AkzoNobel powers Dutch students at Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Students from Eindhoven University of Technology taking part in this year's Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia will be aiming to blaze a winning trail in a stunning new vehicle featuring high performance coatings supplied by AkzoNobel.

Unveiled by Solar Team Eindhoven in June, the Stella Vie is a solar-powered family car capable of traveling 1,000km on one full battery. As well as offering technical advice to the team, AkzoNobel's Specialty Coatings business also provided a range of innovative products, including sustainable primers, basecoat and clearcoat.

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"Working with talented engineers and technicians is always a great experience, particularly when it involves a project which is so closely related to our own efforts to create a more sustainable future," said Managing Director of Specialty Coatings, Alberto Slikta.
"We pride ourselves on combining high performance technology with world class color expertise and our exclusive partnership with Solar Team Eindhoven is an exciting way to showcase our capabilities."

Added Beatrix Bos, Public Relations Manager for Solar Team Eindhoven: "Painting a solar car is not easy. AkzoNobel gave us lots of advice on how to do the job and which materials to use - and the end result looks fantastic."

The team describes the car as "a balance between aerodynamic, aesthetic and practical design." It will provide a stern test for the company's coatings as it travels under the blistering sun of the Australian desert.

However, it won't be the first time AkzoNobel products have been used in the competition. The company's Sikkens brand has partnered with the Dutch Nuon Solar team in the Challenger class for many years - with the team claiming their sixth victory the last time the event was staged in 2015.

The solar race's strong focus on sustainability is also reflected in several other ongoing partnerships. For example, AkzoNobel is supplying coatings technology for The Ocean Cleanup for the next five years, as well as coating all the boats competing in the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race.  

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place in October and involves traveling 3,000 km from Darwin to Adelaide. It will be the third time that Solar Team Eindhoven has competed in the event's Cruiser class.

About AkzoNobel 

AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do. 

AkzoNobel's 2016 revenue totaled €14.2 billion: Specialty Chemicals €4.8 billion; Decorative Paints €3.8 billion; Performance Coatings €5.7 billion. 


New system ‘a breakthrough’ in remote pipe inspection

A new ‘breakthrough’ inspection technology makes it possible to remotely scan and map areas of corrosion in inaccessible pipe walls for the first time.

QSR (Quantitative Short Range) - a new type of guided wave technology - can provide accurate measurements of pipe wall thickness in hard to reach areas such as behind wall supports. It is the latest innovation from Guided Ultrasonics Limited (GUL), whose CEO David Alleyne developed the original guided wave technique over 20 years ago as a student at Imperial College London.

David will be speaking about QSR at the Materials Testing 2017 exhibition in Telford on Wednesday, 6 September.

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The original long-range guided wave technology is now used worldwide, and provides a fast and cost-effective way to screen large sections of pipe to identify any locations showing changes. As guided waves can propagate tens of metres, it is possible to remotely inspect areas that would be very costly to test using other methods - for example, the buried sections of road crossings or insulated pipelines.

However where changes are detected, more detailed inspections are required to determine the extent of corrosion – and until now such accurate measurement has only been possible by removing obstacles and testing directly at the exact position on the pipe wall.

David, who founded GUL in 1999 as a university spin-out, said the company recognised the need for a way to measure wall thickness remotely. “Often the places you really need to measure are in positions that you can’t reach directly and up to now, there has been no technology available to do this. It is a major problem and all sorts of solutions have been proposed, but they can only give an estimate and are not a reliable way to measure thickness. QSR allows you to rapidly scan wall thickness and provides an accurate measurement.”

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As with the original long-range guided wave technique, David believes QSR will find wider applications than pipelines.

He adds: “Long-range guided wave technique was designed as a screening system for use with insulated pipes, however it is now widely used as a way to test buried pipes and for more general inspections. QSR has been developed as a scanning and mapping tool, with the areas behind pipe supports in mind, however it could be used to map any type of system corrosion. Like the long-wave technique, we believe it is a breakthrough technology and expect it will find much wider applications.”

Materials Testing 2017, the world’s most comprehensive exhibition of its type, takes place at the International Centre in Telford, West Midlands from 5-7 September and features a range of talks from industry speakers. David Alleyne will be speaking at 2pm on Wednesday 6 September.

For further information, visit the website at


New pump hits spot for viscous products at high temperatures

Finding that happy medium between a pump that can handle high temperatures but also handle highly viscous products appears to have taken a distinct turn for the better in the world of pump evolution.

As those, for example, in the coatings industry will know all too well, seal-less Magnetic (Mag) drive pumps are suitable for high temperatures and prevent any leakage of fluid, which is clearly important when dealing with chemicals and corrosive liquids.  With their simple design, Mag pumps are considered ‘reliable’ and ‘low maintenance’, but when trying to deal with viscous fluids, this isn’t the case at all. Magnetic drive pumps are also far more expensive than mechanical seal pumps. 

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You also won’t have to look too far to find a manufacturer of Twin Screw Pumps describe them as ‘durable and low on maintenance’.  True for durable, and for handling highly viscous products, true again, but a totally different story if it’s a liquid that contains some solid particles.  Less of a story and more of a nightmare with arduous and very expensive maintenance bills on top of a hefty purchase price.

It’s also true that the seal is the weak point in standard Mechanical Seal pumps, which can lead to potentially dangerous leakage, but as David Brown from Borger Pumps explains, compared to magnetic drive pumps, there is far more scope for applications with viscous liquids.

“Until now this has been a judgement call, with pump users stuck trying to find a pump that can withstand high temperatures but also handle those fluids with high viscosity.  Whilst Magnetic pumps can do a great job in certain applications, I don’t buy the argument that they’re somehow automatically better on maintenance because as soon as a non-clean liquid comes along, problems or an excessive need for maintenance soon develop”.

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Brown believes that a good quality positive displacement pump is the way forward and that with the launch of a new high-pressure pump, designed with flow-simulation software, the needs of numerous industrial sector applications can now be catered for.

‘No Wearing Parts’

Available with interchangeable cartridge seals to suit a customer’s requirements and seal plans, ONIXline can handle demanding high pressures up to 16 bar and has no wearing parts.  It benefits from superior rotors that promote maximum energy efficiency through gentle, almost pulsation-free pumping.

An example of the benefits it can bring has been seen just recently at a manufacturer of plant protection products, which uses the pump for conveying medium with a viscosity of up to 150,000 mPas.

‘Simple Tools’

David Brown continued: “Here, the duplex stainless-steel pump removes the ‘melt’ being formed in a thin-film evaporator and pumps it to a disperser.  Previously, a rotary lobe pump from another manufacturer had persistent sealing problems, but with ONIXline this is no longer an issue.  Maintenance work was also very complex and cost-intensive, but now with Maintenance-In-Place (MIP) designed in, routine servicing is much, much easier, with simple tools and very little downtime compared to other pumps”.

For this plant protection application, stainless steel rotors are utilised for the highly viscous media.  There is a low pulsation and a speed of just 20 rpm. The medium has a temperature of up to 140 °C and must not cool down during the pumping process. For this reason, a heater cover is installed on the pump, which heats the pump chamber to maintain a constantly high temperature of the medium.

“In addition to its Maintenance-In-Place, ONYXline also has a very small footprint and can be mounted in any plane”, added Brown.  “We’ve also been working with an oil mill that has installed an ONIXline rotary lobe pump for conveying a mixture of lecithin, water and very abrasive bleaching earth”. 

Brown explained that Lecithin is extracted from raw vegetable oil in a degumming process by a separator. The (up to) 90 °C hot lecithin mixture is then transported to a storage tank from where the Borger ONIXline pump conveys the mixture (with a viscosity of up to 5,000 mPas) into a 35m high tank.  During the process, a pump pressure of approximately 10 bar is created.  Animal feed is produced in the tank.  For this purpose, the oil mill uses the lecithin-enriched press cake which has been separated from the rapeseed.  Variable amounts of the lecithin mixture have to be added, depending on the liquid content of the press cake. The pump is driven by a frequency converter so that the speed and flow rate can be varied and adapted to the liquid content of the animal feed.

David Brown concluded: “Perhaps one of the best examples of how high viscosity and high temperatures can be successfully handled has been at the leading kitchen sink manufacturer, Carron Phoenix.  Our bespoke solution saw ATEX-approved pumps designed with special pressurized intermediate chambers and numerous intricate features.  This is an extremely demanding application that uses resin in the manufacture of high quality granite sinks. 

“This installation shows that the happy medium for high temperatures and highly viscous products is now possible – with lower capital and ongoing maintenance costs”.


Honeywell to acquire industrial cyber security software leader Nextnine

Broadens industrial cyber security offerings to meet increasing threat to industrial facilities and critical infrastructure

Honeywell has just announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Nextnine, a privately held provider of security management solutions and technologies for industrial cyber security. The addition of Nextnine’s industry-leading security solutions and secure remote service capabilities will enhance the Company’s existing range of innovative cyber security technologies and significantly increase Honeywell’s Connected Plant cyber security customer base.

honeywellNextnine’s flagship technology, ICS Shield, protects industrial sites from cyber security attacks and enables remote monitoring of assets. It complements Honeywell’s extensive cyber security portfolio with a solution that is used at more than 6,200 sites globally across the oil and gas, utility, chemical, mining and manufacturing sectors. Previously, ICS Shield had to be deployed separately for each control system vendor, resulting in multiple and separate installations at a single customer site. With this acquisition, customers will be able to deploy and operate a single system, thereby simplifying and better securing their entire site with Honeywell’s proven capability to provide multi-vendor solutions.

Founded in 1998, Nextnine has been backed to date by Infinity VC, XT Hi-Tech and several other prominent investors.

“Each day, the number of attempted cyber attacks on industrial facilities and critical infrastructure around the world increases,” said Vimal Kapur, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “This acquisition shows our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with a comprehensive portfolio of cyber security solutions to protect and defend their industrial control systems and process control networks. Honeywell’s extensive global reach will increase Nextnine’s availability to a broader range of customers.”

Nextnine’s security solutions also will be a key enabler of Honeywell Connected Plant, which combines Honeywell’s unmatched industrial expertise, software and digital technologies to make its customers’ operations more reliable, profitable and secure than ever before possible. Cyber security is a critical part of that program.

Honeywell has the largest industrial cyber security research capabilities in the industry and has continued to increase its industrial cyber security offerings. Two such solutions are Risk Manager, the industry’s first solution to proactively monitor, measure and manage industrial cyber security risks, and Secure Media Exchange (SMX), which protects plants against threats from removable media such as USB flash drives.

Honeywell Process Solutions is a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation and services for the oil and gas; refining; pulp and paper; industrial power generation; chemicals and petrochemicals; biofuels; life sciences; and metals, minerals and mining industries. It is also a leader in providing software solutions and instrumentation that help manufacturers find value and competitive advantage in through Honeywell Connected Plant, Honeywell’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution. Process Solutions is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group, which also includes Honeywell UOP, a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries.

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally.  Our technologies help everything from aircraft, cars, homes and buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable.


Actuated Solutions announces ATEX approval of HQ006 actuator

Just months after the launch of the HQ005 actuator, the UK’s leading provider of valve automation products, Actuated Solutions, is announcing ATEX approval of its HQ006 electric quarter turn actuator.

2017 08 07 112852Comprising high quality electrical components and alloy gearing, the compact yet powerful HQ006 ensures more consistent and reliable operations and an extended life span. Meanwhile, the product’s ATEX rating of EX II 2G, Exd IIB T4 confirms its suitability for use within explosive environments.

Especially designed for quarter turn applications, such as small ball, butterfly, plug valves and dampers, the HQ006 is relatively small yet provides impressively high output torques of up to 60Nm. Other key features and benefits include: a reversible motor with low current consumption, two M20 cable entries, manual override functionality, four limit switches and a high visibility beacon. The HQ006 also boasts a push button terminal strip, an anti-condensation heater, and its IP67 housing is hard anodised prior to painting to increase corrosion resistance.

Managing director, Paul Slaughter, believes the quality-focused, competitively-priced HQ006 has the potential to offer serious cost saving opportunities for users, as well as helping to facilitate safe valve automation in high risk environments. Paul comments: “We’re really pleased to able to offer the market small electric actuators suitable for ATEX environments, not many actuators have ATEX approval and certainly not for small bore valves, we’re sure the unique mounting system covering, F4, F5 & F7, along with the wide range of voltages which are available from, 24V to 240V, will help customers enormously.

“After the response we had following the launch of the HQ005, we’re incredibly proud that the HQ006 is now ATEX approved and ready to help facilitate the control of explosive environments for a number of organisations.”

The HQ006 is available in Europe exclusively from Actuated Solutions. For more information please contact your local independent distributor, or visit