Hybrid Laser Continuous Gas Analyser

Emerson has announced the release of the Rosemount CT5100 continuous gas analyser, the world’s only hybrid analyser to combine Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) and Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) measurement technologies for process gas analysis and emissions monitoring. The CT5100 is the latest offering in the Emerson CT5000 series, providing the most comprehensive analysis available as it can detect down to sub ppm level for a range of components, while simplifying operation and significantly reducing costs. Unlike traditional continuous gas analysers, the CT5100 can measure up to 12 critical component gases and potential pollutants simultaneously within a single system – meeting local, national, and international regulatory requirements.

The CT5100 was first shown at the Emerson European Exchange in Brussels, last month, and is one of several new developments to be launched this year, following the acquisition of the company Cascade Technologies, of Stirling in Scotland in December 2014.

QCL-Image-CT5100-Ex-160420

The CT5100 operates reliably with no consumables, no in-field enclosure, and a simplified sampling system that does not require any gas conditioning to remove moisture. The new gas analyser is ideally suited for process gas analysis, continuous emissions monitoring, and ammonia slip applications.

“The increase in regulatory requirements worldwide, along with the decrease in experienced personnel in industrial plants, have paved the way for the emergence of a new generation of faster, more accurate, and easier-to-use measurement technologies,” said Ruth Lindley, product manager for QCL analysers at Emerson. “The CT5100 represents an important next step in that direction, providing unmatched sub-second response time for precise, reliable measurement of complex gases and emissions to ensure regulatory compliance and prevent costly fines or unexpected shutdowns.”

The CT5100 is a unique combination of advanced technology, high reliability, and rugged design. Its ‘laser chirp’ technique expands gas analysis in both the near- and mid-infrared range, enhancing process insight, improving overall gas analysis sensitivity and selectivity, removing cross interference, and reducing response time. The laser chirp technique produces sharp, well-defined peaks from high resolution spectroscopy that enable specificity of identified components with minimum interference and without filtration, reference cells, or chemometric manipulations.

“The CT5100 modular design and patented ability to chirp up to six lasers in one enclosure provides greatly expanded measurement capability as well as superior analyser availability and lower maintenance costs,” said Dave McMillen, North America business development manager. “Start-up and commissioning is quick and maintaining the analyser requires minimal technician time and material cost.”

For more information on the CT5100 analyser, go to www.EmersonProcess.com/GasAnalysis/QCL. Surprisingly, the CT5100 replaces the older CT5200 model, which is now made obsolete.

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Invensys/Schneider and those share maths pundits

The stock market valuations and ratios are fine, but being a basic maths guy let’s look at the Invensys/Schneider deal, quoted as a higher than average 22.4 P/E ratio for Schneider.

The proposed deal is worth GBP3.3Bn. But for that Schneider buy a company with a minimum of GBP0.6Bn in cash (see below), so it actually costs them GBP2.7Bn. Schneider had GBP2.4Bn of cash at the end of 2012, so they have the resources. But the P/E ratio. If it is 22.4 based on a price of 3.3Bn, the actual P/E ratio after deducting the cash resources is 18.4, which is well below the 20 times average earnings Schneider has paid for deals since 2005 (according to BNP Paribas).

So Schneider has a fairly standard deal, in their terms, with some upside if needed. Plus from the European view, Invensys fits well with Schneider, having a significant European, and French, presence.

Somehow the Schneider/Invensys combination makes sense: what would be more interesting would be to hear what Schneider plan to do with the whole new horizon that Invensys would open up for them.

Schneider statement:

The Schneider website contained the following paragraph explaining their rationale:

Schneider Electric believes that the strategic and financial rationale for this transaction, if consummated, is compelling. Schneider Electric is considering making an offer for Invensys in order to increase its focus on the attractive industry automation sector. The enlarged group would significantly expand its access to key electro-intensive segments where Schneider Electric offers leading low and medium voltage as well as energy management solutions. It would also gain a leading position in the fast growing software business for industrial operational efficiency.

INSIDER Newsletter Comment:

So the statement follows the Invensys view of their future growth potential, in terms of Energy Controls on the one hand, and Software, for operational efficiency, on the other.

Possibly, in the middle, there is InFusion, and Archestra, able to sit in the plant management and operational efficiency space, and get closer to the customers – whoever has supplied the basic automation systems. Who is going to recognize this and take it on, or is it still outside the accountant’s horizons?

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* For Schneider comment in the INSIDER Newsletter see January 2013 page 7. http://www.iainsider.co.uk

* For the last INSIDER valuation of Invensys, post Rail sale, see the newsletter of December 2012, page 6: the price quoted there was GBP3Bn.

+PLUS there are lots of cash piles stashed away in the Invensys future, not the least of which must be the payments due from the Chinese nuclear power plant orders, due for realization this year. Then, for the future, what about the pension fund “just in case” GBP225m reservoir trust bank accounts? They should hopefully realize a few bonus GBP in 5-10 years, one way or another.

Invensys Operations Management Acquires Spiral Software

Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the manufacturing and infrastructure operations industries, has announced that it has acquired Spiral Software, a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. The acquisition will extend the IOM refinery-wide optimization offerings with new planning, scheduling and crude management software. [Note added 30 November:  While IOM refused to disclose the price paid for Spiral Software, the Invensys half year accounts have now published the figure, quoting GBP38million].

Founded in 1998, Spiral Software (www.spiralsoft.com) provides integrated solutions ranging from crude assay management to refinery supply chain optimization, enabling clients to make the best possible choices in trading and refining crude oil. Spiral’s industry-leading crude oil knowledge management tools help companies track the quality of feedstocks and predict their refining behavior. Fully-integrated refinery planning and scheduling help optimize production plans based on real-time crude demand and market pricing, as well as the refinery’s own capacity and supply chain constraints.

“Acquiring Spiral Software strengthens our leadership position in the hydrocarbon processing industry and reinforces our commitment to helping our HPI customers optimize all aspects of their business operations,” said Mike Caliel, president and chief executive officer, Invensys Operations Management. “Spiral software further extends our refinery optimization solutions in support of our global installed base and gives us the most comprehensive portfolio in the refining and petrochemical industries. By continuing to expand our portfolio, we are well positioned to compete on global pursuits in these strong and growing markets.”

“This acquisition complements our existing refinery-wide optimization strategy and leverages our SimSci-Esscor modeling and optimization offerings for the hydrocarbon processing industry,” said Ravi Gopinath, president of Invensys Operations Management’s software business. “Spiral Software provides the only integrated refining-industry solution designed from the ground up, bringing together feedstock data management, planning and scheduling. This means that our SimSci-Esscor offerings will now fully support and optimize the entire refining value chain, from crude trading to supply-chain distribution, including lifecycle modeling from design to start up to  performance optimization. With this acquisition, we are able to offer the only full-span optimization solution on the market today, one that will help our customers reap cost savings and margin improvements that could total millions of dollars each year.”

Spiral Software’s crude oil knowledge-management tools provide accurate and timely crude oil information across an enterprise, from ranking crude oils in trading to optimizing refinery processes and maximizing reliability. Spiral Software’s planning and scheduling solution provides a collaborative, multi-user environment for sharing common data and models across all supply chain work processes. Planning activities, such as crude purchasing and product sales, can now be flexed continuously with the production schedule, reacting to market and operating conditions. In parallel, scheduling decisions can be made with an understanding of their commercial impact while avoiding boxed-in scenarios. Its integrated risk-analysis feature enables users to look across many different planning and scheduling scenarios, helping refiners understand their exposure to changes in feedstock costs, product demand and refinery operations.

“Combined with Invensys Operations Management’s existing refinery optimization offerings, our capabilities in feedstock data management and refinery supply chain optimization will allow us to provide a unique, end-to-end solution across the full oil sector value chain,” said Matthew Webster, chief executive officer, Spiral Software. “Together, our next-generation tools will enable companies to make the best business decisions using real-time market and operational data.

“Our customers will continue to work with the same strong Spiral Software team and continue to receive the same exceptional products and service, now backed by a company with global capabilities and an excellent worldwide reputation for providing industry-leading software and solutions to the oil sector.”

The business will continue to be managed by Spiral Software’s existing executive team, adding employees to Invensys operations in the United Kingdom and North America.

Emerson to buy Chloride: ABB backs out

5 June: The Emerson bid to acquire Chloride in the UK originated with talks in early 2008, that came to nothing. However, Emerson sees Chloride as the European lead HQ for its network power systems business, and is still persistent,  despite the rejection of its £723M offer, 275p a share, made at the end of April. But all the plans of David Farr, Chairman and CEO at Emerson, fell apart, when Chloride reported underlying profits at the top end of city expectations: but surely Farr knew that they were in this good position and should have been delighted to see his expectations confirmed! Chloride has been growing fast in supplying un-interruptible power supplies to provide security to keep major companies operating through power cuts. This is not just a growing market in the developing regions, like India and China, but also happening across the US and Europe, as power supplies become less reliable, and continuity of supply more important.  But Chloride has also expanded with new offices in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines.

While Emerson canvasses major shareholders to assess what price would be attractive, the share price continues upwards, past 286p, and even at this level the institutions are still buying in. So Emerson will have to dig deeper, unless the pressure on the pound generated by anti-British sentiment in the US over the BP problems comes to their rescue.

8 June: ABB joins the party! Or should that be the fray? ABB have made a counter offer to buy the Chloride Group, pitched at 325p a share, giving a total offer value of £860Million and topping the Emerson bid. This offer has been recommended for shareholder acceptance by the Chloride Board. The stock market obviously expects another bid, with the current share price standing at 342p.

15 June: It seems that industry analysts predict there will be no counter-bid by Emerson to top the ABB offer, so it seems that the stock market appetite for a battle was just the over-enthusiasm whipped up by greedy investors.

30 June: A new offer from Emerson of 375p a share, almost USD1.5 billion, sent Chloride’s share price up 37p to 385½p, amid expectations ABB will hit back with a higher offer.

1 July: ABB announce that in the interests of taking a disciplined approach to such acquisitions, a higher offer from ABB would not be appropriate.

ABB acquires K-Tek

ABB Process Automation has added Louisiana-based K-Tek, a manufacturer of liquid level detection and measurement systems, to their Measurement Products Business Unit. Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of the Process Automation division, commented that “K-Tek is well established, particularly in the oil and gas industry, which is a growth area for ABB”.  K-Tek is quoted as being recognized as a global leader in magnetic level gauges, magnetostrictive level transmitters and laser level transmitters, with sales of USD50 million and 250 employees. They also manufacture guided wave radar and ultrasonic level measurement systems, RF capacitance level systems, vibrating fork level switches, bulk solids level measurement products and pressure / temperature switches: no overlap is quoted with the current ABB product portfolio.

Liquid level switching and level measurement systems seem to have been the ‘poor relation’ in terms of the technology adopted by major US process control companies. Indeed the main players in this field seem to have been European, with Bestobell Mobrey, Endress+Hauser and Vega being in the forefront of the industry there, and the main US supplier being Magnetrol. Then with the advent of radar systems, Saab in Sweden joined the European majors, only to be acquired by Emerson: Mobrey followed that route later and both now operate within their Rosemount Measurement Division. K-Tek started in 1975, and has grown significantly, although 350,000 installations in 35 years does not make them a major level controls supplier. The E+H Liquiphant sold a million units in the 17 years after its introduction in 1983, and another half million in the three years after that.

So will there be any further acquisitions in this part of the industry? Vega might join a European consolidation of instrumentation companies, but would not be a likely target for a US company. Will one of the majors like Yokogawa, Invensys or Honeywell wish to add more of the basic sensor manufacturing and snap up Magnetrol? It looks more likely that ABB would consider this as an interesting additional option to expand their level capability. But then maybe Magnetrol itself will consider a product expansion and move further into Europe, alongside the likes of Krohne?