September/October 2012

Automation by the Numbers


Qumu announced the results of their 2012 IT in the Cloud Assessment Project. In a survey of over 700 IT professionals conducted online by Toluna, an independent online panel and survey technology provider, in August, Qumu found 44.4% will be moving applications to the cloud within the next 12 months, with up to 33.4% saying that this will include up to half of their applications. 54.5% of respondents touted the benefits of making the move to cloud-based applications. When asked what benefits they thought were most important, surprisingly, more than 30% of IT professionals said better security.


ABB won an order from Statoil to install high voltage subsea cables to supply power to the Troll A gas platform on the western coast of Norway. The Troll A concrete deep water structure is the world's largest natural gas production platform, 473 meters tall and weighs 1.2 million tons; it is the tallest structure ever to be moved by mankind. The platform can produce as much as 120 million cubic meters per day; it contains approximately 40% of the natural gas reserves on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and is a cornerstone of the gas supply to the European Continent. The ABB contract includes pre-studies, cable laying and installation of 350 kms of high voltage AC and DC cables, as well as project management and related engineering services. The AC cable will supply power to the safety and automation systems, the DC cables will supply power to two new gas compressors.


Despite the weakening global economic situation, a further robot sales increase of about nine percent to about 181,000 units is likely in 2012. The IFR Statistical Department expects that between 2013 and 2015 worldwide robot sales will increase by about 5% on average per year. In 2015, the annual supply of industrial robots will reach more than 200,000 units. In 2012, the sales increase is still mainly driven by the automotive industry and the electronics industry, as well as by the increasing number of customers with low-volume orders from other industries. The main impulses are coming from North America, China, Brazil, and Central- and Eastern European countries, as well as from Japan due to the restoration production facilities which were damaged by the tsunami catastrophe. The urgent need to automate production is the main driver for an accelerated pace of installations of industrial robots in the United States and Canada. China will become the biggest robot market in the world regarding the annual supply.

4.4 quadrillion

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), its members who manufacture electric motors, and several other groups filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommending new and more robust energy-efficiency standards for the types of electric motors used in commercial and industrial applications such as pumps, conveyors, and fans. It asks that the standards, if adopted by the end of this year, be effective January 1, 2015. DOE was mandated to review motor efficiency to make a determination on increased efficiency requirements by the end of this year. NEMA motor manufacturers approached American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy to discuss a proactive approach that would save energy and eliminate exemptions for many motor types not previously covered by U.S. standards. The petition increases standards for some motors and significantly increases the scope of motors that will now be covered by efficiency standards. According to DOE's own analysis, these new standards would save about 4.4 quadrillion Btus of energy by 2044-more energy than the entire state of Florida uses in a year. The standards recommended will also save motor purchasers more than $18 billion over that span.

-News items courtesy of