Company Briefs: UL opens expanded hazardous locations lab

July 2, 2019

Acquisitions, expansions and new partnerships from around the process industries

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) officially opened its new hazardous locations (HazLoc) laboratory at its global headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois in June. The automated, state-of-the-art facility will increase capacity for explosion and fire hazard testing and certification to address the growing demand in the oil and gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, mining, energy and transportation industries, according to a UL announcement.

Originally opened in 1974, this hazardous locations laboratory was one of the first and largest of its kind in North America and soon became a significant resource for hazardous locations testing and certification.

The expanded facility now includes: An explosions area with automated test vessels that can handle samples up to 80 cubic feet; vertical test stations with automated electrical testing and featuring a load bank that can simulate loads up to 4,500 W; spark test station with automated spark ignition and intrinsic safety testing that includes gas pressure, spark-on-time and gas flow rates to assist with research and circuit design; ingress protection (IP) dust testing with three test points that can run simultaneously in a test chamber that can accommodate larger samples up to 5 cubic meters; and nine chambers total including three walk-in climatic chambers that perform thermal endurance testing to heat and cold conditioning with two of the chambers equipped with full-length doors to accommodate larger equipment.

UL has also increased its laboratory staff with additional highly trained technicians versed in all protection methods to help accelerate projects through the testing and certification process.

Schneider Electric launches first smart factory in the U.S.

Schneider Electric, a provider of energy management and automation solutions, has launched the first Smart Factory in the U.S. to demonstrate in real time how its EcoStruxure architecture and related suite of offerings can help increase operational efficiency and reduce costs for its customers. Embracing cutting-edge technology and the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to drive process optimization, the facility has opened its doors to share its IIoT knowledge and smart manufacturing technology best practices with customers and partners across industries. The Lexington, Kentucky plant strategically integrates connected EcoStruxure solutions to enhance efficiency and provide end-to-end operational visibility throughout supply chain operations. The Smart Factory has tracked quantifiable benefits from IIoT implementation, including a 20% reduction in mean time to repair and a 90% paperwork elimination.

Sulzer Chemtech’s center of excellence in Allschwil, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland was established in 2009 and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Image courtesy of Sulzer.

Construction starts on Sulzer’s new UK Service Center

Sulzer, a provider of large rotating equipment, has started the process to move its facilities and create a new center of excellence for its customers. The change comes after more than 100 years located at the company’s Camp Hill site. Sulzer’s new service center will be located at Birmingham Business Park, where the company will base its U.K. head office as well as state-of-the-art repair and maintenance facilities.

The 82,000-square-foot center has been designed using 3D mapping technology that positions both the existing and new equipment in the most efficient layout. The building phase is scheduled to be complete in early May 2020.

FDT Group approves new IIoT server standard

FDT Group, an industry association supporting the evolution of FDT technology, announced that it has approved the FDT IIoT Server (FITS) specification for release to the FDT membership for final review.

The emerging FITS standard, set to release at year-end, will provide control system and device vendors with the opportunity to advance their intelligent automation solution offerings with FDT’s standards-based, platform-independent, information-driven business models meeting the demands of the process and discrete markets. FITS is intended to empower the intelligent enterprise by transforming manufacturing practices, enabling open, secure and flexible deployment architectures and sensor-to-cloud integration with embedded OPC Unified Architecture (UA) and web servers, as well as built-in security features and deployment options for cloud, edge, on-premise and desktop environments.

Fluor’s Chemical expansion project for Milliken is underway in South Carolina

Fluor Corporation has started an engineering, procurement and construction project for Milliken & Company’s chemical plant expansion at its Allen Plant site in Blacksburg, South Carolina.

The new chemicals facility will produce Milliken’s proprietary specialty chemicals used in industries including food, cosmetics, office supplies and storage products. The project scope includes a new process manufacturing plant, utilities, warehouse and tank farm adjacent to Milliken’s existing operations.

Fluor Corporation is a global engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction and maintenance company with more than 53,000 employees worldwide.

The BASF Lampertheim GmbH is located inside the Rhine-Neckar region.
The approximately 1.000 employees produce products that, for example, improve the characteristics of plastics, paints and sunscreen. Emerson is modernizing automation software and controllers at the BASF specialty chemical production facility in Lampertheim, Germany. Photo courtesy of BASF SE.

BASF selects Emerson to modernize German chemical plant

BASF has awarded Emerson a multimillion dollar contract to modernize automation software and controllers at its specialty chemical production facility in Lampertheim, Germany. These enhancements are intended to help the chemical manufacturer increase production flexibility and enhance operations.

BASF will implement Emerson’s new hybrid automation solution that replaces existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs), used to control 20 reactors, with Emerson’s DeltaV PK Controller. The technology integrates into BASF’s existing DeltaV automation system, which will significantly reduce the cost, time and complexity of modernizing the automation system; minimize startup time for new production batches; and make switching production easier.

For BASF, Emerson will also replace an obsolete system controlling the tank farm and distillation columns at the facility, which produces additives that improve characteristics for plastics and coatings.

Air Liquide signs long-term supply agreements with Marathon Petroleum Company

Air Liquide has signed two long-term supply agreements with Marathon Petroleum Company for a total of up to 900 metric tons per day of oxygen for Marathon Petroleum’s refineries in Texas City, Texas and Garyville, Louisiana.

At Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay refinery in Texas City, Air Liquide will increase its current oxygen delivery by 400 metric tons per day. And in Garyville, Air Liquide will increase oxygen delivery by up to as much as 500 metric tons per day.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation operates the nation’s largest refining system with more than 3 million barrels per day of crude oil refining capacity across 16 refineries.

Ellab acquires Hanwell

Hanwell Solutions, a manufacturer of wireless environmental monitoring equipment, has been acquired by Denmark-based Ellab, a provider of thermal validation solutions for the pharmaceutical, medical and food processing industries.

Hanwell Solutions will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity, retaining the name and brand. CEO Ian Robinson will remain in post and join the management team at Ellab.

JMP Solutions acquires Hi-Def Controls

JMP Solutions has acquired Calgary-based Hi-Def Controls, enhancing their presence in Western Canada while benefitting from additional competencies specifically in the oil and gas, water and wastewater, and power systems industry segments.

JMP Solutions provides engineering services and turnkey solutions in seven core areas: process automation, control system integration, information and MES, automation and robotics, automated guided vehicles, material handling and networking and security applications.

Rawson/Industrial Controls ink new partnership with Forum

Rawson/Industrial Controls, distributors of instrumentation, valve and control products, have signed a distribution partnership agreement with Forum Energy Technologies’ valve solutions business. The agreement enables Rawson/Industrial Controls to offer comprehensive valve and control solutions for a wide range of industries.

In partnership with Houston-based Forum, Rawson/Industrial Controls’ distribution network will add an array of valve solutions from leading brands, including ABZ Valves & Controls, Cooper Valves, DSI Valve, PBV Valve and Quadrant Valve & Actuator.

Specializing in simple-to-complex valve and flow product solutions, Rawson/Industrial Controls provide complete, fully customized solutions that are designed to ensure accurate, consistent, and reliable flow measurement, regulation and control processes. With this new partnership, Rawson/Industrial Controls can provide Forum products across its entire geography, which stretches from the Gulf Coast and Southeast to the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of the United States.

Vortex expands markets into Czech Republic and Slovakia

Vortex Global Limited, a solids and bulk handling components company, has appointed MillTech CZ sro as its representative agent in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This partnership allows Vortex to formally extend its products and services to reach new markets, as the company has not previously held representation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

MillTech CZ sro is active in industries including food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and crystalline substances.

Proseal, an innovator in a packaging systems that reduce plastics usage and food waste with operations in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, formally joined the JBT family.

JBT acquires innovator in food tray technology

JBT Corporation, a technology solutions provider to the food and beverage industry, has acquired Proseal UK, an innovator in environmentally friendly packaging systems with a manufacturing presence in Europe, the U.S. and Australia. The purchase price for Proseal was £220 million, before customary post-closing adjustments.

Proseal is the leading manufacturer of tray sealing equipment for a range of protein food products including categories such as red meat, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, ready meals and produce categories such as soft fruit, fresh produce, prepared produce, sandwiches and snack foods.

Ohio Transmission Corporation acquires  two pump and engineering companies

Ohio Transmission Corporation, an industrial equipment service provider and distributor headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has acquired Furey Filter & Pump and its subsidiary, PSI Engineering, two companies that together have 65 employees in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Furey Filter & Pump, based in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin suburb of Germantown, provides pumps, filtration, service and full-system engineering and fabrication, including certified welding capabilities. PSI Engineering, headquartered in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area, is an industrial equipment distributor for pumps, filters, mechanical seals and valves, and the company offers a full range of services to meet any repair of fluid-handling equipment.

FlexXray acquires Accu-ray

FlexXray, an X-ray inspection and recovery service for food companies, has acquired Illinois-based Accu-ray, a leading provider of inspection solutions for food, pharmaceutical and automotive manufacturers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The combined company will operate as FlexXray effective immediately.

FlexXray offers solutions that detect and recover foreign material contamination that can occur during production or packaging. The company works with more than 900 production plants in the U.S., including 90 percent of the top 25 protein and processed-food producers in the country.

Weidmuller acquires shares in ORing Industrial Networking

The Weidmuller Group, a provider of industrial connectivity and automation, has acquired a minority stake in ORing Networking Corporation (ORing).

As a result of the share acquisition, ORing will put together a dedicated development team for Weidmuller and relocate its European headquarters from Poland to Paderborn, Germany, at the newly established Weidmuller location, Zukunftsmeile 2.

Yokogawa takes stake in Finnish company Sensire

Yokogawa Electric and Finland-based Sensire have reached an agreement for Yokogawa to take a €6 million stake in Sensire and to begin collaborating in the cold chain monitoring field. Through this initiative, both companies aim to develop and provide new services that combine Yokogawa’s industrial internet of things (IIoT) architecture, subscription-based IIoT services being developed by its amnimo Inc. subsidiary, and Sensire’s cold chain temperature monitoring solutions.

Brooks Instrument offers engineering scholarship for a second year

Brooks Instrument, a provider of flow, pressure, vacuum and vapor delivery solutions, will once again offer an engineering scholarship for undergraduate students enrolled in an engineering program at an accredited college or university. The scholarship offers $2,000 to a candidate who shows potential for leadership and interest in engineering, particularly as it relates to instrumentation, fluid mechanics and flow or pressure measurement.

The application requires a personal essay as well as a project review, proposal, lab work or other endeavors that give a detailed description of a process involving some degree of instrumentation, flow or measurement. To qualify for the scholarship, the project, research or investigation must incorporate flow, fluid mechanics and/or pressure measurement as an integral part of the process or data recording. The project can also be about the use or development of a novel pressure or flow measurement method or technique.

Company Awards, Milestones and Certifications

Sulzer Chemtech’s center of excellence in Allschwil, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland was established in 2009 and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Image courtesy of Sulzer.

Sulzer center of excellence celebrates 10th anniversary in Switzerland

Sulzer Chemtech’s center of excellence in Allschwil, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland, was established in 2009 following the acquisition and integration of Kühni. Since then, the facility has grown into a hub for the delivery of state-of-the-art process plants. Sulzer, a provider of separation and mixing technology, celebrated this success by holding a 10th anniversary event in May.

The facility is a provider of complete turnkey plants, and the company can support process plant development projects with local points of contact in the United States, India, China and Southeast Asia.

JMP Solutions is CSIA Certified for 13th consecutive year

JMP Solutions, has earned CSIA Certified status in the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Best Practices and Benchmarks certification program. This marks the thirteenth year JMP has held this certification with CSIA. JMP is one of only 83 companies in the world that is CSIA certified.

JMP Solutions earned the certification following a successful audit administered by an independent consulting firm that assessed its performance against client-centric criteria in a wide range of business, project management and system development categories. These categories include: general management, human resources management, financial management, system development lifecycle, project management, quality assurance management, supporting activities as well as marketing, business development and sales management.

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