I had just about given up on more news and innovation on the sensing side of automation and IoT, and then news arrives from Rockwell Automation about another hardware partnership. The company is partnering with Everactive for wireless and battery-less condition monitoring solutions.
Everactive’s solutions will complement Rockwell Automation’s Dynamix product line. The integrated system will provide data to Rockwell’s FactoryTalk MaintenanceSuite for asset monitoring, condition-based monitoring, and predictive maintenance programs.
“We’re excited about this partnership with Everactive. The data produced by Everactive’s condition-monitoring sensors can be used by our FactoryTalk analytics, monitoring and maintenance platforms, to increase uptime, quality, and customer profitability,” said Brian Merdes, vice president & general manager, sensing, safety, and industrial control, Rockwell Automation. “Additionally, Everactive’s energy harvesting technology allows sensors to run continuously with zero battery maintenance, which ultimately decreases our customers’ carbon footprint.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with Rockwell Automation, addressing the difficult problem of monitoring balance-of-plant assets,” says Bob Nunn, CEO, Everactive.”Solutions developed by Rockwell and Everactive will provide sustainable options for wireless condition monitoring users looking for productivity in their operations. Together, we can generate more insights from more places within an operation, bringing unparalleled efficiency and sustainability to enterprises globally.”
A little world news for a change.
- Focus areas of the framework agreement include engineering and procurement activities in the Kingdom
- The collaboration will support energy industries in the region with effective measurement of gas quality through the implementation of integrated analyzer solutions
- ABB’s integration facility for analytical systems, which the company is building in Dammam, will support the collaboration
ABB has signed a framework agreement with Samsung Engineering in Saudi Arabia to collaborate in engineering and procurement activities in the Kingdom. With this agreement, ABB becomes a single-source vendor for gas analyzer system integration for Samsung in Saudi Arabia.
Together, the two companies plan to explore business opportunities and provide complete analytical solutions to the Saudi oil & gas market. Effective measurement of gas quality is key to safety and reliability, decreasing the environmental footprint and increasing profitability of the production process.
ABB’s analytical systems portfolio includes direct-read continuous gas analyzers, online gas analyzers using laser analytical techniques, rapid response process gas chromatographs and more. In addition to analytical systems, ABB provides gas analyzer system integration with fully customized analytical systems and solutions – from initial engineering through fabrication, testing, field start-up, and support.
ABB’s 10,000 square meter world-class integration facility for analytical systems, which the company is building in Dammam, will support the collaboration. The factory is expected to become a leader in the production of analytical systems in the region.
ABB and Samsung Engineering have worked together on several occasions, including on the Aramco Jafurah phase 1 project. With this agreement, they are ready to serve customers in Saudi Arabia.
Imagine that you don’t have people to just stand and observe and take notes over three shifts a day for a week or so. What if you could position a few cameras in strategic locations. The video is captured and run through analytics. Engineers, operators, and managers would not have to manually parse through hours of video. They would be presented with data visualization designed to help them get to root causes of problems, assist worker ergonomics, improve safety, and boost productivity.
That is what the Sensable solution does.
Imagine another scenario. You are an operator on a production line. You have been trying to point out bottlenecks to production on your machine. Then engineers install streaming video pointing not just at a specific point on you or the machine but with wide enough scope to see the larger process. The video analytics point out the bottleneck. Voila. Vindicated. Proof in the data.
The video is not for spying on employees. It is designed to help them. Just what true digital transformation is—an aid to decision making and continuous improvement.
- Missed throughput targets—station utilization lower than expected, unplanned downtimes more than planned
- Low process efficiency—cycle time variability, too many interruptions
- Low operations visibility—safety challenges due to best practices violations, missed inspection or assembly steps
- Manage work area or assembly line—real-time feedback, identify bottlenecks, performance reports by shift/day, remote visibility-ideal for managing off shifts
- Perform long duration time studies—data-driven Kaizen setup/changeover analysis, run/analyzed over weeks, compare across time and facilities, store metrics for Kaizen, perform SMED analysis in large areas
- Identify missed inspection steps with 360 degree analysis—rapidly identify root cause of defects, search for video clips associated with product assembly
- Achieve healthier, safer, well trained workforce—capture near misses and best practice violations, capture the impact of fatigue by measuring throughput at beginning and end of shift, capture and share the best practices for training
- Build realistic engineering standards—capture data for the entire shift or multiple shifts before creating a standard to be enforced
Innovation has not died even at the sensor level of automation. This news from Zebra Technologies features a new line of environmental sensors including the new ZS300 sensor, ZB200 Bridge and Android Sensor Discovery app.
Using these sensors, manufacturers, wholesalers, transportation and logistics operators in the food, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries now have cloud-based visibility into a range of environmental factors, including temperature monitoring and moisture detection. This will enable them to know if products have been maintained within appropriate conditions across the supply chain. The sensors help improve profitability by allowing users to take corrective action in real time and maximize their productivity with a more efficient data logger.
The new ZS300 electronic sensor addresses the current challenges faced with heightened consumer concerns about medications or food being compromised in transit with a secure cloud platform that makes it easy to integrate temperature logging into a wide variety of applications and systems of record. They are available in multipacks and include minimal biodegradable packaging and a no-cost recycling program to help reduce the impact on the environment.
A couple of news items recently pushed my way from the foundation layer of the famous Purdue Pyramid. This one comes from Honeywell, a company that usually talks to me about software and sustainability. This release concerns transmitters for condition-based monitoring of rotating equipment. This is an important layer of data generation for the famous Industrial Internet of Things.
Honeywell March 8, 2023 introduced Versatilis Transmitters for condition-based monitoring of rotating equipment such as pumps, motors, compressors, fans, blowers, and gearboxes that provide relevant measurements of rotating equipment, delivering intelligence that can improve safety, availability, and reliability across industries.
These are a multi-variant instrument based on the low power, long range LoRaWAN protocol known for low power consumption and easy installation. Easy configuration is achieved through a mobile application over Bluetooth.
They can seamlessly integrate with Honeywell’s Experion HS and other SCADA or asset management platforms. When used with Honeywell’s analytics software, this technology can predict equipment failures such as asset imbalance, misalignment, and bearing-related issues before they happen, helping to reduce unplanned downtime.
Still catching up on news I learned at ARC Industry Forum in early February. This one is expansion of the device integration model enabled by the latest version of FDT. Earlier, I wrote about Migrating to FDT 3. I sat in a couple of sessions where a senior engineer at a consumer packaged goods company pleaded with suppliers to make integrating and applying technologies more user-friendly. This is one such technology.
FDT Group announced that the PACTware consortium released its latest software version, PACTware 6.1, based on the latest FDT3 standard. PACTware 6.1 is one of the first FDT3 stand-alone device configuration environments available. The software tool’s source code is available to the PACTware Consortium membership consisting of 22 automation vendors who offer the FDT-enabled hosting product to the user community at no cost.
By leveraging the modern FDT3 Unified Environment for intelligent device management, PACTware 6.1 users will enjoy the ability to support their current FDT DTM install base and support modern FDT3 web-based DTMs that are scalable for IIoT architectures. This release also supports integration with FDI Device Packages.
Suppliers of industrial automation systems and devices want to provide solutions that enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). To meet their customers’ needs, it is vital for suppliers to enhance their system and device offerings with standards-based, platform-independent, information-driven business models. The new FDT3 standard is accelerating the digital manufacturing journey by enabling an ecosystem of FDT-based solutions providing a unified environment for industrial device management with IT/OT data-driven operations.
In addition to the new FDT3 standard that fully describes the FDT Desktop environment and FDT web-based device DTM, the standard also defines a cloud-based FDT Server environment for distributed control. The new FDT3 DTM and FDT Server are OPC UA- and -mobile ready without any coding, allowing users an easy to use and scalable migration path of OT data to IT enterprise applications.