Automation by the Numbers
Approximately 40% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions come from industrial processes in high-energy consuming sectors like petroleum, plastic, and biofuels producers. With Next Generation Nuclear Plants (NGNP) systems, the process heat or steam generated by the high temperature nuclear reactors will power applications like advanced highly efficient turbines, manufacture plastic components from raw materials, or produce ammonia for fertilizer. The U.S. recently announced up to $40 million in funding would be available from the Department of Energy to support design and planning work for the NGNP. The plants will use new, high temperature, gas-cooled reactor technologies and produce no greenhouse gases.
Lined Valve Company has created one of the world’s largest valves. It is 34 feet tall, 11 feet wide, and weighs 52,000 pounds. The “knife gate” valve fits a 96-inch diameter pipe for a Chicago storm and wastewater treatment plant. The humongous pipe-stopper—made of carbon and stainless steel—is the third of its kind trucked this year from the Woodland, Wash., outfit to Chicago. The company received about $1.5 million for the valves, which are part of a project Chicago is paying for with funds derived from the U.S. government stimulus package.
The ISA Security Compliance Institute approved an Embedded Controller Security Assurance (ECSA) Framework. The ECSA certification includes three broad areas of assessment for embedded controllers—security functional assessment, protocol robustness testing, and software-development-security assessment. The ECSA test specification will undergo an independent review and will be complete later this fall. The specification is for suppliers to use in their product development and manufacturing processes to facilitate baseline security levels in Industrial Automation Control Systems products.
Profits at China’s oil producers, steel makers, and other major industrial companies fell 10.6% in the first eight months of 2009 from the same period a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Total profits for the biggest Chinese industrial companies, which we consider to be those with annual revenues above $732,000 (5 million yuan), were $245 billion (1.67 trillion yuan) from January to August.