ARC report confirms ABB continuing DCS market dominance

ARC Advisory Group is one of those typically American consultancy organisations that produces reports describing technology trends and competitive analyses that are then sold to the suppliers in the industry. Undoubtedly they are also employed to produce specific reports at the request of single specific clients, but the main reports publicised for public sale are the overall market surveys. Without paying a lot of money, the general public don’t get to see these.

All the data from the reports is generalised, and as ever, subject to interpretation, so hopefully each client can find something that reinforces his optimism about his company’s place in the market. So they are essential sources of backup data for Board presentations and the like.

The ARC DCS market study

The recent ARC report on the “Distributed Control Systems Global Market 2016-2021” report provided ABB with sufficient confidence to issue a Press Release stating that the ARC had confirmed ABB to be the ‘#1 supplier of Distributed Control Systems Globally’, with a 20% market share ‘across industries’, making ABB the leader of ‘digitally enabled control and automation’. This is a continuation of the position they have held according to ARC since 1999.

Peter Terwiesch, President of the ABB Industrial Automation division echoed these findings: “With our installed base of over 70 million connected devices and 70,000 control systems, and an annual investment of $1.5 billion in research and development, ABB is leading the digital transformation of industry.”

Such reports and statistics were the bread and butter, and even the honey, for the reports written for the Industrial Automation Insider newsletter that your editor produced from 2010 to 2015. The focus for such a report would have been that with at most seven major suppliers competing for the top slot, a 20% market share would imply the dominance margin is (still) fairly slim!

The ARC report provides a competitive analysis of the market shares of leading suppliers by geographical region, and broken down into eleven major industry groups, as well as equipment type, project size and style. The ABB release specifically mentions the ABB activity as delivering sustainable progress for power, water and process industries.

The ABB Profile

More interesting in many ways were the specific project examples picked out by ABB as the prime examples of their expertise in several sectors, viz:

“ABB’s leadership in DCS stems from countless ground-breaking projects around the globe. ABB Ability System 800xA plays a key role in securing the success for Sadara, the world’s largest chemicals complex built in a single phase. The monitoring and automating of the entire production process is fully integrated with System 800xA, all coming together in 18 control systems and 260 operator work stations. The integration capabilities also helped the Garpenberg mine to become one of the world’s most cost-effective and modern mines in the world. Hoists, mill drives, ventilation, dewatering, substations, conveyors, crushers, ore storage, and maintenance, as well as document management and communications are seamlessly integrated to the automation system. Very recently Emami Cement has chosen System 800xA to automate its new production plant which will help boost infrastructure growth in India.

“ABB Ability Symphony Plus is, for example, the core solution for integrating new emission control technology at a power plant in Wisconsin, US; for protecting the UNESCO World Heritage site of Venice, Italy from high water by controlling the city’s MOSE flood barrier system; for providing the automation and electrification solution for Adani, the world’s largest solar power plant in a single location, in Kamuthi India; and for enabling the Vietnamese utility Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO) to control and operate its infrastructure in real time, significantly reducing the amount of non-revenue water.”

Walt Boyes has expanded on this report in the December issue of the Industrial Automation INSIDER, which was published on 11 January 2018.

 

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Roxtec transits ensure safety on “Mein Schiff 6”

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On cruise liner Mein Schiff 6 of TUI Cruises, thousands of Roxtec transits provide certified protection against fire, gas, water and electromagnetic disturbance. Co-owner Royal Caribbean and shipyard Meyer Turku in Finland continue to cooperate with Roxtec to enable the use of more plastic and composite pipes.   “Roxtec transits make it cost-efficient to install light-weight and long-lasting plastic pipes,” says Berth Strömborg, senior superintendent of Royal Caribbean.

One sealing system

Over 6000 openings for cables and pipes in decks, bulkheads and cabinets are sealed with Roxtec transits. The seals are used in the engine room as well as in passenger areas, and many of them include spare capacity for additional cables and pipes.  “It is good to have one supplier for all pipe systems,” says Antti Laaksonen, system responsible for HVAC and catering design at Meyer Turku.

Optimizing logistics

Mika Tuokko, head of electrical outfitting at Meyer Turku, says one hundred installers have been working with Roxtec cable seals on the new cruise liner:  “The most important thing is to keep up the speed by handling fewer items. By using Roxtec instead of other systems we avoid 50 items in stock for each transit.”

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Roxtec Mulltidiameter bulkhead seals in-situ

About Roxtec and Multidiameter

The Swedish Roxtec Group is the world-leading provider of modular-based cable and pipe seals. The company’s invention for adaptability to cables and pipes of different sizes, the Roxtec Multidiameter, is based on sealing modules with removable rubber layers and allows for a perfect sealing, regardless of the outside dimension of the cable or pipe.  The technology simplifies design, speeds up installation and reduces the need for stock, material and logistics. It also provides spare capacity for upgrades. Roxtec serves and supports customers in more than 80 markets through subsidiaries and distributors.

UV keeps bottled water safe

Hanovia UV has supplied Cott Beverages UK, based in Derby, with a PureLine intelligent UV system to keep its production process water pure.

PureLine range

In an increasingly regulated and safety-conscious market, legislation such as the EU Directive for Bottled Water 98/88/EC (1998) drives the beverage industry to meet ever more stringent standards of quality. Microbial growth due to contaminated water or ingredients can cause discolouration, off flavours and shortened shelf-life. The threat of contamination is further increased as manufacturers respond to demands for less chemical additives and preservatives. Effective microbial disinfection of the whole process is therefore essential.

To meet this requirement, Cott Beverages has been using Hanovia UV disinfection technology to treat process water used in the production process. The company decided to use UV technology to ensure final product security prior to mixing and bottling and has been very satisfied with the performance of the UV systems.

“The Hanovia UV systems have been easy to integrate, maintain and operate,” said Chris Prentice, site service engineer at Cott Beverages. “They provide us with absolute insurance before bottling by making sure that we are producing and maintaining a high-quality product, which is essential for our brand.”

PureLine UV from Hanovia is an intelligent system that is optimised for the beverage industry to simplify the treatment of water, sugar syrup, brine and even reducing chlorine and ozone. Critically, there are no microorganisms known to be resistant to UV – this includes pathogenic bacteria such as listeria, legionella and cryptosporidium (and its spores, which are resistant to chlorination). Unlike chemical treatment, UV does not introduce toxins or residues into process water and does not alter the chemical composition, taste, odour or pH of the fluid being disinfected.

UV is used for both primary disinfection or as a back-up for other purification methods such as carbon filtration, reverse osmosis or pasteurisation. Because UV has no residual effect, the best position for a treatment system is immediately prior to the point of use. This ensures incoming microbiological contaminants are destroyed and there is a minimal chance of post-treatment contamination.

UV disinfection systems are easy to install, with minimum disruption to the plant. They need very little maintenance, the only requirement being the replacement of the UV lamps every 9-12 months, depending on use. This is a simple operation that takes only a few minutes and can be carried out by trained general maintenance staff. The Hanovia UVCare training programme supports businesses like Cott Beverages to make sure servicing is carried out by certified engineers at all UK production sites.

BoOM from EU Automation

EU Automation has launched the “Book of Obsolescence Management”, or BoOM for short.

EU Automation stocks and sells obsolete, reconditioned and new industrial automation spares. Its own distribution centers and global network of partner warehouses, enable it to offer a unique service within the automation industry, spanning the entire globe. It provides worldwide express delivery on all products meaning it can supply any part, to any destination, at very short notice.

The company is based in the UK, in Stafford, and does appear to have a different approach to any other supplier. With interviews from suppliers like Renishaw, CopaData, Nexus, Megger and Rochester Electronics, the book gives the seven essential steps for companies looking to start or continue their journey on the road to obsolescence management.



		

	

Robotic welders use cables from igus

igus advise that sales of their ‘readycable‘ for use on the welding arms of robotic welders are booming! Such robotic welding systems are now widely used in large scale automated manufacturing facilities, particularly in the automotive industry.  Faced with cost-down pressures from their customers, small metalworking job shops are now starting to consider implementing automation.  When the operating costs of robotic welding are compared to manual welding the results are clearly in favour of the robot.  Additional benefits of automating are increased productivity, more consistent welded joints and improved quality.

Cyber-Weld, a Warwickshire based provider of robotic welding solutions, provides a simple cost analysis to its potential customers.  Using manual welding, the overhead burdened cost is around GBP35k per annum for a single shift, with an average “Arc On” time of 25%.  The average robot “Arc On” time is 75%, three times that of a manual welder, resulting in an additional 200% production capability.  With an entry level robot and operator costs of GBP17.5k, the payback time is less than 12 months.

Potential users do have concerns though.  How easy are they to program?  Where to find trained staff to operate them?  How reliable are the robots?

Choosing the right supplier – as a partner

When choosing a partner, reputation should always be the first consideration.  A reliable partner must provide advice on which robot to select and be able to provide a full turn-key solution with support from the initial inquiry through to the installation.  Prompt delivery, machine commissioning, employee training, trouble shooting, repair and offering regular system overhauls are other key factors.  Look for a company that is a strategic partner for one or more of the leading robot manufacturers.

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Justin Leonard of igus receives the 10,000th order for readycable, from Fraser Reid, MD of Cyber-Weld

Cyber-Weld regularly uses igus as a supplier and partner for cable assemblies on their robotic welding machines for the same reasons and has bought over 100 readycable drive cables.  Cyber-Weld’s latest purchase marked a milestone for igus; being the 10,000th order for the product series.  These highly flexible cables provide power and signals to the robotic head, grippers or other attachments and are usually mounted externally to the robotic arm.  Particularly on a 6-axis robot, this cable is subject to a great deal of rigorous movement, which can lead to premature failure if incorrectly specified.

“We expect the cables to outlive the mission time of the installed robotic system, which is approximately 10 to 15 years,” stated Mike Jones, General Manager, of Cyber-Weld.  “igus is always helpful and is happy to come onsite to look at our requirements, which is a big plus factor for us.  A local supplier with a good reputation, igus also helps us shorten our lead-times.”

Reliable, tested cables

The readycable assembled drive cables series has bending radius from 7.5 x od.  Harnessed cables are tested in igus e-chain cable carriers through many millions of cycles. There is a choice of servo cables, signal cables and feeder cables with a total of seven cable quality levels for the same electrical requirement, offering an affordable and durable solution for all applications.  The readycable assembled drive cables also have a number of certifications and regulatory conformities including UL, CSA, CE Desina.  These extremely reliable cables are designed for high stress applications and are also available with flame and oil resistance.

It is no contradiction to say that good cables cost less.  Fast delivery throughout the world is a significant purchase criterion, and igus can provide that with a presence and stock in more than 40 countries. This saves time, money, part storage capacity and is applicable to 1,040 igus cable types, which can be ordered without any minimum quantity purchases or surcharges.

In the igus test facility in Cologne, numerous parallel tests are conducted under the most severe conditions. Presently more than 2 billion double strokes and 1.4 million electrical tests are carried out per year, with the test results stored in an extensive data-base, providing precise and reliable data about actual service life. The test data for e-chain, cables, and also for ready-assembled systems, are so extensive that igus has secured a functional guarantee for its variety of e-chain systems based on the particular application.

The igus reputation appreciated by Cyber-Weld comes from this extensive testing and more than 25-years of industry experience in continuous-flex cable.  Further information and the on-line readycable product finder can be found on the igus website, including searches by machine producer and cable type.

[The names readycable and e-chain are trademarks of igus]

Multiple approval barriers to free trade in environmental protection systems

As a product development manager, I used to think that the supply of industrial instrumentation equipment was made particularly difficult by the plethora of International, European, American and specific industry (and country) specifications and requirements. In an age of International co-operation it seemed these approvals were designed to act as protective barriers for home industries. But these seem trivial compared to the problems faced by suppliers to the World shipping industry, in particular in relation to environmental protection.

Readers of this column over the years will have been aware that I reported enthusiastically on the Alfa Laval PureBallast treatment system for purifying ballast water discharges from ships, launched back in 2007, at Greenwich. This enthusiasm was because of both the professionalism of the launch, as well as the laudable product objective and aspiration: it was one of the best such events I had attended, despite atrocious windy weather, freak waves and thunderstorms on the boat cruise taking the Editors down to Greenwich! With slightly bigger waves there might have been no Editors left to report on the event!

BWT – Ballast Water Treatment systems

In the Alfa Laval system, light energy, from a broad spectrum source, acts on a Titanium catalyst in the flow, to produce hydroxyl ions, which oxidise and kill any organic material in the ballast discharge. This was developed in co-operation with Wallenius Water, who had done the shipboard tests on some of their ships over the previous three years. Alfa Laval launched this product in January 2007, to make it available for ship-owners in time to meet the IMO regulations that would require such equipment to be installed on all new build ships after 2009, in participating countries.

Another Scandinavian company, Optimarin from Norway, was at the same time addressing the ballast water treatment market, using Ultra-Violet light from high power UV sources (35kW) to kill any potentially harmful invasive organisms straight away. Optimarin was established in 1994 to develop this system, and supplied the first ever BWT system installed in 2000 on the Princess Cruise Line ‘Regal Princess’.

Extended approval timescales

It is significant that it is now 2016, over 20 years since Optimarin was founded, and at least 12 years after the first Alfa Laval systems were installed for sea trials on Wallenius ships. It is also 7 years after the first of the IMO regulations came into force – these did allow several years grace for older ships still operating from prior to 2009. All this makes for a very long lead time for any new product development to grow and become commercial!

Yet only in December last year did the US Coast Guard finally confirm that it would not type approve BWT systems if they failed to totally kill potentially invasive marine organisms transported in ballast water. This will exclude many ‘conventional’ UV purification systems which use lower power lamps as sources, since these render the organisms “unviable” (ie they are still alive but cannot reproduce). The approval tests carried out by DNV to prove performance to the USCG criteria (applying the CMFDA staining test method) takes up to a year, and Optimarin suggests that the testing – due for completion this year – will cost them around US$3m.

Alfa Laval also expresses confidence that their PureBallast system will meet the current USCG test criteria, and their tests will also be completed this year: at the moment, Alfa Laval points out that although US ballast water regulations took effect in 2012, no systems of any technology have yet been type approved by the USCG.

IMO, the World shipping legislative body

Indeed the IMO regulations themselves are not universally applied as yet: the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water & Sediments” is legislated to enter into force one year after being ratified by 30 states, representing 35% of the world’s tonnage. At present, March 2016, 46 states have ratified, representing 34.8% of the world’s tonnage – almost at the action stage! So the product is on the point of what should be a worldwide legislated requirement…..one more country to ratify the IMO proposal, with one more tanker, and a year later the market will be confirmed. Its only taken nearly 20 years for these products to become a market requirement!

The USCG requirements will have no effect on shipping using previously approved UV BWT systems in the seas and oceans outside US territorial waters.

Individual ship approvals, Insurers, and Ex regulations

The problems for the suppliers are not yet finished: for shipboard use the equipment also requires certification by a whole further range of classification organisations, like DNV GL, Lloyd’s, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping. Some tanker operators also require hazardous area approvals, i.e. to Zone 1 ATEX standards in Europe: Optimarin have supplied 10 such systems for the Turkish tanker fleet of Atlantis Tankers, which are designed for the transport of IMO II classified chemical cargoes.

Suppliers and users

Optimarin publish their existing major customers as comprising Saga Shipholding, MOL, Grieg Shipping Group, Gulf Offshore, Farstad Shipping, NYK, Nor Line and Evergreen Marine Corp. Since that initial installation in 2000, Optimarin have sold over 350 units, with 270 already installed. Optimarin in March announced a fleet agreement with UK shipowner and management company Carisbrook, which has the potential to cover retrofits across their entire fleet of 46 bulk and multi-purpose vessels.

Alfa Laval do not publish a customer list nor figures for the total number of their systems installed, but a PR from September 2015 discussed an Asian based shipping line placing an order for 33 systems. Another user has been quoted as MSC Containers.

Ballast water treatment retrofit work has been a major activity for Goltens Green Technologies (www.Goltens.com), a marine engineering contractor, who have already installed over 100 systems, from a current order book of 163. They supply systems from many manufacturers, listed as Optimarin, Bio-UV, Headway, Severn Trent DeNora, Alfa Laval, Auramarine, NK, Hyde Marine and Wärtsilä. Like Alfa Laval, Goltens are also involved in the supply and installation of other shipborne equipment required by and subject to environmental legislation, like SOx and NOx effluent control.

Whilst the retrofit market is important, the new build market is more significant, and obviously supplier attention is concentrated on the shipbuilders of South Korea.

© Nick Denbow, Processingtalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

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