Last updateSun, 06 Oct 2019 10am

ICONICS continues as Microsoft CityNext Partner of the Year

ICONICS, a Microsoft® Gold Application Development Partner and provider of Web-enabled, OPC-based Visualization and Energy Management software for Microsoft Windows® operating systems, continues its efforts that led to being named the 2014 Microsoft Public Sector CityNext Partner of the Year. The company was honored in May, 2014, among a global field of top Microsoft Corp. partners, for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

Awards were presented in multiple categories, with winners chosen from a set of more than 2,800 entrants from 117 different countries worldwide. ICONICS was recognized for providing outstanding solutions and services in Microsoft’s CityNext initiative including services pertaining to building automation and energy efficiency.

The Microsoft CityNext Partner of the Year Award recognizes the partner who best exemplifies how their solutions, built on Microsoft technology, address the most pressing challenges for cities and help them do “more with less”. The Microsoft platform provides a connected foundation for cities to build on, utilizing solutions and apps across core city functional solution areas and scenarios that present opportunities for cities to address challenges, spur economic growth and transform where they work and live.

“Microsoft’s success as a company depends on great partners, and ICONICS is a shining example of the kind of innovation our partner ecosystem drives year after year,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft Corp. “We are honored to recognize ICONICS as this year’s winner of the 2014 Microsoft CityNext Partner of the Year award, and we applaud ICONICS’ dedication to providing innovative solutions that drive results for our mutual customers.” The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognize Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the past year.

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ABB launches powerful electrical control system for mines of the future

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has launched the new System 800xA MIDAS Library, an application that gives the engineers who operate automated mines a more powerful way to rapidly troubleshoot the electrical system through an enhanced substation control and monitoring environment from the control room. This remote substation monitoring allows the plant team to solve problems safely away from the electrical substation, thus reducing the time for electrical fault diagnosis and problem solving.

MIDAS stands for “mining integrated distribution automation system”. The library works within ABB’s System 800xA, which is a platform for monitoring and controlling a wide range of automated industrial processes. It is based on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s 61850 standard, which creates a common language for automated substations and power distribution systems. This means that technologically advanced mines around the world will be able to take advantage of MIDAS’s capabilities.

The main capability is to give plant technicians better information about the state of their electrical systems and to allow them to remotely control and correct those systems. An operator who is using the MIDAS Library will be able to monitor the whole of a mine’s electrical infrastructure from a single workstation using a single software package. The analytics are presented in real time using a graphic interface that is both comprehensive and intuitive.

This in turn will create other benefits: for example, the capability to diagnose faults without going on site means greater safety for workers. And the capability to rapidly discover the root cause of the problem, and thus fix it more quickly when it happens, reduces disruption to the working of the mine and lowers the operational costs of running it. Furthermore, the fact that process and power automation can be done by one common system reduces the cost of training and spare parts. The combination of information allows process to be fine-tuned so they use as little energy as possible.

The MIDAS Library also makes it simple for engineers to deal with intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) for protection and control of the electrical system. A right-click of the mouse brings up a full suite of technical information, including manuals, information on the device’s parameters and its role in the wider system. And as the IEDs can be connected to the automation system by Ethernet, one team can control substations in many different and distant locations.


70 technical innovations for Siemens process control system

In its upgrade to Version 8.1, the Siemens Industry Automation Division has equipped its Simatic PCS 7 process control system with 70 technical innovations. These will improve user-friendliness, performance and efficiency of the process control system from Siemens throughout the entire lifecycle of process engineering plants, from planning to maintenance. Configuration engineers benefit from more efficient engineering tools, operating personnel from enhanced convenience in their daily work, and operating companies from higher plant availability and lower total operating costs.

Two examples of more efficient engineering with Simatic PCS 7 V8.1 are selective loading of program codes and the "Type Change in Run" functionality. When selectively loading program codes into the automation systems, configuration engineers can now specifically load their individual changes. This eliminates the coordination work otherwise required within the project team, therefore making commissioning more flexible and considerably more efficient. With the new Simatic PCS 7 CPU 410, "Type Change in Run" also affords engineering enhancements, i.e. updates of individual blocks can now be loaded without having to set the automation system to "stop". This is an advantage in the event of version updates in the opera-ting phase, for example when expanding the functionality of an existing motor block.

Advanced Process Graphics provides greater ease of operation, cutting the daily workload of operating teams. Previously available as an optional module, and included in the control system's standard variant as from Version 8.1, the visualization contained in Advanced Process Graphics focuses on consistent use of discreet colors, simple shapes and unambiguous symbol language in the operating screens. Processed plant data in the form of hybrid displays, trend curves and spider diagrams simplify the work of the operators. Important trends in production processes are displayed and overall relationships are reliably visualized. With increasing complexity and extended classical operator control tasks, this facilitates the daily work of operators.

The system expansion card (SEC) for the Simatic PCS 7 CPU 410, the new MPC 10x10 block and new condition monitoring blocks, for example, stand for higher availability, boosted performance and lower overall operating costs with Simatic PCS 7 V8.1. With the system expansion card for Simatic PCS 7 CPU 410, the controller's performance is adjusted exactly to the respective automation task. Without restarting the automation system, users can increase the number of process objects with additionally required performance, for example. There is no need to plan for safety reserves and companies operating the systems save on investment costs. As a model-based predictive controller, the new MPC 10x10 block can control up to ten manipulated variables and controlled variables. With it, sophisticated multi-variable control tasks and even higher-grade control tasks can be implemented with ease, for example operating whole distillation columns with maximum product yield and use of energy. The new condition monitoring blocks in Upgrade V8.1 monitor mechanical components such as pumps or valves for correct operation. Condition monitoring concepts can therefore be integrated directly into the control system with a uniform look and feel. Thus, operating companies gain valuable information about the condition of their plants, avoid unscheduled outages, and additionally save on energy costs through monitoring and optimum operation of their components.

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Siemens opens new remote diagnostics center for wind turbines in Denmark

Siemens today officially opened the company's new remote diagnostics center for wind turbines, located at the company's global headquarters for wind service in Brande, Denmark. The facility offers some of the most advanced wind turbine remote diagnostic and monitoring capabilities in the world and has been designed to accommodate the continued and rapid growth of Siemens wind service. It currently hosts diagnostic operations and monitoring services for more than 7,500 installed Siemens wind turbines worldwide to proactively keep the units operating at their optimum levels of performance.

More than 130 experts closely monitor the entire Siemens global fleet on a 24/7/365 basis and can detect and often remotely solve potential issues before they occur. This proactive approach can lead to extended service intervals and increased uptime, helping to contribute to lowering the costs associated with wind energy.

Siemens draws from its extensive database and over 15 years of experience. Since 1998, Siemens' remote diagnostics team has been monitoring an ever growing number of wind power plants. Each day over 200 gigabytes of new data is collected from more than 7,500 turbines worldwide. Twenty four million turbine parameters are monitored on the fleet and investigated constantly to provide dynamic optimization of turbine operations with more than 300 million diagnostic calculation results currently being performed every week.

"This new state-of-the-art remote diagnostics center further reinforces our commitment to providing our customers with the very best in remote monitoring and diagnostics," said Tim Holt, CEO of Siemens Service Renewables. "We've been monitoring longer than anyone else in the industry and are leveraging the data into value-added decision-making tools that help our customers operate at maximum efficiency."

Since 1998 the company's expert team in Brande has continuously developed and improved the technology. Automatic Root Cause Identifier is a program that automatically detects and suggests the most likely parameter to cause deviation in turbine systems performance. Automated Surveillance based on Dynamic Linear Models is a system that constantly compares turbine systems performance with learnings and predictions of normal performance. These are just two examples of Siemens patented technologies and are part of Siemens' remote diagnostics portfolio designed to detect deviations, and react fast and proactively in order to avoid downtime and lost production.

Remote diagnostics is an important part of Siemens' portfolio of value-added services. Monitoring experts can solve and remotely fix more than 85 percent of all alarms remotely without a service team doing trouble-shooting onsite. Reduced downtime and fewer turbine visits result in a higher energy output. With vibration diagnostics Siemens can find even the smallest indicator that something may not be operating normally and follow up by recommending proactive solutions before the issue becomes serious.

Furthermore, Siemens can analyze the data collected to draw trends on individual turbines as well as the overall fleet. Experts can look to see how certain locations, operating conditions and length of service are impacting the turbines and make recommendations based on this and other data. The results contribute to enhanced turbine performance over the long term, thereby lowering the cost of energy. "What we are learning and seeing today, combined with historical data from the past, can provide valuable insights and play an important role in our future research and development," added Holt.

In establishing this new, state-of-the-art remote diagnostics center, Siemens has further advanced its monitoring and diagnostic capabilities, bundling expert knowledge in one place. The new building also includes a dedicated customer area where customers can meet with Siemens experts, observe the center's operations firsthand, and work together for a proactive approach to managing service and maintenance.

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Yokogawa releases CENTUM® VP R5.04 Integrated Production Control System

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces the release on this date of CENTUM® VP R5.04, an enhanced version of the company’s flagship integrated production control system. This new CENTUM release features enhanced alarm and batch functions.

The development of CENTUM VP R5.04 is the outcome of a steady effort to improve this system, which is the cornerstone of Yokogawa’s IA business’s VigilantPlant® vision. R5.04’s enhanced alarm function improves operational safety, and the enhanced batch function meets specific requirements of industries, such as specialty chemical, which is being targeted under Yokogawa’s Evolution 2015 mid-term business plan.


  • Visual and audible indicators

With the CENTUM system, a prominently colored tag mark is displayed on the HMI screen next to any measurement reading that falls outside the normal range. With CENTUM VP R5.04, these colored tag marks now come in a variety of easily recognizable shapes that indicate the importance of a measurement item and the severity of an anomaly (critical, high risk, medium risk, low risk, etc.). New audible alarms have also been added to provide information on the severity and equipment location of an anomaly. Through the use of color, shape, and sound, operators can quickly and intuitively recognize the significance of a specific alarm, thereby allowing for improved operational safety

  • Highly efficient batch process engineering

With batch process*1 manufacturing, a recipe*2 must be defined for each product. A recipe consists of a procedure and a formula: the procedure is a description of particular processes such as feed and temperature control that will be employed, while the formula specifies feed quantity, temperature, and the like. While procedures and formulas are usually defined separately, it is advantageous in certain batch applications if both can be defined together on the same screen. The CENTUM VP R5.04 batch function has been enhanced by adding this capability, and this allows end users to efficiently perform the engineering required for each definition method.


Monitoring and automatic control of plant operations

1. A widely used process in the chemical pharmaceutical, and other industries by which fixed quantities of a product are produced through the injection of feedstocks in a predetermined order and the mixing of these materials to produce a desired reaction (such as polymerization). Equipment settings and procedures are defined for each product.

2. This defines the manufacturing process for a specific product, specifying the requirements for items such as equipment, formulas, and procedures.


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