Optimised turbidity sensor

As a result of the optimisations carried out and extensive series of tests, the tried and tested EXspect 271 turbidity sensor can now be approved for an extended pressure range.

2021 01 25 112052The NIR backscatter sensor EXspect 271 from EXNER is not only characterised by its economic use, but also by its compact and at the same time robust design. It is mainly used in the food and beverage industry as well as in many other applications where it is necessary to determine turbidity in medium and high measuring ranges. Cleaning and sterilization using CIP and SIP processes are of course possible. Another advantage of the sensor is the spherical design of the measuring optics. This minimizes the adhesion of air bubbles and the formation of deposits.

The compact sensor EXspect 271 has not only successfully completed extensive test series, but has also established itself in practical use. Thanks to the optimisations that have now been carried out, it is possible to use the sensor not only in applications with a process pressure of up to 20 bar (290 psi), but also in vacuum applications.

Exner Process Equipment GmbH

EXNER Process Equipment GmbH, based in Ettlingen, is in the middle of the Karlsruhe technology region. The medium-sized company has operated as an international provider of high-quality process holders for pH measurement and optical sensors for the determination of cell growth and turbidity for over 15 years. The owner-run company is characterised in particular by its accurate and long-lasting products, its agile and flexible way of doing things, and customer-specific solutions. The products developed and produced by the ISO9000-certified business offer the highest degree of variability and can therefore be configured to meet almost any requirement. Customers from the chemical industry, in the bio and food technology sectors, and the pharmaceutical industry all benefit from their consulting and support services, as well as their innovative research and development division. Thanks to the combination of their expertise gained over many years and the use of new technologies, their products are being continuously developed and optimised for each area of application. So, the processes become safer, more efficient, and more accurate. In addition, EXNER products are being supplied by distribution partners and OEM customers all over the world.

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Danish Authorities have approved Blue World Technologies’ acquisition of Danish Power Systems

Following the press release on 13 January, where Blue World Technologies announced the acquisition of Danish Power System, the final approval from the Danish Business Authorities has now been granted.

With the acquisition, Blue World Technologies is welcoming fifteen highly skilled employees, and are thereby, strengthening their team. Going forward, Blue World Technologies will besides the headquarters in Aalborg, will also have a site in Kvistgaard, north of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Danish Power Systems has for the past 25-years specialised in high-temperature PEM technology and is widely recognised around the world. This acquisition enables Blue World Technologies to have all technologies and manufacturing of core components within the fuel cell stack value-chain in-house providing a strong platform for commercialising the methanol fuel cell technology.

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Blue World Technologies is an ambitious and visionary developer and manufacturer of methanol fuel cell components and systems for stationary/APU applications and the automotive and heavy-duty transportation sectors around the world. The fuel cells act as a green alternative to combustion engines and diesel generators. As a part of the Power-to-X eco-system the methanol fuel cell technology contributes to solving parts of the green transition which cannot be solved by direct electrification and battery technology alone.

The exclusive fuel for Blue World Technologies’ fuel cell systems is methanol – a renewable liquid fuel that simply and cost-effectively can be stored for years and transported around the world while reusing existing infrastructure.

Blue World Technologies is founded on extensive experience from the fuel cell industry and aims towards commercialising the technology through large-scale production. The company is focused on the High-Temperature PEM-technology combined with methanol-reforming. The combination ensures a simple system design with high conversion efficiency and significant benefits including CO2 reduction, fuel cost savings, and zero harmful emissions.

In December 2020 Blue World Technologies closed its most recent investment round of 6.4 mEUR and is aiming at a future Initial Public Offering.

Read more about Blue World Technologies on our website or visit us on social media.   


Heat pumps prohibitively expensive and premature


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UK will not have enough zero carbon electricity until 2040 to power heat pumps and they would cost an estimated £16400 more per household so change is a very costly jump from the frying pan into the fire.

On 20th January 2021, the UK government’s Ministry of Housing announced that they anticipate that heat pumps will become the primary heating technology for new homes'

Andrew Newman, Technical Director of the Gas Users Organisation, explains:

We all agree that climate change is a real problem and needs urgent action. But the UK government is not giving due regard whether their policies are achievable in engineering terms, and whether the costs passed on to UK consumers will actually make a significant difference, when other states, like China, Russia and India are not making equivalent changes. The UK is responsible for just over 1% global emissions, compared to 28% from China.

'The installation of heat pumps systems is prohibitively expensive. A recent government report set out typical costs for heating systems for new build houses, this was around £5400 for gas, but a whopping £21550 for an air source heat pump. The lifetime of a heat pump is similar to a gas boiler, so they would need replacing every 10 to 15 years. Although heat pumps are an efficient form of electric heating, because of the difference in price between gas and electricity, the majority of households would face higher bills.

The Committee for Climate Change’s own estimate is that the UK will not be approaching zero carbon electricity until 2040. So there needs to be real caution in any plans that, for example, seek to remove gas from people’s homes and move to electric heat pumps. Such a move would be rash and premature, because not only would the heat pumps consume electricity, that would not be from zero carbon sources, but any such move would cost consumers dearly.

The UK has a very exciting opportunity to keep our existing gas network, but switch to zero carbon hydrogen. A premature switch to heat pumps in new builds will impact the commercial viability of hydrogen, and close down that option, which is preferred by consumers as it involves lower costs and less disruption. Instead of promoting heat pumps, the Ministry of Housing should throw its weight behind all new builds fitting hydrogen ready gas boilers.

Unfortunately, the government’s model is that consumers are expected to pay for decarbonisation. This is why we urge caution from the government when they are loading more and more costs on consumers.

Subsidies to fund current renewable energy sources are paid for by a levy on household energy bills. The OBR calculate by 2022 the green levy to pay for renewables will cost £10 per week per household on household energy bills regardless of income and ability to pay. This is grossly unfair. BEIS is also now proposing an additional gas meter tax.

UK consumers should not be paying through the nose for expensive measures that will only make a marginal difference to greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

The UK also lacks the manufacturing capacity to switch to heat pumps for new builds. Current housing new builds is running at an annual completion level of 177,980 units, but there is only one UK manufacturer of Air Sourced Heat Pumps, Mitsubishi in Scotland, with a capacity of 3000 units per year. Almost all gas boilers fitted in the UK are built here, so we would be closing a successful UK manufacturing sector to import an inferior overseas product.


Industry digitization: Asystom launches a complete range of multi-sensor IIoT devices for predictive maintenance with increased autonomy

Asystom has just announced its new range of multi-sensor devices to best support manufacturers in the face of the challenges of industry digitalization. They address precisely the predictive maintenance needs of a wide array of industrial equipment, integrating new on-board, connected, energy-saving electronics that can perform in situ analysis. These innovative products offer increased performance; they are also eco-responsible, designed to be 100% upgradeable, operating on standard AA batteries which are simple to install and recyclable via standard waste management operations.

Asystom, a benchmark company in predictive maintenance for Industry 4.0, has designed and marketed a universal, turnkey, stand-alone solution for monitoring equipment and preventing breakdowns. Flexible, adaptable and scalable, it is already installed on many industrial sites in different sectors (e.g. steelworks, automotive, aeronautics, pharmaceutical laboratories, water and waste treatment, food, energy), covering a wide range of use cases. Its innovative technology takes the detailed operating footprint of a machine, to then monitor it in real time, and then give the earliest possible alert of any drift or malfunction. The objective being to improve the productivity and thus the profitability of the production units by avoiding unscheduled shutdowns.

Asystom: an intelligent turnkey solution for predictive maintenance

Measurements of a machine are taken via external multi-sensor devices to measure its state of health, detecting anomalies and drifts from its normal operating footprint. Integrating connected, energy-efficient electronics, non-intrusive and compact, the devices are positioned directly on the equipment to be monitored, without the need for additional wiring or other modifications.

Thanks to algorithmic innovations, Asystom devices process a large number of complex data and transfer them in real time. The devices integrate multiple physical parameters sensors (up to 9 parameters) to predict industrial equipment failures and to determine their causes.

The measured data are transferred safely to server-based storage via a wireless LoRa (Long Range) network, using encrypted data transfer, whilst network deployment does not incur additional installation burden.

Operating alerts, diagnostic tools and device set-up all run on a single web-application.

Eco-responsible range, aligned to Asystom's values

The entire range has been designed and developed with an eco-responsible vision: 0% obsolescence, a 100% scalable range and products with long autonomy.

We are increasingly seeing the emergence of the principles of a circular and responsible economy. Industry has come to realize that it is better to optimize the use of equipment, which must be durable whilst remaining efficient. Industry digitalization and preventive maintenance are effective means to achieve this as well as improving production capacity. Asystom has developed and designed its products to achieve this vision.

Asystom’s own devices are also in line with this. Customers don’t need to frequently change the batteries of their wireless sensors or, worse, throw them away after 2 or 3 years because they have become obsolete.” comments Stéphane Lhuisset, Technical Director of Asystom.

Pierre Naccache, founding president of Asystom adds: “We have driven technological innovation by allowing the devices to "wake up" just when needed. Asystom devices can be configured remotely to measure in real time, but also and above all are capable of determining when to take measurements. All data is transmitted in real time and accurately. Information and alerts are presented on an easy-to-use dashboard."

Finally, these devices are 100% manufactured in Europe.

A complete range of multi-sensor devices, adapted to the needs of industry.

To best meet the predictive maintenance needs of the various industry players, and thus help them maximize the use of their assets, Asystom has brought in new innovation and extended its range of multi-sensor devices.

  • AsystomSentinel Indoor- NEW Increased autonomy!

2021 01 25 082200The original AsystomSentinel Indoor version sees its initial performance increased, particularly in terms of autonomy. Originally with 3 years autonomy, it is now extended to over 5 years, powered by just 2 standard AA batteries. Particularly suitable for an indoor environment, this device is capable of performing multiple measurements, making it possible to monitor 95% of machine applications.

In particular:

  • The fusion of vibration and ultrasound measurements,
  • The surface temperature of a machine,
  • The ambient temperature and humidity.
  • AsystomSentinel Outdoor (IP66) – NEW product!

2021 01 25 082355This new device, AsystomSentinel Outdoor, is intended specifically to be able to work in harsh environments and in extreme conditions (dust and severe weather in particular). Its integrated vibration and ultrasound sensors allow it to efficiently and accurately detect all kinds of equipment drifts. Its computational capacity enables powerful and reliable analysis. Its miniaturized remote probe allows installation even on a small area, for more precise monitoring. This device has an extended battery life of over 10 years, using 4 standard AA batteries.

  • AsystomSentinel EX - NEW product!

2021 01 25 082528Global innovation, AsystomSentinel EX is the first fusion of triaxial vibration, sound and ultrasound sensors, specifically designed for hazardous environments.

Integrating the same anomaly detection performance as the other devices in the range, its ATEX / IECEx certifications and its intrinsic safety allow it to be used in areas at risk of explosion (Zone 1) of the petrochemical and chemical industries in particular.

It has a very long battery life (more than 10 years).

About Asystom :   

Created in 2016, by Pierre Naccache, supported by an experienced international team,  Asystom is located in Toulouse region (France). The company specializes in the development, manufacture and marketing of universal intelligent monitoring solutions for predictive maintenance. For more information:


Engaging programs secure Top Employer status for AkzoNobel

Focusing on engagement and employee well-being continues to pay off as AkzoNobel receives Top Employer recertification in five key markets: the UK, China, Brazil, the US and the Netherlands.

In each country, AkzoNobel is building on a strong track record in human resources. Throughout its three-year, ongoing transformation journey, the company’s success in retaining and even adding Top Employer countries comes down to its prioritization of organizational health. The latest Top Employer certification marks the second year in a row for the Netherlands and the US, fifth for Brazil, eighth for China, and ninth for the UK.

The rigorous review by the Top Employers Institute benchmarks companies around the world against best practices in human resources. Holding onto all five Top Employer titles this year especially demonstrates AkzoNobel’s strong commitment to investing in people and people-driven initiatives.

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“Focusing on employee well-being, engagement and development has helped ensure our continued success through all the unprecedented challenges in 2020,” says Joëlle Boxus, AkzoNobel’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “It’s all about making sure our employees feel included and listened to, while also enabling them to bring their best selves to work every day. We’re growing together and building our capabilities so we’re ready for the future.”

Several key initiatives supported employees in 2020. The Mind Matters health and well-being program helped employees cope with “the new normal” created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also made significant progress on its diversity and inclusion commitments through training, virtual broadcasts and the growth of employee networks.

Despite global uncertainty, employees remain highly engaged. Surveys reveal a significant improvement in “organizational health”, with 87% of employees indicating that they really care about the company and 86% willing to put in more effort than expected to help AkzoNobel be successful.

The belief that employees are the most important asset for building a sustainable future is central to the company’s “People. Planet. Paint.” approach. Year after year, the feedback that comes with Top Employer certification helps AkzoNobel continue to improve on its position as a leading employer.

Want to know more about working for AkzoNobel? Please visit

About AkzoNobel
We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.