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Dec 2013/Jan 2014 vol.27 no.7 PP100007403
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1213 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
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Using robots to enhance lean manufacturing
Chris Gailer, Endress+Hauser Australia Pty Ltd
Dirk Kuiper, AMS Instrumentation & Calibration Pty Ltd
Shane Parr, Pepperl+Fuchs Australia
Karl Wigginton, Emerson Process Management
Ian Slater, Weidmüller Pty Ltd
Tom Wiley, Wiley
Kathryn Wood, Powerflow
Chris Hoey, Bürkert Fluid Control Systems
AOG to expand in 2014
September 2013 total CAB audited circulation (Aust + NZ) 6,781 readers (80% personally requested)
Contact the editor
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USING ROBOTS TO ENHANCE LEAN MANUFACTURING
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Both large and small manufacturing operations can greatly benefit from the use of robots and, with Australia’s currently well-publicised manufacturing industry challenges, perhaps now is the time to consider the advantages of increased application of robotics.
ver the past three decades, robotics has made it possible for manufacturers to greatly increase the scale of factory automation. With over 160,000 sold each year*, industrial robots have become a mainstay of all sizes and types of manufacturing facilities, resulting in higher production rates, improved quality with decreased requirements for human intervention. Robots also elevate the nature of work by removing people from dull, dirty and dangerous tasks. As a result of greater efficiencies, robots and other forms of automation are rapidly becoming a core component of lean manufacturing and helping to reduce manufacturing costs. Adding robotic automation, however, does not automatically make a manufacturing environment lean, but they are often integrated within the manufacturing process to support and enhance lean manufacturing systems. Success criteria for the use of robots to support lean are: • Repeatability: robots improve product quality and consistency, and reduce waste. • Speed: robots can help increase production and reduce wait time. • Accuracy: robots help to reduce scrap. • Flexibility: robots reduce training and changeover time - with a target of single-minute exchange of die (SMED), and often achieving one-touch exchange of die, (OTED) goals.
Lean systems and robots No automation system or robotic solution is by its own nature lean. One thing that often gets overlooked is that automation systems (with or without robots) can actually speed up the creation of waste and reduce profitability if not designed into the system properly. Designing the manufacturing system to be lean is one of the largest challenges faced by engineers today. A few of the factors which must be taken into account while designing a lean manufacturing system with robots are: • Allowable scrap rate • Conveyor and other transportation requirements • Cycle time requirements by station or operation
• Equipment reliability and downtime statistics • Flexibility required in the process • Human machine interface requirements • Line automation requirements (percentage automated versus manual) • Line production rate requirement • Product handling requirements • Maintenance requirements • Repair time of equipment • Space available for robotic operations • Safety standards and ergonomics guidelines • Number of product variants Traditional production lines are designed to be an effective collaboration between man and machine. While the machines (including robots) can be programmed for optimal performance, people cannot. Effective ‘lean’ robot cells must take this into account. An efficiently designed automated robotic station must take into account the human variable and not limit the stations ahead in the line by rigidly ensuring consistent system performance. Most importantly, the decision to use robots must be justified by an ROI analysis. Small and large manufacturers have proven today’s robots can significantly improve the ROI in a manufacturing environment, especially when implementing robots in support of a lean initiative - but again, planning is critical. The robots must be properly incorporated into the overall lean manufacturing environment to get the desired results.
Machine tending and materials handling applications Machine tending and materials handling used to be purely manual tasks. Operators would transport material from one fixture or machine to the next, wait on the equipment to finish its task, and then relocate the processed part to another tool or process fixture. In most cases, several operators were required. Today, these labour-intensive tasks are often accomplished using robots, especially in operations requiring high speed and accuracy. Many applications, such as baked goods coming out of an oven on a conveyor, are picked and set into their packaging. Then, the individually packaged products
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Figure 1: Coordination between multiple robots reduces cycle times and speeds production.
are automatically placed into cases, ready to be palletised. The palletising robot can then place cases accurately on the pallet. Each of these robotic applications may be configured specifically for the customer the product is being shipped to. For example, different customers may have different packaging and palletising requirements than others. Each order can be picked, packaged and palletised automatically to meet the customerâ€™s unique requirements. So, how do robots make a handling system lean? 1. There is no wait time for operators. A materials handling robot can be set up to multi-task, performing additional processing operations between other operations. 2. Robots have negligible downtime. Robots deliver a limited production loss compared to manual operations, which tend to be error prone and inconsistent in terms of production rate, shifts, work breaks, etc. 3. Robots are less expensive to operate, compared to human labour - especially when overtime is required. The ROI can be quickly realised when there is high demand for the manufactured product. 4. Robots are capable of highly accurate, highly repeatable tasks, which results in fewer scrap parts once the robot tasks are optimised. 5. Robots do not get fatigued and are not affected by heat, dust, humidity and other challenging work environments.
Application flexibility To incorporate robots into a lean manufacturing environment, engineers should look to process as many operations as possible within the given floor space. Todayâ€™s robots can incorporate tool changers to allow the robot to handle more
Figure 2: Robots elevate the nature of work by reducing large lifting requirements.
than one task. With one robot now able to perform multiple functions, the manufacturer will see improved utilisation, and has the ability to create a leaner manufacturing environment overall. In the die cast industry for example, robots are commonly used for parts handling as well as finishing operations like deburring and grinding. Robots in an automotive body shop are often used for material handling of parts as well as welding or sealant application. Robots that need to perform more than one function are built with tool-changing equipment that allow robots to disengage/ engage new end-effector tooling. Advances in robotics have given engineers the flexibility they need to incorporate robotics into a lean manufacturing initiative. Robots have furthered the ability to optimise operations based on floor space, cycle time and feasibility constraints. Over time, multi-arm robots will become the norm, continuing the progression of manufacturing operations that are faster and leaner.
Robots and vision applications Vision technology and robots are a natural pairing, and the combination has resulted in robotic operations that are leaner than ever before. Vision systems are commonly used to allow robots to vary their motion targets based on vision-generated guidance information. Operations that require making visual distinctions and decisions (such as racking/unracking of parts, part picking from bins and part inspections) were once exclusively handled by human operators. By combining robotics with vision-guided systems, these same tasks can be performed by robots with higher consistency, accuracy, repeatability and speed. Vision-equipped robots can also reduce imperfections and scrap material
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in finishing operations such as routing, grinding and sealing. In the inspection arena, robots are used heavily in flexible measurement systems (FMS). Robots mounted with vision cameras can collect information from multiple locations, dramatically reducing the number of vision cameras and fixtures required to inspect parts. Using vision-equipped robots, lean manufacturing environments can be significantly improved, especially in areas where the movement, flexibility and simple decision-making of the human operator was once required.
Coordinated motion and cooperative applications In a coordinated motion system, two or more robots are controlled by a single controller. The controller allows for communication between robots to simultaneously perform coordinated operations on a single large part. Coordinating robot movements can significantly reduce the time wasted in the manufacturing process. For example, roof assembly in the automotive industry is now commonly performed with one robot firmly gripping the automobile roof, while other robots weld and assemble the roof to the main auto body. Robots are also used for parts transfer between assembly stations instead of transfer equipment like lift-and-carry systems or shuttles.
Improved cycle time Many food packaging applications are performed by an operator (or team of operators) manually picking and packaging the products. This adds costs, can be physically demanding and may create the potential for product contamination. Often fixed automation is used, but this can severely reduce the
IF YOU HAVE NOT EXPLORED INCORPORATING ROBOTICS INTO YOUR MANUFACTURING ENVIRONMENT LATELY, IT IS PROBABLY TIME TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK. WITH A LOWER COST, MORE CAPABILITIES AND A LARGE NUMBER OF SUCCESSFUL MANUFACTURING IMPLEMENTATIONS, ROBOTS CAN INCREASE YOUR RETURN, IMPROVE QUALITY, REDUCE COSTS AND HELP YOU ELIMINATE WASTE.
Figure 3: An example of robots working in coordination - removing and deburring parts, then spraying the dies to prepare for the next drop - removing humans from a high temperature environment. flexibility of the application. When product marketing develops a new product or a customer demands a new package size or type, the fixed automation is often too inflexible to cost-effectively deal with the change. Robots have become a powerful tool in the automation of pick-and-place applications such as pancakes, sausages, muffins and many other packaged or prepackaged foods, for example. In major manufacturing assembly plants, there are often hundreds of robots performing materials handling, machine tending, welding, finishing, painting and other assembly operations. Wasted robot motion can cause cycle-time issues, creating bottlenecks and loss of production. Poor path planning can cause product quality issues that can lead to scrap parts. The cost of lost production is a major drain on overall corporate profitability. Ensuring that the cycle time for robotic work cells is optimised is very important to the lean manufacturing plan. Some of the common cycle-time issues impacting lean manufacturing are: • Lack of parts available to robots, causing delays in production • Unsafe work conditions, causing slow human operation in situations where robots and humans work in a cooperative environment • Poor equipment design, resulting in wasted repair efforts • B ottlenecked stations, causing part blocking or starvation at other stations • Individual robots over-cycle, causing an entire work cell to be over-cycle • Wait times on other equipment, causing robots to go over-cycle • Poor processing, resulting in work overload on robots, operators or machines • Poor human machine interface, causing delays in manufacturing
• Poor software and controls engineering, resulting in inefficient I/O and communication between equipment Detailed planning of robotic operations prior to system integration can go a long way towards controlling equipment and labour costs.
specialised software can allow robots and operators to collaborate much more closely without compromising on safety. This combines the flexibility of human interaction with the precision and handling capacity of robots to make applications lean, accurate and very safe for operators.
Most manufacturing operations have a degree of human injury risk. One of the primary reasons to automate a process using robots is to improve workplace safety. High-risk tasks like unloading parts from a fast-moving press or working with molten metal are definitely not tasks suited for human operators. In these cases, robots are invaluable in lowering the risk of injury or death. An unsafe workplace leads to fear-driven human inefficiency, lowered production rates, higher insurance costs, and high employee turnover. Conversely, a safe workplace boosts morale, increases employee retention and lowers costs, which ultimately improves the bottom line. And again, robots can significantly elevate the nature of work by removing people from dull, dirty and dangerous tasks. Robots can make the work environment safer by performing functions that are unsafe for humans, but robots themselves can also be unsafe. For example, if a robot cell is not guarded properly, operators may take longer to service the station because of fear of injury. Whenever robots are used, the environment must be carefully analysed and proper protocols instituted to keep the work cell safe. If the employees don’t feel safe, the robotics implementation will not be as lean as designed. Many applications require the strengths of both people and robots but, until recently, this could be very dangerous. Now
Robots, if used correctly, can enhance a lean manufacturing environment. Robots offer speed and accuracy that can’t be achieved with human labour alone. Robots can also reduce operating costs, reduce scrap and are flexible for future changes. Few other manufacturing solutions can reduce waste as well as robots when designed into the system properly. Robotics capabilities have only increased with time, while costs have continued to fall. Major robot manufacturers are constantly upgrading their robots with increased payload capacity, greater accuracy, increased reach and range of motion, improved speed and acceleration, faster communication with external equipment, better safety features and lower operational costs. If you have not explored incorporating robotics into your manufacturing environment lately, it is probably time to take another look. With a lower cost, more capabilities and a large number of successful manufacturing implementations, robots can increase your return, improve quality, reduce costs and help you eliminate waste. *As reported in the World Robotics 2013 - Industrial Robots report and previously on ProcessOnline.
ABB Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V763
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MANAGING DIRECTOR, ENDRESS+HAUSER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead? With continued uncertainty in many markets, managing costs will be the biggest challenge facing most companies in 2014. The predicted increase in unemployment may lesson pressure to increase wages and create a more stable workforce. The Australian dollar has devalued significantly over the past 12 months and is predicted to decline further, so despite helping the competitive situation of our valued exporters it also means higher prices for all imports, including raw materials and fuel.
What do you see as the two or three biggest opportunities for your customers in 2014? If managing costs is the challenge, then increasing productivity and efficiencies are the opportunities. Every process plant has opportunities to increase productivity. I often marvel at how much important process information is hidden within a plant waiting to be accessed. Unlocking this hidden potential is often where major opportunities lie and where investment is easily justified simply by the very short ROI. Accessing these ‘hidden’ process variables can be as simple as applying WirelessHART technology such as a WirelessHART adapter, without the need for any extra cabling. Now data from any field instrument, such as level transmitters mounted on remote area storage tanks for example, can be transmitted and coupled with inventory management software, allowing for full integration into existing business processes. From an efficiency perspective, regardless of what happens to the carbon tax, it’s in everyone’s best interests to save energy where possible, as every kilowatt saved is one that doesn’t have to be generated or paid for. Energy monitoring tools are now available that provide clarity with regard to energy consumption by identifying where potential savings can be made. For example once an EMS is in place, comparisons can now be made on the efficiency of identical production lines or even more basically on the performance of identical compressors. Waste reduction, increasing yields and product quality are also improved when processes are accurately monitored and controlled.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? Our customers look to us as a reliable and competent supplier of quality instrumentation which is fit for purpose and reasonably priced. Apart from this, our customers want a supplier they can not only trust, but one who will partner with them to further enhance their processes and help identify any other areas for improvement. Carrying out an onsite installed base audit and entering all this information into a plant asset management system, such as E+H’s W@M (Web-enabled Asset Management), is a great way for
both our customers and us get to know what’s installed and then collaboratively coming up with methods in which to manage and maintain these assets with minimum downtime at the lowest total cost of ownership.
What emerging trends or developing technologies may influence or change the way your customers will do business in 2014? Companies are now increasingly looking to get the big picture on all aspects of their business. Up until quite recently, automation meant separate processes all running at once, with information displayed via a SCADA system. Previously I have mentioned adding energy monitoring and plant asset management systems to a site, but now there’s so much more to it than that. Today we are talking to companies about business process integration, combining automation elements into an entire ERP integrated offering. This is providing our customers with 24/7 information availability and traceability. We’re even going as far as letting them know what inventory they have in transit and exactly where their truck fleet is located.
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers. Getting back to ‘basic’ instrumentation, and the utilisation of 2-wire technology across all measuring parameters will continue to gain in popularity due to lower installation costs and power consumption. In addition, instrumentation with more enhanced built-in qualification and validation features are the technologies that will offer huge benefits. This will allow customers to confidently rely and depend on the accuracy of information each instrument is giving and just as reliably inform them if anything goes wrong.
Chris Gailer has over 20 years of experience working with Endress+Hauser products and solutions. His journey first began in 1990 where he worked for E+H in Europe. He returned to New Zealand to become Product Manager for E+H’s New Zealand agency (EMC Industrial Group), which he later led as MD for 12 years. In early 2011 Chris took opportunity by the reins, moved to Australia and became the Managing Director of Endress+Hauser Australia.
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GENERAL MANAGER, AMS INSTRUMENTATION & CALIBRATION PTY LTD There has been much discussion in the general media of a weakening manufacturing sector in Australia, but there have also been opposing views. How do you see the future for the Australian manufacturing sector? There is currently a general weakening of the manufacturing sector with one of the reasons being the high Australian dollar making exports more expensive. Wages are also putting a constraint on the manufacturing industry with many companies trying to compete against those in countries with lower working conditions. One only needs to watch the news or read the newspapers to see that jobs are on the decline in the manufacturing sector. Having said that, specialised manufacturing industries, such as medical equipment, are doing better because they are more insulated from the impact of developing economies and the import barriers are higher. Industries like car manufacturing, which are likely to be labour intensive need to look at alternatives, like more robotics, etc. to try to maintain competitiveness, thus innovation and smarter manufacturing techniques can overcome some of these hurdles too.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? There are many factors that can affect the relationship between a customer and supplier and in general customer service is rated as one of the top factors. The customer wants to know that they can rely on their supplier to deliver what was ordered when they said it would be. It is an expectation in modern business that suppliers can provide timely, accurate advice on demand. Another factor that is important is the reputation of the company, such as how long the company has been in business and whether there have been issues in the past, and also in part the uniqueness and quality of the product lines. Price can be a factor as well, but value offered is the key. Clients will pay more when they can justify it.
What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead? The biggest challenge for the coming year will be to maintain the momentum gained in 2013. The mining boom is slowing and hence manufacturing and suppliers may suffer accordingly, but with this slowing other opportunities will arise in other industries such as LNG, and these must be explored. It is therefore important to ensure that a close watch is kept on other markets. Stricter conditions on environmental situations, due to global warming, may prove one of these opportunities, with more stringent requirements put on various industries. The fluctuation of the Australian dollar, which many still believe is overvalued, is another challenge - if the dollar were to drop against other currencies this might open up opportunities in the export market.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014? In comparison with five years ago the demands from our customers has been the requirement for faster response, due to the communication â€˜revolutionâ€™. Responses are required virtually within a day or less. With the internet ever expanding and new technologies arriving virtually every day, many customers in our industry want these technologies implemented whether it is for communication, control, or other purposes. Technical knowledge is expected to be improved greatly, as otherwise it will be found on the internet. The paperless society is becoming more and more of a reality, not only in everyday situations, but also in the instrumentation, control and automation industries. It is important to keep abreast of these innovations and implement these where necessary.
What do you see as the two or three biggest growth opportunities for your customers in 2014? This is an interesting question, as it is a bit like looking into a crystal ball and it is dependent on the different industries - but in reality, nothing has changed. Growth opportunities always exist, but it is important to find the focus and then go for it. I see three customer growth strategies for 2014 as very important. First, it is important to grow the core business and maintain your focus on this, and secondly to look at segmenting the business and customers by investigating where most of the business comes from and concentrate on the top range of customers. The third step is to start looking at alternative or adjacent strategies. Management should begin this process by considering the growth potential within the present core business or the opportunities and growth potential associated with creating innovative value propositions for under-served customer groups. Dirk Kuiper is General Manager of AMS Instrumentation & Calibration Pty Ltd. His professional experience is wide and varied from engineering functions such as service, commissioning and project management, to sales functions, having been a sales engineer, national sales manager and business owner. Dirk has been managing AMS Instrumentation & Calibration for the last 14 years and last year branched out into manufacturing with Trimec Flow Products, manufacturer of MultiPulse flowmeters.
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MANAGING DIRECTOR, PEPPERL+FUCHS AUSTRALIA
What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead? The so-called Industry 4.0, which encompasses the complete, automatically controlled networking of machines and plants using web technologies, is one of the key issues facing the automation industry in the future. The idea, that all the stages of a production process, including the products themselves, could autonomously control and optimise an entire factory using web-based technologies, would indicate the direction of the next revolution in our industry and therefore present us with the next biggest challenge - but also many opportunities.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014? Our customers are demanding more service, product knowledge and support as they continue to operate on reduced budgets, and the speed of this support has become more critical. Our customers demand and therefore expect instant answers to their problems and to satisfy this challenge companies will need to utilise multiple platforms of information technology, including the embracing of social media platforms. For traditional automation companies, where standards and technologies did not change that rapidly five years ago, this change is a challenge to embrace.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? Our customers are increasingly looking for better application knowledge and product support as they come under more pressure to bring projects online in tighter time frames. Immediate local technical support is therefore imperative to remove any obstacles during project implementation. Technical education is also very important, because the automation world is moving faster and faster, implementing new technologies and global standards. Our customers need to understand these changes and therefore look to the market to help them gain the required knowledge. Our customers also need local stock to support their installations. Maintenance budgets are coming under increasing pressure, and therefore customers expect suppliers to hold stock to enable them to keep their plants running efficiently.
What emerging trends or developing technologies may influence or change the way your customers will do business in 2014? Automation technologies will influence our customers. Today, technologies like fieldbus and wireless are readily utilised on large petrochemical, oil and gas plants, and this will filter down into smaller process plants. New technologies also bring a great
deal of diagnostic data and the challenge is to condense and utilise this data so customers can run their plants more efficiently, with less downtime. In essence, the plants will tell the customers of potential failures before they occur. As we move towards an Industry 4.0 architecture, autonomous automation will allow the technologies to coexist and therefore interact with each other to gain further efficiencies.
There has been much discussion in the general media of a weakening manufacturing sector in Australia, but there have also been opposing views. How do you see the future for the Australian manufacturing sector? It is difficult to compete in the manufacturing sector in Australia, unless products are valued and marketed as unique, reliable and with leading-edge technology. Companies that continue to invest in technology and incorporate this unique technology into their products will compete successfully. Recently, Pepperl+Fuchs completed the acquisition of the 60-year-old Australian company GOVAN Industries Australia. GOVAN manufactures a range of explosion-proof solutions, like terminal junction boxes, Ex control stations and switch racks. We now incorporate our products into the explosion-proof enclosures, to provide the market with unique integrated solutions, all manufactured out of our Melbourne facility. We now export into price-sensitive markets in South East Asia, as our customers value the complete engineered solution, and they know it will conform to all the international standards, which is critical for safety on hazardous area plants.
Shane Parr has over 25 yearsâ€™ experience in the instrumentation and process automation industries. He commenced his career as a plant technician and then worked as an application engineer. Today, as Regional Director, he leads the Pepperl+Fuchs Process Automation business in Asia Pacific. Holding a diploma in electronics engineering, he also currently holds the position of Chairman of the Foundation Fieldbus Executive Advisory Council Asia Pacific. He is married with two children and is currently based out of Singapore, where he covers markets from Australia, China, Korea, Japan, India and South East Asia.
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MANAGING DIRECTOR, EMERSON PROCESS MANAGEMENT, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead, and why? Retaining and training qualified personnel will continue to challenge Australian industry over the next few years. The boom in Queensland in the coal seam gas market has challenged suppliers, EPCs, OEMs and end users. The LNG plants on Curtis Island will have the same effect on resources. Western Australia has similarities, with a high degree of project activity in the construction phase for the next few years. Transitioning projects to an operational phase will undoubtedly be a challenge, with the high element of project activity over the past few years.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? From our experience over the last few years, customers are looking to their suppliers for more assistance and expertise. Cost pressures are hitting Australian manufacturing and this has driven customers to look to solution providers that are able to clearly demonstrate ROI savings. Skilled and highly experienced resources are in short supply, so a supplierâ€™s expertise in this field is an increasingly important factor. The final true test for any supplier - also extremely important to customers - is when an issue or problem does arise how quickly that company is able to react and resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the client.
What environmentally sustainable initiatives have been undertaken that will position your company differently before customers and prospects in the year ahead? Wireless technologies have, and are, changing the playing field in instrumentation today. Plants are continually challenged to reduce power consumption and wireless transmitters with batteries lasting up to 10 years have aided this reduction. Product reliability is a key design principle across our whole portfolio with some products now offering warranties up to 12 years. With so many remote sites across Australia and New Zealand this will reduce the need for maintenance personnel to travel to the field, ultimately reducing gas emissions (and safety of personnel). Away from our products and services, Emerson has also embarked on social responsibility programs to drive initiatives specifically targeted to reduce the carbon footprint on our planet.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014? Technical expertise and application solutions! Once again, this comes down to a shortage of skilled resources in our industries. There is an expectation for suppliers to add value by engineering and supporting solutions and not just providing a product. To meet the
requirements of our customers training is key. We recognise the need for training and are investing in customer training programs which will certainly be enhanced further in the future. We should also not lose sight of our existing skills and knowledge base across our workforce, where we have experienced staff covering a multitude of industries where the similar issues have likely already been addressed and resolved. Letâ€™s not reinvent the wheel here!
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers? While not new in 2014, wireless systems have grown significantly over the past five years and will continue to grow at an exponential rate. The wireless portfolio of products has significantly grown from the early days of just pressure and temperature and customers are now seeing the value of the technology with many expansions of small starter systems now underway. There is now proven and documented evidence for both greenfield and brownfield projects that plants are able to be bought online faster with a potential for significant savings in overall capital cost. However it is also important to remember that wireless solutions should be seen as a complementary technology rather than a replacement strategy. The introduction of electronic marshalling significantly reduces complexity by reduced wiring, patch panels and cabinets. Commissioning hours, factory acceptance testing (FAT) and fault finding becomes more expedient by implementing systems utilising electronic marshalling.
Karl Wigginton has been in senior roles with process control companies for over twenty years with recent positions at Emerson Process Management in both Perth and Brisbane. He has had an active involvement with regional and country instrumentation committees including the IICA and SAIMC over the years. Karl was recently appointed to the position of General Manager and Managing Director for Emerson Process Management responsible for Australia and New Zealand. He holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Instrumentation).
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GENERAL MANAGER, WEIDMÜLLER PTY LTD What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead? Without a doubt, customers are facing numerous challenges thanks to the current shifts and structural changes taking place in the Australian economy. However, once these challenges are under control, customers will face a new concept - Industry 4.0. According to the large industrial manufacturing nations like Germany and the United States, the fourth industrial revolution is already upon us. The factory of the future will feature fully intelligent networked and self-controlled manufacturing systems. ‘Smart products’ that allow these intelligent networked production processes to communicate with one another and to act autonomously will become integral to systems and processes alike. The challenge will be to keep abreast of this technology and to effectively implement it to maintain competitiveness.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? The three key capabilities our customers are seeking in a leading supplier of industrial connectivity products are solutions, innovation and quality. It is imperative that we are able to develop tailored solutions that meet the needs of specific problems within our target markets. Of course, integral to being able to deliver workable solutions is innovation. Without the ability to innovate high-tech products and services, it may not be possible to provide viable solutions. Delivering quality products and services is fundamental. Without quality how can you build trust into your partnership with your customer? Quality must never be sacrificed for the sake of profits or even speed of delivery.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014? Five years ago a customer was generally satisfied when you filled their order on time and at a fair price. Today, we are more than just a part of the supply chain. As a successful supplier of industrial connectivity products, we are more acutely aware of our customers’ needs than ever before and our role is much broader. Apart from meeting their technical requirements, our customers require excellent service, confidentiality, long-term product support and the ability to understand their specific processes. As part of our commitment to ‘adding value’, we work hard to gain a deep understanding of our customers and their needs, which, in turn, allows us to develop viable solutions. Only then can we claim to be really meeting their needs!
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers? The rate of uptake of advances in technology has never been greater than the present time. Futureproofing, hot swapping, modularity and downtime-free may seem like techno jargon but what they represent is rapidly becoming the norm. Customers will require the ability to grow industrial systems with increasing demand. They will also require the ability to upgrade and expand processes without any downtime. This is already becoming achievable thanks to so-called hot swappable modular I/O. Advances such as these will enable the engineers of tomorrow to readily upgrade systems that have outgrown their capacities in a seamless, logical sequence with the utmost reliability.
There has been much discussion in the general media of a weakening manufacturing sector in Australia, but there have also been opposing views. How do you see the future for the Australian manufacturing sector? Advancing globalisation, increasing competition and high labour costs have long put pressure on the survival of manufacturing in Australia. The industry is also shrinking thanks to the closure of large, local plants such as Ford and, more recently, Electrolux. Add to this the high cost of transport in Australia and the prospects for manufacturing do appear, on the surface, grim. However, given that Australia will always likely be a high-cost country, we must learn from other similar high-cost countries like Germany. We will need to work harder to optimise and automate our processes for the future to ensure we remain competitive. I do believe Australia will adapt in niche manufacturing industries, but it is a country that has never taken change lightly. For Weidmüller, Australian manufacturing remains a target growth sector, so my message to industry is … Let’s connect. Originally starting at Weidmüller as a graduate back in 1997, Ian Slater returned to the company in August 2002 after a number of years away for further career advancement in the industry and more tertiary studies in IT networking and communications. Ian has held numerous senior sales and marketing positions at Weidmüller since his return, eventually taking on the General Manager role in June 2013. At the end of 2013, Ian also becomes a Director, leading the Australia and New Zealand operations.
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 17
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MANAGING DIRECTOR, WILEY
What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead? In my opinion, the biggest challenge continues to be the cost burden placed on Australian food and beverage businesses that are competing internationally on an uneven playing field brought about by the high cost of government taxes and regulations - at both state and federal levels. Without significant political progress with regard to the deregulation of the food and beverage sectors, married with a renewed focus on securing free trade agreements, business will continue to struggle with freeing up enough capital to make strategic plans for upgrading, improving and futureproofing their operations.
What do you see as the two or three biggest growth opportunities for your customers in 2014? It is no secret that, for the food industry, the biggest growth opportunities lie in building quality relationships for the export of food and beverages to Asia - and in particular, China. We, as an industry, need to become innovators and lead the way in discovering and implementing diversification at all levels of food production, including product ranges, packaging and the technology to deliver the quantities that will be in demand. It is easy to say Australia is the food bowl for Asia, but without serious intentions and real policy support from the government, it is all just fancy slogans.
The obvious shift in how we meet these expectations has been in direct response to economic pressures due to the Carbon Tax, the GFC, export conditions and value of the dollar - for example, targeting waste streams, covering anaerobic ponds etc. We are constantly honing our value engineering offering to gain ever greater returns on process efficiency by considering the entire production system which, in turn, further reduces overall production costs.
There has been much discussion in the general media of a weakening manufacturing sector in Australia, but there have also been opposing views. How do you see the future of the Australian manufacturing sector? Everything is dependent on the right policies being brought to the top of the agenda and quickly put into play, which will allow confidence to return to food and beverage manufacturers, and agribusiness. The recent change in government and the approach they have exhibited over their first few weeks makes me optimistic that they have the right priorities for this term of government. I believe we will see some real progress with their promises of major advances in the Free Trade Agreement talks with Asia and significant reforms in tax and regulation.
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers? The emergence of robotic automation technologies represents an engineering challenge insofar as integrating robots into humancentred areas of food production. While the technology that drives innovations in logistics, such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) is quickly evolving to become safer for the operator and the robot, robotic pack-off systems are lagging behind. However, with innovations like Rodney Brooks’ Baxter Robot - with its ability to quickly learn without onerous programming combined with its sensitivity to human presence - it’s easy to see robots taking on a greater role in many food processing facilities.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014?
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx As the Managing Director of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Wiley, Tom Wiley is focused on xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx improving and maintaining a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx strong culture founded on deep specialist skill, decades of experience and a long family business heritage. He is passionate about construction, marketing, new technology, boats and most importantly, his family. He believes in always seeking a better way forward.
Generally speaking, the demands of our customer base haven’t changed significantly over the years; they will always want the most cost-effective and efficient production solutions.
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 19
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MANAGING DIRECTOR, POWERFLO SOLUTIONS What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing your customers in the year ahead, and why? The necessity to be competitive in an increasingly competitive domestic and international marketplace. With the strong Australian dollar and escalating costs of building and maintaining a plant, compounded by high salary levels demanded by both the semi-skilled and skilled labour force, it is essential that a long-term approach to profit growth be adopted so that the products and services that our customers provide can be delivered competitively. In addition to this, in some fields there is a real drain of knowledge that is fundamental to selecting the best process equipment and maintaining a plant to a level where downtime is minimised and planned. The industry must look to invest and provide incentives for staff through apprenticeships and ongoing training initiatives so that a higher level of knowledge and understanding is achieved.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier, and why? Most of our customers are looking for long-term relationships with dependable suppliers who bring value to their business. This encompasses: sound engineering support; high-quality reliable products that can improve their plant’s performance in terms of control with minimal downtime; and a sound after-market collaboration including hands-on product training and maintenance support. In our specialised field of control valves and overpressure protection, we are losing the knowledge base across the board as people retire or do not have the exposure to sizing and selecting such critical equipment. Suppliers such as ourselves need to commit to bridging that knowledge gap.
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014? As plant processes change and become more demanding, then so must our products evolve to meet these higher levels of specification. This means that our products and those manufactured by the companies that we represent require significant investment in R&D in order to ensure that the ‘final control element’ performs to these specifications. This can be in terms of range ability, temperature range, noise control and chemical resistance, to name a few. The new ultracritical power stations that are working at temperatures and pressures beyond 320 bar at 710°, for example, necessitate the development of new materials. In addition to this, our customers demand significantly more project documentation and certification, and therefore we align ourselves with suppliers who understand that these requirements do exist and must be met. And, of course, of huge importance is the level of after-market support, as many companies choose to no longer employ large teams of experienced maintenance personnel, instead opting to outsource this work. We have established fixed service locations in many of the major cities, as well as mobile facilities (both fully equipped trucks and containers), so that we can service their plant assets ‘on their doorstep’.
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers? In our sector, we have seen the demand for ‘smart’ positioners and controllers grow exponentially. From the early days of release, these devices offer a wide range of features that are continuously being expanded in order to provide the customer with fairly detailed information about their control valves and ESD valves. Remote mounting options for such positioners allow the device to help create a safe working zone for personnel where hazardous substances might be present, accessibility is difficult and temperatures are unacceptably high or low. These control devices are becoming more user-friendly and adaptable with wireless communication options, and inventory costs are reduced when a single positioner or ESD controller (with partial stroke testing) can be used on both linear and rotary valves. Moreover, improved designs no longer need a handheld communicator for calibration as they can be locally configured, and specialised software enables the customers to monitor their valves’ performance remotely from the safety of their office.
There has been much discussion in the general media of a weakening manufacturing sector in Australia, but there have also been opposing views. How do you see the future for the Australian manufacturing sector? I believe that the manufacturing sector has weakened significantly over the last decade, and it’s of real concern. For a number of reasons, Australia is no longer a competitive place to manufacture, let alone even engineer, and we have seen a number of large manufacturers close down their plants only to go to countries with a lower cost base. Similarly, we have seen many of the large EPCs reduce their local presence to no more than a front office, having decided to move their engineering and procurement teams to countries like the Philippines, China and Thailand out of necessity in order to maintain their business in an ever more competitive world. For more than 30 years, Kathryn Wood has run her own business, specialising in engineered control valve solutions and regulators. She is currently the Managing Director and Chairman of Powerflo Solutions (previously known as Austral Engineering Supplies), which commenced operations in 1911. During her working life, she has been involved with the IICA and now dedicates much of her time to the training of young graduate engineers in her field of expertise. She has a passion for interior design (holding a Diploma) and horseracing.
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 21
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MANAGING DIRECTOR, BÜRKERT FLUID CONTROL SYSTEMS Do you think the resources boom continues to be a primary focus for automation, control and instrumentation vendors?
What are your customers demanding of you more today than five years ago, and how will you meet these requirements in 2014?
The resources boom is not over; however, I believe it has entered a period of consolidation and rationalisation after what has been years of hypergrowth. For the resources sector to remain competitive, they now need to consider their investments carefully with a clear focus on achieving the desired outcome. This opens up more opportunity for intelligent automation using modern technologies, as fast-tracked projects tend to be ‘cut and paste’ versions of the way it has always been done. Now they will seek smarter and more sustainable solutions from reliable suppliers that have the experience to deliver such outcomes.
Customers behave differently towards suppliers today, as they expect a level of service that simply did not exist 10 years ago. They are also wiser and do more of the pre-work prior to even making the first contact. Research tells us that 70% of the decision is made from the customer’s own research and that sales companies only get the opportunities to finetune these decisions. The relationship model is not gone, but a clear shift is visible from the relationship with the sales representative, to the relationship with the company. Customers want the ability to have direct access to all divisions of the company, sales, bidding, operations and service. Modern companies are designing their sales process around this model and will thrive by delivering considerably more successful outcomes.
What do you see as the two or three biggest growth opportunities for your customers in 2014? The manufacturing sector in Australia is at a crossroad where it will have to choose between quality and price. It is clear that with a strong economy, we will not see a significantly lower dollar in the short term, therefore they can only choose the quality and innovation route. To do this, they will have to position and market themselves outwardly, but they also must innovate and engineer their products according to this vision. Too often manufacturers are seeking cheaper imports to build their solutions, only to find the end result is unreliable and serves to reduce their differentiation with complete product imports. Those companies that successfully achieve this will have a medium-term advantage over their competitors and in turn generate a long-term sustainable business.
What do you feel are the three most important things your customers are looking for in a supplier? Customers are looking for lifecycle costing, reliability and service. Australia appears to be well behind in lifecycle cost considerations, which include all aspects of a product purchase. Research shows that when full consideration is given to this, the original purchase price is less than 15% of the bigger picture, yet decisions are still made on hardware purchase price alone. In line with this is the question of reliability. Consideration needs to be made about the differentiation of purchase price versus a single hour of plant downtime or the cost to rectify and repair. The last element is service, which remains one of the fastest growing areas in the automation industry. Products should be chosen on the availability of parts, reconditioning, field service and most importantly, the sustainability of the supplier.
What new and innovative technologies do you see emerging in your field of business in 2014, and how will they help your customers? We’re seeing fewer truly new innovations in the process automation industry. Many manufacturers are operating with reduced R&D investment, but it is also true that many of the significant or cost-effective ideas that integrate modern technologies have already been brought to the table. We will see advances in sensor technologies for sure, particularly microchips and biosensors, but the majority of innovation will come from repackaging. That is, repackaging at the product level, such as multiparameter analysers where smaller size and price points can be achieved, and also repackaging as a product lifecycle offering, with suppliers offering design, supply, maintenance, upgrade and even recycle solutions.
Chris Hoey is the Managing Director of Bürkert in the Pacific region and is described by those that work with him as a “suit with his sleeves rolled up”, bringing his 25 years of hands-on experience to the boardroom. With an energetic approach to leadership, Chris is involved with key accounts, system design and new solution development. As a longstanding IICA committee member, and treasurer of the Profibus Association, Chris is active in the industry and continuously campaigns for more efficient, ingenious and smarter systems.
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 23
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24 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
EXPANDED SAFETY GATE LOCK RANGE Pilz has released new versions and accessories for its PSENslock safety gate range. PSENslock provides secure safety gate monitoring combined with a non-contact magnetic interlock of 500 or 1000 N, all in one. With the various connection options (M12 connector, 5- or 8-pin), PSENslock can be used for safety gate monitoring up to Category 4, both individually and in series. In contrast to mechanical alternatives, PSENslock also enables maximum manipulation protection thanks to the RFID transponder technology. With the newly designed free-moving anchor plate (actuator), even gates requiring high movement tolerances can be now monitored and locked using the PSENslock, and it is also now available in a stainless steel version for hygiene critical areas. The PSENsl â€˜restart interlockâ€™ is a mechanical add-on module for the PSENslock range to allow padlocks and multilocks to be attached to the switch to prevent the door closing in applications that require lock out tag out (LOTO). Pilz Australia Industrial Automation LP Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V175
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 25
Spreading Wild Oats with on-site nitrogen generation
Despite modern advances, winemaking is still, at its core, a simple art: grape juice is fermented with the help of some yeast. However, supplying wine in the quantities and qualities demanded by the modern consumer has moulded the culture of winemaking across the globe. To meet increased demand, winemakers must maximise output while still producing wines that are vintage quality and true to traditional methods. Stainless steel processing vats are increasingly replacing oak barrels and precision-controlled crushing technologies are taking the place of human feet. Winemakers are taking their craft into the era of automation. One wine producer who has successfully blended traditional winemaking values with the precise management of processing technologies is Robert Oatley Vineyards. Bob Oatley is a fifth-generation Australian who established Rosemount Estate in the 1960s, producing his first commercial vintages in the early 1970s. After a brief hiatus from winemaking, Oatley bought a Mudgee property in 2006, establishing Robert Oatley Vineyards. The region’s largest winery, the property serves as the family’s winemaking headquarters. The family’s award-winning Wild Oats brand has been a great success, becoming one of the country’s top-selling wines within two years of being released. With a production capability of thousands of bottles per day, the Robert Oatley Wines bottling facility uses compressed nitrogen at almost every step of the bottling process. The facility’s compressors are supplied by Compressed Air and Power Solutions (CAPS) Australia. On a support visit to the winery, Matthew Broadbent, senior sales engineer for NSW, noticed that the winery was using bottled nitrogen for some processes. “I quickly realised that the winery was spending more than necessary on its nitrogen requirements,” Broadbent said. “So I put together a proposal that I was sure could save them money.” Broadbent proposed an installation of the Inmatec IMT-PN 1650, which provides an output of 37 m3 per hour. The winery’s bottled nitrogen restricted it to 150 m3 per day. The resulting cost savings of the full nitrogen package exceeded the company’s expectations. “The new equipment at Robert Oatley Vineyards has cut the price per cubic metre of nitrogen per day by more than 75%,” said Broadbent.
Nitrogen can now be used throughout the winery, not just on the bottling line. Nitrogen is used on the bottling line to purge the lines after sterile water has been pumped through them. In order to minimise oxidation, nitrogen is also used while transferring the wine to bottles. “To achieve this, the filler bowl has a head of nitrogen and gas is forced into the liquid and the sealing capsule,” said Philip Griffin, production manager at the winery. A vineyard’s success is dependent on the health of the earth, so it stands to reason that the company believes in protecting and nurturing the environment. The compressors and nitrogen generators use environmentally friendly compressor lubricant and noise pollution is kept to a minimum. “The compressors are installed in areas where a number of our staff are permanently located,” said Griffin. “The compressors supplied by CAPS are relatively quiet, which protects our workers and maintains a tranquil atmosphere.” CAPS continues its relationship with the winemaker, with a regular service schedule carried out by the compressor company’s qualified technicians to ensure the smooth operation of all the compressed gas systems. According to Griffin, the upgraded compressed air system and nitrogen generators allow the winery to get on with its primary job: to continue producing Robert Oatley’s wines. CAPS Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V557
DRY BLOCK TEMPERATURE CALIBRATOR Dry block calibrators have many benefits over the traditional method of liquid baths, including quicker heating and cooling times, smaller, lighter, portable and much wider operating temperature ranges. The Fluke 9141-NATA dry block temperature calibrator has been designed with ease of use and functionality in mind. Weighing 3.6 kg, this unit is easily portable and is suitable for high-volume calibrations, making it easy and productive to use. The device is available to rent. The upright unit calibrates up to 650°C, heats up to maximum temperature in only 12 min and has a 124 mm wide dry well. The heating and cooling rate is adjustable from the front panel, with connection to a PC via the built-in RS232 port also available. Thermal switches can be checked for actuation testing and multiple hole inserts are available for a variety of probe sizes. It features an accuracy to ±0.5°C, and has a stabilisation time of 7 min. The included software allows the user to adjust set points and ramp rates, log dry well readings to a file, create an electronic strip chart and perform thermal switch testing with data collection. TechRentals Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V405
26 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
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The MB-GATEWAY is a single port Modbus Gateway module that converts Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU. Direct Automation Makes Your Job Easier •This Ethernet to serial converter supports up to 12 simultaneous Our Ethernet switches start at $79 Modbus TCP Clients (masters) Ethernet connections, and up to 128 3onedata is a line of industrial grade unmanaged Ethernet switches and media converters. RTU Servers (slaves) serial connections. Designed with PLC, HMI and drive customers in mind, Stride Ethernet switches are specifi•This Modbus gateway supports NetEdit or Web cally built for industrial environments. Browser based configuration tools. With a 3onedata industrial Ethernet switch on an isolated control LAN, you can reduce data •Automatic read function collisions that slow down your network. Install 3onedata switches and your Ethernet control •RJ45 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port network will maintain more consistent cycle times even under heavy I/O and data exchange. •RS-422/485 2 or 4 wire serial port With no user setup required, the 3onedata switches and media converters will start operat- •35mm DIN rail mount ing as soon as you power them up and connect themto the network.
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This process-specific sanitary bulk container dumper is designed and built to the particular sanitary operating processes and practices of the application to ensure optimal compliance contribution (OCC). The construction of this NBE sanitary bulk container dumper meets the FDA, cGMP definition for cleanability according to 21CFR110.40, with design features that proactively facilitate thorough cleaning
and meet or reduce target cleaning times. Such features include: the elimination of internal angles, corners and dead spaces to avoid accumulation of contaminants; angled-planes, rounded radius framework, highly finished plate, and stand-offs to reduce material build-up and speed material and moisture run-off away from product contact areas; and component frameworks cut from plate to eliminate exposed fasteners, joints and crevices common with tubular assemblies. Additional protections for product and personnel, in support of OCC, according to 29CFR1910.217, include:
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machine hard guarding that permits pass-through of materials while guarding operators from contact with machine hazards; guarding that permits viewing of guarded processes, reducing the need to remove guards; and when guards must be removed, guard retention systems on the machine protect personnel during maintenance, validation and inspection procedures. This sanitary container dumper is constructed of 15 x 10 x 0.8 cm structural framework and has a lift carriage capacity in excess of 1100 kg per 135° rotation. Hermetically sealed connectors and components are protected
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from corrosion and high temperature. US and IEC/ISO compliant controls enable simple integration to the facility’s control system. Mercer Technologies Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V201
28 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
ETHERNET SWITCHES The Moxa EDS E series gigabit ethernet switches are designed for use in large-scale networks to converge field applications in extreme industrial environments. In addition to Level 4 EMS protection, severe shock/vibration resistance, and an updated thermal fin design that can reduce switch temperatures (5Â°C or more), the series has many user-
ETHERNET/IP ABSOLUTE ENCODERS
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The Allen-Bradley 842E absolute encoder comes standard with
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embedded Ethernet/IP switch to connect additional Ethernet/IP
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capable product in series or support a device level ring (DLR)
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AOG TO EXPAND IN 2014 The Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference (AOG) is set to be even bigger in 2014, with the addition of the Australian Industry Zone, a new exhibition zone that will provide a platform for Australia’s oil and gas manufacturers and service companies.
he Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference (AOG) will be held on 19-21 February 2014 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Bringing together more than 500 exhibitors from across 20 countries, AOG has become Australia’s largest oil and gas event - attracting over 15,000 visitors in 2013 - and is set to be even bigger in 2014. If you’re a senior manager, engineer or procurement professional from an exploration and production company, or a contractor and from the service and supply industry, AOG is the must-attend industry event to mark in your calendar. This year AOG will be launching the Australian Industry Zone, a new exhibition zone that will provide a platform for Australia’s oil and gas manufacturers and service companies to display their latest technology and services. Supported by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, the new zone will herald the technological breakthroughs taking place in Australia’s oil and gas supply industry, including the lucrative $200 billion LNG market. AOG 2014 will also see the merging of the AOG Conference and the Subsea Australasia Conference in a move designed to enhance the delegate experience, providing more content and a greater range of topical conference sessions. In addition to the Australian Industry Zone, delegates can also attend the Subsea Zone, the largest zone at AOG featuring over 80 exhibitors and displaying the latest in subsea technology and services including ROVs, pipelines, offshore support, umbilicals and flowlines, well completions, and production and processing equipment. The Health, Safety and Environment Zone will display the latest in HS&E products and services including safety equipment, environmental protection and monitoring, gas detection,
30 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
fire prevention, medical services and hazardous area equipment. The Education, Research and Training Zone will allow organisations to inform tertiary students and industry professionals about training services, education programs, research opportunities and careers advice. The AOG Conference will include streams focusing on Australian industry participation, productivity, resourcing, safety, marine logistics, operations and maintenance, as well as special sessions exploring subsea topics such as subsea technology, pipelines, oceans and sediments, field development challenges and floating LNG. Visitors are encouraged to preregister for AOG 2014 to save time and receive updates about special events, news and offers. Register free online at www.aogexpo.com.au. Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference http://www.aogexpo.com.au/
NETWORK MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE Version 5.0 of Hirschmann Industrial HiVision network management software builds on the success of previous releases by adding extensive customer-driven functionality. This is claimed to result in a pragmatic network management solution that meets the specific challenges of configuring and supervising an industrial ethernet network. Rarely does a network today consist of equipment from a single manufacturer. HiFusion, a tool provided free of charge with Industrial HiVision v5.0, is a stand-alone application that facilitates the integration of any SNMP-capable device into Industrial HiVision. The tool also includes a wizard to guide users through the creation of the integration files. The version offers the best of both worlds: the device management granularity of a manufacturer-specific application and the device management diversity of a generic open network management platform. Even as industrial networks are becoming larger and more complex, they must have the highest operational availability. The version offers distributed management in the form of a network management hierarchy that provides master and slave network management stations to ensure that any size of network can be supervised. Belden Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V564
HAZARDOUS AREA JUNCTION BOXES The GRP (glass reinforced polyester) junction box enclosures from Kabex are IECEx certified, meaning they are suitable for use in petrochemical, oil and gas, shipbuilding, chemical, fertiliser, paint and solvent, sugar, LNG, Wind Energy
solvents - while also being suitable for use in LSOH (low smoke zero
halogen) applications. The enclosures are suitable for use within hazardous
power and mining industries along with anywhere else where non-sparking applications are mandatory. These GRP junction box enclosures are claimed to be strong, lower in cost and lighter in weight, and are available in five different sizes. Their glass fibre reinforced polyester bodies means they not only have high strength with a long life expectancy, but are also highly resistant to contamination from industrial chemical such as oils, fats and aliphatic
areas and can be supplied with certificates such as ATEX and IECEx. The GRP junction boxes have a silicon rubber gasket and offer ingress protection to IP66 and IP67 (EN/IEC 60529). They have an impact resistance of 7 N and are mounted via 4.5 mm clearance holes moulded into the body. Kabex Australia
EMAIL: email@example.com WEB: www.dehn.com.au TEL: +61 (03) 8414 8277 PO Box 290, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Australia Distributors throughout Australia and New Zealand
Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V274
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 31
Multihead checkweighers give 20% throughput increase
As part of a target to increase production throughput by 20%, one of the UK’s largest frozen vegetable processors and packers has installed five Ishida multihead weighers. Pinguin Foods UK, part of the Belgium-based PinguinLutosa group, installed an advanced 24-head CCW-R multihead weigher with three 1 L hoppers for mixed vegetables and four 5 L hopper 14-head models for single varieties, which include carrots, peas, sweet corn, beans, broccoli and cauliflower. A combination of the Ishida weighers and new colour sorters, which check for and reject substandard vegetables, overall weighing accuracies are now running at under 0.7% deviation from the target weight, compared with 1.8% prior to the weighers being installed. At the company’s Kings Lynn facility, the weighers are handling pack sizes of between 125 g and 2.5 kg, including mixed vegetables of two, three and four varieties on the 24-head mix weigher. The weighers are also used for special pack requirements; for example, one weigher in ‘double dump’ format can pack 10 kg boxes. Pinguin says this has effectively doubled speed and greatly improved accuracy over the previous method. While Pinguin initially selected the Ishida weighers for their speed, their accuracy, reliability and flexibility have been equally beneficial to production. “We have had no problems with the weighers since their installation,” said Packing Hall Manager Steve Walton. “Another major advantage is their flexibility; we can easily switch product from line to line depending on requirements - something that was not possible with our previous volumetric and older multihead models.” The weighers’ ease of changeover is key to their flexibility. Product specifications including target weight are pre-programmed into the easy-touse remote control unit for changeover at the touch of a button. The waterproof construction and easily removed change parts also mean clean down can be carried out quickly and efficiently. The weighers are in operation 24 hours a day, five days a week, with additional shifts during busy seasons such as pre-Christmas. Typical speeds are around 75 packs/min for a 1 kg pack - well within the weighers’ capability of 90 packs/min. “We are continuing to work on further developing the performance of the lines,” said Paul Spurrell, Pinguin’s Chief Engineer. “Our focus is not just on speed but on delivering consistency and ensuring that the weighers are fully integrated so that they work as efficiently as possible with the existing equipment.” The weighers are working so efficiently, in fact, that Pinguin has needed to install new checkweighers, also from Ishida. “Our old checkweighers simply couldn’t cope with the higher line speeds,” Walton said. Installation of the Ishida equipment “went like clockwork”, Spurrell said. “It was literally a question of plug in and play. The weighers are very easy to operate. “In the few months that they have been installed we have already achieved a 15% improvement in throughput so we are well on the way to reaching our 20% target.” While Pinguin has now installed a range of Ishida equipment, the company began by installing just one Ishida model. Impressed by its effectiveness, Pinguin then installed the weighers over four more lines. Now the company is planning to convert its final line to include Ishida equipment. “We are a forward-looking company and constantly challenging ourselves to deliver the highest standards to our customers,” said Pinguin Foods UK Managing Director Nigel Terry. “This means we are committed to continual investment in the best equipment that will help us deliver on these promises. Ishida weighers are a key part of this.” Heat and Control Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/U500
32 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
LOW-VOLTAGE POWER SUPPLY OPTIONS
PLANT MODELLING SOFTWARE Aspen Technology has announced the v8.3 release of aspenONE software. The single modeling environment in Aspen HYSYS software enables faster optimisation of upstream, midstream and refining processes and improves plant safety. This release includes updated functionality in Aspen HYSYS software - acid gas cleaning to model gas sweetening units and pressure safety-valve sizing integrated from the acquisition of PSVPlus, which allows process engineers to size pressure safety valves as an integral part of the overall process design for the claimed first time. The safety analysis feature is useful for the relief analysis of the process unit. It can now be used to quickly estimate relieving fluid properties and conditions, size the relief valves and produce required documentation. The acid gas cleaning feature will help to accelerate projects by setting up the acid gas treatment model as an integral part of a gas process in HYSYS. Aspen Technology Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V612
Moore Industries-International has added low-voltage power supply options to many of its products. This addition makes these products suitable for use in remote applications such as oil and natural gas wellheads where power supplies are limited and harsh environmental conditions often exist. Products that have recently added a 12 VDC power supply option include: the CPA 4-wire PC-programmable alarm; the CPT 4-wire PC-programmable signal isolator and converter; the ECA 4-wire current and voltage alarm; the ECT 4-wire signal isolator, converter, repeater and splitter; and the TMZ 4-wire PC-programmable Modbus temperature transmitter and signal converter. The companyâ€™s line of lowvoltage instruments addresses a growing demand by customers with solar and battery sources as their primary means for operational power in remote areas.Â All of these products are designed for harsh conditions. They are suitable for extreme ambient operating conditions and offer a high level of RFI/EMI protection against the harmful effects of electromagnetic interference. Moore Industries Pacific Inc Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V410
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 33
PANEL PC PLATFORM The Unitronics UniStream platform is a line HMI touch panel PCs with a combination of powerful dual CPUs (faster scan time, up to 2048 I/Os over 2 MB of operand memory), a variety of HMI touch panels, and easier local and remote I/O installation. UniStream can be tailored to the application - users select their preferred HMI, snap on a CPU and then snap on preferred I/Os to create an all-in-one controller. This enables users to select devices in the exact configuration that suits their precise application requirements. UniLogic studio software, the programming environment for hardware configuration, control and HMI, is claimed to cut programming time by 50% by anticipating the programmer’s intentions and by enabling the re-use of written code. It allows the programmer to build a library of user-defined function blocks and HMI screens that can be imported into any new project and even shared with others. The software’s wizards save significant time on definitions of I/O points, PIDs, etc. The drag-and-drop, automatic line creation and re-use options of existing code make programming quick and easy. The platform supports RS485, CANopen, UniCAN and both serial and Ethernet Modbus. The platform can also adapt to third-party protocols; USB hosts and serial ports support external devices such as modems, printers and barcode readers. Unitronics has also introduced UniApps - an expanding library of value-added PLC embedded apps. The apps give users the ability to reach data, edit it, monitor, troubleshoot and debug their system. The platform can also be accessed remotely via VNC. Micromax Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V524
DCS FOR SMALL TO MID-SIZE OPERATIONS Honeywell has released Experion LX, a purpose-built distributed control system (DCS) for small to mid-size operations with continuous and batch process control applications. Designed specifically for smaller plants - less than 5000 I/O points, one engineering server and up to 15 operator stations - that require a control system that is easy to use, the DCS encompasses technology from the company’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS). The DCS provides users of mid-size process plants with a reliable control system with no single point of failure and a well-designed user interface to help operators and engineers to be more efficient. For end users with batch processes, the batch execution software operates in a redundant controller instead of a computer, eliminating the need for extra hardware and reducing the communication load and time for execution of each batch phase. The DCS is designed to be delivered through system integrators, which ultimately benefits the company’s customers in fast local configuration and support. With its ability to seamlessly integrate with third-party devices and drives, end users can have the benefit of dealing with a single supplier for all their needs, from field instrumentation to distributed control systems. Honeywell Limited Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V607
34 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
VISUAL IR THERMOMETER The Fluke VT04 visual infrared thermometer has a built-in digital camera and thermal heat map overlay to bridge the gap between traditional IR thermometers and infrared cameras. Compared with the Fluke VT02, the VT04 adds PyroBlend Plus, four-times sharper resolution and automatic alarm features - making it a suitable front-line troubleshooting tool for electrical, industrial maintenance, HVAC/R and automotive applications. It is fully automatic so issues can be detected instantly with no training required. The device includes alarm features that are said to not have been seen before on entry-level infrared cameras for stubborn intermittent issues including: a hi-lo temperature alarm that flashes on the screen if the user-selected temperature is exceeded; a time-lapse image capture that can be set to capture images in 30 s to 1 h intervals; and an auto-monitor alarm that initiates image capture automatically after a temperature alarm has been triggered - letting users automatically capture images, even while the VT04 is unattended, using the universal tripod mount. It displays and saves images as full digital, full infrared or in three blended modes (25, 50 and 75%) with a 40% wider field of view than the VT02. Markers pinpoint hot and cold spots indicating the hottest and coldest temperatures on the screen. A temperature reading is provided at the centre point. Images are saved to the included micro-SD card, eliminating the need to write down single or multiple measurements. The device also has a rechargeable li-ion battery. Images from the device can be imported into the included SmartView analysis and reporting software. Fluke Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V505
NEW ProBus RS 485 Modbus I/O Modules • Ideal for data acquisition and remote I/O. • Manufactured in Australia • Multi-channel analog and digital I/O modules. • Modbus RTU communications. • Ethernet Modbus TCP and Profibus gateways. • Compact DIN-Rail packaging with integrated Bus connector.
Tel 02 9624 8376 Fax 02 9620 8709 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY 35
SAFETY LIGHT GRID CONTACT EXTENSION The PSR-URM4L contact extension device from Phoenix Contact is highly suited for light grid applications. It allows users to efficiently process safety-related OSSD signals of a light grid as floating contacts, therefore supporting safety-relevant circuits up to PLe. The contact extension device is specifically designed for use with electro-sensitive protective equipment (ESPE) such as light grids. Such systems normally include switched-mode OSSD signals that make it possible to
PRESS-TENDING ROBOT ABB’s latest press-tending robot, the IRB 6660-100/3.3, is up to 15% faster than its predecessors. The company has also extended the IRB 6660’s reach to 3.35 from 3.1 m. This
detect cross-circuits in the cabling. The relay is resistant to test pulses generated by the CFSE. This allows for the implementation of applications that comply with PLe or SIL3 without the need to reconnect the device to the external device monitoring circuit. Phoenix Contact Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V342
increases the distance between press lines to between 8.5 and 8.7 m and allows the
RETRACTION SYSTEM FOR ROBOT CABLES
robot to handle larger blanks with very short cycle times.
The latest addition to the igus multi-
Suitable for both new and existing press-
axis cable carrier line is an adjustable
tending manufacturing lines, only the robot’s
retraction system known as Triflex
arm length has been changed, allowing
RSP, which is designed for secure
users to easily and cost-effectively upgrade
cable guidance on large robot arms
their existing assets. Otherwise the robot
or for robots programmed to perform
remains a 6-axis robot with a 100 kg pay-
load capacity, a parallel arm structure and
The force at which Triflex RSP retracts
compact and sturdy mechanical design. Its
can be adjusted by changing the pres-
special dual bearing design and powerful
sure inside its pneumatic cylinder. This
gears and motors provide additional sup-
means the cable carrier can be safely
port for handling fluctuating process forces
retracted, even when guiding a complex
common within applications such as milling, deburring and grinding.
assortment of cables and hoses. Triflex RSP can be attached to various robot models quickly and eas-
ABB Australia Pty Ltd
ily due to its compact mounting brackets. The system is both space
Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V540
saving and lightweight. An optional monitoring system is available for robots that have program sequences which frequently change, alternate or are not completely predictable. This is particularly useful for robots that are steered by cameras or image-acquisition systems. The monitoring is completed via a connection to the robot’s main controls or PLC, and when a predetermined tolerance value is about to be exceeded, an early warning signal is given. Triflex R multiaxis cable carriers from igus can be used for power, data and media supply. The range has around 250 components to guide cables and hoses securely through multiple axes. Three main designs are available: a fully enclosed design for complete cable protection in harsh applications exposed to chips and dirt; an E-Z version, into which cables and hoses can be quickly pushed by hand; and a lightweight version, which can be rapidly assembled. Treotham Automation Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V270
36 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
Massive geared motors support largest-ever toothpaste mixers
In the hygiene and personal care industries, there is demand for everlarger batch sizes for products such as toothpaste, as well as for a larger range of variants to be produced at each site. At the same time, many manufacturers are interested in concentrating production capacities in just a few places. Modern plants must therefore be capable of producing large volumes while at the same time providing maximum versatility. With this task in mind, Ekato Systems from Schopfheim, in the southern reaches of the Black Forest in Germany, has recently constructed a new plant for the production of toothpaste. E k a t o i s a m a n u f a c t u re r o f customised industrial agitators, and has scaled up the largest model from its UNIMIX line to more than double the size, thereby implementing the largest discontinuous toothpaste production system in the world. The maximum capacity of toothpaste production plants is typically between 4000 and 5000 litres, with outputs of approximately 2000 to 3000 litres hourly. Continuous or batch production is possible. Continuous systems enable high throughput but are not very versatile with regard to product changes; since different ingredients sometimes require their own dispensing and blending technology, recipe changes often bring about conversions and readjustments. Moreover, toothpaste cannot easily be reworked when it is not sufficiently homogeneous. The biggest challenge with continuous plants is ensuring the uniform dispersion of active ingredients such as sodium fluoride, even after changes to the dispensing systems. On the other hand, the production rate of existing discontinuous plants cannot be significantly increased without major modifications in plant equipment. In order to meet the demands of a toothpaste manufacturer, Ekato therefore had to construct larger plants. Ekato’s new plant has two mixers, each with 10,000 litres effective volume, more than tripling production to produce 6000 to 11,000 kg of toothpaste per hour, depending on the product concentration. Toothpaste production systems basically consist of an evacuable vessel with an agitator, a homogeniser and various dispensing systems for the introduction of ingredients into the process. Liquid ingredients are either measured and then vacuum inserted into the vessel or dispensed by gravimetric methods. Powders and thickeners to increase viscosity can be added via the integrated homogeniser or drawn into the vessel through a valve at its base. For larger mixer dimensions, Ekato had to determine the components’ dosage and dispersion times, blend and
38 WHAT'S NEW IN PROCESS TECHNOLOGY DEC 2013/JAN 2014
homogenisation times, vacuum values and the necessary agitator and homogeniser performances. The agitator and homogeniser were configured according to the mixing performance equation for mixing technology. Based on its extensive experience, Ekato determines the power coefficient ‘Np’ (or Newton number) for each respective impeller and the product’s specific viscosity curve. This in turn specifies the force required to agitate the mixture. As the drive supplier, NORD Drivesystems was required to configure motors and gear units with the performance according to Ekato’s calculations, and to make them as efficient and durable as possible. Since the agitator drive is installed on top of the production mixer, it should be as compact as possible despite the high performance required. This application, which depends on homogeneous product quality, calls for speed and continuity. The radial and axial loads on the agitator shaft, which are very high due to the high product viscosity, must be taken into account for the drive configuration. NORD Drivesystems configured and supplied two 250 kW motors with industrial gear units which provide nominal output torques of 242 kNm. NORD is the only manufacturer worldwide to produce such extremely large industrial gear units in this power range in a one-piece housing. Hence, the type SK 15407 three-stage helical bevel gear units, though of an impressive size, are still relatively compact as the UNICASE design allows for larger rolling bearings which can accommodate higher forces.
NORD Drivesystems (Aust) Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/V746
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