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Productivity Perspectives

Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker, editorial director of Processing magazine, has been writing about process industry, automation and information-technology markets for more than 20 years.

The pump in poetry

19th century epic “Don Juan” reveals possible origins of industry trade publishing
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Family-owned Endress + Hauser a refreshing anomaly in global automation market

Over the past 35 years, industrial automation has evolved from a domain inhabited by newly minted companies controlled by entrepreneurial founders to become a global market dominated by publicly traded, multi-billion dollar corporations.Automation supplier Endress + Hauser is something of an anomaly in this regard.
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Unique liquid-mixing method addresses viscosity, volume challenges

“Pulses” of air or gas move liquid tank contents in unexpected but highly beneficent ways
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Stepping pump, solar-powered pump will help world’s poorest farmers

It’s a real question: how do you bring 21st century technology to global regions that don’t yet have true capitalism? One further wrinkle — and an urgent one it is — the technology you’re dealing with is for one of life’s biggest got-to-haves: water.
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"Intelligence" system that’s right for the plant floor, while delivering enterprise solutions

The Dow Chemical Co. is an early adopter of a “manufacturing intelligence” solution just introduced for general availability by Portland, Ore.-based Northwest Analytics. The system, already used in 14 Dow Chemical plants, makes it easier to accomplish data-source integration and real-time process analytics and visibility.
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Rising water costs could cause major shifts in processing landscape

In the last 12 years, says a recently published survey,“water rates have at least doubled in more than a quarter of the locations and even tripled in a few.” Continuing rate increases are expected of 5% to 15% every few years.
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SCADA ‘honeypot’ mimics water station, attracts 39 attacks from 14 different countries

SCADA systems are today the most common means for establishing computer-based production monitoring and control. While the SCADA security challenge is widely recognized, just how bad it is can be hard to say, since, for most companies, little is to be gained by talking publicly about the problem.It took only 18 hours to find the first signs of attack on one of the honeypots.
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Computer-age coordination of age-old processes

Have you seen some of the things they do with industrial-plant software models today? As always, it’s the meshing of user roles that makes an integrated system sing.
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Warren Buffet and the food industry: big and getting bigger

A $28 billion offer for H.J. Heinz Co. may be the largest takeover of a pure food producer ever. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway partnered with private-equity firm 3G Capital on the announced deal, which is already taking some interesting twists.
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There’s sand involved, but it’s no day at the beach

The water consumed in oil & gas production is something tremendous. Folks in the water and wastewater treatment industry know it, and they’re introducing solutions that make continuing use of carbon-based energy more sustainable.
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