Energy acquires Bobcat LNG storage assets

Spectra Energy has purchased the Bobcat Gas Storage assets and development project from Haddington Energy Partners and GE Energy Financial Services, for $540 million. In addition to the purchase price, the company expects to invest an additional $400 to $450 million to fully develop the facility by the end of 2015. Once fully operational, the high-deliverability salt dome storage caverns in southeastern Louisiana will have a total working gas storage capacity of 46 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

“We are extremely pleased with the acquisition of these strategically-located natural gas storage facilities, which complement our existing pipeline and storage assets in the region and provide us with a platform for significant future storage growth,” said Greg Ebel, president and chief executive officer, Spectra Energy Corp. “Bobcat’s strategic location in the Gulf Coast and its interconnection with five major interstate pipelines, including our Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline, provides customers with the advantage and flexibility to access all the major markets in the US,” said Ebel.

“Natural gas storage has played and will continue to play an important role in the continent’s energy future,” continued Ebel. “Given the tremendous increase in natural gas supplies, the ongoing increase in natural gas-fired electric generation and the continuing growth in natural gas demand, storage infrastructure will play a vital role in meeting our customers’ needs. This project, which supports our stated plans to deploy approximately $1 billion per year in growth capital through at least 2014, is expected to earn returns on capital employed in the 10 to 12 percent range”.

Once Bobcat is fully developed, Spectra Energy’s total North American storage capacity will be approximately 340 Bcf.

Ethernet control for stone cutting machine

An all-in-one machine and motion controller is helping an innovative machine builder to set new levels of performance and economy in the stone cutting sector. Farnese Australia has been manufacturing stone cutting and polishing machines for 10 years. For its latest product, the Quantum bridge saw, the company switched to an Ethernet-based controller from Baldor. This provides all of the resources required for the real-time interpolated control of four servomotor axes, all of the I/O on the machine, plus an ActiveX interface to the unique Windows user interface that Farnese has developed over many years to simplify stonemasonry.

The new Quantum bridge saw provides X, Y and rotational motion for the fast and efficient shaping of stone kitchen and bathroom surfaces, and is believed to set a radically lower price/performance standard compared with existing machines in this market sector. Quantum provides a large cutting area of 3.7 x 2 metres. Four servomotors control the motion of the rotary saw tool – which moves over the worktable on a gantry. Two synchronised axes are used to drive the gantry along the worktable, because of the weight and rigidity of the tool that is required for precision sawing over such a large operating area. The other two axes provide transverse movement along the gantry, and rotational motion of the tool head. The latter axis eliminates any need to reposition the workpiece or tool for changes of cutting direction, and can make angular and circular cuts to radii as small as 10 mm.

The four axes employ single-phase Baldor MicroFlex e100 drives driving BSM servomotors. These axes, plus all of the sensors and actuators required on the machine, are controlled by Baldor’s all-in-one motion and machine controller, NextMove e100. This controller uses the deterministic real-time Ethernet Powerlink Network. The Baldor controller was selected for three main reasons. The first is economy – as it provides a single-box motion and I/O control solution for this four-axis interpolated machine. The second reason is expandability: Farnese makes a range of cutting and polishing machines and the Powerlink networking standard, and Baldor’s controller makes it possible to use the same platform for almost any conceivable new machine or cell – with up to 16 interpolated axes.

Baldor’s development environment – Workbench – provided the final reason. This no-cost toolsuite is provided with the controller, and includes support for ActiveX, making it easy to interface with Farnese’s existing PC/Windows-based user interface. Programming the real-time motion control was made easy by Baldor’s Mint language, which offers high-level keywords for the complex movements that Farnese requires, such as angular and circular cuts.  Workbench also provides tools that allow Farnese to provide remote support for its machines, allowing diagnostics to be run, drives to be tuned, etc.

The user interface is a key feature underpinning Farnese’s success in its home markets of Australasia. It makes selection of the right shape cutting process very easy, avoiding much of the risk of operator error. A range of pre-programmed shape cutting sequences are provided to cover common requirements, eliminating the need for skilled operator programming by the kitchen and bathroom surface suppliers that typically purchase these machines. The sequences include ready-to-use templates for the major sink manufacturers, for example.  The interface also supports more complex applications, allowing programming using G-code, as well as manual control.

Alessandro Farnese of Farnese Australia said “We’ve used Baldor controllers for many years. The latest Powerlink controller gives us a really versatile platform to help develop our machine building business. There are many performance advantages in this product, but our relationship also benefits greatly from Baldor’s strong technical support, and we know that Baldor’s worldwide network will help us as we take our next steps and expand internationally.”

“The NextMove e100 provides a very versatile and economic platform for producing three- and four-axis machines such as those from Farnese Australia,” says Jason de Souza of Baldor.  “In this case, the multi-axis control capabilities and the I/O that comes as standard provided all the control resources needed, keeping the bill-of-material costs very low. It will also operate standalone, or in conjunction with a PC host, providing great flexibility of application for the small machines sector.”

Farnese Australia is currently in the process of starting up a manufacturing plant in Vietnam, to help it produce machines for the global market. For more information on Farnese Australia and the Quantum machine, see http://www.farnese.com.au

Emerson ‘ultra-supercritical’ power station contract in China

Emerson Process Management has received a $2.72 million contract to install its Ovation expert control system at Huadian Lingwu Power Plant units 3 and 4, which are the first 1,000-MW, ultra-supercritical units in China to utilize air-cooling condenser technology. The air-cooling condenser technology, typically used in subcritical power plants located in areas where water is scarce, is now also gaining traction in supercritical and ultra-supercritical units that are increasingly specified in response to environmental regulations.

Owned by Huadian Lingwu Power Generation Company, the plant is located in Yinchuan City in northwest China. It currently consists of two 600-MW, coal-fired units (units 1 and 2) that have utilized Ovation technology since they went into commercial operation in 2007. Units 3 and 4, expected to begin commercial operation in August 2010 and December 2010, respectively, are being built to spur economic development by serving the growing electricity needs of industry in the region.

This growth is part of the broader increase in power demand in China. China’s National Development and Reform Commission stated earlier this year that the country’s electricity consumption rose nearly six percent in 2009. According to the country’s National Energy Administration, in the first quarter of 2010 alone China’s electricity consumption rose 24.19 percent year-on-year to 969.5 billion kilowatt-hours.

As part of its automation solution, Emerson will supply a total of 67 redundant Ovation controllers, 20 workstations and more than 70 Fisher control valves to Huadian Lingwu Unit 3 and Unit 4. At each unit, an Ovation control system will perform data acquisition as well as monitor and control the air-cooled condensers, Donfang boiler, sequence control system, electric control system, modulation control system, furnace safety supervisory system, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system, feedwater pump turbine and balance-of-plant processes. Each Ovation system will also interface to Hitachi steam turbine controls. In addition, Emerson Ovation technology will monitor and control systems common to both units using multi-networking technology. All told, the Ovation control systems will manage a total of approximately 28,000 I/O points.

“We already know firsthand about the advantages of Ovation technology, based on our experience at units 1 and 2,” explained Lead Engineer Wu Lianwen, Huadian Lingwu Power Plant. “We based our decision to select Ovation for units 3 and 4 on our personal experience with the technology, as well as Emerson’s extensive expertise automating 1,000-MW, ultra-supercritical units, and their significant resources in China.”

Emerson is the global leader in the automation of large ultra-supercritical and supercritical power generating facilities. In fact, the Ovation system has been selected to automate 30 of the 50 1,000-MW, ultra-supercritical units in China. Ultra-supercritical plants use advanced technology that allows operation at elevated steam temperatures and pressures. Ultra-supercritical technologies have become more prevalent in China because they can boost the efficiency of coal-based electricity generation by more than 45 percent, while maintaining superior environmental performance.

“Emerson’s involvement at the Huadian Lingwu Power Plant demonstrates how we bring our global resources and industry-leading technologies together for the benefit of our customers,” said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson Process Management. “We are gratified by the organization’s continued confidence in Emerson’s people and technologies.”

Edwards wins £3.5M in vacuum orders

Edwards has received six major orders for industrial coating systems from Taiwan and China in the last six months, totalling over £3.5 million in value. These orders have included the supply of a variety of primary and secondary vacuum pumps for different applications, including coating architectural flat glass and display coating of materials onto devices such as mobile phones, PDAs and hand-held devices.

The pumps create accurate vacuum conditions in the process chambers.  The actual pumps involved include Edwards primary pumps such as dry GV pumps, EM rotary vane pumps and EH mechanical boosters together with secondary pumps such as magnetic bearing turbomolecular STP 1303C, STP 1603C and STPiXA2205 pumps.

“We’re delighted to have received these orders, which highlight the growth of the industrial coating sector,” says Neil Lavender-Jones, president for the asia pacific region within Edwards.  “As a global company we have manufacturing facilities and offices close to customers in all regions and through combining our local knowledge and technical expertise we are able to deliver high quality products that play a key role in these applications.”

Edwards has been providing the industrial coating market with equipment for more than 25 years.  The company works closely with its customers to fully understand their requirements and to optimise their processes to increase efficiency and minimize costs and energy use.