Last updateThu, 16 Aug 2018 12am

Siemens supplies Electrical and automation equipment for the Aluminum Factory

Hydro Aluminium AS is building the most climate-friendly, energy-efficient aluminum smelting plant in the world on Norway's Karmøy peninsula. Siemens is supplying a VB1 high-current switchgear with vacuum switching technology and the high-current supply unit for production. Measuring 34 meters long with 26 switchgear panels, it will be the longest high-current and generator switchgear ever built by Siemens. This type of system protects equipment such as generators and transformers from overvoltage and short-circuits. To ensure the supply of electrical power for the production process, Siemens is also providing six large converter units, including the associated control and protection systems and the requisite cooling systems. The converters convert AC current to DC current for operating the power-intensive smelting furnaces. The scope of supply also includes automation technology with the PCS7 process control system and distributed I/O systems as well as operator control and monitoring systems. The high-current switchgear is to be delivered by the end of 2016, while the high-current supply unit will be handed over by the end of 2017. Siemens was already commissioned last year to supply the main transformers for this project.
High-current and generator switchgear with vacuum switching technology are important for protecting transformers and generators used in generator switchgear applications with high thermal and mechanical loads. Vacuum switching technology and maintenance-free components in generator switchgear guarantee minimum maintenance costs. Unlike gas-insulated circuit-breakers, vacuum circuit-breakers interrupt the arc in a high-vacuum interrupter tube. With its double busbar design, Siemens' VB1 fulfills the special requirements for high plant availability. Thanks to its arc fault consistency, it ensures a high degree of personal safety. It has a short-circuit breaking capacity of up to 50 kiloamperes (kA) at 24 kilovolts (kV) and can handle rated currents of up to 5000 amperes (A) without forced cooling.

In addition to delivering, Siemens is responsible for dimensioning, integrating, installing, and commissioning the plant components.

The new aluminum factory on Karmøy will produce 75,000 tons of aluminum per year and consume about 1 terrawatt hour (TWh) of electricity per year, thus placing high demands on all of the electrical equipment. 1 TWh roughly corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of 50,000 households.

With the Karmøy Technology Pilot, Hydro plans to reduce energy consumption in aluminum production by about 15 percent compared to world average. The project will also reduce CO2 emissions to the world's lowest level. Today the global average is over 14 kWh per kilogram. On Karmøy, Hydro is testing a new technology that should allow them to reduce consumption to 11.5-11.8 kWh per kilogram.

exida announces Business Partnership with Precision Engineering

exida, a global supplier of functional safety products, services and certifications is pleased to announce a business partnership with Precision Engineering Inc. (PEI).

“exida has established an excellent reputation in the industrial environment for providing high quality safety products and services,” says Joe Kenny, PEI President. “PEI views this partnership with exida as an excellent opportunity to grow our business in programming and configuring industrial safety systems. With this partnership, PEI can now offer its clients the complete safety system engineering package.”

“PEI has been in business for the past 20 years and has built a strong reputation for providing quality engineering services to their customers, which complements exida’s service and product offering,” says Steve Gandy, exida vice president of global business development. “exida has been looking to partner with a select group of companies as a means of enhancing both companies’ product and service offerings. We are pleased to partner with PEI and expect to have a very successful partnership.”

ABB acquires SVIA automation solutions

ABB announced today it has acquired SVIA, a leading provider in the fast-growing market of robot automation cells for machine tending. SVIA, headquartered in Jönköping, Sweden, builds automated solutions for machine tending processes, using robots to feed components to lathes and mills, and to secondary processes like assembly, washing and part marking. SVIA has a portfolio of over 800 machine tending cell solutions which integrate robotic automation to increase the productivity, flexibility and quality of manufacturing. These solutions, together with ABB’s leading position in the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) will provide a unique set of value propositions to industrial customers globally. The parties agreed not to disclose the value of the transaction.

The acquisition expands ABB’s machine tending portfolio with a wider variety of advanced and vision-integrated applications for industries including automotive, plastics and electronics, such as smart phone manufacturing. The expanded offering will benefit both machine OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and established CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine users as well as ABB’s global network of channel partners.

“SVIA’s pioneering automation solutions fit perfectly into ABB’s leading global Robotics business unit. SVIA already uses ABB robots across its innovative portfolio of machine tending solutions. We co-developed ABB’s FlexMT® robot automation cell which can increase machine tool utilization by up to 90 percent, compared to 50 percent utilization with manual machine tending,” said Pekka Tiitinen, President of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. “Together, we will enhance growth through our strong commitment to customer focus and by providing integrated, complete solutions based on the IoTSP. This approach has been the cornerstone of SVIA’s success and is a key part of ABB’s Next Level growth strategy.”

Schneider Electric announces Software Agreement for SimSci Spiral Suite with Gunvor

Schneider Electric Software, a global leader in industrial software solutions for the process industries, announced today that Gunvor, one of the world’s leading independent commodities trading houses, has signed a license agreement for Spiral Suite. Gunvor’s Ingolstadt and Antwerp refineries and Geneva Headquarters already benefit from using Spiral Suite. This agreement now extends their license to cover the newly acquired Rotterdam site.

“Spiral Suite provides an integrated solution for a broad spectrum of users”, said Marcel Mazenauer, Technical Director, Gunvor International B.V. “By having a unified application, we can improve how we share data across the organization to better interact and respond faster to opportunities as they arise. Its powerful predictive modelling capabilities improves our responsiveness to changes in assay quality and allows faster, better operational and commercial decisions. In the end, Spiral Suite lets us make better quality predictions that are consistent across the business. Easy to use and implement, it was a natural choice to extend to our Rotterdam refinery. The enterprise offering seamlessly scales to readily support our growing organization.”

Spiral Suite supports all supply chain work processes across large and small refineries, bringing together enterprise crude knowledge management, planning, scheduling and envelope optimization activities in a single software application. As the industry's only unified planning and scheduling environment that was designed from the ground up, Schneider Electric Software clients can better explore opportunities, reduce operational risk and shrink the gap between planned and actual results. Spiral Suite enables information to be shared easily between users as all activities are supported within a single application, with a single user interface and a single source of data with version and data management control. This shared knowledge can lead to improved understanding and collaboration between traders, planners and schedulers, replacing disjointed point solutions.

“Using Enterprise Crude Knowledge Management, users across the enterprise are able to leverage accurate crude quality predictions in combination with processing experience and grade intelligence to increase refinery margins, respond quickly to opportunities and reduce risk”, said Harpreet Gulati, Ph.D., Vice President, Schneider Electric Software. “Spiral Suite ensures that users across the business have access to the most consistent and up-to-date information in diverse areas such as planning, scheduling, crude approval, trading and simulation. Its ability to drive collaboration and provide real-time crude data is critical to helping our customers in the petroleum industry achieve operational excellence.”

Schneider Electric becomes shareholder and formal partner of KIC InnoEnergy

KIC InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for Europe’s energy industry, is delighted to welcome Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, as a shareholder and formal partner.

Schneider Electric has been an associate partner of KIC InnoEnergy since it was launched in 2010. This change of partnership status marks the first time since 2011 that an industrial player has “upgraded” its involvement and will see Schneider Electric taking an increased commitment in the activities and the governance of the company. This new partnership status will also serve to reinforce Schneider Electric’s relationship with KIC InnoEnergy’s network of partnerships across Europe.

Sylvain Paineau, Schneider Electric’s Innovation & Partnerships Europe Director, said: “This is an important step for Schneider Electric and our ongoing relationship with KIC InnoEnergy. During our 5 years of being an associate partner, we have become more and more involved in the KIC InnoEnergy’s key areas of activity - education, business creation and innovation. This period has really crystallised our interest in becoming a full partner and deepening our participation in the organisation.

“KIC InnoEnergy is at the centre of a rich ecosystem of businesses and educational institutions. This makes for fertile ground for global companies like ours seeking what we like to call open innovation - truly free thinking and creative ideas, in our market sector.

“This new status aligns perfectly with Schneider Electric’s strategy to build energy management and automation technologies that ensure Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment. By increasing our involvement in KIC InnoEnergy, we invest in innovation to accelerate growth.”

Richard Biagioni, CEO of KIC InnoEnergy, France said: “We’re delighted that Schneider Electric has raised its involvement and interest in KIC InnoEnergy. Our goal has always been to be a strategic partner for industry in terms of innovation. Our partnership with Schneider Electric will see an ever closer working relationship and deeper alignment of each other’s strategies.

“The news also underlines our commitment to evolve as an organisation and allow our stakeholders to evolve with us. We are keen to see our partners increase their involvement and participation – it helps us develop as an enterprise and this openness to participation is part of the reason KIC InnoEnergy’s share value has increased 17 fold over five years.”

About KIC InnoEnergy (www.kic-innoenergy.com)
KIC InnoEnergy is the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe. The challenge is big but our goal is simple: to achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe. Innovation is the answer. New ideas, products and solutions that make a real difference, new businesses and new people to deliver them to market. At KIC InnoEnergy we support and invest in innovation at every stage of the journey – from classroom to customers. With our network of partners we build connections across Europe, bringing together inventors and industry, entrepreneurs and markets, graduates and employers, researchers and businesses.