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Iptor announces new voice-activated Order Management Solution

Technology developed as part of on-going collaboration with HARMAN

Iptor Supply Chain Systems, a leader in supply chain management, planning and logistics software today announced a new technology solution, developed with HARMAN, which enables its customers to benefit from cognitive applications and voice recognition technologies.

The technology is currently being showcased at Iptor’s global series of “Connect” events and follows the recent announcement of the launch and worldwide general availability of Iptor DC1 Version 10, their flagship ERP solution, which is focused on connectivity, usability and mobility. The voice-activated order management solution - so far only available on DC1 Version 10 - is a result of a global hackathon between the two companies and is powered by HARMAN’s voice-assisted BOT framework based on the Microsoft stack using the new Iptor aperīo Open API framework. The collaboration represents the first steps in exposing different business process within Iptor solutions to the benefits of cognitive technologies.

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“This  new  solution  gives  us  the  power  to  elevate  our  customer  experience  with  voice-assisted interaction,” said Christopher Catterfeld, Iptor’s chief marketing and product officer, “Bringing these types of consumer technologies to the enterprise space is essential to help businesses compete in a highly competitive, fast moving market. It will enable customers to access the rich functionality of DC1 Version 10 using voice commands to place orders and track deliveries, ensuring they fully benefit from the solution and its connected ecosystem.”

“We’re delighted that Iptor, a leader in Supply Chain Management, leveraged our technology for this new solution,” said Sandeep Kalra, SVP and GM, HARMAN. “At HARMAN, we pride ourselves on simplifying enterprise business processes with conversational and cognitive technologies.  Our voice-assisted BOT framework, integrates cognitive interfaces with existing digital platforms making them a truly conversational enterprise.”

ABOUT IPTOR SUPPLY CHAIN SYSTEMS
Iptor Supply Chain Systems, formerly International Business Systems (IBS), is a global leader in supply chain management, planning and logistics software and services. Iptor helps distribution-focused organizations solve their most complex order management and fulfilment challenges within fast-moving, multi-channel and global supply chains.

Serving 1,250 customers with 4,000 installations in more than 40 countries, Iptor Supply Chain Systems provides fully integrated enterprise solutions, with highly adaptable and robust software backed by world class support from supply chain experts. Available on-premise or as a fully managed cloud service, Iptor Supply Chain Systems offers compelling value to customers across distribution, 3PL and publishing sectors.

For more information, visit:  www.iptor.com

ABOUT HARMAN
HARMAN ( harman.com ) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things.  With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

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Mobile air conditioner to wear

Functional cooling textiles of core sports and occupational safety brands use a special superabsorber fleece from BASF
Humans are born runners. Evolution once gave us the ability to overcome the distance of many kilometers through the hot savannas of Africa. In addition to the upright posture of the body and head and the optimized mechanics of legs and feet, cooling by millions of sweat glands plays a key role. Under extreme stress, they can release about one liter of sweat per hour and cool down the body by evaporation.

But as often seen in nature, this specialization comes at a price. To keep its core temperature stable, the body has to expend much energy to protect itself from over­heating. About 75 percent of the energetic processes in physical exertion are used for thermoregulation and therefore only 25 percent of the energy can be used for muscular processes such as sports or work performance.

This limits our performance even at moderate outdoor temperatures. Athletes as well as workers and many other people worldwide who are exposed to high temperatures are therefore now using active functional cooling clothing. Thanks to innovative materials, this pro­vides evaporative cooling which is individually dosable and lasts for hours. The functional cooling textiles of the E.COOLINE and IDENIXX brands, incorporating the spe­cially developed superabsorbent nonwoven fabric from BASF, offer a mobile air conditioning system to wear which effectively supports the cooling system of the human body.

Cooling vests, for example, are easy to use and can be worn like any other item of clothing once being activated by “charging” with water. The water enters the active layer – the Luquafleece® from BASF – after being rapidly absorbed and distributed through a bacteriostatic textile fabric. “The fibers of this nonwoven fabric are coated with superabsorbent polymers (SAP) through a special technology. They absorb the water in a few seconds and retain it,” explains the expert Norbert Heidinger of BASF New Business GmbH, who markets the material.

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Like a fishing net, the polymer network of the superab­sorber traps increasing numbers of water particles until its elastic restoring forces compensate the osmotic forces of the prevailing concentration gradient. In this way Luquafleece® can absorb ten times its weight in water and retain it so firmly, that the functional textiles are dry on the surface.

With higher outdoor temperatures or increasing skin temperature during sports or work activity, the water molecules firmly bound inside the functional cooling clothing absorb the thermal energy, evaporate from the large surface of the three-dimensional nonwoven structure and thereby cool down the wearer. The body sweats less and thereby saves energy that would usually be needed for thermoregulation. External cooling can therefore provide an increase in performance of up to ten percent in hot conditions. Moreover, important body parameters – such as heart rate – are improved which protects people´s health.

Athletes who work out want to have fun, while promoting their health and also testing their own limits. These limits are only reached through the interplay of mind and body, explains a prominent triathlon champion, who calls it a relationship of trust. If the head wants to increase perfor­mance, it has to learn how to interpret the body's signals correctly. You must not stop your efforts too early, nei­ther exceed your own capabilities.

Relief of circulatory and metabolic stress to protect health for hours
The functional clothing only cools the body to the extent required by the prevailing situation. The intensity of evaporative cooling adapts to the surrounding tempera­ture and exertion. Thus no negative cooling effects can occur. “After a while, you even don't notice the cooling anymore because the body is air-conditioned,” is how Gabriele Renner CEO of the manufacturing company “pervormance international GmbH”, from Ulm (Ger­many), describes the benefits. “You sweat less and thereby relieve the load on the cardiovascular system, metabolism and energy balance.” Depending on the out­door and body temperature, the cooling effect persists for up to 20 hours – and any other clothing stays dry.

Since the World Football Championship in 2014 in Brazil, functional cooling textiles have been used at many inter­national sporting events worldwide. For example, the national football teams from Switzerland, Ireland and the USA nowadays use these cooling vests and headgear to improve their recovery during the half-time interval or before energy-intensive extra time.

But not only top athletes are improving their health and performance with active functional cooling clothing. Many companies also use it to protect their employees from the hazards connected with overheating and overexertion.

With the E.COOLINE and IDENIXX brands, the idea of mobile, simple and effective cooling has therefore been successfully implemented and marketed. Apart from innovative materials, the environmentally friendly because bionic system only requires water and the heat the user wants to get rid of anyway. “We compensate the CO2 volume generated over the entire production chain by financing climate projects on the same scale,” says Gabriele Renner, indicating that she has not only the individual body climate in mind, but also the world climate while operating a future-oriented, climate-neutral company.

“Cooling vests improve the health and safety of employees”
Interview with Gabriele Renner, CEO of the company “pervormance international GmbH” from Ulm (Germany)

What advantages offers the BASF product Luquafleece® for you?
In this joint project, it was particularly important for us to obtain a washable cooling product which is also hard-wearing and hygienic. The three-dimensional nonwoven fabric with its special fiber structure also offers an enormously large surface area capa­ble of delivering 600 watts per liter of cooling energy through the evaporating water. Through our “cool to go” principle, the material generates a rapid and perceptible cooling effect even in extreme environmental conditions.

What areas of application of the cooling system are particularly important?
At present the main application is in the field of occupational health and safety, because many people worldwide have to work at high environmental temperatures, partly also because of climate change. The resulting cardiovascular strain, concentration problems and states of exhaustion impair health and safety at work. Studies have also shown that the productivity of companies is thereby reduced. Both can be improved by using our functional cooling textiles.

Where do you see further potential for air conditioning functional clothing in future?
Medicine is definitely another field of application in the future. Here we have already shown that we can significantly improve quality of life of people affected by multiple sclerosis with our cooling vests. There are also other valuable uses such as treating menopausal complaints like hot flushes or reducing fever with our calf coolers, to mention only two. We also have projects under development in the fields of orthopedics and even beauty medicine.


Luquafleece® as problem solver for wound healing and moisture management
Innovation for wound healing: BASF together with OSNovative Systems, Inc. have developed an innovative universal wound dressing which is suitable for all types of wounds and creates ideal conditions for wound heal­ing. The wound dressings are marketed under the name Enluxtra® in the USA. This disruptive technology based on the superabsorber nonwoven material Luquafleece® provided by BASF accelerates the wound healing process of most wounds and thereby reduces medical treatment costs.

Passive seat temperature control:
In the lightweight comfort seat of the concept vehicle “smart forvision” from the Recaro company, as well as in office chairs of the Vitra company, the BASF nonwoven fabric Luquafleece® reduces moisture in the seat and on its surface. In this way, prolonged sitting remains pleasant even on stressful workdays and during long car journeys. This moisture management also plays an important role in electronics, which represents another future application for this innovative material. Moreover, intelligent ventilation elements for shoes, offered by the Hamburg company IQTEX, are already based on the moisture-absorbent fleece. Depending on the weather conditions, these elements are either breathable or watertight.

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Standard HMIs used to reconfigure safety control functions

Using ABB’s safety PLC, standard HMIs such as control panels and mobile devices can be used to alter functional safety control functions in industrial applications.

ABB has developed a method of using standard human machine interface (HMI) products such as control panels, industrial PCs and mobile devices to reconfigure safety control functions.

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Using ABB’s AC500-S safety programmable logic controller (PLC), operators of equipment such as harbor and factory cranes, hoists, elevators, airport passenger bridges, automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), robots, mining and pulp & paper machinery can select, modify and amend their safety control functions. This allows them to achieve high functional safety standard requirements while benefiting from the convenience and low costs of using standard HMIs.

Operators of these industrial applications need to reconfigure their safety control functions to adapt to changed application conditions and to optimize machine productivity. These reconfigurations, known as safety actions, are often performed using mechanical or electro-mechanical mode selector switches connected to the digital safety inputs of a safety PLC.

This method suffers from limited user-friendliness, inability to make modifications to switch layout and function, limited number of selection options and relatively high costs for the mode selector switches and digital safety input channels.

ABB solves these challenges by allowing standard HMIs, such as control panels, industrial PCs and mobile devices to interface with an ABB AC500-S safety PLC to carry out these safety actions.

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Standard HMIs that support at least two different Ethernet based communication protocols can be used. ABB recommends Modbus©/TCP and ABB ETH. A mean time between failures (MTBF) greater than 22.5 years is required for standard HMIs to satisfy PL d (ISO 13849-1) requirements. HMIs with lower MTBFs may only satisfy PL c (ISO 13849-1) requirements.

Benefits of using standard HMIs include cost savings on safety I/O channels and mode selector switches. The ability to select from a wide range of HMI products offers the user independence from any one vendor, a larger range of input options and greater flexibility to adapt the connections and layout of the HMIs.

The method allows connecting to high and low level safety systems remotely. One example is in the selection of a crane, allowing it to be controlled remotely using the emergency stop located on the operator desk. A network links the AC500-S safety PLC in the control room with the safety PLCs at the cranes. The user in the control room can select, using standard HMI equipment, which of the cranes will stop if the emergency stop button is activated on the remote operator control station. Pressing the remote emergency stop button on the operator’s desk will therefore stop the selected crane only. Independent of the remote emergency stop function, all cranes still have their own local emergency stop controls.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. www.abb.com

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Cool solution streamlines air conditioning design

SOFTWARE that allows air conditioning companies to design system layouts accurately and efficiently without leaving the office is being rolled out globally.

Plandroid, a program from Delft Red Simulation Technology in South Australia, uses a standard floor plan drawing to create the optimal heating and cooling solution for a property and provides a project quote in minutes.

International demand for the software has grown over the past year from zero to about 10 per cent of the company’s revenue and includes customers in South Africa, New Zealand and the United States.

Delft Red Simulation Technology founder Mike Garrett said he expected exports of Plandroid to rise significantly in the next year and estimated the business to almost double in size by 2018.

He said the company was expanding rapidly to meet demand and was aiming for a push into Europe in the coming months.

“The industry standard is still graph paper and drawing rough hand designs with crayons,” he said.

“It’s inefficient and using Plandroid they can do all the planning in a fifth of the time.

“The thing about Plandroid is it’s a simple, point-and-click, drag-and-drop program that anyone can use – you don't need to be an engineer to get the right design.”

The software is targeted towards large manufacturers such as Advantage Air, which then use installation teams to deliver their products.

These smaller teams are able to choose from a stock list of items from the air conditioning companies and drag them onto a CAD-style ducting design superimposed over a house plan. This eliminates the need for custom designing of a project.

Plandroid calculates basic heat loads, the total design cost and creates reports for the customer, installer and supplier.

It also saves favoured designs as pre-sets to be used on other buildings.

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Garrett said Plandroid would be beneficial for shopping centres, airports, factories and large commercial buildings but was primarily used for high-end houses.

Delft Red Simulation Technology has more than 350 clients around the world and is in the process of expanding the program to include more features.

“We are working on a lighting mode right now,” Garrett said.

“The old barriers between electricians, plumbers and air conditioning installers are being reduced and our program will expand into more of those jobs.

“In the future you will be able to do solar panel installations, underfloor heating and more electrical designs throughout the house.”

Using remote access technology, the company supports customers across Australia and the world.

Delft Red Simulation Technology is based in South Australia’s capital Adelaide, at the Base64 business centre run by technology entrepreneur Simon Hackett.

Hackett was part of the group that developed the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) – the first emergence of the Internet in Australia.

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Yokogawa introduces release 4 of the SMARTDAC+® GX/GP Series paperless recorders and GM Series data acquisition system

–With new functions for high-speed measurement and PID control–

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it will introduce release 4 of the SMARTDAC+® GX series panel-mount type paperless recorder, GP series portable paperless recorder, and GM series data acquisition system on May 19.

With this latest release, new modules are provided that expand the range of applications possible with SMARTDAC+ systems and improve user convenience. New functions include sampling intervals as short as 1 millisecond and the control and monitoring of up to 20 loops.

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Overview of new release and background of development

Recorders and data acquisition systems (data loggers) are used on production lines and at product development facilities in a variety of industries to acquire, display, and record data on temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, pressure, and other variables. Yokogawa offers a wide range of such products, and is one of the world’s top manufacturers of recorders. Since releasing the SMARTDAC+ data acquisition and control system in 2012, Yokogawa has continued to strengthen, with the introduction of a variety of recorders and data acquisition devices that meet market needs and comply with industry-specific requirements and standards.

With this release, Yokogawa provides new modules with strengthened functions that meet customer needs for the acquisition and analysis of detailed data from evaluation tests. These modules decrease the cost of introducing a control application by eliminating the need for the purchase of additional equipment.

Enhancements

The functional enhancements available with release 4 are as follows:

  1. High-speed analog input module for high-speed sampling

To improve the safety of electric devices such as the rechargeable batteries used in everything from automobiles to mobile devices, evaluation tests must be run to acquire and analyze detailed performance data. For this purpose, sampling at intervals as short as 1 millisecond is desirable. However, this normally requires an expensive, high-performance measuring instrument. When the new high-speed analog input module available with release 4 is mounted, a SMARTDAC+ system can sample data at intervals as brief as 1 millisecond, which is 1/100th that of any preceding Yokogawa product. This is suitable for such high performance applications as the measurement of the transient current in rechargeable batteries and vibration in power plant turbines. A dual interval function has also been added that enables the SMARTDAC+ to efficiently and simultaneously collect data on slowly changing signals (e.g., temperature) and quickly changing signals (e.g., pressure and vibration).

  1. Proportional integral derivative (PID) control module

In applications that need both control and recording, such as controlling the temperature of an industrial furnace or the dosage process at a water treatment plant, there is a need for systems that do not require engineering and can be quickly and easily introduced. To control temperature, flow rate, and pressure, it used to be necessary to use a recorder and a controller for each control loop, or to engineer a solution that combined a recorder with a programmable controller or touch panel display. When the new PID control module available with this release is mounted, the SMARTDAC+ can control and monitor up to 20 loops. PID control is a kind of feedback control. It controls process variables such as temperature, pressure, and flow rate for each loop. A loop is a series of control operations involving the receipt of a reading from a sensor or some other detecting element, the calculation of the difference between the measured and the targeted value, and the issuance of an instruction to a valve or some other control element to correct the measured value. With the GX and GP series recorders, an intuitive touch panel user interface and screens for the monitoring and operation of temperature and flow rate are available. In addition, web functionality that is a standard feature on all GX and GP recorders allows for remote monitoring and control via a web browser.

  1. Four-wire resistance temperature detector (RTD)/resistance module for precise temperature measurement

Temperature sensors operate on the measurement principle that the electrical resistance of a metal varies in proportion to changes in temperature. While three-wire RTDs are widely used in many fields, research institutes and manufacturers of products such as air-conditioning equipment require the higher level of precision possible with 4-wire RTDs. To satisfy this need, Yokogawa has released a 4-wire RTD/resistance module for the SMARTDAC+.

Major Target Markets

  • GX series: Production of iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, pharmaceuticals, and electrical equipment/electronics; water supply and wastewater treatment facilities
  • GP series: Development of home appliances, automobiles, semiconductors, and energy-related technologies; universities; research institutes
  • GM series: Both of the above target markets

Applications

Acquisition, display, and recording of process data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure.

About SMARTDAC+

SMARTDAC+ stands for smart data acquisition and control. SMARTDAC+ offers input and output modules for a variety of signal sources and widely supports manufacturing processes and product performance evaluation testing. As a leading company in the recorder market, Yokogawa will continue to respond to a wide variety of needs to help its customers.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa's global network of 114 companies spans 59 countries. Founded in 1915, the US$3.7 billion company engages in cutting-edge research and innovation. Yokogawa is active in the industrial automation and control (IA), test and measurement, and aviation and other businesses segments. The IA segment plays a vital role in a wide range of industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and food. For more information about Yokogawa, please visit http://www.yokogawa.com

About Yokogawa Europe B.V.

The European headquarters of Yokogawa were founded in Amersfoort in the Netherlands in 1982. Throughout Europe Yokogawa has its own sales, service and engineering operations. This dedicated network has been extended to Central and East Europe to further enhance the coverage and support associated with serving the process control and automation market place. Yokogawa develops and produces flowmeters at Rota Yokogawa in Germany and liquid analysers and industrial safety systems in the Netherlands. In addition to this dedicated network of Yokogawa subsidiaries, a select organisation of Test & Measurement (T&M) subsidiaries and distributors is established in certain areas to support the specific customer needs of this continuously developing and specific market of T&M instrumentation.