Industry News
{nomultithumb} For the fourth year running, Advanced Manufacturing’s 2009 Canada Manufacturing Study — conducted by Manufacturing AUTOMATION in conjunction with the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium and MFG.com — provided detailed insights into the manufacturing strategies, methods and technology in use in Canada. A total of 331 respondents took part. The results show, as they have in the past, that despite rough economic waters, most Canadian manufacturers are staying afloat. However, this year, the numbers show a trend that isn’t unexpected: as product output has fallen, companies have chosen to keep product prices the same and held steady (meaning few planned expansions, but no significantly higher layoffs, either). The good news is that many organizations aren’t rushing to reduce spending on capital equipment and technology over the next year — and close to 80 percent of companies are implementing at least some type of improvement strategy. Given this isn’t our first time running this survey, we have included previous years’ statistics that we will use to compare against this year’s results to see how the current economic climate is affecting Canadian manufacturers (page 16). When do you predict seeing a significant turnaround in the economy? Economists and politicians have given their two cents regarding the state of the economy, but Manufacturing AUTOMATION went directly to manufacturers to get their take. Given the unique economic uncertainties facing the Canadian manufacturing sector, we asked readers when they predicted their companies would start seeing a significant turnaround. According to the study, a quarter of respondents predicted they will start seeing production in their facilities picking up pace by the middle of 2010. While some have declared the recession over, these results show that most don’t expect to feel the effects for almost a year. Overall, two-thirds predict a turnaround sometime in 2010. Close to a tenth of respondents are looking to the year afterward before they expect results — while a pessimistic few (6.4 percent) aren’t expecting positive results until even later. “Sales volume per customer has declined for most of the sectors we service,” explains one reader, who sees early 2010 as the time for a turnaround. “However, our customer base has expanded significantly.” Another respondent, who chose late 2009, says, “Last year was our best year financially, and more orders are coming in, so I expect the fall and winter months to be very busy.” However, one survey taker — who didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel until 2011 — was to the point with his response: “The only way we could be any slower is if customers started returning products.” State of affairs: Year-to-year comparisons When examining this year’s numbers against previous years’ results, the numbers do reflect a negative shift in the direction of product output and end product pricing. As far manufacturing costs, they have remained steady, according to the numbers. Product output dropped for 50.0 percent of respondents in 2009, compared to 32.0 in 2008 and 25.1 in 2007. The statistics show the number of companies facing such production losses doubled over the course of two years. In turn, the number of companies that have increased their output has taken a dive, moving from 56.3 percent in 2007 to 30.2 percent in 2009. As for the price manufacturers are charging for their products, 40.5 percent have kept them the same, a dramatic increased from around 20 percent in the previous three years. Companies on the most part avoided giving their customers price increases and, in many cases, gave them a break. It doesn’t appear that respondents are facing higher manufacturing costs. More than half — or 53.5 percent — faced increases while in previous years this number was much higher. And as for the moves companies anticipate making over the next 12 to 18 months, there were no significant increases or decreases when compares to last year’s number. However, organizations have decided to tread water: nearly half (48.4 percent) won’t be expanding or contracting at all this year, while planned expansions dropped to 31.9 percent.
The Italian Trade Commission is honoured to announce the winners of the second edition of the Machines Italia Awards. This year, four students in Ryerson University's Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in Toronto will receive the awards‚ scholarships based on their academic achievements and superior performances in selected manufacturing and engineering courses at Ryerson University. The winners of this year's edition are: Mechatronics • James Chong • Navin Mano Manufacturing Lam Phung Dang Keivan Shahabi   The ceremony for the awarding of the scholarships will be held Nov. 5, 2009, at 5:00 PM at Oakham House at 63 Gould St. For any further information, contact James Johnson at 416-598-1566 (ext. 112) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  
Manufacturing sales declined 2.1 percent to $40.9 billion in August following a 5.2-percent gain in July, according to Statistics Canada's Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (see July, June, May and April results). The aerospace product and parts and motor vehicle industries were the major contributors to the decline in sales. Sales have been relatively level since February, after declining 20.4 percent between October 2008 and January 2009. Constant dollar manufacturing sales fell 2.3 percent in August. As well, sales in 13 of 21 manufacturing industries decreased in August. Production in the aerospace product and parts industry fell 35.6 percent to $1.2 billion. Production in the industry has been volatile over the past several months. Excluding the decline in aerospace, manufacturing sales decreased by 0.6 percent. Manufacturing sales in the motor vehicle industry fell 6.3 percent to $3.1 billion. The decline in August follows a 48.8-percent gain by the industry in July. Miscellaneous manufacturing (–10.5%) and chemical manufacturing (–2.5%) also reported decreases. Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry rose 7.2 percent. The increase in sales was mostly driven by higher prices, as the Industrial Product Price Index for the industry was up 5.8 percent. Sales vary by province In Quebec, sales decreased 4.0 percent in August. A 29.0-percent drop in production in the aerospace product and parts industry largely contributed to the provincial decline. Other durable goods industries also reported declines, including computer and electronic products (–14.1%), miscellaneous manufacturing (–11.1%) and machinery manufacturing (–8.4%). Petroleum and coal products (+5.0%) and food manufacturing (+2.7%) partially offset the declines reported by durable goods industries. Sales in Ontario declined 3.2 percent in August following an 11.6-percent gain in July. The decline in August mostly reflected a 7.4-percent decrease in sales in the motor vehicle industry and a 58.5-percent drop in aerospace products and parts manufacturing. A 14.3-percent drop in miscellaneous manufacturing also contributed to the provincial decline. In Alberta, a 4.9-percent gain in sales largely reflected an increase in the petroleum and coal products industry. Machinery manufacturing (+11.6%) also contributed to the province's strength in August. Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick were other provinces with sales increases. Sales declined in Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Sales in British Columbia remained unchanged from July.
Mississauga, Ont.-based RotoPrecision Inc., a provider of precision mechanical components and power transmission products, has entered into an agreement with Onvio LLC effective Sept. 1, 2009, to offer exclusively in Canada Onvio’s complete product line of planetary servo speed reducers, cycloidal zero backlash reducers and timing belt pulleys.  For nearly 30 years, Onvio has served customers in the precision automation industry by offering world-class products manufactured to the highest standards of quality. Onvio’s customer base includes medical applications, robotics, packaging equipment, material handling, machine tool, semiconductor, automation and motion control. In announcing this new alliance in Canada, Onvio COO John D’Amico commented, “I believe that Onvio’s commitment to the design and manufacture of high quality products compliments RotoPrecision’s focus on world class application support and customer service.” Onvio’s corporate headquarters are located in Salem, N.H., including a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility housing over 45,000 sq.-ft. of engineering and design expertise. RotoPrecision is a privately held Canadian company founded in 1958 with branches located in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and Switzerland, and a specialty lubricants provider in Mississauga. RotoPrecision is the exclusive Canadian representative for numerous foreign manufacturers of precision-engineered components including Motovario gearboxes, NB linear motion control products, Alinabal rod ends and Smalley Steel Ring specialty retaining rings and wave springs.  www.rotoprecision.ca www.onviollc.com
The mining, oil & gas and manufacturing sectors were major causes of a post-2000 slowdown in labour productivity in Canada, according to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Productivity Review. The study’s authors, John Baldwin and Wulong Gu, write that productivity growth in Canada, having increased by an average of three percent per year over the past 20 years — approximately in line with the U.S. — has slowed significantly since 2000 to 2.2 percent per year. They examined three key components of labour productivity: capital intensity (adequate investment in new machinery and equipment), labour composition (the relative level of job skills and training) and multi-factor productivity (technology, innovation, firm organization, scale and capacity utilization effects). The study explains that the post-2000 slowdown in labour productivity was mostly accounted for by the slowdown in two major industry groups: mining and oil & gas, and manufacturing. They found that the capital intensity of Canadian firms during the past eight years was on a par with the U.S., as was the composition of labour (i.e. the relative level of job skills and education). However, multi-factor productivity growth in Canada during this same period was much slower than in the U.S., and consequently was the major contributor to a divergent pattern of overall productivity growth between the two countries. “Labour productivity grew more quickly in Canada from 1961 to 1985, then less quickly until 1990, by which time the two countries had returned essentially to their 1961 relative levels,” the study explains. “The relative growth rates were about the same throughout the 1990s. Since 2000, Canada has fallen considerably behind.” It’s worth noting that despite this slower growth, real income per capita in this country over the past eight years has increased by 15.6 percent compared to 8.6 percent in the U.S. This is due in part to strong, resource-driven inflows of foreign investment and the appreciation of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. currency.
The International Society of Automation (ISA) announced to the press last week at ISA EXPO 2009 the formation of ISA Automation Week, a new knowledge-based conference event, focusing on delivering critical knowledge on the application of automation technologies in processing and manufacturing environments to top professionals. This new intensive technical conference will be held October 4 to 7, 2010, in Houston in place of the EXPO. Keeping with its tradition of supplying vendor-neutral, high-quality training for automation and control professionals, ISA will be tapping subject-matter experts from across industry and academia to share their knowledge and experience with others in a full schedule of application-based sessions, as well as additional sessions that are more theory oriented for academicians and research and development professionals.   “It’s all about knowledge,” says ISA president Jerry Cockrell. “ISA is a knowledge society. We have 30,000 members and we train, we educate, we run seminars and symposia, we have standards, books, educational programs — everything we disseminate is based on knowledge. We’re excited about what ISA Automation Week can offer,” he adds.   To be held in the Westin Galleria in Houston, TX, ISA Automation Week will provide a venue for the annual face-to-face meetings of the many ISA standards committees and working groups in its Industry Standards Forum, as well as an exhibition featuring leading suppliers of automation and control products and services. www.isa.org
Cognex, a leading supplier of machine vision systems, has announced it will be running three free machine vision seminars exclusively for manufacturing professionals to be held in Montreal, Toronto and Cambridge, Ont. These half-day events, the company says, will show how easy it is to set up and deploy vision systems for automated inspection tasks in the automotive, pharmaceutical, food, beverage, consumer packaged goods, medical, and electronics industries. An additional optional hour will be dedicated to track and trace solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Readers can register for an Understanding Vision seminar online at www.cognex.com/seminar or by calling 1-800-677-2646. • Oct. 15: Holiday Inn, MontrealOct. 27: Hilton Garden Inn, TorontoNov. 5: Holiday Inn, Cambridge, Ont.
Siemens Energy & Automation, Siemens Transportation Systems, Siemens Building Technologies, and Siemens VAI Services merged into a new company, Siemens Industry. Siemens appointed Daryl Dulaney as president and CEO of Siemens Industry. Since 2007, Siemens has been globally aligning its businesses into three sectors: Healthcare, Energy and Industry. Siemens Industry will provide its U.S. customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure with integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions. With more than 30,000 employees in 480 locations across the country, Siemens Industry will consist of six divisions including Industry Solutions, Industry Automation, Drive Technologies, Building Technologies, Mobility and OSRAM SYLVANIA. “As Siemens Industry, we will be better positioned to create sustainable value as a fully-integrated technology company with products and solutions that reduce costs and deliver environmental benefits,” said Dulaney. “Siemens Industry has brought together the best people and will now have the strongest customer focus and most innovative portfolio in the marketplace. As a unified entity with simplified points of contact and streamlined processes, we will continue to help customers meet their challenges and be more competitive by enhancing their productivity, sustainability and profitability.” Dulaney joined Siemens as a sales engineer in 1979, holding several key managerial positions, ranging from joint venture management in Hong Kong to senior vice president of field operations, North America, before being appointed president and CEO of Siemens Building Technologies in 2005. Dulaney is also a board member of the Siemens Foundation, which provides more than $7 million annually in grants and other financial support towards science, technology, engineering and math education initiatives. Dulaney also serves on the Governing Board of Gilda’s Club Chicago, a cancer support organization founded to create a healing community for all people whose lives are impacted by the disease. www.siemens.ca
Californians have always been faced with the problem of how best to conserve, control and move water. California has a wide diversity of climactic and geographical contrasts. The northern part of the state, with its alpine forests receives as much as 100 inches or more of rain per year, while the central and southern parts of the state range from arid desert to fertile farm land with some areas receiving fewer than two inches per year. Population centers have grown up in locations where there is not a sufficient water supply. The central valley, running from Sacramento to Bakersfield, contains some of the most fertile farm land in the world, most of which is dependent on irrigation. Because of this need to conserve, control and move water to areas of need, California has developed the State Water Project, the largest state-built water development project in the U.S. The Cawelo Water District is a small part of this statewide water project. Located in the southern portion of California's fertile San Joaquin Valley, the Cawelo Water District supplies irrigation water for over 45,000 acres of crops including grapes, citrus, almonds and pistachios. In 1997, the Cawelo Water District decided that the level of reliability was not acceptable in their current system. Parts were no longer available for their legacy system and buried wire was degrading with age. So, they decided to upgrade their system to allow remote control of facilities, monitoring of power usage and quality, and to enhance the ability to perform load shifting for remote facilities. "The water district needed a name-brand solution with local support," says Danny Burns, Operations Manager for Prousys Inc., the system integrator chosen to construct the new system. "We recommended Allen-Bradley hardware." Allen-Bradley SLC processors were installed to replace the aging Westinghouse PLCs at each of the five remote well sites. In order to monitor power usage and detect anomalies in the Multilin PQM Power Monitors, a ProSoft Technology Modbus Communication Module (3150-MCM) was installed in each processor. "This is a perfect example of how ProSoft modules are used everyday to connect Allen-Bradley hardware with other networks," said Scott Sibenac, Regional Sales Manager for ProSoft. "We receive numerous requests on a daily basis for modules in the water/wastewater industry. Because our modules are designed to be used as 'in-rack' solutions for Allen-Bradley processors, it is a cost-effective way for plant managers to use their existing Allen-Bradley equipment with other network's protocols." A SCADA Master Control system was also installed consisting of an Intellution Fix/DMACS HMI and an Allen-Bradley SLC 5/05 with two ProSoft DF1 Communication Modules (3150-DFM) in order to poll all of the five well sites, three pump stations, four reservoirs and five check stations via a Data-Linc SRM6000 Radio and LLM-100 Modem. Redundancy is a key factor in most water systems. Prousys installed and configured a second Intellution HMI to provide control redundancy. In the event of a failure in the primary controller, the system switches to the backup, ensuring seamless control in the plant. "In other words," states Burns, "The system will keep right on running if the HMI goes down." The system's three pump stations, containing pumps ranging in size from 500 to 1,000 HP, are controlled according to the levels in the associated wells. The precise operation of the system depends on the accurate measurement of system levels and flows across the entire water system. Flow and level meters relay these measures back to the central control room for monitoring and control. Allen-Bradley Panelview 550s were installed at each of the three pump stations. "The new system now gives the water district full control of all remote sites," said Burns. "The SCADA system can now track station flow rates, overflow events, well level, in-flow and out-flow. They also have the capability to detect numerous system failures including power, high/low voltage, phase imbalance, high/low amperes, frequency, load factor and low water level. Since the ProSoft modules communicate over the backplane with the Allen-Bradley processors, they were critical to the success of this project. ProSoft provided the 'missing link' in the communication chain, seamlessly allowing connectivity between these differing networks." This new upgrade was not the first time the Cawelo Water District has made news. In 1996 they received an Award for Distinguished Service in Environmental Planning at the International Development Research Council World Congress. The project was a unique endeavor, which allowed excess water produced from Texaco's oil production operations in the Kern River Field to be used to help provide nearly 15 million gallons of irrigation water daily to the Cawelo plant. "This project clearly demonstrates that something good for the environment and something good for business, do not have to be mutually exclusive," said Dean Bears of Texaco. The Cawelo Water District upgrade was completed in December of 1999. New reservoirs and wells are still being added to the system, all using the Allen-Bradley/ProSoft Technology solution. www.prosoft-technology.com www.rockwellautomation.com www.prousys.com
ISA EXPO 2009 started things off today with a keynote address presenting attendees with a problem that cannot be solved. John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil and founder of the U.S. non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy, in his Tuesday-morning address (entitled Energy Security and Affordability in the 21st Century), he presented to the packed audience “a problem that I don’t think you can solve … with respect to automation.” He spent a great deal of time bemoaning how the U.S.’s “political time” (two and four-year increments, dictated by election years) does not mesh with what’s required to develop and maintain energy policies, which are planned out in “energy time” (for which 10 years is short term). He talked about two critical concerns facing industry today: energy availability and affordability. According to Hofmeister, investment in the tradition energy base is the path to a competitive, affordable energy supply. He also said that while “politically correct” green energy is helpful and ideal, it’s inadequate for the demands of the future. He insists that in order to maintain the lifestyle to which Americans have become accustomed, carbon-based fuels cannot be phased out — at least not until the technology innovations needed to make green sources, such as wind and solar, as efficient as they need to be. However, with the American government paralyzed by partisan bickering, he said only voters could demand a “coherent, pragmatic” energy policy. It is the reason he was involved in launching Citizens for Affordable Energy, which looks to educate the public that tapping internal oil and gas reserves is necessary to maintain the lifestyle to which Americans have become accustomed. Until then, he warned, “as long as we have two and four-year politics, it’s going to get worse. There is no incentive [for political parties to] work together.” “You’re directly affected,” he added, saying the future of automation hinges on a reliable power supply. “Your automation devices can’t run on politics aspirations.” www.citizensforaffordableenergy.org
Kepware Technologies has announced that it has been selected as a supplier to Moxa to deliver Kepware’s IT and Infrastructure Suite for use with the full line of Moxa Managed and Unmanaged Ethernet products. Industrial SNMP is a leading industrial network monitoring and management solution for automation, delivered to the market through a variety of OEM, channel and end-user sales. This partnership with Moxa will accomplish three objectives: • give Moxa the premier industrial SNMP solution for sale with their products; • qualify MOXA products with Kepware’s solutions delivered through Kepware OEM partnerships; and • reinforce to customers purchasing directly from Kepware, that its solutions are endorsed and that Moxa is “Connected with Kepware." Moxa will be selling the Kepware IT and Infrastructure Suite which contains SNMP, Ping, System Monitor, Modbus, U-CON and CID. “Our industrial SNMP solution started with the acquisition of COI software, in the fall of 2007,” explained Roy Kok, vice-president of sales and marketing of Kepware. “Late in 2008, Kepware redeveloped the solution, basing it on the KEPServer architecture in order to deliver a wide range of both Standard (such as OPC-Classic and OPC-UA) and Native Client connectivity needed by many Kepware OEMs. By working with Kepware, Moxa will have proven connectivity between their products and virtually every HMI/SCADA, historian or MES on the market today.” “Kepware is a very unique partner,” stated Jeff Disbrow, vice-president of sales and marketing at Moxa. “First, they offer excellent technology. Kepware meets the needs of today, but will also work with us on any future requirements. But more importantly, Kepware is virtually the standard for automation connectivity and our relationship with Kepware will ensure that all their OEM relationships can deliver proven Moxa connectivity. This is as much or more of a marketing opportunity as it is a Moxa reseller opportunity.” According to Craig Resnick, a research director with the ARC Advisory Group, “It is critical for network device vendors to deliver the technology that provides their customers with the capability to connect, monitor and manage these products with their existing HMI/SCADA and production management solutions. Kepware’s industrial SNMP product provides this capability, through the use of industry standards or preferred proprietary interfaces. Kepware is firmly established as a leader in providing SNMP to automation system connectivity and has distinguished itself through its partnerships and a patent of the technology.” www.kepware.com www.moxa.com
The official Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman is conducting a review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program, a program Manufacturing AUTOMATION has promoted several times in recent years. The ombudsman is mandated to review service-related complaints against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and to identify and investigate systemic and emerging issues that can negatively affect taxpayers and benefit recipients. As far as the SR&ED program is concerned, the preliminary objectives of this enquiry are to determine whether the CRA is administering the SR&ED program fairly with respect to: • The recent changes to the application forms and procedures for the SR&ED program — were they communicated appropriately to taxpayers? • The options for a taxpayer or authorized representative to receive a second opinion on the technical aspects of their SR&ED submissions. "This is an important opportunity for those who are using the program and are concerned about how their claims are being treated to provide input," the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) wrote on its website recently. "To be influential, factual support may be required by the Ombudsman," the note continues. "Some companies we have spoken to have expressed concern about the CRA's response should they contact the Ombudsmen." The objectives may be refined in the course of the enquiry and additional issues may be added. If anyone has experienced any difficulty related to the above-noted issues or if you have another service or fairness issue in regard to the SR&ED program, the ombudsman invites you to contact them. Previous coverage:The ROI of R&D: Tax credits are easier to obtain than you think by Vanessa Chris • Digging for dollars: Funding innovation for SMBs by Paul Hogendoorn
Carlo Gavazzi kicked off its series of free cross-country half-day seminars on solutions for energy management and power quality monitoring across Canada in Mississauga, Ont., on Sept. 29, presenting crowds with ways to control energy use and potential product solutions. “Simple changes will produce saving” was the take-away message from the Energy Management Summit. And unless you have the necessary data, the company says, you cannot manage your energy costs. Duncan Curd, vice-president of sales in Canada, believed proper energy management is a critical area for Canadian manufacturers and business owners to begin focusing their resources — if they have not already. “I think it’s an area Canadian industry is lacking,” he said prior to the afternoon session. “Energy costs are a major factor in manufacturing and in running a business. It’s one of the levers manufacturers have to increase productivity.” He warned that broad-ranging government policies — such as green initiatives and energy reduction efforts — will become more prevalent and that properly controlled energy use is one way to ensure global competitiveness. Product specialist Domenic Capobianco gave a bulk of the seminar presentation, starting off with the statistic that Canada ranks as the most wasteful country among G8 nations. He then went over potential power quality issues, such as surges, sags, transients, harmonics and frequency variations, and overviewed the terminology surrounding power management and billing. “Industry surveys indicate that by making changes in procedures and the way we conduct business the average facility can reduce its energy consumption 10 to 20 percent,” he said. Some methods to control energy he mentioned included using less electricity (turning off unused loads and replacing worn or poor-efficiency equipment), managing demand (load sifting and shedding) and correcting power factors (minimizing idling or lightly load motors and installing capacitors on AC circuits). During the product description section, dozens of questions were asked by visitors and subsequently answered by Capobianco (and other Carlo Gavazzi reps in attendance), with most in attendance very engaged in the offered solutions, such as its power analyzers, transducers, energy meters and the associated software. There was also a product special available for attendees. Over the next few months, the company says, these energy management seminars will be a first step to providing the solutions companies need to improve their power quality, reduce energy usage and increase their profitability, as energy costs are currently the third largest expense for most manufacturers. As for who should attend, the summits are primarily designed for plant, facility, energy and sustainability managers, along with specifying engineers, construction engineers and contractors. Interested attendees should visit www.GavazziOnline.com/emsummit for more information on future events and to register. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. • Kitchener, Ont., Oct. 6, 2009 • Ottawa, Oct. 8, 2009 • Vancouver, Oct. 15, 2009 • Edmonton, Oct. 20, 2009 • Calgary, Oct. 22, 2009 • Quebec City, Nov. 3, 2009 • Montreal, Nov. 5, 2009 • Saskatoon, Nov. 17, 2009 • Winnipeg, Nov. 19, 2009 • Halifax, Dec. 1, 2009 • St. John's, N.L., Dec. 3, 2009 • Sudbury, Ont., Dec. 9, 2009
The weakness in the global economy is currently impacting the high power AC drives market, however, to a lesser degree compared to other automation equipment. Stronger growth in the high power AC drives market is expected to resume during the latter part of the five-year forecast period, once economic stability is restored globally, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. “While the world economy is in a severely distressed state, new stimulus packages from various governments are adding more investments in the infrastructure industries, including new road construction, water & wastewater, and electric power generating plants. Globalization has also created a large demand for modern infrastructure, especially in emerging economies.  This situation bodes well for high power AC drives market growth,” according to Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, the principal author of ARC’s “High Power AC Drive Worldwide Outlook." Sustainability initiatives are driving the use of advanced automation and energy-saving equipment worldwide.  This will directly result in an increased use of high power AC drives, which are widely employed across process, discrete, and infrastructure industries such as utilities, water & wastewater, public transportation, and airports.  Energy supply volatility, trends for higher costs of energy, and the effect on the environment have resulted in generous incentives for businesses and consumers to use energy more efficiently.  This will accelerate the use of additional high power AC drives, as the resulting energy savings for fan and pump applications are now recognized around the globe.  The future energy supply will not be able to keep up with demand; further increasing the use of high power AC drives.  Energy volatility and scarcity, as well as sustainable manufacturing, will continue to affect the use of high power AC drives in a wide range of industries. Once global economic stability is restored, the use of high power AC drives will increase at a faster rate across all industrial segments, including oil & gas, building automation, chemicals, food & beverage, and metals & mining. www.arcweb.com
WAGO Corp. is marking 30 years of innovation in North America this September. Established 1979 in a small suburban Milwaukee office by one employee, WAGO operates out of a 75,000 sq.-ft. manufacturing complex in Germantown, Wis. Now, 143 employees serve industrial and electrical professionals with more than 17,000 interconnect, electronic interface and automation solutions. WAGO established itself with the introduction of CAGE CLAMP Spring Pressure Connection Technology. CAGE CLAMP reduces wiring times by up to 55 percent compared to traditional screw terminations, while improving reliability. It also serves the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM — the first Fieldbus-independent I/O system. Founded in 1995, the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM accommodates more than 16 fieldbus and Ethernet protocols, as well as 300+ analog, digital and specialty modules. “From 1979’s launch of CAGE CLAMP, WAGO has dedicated itself to solutions that allow users to do more,” said WAGO president Tom Artmann. “As one of the very first WAGO employees, this historic milestone has allowed me to reflect on the privilege of watching WAGO, and its commitment to North America, grow.” Recent innovations include: SPEEDWAY 767-I/O-SYSTEM; POWER CAGE CLAMP for terminating conductors up to 4/0; 873 Series LUMI-NUTS luminaire disconnect; and solutions developed for both infrastructure and emerging sectors such as solar power. www.wago.us

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