Wonderware Ireland Event in March

Industrial software provider Wonderware Ireland is to host a special event at Fota Island Resort, Cork, where it will give manufacturers and system integrators an exclusive look at the latest Wonderware developments.

On 29th March 2017, the “Next Generation Roadshow” will explore Wonderware’s latest innovations, as well as providing delegates with a greater understanding of the future of the industrial landscape and how they can ensure they are prepared for it.

The day will begin with a look into the advances of digitisation within industrial automation, before discussing the OT (Operational Technology) networking landscape and how to manage operational Big Data.

Wonderware Ireland will also introduce their Next Generation SCADA system – an upcoming release developed to provide greater simplicity, flexibility and scope. The Next Generation SCADA improvements include an enhanced UI visual experience with “out-of-the-box” content and process visualisation standards, web-based access and a heightened ability to access and aggregate IIoT data.

An optional afternoon session will then see Systems Architects take attendees through a practical workshop. This will allow them to get hands-on with the technologies that are bringing connected and future-proof industrial environments into fruition, before finishing with an opportunity to discuss issues one-on-one with the Wonderware technical experts.

Aidan Finnegan, Wonderware Regional Manager for Ireland, said: “Following the success of the new-concept Wonderware event late last year, we decided to bring the roadshow back to the Fota Island Resort in Cork. The event will give manufacturing organisations and system integrators a chance to get a look at new and upcoming concepts, as well as giving them hands-on demonstrations to help future-proof their business.

“We will ensure delegates get the most out of the event, with our specialist team of technical consultants being ready and on hand to ensure attendees are more informed about these new products and services, which will continue to keep their systems more secure than ever.”

The main presentation will run from 0845 until 1300, and then the afternoon hands-on session will run until 5 pm. The whole day is free to attend, but interested delegates must register in advance on the Wonderware website.

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Training on Profibus, Profinet and IO-Link in Industrial Automation

A highly informative training day will address the key practical issues arising from the use of these digital communications technologies in automated manufacturing applications. The event is free of charge, and will be held from 0900 to 1530 on 29th March in Manchester, UK. On 30th March there will be a similar FOC event for users in the Process and Hybrid industries.

With particular emphasis on Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, the event will cover the use of Profibus, Profinet and IO-Link in key application areas such as utilities, pharmaceutical, packaging, printing, electrical and electronics assembly, robotics, automotive engineering, mechanical handling and logistics, control systems and energy management, from system design and safety considerations through to maintenance and fault-finding.

Supported by demonstrations of actual tools used in configuration and maintenance, the seminar will be of great value to Designers, Production/System Engineers, Instrument Technicians/Engineers and C&I Engineers involved in design, operation and maintenance of modern automated factories and process plant.

The presentations include:

Introduction of Exhibitor stands and Profibus & Profinet Update, by Mark Freeman: Profibus DP – Successful Commissioning and Maintenance, by Dave Tomlin: EMC and Equipotential Bonding in Profibus and Profinet networks, and EN503102016, by Peter Thomas: PROFIsafe as a tool for Safety in Automation and Control Networks,by Peter Brown; Designing a Profinet system, by Andy Verwer: Profibus system engineering and monitoring, by Andy Verwer: Profinet for IoT, IIoT and Industry 4.0, by Derek Lane: The Features and Benefits of IO-Link, by Russell Smith.

Coffee breaks and lunch will be provided, for delegates also to visit the Exhibition of relevant equipment.

This seminar is ably presented by network specialists from member companies of PI UK, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to support of advanced manufacturing technologies for the benefit of UK industry. Attendance is free of charge to pre-registered delegates from the user community, i.e. companies that own, operate, design, build or maintain automated plant. The event will provide delegates with an excellent networking opportunity and the ability to speak to the varied experts from the PI UK membership.

For more information please contact PI UK, or send an email enquiry. Online registration is now open.

For companies in the Process & Hybrid Industries …

Companies involved in the Process Industries may be interested to attend another of the PI UK events, to be held in Manchester the following day, March 30th. Entitled Practical Aspects of Profibus and Profinet in Process, the event specifically addresses the key issues involved in the use of advanced network communications in Process and Hybrid Industry applications.

More information on this event is available here, or send an email enquiry.

Food & Pharmaceutical Futures

‘Food & Pharmaceutical Futures’ was the title of an ISA Symposium held in Cork, Ireland in March 2016, the first ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Symposium to be held outside North America. Eoin O’Riain reported on the event, which was a major success, in his magazine Read-out.net, and also on-line: his webpage reference is bit.ly/1odd6cZ

Most of his report is re-presented here, as follows:

From the time it was first mooted for Ireland in 2015 the planning for the 3rd ISA Food & Pharmaceutical Symposium was embraced with enthusiasm by the local Ireland Section. This was in Philadelphia early in 2015  and since then the ISA’s Food & Pharma Division under the able directorship of Canadian Andre Michel has ploughed forward, overcoming setbacks and the not inconsiderable distances between North America and the capital of Munster. Chair of the symposium and former Ireland Section President, Dave O’Brien directed a strong committee charged with ensuring that this – the first such international symposium organised by the ISA outside North America – would be a resounding success.

And it was.

Venues were assessed, speakers recruited and the various minutiae associated with organising an international event were discussed, duties assigned and problems solved over many late night transatlantic telephone conferences. Using the experience of the ISA staff in North Carolina and the many years of experience in organising table-top events and conferences in Ireland by the Ireland Section a very creditable event was staged at the Rochestown Park Hotel. With some justification the Symposium Chair could state before the event started “We have assembled a truly outstanding program this year, featuring some of the world’s most accomplished experts in serialization, process optimization, cyber security and alarm management to name a few. These experts will speak on the vital issues affecting food and drug manufacturers and distributors. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this event to Ireland for its first time outside of the United States!”

Indeed upwards of 200 registrands agreed with this view and attended the two day event: a turnout that nearly doubled the attendance at last year’s event in Philadelphia USA. Plus it was noticeable that the bulk of the delegates stayed right up to the completion of the final sessions.

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Technology and Innovation for 2020 Global Demands

Two fluent keynote speakersPaul McKenzie, Senior Vice President, Global Biologics Manufacturing & Technical Operations at Biogen (who addressed “Driving Change Thru Innovation & Standards”) and Dr Peter Martin, VP and Edison Master, Schneider Electric Company (Innovation and a Future Perspective on Automation and Control) may be said to have set the tone. The event was also graced with the presence of ISA International President for 2016 Mr Jim Keaveney.

The technical programme featured 40 presentations, delivered by 33 experts in their fields: a few of the session highlights were as follows:

Serialization

The important subject of serialization which affects all level of the pharmaceutical business especially in view of deadlines in the USA and the EU. From an overview of the need and the technology to a deep dive into the user requirements, this session provided the latest information on the world requirements and helping provide the solution needed in each facility. Speakers, as in most sessions, were drawn from standard, vendor and user organisations as well as state enforcement agencies.

Track & Trace

In the parallel Food thread of the symposium the rôle of track and trace technologies were examined. Product safety, output quality, variability and uniqueness of customer requirements manufacturers are facing increasing demands on the traceability of raw materials, real-time status of manufactured goods and tracking genealogy of products throughout the value chain from single line to the multiple sites of global manufacturers. The evolution of data systems and technologies being offered means greater benefits for Industry and presenters Vision ID and Crest will show these solutions and the advantage of modernization.

116Both conference threads came together for much of the event mirroring the similarity of many of the technologies and requirements of each sector.

Digitalization

Digitalization in industry shows what bringing the worlds of automation and digitalization together provides true and advanced paperless manufacturing with more complex devices and interconnected data systems. This is an enabler to integrated operations within industry. Using MES as a core concept to create a Digital Plant and optimized solutions with data driven services was explained. And a practical example of a plant was discussed showing the journey to paperless manufacturing and a real pharmaceutical strategy of integrating automated and manual operations.

Cybersecurity

Of course this is one of the key topics in automation in this day and age. Without implementing the proper preventative measures, an industrial cyber-attack can contribute to equipment failure, production loss or regulatory violations, with possible negative impacts on the environment or public welfare. Incidents of attacks on these critical network infrastructure and control systems highlight vulnerabilities in the essential infrastructure of society, such as the smart grid, which may become more of a focus for cybercriminals in the future. As well as threats from external sources steps ought to be taken to protect control and automation systems from internal threats which can cripple a company for days or months. This session highlighted the nature of these threats, how systems and infrastructure can be protected, and methods to minimize attacks on businesses.

Automation Challenges for a Greenfield Biotech Facility

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Networking in the coffee break

These were outlined in this session in the pharmaceutical thread. Recent advances in biotechnology are helping prepare for society’s most pressing challenges. As a result, the biotech industry has seen extensive growth and considerable investment over the last number of years. Automation of Biotech plants has become increasingly important and is seen as a key differentiator for modern biotech facilities. Repeatable, data rich and reliable operations are an expectation in bringing products to market faster, monitor and predict performance and ensure right first time delivery. This session provided the most topical trends in automation of biotech facilities and demonstrated how current best practices make the difference and deliver greater value to businesses.

Process Optimization and Rationalization

Meanwhile in the Food & Beverage thread incremental automation improvement keeps competitiveness strong. Corporate control system standardization leads to constant demand for increases in production and quality.

Industry 4.0 (Digital Factory: Automate to Survive)

The fourth industrial revolution is happening! This session asked how Global Industry and Ireland are positioned. What did this mean to Manufacturer’s and Industry as a whole? The use of data-driven technologies, the Internet of things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems all integrate intelligently in a modern manufacturing facility. Enterprise Ireland and the IDA headlined this topic along with the ICMR (Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research) and vendors Rockwell and Siemens.

OEE and Automation Life-cycle

Worldwide today many of the over 60 Billion Euro spend in installed control systems are reaching the end of their useful life. However, some of these controls, operational since the 80’s and 90’s, invested significantly in developing their intellectual property and much of what was good then is still good now. Of course some aspects still need to evolve with the times. This requires funding, time and talent. For quite some time now there has been a skilled automation shortage at many companies leading organizations to outsourcing, partnerships and collaboration with SME’s to help manage the institutional knowledge of their installed control systems.

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Further networking

With corporate leadership sensitive to return to shareholders, plant renovation approval hurdle rates are usually high when it comes to refreshing these control systems. In many manufacturing facilities, engineers and production managers have been asked to cut costs and yet still advance productivity. To solve this dilemma, many world class facilities continue to focus on driving improvements through the use of automation and information technology. Some are finding that using existing assets in conjunction with focused enhancement efforts can take advantage of both worlds. Here we were shown great examples of where innovation and such experiences are helping to create real value for automation modernization.

Alarm management

And of course no matter how sophisticated systems are Alarms are always require and necessary. DCSs, SCADA systems, PLCs, or Safety Systems use alarms. Ineffective alarm management systems are contributing factors to many major process accidents and so this was an important session to end the symposium.

The social aspect of this event was not forgotten, and following a wine reception there was an evening of networking, with music, at the end of the first day.

Training Courses

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Eric Cosman in full flow

On the Wednesday, although the symposium itself was finished there were two formal all day training courses.

  1. Introduction to Industrial Automation Security and the ANSI/ISA-62443 Standards (IC32C – Leader Eric Cosman, OIT Concepts ).
  2. Introduction to the Management of Alarm Systems (IC39C – Leader Nick Sands, DuP0nt).

These, and other, ISA courses are regularly held in North America and the Ireland Section occasionally arranges for them in Ireland.

In Summary

Andre Michel, ISA FPID Director, and President of Efficient Plant Inc, summed up the impressions left by this first such ISA conference outside North America: “This was truly an internationally focused event because it tackled the significant issues and trends in automation affecting the food and pharmaceutical industries on a global scale.”

All in all the Ireland Section and its members may feel very proud in looking back on a very well organised and informative event which in an email from one of the attendees, “Thank you all, It was the best symposium I attended in the last 10 years!”

Major EMEA process industry conference in April

Emerson 20140401_162421z

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

49% of UK Engineers want to change jobs in 2016

This is the conclusion of “Investors in People”, the UK organisation that tries to promote better ‘People Management’ in industry. A OnePoll survey of 2000 individuals employed in the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors organised at the end of November found that 25% of employees are currently ‘Quite or Extremely Unhappy’ in their jobs. One in five of the respondents were already actively job hunting. Investors in People consider that 49% of engineers will be looking to move jobs in 2016, as the UK economy improves.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People said: “Small things can make a big difference. Feeling valued, understanding their role in the organisation and how they can grow with an organisation are all big concerns for UK workers.  Saying thank you, involving employees in decisions and giving them responsibility over their work are basic ways to make staff happier, and more likely to stay. Employers also win, with a more committed workforce, higher retention and a clearer view of the future.”

Investors in People have produced a new report “Job Exodus Trends in 2016”, which is available from their website. It shows that one in 5 workers in the engineering and manufacturing sectors are complaining the lack of career progression (21%), a similar number (22%) say they don’t feel valued as a member of staff and nearly a quarter are unhappy with their levels of pay (23%), prompting a potential mass exodus.

The survey tested the respondents’ attitude by asking them to choose between two scenarios – a 3% pay-rise, in line with recent UK increases, or a different non-remuneration benefit:

  • Over a third (36%) said they would prefer a more flexible approach to working hours than a 3% pay-rise;
  • Nearly a third (32%) said they would rather have a clear career progression route;
  • A similar number (29%) would rather their employer invested in their training and development more.

When asked what their employer could do to increase their happiness in their current role,

  • One in 11 (9%) just wanted to be told ‘thank you’ more often;
  • One in 9 (11%) simply wanted more clarity on what their career progression options were.

Without addressing some of these problems, many employers run the risk of losing their valuable, skilled staff, as the economy improves in 2016, concludes Investors in People. See www.investorsinpeople.com/jobexodus2016.

Bürkert offer free steam training course

The next session of steam training for 2015 is being held on Wednesday 11th & Thursday 12th November 2015.

In addition to an outstanding, proven technical seminar, enjoy Bürkert hospitality with delicious lunches and a Bürkert goodie bag. This is a great networking event which attracts consultants and end users associated with steam applications.

The two-day course provides theory based learning, backed up with practical applications, for a hands-on approach. Bürkert uses examples and case study materials throughout the courses to highlight typical applications.

The course will cover the following topics amongst many other subjects:

  • Steam fundamentals
  • Steam as a heat transfer media
  • Heat exchange applications
  • Steam piping and condensate loop design
  • Best practices for new and legacy systems 
  • Saving steam and green initiatives
  • Communications protocols
  • Control valve selection and comparison
  • Steam control loops
  • Steam solutions & safety considerations
  • Steam FAQ & troubleshooting
  • Steam sampling systems; pure or culinary steam

One of the reasons we decided not to charge for training is that it removes a barrier to people attending. Delegates’ expectations are more than surpassed after each course.

Siemens and British Glass announce partnership

The close ties between Siemens and trade body, the British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation, have been further strengthened with the announcement of a new technology partnership between the two organisations.  Over the next five years, Siemens will invest up to GBP4m as a key strategic partner to the UK glass sector, providing a range of technology, research & development and skill support services.

As British Glass embarks upon the next phase of its development to ensure the UK glass industry remains globally competitive, Siemens will work alongside the organisation in a variety of critical areas.

A central element to the strategic growth plan for the sector will be the establishment of the new British Glass Innovation Centre, Sheffield – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – which will provide a centre of excellence for glass manufacturers and support the development of an innovative culture and skills for the sector.  The Centre, planned to be built on the Phase 2 site of Sheffield Business Park, will include fully functioning glass production plants, as well as promoting leadership in important areas such as new product development and fast prototyping.

It will also be home to The Glass Academy, the training and skills development initiative set up by British Glass to train the next generation of engineers and technicians entering the sector with the relevant fit-for-purpose skills and qualifications, and to continue to upskill the industry’s current workforce, encouraging a culture of lifelong learning in the sector. Siemens will provide a wide range of technical, product and manpower support to ensure British Glass’ plans benefit from world-class manufacturing expertise, technical excellence and global sector knowledge.

Dave Dalton, left, and Brian Holliday of Siemens

Dave Dalton, left, and Brian Holliday of Siemens

Brian Holliday, Managing Director, Digital Factory – Siemens UK & Ireland, comments: “We are delighted to announce this substantial investment in the future of the UK glass industry.  We are impressed by the strategic ambition of British Glass to develop an innovative culture and to make British glass-making a globally competitive leader. Siemens has a long established relationship with the glass industry across the UK. By developing this technology partnership we want to ensure glass manufacturing is at heart of the future of manufacturing agenda. The newly proposed British Glass Innovation Centre at Sheffield is a prime example where the leaders in the sector are setting out a clear vision for the future and this must be applauded and supported.”

Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass, says: “Siemens is the first major partner to commit to working with us on the journey to an exciting and highly competitive future. The breadth of Siemens’ technical expertise and support offered to us through the partnership will be vital if we are to successfully transform our industry for the twentyfirst century.  In addition, the concerted efforts by Siemens to help us develop the skills of people in the sector, as well as those entering it, ensures we have a powerful combination to push our industry forward over the next five years.”

Councillor Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development at Sheffield City Council, commented on the announcement: “This is great news for Sheffield. The investment on its own is excellent news and is creating high quality job opportunities. But  when linked to similar developments along the arc of the junction 33 and 34 of the M1, the city is beginning to realise its  potential as one of the major clusters of high value engineering and innovation in Europe if not the world.”