19 May 2008

Web exclusive: May Industry Newz, 2nd edition

ABB won a contract worth $170 million from Svenska Kraftnät and Fingrid Oyj, the transmission system operators in Sweden and Finland. ABB will supply two HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) converter stations for the Fenno-Skan 2 power link. The converter stations will be part of an 800-MW (megawatt) extension of the existing 550-MW Fenno-Skan 1 link, delivered by ABB in 1989. ABB will use its state-of-the-art HVDC technology and equipment. ABB shareholders approved all proposals submitted by the Board of Directors to the company's annual general meeting in Zurich. All eight members of the Board were re-elected for another term of office. Hubertus von Grünberg, chairman of the board, said his priorities for the company include seizing the opportunities offered by the growing market for technology to combat climate change.

ASCO Numatics, manufacturer of flow control and pneumatics, unveiled a new program awarding two $5,000 scholarships to U.S. engineering students pursuing careers in industrial automation-related disciplines. The company will make $1,000 grants to the engineering departments of the colleges in which the winners are enrolled.

Emerson Process Management's start-up and operational gains came to a cost savings of $341,216 (€220,000) after completing the second year of its PlantWeb digital automation architecture at a new bioethanol production plant operated by TARKİM in Mustafakemalpaşa-Bursa, Turkey. The plant processes grain, usually corn and wheat, to produce ethanol to be used as a fuel additive.

Honeywell will provide operator training simulator technology for Suncor Energy Inc.'s Voyager Oil Sands Upgrader Operation in Northern Alberta. Suncor will use Honeywell's UniSim simulation technology as an integral part of operational readiness initiatives to train the operations staff and facilitate safe and efficient plant start-up.

Maracanaú Geradora de Energia SA, an independent power producer, has placed an order with Wärtsilä for a power plant, valued at $124 million (€80 million), to be delivered to Brazil. This plant and two others should be operational beginning 2010. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract is for a 168 MWe power plant to be installed at Fortaleza, in Ceará State in northeastern Brazil. Wärtsilä will supply the powerhouse, as well as ancillary systems and related buildings.

Moore Industries-International, Inc. introduced its special needs and products (SNAP) program to meet unusual signal interface needs in industrial process control, systems integration, and factory automation applications. The SNAP service will help in updating instruments, replacing instruments and supplying a signal interface solution when an off-the-shelf instrument is not available.

Osceola, Wis.-based Northwire, Inc. introduced NorthwireDirect, an e-commerce web site for ordering off-the-shelf, factory-direct cable. Some products initially available include CAN-Bus Cable, ODVA DeviceNet cables; control, sensor and instrument cable in non-shielded and shielded versions, load cell cable for weighing scale applications; machine vision cable; continuous flexing cable for robotics, and retractile power cords.

RF Monolithics, Inc. (RFM) formed a strategic alliance agreement with Dust Networks, provider of embedded wireless sensor networking. Under the agreement, RFM and Dust will collaborate on the integration of embedded systems into OEM modules and gateways.

R. Stahl's operator interfaces fitted with an Ethernet interface for TP cables now have a DNV certification and are also available with a GL or American Bureau of Shipping certificaiton. Explosion-protected types of both series, and the models for industrial areas have been certified by an independent testing laboratory to be suitable for installation onboard ships due to seawater-resistant materials, vibration-proof design, and resistance to electromagnetic interference.

SMART Papers began construction on a $30 million high-efficiency energy co-generation facility at its manufacturing center in Hamilton, Ohio, and that marks an important first for the North American papermaking industry. By early 2009, the company will produce all its own power and begin a transition to 100% cellulosic biomass fuel.  By late 2009, all products will be fully carbon neutral and produced 100% fossil fuel free, company officials said.

Swedish bio-refinery SunPine AB will use Invensys SimSci-Esscor's PRO/II simulation software for modeling a new biodiesel refining operation in Piteå, Sweden. The new plant converts crude bio-oil byproducts of pine pulping into second-generation biodiesel for shipment to diesel refining facilities.

Upright Communications, a search engine marketing and design strategy company, made great strides with Southern Tank & Mfg. Co. Inc., a manufacturer of carbon and stainless steel liquid storage tanks serving a global market; customers are now seeing international growth through their own web sites with the company's services.

Wärtsilä Corporation opened its first office in Oslo, Norway, as part of the company's strategy to establish a greater Norwegian presence and to be closer to customers. Strong growth in the offshore segment represents a target area for the Oslo team to enable better service to shipping clients.

Yokogawa Electric Corporation's DPharp EJA V2.5 device type manager has been certified for Foundation fieldbus by the FDT Group, allowing users to tap user-friendly field device tool (FDT)/DTM technology with the guarantee of interoperability and trouble-free installation.