Krohne liquid level switch for extreme conditions!

Normally electronically-based process sensors have problems when dealing with extremes of hot or cold temperatures, and can suffer if subjected to high pressures. So the Krohne Optiswitch 5300C is maybe the exception that proves the rule, with a temperature capability from -196°C to +450°C, and able to withstand pressures from zero up to 160 barg (this is -321°F to +842°F, and 0-2320psig). Despite the name, the Optiswitch is a vibrating fork liquid level switch, available with wetted parts in Inconel Alloy 718, with parts in 316L or Hastelloy C-22.

Krohne switch

Optiswitch (pictured sideways for convenience)

This new Optiswitch is designed and fully approved for extreme process conditions, for Overfill protection duties and high/low level alarm, and should find application in the chemical and oil & gas industries, marine tankers and steam boilers. It is available with a variable insertion length, up to 3m long (for vertical mounting from the top of a tank or vessel), and can be used in SIL2 applications, or can be built into a SIL3 redundant architecture set-up. It is a new and significant addition to the Krohne Optiswitch range, which includes models suitable for both liquid and solids/powder applications.

Interestingly the output options available include a DPDT relay, PNP/NPN transistor outputs, or a switched 8/16mA current indication. The latter output was introduced on the Mobrey ultrasonic level switches back in the 1980s, because it seemed like a good idea at the time, but was never really taken up.

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

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ABB claims increased profits in a challenging 2015

Ulrich Spiesshofer

Ulrich Spiesshofer

There has been very little news of orders, applications or new products from the Process Automation side of ABB over the last six months, basically since the acquisition of the CGM wide screen display business last August. So it was reassuring to read the 2015 full year results, published this month, where CEO Ulrich Speisshofer advises that orders and revenues were steady, on a constant currency basis, in the face of adverse macro-economic and geo-political developments: it was just that the strength of the US Dollar compared to the prior year resulted in a negative translation impact into the final figures, of around 9%.

Because of productivity improvements, and accelerated cost reduction programmes, plus a successful turnaround of the Power Systems business, the operational EBITA margin improved 60 points to 11.8%, and free cash flow generation improved 16% (or 6% in USD) to $3Bn. The strategic review of the Power Grids business is on track for completion in 2016. Through 2015, ABB returned $3.2Bn to shareholders, and now proposes another dividend increase this year, the 7th year running.

Highlights and detail

Speisshofer mentioned particularly the launch of the YuMi collaborative robot, and their targeting on food and beverage markets and Africa as very successful. Declines in orders at Process Automation and Discrete Automation/Motion were offset by growth from Power Systems and Power Products – Process Automation suffered from a marked decrease in the discretionary spending from oil and gas markets in Q4 2015. However one major order received was for monitoring, control and security of the 1850km Trans-Anatolian pipeline, which will bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. The strategic review of the Power Grids business is on track for completion in 2016.

Geographically orders grew by 7% in Europe, reflecting steady demand from Germany, and major growth in Sweden and Turkey. While the Americas were steady, China showed a double digit decline, causing a fall in the total Asia plus MEA territory. Large orders (above $15m) grew 10% (down 5% in USD terms) which offset the base order decline of 3% (which was 14% in USD).

…..HVDC links are growing

L_The+Gotland+HR pic smallABB installed the World’s first HVDC power transmission link from Vastervik to Ygne on the island of Gotland, in the Baltic, in 1954. Upgraded through the years, this link now operates at 150kV, and can transmit 320MW of power over 100km under the sea, providing electric power to the 58,000 residents. In December the operator, Vattenfall Eldistribution, awarded ABB a new $22m contract for further enhancements that will enable greater amounts of the wind power now generated on the island to be returned to the mainland: a state-of-the-art MACH control and protection system will be installed to incorporate advanced fault registration and remote control functions. Having pioneered this technology 60 years ago, ABB has supplied 110 similar projects world-wide, with a capacity total of 120,000 MW – this represents around half the global installed capacity for this technology.

See the pdf giving the ABB review of the development of HVDC power technology: http://tinyurl.com/Ptalk-ABB

(c) Nick Denbow 2016

Newsline: NewProcessingTalk@Gmail.com

Major EMEA process industry conference in April

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12 to 14 April will see a major exhibit of process instrumentation and automation solutions in Brussels, open to all EMEA process engineers and systems users. This type of event has replaced the crowded, commercial exhibition/conference, and is targeted at the real users who need to understand the latest developments available. Admittedly financed by one supplier, Emerson Process Management, it gives the customer the ability to look and listen to the capabilities of their systems in detail, and talk to the real engineers behind the products, not just the salesmen. Better than that, all the other delegates are similar users of process installations, with their own experience: some present this in the applications lectures, but plenty of others are available for discussions around the exhibition.

The conference programme consists of over 100 different presentations over the three days, and will include industry forums, allowing open discussions between delegates and experienced industry professionals, plus a solutions exhibition, where delegates can receive hands-on demonstrations of Emerson’s latest and most innovative products and services.

The event, known as the Emerson Global Users Exchange, is managed by a board of directors, comprising users from a range of industries, who formulate the conference content and guide the direction of the users group at large. It has been running in the USA for many years, but this is welcomed as their third such event in Europe, bringing European, Middle East and African users together to share experience and learn.

To get more information and register for the event go to www.EmersonExchange.org/emea

Rockwell expands in conveying systems

Rockwell Automation is to purchase MagneMotion, a US-based manufacturer of intelligent conveying systems. MagneMotion systems are used across a broad range of industrial applications including automotive and general assembly, packaging and materials handling. This acquisition will complement the recently acquired iTrak technology from Jacobs Automation, to create the broadest portfolio of independent ‘cart’ solutions in this emerging technology area.

“This acquisition continues our strategy to build a portfolio of smart manufacturing technologies that brings next generation performance to our customers today,” said Marco Wishart, vp and gm of the Rockwell Automation motion control business. “MagneMotion expands our existing capabilities in independent cart technology. Our recent acquisition of Jacobs Automation and its iTrak technology is complementary to MagneMotion’s portfolio. We see a future where the transportation of products within the factory, whether inside of a particular machine or between machines, will be fully controlled to optimise the productivity and flexibility of the entire process.”

“This deal is the logical next step in the evolution of our business, and a welcome development for MagneMotion,” said Todd Weber, president and CEO of MagneMotion. “The leading position of Rockwell Automation in plant-wide controls and industrial automation gives us the best opportunity to introduce this technology to customers. As the market continues to realize the benefits of applying independent cart technology, the global Rockwell organisation will be a tremendous asset.”

MagneMotion is based in Devens, Massachusetts.

First New ProcessingTalk Newsletter issued!

ProcessingTalk.info has sent out the first newsletter from Nick Denbow’s Automation blog, giving information for Engineers, Marketing and Sales Managers about the latest developments in process automation, instrumentation and control solutions, plus recent applications and acquisition news, taken from news releases and press events.

You can read the first issue, and subscribe for future mailings, planned for every month as an update on the latest month’s news, free of charge on this Mailchimp website: http://eepurl.com/bQaWJf

Alternatively subscribe to @ProcessingTalk, or consult http://www.Processingtalk.info regularly!

CCGT power plant in Turkey orders Valmet DNA automation systems

valmet

The Hamitabat Kirklareli CCGT plant

Valmet is delivering their DNA Automation system to control twin CCGT power generation systems at the Hamitabat Elektrik Üretim 1200MW gas-fired plant in the Marmara region of Turkey. The plant is being constructed on a turnkey basis by an EPC, Gama Güç Sistemleri Mühendislik ve Ticaret AS: deputy md Altan Orer explained that they had selected Valmet because of their proven expertise: “We were impressed by Valmet’s strong combined cycle plant references in Turkey and around the world. The company has proven its expertise and excellence in power generation.”

 

The Valmet system also includes plant information and performance monitoring systems which will enable the plant to achieve high process availability, controllability and reliability. The DNA system offers information management and plant performance calculations all on the same integrated platform, which provides the plant operators with major benefits, such as better usability, uniform tools and seamless communication between various functions. Valmet will also supply local technical support for the plant operators.

(c) Nick Denbow, Processingtalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

Ireland moves ahead in PAT for biopharmaceuticals

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Dr Karen Twomey, holding a PATsule

Ireland has established pharmaceuticals as one of their major production industries, and this has led to a major concentration of expertise, particularly around Cork. The Tyndall National Institute there, with others, have developed a smart sensor capsule for use in bioreactors, to provide process analytical information – a true PAT sensor. Given the name of a ‘PATsule’, the sensor is designed to float freely about in the process liquids, to transmit in-situ process monitoring even from within the active biofluid: it communicates with the rest of the world using wireless. The PATsule “uses a multi-disciplinary approach of micro- and nano-sensor technology, miniaturised instrumentation, data analytics and wireless communications” according to Dr Karen Twomey, at Tyndall. The PATsule has been specifically used in the production of protein therapies.

In March even more pharma expertise will visit Cork, as the ISA from America recognizes Ireland’s status as the place to review modern pharmaceutical production by bringing the Food and Pharma Division symposium to Cork. This is the first time ever that this symposium will be held outside North America.  Special attention will be paid in the meeting to the rôle of automation technology and innovation in the industry, particularly relating to regulatory requirements and manufacturing costs. The dates to be in Cork are 14-15 March.