75 Gas Chromatographs for Oman

Yokogawa IA GC8000

Yokogawa GC8000

Yokogawa Electric has received an order to supply an analyser package solution for the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex, which is being built for Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), a company owned and operated by the Oman government.

The Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is being built in Sohar, on Oman’s northern coast. This package order is for 15 analyser houses and associated analysis systems consisting of process analysers and sampling instruments. The client is a joint venture between Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I, a major US construction company) and CTCI Corporation (a major Taiwanese engineering company) that is responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of an approximately 800,000 ton per annum naphtha cracker and related utility facilities at this complex. The analysis systems for this steam cracker and its off-site utility facilities will rely on Yokogawa GC8000 process gas chromatographs to separate mixed gases and volatile liquids into their respective components and measure their concentrations. A total of 75 of the GC8000 units have been ordered, and this is Yokogawa’s largest single project order to date for this product. Yokogawa Electric Korea will have overall responsibility for analyser house fabrication, system integration and site commissioning services. As both Yokogawa Electric International and Yokogawa Europe Solutions have extensive experience in constructing analyser houses, Yokogawa Electric International will manage the engineering, delivery, and commissioning of this Yokogawa equipment, and Yokogawa Europe Solutions will provide project execution support. The analyser houses will be delivered by the third quarter of 2018: the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is scheduled to start operation in the first quarter of 2020.

It is believed that Yokogawa won this large order because the customer evaluation rated highly the company’s advanced knowledge of gas analysers and liquid analysers, expertise in the construction of analyser houses, and track record in supplying gas chromatographs to oil refineries and chemical plants all around the world. In recent years, the increasing need to improve product quality in the oil, natural gas, petrochemical, and chemical industries has been met by using gas chromatographs for accurately analysing the different gas components.

Backed by this order, Yokogawa will further expand sales of the GC8000 and other process analyser solutions, growing the process analyser system integration business, and helping their valued customers to improve the quality of their products.


Yokogawa invests into Silicon Valley fog computing


Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has invested in FogHorn Systems Inc, a Silicon Valley start-up that is a leading developer of fog computing* technology. Yokogawa aims to foster development of fog computing technology through its investment in this company. In so doing, Yokogawa hopes to expand the range of solutions that it provides.

Due to the continued growth of cloud computing services and the huge number of devices that have access to cloud resources, there is a growing concern over issues such as network congestion and data processing delays. Fog computing is gaining traction as a technology solution to this problem.

Co-Investors with Yokogawa

FogHorn Systems, a pioneer in the development of software for fog computing applications with outstanding expertise in this field, has attracted the interest of various companies that are promoting IoT. Led by March Capital and GE Ventures, the company has succeeded in raising $12 million in funding from multiple investors, including Yokogawa, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, and Darling Ventures. There is also a group of investors who invested in the company prior to this round of fundraising. Yokogawa’s stake in the company is worth $900,000.

Yokogawa offers a wide range of control solutions that help its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their operations and make the most effective use of their assets. These solutions include field instruments, control systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and management information systems. Industrial IoT (IIoT) technology is making rapid inroads in the control field, and it is expected that fog computing’s enablement of real-time and distributed processing in edge computing applications will significantly accelerate its adoption.

Through this investment in FogHorn Systems, Yokogawa will gain access to the latest fog computing technologies and will also make available its knowledge and expertise in process control and plant operations that will help this company further refine its fog computing technology. Yokogawa aims to make use of fog computing to strengthen the solutions that it provides.

‘Process Co-Innovation’ from Yokogawa

Yokogawa has drawn up a long-term business framework and formulated a vision statement that reads: “Through ‘Process Co-Innovation’ Yokogawa creates new value with our clients for a brighter future. ‘Process Co-Innovation’ is a concept for an automation business that will utilize all of Yokogawa’s measurement, control and information technologies. Accordingly, Yokogawa will seek not only to optimize production processes but also the flow of material and information within and between companies, including their value and supply chains”.

Yokogawa is committed to working with customers to create value through the effective use of IIoT, a key to ‘Process Co-Innovation’. Tsuyoshi Abe, Yokogawa vice president and head of the company’s Marketing Headquarters, said of this investment: “Highly reliable and stable communications are an essential requirement in manufacturing and many other fields. Fog computing is a breakthrough that helps to enhance the use of cloud resources. It is also expected to provide Yokogawa many more opportunities to utilize IIoT in its control business. In line with our corporate brand slogan of ‘Co-innovating tomorrow’, Yokogawa will use FogHorn’s technology to develop new solutions and create new value in collaboration with its customers and partners.”

* Fog computing:

Fog computing is an architectural concept for the realization of edge intelligence and the suppression of communications with the cloud by establishing a ‘fog’ distributed computing layer between the cloud and devices in the field. Fog computing eliminates communications delays and fluctuations by locating the processing of certain data near the field devices that generate the data and sending only essential information to the cloud. As such, there are high expectations that this technology will lead to a number of new IoT applications.

648MW solar project in India

ABB has successfully commissioned five substations to integrate a 648 megawatt solar project at Kamuthi in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to the national transmission grid. The project was awarded by independent power producer the Adani Group in 2015, and completed on schedule. The solar photo-voltaic project – made up of five plants in a single location – is the largest of its kind in the world. 360 MW from the solar project is currently grid-connected and at full capacity this facility will account for nearly 10 percent of the country’s current solar capacity of around seven gigawatts.

Adani’s 648 MW solar power plant

The Adani 648MW solar power plant

The project contributes to India’s vision of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022, with the overall aim of diversifying its energy mix to meet growing demand while minimizing environmental impact. As part of this plan, the government has issued a proposal to implement 25 ultra-mega solar power projects with capacities between 500 and 1,000 MW over a period of five years. The government of Tamil Nadu is also pursuing a solar policy which envisages a solar generation capacity addition of 3,000 MW.

“We are proud to support the country’s clean energy vision and push for solar power which demonstrates its commitment to sustainable growth,” said Claudio Facchin, President of the ABB Power Grids division. “This project exemplifies our end-to-end power and automation system integration capabilities and reinforces our commitment to the renewable energy sector, a key component of the ABB ‘Next Level’ strategy.”

The ABB project scope included the design, supply, installation and commissioning related to the solar plant electrification and automation systems. This includes two 230 kilovolt and three 110 kV outdoor switchyards to connect to the local transmission grid and will enable clean power supply for around 150000 households, based on average national per capita consumption.

ABB to strengthen the power infrastructure in Indonesia

ABB is to support the Indonesian state-owned utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to strengthen the reliability and enhance the efficiency of its Java-Bali transmission and distribution networks to meet the growing demand for power in Java, the most populated island on earth.

ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the substation extensions, including switchgear, transformers, state-of-the-art control and protection systems as well as ancillary equipment. The product scope will include 11 units of 60 megavolt-ampere (MVA) transformers, high-voltage air-insulated switchgear for eight substations, high-voltage gas-insulated switchgear for one substation as well as the replacement works and control systems for uprating the transformers in three other substations. Financed by the Asian Development Bank, the $11m project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.


(c) ProcessingTalk.info

Yokogawa Analyser systems integration services

The Yokogawa Analytical instrumentation makes up a significant part of their product range, serving customers in the oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, natural gas and power industries. The measurement techniques used in their products include chromatography, laser-based infra-red absorption and Raman spectroscopy, as well as industrial liquid sensors for conductivity and pH monitoring. Typically many of these sensors are installed in on-site laboratories or analyser houses, which can be skid or container type units attached to the process directly or via sample lines.


The expertise developed within Yokogawa in the installation of efficient and effective analytical installations led to the establishment of a complete analyser system supply and integration service, to provide a total package of instruments, monitoring housings, sample line interconnections and conditioning systems, ready for site installation. Such services have been operational for some years, operating from bases within the Yokogawa US and Asian business units: now with the launch of a new service in Europe, ASI or Analyser Systems Integration, the same full service will be available to European customers. This makes Yokogawa a true one-stop-shop for ASI at both green-field or brown-field projects of almost any size, thus helping project owners to simplify their supply chains as they need only deal with a single team for all analytical requirements.


The Yokogawa European ASI centre in Madrid

Loek van Eijck, business unit manager, analytical solutions at Yokogawa Europe, said: “We’re very pleased to announce the introduction of Yokogawa Europe’s Analyser System Integration service. This services responds to a growing market demand within the chemical, oil & gas industry, and increasingly in other process industries, to simplify project management of both new installations and renovations. We’ll be working with our own analysers and those of 3rd-party manufacturers, but it makes sense for project owners and primary contractors to deal with a single integrator of analytical systems, and for that integrator to be a supplier of instruments being installed.”

One of the major issues facing project managers is finding a team with the right skills and experience for specialist areas of project implementation. Yokogawa’s ASI service guarantees access to design and implementation engineers with the highest levels of qualification and certification. The highly skilled project management team is fully certified by Project Management Professional (PMP), while the engineering team designs solutions to the explosion-proof standards specified by ATEX, IECEx and all other relevant standards and legislative bodies, making design compliance easier to prove. They are backed up by a professional execution team with more than 150 years of accumulated installation experience.


Yokogawa has built a global reputation for quality and innovation, and has now applied this to its ASI service. “We believe this sets our service apart from the competition,” said van Eijck. “Yokogawa has earned its reputation through involvement in some of the industry’s largest and most innovative projects, and is now able to apply this in Europe to ASI projects of almost any size from any process industry requiring highly accurate analytical instrumentation by sharing know-how with other ASI facilities and developing synergy among Yokogawa Group Companies.” This new facility makes Yokogawa a true one-stop-shop for ASI at both green-field or brown-field projects of almost any size, thus helping project owners to simplify their supply chains. The mature European process industry has many aging plants, and these regularly require updates, renovation and modernizationto meet current and new monitoring requirements.

The service provides a full analytical services life cycle from design, fabrication and manufacturing to installation, on-site services and training. Yokogawa ASI also links up to the similar services provided by Yokogawa in its Asian and US divisions providing customers with global coverage – an obvious advantage for international organisations and projects.

The ASI service in Europe is based in Madrid, Spain. Almudena Mier, ASI location manager at Yokogawa, said; “We have created an excellent facility here for the new service which offers a great environment for the team and the projects they will work on. Madrid is well served by transport links to the rest of Europe and beyond, and has access to some great local engineering talent as well as being an attractive place to work for staff and customers who come from elsewhere in Europe.”

(c) ProcessingTalk.info, June 2016




My worst week as an air traveller

A busy flight schedule last week started well: the Monday morning flight to Brussels was OK! After two days at the press conference for the Emerson Exchange European event in the ‘Cube’ in Brussels, which included an enjoyable afternoon seeing the sights around the Grand Square in Brussels city centre, all that was needed was to catch a flight back to Heathrow on Tuesday night: I needed to get home, to then do a quick turn-round and head to Gatwick on Wednesday, to then catch a lunchtime flight Thursday for Cancun in Mexico. This was our holiday trip to visit my son in Mahahual, way South of Cancun, where he lives and works as a fishing guide – so holidays tend to be visits to see him.

A quick trip to Brussels


The special Tintin A300 on the outward journey to Brussels

The taxi ride for a colleague and myself out to Brussels Airport was a nightmare:  we had left Brussels city centre with 3.5 hours available before the 2130 flight time. There were jams on the motorways all the way, and then the slip road to the airport was closed off by the Police. Eventually we discovered from other drivers, and then the Internet, that a suspect vehicle had been seen on one airport approach road, so the airport had been closed, and all current flights cancelled.

Return to Brussels centre?

OK so turn the taxi round, head back for Brussels and try to catch the Eurostar home. Bad traffic again, which made the task of connecting with the last train of the evening, leaving at 2030 approx, impossible. No matter, colleagues in Emerson could book us a room for the night, and we could fly home Wednesday morning! But wait, the Internet now says Brussels airport is now open! Flights are leaving! OK, turn the taxi round, again, from half way back to the town centre, and go back to the airport! No jams now, although the taxi drop off point is Floor 3 of the multi-storey car park. Possibly the taxi driver was happy, as he had a fare of 2.5x the normal airport taxi cost. Maybe he is part of the evolving conspiracy against getting us home?

Fast track departure through the chicanes

Following the suicide bombings at Brussels Airport, in the Departure lounge, there have been some recent re-adjustments to the departure route for passengers, to get the airport operating again. These mean that from the public taxi drop-off point then you walk down the ramps from the car park to the ground floor, pass a couple of 7 foot tall Belgian Army Commandos, and zig-zag thru an entrance route to get to a big reception tent. Here Police and Army boarding card/e-ticket and passport checks only let passengers through into a long baggage screening and metal detector search area, protected by several concrete barriers. Sounds good, and is effective. And as Eoin O’Riain comments, the document checks were all very friendly, helpful (and multi-lingual) and good natured. Then you get to the check in area in another big tent structure, with lots of people – but there are still some automated boarding pass machines. We got thru those, to gain a boarding card each and proceeded to enter the real building, moving quickly now because it was getting late: this meant going up three flights of concrete stairs, emergency exit type, to get up to the third floor again, and the real pax screening.

Thru the ticket check and baggage x-ray, and metal detectors again, and into the departure area. All the time everything had looked OK: but only here did we see a flight departure info screen in English, to discover that our flight was cancelled, because not wanting to get left out of the misery stakes the Belgian air traffic controllers had decided they didn’t like all this hassle of getting to work, and went on strike!

Turn again, back to Brussels centre?

What to do now? Well let’s ask the airline, Brussels Airlines. Some passing local staff told us there was a Brussels Airlines desk in the actual departure gate area, which was the place to go for help. This meant going thru passport control, and then walking the full length of the departure terminal again, to reach the desk at the far end.

Here a very helpful lady said the Air Traffic Controllers would be back at work at 10pm, so our flight could not go because it was scheduled for 2130. Why 10pm? She did not know, but said they always come back then, maybe they get a higher pay rate after 10pm, maybe the pubs close then, who knows? So we were re-allocated seats and a boarding card for the 1100 flight the next morning, and given a Hotel room and a meal voucher for the night.

All we needed to do now was walk all the way round the terminal again, find the exit into the car park, and this time wait for a courtesy bus to get us to the Hotel. Here it is worth commenting that the Belgian Hotel staff were very sympathetic, and had no respect for the air traffic controllers who for personal gain were piling more inconvenience onto those travellers who had shown solidarity with the city, and refused to delay or cancel their travel plans. Next morning , back to the airport for a repeat of the check-in procedure, up the stairs, thru checks etc, only to discover the boarding cards did not scan properly, so we had to go thru another repeat, to re-issue these boarding cards (on a better printer) at a very busy Brussels Airlines desk, which thank goodness was a quick and easy process.

At least I arrived home on Wednesday afternoon, with no further hiccups, to set off at 6pm to drive to a Hotel at Gatwick, to catch the next flight of the week, this time my wife and I were going on holiday to Mexico, to see our son Nick, who is a fishing guide in Mahahual, south of Cancun on the Costa Maya.

On to Cancun, we thought….

Thursday morning saw my wife and I at Gatwick, looking to fly to Mexico on Virgin Atlantic. In fact the flight was Virgin VS093, on 14 April 2016. A nice flight, we’ve used this route before, on a big Boeing 747 Jumbo jet. Gatwick was crowded, and the flight was delayed by nearly an hour, boarding about 1300. Not too many passengers on board, so we could spread out a bit.

After about 4 hours, the hostesses brought several families with young children into our seating area and put them into some rows of spare seats – I thought maybe this was to let the kids lie down. Then it became obvious that there was something else going on, when the Tannoy system made some form of an announcement, finishing with an audible bit that said “We will be arriving in New York in 2 hours”. The flight map also showed that the plane was heading west for New York, having previously been heading southwest, over the Atlantic off the coast of Labrador. First of all you panic, thinking you are on the wrong plane. Then you think there must be some technical problem with it..???

Just another drunken Brit!

It transpired, with a further announcement, that a passenger, a member of the stag party heading for Cancun, had been abusive and threatening to the Virgin staff and some passengers, and generally disruptive. He “needed to be restrained by the airline staff”, and would be kept under restraint in the aircraft until he could be off-loaded into the care of the authorities at New York.


A Virgin Jumbo arriving at Cancun: it can cost up to £200,000 to divert one of these to make an extra stop, and compensate all the passengers who are waiting to fly home.

The plane did a straight in approach to JFK Airport in New York, and in the words of the crew was “held at the edge of the airport for the authorities to board”. The authorities were about six burly policemen, who removed the offender, but then spent about an hour taking statements and info from those who had witnessed the events. Eventually we arrived in Cancun, 3 hours later than planned, which messed up most people’s onward travel arrangements. The rest of the stag party also disembarked, all looking a bit daft in their matching baseball hats and T-shirts.

What happened to the offender, left in New York? Maybe from there he will have to travel home by sea, in a container preferably: he certainly will never fly again, and probably it will take a few years before he has paid off the landing fees for a Jumbo to visit JFK, just to drop him off. I hope he was not the Groom!

[Note: This story is published after our return home, to hail and wet UK snow on the road back from Gatwick, a significant contrast to the 30-40C temperatures experienced in Playa Del Carmen, Akumel, Tulum, Chetumal and Mahahual]

Further Yokogawa CCGT and Desalination business in Qatar

ras abu fontas

The QEWC Ras Abu Fontas plant

A press release this week from Yokogawa announces that the Yokogawa South Korean engineering operation has won another major contract from Samsung C&T for Centum VP control and ProSafe-RS safety systems for a 2.4GW Combined Cycle gas turbine power and desalination plant. The plant is to be built in Qatar, using local natural gas as the fuel, and will make up an important part of the future Qatari infra-structure: it will be located 20km south of Doha. It will be operated by Umm Al Houl Power, a joint venture consortium which includes Mitsubishi/Tokyo Electric Power and Qatar Petroleum, the Qatar Foundation, and the Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC).

Another order from Acciona Agua covers the supply of an associated Yokogawa Centum VP control system for a reverse osmosis water desalination plant to be created as a part of the power plant. Separately, Yokogawa received an order placed by Hitachi Zosen Corporation for a Centum VP control system on a further multi-stage flash desalination plant. Combined, the two desalination plants will produce 590,000 cubic meters of water per day.

Yokogawa will be responsible for the engineering of these interlinked systems, which will be able to monitor and control the operations of all three plants: plus they will provide support for installation and commissioning.

Yokogawa Experience

Yokogawa in South Korea has developed extensive expertise in working alongside Korean and Japanese power plant contractors, and claims a solid global track record in executing large CCGT projects, based on over 100 systems for combined cycle power plants. This capability was demonstrated in Qatar on a previous desalination plant for QEWC, known as the Ras Abu Fontas A2 project, and previous CCGT projects alongside Samsung C&T have included a 2.1GW plant at Rabigh on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

Yokogawa anticipates major growth in demand for CCGT plants worldwide, particularly where there is access to local supplies of natural gas. However, some recent projects have been more unconventional, with a recent installation in Ireland using a high speed controller to manage a fly-wheel energy storage system for smoothing the output power from wind farms! Another project in Cornwall, UK, will use Centum VP and ProSafe-RS to control the boilers and auxiliary systems on a waste to energy plant, their fourth such installation in the UK.

(c) Nick Denbow:  www.ProcessingTalk.info


Automation Supplier World Sales Rankings

In December each year, the US-based Magazine Control (www.controlglobal.com) produces an analysis of the world’s process control and automation suppliers, to determine their rankings for total world sales and North American sales. This process is done by analysing the businesses, and in co-operation with colleagues from the ARC Advisory Group, and their latest article covers the information published in accounts that mainly covered 2014. So the big oil industry investment turndown of 2015 would not be seen in these figures. Control reports that the automation revenues in 2015 were down 2-3% in Q2, and then 5% in Q3, so the outlook for the average results in 2015 will be 7% down.

It has been my routine to take these figures and analyse them the other way round, to look at how the major suppliers perform outside North America, in the “Rest of the World”. The general impression is that there have been not many changes in any of the rankings of suppliers since the previous year. The Schneider acquisition of Invensys accelerated them past Emerson, in sales in the Rest of the World, taking them to #3 in the table. Endress + Hauser moved up to #12, overtaking Danaher.


The tabulation also shows the percentage of each company’s total sales that is represented by the Rest of the World, outside America. Most of the Top 20 vendors shown here have the bulk of their turnover coming from the Rest of the World: notable here are Emerson and Rockwell, each with around 55% only, and holding the #1 and #2 slots in the USA. Comparing these Top 20 companies, the major world businesses that have high percentages of sales outside the USA are inevitably not highly ranked in the US vendor listing produced by Control, as shown in the right hand column: notably these include Mitsubishi, Yokogawa, Phoenix Contact, Omron and Festo.

How about the sales growth?


Overall the Top 50 in the World increased sales by around 5.4% to $113Bn according to Control, with the North American Top 50 seeing sales increase by 7.3% to a total of $30Bn in North America. But the second tabulation shown here is more interesting, where companies are listed and ranked according to their percentage growth rate of their worldwide sales. Here the highest rankings go to some Europe-based groups, like E+H, at 12% growth, and Phoenix Contact, at 9.3%, but also with Ametek taking second place with 11.9%. Then the larger suppliers are evident, with Emerson, Honeywell, Mitsubishi and Siemens. Interestingly the ones keeping steady around zero include ABB, Schneider and Yokogawa.


And the detail behind the growth figures?

The ‘devil’ is in the detail, unless it is the fracked gas in the USA detail, and LNG/oil elsewhere.  Believe me, it’s difficult to see any real pattern from the mass of different figure trends, but there are three distinct groups.

The winning group is very small, one company: this is Endress + Hauser. With 10.6% growth in the Rest of the World (ROW) and 19.7% growth in North America (NA) they stand out as the only real achiever in both areas, for 2014 over 2013. True they have made acquisitions that would affect both markets, but all the other majors have not been inactive in acquisitions either, its part of the business activity.

The next group saw a significant downturn in NA, but a rise in fortunes in the ROW: these were Siemens, Honeywell and Cameron. Not three companies you would think were affected by the same factors. Siemens was done 6.4% in NA but up 6.5% in the ROW, which is a bigger part of their business. Honeywell also has 72% of the business in ROW, which grew at 10.2%, but NA fell by 4.8%. Cameron, currently being acquired by Schlumberger, grew at 12% in ROW (61% of their business), but sales fell 14.3% in NA.

The final grouping of companies saw a boom in NA, in stark comparison to the performance in the ROW: these comprise Yokogawa, Rockwell Automation, GE and Danaher. Yokogawa has recovered well in NA, with 10.3% growth, but is down 2.8% in ROW, which is 92% of their business. Rockwell has also seen enormous NA growth at 19.9%, but is significantly down in ROW, by 13.7%: at the end of 2014 Rockwell had 48% of its automation business in NA, the majority is still in ROW. Both GE and Danaher grew their sales by 8.3% in NA, but business was static in the ROW.

Of all the Top 20 ROW automation suppliers, it is significant perhaps to note that only Ametek (at #20) have the majority of their sales in NA, at 55%: all the Top 19 companies, many of which are thought of as American, make the bulk of their sales outside NA. The company who have had a strategy of achieving overall sales in NA of 33%, EU 33% and the Rest 33%, which is ABB, have 21% of automation type sales in NA, and saw even growth of under 1% in both ROW and NA for 2014. This is probably the stability that was their objective.

(C) Nick Denbow, ProcessingTalk.info, January 2016