ABB latest TÜV approved Safety Centre

ABB has announced that its Safety Execution Center (SEC) in San Luis Potosi, and Mexico City, Mexico has been certified by TÜV as having in place and applying a Functional Safety Management System (FSMS) for delivery and implementation of safety system projects in accordance to international industry standards.  These standards include IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 for integration and implementation of safety instrumented systems (SIS).

ABB currently has more safety centers with TÜV certification for Functional Safety Management System (FSMS) delivery and implementation than any other supplier in the industry. These centers are located in every region of the world. Thirteen of ABB’s Safety Execution Centers have been certified by TÜV Rheinland, one of the leading world specialists in the assessment and certification of organizations and products to safety standards. Ten additional SECs are currently working towards TÜV certification.

ABB’s proven methodology for delivering safety systems meets international standards and best practices, and ensures consistent, flawless execution of these projects all over the world.

In Mexico, ABB’s Oil and Gas business has implemented numerous safety systems for emergency shutdown (ESD) and Mitigation of Fire and Gas (F & G), primarily in refineries, marine terminals, drilling rigs and production for Cantarell field and KU-MALOOB-ZAAP in the Campeche Sond. Interlock Systems were also implemented in ethylene oxide plants; the largest installed base is in the Cadereyta refinery with 20 emergency shutdown systems and 20 systems for Fire and Gas.

“This certification is a great advantage for our customers when making decisions, by providing the assurance of a neutral certification organization that ABB develops and run their systems according the international standards”, said Daniel Galicia, Country Manager of ABB in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  “This is another example of the priority given by ABB to our customers when it comes to safety, services and products to ensure that safety in its plants and in its operations will never be compromised.”

TÜV certification recognizes that ABB’s functional safety management system complies with international standards and best practices for its products, engineering and project teams and installation methods. It meets all relevant sections of international standards IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 for integration and implementation of safety instrumented systems (SIS), including system configuration, application programming, test and front end safety consulting for specific industrial safety applications.

ABB has been at the forefront of safety system development and delivery since 1979, when it commissioned the first emergency shut down system on the Statfjord B offshore oil platform in the North Sea. ABB commemorated its 30 years of extensive safety experience in 2009; these solutions have protected literally generations of personnel and processes.


The INSIDER Newsletter for February 2011

From the INSIDER newsletter issue for February, the following abstracts show the main stories presented. Others, such as the UPS systems available from Chloride, the analysis of the differences between the collaborations developed between Rockwell and Endress + Hauser, Honeywell and Krohne, and the many January acquisitions in the industry, have already been the subject of other stories within this blog. However to see the full stories behind these further topics, why not take out a subscription to the full 12 page newsletter? For further information see .

Rockwell Micro 800 PLC targets OEMs and machine builders.

Rockwell Automation have always insisted that their promotion programme would still be focused on process OEMs and skid builders. Som Chakraborti, process business director for Rockwell, commented: “Users spend a significant amount of their engineering time – up to 60 percent in some cases – integrating equipment from various vendors into their DCS. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 helps customers reduce this non-value add expense. It introduces a set of architectures and efficiency tools to help equipment manufacturers deliver their scope quicker, and offers end-users simpler integration to their process automation system.” This same approach is now evident in the latest Rockwell product, the Micro 800 PLC family, aimed at the other end of the spectrum from PlantPAx, and particularly targeted at smaller OEMs.

Steve Pethick, Rockwell director of components and safety business for EMEA, explains: “With this new line, we are delivering the functionality and flexibility of a micro PLC for the price of a smart relay. The greatest value of the new Micro800 family is the simplicity and convenience it offers users – namely, that it provides ‘just enough control’… users will only pay for what they need.”

The software for the Micro 800 series uses the Rockwell ‘Connected Components Workbench’. Following established IEC-61131 standards – supporting ladder diagram, function block diagram and structured text – ‘Connected Components Workbench’ is a single package operating across all the Micro 800 range that is quoted as easy to acquire, install and update. The same software can also be used by machine builders to configure other devices in the system, including PowerFlex variable speed drives and PanelView Component HMI display products. So one standard programming environment covers all products, right down to the smart relay, which is not the case with any other product ranges from other suppliers.

European oil refineries all face fall in demand

During 2010 it was reported that several European oil and chemical firms have been looking to sell domestic refineries, as demand for fuels and petrochemical products has fallen more sharply in Europe than elsewhere, hitting profit margins. The Ineos Grangemouth refinery in Scotland is one of the major UK refineries: Ineos this month signed a deal that will create a joint venture between Ineos and the Chinese oil giant PetroChina, to jointly own two refineries – Grangemouth and Lavéra, near Marseille in France. As a consequence of the deal, Ineos gets all important market support in China, the most important petrochemical markets in the world.

High growth in inverters for solar power plants

Dave Baston, general manager of Control Techniques, a company within Emerson Industrial Automation, recently presented an introduction to their current business developments in the area of PV (photo-voltaic) solar power energy generation systems. Their first SPV solar power utility scale inverter system, with a 2MVA peak power capability, was installed in Germany in 2007: over the last 15 months the total capacity installed has been 200MVA peak, in Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium and Greece. The business growth has been rather fast, moving from GBP0.5m, to 1.0m, to 40million in the last 3 years, but production of the inverter modules is still in the UK, with the final mechanical assembly in Romania.

Hidden hazards for equipment builders

Legislation changes are introducing potential trade and competition problems for European manufacturers of equipment containing electric motors, warns Baldor. The Energy Independence and Security Act in the USA, effective since 19 December, means that all new motors sold after this date (from 1-200HP) must deliver the mandated new ‘NEMA Premium’ higher efficiency levels.

What Baldor are highlighting is that the recent changes to the USA rules have effectively introduced the IE3 level of efficiency already, because the USA ‘NEMA Premium’ motor is equivalent to the EU IE3 standard: and any equipment imported into the USA already requires any built-in motors to be of this IE3 standard! Equipment not conforming will not be allowed in, or if it does get in, the manufacturer/importer will face a fine, as did Haier Refrigeration, who were apparently subjected to a $150k fine in 2010.

Premature start-up led to Bayer explosion

In the USA, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has issued the results of its findings in relation to the August 2008 explosion at a Bayer CropScience pesticide manufacturing unit in Institute, West Virginia, that killed two workers and injured eight others. The CSB report states: “The accident occurred during the start-up of the methomyl unit, following a lengthy period of maintenance. The CSB found the start-up was begun prematurely, a result of pressures to resume production, and took place before valve line-ups, equipment check-outs, a pre-start-up safety review, and computer calibration were complete. CSB investigators also found the company failed to perform a thorough Process Hazard Analysis, or PHA, as required by regulation.”

Virtual exhibition  presentations on the web

The concept of using a video presentation of a product range or new product launch, as it would be seen at an exhibition, has been developed by a new website,, recently launched by Mark Simms, also editor of the UK magazine Industrial Technology. The website presents itself as a virtual exhibition, so there are the booth displays presenting overall company capability; seminars to explain different aspects of technology; new product launch presentations, and so on.

Automation survey by USA stock analysts Longbow

Longbow Research is an institutional equity research organization: they produce in depth research on a short list of companies for investors. In January they issued an Automation Survey, looking at several USA-based companies operating in this area, defined as “industrial technology”. Whilst not a cross section of the automation industry, the depth of the research into these companies makes the comments interesting. Longbow Research makes these comments to assess the future share price performance expected.

ABB bolsters the Ventyx strength –twice over

ABB has strengthened their recently acquired Ventyx business with two further acquisitions of specialist software companies. Firstly in December it was Insert Key Solutions (IKS), a privately owned specialist software provider employing 50 and based near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Then, in January, Obvient Strategies Inc, a specialist software provider employing 40 and based near Atlanta, Georgia was

Recent collaboration moves over instrumentation

Endress + Hauser, the Swiss-based level, flow and analytical measurement product manufacturer, expanded their market profile by entering into a collaborative relationship with Rockwell Automation.  The impression is that this is working well, and resulting in increased sales volumes for E+H, possibly particularly in the American markets, where Rockwell is very strong. The E+H booth alongside the Rockwell areas at the Rockwell Automation Fair in Orlando last October demonstrated this close tie: but it extends into more than just extra sales. The link with Rockwell also brings Cisco and their Ethernet expertise into play, and E+H development efforts have been used to support this with the launch last year of a new version of the Promass Coriolis flowmeter with EtherNet/IP connectivity. Further progress along these lines has now emerged, as promised, with an Ethernet version of the Promag 53 Electromagnetic flowmeter: connections to these units are purely mains power and dual RJ45 Ethernet ports, permitting communications, direct service, daisy chain or integrated switch functions.

Simple integration

The Ethernet connection allows fast and seamless integration of the flowmeter into Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture in ControlLogix and CompactLogix, as well as the PlantPAx Process Automation system. Dion Bouwer, Product Manager – Platforms at Endress+Hauser, explains that “For the end user, the primary advantage will be simplicity and speed of integration. Even our own research and development team was astounded by how quickly the Promass integrated into the Rockwell Automation Logix platform. It was literally a case of a few mouse clicks, as opposed to the 15-20 minutes it would take to configure over another network.”

The units provide standard faceplate displays in the FactoryTalk system, and the on-board web server allows this simple configuration and commissioning – but this can also be achieved if needed via the display, or via a service port using E+H FieldCare. The EDS file embedded in the devices for RSLogix 5000 integration allows immediate device recognition as a network node. All the common variables, status bits and both standard and advanced diagnostics from the flowmeters, are visible from the control system display, using the Ethernet communications bus at up to 100 Mbps, typically ten times faster than any other bus system.

Target markets

E+H consider the Promag with Ethernet will be particularly suited to applications in food and beverage and water/waste applications, which are the main areas for the existing Promag range, but the integration capability into Rockwell systems would seem to suggest that the Promass and Promag Ethernet units are targeting filling and blending applications, and for machine and skid builders operating in the hybrid process/discrete control industries, the typical users of Rockwell Automation systems. E+H also suggest that a typical application for the Promass would be in a blending skid, allowing the incoming flow of a number of raw ingredients to be tightly controlled, with a fast response time, helping to maintain the quality of the finished product. As well as measuring mass flow and density, the unit can also be used to measure viscosity, on-line. The promotion at present is based around the USA, Canada and Mexico markets, judging by the datasheet and the relevant website pages that can be located. It will be interesting to see what the next products chosen for Ethernet development will be, in that with slow rates of change and hazardous area requirements, the E+H liquid level sensors are unlikely to benefit from such fast Ethernet interfacing: maybe pressure sensors will give more opportunities?

Honeywell flow products supplied by Krohne

The Honeywell agreement developed with Krohne for level and flow products is significantly different to that adopted by Rockwell with E+H. In the November 2008 issue, the INSIDER (page 2) reported Jack Bolick, the previous president of HPS, Honeywell Process Systems, describing their aim as not to develop a competitive instrument portfolio, but to add instrumentation capabilities in areas like level, flow and corrosion, to enable HPS to deliver a complete solution. Bolick had set up the deal with Krohne, and overseen the acquisition of Enraf tank gauging systems. Last December the INSIDER expressed surprise that Krohne was not visible at the Honeywell User Group meeting in Barcelona: here Enraf systems were a major feature, and another small display showed some process instruments that apparently included an HPS branded Coriolis meter.

Honeywell approach

Jack Roushey, the USA-based global product marketing manager for flow and level for HPS, explained the rationale over these products. The Krohne strength is seen as in the flow products themselves: HPS have tested various models for compatibility with HPS systems, and re-written the specifications to define the hardware and software required for versions to be produced for HPS alone. These are then manufactured as HPS products, complete with Honeywell hazardous area approvals and manuals, and over the last 3 years the HPS sales offices and staff have had the necessary flow expertise and training added.

A full range of instruments

This approach has been applied to Coriolis meters, a clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter, magnetic and vortex flowmeters, and some level measurement systems – using radar and guided wave radar principles, all specified and targeted at the process instrumentation market. The level products are not seen or positioned as competitive with the Enraf tank contents gauging systems. Since Krohne has no current wireless capability with their sensors, there is no conflict with the HPS range of wireless field transmitters. Developments and enhancements to the product ranges are continuing, to meet new niche market applications. Roushey mentions the moderate success already achieved using the Modbus output direct from the Coriolis flow sensor into PLCs controlling stand-alone special purpose skids, which effectively reduces the Coriolis meter system cost for skid builders.

HPS are pleased with the development of the business for this product range, and Roushey suggests there has been no significant problem in any overlap between HPS and Krohne sales activity, since the target markets and standard types of business differ between the two companies. A key market area for Honeywell, he suggests, is in oil refining, where they have found significant business for larger size Coriolis meters. Possibly the refinery situation in Europe, and the strength of Krohne in Europe explains why these HPS products were only present in a small display at the User Group November 2010 meeting in Barcelona.

Developments with UPS systems at Chloride

Last summer, ABB and Emerson had a bidding battle when both tried to buy the Chloride Group, based in the UK: the company has now become part of Emerson Network Power. Chloride supplies uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to major market sectors such as IT services (data centres), finance houses, telecommunications systems providers, as well as energy/oil and gas, transport and retail operations. Chloride recently launched an enhanced version of their Chloride 80-NET UPS, now available with up to 0.5MW capacity, which uses semiconductors (such as IGBTs – insulated-gate bipolar transistors, as also used on electric vehicles) to eliminate all transformers. The replacement of the typical phase shifting transformers by digital, near instantaneous control of voltage and current gives full input power factor correction (input PF>0.99), and can reduce the input current drawn by up to 20%, consequently reducing the required switchgear ratings and cable sizes, to maximize the usable power from the supply.  With the high conversion efficiency (98%) compared to traditional UPS systems at 94%, and low total harmonic distortion, the development has major commercial implications for data centres and the like.

Reduced total project costs

Lamberto Tassara, president of Chloride products and services for Emerson Network Power, said “The technology solves two major problems for data centres. Firstly, it frees them from the limited availability of grid power, and secondly it significantly cuts the capital costs and achieves high energy efficiency.”Rob Tanzer, technical support manager for Chloride AC Power explains “From the end-user perspective, 1MW worth of 98% efficient double conversion UPS will save around GBP100,000 per year in electricity bills alone. While the technologies in the actual UPS units make them more costly, a complete power protection package incorporating those technologies will be much cheaper, because since the transformerless UPS operates at near unity input power, the specifications of gensets, cabling and switchgear can be cut by around 20%, and UK Government Enhanced Capital Allowances can effectively cut up to 28% off project costs.”

Projects for the process industry

Process industry power quality requirements have tended to be less demanding than those of data centres etc, but with the growth of digital control, and high value production processes, even the Chloride 80-NET UPS technology has been applied to these industrial processes, such as refineries. Clients quoted on the Chloride website include BP, Total and EDF. Tanzer goes on to suggest that there are other technology developments in UPS systems that are suitable for process industry use. “Where incremental growth of capacity is required, or very low loads may be encountered, the technology to watch is Chloride Trinergy. It is scalable to between 200kW and 9.6MW, and the technology, introduced in the past year, is really rather special, representing something of a departure for the UPS industry. Whilst it is a double conversion UPS, it has the capacity to use its output inverter as an active harmonic filter, drawing directly from the grid but remaining connected to the batteries. If mains power deteriorates or fails, Trinergy has the capacity to provide the same protection as double conversion technologies, but with throughput losses of around 2% (based on UK mains power quality), which, because it is modular, it is able to sustain even when subjected to loads of as little as 20%.”

Entering the USA market?

Interestingly, the press release for the Chloride 80-NET UPS announces that it is launched everywhere in the world, except North America. In January 1999 Chloride acquired Oneac, which was to “provide a vital introduction into the US market for UPS and power conditioning”. This was followed by an August 2002 announcement of “an investment programme in research and development in order to access the important US power protection marketplace for 3 phase UPS”. It is likely that there will be a stronger emphasis on sorting out these products for the USA and Canada, now that the company wears an Emerson logo!

Remote virtual server for DTM files

M&M Software of St Georgen, Germany, supported by customers and experience from SCADA and DCS projects, has developed an innovative concept using virtual server systems. Their FDT Remote Server allows the seamless integration of diagnostic functions into existing plant systems, and simplifies device configuration and management, by hosting the Device Type Manager (DTM) files on a single server. When an error is reported in a field device, plant personnel can analyse the problem from any workstation, or even a remote device, in the field. The system has advantages where there are many operator stations, in various plant locations. Instead of installing the required DTMs and their updates in all operator stations, all necessary DTMs are only installed in one PC system, the Remote FDT Server, together with the fdtContainer application, which is used to manage all the plant FDT projects. Using VMware or Hyper-V, the remote FDT Server is accessible from each workstation or via a web browser and a Java VNC viewer. This allows the possibility of an engineer using his iPad or PDA to troubleshoot or re-programme equipment over a wireless LAN, either remotely, or even while on site investigating the problem.  Any required DTM updates need only to be installed on the single remote server, reducing workload, and the possibility of errors.

A video presentation describing this approach is available on the M&M website,

Industrial Video and Control Acquires Longwatch

Industrial Video and Control (IVC), a leading supplier of cameras and video systems for industrial, military, and commercial applications, announces the acquisition of Longwatch, a developer of video management software for industrial automation and process control applications.  IVC, based in Newton, MA, is known for its industrial camera systems that incorporate ruggedized cameras and state-of the-art video management software.


Longwatch’s Video Surveillance system, first introduced in 2005 to water treatment and power plants, is able to transmit video over existing instrumentation networks at speeds as low as 9600 baud.  Longwatch has since established itself as the leader in integrating video with industrial SCADA applications.  Its Video Historian automatically links video with various user databases (including data historians).  Its most recent innovation is the Longwatch Console Recorder, which records industrial control console displays and enables easy playback for troubleshooting, operator training and regulatory compliance.

“The acquisition of Longwatch is a great opportunity for IVC,” said Norman Fast, CEO of Industrial Video and Control.  “It establishes us as the clear leader in industrial video applications. Longwatch’s leading edge software in SCADA video and remote monitoring will be a major addition to our product line and will bring extraordinary value to manufacturers and commercial users,” he added.


Stephen Rubin, CEO of Longwatch, stated, “IVC makes cameras and enclosures specifically for rugged applications as demanded in process and manufacturing industries. Together, IVC and Longwatch can now deliver leading-edge solutions that deliver value that standard camera integrators cannot touch.  The know-how and service capability of IVC combined with their cameras and our software brings a totally integrated, reliable solution to customers.”

IVC will maintain the Longwatch brand and operate the company as a division of IVC. According to Norman Fast, the plan is to make both companies’ product lines interactive while building on the Longwatch brand, leveraging its reputation for innovation in remote monitoring and process control.  IVC’s Relay Server, which interfaces with a multitude of cameras, will interface with Longwatch’s VideoControlCenter – the software that drives the Longwatch Viewer, ActiveX controls for video integration, as well as the Video Historian. Longwatch’s Video Engine, which provides “at the edge” recording of events and video, will also provide video streams to the IVC Relay Server.

IVC also plans to add support of its extensive camera offering to the Longwatch environment.   IVC manufactures and sells pan-tilt zoom, fixed, auto-zoom, and manual zoom cameras that incorporate the latest in imaging technology.  Their industrial cameras are suitable for the harshest weather and environmental conditions; some models have been certified for use in Class I Division 1, Class I Division 2, and ATEX (inherently dangerous) environments.


About Industrial Video & Control Company

Founded in 2001, Industrial Video and Control is a leading supplier of cameras and video systems specifically designed for industrial applications.  An ISO 9001 certified company, IVC provides IP-based video solutions by combining high-quality cameras, enclosures, and software for industrial, commercial, and military applications.  IVC’s success in the market has been driven by high quality products, cost-effective solutions, and outstanding service. Based in the greater Boston area, IVC provides solutions to customers around the globe.


About Longwatch

Longwatch was founded by a team of industry veterans with the goal of integrating video management into automation systems for better control and decision-making. Designed specifically for process control and automation applications, Longwatch solutions make use of existing network and system infrastructure, leveraging prior capital investments. Longwatch delivers video for operating efficiency, regulatory compliance, safety and security.

January acquisitions


Eriks will acquire the Diamond Gear Company (DGC), a manufacturer of industrial worm gears, bevel gears, and declutchable worm gears, and the exclusive North American representative and master distributor for a high-technology line of pneumatic rack and pinion actuators, used for valve automation. Located in Houston, Texas, DGC supplies its products and services to valve manufacturers, valve distributors and valve repair shops in the Gulf region. The Eriks flow activities in the USA now consist of Rawson Inc, the Newdell Company and the Diamond Gear Company.

In a significant expansion in fluid control technology in Germany, Eriks is also to acquire pneumatic valve actuator supplier AMG Pesch, of Koln, Germany, who supply original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and end users in the chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals, mechanical engineering, food technology and pump and plant construction sectors.

FCX Perfomance Inc

FCX Performance Inc has acquired some leading regional distributors operating in the USA. FCX has bought the Solares Controls Division of Solares Florida Corporation and the Baro Companies based in Stafford, Texas, which includes Baro Controls and Baro Process Products. Baro serves the large and Gulf Coast market and is a recognized leader in valve automation, pumps, mixers and related products & services for the chemical, petro-chemical, oil & gas pipeline, refinery, power and other process markets. Charles Simon, President and CEO of FCX Performance, commented that “the combination of these businesses will not result in any outside changes and the company’s names will not be changed”. FCX has 16 offices serving 30 states and over 235 employees

Altair Engineering

Altair Engineering has acquired Acusim Software (Mountain View, California), a developer of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and technology, and will incorporate Acusim into the Altair HyperWorks computer aided engineering (CAE) software operations. Unlike other commercial CFD applications, the Acusim  AcuSolve is a finite-element based, allowing it to be tightly integrated with other technologies to solve complex fluid-structure interaction and multi-physics problems – both of which are rapidly emerging trends in the global simulation market.

Emerson Process Management

The power and water solutions division of Emerson Process Management, from Pittsburgh, who supply the Ovation control systems designed specifically to meet the unique challenges of the power industry, have acquired Pittsburgh based  Turbine Control Service Associates (TCSA) , a provider of generator excitation control systems for power plants. TCSA helps power plant operators improve generator performance and reliability by replacing aging controls. Their Digital Generator Controller system currently controls generation of thousands of megawatts at nuclear, fossil and hydroelectric power plants. Last June Emerson acquired Innovative Control Systems (ICS) of New York, who provide turnkey solutions — including planning, engineering, configuration, installation, and commissioning — for turbomachinery automation retrofits. Plants using Emerson’s control technology represent approximately 725GW of the world’s total generating capacity.

Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation is to purchase Hiprom, a process control and automation systems integrator, with 100 employees and headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. Hiprom customers include the top global mining firms with precious metal and coal operations in the Sub-Saharan region, and the acquisition is expected to expand the Rockwell presence in the global mining and mineral processing market.

Telit Wireless Solution

Telit Wireless Solutions is to purchase the M2M modules line of products from Motorola Solutions, and various Motorola associated employees will join Telit. This combination would have made the Telit sales revenues $180m in the year to December 2010, equivalent to a market share of approx 20%, based on recent Beecham research on the worldwide cellular M2M modules market. M2M applications rationalise business processes by enabling machines, equipment and vehicles to communicate with each other via mobile networks.