May/June 2013
automation update | By the Numbers


ARC believes that the water & wastewater industry represents one of the greatest opportunities for the automation business through the next 20 years. Throughout much of the developed world, including North America, Western Europe, and Japan, the existing water & wastewater infrastructure is aging rapidly and often suffering from neglect.

According to ARC's recent report "Automation Expenditures for Water & Wastewater Industry Global Market Research Study," automation expenditures in the water & wastewater industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent over the next five years. The team for this study includes Allen Avery, G. Ganapathiraman, David Clayton, and Piyush Dewangan.



Since its introduction, the ABB standard drive, ACS550, has continued to grow in popularity with customers across industries. Now, the three millionth unit in this standard drive series has been delivered.

To put this accomplishment into perspective, consider that the three million drives represent over 52 gigawatts of energy saved: a savings of over $5.75 trillion dollars, assuming a cost of electrical power of $.11/kWh, plus a reduction of carbon footprint of over 26 million tons of CO2.


North American robotics companies shattered previous opening quarter records for robots ordered and shipped in the first quarter of 2013, according to statistics released from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry's trade group.

A total of 5,833 robots valued at $341.2 million were ordered from North American robotics companies through March, an increase of 14.5% in units over the same period in 2012 and 10% above the previous first quarter record set in 2005.


First quarter shipments to North American customers totaled 5,736 robots valued at $369.5 million, breaking the previous records for an opening quarter set in 2012 by 24.6% in units and 23.3% in dollars.

The activity was especially strong in automotive components, food & consumer goods, semiconductor & electronics, life sciences & pharmaceuticals, and plastics & rubber, all of which posted double digit growth year over year. The biggest unit growth in applications came from arc welding (46.2%) and material handling (25.1%), both of which have historically been two of the strongest applications for robotics.

RIA estimates that some 228,000 robots are now at use in U.S. factories, second only to Japan's robot use.


Technip selected Emerson Process Management as the main supplier of control valves for the Algiers Refinery rehabilitation and adaptation project. The Algiers Refinery, located 10 km south of Algiers, in Algeria, is being revamped to increase crude oil processing capacity and ensure that it can produce gasoline at specifications similar to those used throughout Europe.

Emerson will supply approximately 600 of its Fisher control valves and regulators, including rotary, globe, and butterfly type devices. The valves will be deployed throughout the refinery, including within the residual fluid catalytic cracking unit, naphtha processing units, and new LPG storage unit.

The modernization of instrumentation and control valves will help the refinery optimize the various process units. This will help to sustain the production of clean fuels both for the local and export markets, as well as reduce maintenance and plant shutdown costs.

The Fisher valves will be supplied with a range of trims and silencers. Suitable for severe-service applications, they are designed to provide long-lasting, fast, and safe operation, as well as reduced fugitive emissions.


This content is courtesy of