London Technology Fund Christmas Quiz

To test the ‘little grey cells’ this Christmas the London Technology Fund  have devised a new quiz. Answers please via e-mail by noon on the 7th January 2011. The prize for answering correctly all the questions in A or B is a bottle of champagne, with a bottle to the highest total if no one gets all the answers correct, so don’t worry if you can’t answer everything. A third bottle will be given to anyone getting all questions of A and B right. The winners will be drawn from a hat in the event of more than one correct set of answers in the three categories. It seems LTF have split their regular quiz into a European section, and an American section!

A)     In the Napoleonic Wars

1.       Give the regimental numbers of the first three British regiments to carry the Baker rifle and be designated “light infantry” (1802 – 03).

2.       Name the battle in Italy which gave its name to a district of London in recognition of a British victory.

3.       Which French Marshal took his mistress to war dressed as a cavalryman?

4.       Which allied Marshal, and major general in the British army, won a “most bloody victory” in Spain partly due to his poor handling of the army and a break in the weather?

5.       Name the Spanish fortress which was the site of Wellington’s  only major reversal leading to a fighting retreat to Portugal.

6.       Who lost his silver chamberpot and where?

7.       By what name was the Headquarters of the British Army known at this time?

B)      In the American Civil War of 1861-65, name the general/admiral

1.       Nicknamed Old Pete

2.       Nicknamed Old Brains

3.       Nicknamed Old Snapping Turtle

4.       Nicknamed Fighting Joe

5.       Who gave his name to elaborate side whiskers?

6.       Whose father was Light-Horse Harry?

7.       Who was the first to be promoted to Rear Admiral in US Naval history?

Answers please to: William de Mare at Company Guides Venture Partners Limited, e-mail: wdm@cgvp.com

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Thermo Fisher acquires TKA Water Purification Systems

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc announced the completion of the acquisition of TKA Wasseraufbereitungssysteme GmbH, a European provider of laboratory water purification systems. Based in Niederelbert, Germany, TKA has nearly 60 employees and had 2009 full year revenue of approximately Euro10 million.

“The addition of TKA’s comprehensive offering of laboratory water purification systems to our portfolio of laboratory equipment and consumables enables us to meet our customers’ growing needs for versatility and productivity in their laboratories,” said Thomas Loewald, president laboratory equipment of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “The demand for ultrapure water, in particular, is driven by the ever-increasing sensitivity of analytical instruments used in life science research.”

TKA’s laboratory water purification systems include electrodeionization (EDI), reverse osmosis (RO) and ultrafiltrationtechnologies. With a wider range of laboratory water purification options, customers can match the purity-level of water to their specific requirements, increasing the reliability of results across multiple applications and improving laboratory efficiency.

The Niederelbert location will become a center for R+D and manufacturing of laboratory water purification systems and will be integrated into the Thermo Fisher Laboratory Products and Services segment.

Alfa Laval acquires Aalborg Industries

Alfa Laval – a leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has signed an agreement to acquire Aalborg Industries Holding A/S for a total cash consideration of SEK 5.0 billion, on an enterprise value basis, from Altor 2003 Fund, LD Equity and the Company’s management. Aalborg Industries has some 2,600 employees and is expected to generate sales of about SEK 3.3 billion in 2010. The acquisition will be accretive to EPS from 2011. The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance from regulatory authorities.

Headquartered in Aalborg, Denmark, the company is a leading provider of critical products, systems and service solutions, today mainly to the marine and off-shore markets, but it also has an increasing exposure to the power industry as well as to other industrial end markets. Its offering includes boiler systems, thermal fluid systems, waste heat recovery systems and inert gas systems. The company complements and further strengthens Alfa Laval’s leading global position, by adding a strong product offering that focuses on energy efficiency. As a result, meaningful top and bottom line synergies are expected to be derived from this combination. Alfa Laval has significant and long-standing expertise in successfully addressing a number of industries, including the marine and off-shore markets, and can provide an attractive platform to continue Aalborg Industries successful development, for instance in applications such as exhaust gas cleaning.

“Aalborg Industries is an excellent fit and I’m very pleased to welcome a strong and well-run company into Alfa Laval”, says Lars Renström, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. “Aalborg Industries complements our offering of energy-efficient and environmental solutions. It represents a significant business opportunity as it not only supports the development of our offering to the marine and off-shore markets but also means we can introduce their product offering to new industrial end markets and customers.”

With the acquisition of Aalborg Industries, Alfa Laval will further strengthen its offer in heat transfer. It will add market-leading positions in attractive market segments,

Aalborg Industries is a leading specialized equipment company including boilers and thermal fluid systems, as well as inert gas systems, with significant barriers to entry. These include extensive certification processes, a strong innovation track record and a global service network. The company’s strong manufacturing and engineering presence in fast-growing markets such as China,Vietnam and Brazil, as well as the aftermarket potential generated by a large installed base, are highly attractive attributes.

Alfa Laval’s acquisition strategy is based on the concept of constantly optimising the performance of our customers’ processes. This means that Alfa Laval seeks to undertake acquisitions and alliances that strengthen the existing key technologies by adding new solutions as well as complementary products and distribution channels. Over the last five years, Alfa Laval has acquired some 28 companies with total sales, a tthe time of the acquisitions, of about SEK 5 billion.

The INSIDER December newsletter

The December newsletter from the Industrial Automation Insider has now been published: the following abstracts of the main stories show the topics covered this month.  To receive a newsletter copy on publication, or see the whole of these reports, why not take out a subscription? For further information, see http://www.iainsider.co.uk .

ABB buy Baldor for $4.2Bn – balances group world sales with $6Bn in USA, builds future motor and drive business potential

ABB announced a recommended cash offer to acquire Baldor Electric Company on 30 November, in a transaction valued at $4.2Bn. ABB will finance the purchase out of existing cash, and, in a very strong acquisition presentation, say they expect the transaction to provide significant synergies and growth potential, both by using Baldor’s strong position in the North American market to build the ABB penetration, and by providing the global expansion possible for Baldor products, both NEMA motors and power transmission components, through the ABB distribution network overseas.

Joe Hogan, chief executive officer of ABB, commented that “We’re in one move acquiring a market leader and significantly strengthening our automation presence in the world’s largest industrial economy” The significant Baldor business in mechanical power transmission (gears, bearings and housings, couplings) with brands like Baldor-Dodge and Baldor-Maska, has no equivalent in the previous ABB portfolio, and is quoted as “an attractive adjacency for ABB”. The real business compatibility comes with the motors, where Baldor is a market leading supplier in the North American market. Baldor offer a complete range of low voltage NEMA motors, and the recent Q3 2010 report commented that premium-efficiency motors had a 32% sales increase compared to the previous year, bringing them up to 19% of total motor sales for the quarter.

To read the full story, take out a subscription to Industrial Automation INSIDER.

Three of the majors hold user group events

As reported last month, the last few weeks have seen the Europe-located user group meetings for both Honeywell and Invensys, plus the Rockwell (worldwide) Automation Fair at Disney World in Orlando. There were many similarities, and a few big contrasts……

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Honeywell stress wireless and tank gauging developments

During the HUG meeting in Barcelona, Jean-Marie Alliet, from Honeywell in Belgium, and Jason Urso, vp and chief technology officer, explained the major technology developments within Honeywell, in order to put the 84 new product innovations and developments created in the current year into some perspective. Honeywell takes the advice and recommendations made by the user group committees as a major pointer as to where developments should be planned, and many of these have been completed.

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Invensys has a vision – plus a marketing plan?

The impression left by Invensys OpsManage’10 was of a company with a great depth of technology and know-how, both in products and people, having made major strides in pulling itself together over the past 18 months as Invensys Operations Management (IOM), and with people very skilled in their own areas, who were now trying to understand how to move forward together. It seems everything is moving forward, but not necessarily together.

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Nosbuch sees Cisco as the key marketing advantage

In his presentation to the assembled press, Rockwell ceo Nosbuch had teamed up with Sujeet Chand, svp and chief technical officer, to discuss sustainable manufacturing achieved by an optimized plant and supply network, which was quoted as needing plant floor integration with the external supply chain, to give flexible and agile production (a message repeated by Battacharya of Invensys in his OpsManage presentations).  To achieve this, Nosbuch states, requires the implementation of a standard unmodified Ethernet infrastructure and its associated interoperable standards, as well as manufacturing intelligence that enables the transfer of data into actionable information.

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– Honeywell, Invensys, Rockwell:
what was the real difference between these three events?

What was the difference between these three user events, apart from the logo behind the speakers? All three companies: Honeywell, Rockwell and Invensys, have done a lot better in 2010 business than they had anticipated. Whether this is just more of the same, or whether they have moved significantly into new business segments, is more difficult to assess. All of them have moved into new geographic areas to find the active sources of business, and for their European sales operations this means North Africa, Turkey, the Middle-east and Central Asia. Possibly the business environment in Europe is slightly better than that in the USA – while the Rockwell Automation Fair attendance was not affected, Honeywell had more attendees in Barcelona than in Arizona.

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Invensys: Henriksson – he maybe says too much?

Ulf Henriksson, chief executive of Invensys, seems destined to just say the ‘wrong’ thing, in press interviews, regularly. After expressing his surprise at the company surviving the winter of 2008-09 at a rock bottom share price level of down below GBP1.50, without being snapped up in a take-over bid, last month he made several comments to reporters in China after attending a state banquet as part of a UK trade delegation. Henriksson was there because IOM (Invensys Operations Management – Triconex) had won all six of the six nuclear reactors controls contracts offered for bidding in China, in the last 18 months approx, and had signed a collaboration deal with China State Railways (CSR). He was quoted as having put forward a proposition:  “I would like to see the Chinese using their cash outside China and taking ownership of Western companies” he says. “I believe that CSR has the possibility of acquiring Invensys, in principle, in its logic, as long as the shareholders accept the price. It is not my preference though.” Needless to say this produced a sudden increase in the price if Invensys shares, until a later official company statement saying “Contrary to recent speculation, Invensys confirms that it has not received an approach nor had any discussions regarding a possible offer for the Company or about a strategic partner taking a minority stake”.

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Chinese nuclear power programme chooses – ABB

Despite the quoted success for IOM in supplying Triconex safety systems to the Chinese nuclear programme, CNNP, China National Nuclear Power, at the centre of China’s energy development strategy, is to use enterprise asset management (EAM) software solutions from Ventyx, a recently acquired business within the ABB Group. EAM software from Ventyx is an industry-leading solution for the management of operations and maintenance in the nuclear power sector, helping customers to generate electricity safely and reliably. ABB suggest this order validates their recent acquisition of Ventyx, which bridges the gap between information technology and operational technology.

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New interest in SIL rated tank overfill protection

The explosion at the Buncefield fuel storage depot near Hemel Hempstead in the UK took place five years ago. The recent fines levied on various parties as a result of this accident have heightened interest in the installation of automatic shutdown systems to prevent the overfilling of storage tanks. Hima-Sella have developed an easy means of ‘layering on’ tank overfill protection, with their TOPS system, built around the HIMatrix family of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). When used with suitable valves and transmitters, HIMatrix can be included in BS EN61508 safety loops up to and including SIL3. In the summer of 2010, hard on the heels of the Buncefield fines, Hima-Sella reports a dramatic rise in interest for TOPS. Most enquiries are from site operators/owners. However some insurance companies have been enquiring too, as they are becoming increasingly interested in the feasibility of enforcing level-monitoring at smaller storage depots – particularly those which are unmanned when receiving deliveries.

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Alfa Laval buys Olmi SpA

Alfa Laval has acquired the Italian company Olmi S.p.A., a leading company specializing in the design and manufacture of shell and tube heat exchangers and air coolers for niche applications in the petrochemical, power and oil and gas industries.

Lars Renström, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group, commented on the acquisition: “The acquisition of Olmi will substantially strengthen our platform to expand into the high pressure, high temperature heat exchanger market. At the same time, AlfaLaval’s strong global presence allows us to take the offering to new geographical markets and customers.” Olmi, a family owned business since 1933, has sales of about SEK 700 million, with approximately 240 employees working in R+D, manufacturing and sales. The transaction was completed based on an enterprise value of approximately SEK 500 million. The purchase agreement includes a limited earn-out opportunity for the previous owners. The intention is to integrate Olmi into Alfa Laval as a competence centre based on their unique know-how. The company was consolidated into Alfa Laval from December 6,2010.

ABB acquires Insert Key Solutions

ABB has agreed to acquire the business of Insert Key Solutions (IKS), a privately owned software provider specialising in asset lifecycle management, adding IKS’ solutions to its recently acquired Ventyx software portfolio. The move will create a comprehensive solution set for asset and work management, maintenance optimization, and equipment reliability.

Based in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in the United States, IKS specializes in delivering software solutions for process improvement, increased equipment reliability and operational performance in power generation plants, and transmission and distribution networks. The company has an extensive customer base in the thermal and nuclear power sectors, and a staff of 50 people.

“Insert Key Solutions provides a highly complementary offering to our solutions for the power industry,” said Jens Birgersson, head of the Network Management business within ABB’s Power Systems division. “It significantly strengthens our software-based solutions, which optimize equipment reliability, asset health and maintenance services for asset-intensive industries.”

“We are excited to become a part of the Ventyx team and the ABB family. We not only share complementary solutions, but also the same dedication to excellence and customer focus,” said Evan Niemkiewicz, President and CEO of Insert Key Solutions. “This integration enables us to fortify our infrastructure and product lifecycles and to take our solutions to a broader set of industries and geographies. I am confident it is the best path forward for our customers and our company.”

ABB plans to retain the IKS team and will place IKS executives in key roles within the Ventyx team responsible for Asset Suite, eSOMS (asset and operations management software), and IKS solutions.

Ventyx, an ABB company (www.ventyx.com), provides enterprise software, energy markets data and professional services that enable energy, utility, communications and other asset-intensive organizations to optimize operational efficiency and productivity.