Management changes at Honeywell – Gilsdorf replaced

19 April: Strong rumours are spreading round process automation industry circles that Honeywell is making management changes in their Process Solutions Division. Norm Gilsdorf, president at HPS since succeeding Jack Bolick in January 2009, is said to be moving to a new role within Honeywell, and will be replaced by Darius Adamczyk, currently president of the Honeywell Scanning and Mobility Division.  Adamczyk joined this part of Honeywell in July 2008, when Metrologic Instruments of New Jersey was acquired by Honeywell: he had been CEO there for a year.

In February 2012 the INSIDER reported that Honeywell had established a new customer support facility in Dubai, which was to be a joint operating involving both the Process Solutions and the Scanning and Mobility businesses. Norm Gilsdorf commented at the time: “Over the past three years we have seen a tremendous amount of growth in the Middle East and it has become necessary to further expand our physical presence here to keep up the momentum. This new office is an important commitment we are making to the UAE and the Middle East. It will help our growth strategy, which focuses on building our customer partnerships, and providing them with the world-class support they require, with face-to-face contact, necessary to develop close working relationships.”

Significantly it seems, the new role for Gilsdorf will be as “President of High Growth Regions” and he will very likely be relocating from his current office – he stayed in Britain at the Bracknell HQ, when appointed president of HPS, to ….well it’s said to be Dubai! Obviously he liked the place. But regrettably the UK loses the one president and ceo that was resident here!

Before becoming president of HPS, Gilsdorf had been running the Process Technology and Equipment business of UOP.

Adamczyk, before his ceo role at Metrologic, had been president of the Air Solutions Group of Ingersoll Rand, and before that had been a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm, from 1995 to 1999.

Today there is no news officially from Honeywell, and their UK PR people were surprised by this news  – obviously they could not comment, and promised to investigate:  indeed the moves seem to be a surprise to members of the European operation too.


High Growth Regions

Interestingly, the “President” role for “High Growth Regions” was mentioned in a Honeywell release dated 10 January 2012, reported by DATAMONITOR:

“Honeywell has named Shane Tedjarati as president of high growth regions and Stephen Shang as president of Honeywell China. Tedjarati will continue to report directly to Honeywell chairman and CEO Dave Cote. Shang will report to Tedjarati.

“Globalization has been a key pillar of our Growth Initiative for the past decade,” said Dave Cote, Honeywell Chairman and CEO. “Ten years ago, less than 40% of our sales were generated outside the US. Today, our company is twice the size, and approximately 55% of our revenues are generated outside the US. We began executing this strategy by focusing on the two most important emerging markets – China and India. That strategy has proven to be a good one. We have grown nearly ten-fold in revenues and now have nearly 25,000 employees in China and India, representing a significant share of our global growth story.”

“The success story we have created in China and India, as well as the product and innovation platforms we have systematically built through our East-for-East and East-to-West strategies in these markets will be a great blueprint to emulate in the rest of the emerging regions of the world – more aptly called high growth regions,” continued Cote. “These regions will drive nearly 70% of the world’s GDP growth over the next decade and are now well positioned to deliver significant growth for Honeywell as well.”

Tedjarati will work closely with business and functional leaders throughout the company to create effective go-to-market strategies in each of the regions of the world: Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.”


20 April 2012: Honeywell Statement

A formal confirmation statement issued by Honeywell adds a little more to the above: it reads as follows.

“As Honeywell continues to make significant investments in emerging regions around the world, it has appointed Norm Gilsdorf to the position of president, High Growth Regions, Russia, Central Asia and Middle East. Gilsdorf’s considerable global business experience following previous international roles at both Honeywell and UOP make him ideally suited to the requirements of this new role. He will be responsible for strategic planning, prioritizing business investment, and establishing the operational structure and processes to ensure Honeywell continues to build on its already strong presence in these regions.

As a result of this move, Honeywell has appointed Darius Adamczyk from his current position as president, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (HSM), to undertake the role of president, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS). Previously, Adamczyk was chief executive officer of Metrologic, a company Honeywell acquired in 2008. Darius’ track record of building a high-performing culture in Honeywell’s Scanning and Mobility business, resulting in significant growth and profitability makes him an ideal leader to build on HPS’s strong global installed base and leading technology position. Before that, he held a number of global roles with Ingersoll Rand and Booz Allen Hamilton.”

ABB opens new UK Instrumentation Service Centre

ABB’s Measurement Products business unit has invested in a state-of-the-art instrumentation, calibration, repair and training facility at its UK manufacturing site in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire offering the advantages of unparalleled access to equipment and expertise for UK and International customers

The new service centre at Stonehouse is dedicated to return to base calibration and repair services. A wide range of products ranging from gas and liquid analysers, electromagnetic and differential pressure flowmeters to temperature probes are supported from this production factory.

ABB operates six flow meter calibration rigs at the Stonehouse site, supplied by a one million litre underground water tank.  The rigs can be used to test virtually every type of flow meter at flow rates from one millilitre to 2,700 litres per second. ABB is certified by UKAS (The United Kingdom Accreditation Service) and is the only company in the UK with a calibration rig accurate to within an expanded uncertainty of ±0.027 percent.

Brian Hull, ABB’s Measurement Products General Manager for the UK and Ireland said: “The significant investment in a dedicated service centre demonstrates ABB’s commitment to supporting the complete life cycle of our products for UK and International customers.  The addition of a training suite inside the UK’s largest instrumentation manufacturing facility enables ABB to offer an unrivaled calibration, repair and training centre.”

ABB provides a comprehensive portfolio of standard courses and customised training to help operations and maintenance personnel keep their skills up-to-date.  The training is designed for engineers and technicians who are responsible for the day to day maintenance of ABB measurement products.

The training courses on offer include detailed product and application knowledge and theory of device operation. The courses are supported by hands-on exercises with demonstration equipment. Delegates are also being offered a tour of ABB’s manufacturing facility. Courses cover a number of ABB’s measurement products from electromagnetic flow meters to analytical instruments and result in delegates obtaining certification on completion of a course.

ABB has modularised the training into well defined product areas, with dedicated training sessions designed individually for both operators and maintenance personnel.

Updated Invensys software for tank farm operations

Invensys Operations Management has released a new version of its Off-Sites software suite, featuring a completely revised integration structure between its Blend Optimization Supervisory System, Order and Movement Manager and Movement Automation System. Additional improvements and new capabilities are new user access options to manage permissions and to support single sign on; new management capability for Certificates of Quality (COQ) and handling of movement deviation alarms in the Tank Information System; support for industrial handheld devices for lineup management as part of the Movement Automation System; extended analyzer management functions in the Blend Optimization Supervisory System, and a new graphical pipeline system configurator in the Batch Tracking Manager Module.

The Invensys Off-Sites software suite offers a powerful DCS-independent off-sites and terminal operation solution that addresses inventory management and product blending– two of the key areas contributing to overall refinery, petrochemical and chemical plant performance improvements. The Invensys Off-Sites Solution includes consulting, implementation, integration, training and support services in combination with the feature rich, modular, scalable and configurable Off-Sites Software Suite. Consistent and accurate refinery inventory information is important in optimal planning, scheduling and material loss management. Increased automation and operational performance reduces the cost of operation, while at the same time improves safety compliance and business performance.
Key capabilities:
• Accurate tank inventory, order and  movement management;
• Off-line blend setup, validation, pre-blend and online optimization;
• Automated and precise tank emissions monitoring and reporting;
• Quality analysis, analyzer management and validation, which address operational quality procedures such as EPA 40CFR80 requirements; 
• Modular, scalable, platform independent and sustainable standard software application with integration to existing DCS or PLC systems through open industry standards.
Where to see more?

New Metso valve service centre in India

Metso has opened a new valve supply and service center in Vadodara, India. The new supply center supports company’s strategy to grow valve business globally and strengthens Metso’s service capabilities in India for major petrochemical, energy, and oil and gas companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation, Technip, Praxair India Pvt Ltd and PRAJ Industries Ltd.

“The market in India is growing. Last year we doubled our order intake for valves and related services, and expect the good development to continue. Establishing a new supply center to India is a step going forward in widening manufacturing and service capabilities in India”, says Alok Kishore, Country Manager India, Metso Automation.

This investment is in line with Metso’s long-term strategy to develop and expand its valve offering, delivery and service capabilities for customers in oil and gas, power, pulp and paper industries. It was preceded by a series of investments in Metso’s global offering and presence. Last month Metso announced acquiring a valve technology and service company, Valstone Control Inc. in South Korea. Currently Metso is expanding its valve production premises in the US. Last year, Metso opened a new valve technology center in Finland. In 2010 Metso opened a new valve facility in Shanghai, China. Metso also has high-class industrial valve facilities in Brazil and Germany.

The new valve supply center is located in Vadodara city, 400 km north of Mumbai in the state of Gujarat, where Metso’s service center has been in operation for more than two years. The state of Gujarat has the fastest growing economy in India, and it is also one of the most industrialized states, having per capita GDP almost the double of the national average. The industrial city of Vadodara houses major customers and engineering, procurement and construction companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation, L&T and Linde.

Experienced in valves
Metso is a leading valve solutions and services provider. Metso’s Flow Control solutions include control valves, automated on/off and emergency shut-down valves, as well as smart positioners and condition monitoring. Metso’s world-leading brands include Neles, Jamesbury and Mapag.

Due to Metso’s strong position in advanced valve technology, services are a major part of the offering. For example, customers like Petrobras and Arcelor Mittal have awarded Metso with large service contracts. For valve customers alone, Metso already has 31 service centers around the globe on top of this new one now being opened in India.

ABB invests in water network monitoring company

ABB has announced a decision to invest in TaKaDu, a provider of advanced monitoring solutions for water distribution networks. The investment was led by ABB Technology Ventures, ABB’s venture capital arm in a $6 million funding round that also included existing TaKaDu investors Emerald Technology Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds and Giza Venture Capital.

The investment gives ABB access to a field-proven monitoring system that complements its automation portfolio for the water sector. This includes a range of power and automation products and integrated solutions that allow customers to produce, transport, distribute, treat and utilize water efficiently, reducing energy consumption, minimizing losses and improving reliability.

TaKaDu provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that can detect and alert in real-time on water network faults, leaks, bursts, network breaches, faulty meters, and other inefficiencies. The solution is based on sophisticated cloud-based data analysis and requires no network changes, additional devices or capital expenditure. It leverages multiple data sources including inputs from network operations, online sensor based flow and pressure data and other external influencers such as weather and calendar events. This data can all be securely accessed over the internet.

Among its many benefits, this technology can deliver significant reductions in water losses, often referred to as Non-Revenue Water (NRW). The World Bank estimates global water loss at 25 to 30 percent, representing a $20 billion cost savings opportunity. The problem is further exacerbated by the continued increase in demand for water around the world and aging infrastructure.

“TaKaDu’s innovative solution enables commercial water network operators to monitor their distribution networks efficiently and reduce losses” said Franz-Josef Mengede, head of ABB’s Power Generation business within the company’s Power Systems division. “Water is a key focus area for ABB and this investment will further strengthen our power and automation offering for the sector.”

TaKaDu’s solutions have been rolled out by leading water utilities in ten countries and have earned international recognition as an environmentally friendly technology including the Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum in 2011.

“This strategic investment will facilitate marketing and technical synergies with ABB, a global leader, and help us to pursue our vision of making water networks smarter through advanced technology” said Amir Peleg, Founder and CEO of TaKaDu.”TaKaDu’s innovation in the water space is a great match to ABB’s market position and approach.”

Optimal Automation celebrates 25 years

Optimal Automation, a world leader in data management for PAT (Process Analytical Technology), and one of the UK’s premier designers, builders, programmers and installers of PLC, SCADA, DCS, MES and vision systems, has just celebrated it 25th anniversary, on January 1st 2012.

Founded in 1987 by Martin Gadsby and David Richards – both ex-KRAFT research employees, Optimal Automation is now one of the leading developers and integrators of process analytical technology (PAT) solutions for the Life Sciences and Chemical sectors using its own in-house developed synTQ data management software. The software is now used all around the world, following the conclusion of a Global Marketing Alliance with Emerson Process Management in Feb 2009.

Optimal is also a leader in vision systems – manufacturing its own 21 CFR Part 11 compliant packages – and is in the first rank of UK systems integrators, evidenced by its appointments as a Tier 1 Solutions Provider for Siemens, an Approved Systems Integrator for ABB, and a Software Solutions Provider for Rockwell Automation. In addition, Optimal has for some years been an approved Siemens WinCC Professional and PCS7 Integrator. This comprises a very select number of companies that have been audited, examined, and through displaying extensive experience, have been approved as high level integrators for the Simatic WinCC and PCS7 product ranges including FDA 21 CFR Part II compliant projects in the pharmaceutical industry.

“We are a well kept secret at Optimal, due to so many of the high level projects we undertake being covered by non-disclosure agreements”, said Martin Gadsby. “We have worked with most of the top tier Life Sciences suppliers on Automation and PAT projects, and have designed and implemented automation projects across many sectors – Automotive, Food and Drink, Chemical, Power Generation, Aerospace – that improve quality, throughput and time to market. But the nature of these projects means that we are never allowed to go public with them.

However, industry insiders talk to each other, and our success in one project has resulted in many more, simply via word of mouth – third party recommendation, which is very gratifying and shows that we are delivering exactly what our customers are demanding.”

Over 25 years Optimal has grown from a UK only developer of special purpose machinery into a truly international organisation, handling projects globally. “We now work all over the world: this first started by clients taking us abroad to replicate projects that we had executed for them in the UK and Europe,” said Mr Gadsby. “The expansion of our technology base that accompanied our growing international outreach also resulted in a growth of skilled personnel. One consequence of this was our first project in Machine Vision technology undertaken about 8 years ago. This took us full circle, in that clients often require the complete machine as well as the vision system, and so we now once again design and build special purpose machines.”

Evidence of Optimal’s continuing growth is provided by the company’s modern purpose built factory, strategically located on the Westerleigh Business Park, at Yate near Bristol – close to the motorway network. Built early in the new millennium, the facility represented a considerable investment by Optimal in its future. It offers some 12,000 square feet of offices and workshops, providing excellent facilities for the company’s employees and clients. The new factory enables Optimal to provide a complete in-house design and build capability covering all automation aspects. These include an extremely broad ranging software capability for its projects and products; electrical design & build; special purpose machinery design & assembly; complete unit operation assembly and test in our factory; documentation and validation services; international installation and commissioning; and a range of training and post-sale support offerings.

“Our employees are the key to our success”, said Martin Gadsby: “some have been with the company for over 20 years, and many more have over 15 years service. This ensures real continuity of our operations and preserves our skills base.

In addition, despite the company having grown through the years, it still retains its core beliefs and ethos, providing our clients with first class automation solutions designed to suit their needs. Our customers and their requirements come first: the technology is just the enabler.”

PLC and ICE trade centre

In 2010, US-based Radwell International passed $50m in sales of new and used surplus industrial control equipment, plus repair activities on industrial electrical and electronic control devices. The president, Brian Radwell, describes the activities of his main trading operation,, as: “We buy back new and used controls from plant closings, auctions and inventory overstock. We certify the parts, and then we ship them in custom PLCCenter packaging and sell them for half of their original price. We sell 30% of our products outside the US”. Not bad for a guy who decided to try to run his father’s struggling New Jersey-based electrical repair shop at the age of 18, in 1986, when his father had a sudden stroke.

Despite court cases brought by the larger suppliers over the years, to try to stop him trading in or repairing their equipment, the business grew, and it now employs over 450 people. The internet played its part in this, and was the main growth driver from 2002, with an on-line parts stock list and pricing for new, stock surplus or service exchange repaired versions. Now expansion is planned into Europe, starting with the already operational repair and distribution centre at Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK, and a stand in Hall 15 at Hannover Messe this month, to introduce the concept in mainland Europe. Projected group sales for 2012 are $75m.

For more background see

Automated Britain – wheelbarrow production

A new fully-automated production cell for wheelbarrow frames is enabling Walsall Wheelbarrow Company to improve manufacturing efficiency significantly. Designed and produced by Unison, the cell has just been commissioned at Walsall Wheelbarrow’s manufacturing plant in Wolverhampton, and following operator training is already running at about 90% capacity.

Walsall Wheelbarrow Company is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of wheelbarrows for gardening, building and agriculture. According to Jonathan Thacker, Operations Director, “Our manufacturing process has five main stages: pan pressing, welding, tube bending, powder coating and assembly. Until now, we have only used hydraulically-powered CNC machines for bending the tubular wheelbarrow frames. However, due to significant business expansion, tube bending operations were becoming a production bottleneck. Consequently, we budgeted for a major automation upgrade to improve efficiency and throughput.”

Walsall Wheelbarrow selected an all-electric tube bender from Unison – which forms the heart of the new production cell – primarily on the grounds of the machine’s speed, energy efficiency and its ability to create very high quality bends thanks to better process control. All-electric tube bending machines have become very popular with companies seeking to reduce manufacturing costs, because they only consume significant energy during the bending operation itself, making them an order of magnitude more efficient than traditional hydraulically-powered machines. Walsall Wheelbarrow also judged that it would benefit from more responsive technical support if it purchased directly from a domestic company.

The production cell operates completely automatically, and is centred around a five-axis twin-head Unison bending machine. These types of bending machines are ideal for applications where component parts have a high degree of symmetry, such as supermarket shopping trolleys, luggage carriers and tubular bases for vehicle seats. Having tracked the progress of Unison’s twin-head machines ever since they were first developed, Walsall Wheelbarrow was in no doubt that this configuration was ideal for accelerating the production of frames.

The automated production cell comprises a tube bundle loader, multifunction processing station, intermediate dual-arm loader, bending machine and an articulated robotic handler. All these stages are controlled by a central PC. As soon as the bundle loader’s hopper is filled and the operating program is selected, the cell operates completely automatically. The bundle loader feeds tubes individually to the multifunction station, which performs weld seam detection, tube orientation and centralising, and all-electric hole punching. The tube is then transferred to the bending machine by the dual-arm loader, and after being bent to shape is removed by the robotic handler and placed in a multiple rack storage scheme.

The material used for the wheelbarrow frame depends on the model being manufactured, but typically consists of 28.5 mm diameter steel tubing with a wall thickness of 1.5 mm. The cell’s strap bundle loader can handle tubes up to 3.8 metres in length and accommodates up to 500 tubes at a time. Walsall Wheelbarrow currently loads the machine three times a day during the course of a standard 8-hour shift, producing around 1300 wheelbarrow frames in that period. Previously, the company used three hydraulic tube benders to achieve its daily production quota.

Jonathan Thacker points out that the Unison production cell provides a very flexible manufacturing capability: “The fully automated nature of the cell means that we can now handle extended production runs much more efficiently. Furthermore, with the hydraulic benders, holes have to be punched at a separate machine station. The new Unison production cell handles both hole punching and bending and these functions take place simultaneously. While one frame is being bent, another is being punched. This overlap decreases machine cycle time and accelerates throughput – we can bend more than two frames a minute. Each of the three hydraulic tube benders we were using had an output of around 500 frames per day. Thanks to twin head bending, and automated loading, the new cell can produce 1300 in the same timeframe and punch holes as well. We have kept one of the old machines in service, which together with the new cell increases our production capacity to 1800 frames per day, with the other two hydraulic machines still available to help with any peak demand situations.”

Product changeover is very straightforward. Walsall Wheelbarrow is using the cell to produce all the frames for its Easyload, Integral and Contractor wheelbarrow models, which account for about 80% of its total production. Two of these models use 3.6 metre frames and the all-electric cell can be switched from manufacturing one type to the other in around 2 minutes. The third model has a 3.8 metre frame so changeover involves more tooling adjustments and takes slightly longer; nevertheless, the company has already got this down to 15 minutes after only a short period of use.

The multifunction station’s weld seam detection system works by evaluating the magnetic flux density of the tube as it is rotated, which provides a reliable method of correctly orienting the tube prior to further processing. A key advantage of this approach is that it is impervious to the prevailing light conditions, which can affect the accuracy of automated vision systems. Accurately orienting the tube is important for several reasons: it prevents holes being punched through the weld seam and helps ensure process consistency, because the seam affects the spring-back characteristics of the tube during bending. If a tube fails the weld seam detection test it is rejected automatically and moved to an area where it can subsequently be examined by the operator; this helps maximise system throughput by preventing potentially faulty parts being processed.

As well as performing a tube centralising function to ensure symmetrical accuracy of the wheelbarrow frame, the multifunction station includes the latest revision of Unison’s all-electric hole punching system, which provides a highly cost-effective alternative to conventional hydraulic punches. The system punches holes through both sides of the tube to accept the fixing bolts needed for wheelbarrow assembly, typically making four pairs of holes. After hole punching, the station’s integrated dual-arm loader transfers the tube to the bending machine while maintaining its seam orientation.

Based on two electric servomotor-driven bending heads, the five-axis Unison tube bending machine features two servomotor-driven linear carriages, together with a clamp and rotation unit located between the heads. The two bending heads operate simultaneously, reducing the machine’s cycle time significantly. The number of tube bends depends on the particular wheelbarrow model, but typically consists of four per frame side, plus a centre bend to form the main loop around the wheelbarrow’s wheel.

As soon as the bending process is complete, an articulated handling robot offloads the frame and places it in a mobile multiple rack store, ready for the next manufacturing stage. The robot forms an integral part of the production cell.

Jonathan Thacker is confident that the production cell will generate significant cost savings, “The Unison cell is effectively handling almost the same volume as three hydraulic bending machines, and for a much lower energy consumption as well. This, together with the fact that it also punches holes, has enabled us to redeploy staff and speed the development of several new products. What’s more, the reliability of the production cell has improved process flow, helping to reduce work peaks and backlogs in the welding and powder coating stages of manufacture.”

“Automated tube fabrication cells can significantly enhance productivity and flexibility,” adds Unison’s Alan Pickering. “As well as demonstrating the speed advantages of twin-head bending for fabricating symmetrical parts, Walsall Wheelbarrow’s application shows how the introduction of this type of integrated automation provides companies with the opportunity to re-evaluate their production processes. In this instance, concurrent hole punching and bending further increases throughput, improves workflow and completely eliminates a number of manually-intensive operations and their associated materials handling tasks. Many other fabrication companies could benefit from taking a similarly fresh look at how automation can help them improve process efficiency.”