Plant & Works Engineering
Manufacturing diversity on show

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics returns to Farnborough from February 6-8th 2018 for its 20th anniversary event. PWE reports.

Evolution of asset security

The evolution of asset security definition means a multi-faceted approach is needed. PWE reports.

Solution keeps plant control systems reliably informed of manual valve positions

Refinery operators have a pressing requirement to improve the efficiency of flow control in their plants and they want to know from the Distributed Control System (DCS) if valves are open or closed. In a typical refinery, 10% of valves are actuated and 90% are manually operated. This poses a serious problem for end-users if the DCS does not accurately know how many manual valves are opened or closed, which limits the efficiency of their business operations.

Optimising efficiency

Bredel 65 hose pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group are now providing constant efficiency in ball-milling processes at a high-volume battery plant in China. PWE reports.

Time to say goodbye?

A motor control centre (MCC) sits at the heart of an industrial plant. If well maintained, an MCC can last for decades, but despite their sturdiness, even the most reliable MCCs have to be retired at some point. Pat McLaughlin, operations director of Boulting Group, explains the early warning signs that an MCC needs replacing. There are several reasons for replacing an MCC, but the most common ones include obsolescence, incompatibility with new legislation or the condition of the MCC deteriorating. Technological advancements that allow the design of intelligent, more efficient MCCs are another reason why companies sometimes opt for an upgrade.

Climate control in the food industry

Climate control of enclosures using water cooling is highly efficient, especially if there is already a central cold water supply available in the production plant. The new Hygienic Design air/water heat exchangers from Rittal are ideally suited to the food industry, where hygiene standards are exceptionally stringent. PWE reports.

Ideal control systems

Forklift trucks need fast and easy access to and from premises, taking goods and pallets out to, or bringing them in from, delivery vehicles. Maximum transport efficiency would be afforded simply by a hole in the wall; but of course there are security considerations and the need to prevent heat/cold transfer. Naturally, then, there are doors, and for every door there is an ideal door control system. Paul Rudge of sara LBS examines the various choices, and highlights the advantages, disadvantages and installation requirements for each.

Beyond certifications

Jonathan Walker, engineering manager at Oilgear, explores the innate features and processes that can ensure hydraulic pump performance is not simply defined by basic certification, but offers further benefits to the application that reduce the risks of downtime.

Overcoming repeated blockage of diaphragm pumps

Accurate dosing pumps are enabling Welsh Water to maintain strict phosphorus limits and reduce maintenance costs. PWE reports.

Breathing new life into older pumps with reverse engineering

Large pumps have generally been designed to perform for decades, making them a valuable asset that requires periodic maintenance. When the performance of an older pump begins to deteriorate, it may be a sign that the impeller is worn or the volute has become corroded, and by the time this happens, finding new parts can be a considerable challenge. Fortunately, modern design techniques and manufacturing processes can create a vast range of components using reverse engineering. Jesse Jackson, customer services manager at Sulzer's Mobile Service Center in Alabama, looks at what can be done to resurrect an ageing pump asset.

Common drive technology challenges and solutions

If there’s one thing that continues to hamper the UK manufacturing sector, it’s the ongoing struggle for greater productivity. As many factories are turning to capital equipment and modern machinery in an effort to speed up production lines and improve worker output, drive technology is becoming critical to enabling better plant automation, ensuring maximum productivity, and reliability throughout the entire production cycle. Marcus Schneck, CEO at norelem UK, looks at the importance of standard components in drive technology.

Maximising pump efficiency

Industrial processes across the globe require pumps to operate reliably and efficiently. The latest pump designs and coating technologies offer significant improvements in the long-term performance of industrial pumps. By minimising the effects of corrosion and erosion, users can enhance productivity and reduce running costs. PWE reports.

Are your VSDs running at maximum efficiency?

While variable speed drives (VSDs) provide an important energy saving technology, Mitsubishi Electric’s Matt Handley questions how many of the installed base of drives are actually set up to run at their maximum efficiency.

Integrated Industry – Creating Value

Hannover Messe 2016 had a clear message: integrated industry has well and truly reached the mainstream. To prove its point, the show featured over 400 application examples of fully digitalised processes for the manufacturing and energy industries. The fourth industrial revolution, it seems, is well underway. However, to ensure that the factories of the future don’t remain castles in the air, it is necessary to shine a stronger spotlight on the benefits for industry, employees and society in general. This is precisely what the organisers of Hannover Messe 2017 (24–28 April) say it will do. PWE reports.

Integrated Industry – Creating Value

Hannover Messe 2016 had a clear message: integrated industry has well and truly reached the mainstream. To prove its point, the show featured over 400 application examples of fully digitalised processes for the manufacturing and energy industries. The fourth industrial revolution, it seems, is well underway. However, to ensure that the factories of the future don’t remain castles in the air, it is necessary to shine a stronger spotlight on the benefits for industry, employees and society in general. This is precisely what the organisers of Hannover Messe 2017 (24–28 April) say it will do. PWE reports.

Recover and save?

Heat recovery should be a serious consideration for any business running a compressed air system. Andy Jones, managing director at Mattei, talks through the options.

Decentralised ventilation - the answer for larger spaces?

Factories, warehouses and other ‘shed’ type buildings provide special challenges for HVAC systems. Eduard Kovac of Hoval explains how decentralised ventilation units can meet many of these challenges.

Small parts make a big difference

Ken Revell, Business Line Manager Sales & Marketing for Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique Service Division, looks at how small parts can make a big difference to production equipment performance and reliability.

How much will your pump really cost you?

When it comes to specifying pumping equipment, many companies, particularly those under increasing pressure to cut costs, could actually be making decisions that will cost them more in the long run. Steve Schofield, director and chief executive of the British Pump Manufacturer’s Association (BPMA), explains how lifecycle costing can help to reveal the true cost of a pump.

Keeping pace with VSD maintenance processes

As the legislation surrounding the efficiency of electric motors continues to tighten, the volume of variable speed drives (VSDs) in service increases. Brian Park, service centre manager for Sulzer Glasgow, looks at the advancing technology and the maintenance processes that need to keep pace.

Gaining insight through connected technology

PWE looks at how at software simplifies life-cycle management, and automates asset discovery.

Better off the Balance Sheet – the Benefits of Hiring Equipment

For many businesses that require temperature control solutions in their day-to-day operations, equipment is often purchased and then run until the point of failure. Equipment hire offers a practical alternative says Russ Baker, UK sales director of the hire division at temperature control specialist ICS Cool Energy, who discusses the four key benefits of hire vs purchase.

Addressing sensitive pumping challenges

PWE spoke to Cliff Warne, UK sales manager at Axflow, to discuss the differences between Rotary Lobe and ECP pump technologies.

The importance of sensor triggering

When measuring the position of moving targets in production and process automation environments, it is important to understand the different methods of sensor triggering, their impact on measurement cycle times and the benefits they can offer over continuous measurement. Chris Jones, managing director at Micro-Epsilon UK, explains.

Are you secure?

Mark Fairhurst*, takes a look at the importance of security in an increasingly connected world.

Picking the best valve for the job

Valves aren’t necessarily the most exciting tool in any building’s toolkit, but whilst unseen and unsung, valves are not only heroes in their own right but absolutely vital to make any building management system run smoothly. Simon Garratt, marketing manager, field devices, at Schneider Electric, reports.

Pumps help flood prevention - Case Study

KSB and Ferrier Pumps Ltd recently continued their long standing partnership working on a flood prevention scheme for Renfrewshire Council. PWE reports.

Factors to consider when measuring thickness

If measurements from two non-contact laser displacement sensors are evaluated together, the thickness of an object can be determined. However, the accuracy of thickness measurements is determined by a number of important factors and not just linearity explains Chris Jones, managing director at Micro-Epsilon UK.

Planning for the worst

Russ Baker, UK sales director of the hire division at ICS Cool Energy, outlines why a business continuity plan is so important and the basics of putting one in place.

Think smart

When referring to modern technology, companies bandy the word "smart" around a lot, especially when talking about energy efficient devices. We have smart meters, smart grids and even smart cities. In November 2015, for the first time in history, the National Grid resorted to paying large companies to turn off their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in an effort to keep the lights on in Britain. Nick Boughton, sales manager of systems integrator Boulting Technology, discusses a smarter approach to energy efficiency.

The world of engineering under one roof

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics returns to FIVE, Farnborough, from February 9th to 11th 2016. PWE reports.

The challenges of creating The Industrial Internet of Things

The promise of connecting everything within an industrial environment, to get complete operational visibility and allow for the best real-time decisions, will transform how we manufacture for years to come. The premise for this next industrial evolution is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), says Tony Paine, CEO of Kepware Technologies.

The all-important dosing system

The accurate and consistent dosing of chemicals in wastewater treatment requires a pump technology that delivers the chemicals in a manner that optimises their usage and effectiveness. A chemical dosing skid employing either peristaltic or metering pumps attached to pipework built into a cabinet containing a dedicated control system provides the most effective solution for this process. PWE spoke to Verder Pumps about its approved dosing pump technology.

Why do drives fail?

A drive could theoretically last for a lifetime, but only if properly taken care of. Modern variable-speed drives (VSDs) are exceptionally reliable these days, but they’re not indestructible. That said, if you notice similar persistent or repeated trips in a VSD, then chances are that the drive isn’t actually the problem. If such trips are ignored (e.g. over-temperature), they can sometimes result in the failure of the drive. ABB outlines some of the primary factors that can contribute to why variable-speed drives trip and/or fail.

Making the most of ESOS

Why going above and beyond is the only way to improve energy efficiency. Martyn Williams, managing director of COPA-DATA UK, discusses the importance of acting on your energy audit recommendations.

Grow your own

Attracting the skilled professionals required to support business transformation, especially when it comes to automation, can be challenging. Richard Heaton, lead consultant for automation and robotics from expert engineering and manufacturing consultancy Jonathan Lee Recruitment, explains what businesses can do to ensure they have the right people in the right roles at the right time.

Clean reductions

The food and drink manufacturing industries are large users of power and water and their associated costs impact on production and finished product costs. It is, therefore, in manufacturers’ interests to employ technologies that can reduce these costs, as well as comply with UK government energy saving initiatives. However, it is not always that easy, making it necessary for management to identify application areas where costs can be reduced. PWE reports.

Wastewater pump selection – a material approach

Due to the unpredictable nature of modern wastewater, sewage pumps are subject to vastly variable levels of corrosion and abrasion. Selecting the most suitable material is therefore imperative to obtain a reliable, long-lasting and cost-effective solution. PWE spoke to Tony Price, market development manager at Xylem Water Solutions who explained the measures that can be undertaken to protect pumps and prolong their lifetime.

Steel manufacturer cuts billet mill saw stoppages

Less blade wear and greater uptime of a billet mill saw are among the benefits from retrofitting an ABB motor and variable-speed drive (VSD) at Tata Steel’s Stocksbridge plant. The motor and drive improves control of the saw, preventing trips and stoppages that can damage the blade. PWE reports.

Cyber-security: a journey, not a destination

Cyber-security has been a hot topic since the Stuxnet incident of a few years ago. Previously it was thought that securing the "top end" of an organisation was an adequate solution but this incident and others like it completely changed the security landscape and highlighted vulnerabilities in the de-facto automation architecture that previously had not been considered. Chris Evans, marketing & operations group manager at Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. Automation Systems Division, explains.

Supporting accuracy supports the bottom line

Trevor Dunger, product specialist for pressure and level for ABB’s UK Measurement Products business, explains the growing importance of calibration in promoting good practice and profitability.

Not too much to ask….

Boulting Technology helped to upgrade Thames Water’s 90 year old Littleton raw water pump station. The water company wanted to increase the performance of the site, while also making it more flexible, reliable and energy efficient. It also wanted to implement an automated system that would speed up pump start-up procedure. Thames water wanted all this without losing any of the pump station’s 1920’s charm! PWE reports.

New drive package cuts energy costs for steel company

SEW Eurodrive has supplied and commissioned a new drive package for Sheffield based Bedford Steels. It replaces one originally installed in 1951 and is expected to significantly reduce the company's energy consumption, increase production and simplify the maintenance regime. PWE reports.

Top five problems with PLCs

The Programmable Logic Controller, or using the less tongue-tieable acronym, PLC, has become a stalwart of the automation industry and can be found in countless automated manufacturing processes across the world. Jonathan Wilkins of industrial automation components supplier European Automation discusses the top five problems with PLCs.

Hannover Messe Preview - The fourth industrial revolution beckons…

The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology –Hannover Messe - returns to Hannover, Germany between 13-17th April 2015. PWE reports.

The hybrid heat exchanger

Within many sectors of industry, minimising energy consumption and maintaining plant uptime are essential to optimising production costs. Process heat recovery is one significant approach to reducing energy consumption, while improving process performance will contribute to plant efficiency. Heat exchangers when used for heating, cooling, condensing or evaporation play a major role in recovering energy from process gases and liquids, so it follows that their efficiency will influence operating costs. Geoff Mahoney, AxFlow product manager plate heat exchangers reports.

Fluid for thought

Thermal fluids are used in a variety of sectors including manufacturing pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, petrochemicals and food. Dr Chris Wright, head of research and development at Global Heat Transfer describes common problems with heat transfer systems and thermal fluids in the food manufacturing industry. He also outlines his key recommendations for ensuring a harmonious and healthy relationship between plant, fluid and system.

Daily challenges

PWE spoke to Durapipe’s valve and flow control department manager Geoff Rogers to discuss the challenges his department is faced with on a daily basis.

Turning losses into gains

Sebastião L. Nau and Daniel Schmitz, research and technological innovation department at WEG, explains how reducing efficiency losses is key to achieving IE4 class efficiency with induction motors.

Bespoke water treatment

PWE spoke to Dave Clark, commercial & engineering project manager at Veolia Water Technologies, about a bespoke water treatment system for Tata Steel.