MRO Magazine

Manufacturing research institute garners endowment

CONTROLNET OVERCOMES SQUABBLING TO BECOME INTERNATIONAL STANDARDFollowing the successful passage of the international field bus standard IEC 61158, the ControlNet network is now an official Internatio...


June 1, 2000
By MRO Magazine

CONTROLNET OVERCOMES SQUABBLING TO BECOME INTERNATIONAL STANDARD

Following the successful passage of the international field bus standard IEC 61158, the ControlNet network is now an official International Standard. “This marks a decisive end to the tension and conflict that has filled the field bus standards process for years,” says Bill Moss, executive director, ControlNet International. “The final standard allows users to protect past networking investments and to select the most modern and appropriate technology for today’s applications.”

The creation of a single international standard proved a greater challenge than ever imagined. The effort began in the mid-80s and continued until the final vote was accepted in December 1999. The 1990s saw a variety of commercial field bus solutions, pushing some of the standards participants to demand a strict adherence to the technology already included in the proposed standard, while others demanded that their technology be included in the final version. After much debate, the final, compromise, standard has eliminated the persisting field bus wars and set the stage for the next generation in standards.

The future standards are likely to be narrower in scope, use more commercially available technology and be delivered to the market in a far shorter time.

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For more information, contact ControlNet International by calling (561) 477-7966 or faxing (561) 477-6621. E-mail address is: controlnet@powerinternet.com.

OEL LAUNCHES TRAINING COLLABORATION WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGES

The Ontario Electrical League has announced a training partnership with community colleges. The program will start with the Durham College Skills Training Centre in Whitby, Ont., and will expand to all other community colleges to provide training across Ontario. The first program at Whitby is likely to be Fire Alarm Certification and Network Cabling.

In the future, training also will be available via the Internet, the OEL reports. For more information, contact Jim Baker at the OEL office at (416) 495-0052, ext. 29, or fax (416) 495-1804, or via e-mail, marked to his attention, at: ontel@interlog.com. Visit the league web site at: www.o-e-l.org.

SOYBEANS BATTLE RUST

Soybean oil is being used to combat rust in products developed by Cortec. The company has launched a line of soybean derivative chemicals–four products that use soybean oil instead of hazardous oils.

Its Ecoline consists of penetrating lubricant, cutting fluid, cleaner and rust preventative oil, which are claimed to provide equal or better penetrating and lubricating performance than traditional oils. By replacing petroleum oils with soy-based oil, Cortec has developed biodegradable, non-flammable, cost-efficient products that require no special treatment for waste disposal. For details, contact Oleh Artym, Cortec, at (651) 429-1100; e-mail: oleh@cortecvci.com.

PTDA LAUNCHES SHARED INTEREST GROUPS

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has formed new Shared Interest Group forums for distributors and manufacturers in the power transmission and motion control industry.

The groups will allow PTDA member employees with similar professional responsibilities and interests to meet to discuss day-to-day management issues and concerns. For more information and dates of future meetings, contact Beth Silas at (312) 876-9461 or e-mail bsilas@ptda.org.

EQUIPMENT MALFUNCTION CLOSES MINE

An equipment malfunction caused Noranda Inc. to suspend operations in March at its new Bell-Allard zinc mine at Matagami, Que. The mine had only begun operating in January. A hoisting skip malfunctioned and damaged the mine’s underground shaft compartment. None of the facility’s 250 employees were injured in the mishap.

ETHERNET STANDARD OPENS UP PLUG-AND-PLAY ON THE PLANT FLOOR

The Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA) has announced a global standard for using Ethernet for plant-floor communications. EtherNet/IP is an industrial networking standard that allows users to take advantage of off-the-shelf Ethernet physical media and components while using an open application layer. As a result, it delivers to the automation community inter-operable Ethernet products from multiple vendors.

In the past, users have been hesitant to use the network to transfer data on the plant floor because Ethernet, combined with the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), only guarantees that two devices can transfer data between one another. EtherNet/IP clears this obstacle, applying the application layer common to both the DeviceNet and ControlNet networks over the TCP/IP protocol operating on standard Ethernet communications chips and hardware.

Because all three networks share an application layer, EtherNet/IP uses the same object models and device profiles as DeviceNet and ControlNet. This means that nearly 400 vendors from across the globe have already developed more than 500 inter-operable products for any of the three networks.

ODVA will provide software containing the EtherNet/IP specification and example code free of charge to vendors. The specification and example server source code will be ready for Internet distribution by summer 2000. The association also has agreed to use its labs in Kyoto, Japan, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Coventry, U.K., to conformance test EtherNet/IP products beginning this fall.

Further information is available from ODVA; tel. (954) 340-5412; fax (954) 340-5413; e-mail: odva@powerinternet.com; web site: www.odva.org.

MOBILE BEARING TRAINING UNIT READY TO ROLL

NTN Bearing Corporation of Canada Limited, Mississauga, Ont., has outfitted a state-of-the-art, mobile bearing training trailer with an array of presentation and demonstration equipment. The Technical Training Unit (TTU) trailer will travel to manufacturing and other industrial facilities around the country to provide training and consultations with NTN engineering and field service specialists.

The TTU will be used to provide professional bearing maintenance training to wider audiences than is possible to reach in a fixed classroom setting. It features a multimedia theatre that can accommodate up to 10 participants at a time.

For more information, contact the NTN service hotline at 1-800-405-6720 or visit www.ntn.ca on the Internet.

WEB SITE IS SEARCHING FOR WORLD’S OLDEST RELIABILITY INSTRUMENTS

The web site www.reliabilityweb.com has announced a Reliability Hall of Fame in honour of the oldest machine reliability instruments. To qualify, instruments must be over 20 years old and a photo must be submitted together with basic information about the instrument.

Pictures, details and stories will be posted on the public area of the web site for all to see just how far industrial plant reliability technology has come. “We hope to discover the world’s oldest machinery vibration detector, the world’s oldest infra-red camera and maybe even a punch card CMMS program,” says Terrence O’Hanlon, publisher. To visit the Hall of Fame, go to www.reliabilityweb.com and click on the Hall of Fame link.

Reliabilityweb.com is an industrial consumer review site for plant and facility reliability technologies, services and issues. Organized as a community for those in the field, the site offers free membership to qualified plant personnel. Members can take part in a number of polls, ranging from vibration analysis equipment to reliability publication reviews. Poll results and product/service reviews are posted in the members-only area.

MONTREAL ENGINE TEST CENTRE ALSO PROVIDES BACKUP POWER

Rolls-Royce plans to build an $82-million test centre for jet engines in the Montreal area that will double as an emergency power source for the city
in case of another huge power blackout like that which occurred in 1998’s devastating ice storm.

An existing company facility in the area already builds turbine engines designed to power jet aircraft. Industrial versions are used for electric generators and to pump oil through pipelines.

Rolls-Royce has said it will guarantee that power will be available during the winter months as insurance to at least run Montreal’s water system and police and fire stations (50 MW of power is generated each time new engines are tested).

EVENT HONOURS VOLUNTARY ACTIONS IN REDUCING EMISSIONS

Canada’s Climate Change Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR) recently hosted its second annual Leadership Awards Ceremony in Hull, Que. Recognizing the commitment, action and leadership of organizations and individuals who had demonstrated significant results in voluntarily reducing GHG emissions, the awards were presented by natural resources minister Ralph Goodale and environment minister David Anderson.

In the category of Best New Submission, the winner was Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Hay River, N.W.T.

There were several winners and honourable mentions in the Sector Leadership category. Among them were: for forest products: Spruce Falls Inc., Kapuskasing, Ont.–award winner; Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury Ltd., Port Hawkesbury, N.S.–honourable mention; for manufacturing–chemicals: award winner: Dow Chemical Canada, Sarnia, Ont.; honourable mention: Nova Chemicals, Calgary, Alta.

In the manufacturing–general division, the award winner was Husky Injection Molding Systems of Bolton, Ont., while honourable mentions went to IBM Canada, Markham, Ont., Kodak Canada of Toronto and Metroland Printing, Publishing & Distributing, Mississauga, Ont.

For mining, the award went to Cominco of Vancouver, B.C., and honourable mentions were awarded to Falconbridge of Toronto, Inco of Toronto and Luscar, Edmonton, Alta. The award winner in the oil and gas–integrated sector was Suncor Energy of Calgary, Alta., and honourable mentions went to Toronto-based Imperial Oil and Shell Canada, Calgary, Alta.

VCR’s mission is to encourage companies and organizations from all sectors of the economy to accept greater accountability for greenhouse gas (GHG) generation. The Challenge Registry component records the actions planned and executed by registrants, providing them with the opportunity to exchange information and to share best practices with their peers. Details are available on line at: www.vcr-mvr.ca. For more information, visit the web site, or call VCR at (613) 565-5151, fax (613) 565-5743; e-mail: info@vcr-mvr.ca.

B.C. SHOW DRAWS 3000 VISITORS

VIE 2000, the Vancouver Industrial Exhibition held at the Tradex facility in Abbotsford, B.C. April 11-13, attracted over 3,000 industrial and manufacturing professionals from more than 1,500 companies to attend seminars, view new products and services, and witness live equipment demonstrations.

Dr. Michael Walker of the Fraser Institute provided important business insights during his keynote address, and many companies provided practical information to visitors at the show’s TIPS (technical information and product session) events.

“I heard many wonderful comments from visitors about the quality of the business contacts they made at the show,” said Elaine Legacy, show manager with Reed Exhibition Companies Inc., Toronto. “Also, exhibitors praised the facility and the easy move-ins and move-outs.

The exhibition will next appear in 2002.