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.”

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Thales promotes Cybersecurity business line

The following review article was published in the May 2014 issue of the INSIDER Newsletter:

The Thales Group occupies one of the major office developments on the outskirts of Basingstoke in the UK: the building was known for many years as Thales Missile Systems, from the name on the outside – it was not a company that immediately sprung to mind as an expert in control systems and information technology. Over the past year the attitude from within Thales seems to have developed, and has recently seen much more information flow in press releases and meetings discussing their business. Last autumn saw the launch of a new ‘Cyber Integration and Innovation Centre’, and the associated business activity, housed within this building, a GBP2m ($3.2m) facility with fully isolated and screened computing laboratories, designed to allow improved cyber security and testing for critical national infrastructure, governments and companies.

Screened, because the centre has over 6000 pieces of computer malware, that can be used to test mirror copies of client networks, and where managed cyber-attacks from one lab onto an adjacent lab can be used to train staff how to protect systems, spot vulnerabilities and respond to breaches, including mass ‘Denial of Service’ (DOS) attacks.  “We can model networks for clients in a safe environment so we can upgrade, update and change things before they go live. This is particularly important in safety critical industries, such as a nuclear power station,” said Sam Keayes, a Thales vp, now presumably within a new business division formed recently known as the Critical Information Systems and Cybersecurity business line. Using equipment and technology from strategic partners like Spirent, Encase, FireEye and Mandiant, Cevn Vibert, the centre manager, commented that Thales experts can pick up and mirror a site computer system, bringing the whole infrastructure back to the lab, to stress test it against cyber-attack, jitter etc. This is a very necessary service when Thales systems run the majority of the world’s air traffic control, and their encryption is used to protect 80% of the world’s bank transactions, which include 3.7Bn transactions per annum via BACS.

Thales is a French owned group, which was originally called Thomson-CSF. The only slight problem with the simpler name is that it is pronounced “Talliss”. Their acquisition of the original business of Ferranti Computer Systems allows the claim that they have been providing technical support for the UK fleet of nuclear power stations for the last 25 years, which is a continuing responsibility, as the service life of these stations continues to be extended.

Based on Ferranti expertise

Here I have to admit that even your editor is not old enough to know the history behind some of the businesses that make up the current Thales Group. For that sort of archival knowledge we have to go back to Wikipedia, and even to Andrew Bond, the Founding Editor of the INSIDER, who remembers the original UK based DCS manufacturers and vendors from the 60s and 70s – Ferranti, Kent and GEC Elliott.

Ferranti was formed in 1882 as Ferranti, Thompson (yes- that Thompson) and Ince. Much later the company played a major part in WW2 in the development of radar, and gyro gunsights for the Spitfire. In 1949 they produced their first multi-input battlefield situation information system. At the same time they started to develop computer systems: eventually the Government under Tony Benn organized an industrial consolidation which led to the set-up of ICL, International Computers Ltd, in 1968. This deal restricted Ferranti to the industrial computing market, rather than the commercial, and Ferranti developed the Argus range. In 1987 Ferranti purchased International Signal and Control (ISC) in the USA, a defence contractor, whose business turned out to have been based on illegal arms sales. ISC was prosecuted for fraud, and this forced Ferranti into bankruptcy in 1993.

The Ferranti Computer Systems operations were acquired out of administration by Syseca, the IT arm of the French Group Thomson-CSF. Thomson then changed its name to Thales, and Syseca became Thales Information Systems.

The other UK producers 

Andrew Bond sees the rest of the UK history of DCS manufacturers as intertwined with the career of the late Tony Benn MP, who became Minister of Technology in the Labour Government of 1964-70, and secretary of State for Industry from in the 1974-79 administration. George Kent needed rescuing in 1974, possibly because of the strains of the investment in their new DCS, the P4000, and Benn wanted Arnie Weinstock’s GEC to take them over, out of the two options available: but his worker democracy approach backfired, and the workers voted to opt for Brown Boveri, as a better choice for their new owners. Following the Brown Boveri merger with ASEA in 1988, the P4000 became just another of the original control systems within the ABB group.

Meanwhile GEC under Arnie Weinstock was not enthusiastic about process instrumentation or automation, and already had business links with Fisher valves, so with Benn’s encouragement put all the GEC automation interests into a joint venture with Fisher, which included their own DCS and the systems made under license from ICI, Imperial Chemical Industries, which they had developed for their own plants. GEC had acquired the Elliott Brothers business within English Electric in 1968. Monsanto had acquired Fisher Controls in 1969, and much later sold the business to Emerson in 1992: at some time in this period Weinstock backed out of the JV and sold out from any involvement in process automation.

Ferranti Argus computers

The Argus was first developed for military duties – in 1958 used for the ground-based control of Bristol Bloodhound missiles – and were also offered as industrial control computers from the 1960s into the 1980s, for factory and plant automation. They were widely used across Europe and in the UK: typical installations for the Argus 500 were in chemical plants for process control – and nuclear power stations, for process monitoring. The first such Argus sale in 1962 was to ICI, for a soda ash and ammonia plant in Lancashire. Another significant application was for Police command and control installations, where one of the most famous was in Strathclyde: here maps were provided by using a 35mm slide projected onto a VDU screen. The Argus 500 was one of Ferranti’s best-selling products, particularly to oil platforms in the North Sea in the 1970s.

The Argus 600 was an 8-bit machine, and the Argus 700 used 16-bit architecture, whose design started in 1968, and they were in production until the mid-1980s: these are still operational at several British nuclear power stations in control and data processing applications.

Current declared activity

Thales do not mention a significant part of their business activity – a necessary culture, developed over the years since WW2, because of involvement with military projects. This ethos remains, in particular in not declaring where security, cyber-security, and emergency management resources might be deployed, whether military or commercial. However, there is an interesting parallel between Thales and EDF, of France, who now owns all the operational nuclear power plants in the UK. Thales is quoted as a long term delivery service partner with EDF. Following the Fukushima event in Japan, EDF-Energy NGL undertook a rigorous assessment of the resilience of its fleet of UK nuclear power stations, against the highly unlikely occurrence of an extreme weather or other natural event. Part of a suite of safety enhancements resulting is the provision of a mobile emergency response capability that could be deployed should such an event occur.

Thales committed to provide 5 sets of a containerised DCIS (Deployable Communication and Information Systems) for this duty by 31st March 2014. As a nuclear emergency response capability, each DCIS provides a transportable and deployable containerised unit to monitor critical plant systems and relay essential data through a resilient communications network, to provide emergency response decision makers with the information that they need to make the best possible decisions.

Separately, Thales has a co-operation agreement with Schneider Electric for the development of cybersecurity solutions and services to protect command-and-control systems from cyber-attack in customer installations in France. This includes computer attacks launched from plant management systems, unauthorised access across wireless networks and malware introduced via USB memory sticks.

Critical national infrastructure protection also includes work with oil and gas installations, petrochemical plants and pipeline systems. Thales quotes their integrated security protection systems with perimeter and access control, using CCTV etc, for twelve of the SABIC sites, and advise that Aramco refineries have similar high technology systems, supplemented by video motion detectors – the Ras Tanura complex is another site where there is such a perimeter security system.

Crisis management systems

The authorities and forces responsible for public safety and security must contend with increasingly frequent and wide-ranging incidents, from crime and accidents to natural disasters and crisis situations. This is one of the areas Thales sees as a major activity area and strength of their capability. Thales has developed a new solution incorporating the key conventional functions — situation awareness, management of command information and crisis management system resources — combined with new modules, such as advanced decision support and asset coordination. These systems are quoted as deployed in the Ciudad Segura (secure city) project in Mexico, the crowd flow and density monitoring systems in Mecca, and the BDSP public security database for the Gendarmerie Nationale in France, with systems that incorporate the deployment of sensors in UAVs. There are many more examples that cannot be quoted. Whilst in the process industry we are becoming familiar with the iOps concept from Emerson, and the Honeywell Collaboration station, the Thales Command and Control Centre is maybe a couple of grades more advanced.

Part of the suite of labs in the Critical Infrastructure Protection Facility in Basingstoke featured a combined system for perimeter security, CCTV, process control – including a DCS and a PLC (both from well known names) with valves in control loops, fire and gas alarms and access control, which enabled demonstration of the possible effects of a cyber-attack. This has been used to show legislators and management – and train operators about – the vulnerability of such systems. Manager of this facility, Cevn Vibert, explained “Our customers manage mission critical infrastructures and benefit from our holistic integrated security solutions. The market has evolved from discrete bespoke islanded systems to multi-site networked control rooms which require our integrated security techniques. These solutions cover people, operations, security, process, maintenance, business and cyber security for holistic situational awareness. This facility enables Thales to test, educate, demonstrate and explore these innovative approaches to our customer’s real needs.”  It is no coincidence that Thales is exhibiting this part of their technology at International Security and Resilience exhibitions across the Middle East, and are targeting Governments and operators of critical infrastructure projects worldwide.

Regular news on Process Automation and Control topics is presented in the INSIDER monthly newsletter, supplied on subscription by Spitzer and Boyes LLC: Nick Denbow is the European correspondent for the INSIDER. For more information please consulthttp://www.iainsider.co.uk or http://www.spitzerandboyes.com

Emerson spends GBP20m on Aberdeen service centre

Emerson has broken ground on a new GBP20m office and service centre at Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland to support the North Sea oil and gas industry. The Aberdeen facility is one of a series of new regional service centres Emerson Process Management is opening around the world as part of its ongoing commitment to provide local support, training, and services for its customers.

“Today’s ground breaking is the first milestone in the construction of this important new facility which will provide our customers operating in the North Sea with an enhanced range of services and support,” said Stuart Brown, General Manager, Emerson Process Management UK and Ireland. “This investment demonstrates our commitment to the growing number of large oil and gas installations in the area that will require lifecycle support to keep their operations running efficiently and profitably.”

The facility will support a range of services and solutions from both Emerson Process Management and Emerson Network Power. A 2600sq.m office accommodating sales and support will be linked to a 3065sq.m service centre and provide a customer collaboration suite and meeting facilities.

The facility will house Emerson Network Power’s global training centre for industrial systems, as well as offering its sales, design, project management, commissioning and maintenance services. A lifecycle service centre will support Emerson Process Management customers’ North Sea installations. In addition, an Integrated Operations (iOPs) centre that uses a working model of a production enterprise, will help address customers’ needs for streamlined decision-making, easily accessible expertise and the safe, collaborative collocation of essential personnel.

“The greatly expanded resources available within the new facility will build upon our well established operations in Aberdeen,” said Brown.” These include the oil and gas sales and support team, specialist oil and gas industry metering and measurement services, as well as Emerson Network Power’s industrial grade AC and DC UPS system solutions to support wide-ranging onshore and off-shore process and safety critical applications.”

The fully equipped training centre will further enhance Emerson Network Power’s industry-leading capability to manage and deploy accredited engineers for both planned and emergency offshore service support work.

Services available from the new centre will include enterprise asset management, engineering and operations support services, products and systems training and education, total metering management, metrology consulting, and calibration and production data validation. For customers with urgent service needs the centre will also provide repair services and emergency spares.

The new facility will replace the existing offices located in nearby Kirkhill, Aberdeen, and is one of over 400 services centres Emerson Process Management has worldwide. When fully operational in mid-2015, the facility will have a team of over 150 Emerson personnel.

The facility will be located within the D2 Business Park, a major new business hub currently being developed by Miller Developments, a division of The Miller Group, one of the UK’s leading property development companies.

David Milloy, Joint Managing Director, Miller Developments, said: “Since its launch last year, D2 is quickly establishing itself as a prime location for business in Aberdeen and we are delighted Emerson has recognised its potential. Not only does D2 have a fantastic location with superb transport connections, but occupiers like Emerson can also benefit from the ability to create a bespoke package of facilities which are tailor made to suit their needs.”

Regular news on Process Automation and Control topics is presented in the INSIDER monthly newsletter, supplied on subscription by Spitzer and Boyes LLC: Nick Denbow is the European correspondent for the INSIDER. For more information please consult http://www.iainsider.co.uk or http://www.spitzerandboyes.com

ABB opens new service centre in Aberdeen

On Monday 18 September, Fergus Ewing, Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism officially opens ABB’s new facility in Aberdeen, Scotland following a GBP3.5m upgrade. The Altens site is the headquarters for the power and automation technology company’s UK service businesses, bringing together its oil & gas and marine services, spare parts and logistics, turbocharging and consulting activities.

The move to the 27,000 sqft bespoke facility, from the city centre’s Commerce Street, accommodates an advanced learning centre for employees and customers, an automation build and test staging area and upgraded turbocharger workshop. The site also houses ABB’s consulting services team.  Consulting helps customers to improve the performance of their total operation in the areas of process safety, integrity management and reliability. Typical services include asset life extension, decommissioning, process safety risk assessment and management, alarm management, technical training and specialist technical engineering.

Increased capacity has enabled a 30% growth in staffing levels. This provides the resources to achieve ABB’s goal to penetrate its own installed base and grow revenues from around 17 to 25% of group revenues by 2015. ABB in Aberdeen now has 140 employees comprising 100 engineers, consultants (on- and off-shore) and support staff. It also continues to grow its graduate programme, developing its engineers for the future. The company will continue to recruit engineers in 2014.

Mike Crawford, Regional Service Manager, Northern Europe and head of the Aberdeen facility says: “We are now building the capacity and technology to support our customer base with advanced services across a more comprehensive portfolio of local services. This enables us to deliver more and new value to our customers, recognising the different requirements for supporting new and ageing assets.”

The learning centre supports the development of the skills required now and into the future to operate, maintain and extend the life of automation systems. The centre includes ergonomically designed interactive control room screens which aim to improve the safety and efficiency of operators by providing detailed and timely plant information. The centre also focuses on specific technologies such as instrumentation, electrical equipment including motors, drives, intelligent switchgear and advanced protection systems. ABB’s D3 collaboration desk, also in the learning centre, allows users to see real-time process data and key performance indicators, alongside other documents from various sources. Demonstrations running on the desk illustrate how the different functions in an operating company can collaborate to improve performance or manage process excursions or incidents. The desk shows how the wide range of ABB’s offerings are brought together to help its customers improve their operating effectiveness.

ABB’s staging area continues to grow and now houses several scale replicas of the actual control and safety systems in use on specific customer assets. This allows ABB to perform thorough testing of software and its integrity prior to its release to site. This provides the confidence that design specifications and safety standards have been met thus reducing the work required to install and commission onshore. The facility also enhances preparation for planned offshore visits and improves the level of operational support provided from base to facilitate technical troubleshooting and maintenance.

“Having our operations close to the majority of clients, helps ABB engage more efficiently with its customers to ensure our portfolio of services from the supporting units meet their current and future needs,” explains Crawford. “The wide variety of products and technology installed offshore and the difficulty in gaining access for training purposes requires us to train our engineers in a controlled environment. The staging and learning facilities are ideally suited for this purpose and helps strengthen the resource pool of competent and highly skilled engineers to better serve the customer base.”

Some 80% of the turbocharger population, in the supply and offshore specialist vessels, have ABB turbochargers. To support the growing demand and the new advanced turbochargers, ABB has also expanded the capacity of its turbocharger workshop. The 5,800 sqft turbocharger workshop now accommodates the most advanced testing and repair facilities to support a highly responsive service to ABB customers.

The site also provides a third location for ABB’s consulting services, following on from Billingham and Daresbury. Consulting specializes in customer process improvement, aging and life extension, alarm handling and functional safety management.

Left to Right, Mike Crawford of ABB, Fergus Ewing MSP, Ian Rennie and Bill McLaughlin of ABB

Left to Right, Mike Crawford of ABB, Fergus Ewing MSP, Ian Rennie and Bill McLaughlin of ABB

Siemens trainees run ‘Junior Factory’ in UK

Siemens is opening the first Junior Factory for apprentices at its award winning facility in Congleton, launching during the Government’s flagship ‘Tomorrows Engineers Week’.  The facility was opened by UK and Ireland Chief Executive Roland Aurich on the 7th of November and will act as a ‘small factory within a factory’ run by a mixture of commercial and technical apprentices aged 16 to 21.

The apprentices will take on key leadership roles and will be responsible for the full breadth of the factory’s progress. The initiative will be open to all apprentices and graduates as part of Siemens’ dedicated plans to train young people not just in the critical field of engineering but also in real business management.

The Junior Factory will manufacture a sub-assembly for supply into production, which were previously imported and will represent a re-shoring of domestic manufacturing. The team will be responsible for sourcing and supply chain management, production of sub-assemblies, quality management, budgeting and transfer pricing alongside performance management.

Roland Aurich, CEO of Siemens UK and Ireland said: “This is a really innovative project, and the aims are very clear – let’s train up our young apprentices for the long term challenges they will face in their careers whilst fostering a culture of innovation, autonomy and crucially – entrepreneurship. We need to make a bold statement in Siemens and across industry – be an engineering apprentice and you can go from the shop floor to the top floor and schemes like this help young people understand how an engineering apprenticeship can lead to a rewarding career.”

Siemens has appointed a head of the Junior Factory and the team has written a business case about how they see the factory working, which was presented to the senior management board earlier in the year. Initially the Junior Factory will be responsible for the complete supply chain for assembly of fans for use within Siemens G120C drives and the team will have complete ownership for the value chain: planning, sourcing, assembly and delivery of finished product to the line.

Richard Lawton an apprentice who is acting as the head of the Junior Factory said: “I never thought that as part of an apprenticeship I would be given the opportunity to take on this level of responsibility – not just training and learning but actually running the facility as a business. I am really looking forward to working with the team members and making the project a success over the coming year, and learning about how running a full assembly line works in practice.”

The apprentices will also be responsible for resourcing the factory and ensuring that customer demands are fulfilled in the most cost effective way. Appropriate quality checks should be implemented within the process to ensure that “quality” products are delivered. The team will also be responsible for the creation of an annual budget for the factory. This will include a presentation to the senior management team for approval of the costs and a productivity challenge will be given to the Junior Factory on an annual basis.

Mathew Hancock MP, Minister for Skills at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said: This ground-breaking project is a great opportunity for tomorrow’s engineers to get the training and experience they need to establish a successful career. The Junior Factory demonstrates the great contribution apprentices can make to businesses and is a fantastic example of how we can innovate to plug skills gaps and help the UK get ahead in the global race.”

Major expansion of UK test and training facilities at E + H

P1020020aEndress+Hauser in Manchester, UK, was established 45 years ago as the first overseas sales centre for the Swiss parent company, founded by George Endress 60 years ago last February. In fact the actual date on the UK company records was 11 November 1968 – so the inauguration and opening of the new apprentice training and engineering centre on 8 November 2013 by his son Hans-Peter Endress, now chairman of the UK operation, was singularly appropriate, as a “wonderful birthday present” of which George would have approved.

 

The redevelopment and total internal refitting of this building, to help E+H serve their customers better, as well as to invest in the training of the young people needed to work in E+H, and for the customers’ engineers who use E+H products, has cost around GBP650k. Hans-Peter saw this investment as turning their stated company strategy into reality: currently the E+H group has 544 apprentices, interns and graduates in training, around 5% of the workforce.

Taking action on training

David Newell, md of the UK operation, explained that the training centre, and the examples of the equipment and demo rigs operating there, had been designed and built by E+H engineers, in particular using the efforts of four current apprentices. The building originally housed the sales offices, but was vacated when the modern sales and engineering offices were built alongside on the same site. This new sales office is the fourth largest E+H sales centre in Europe, and sixth largest in the world: currently 14 of the staff members there were recruited into the E+H apprentice or graduate training programme.

Newell suggested that it was only because E+H was privately owned that they were able to follow the desires and beliefs of the shareholder family and invest consistently in training for staff. Currently he sees a real shortage of engineering skills and education in young people emerging from schools and colleges, and a low take-up of engineering courses at Universities. In taking their own action to remedy this, E+H are working along the same lines as many of their customers – such as HJ Heinz, working with the University Technical Centre at Wigan (and using a food processing plant in the UTC, instrumented by E+H, to produce soup, which is then distributed to the needy in the area); Arla Foods sponsoring the Eden project at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, covering food technology and engineering; and Nestlé working with Sheffield Hallam University on a specially configured degree course. This year E+H employed two new school leavers on a 4 year apprenticeship, who will spend their first year studying at SETA, the Stockport Engineering Training Association.

Hands-on demonstrations

A tour of the training facilities showed that E+H are indeed achieving what they aspire to be – a multi-specialist in the supply of process automation systems. The application examples used in the training rigs cover typical projects where their equipment is used, and are even typical of some of the custom modules they supply at times – typically to R&D laboratories for process development. Examples showed batch control of fluid delivery, similar to bottling or pharmaceutical blending, PID control applied to a pressure reservoir, to show how to control response times, and also PID control of a tank level with a pump and discharge control valve. The air flow rig demonstrated many different types of flowmeter, enabling the effects and limitations of each technology to be observed, alongside the alternatives.

C5834_DSC0755.JPG

A separate area, away from the pumps and liquids, represented an on-site instrument repair bay, where trainees on courses can disassemble the sensors, test their operation as they might on their own plant, wire them up and even check the outputs: calibration work is also possible. The available systems covered not only 4-20mA interfacing, but also Profibus and other bus connections where appropriate. Instruments here can also be connected to a simulated control room across the corridor, using equipment and interfacing supplied by Rockwell Automation and Pepperl+Fuchs, two of the E+H alliance partners, who have helped with the development of the centre. From this console further groupings of instruments sited on stanchions around the demo floor are accessed using the different interfacing technologies available, demonstrating Ethernet and WirelessHART for example. Similar hands-on experience is available in the separate lecture room, where each seat is equipped with a desk PC. Here networking and interconnectivity rules, so that all the students can interact with the main classroom display: a true “Collaboration station” in Honeywell terminology! This station can also link to and control any of the working demonstration rigs, to discuss and review the practical training and what they had learnt. Separately the course leader also has control of a local camera which can then show close-up views of the wiring or settings being adjusted on a sensor under investigation, on the same classroom screen.

One of the first companies to use the training centre has been Arla Foods, who have recently invested in a major new dairy in Aylesbury, UK. Endress+Hauser won the packages for the supply of field instrumentation, which included asset management and maintenance contracts, including the training of Arla engineers on the equipment to be fitted on site. The first training has been given using the new centre, concentrating on the specific items they will need to work with.

Engineering facilities

Half the lower floor of the training centre is divided into separate calibration laboratories for temperature, pressure, liquid flow and analytical products such as pH. The water flow rig is relatively small compared to the facilities available at the flowmeter production centres, but can still calibrate meters up to DN100 (4”) to an accuracy of 0.05%. In the other half, an assembly area is used for producing custom made control cabinets with field wiring terminals, some of which are set up for Factory Acceptance Testing before shipment.

DSC03746

Leaving the training centre – which was in fact officially opened on 8 November by the E+H management, helped by Michael Portillo, an ex-minister in the last Conservative Government in the UK, and others, trainees will hopefully register the following thought presented there, engraved into the wall. This stresses the involvement of E+H and process instrumentation in general in everyday consumer products, as well as in the oil and gas industry, as evidenced by the many examples visible. George Endress, who started his working life as a young engineer at Mather & Platt in Manchester, not far from the new centre, would have been pleased.

“Wherever you are, you’ll find something made by us. Drink a glass of water, eat a sandwich, take a pain reliever or refuel your car – process automation is always involved”.

Footnote: Endress+Hauser has also just opened a new production facility in Brazil, 100km north of Sao Paulo. The investment there has totalled Euro8m ($11m), for the production of flow, level and pressure instruments in the 4300sqm factory. Since the opening a Brazil sales centre in 2003, sales in the area have grown on average at 30% per annum. Other regional production centres are situated in the USA, China and India.