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Join us at Intersolar Europe for the presentation of our new archelios™ O&M

The new archelios™ O&M

Join the archelios™ Suite’s team at this event and be part of our exciting, new product launch of the eagerly awaited archelios™ O&M.

2017 05 15 090652This is the new and improved version of archelios™ Pro and archelios™ Calc – that offers the complete design and feasibility study of any PV installation of any size along with its calculation, sizing and control.

Intersolar Europe will take place at the Messe München exhibition center, in Munich, Hall A3, stand A3.536, 31st May – 2nd June. The archelios™ Suite´s team will be there to welcome you and be available to answer any questions.

Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition event for the solar industry. The main areas of focus during this event will be: Photovoltaics, Energy Storage, Renewable Heating and Products and Solutions for Smart Renewable Energy.

About Trace Software International
With 30 years of experience, Trace Software International is a company specialized in the development of software solutions and services dedicated to the industrial engineering, with unique expertise in the design of electrical installations. Trace Software International has subsidiaries in France, Spain, Morocco, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, China, Brazil and Colombia, with a worldwide presence via distributors and authorized partners.

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Sulzer breathes new life into older pumps with reverse engineering

Large pumps have generally been designed to perform for decades, making them a valuable asset that requires periodic maintenance. When the performance of an older pump begins to deteriorate, it may be a sign that the impeller is worn or the volute has become corroded, and by the time this happens, finding new parts can be a considerable challenge. Fortunately, modern design techniques and manufacturing processes can create a vast range of components using reverse engineering.

Jesse Jackson, Customer Services Manager at Sulzer’s Mobile Service Center in Alabama, looks at what can be done to resurrect an ageing pump asset.

Over the years, pump manufacturers have created many different designs of pumps for a whole host of applications and each one used the technology available at the time. As the older models continue in service, access to spare parts becomes more and more difficult until the manufacturer has none available and they need to be created on a one-off basis. In some cases, the company may have gone out of business but the pumps still require continued maintenance.

2017 05 15 075451The original impeller, which has suffered from over 100 years of corrosion

In cases where the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is available, it may be possible to order new components, even if they have to be manufactured from the original drawings as a special build. The advantage here is the drawings, which provide all the necessary detail to create a new component. The problem is usually the lead time. Most manufacturers’ fabrication facilities are dedicated to the current pump models and reassigning them to a one-off task may incur an additional delay.

The second issue with this approach can be cost. OEM parts are unique to their products and manufactured to certain standards, so carry a price premium. As the stock of spare parts for the older pumps diminishes, so creating new parts has a higher cost threshold, which can increase prices further.

Recreating an original design

The alternative is to find a third party with the engineering capability to create a new component, without drawings or reference material. In the past, this has been common practice for less intricate components, but the complex geometry of pumps has made this task very difficult. The advent of sophisticated coordinate measuring machines, 3D solid modeling software and laser scanning has made it possible to recreate complex designs.

In addition to new manufacturing technology, there have also been significant developments in materials. Older pumps are often created using materials that cannot be easily welded such as cast iron and bronze. In many cases, the original materials can be upgraded; the replacement of bronze with stainless steel is a common occurrence.

2017 05 15 075515The new impeller fabricated by Sulzer was optimized for efficiency

Pumps, especially large ones, are often used in abrasive or corrosive conditions, which can significantly reduce the expected operational life of components such as the impeller. Upgrading the base material causes a relative increase in the initial repair cost, which will improve the service life and reduce the overall cost of ownership.

In addition to the materials used to create the pump, the detailed design can also be improved as part of this process. Since the original pump was installed, the purpose or performance requirements may have changed and this can be addressed as part of the design process when creating a reverse engineered component. The hydraulic design is critical to the performance of the pump and the latest design software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used to deliver the optimum design.

Improved manufacturing processes

Modern technology has also improved the manufacturing process. It’s no longer necessary to build a pattern and ship it to the foundry; a computer model can now be emailed. Foam cores and patterns can be made for one-off components, which reduce both the expense and the time to complete the process. In addition, the advent of 3D printing can also be used to create molds for smaller components, again speeding up the process to create replacement parts.

2017 05 15 075536By using sophisticated coordinate measuring machines, 3D solid modeling software and laser scanning has made it possible to recreate complex designs

Delivering reverse engineered projects still takes time, but the process can be estimated accurately, allowing equipment owners the opportunity to plan any process shutdowns and minimize the impact of the maintenance project. In some industries, such as power generation, a pump failure may have to be rectified with a temporary solution until a scheduled outage, when the pump can be removed and repaired with a more robust solution. In cases such as this, the detailed measurements and modeling can be done during the initial repair process, allowing the new component to be manufactured before the scheduled outage to minimize downtime.

Rejuvenation after 100 years’ service

Sulzer has adopted all of the technological advances in pump component manufacturing and applied them to projects around the world. Recent examples include a pump that was built in 1912 and used as a dry dock pump. It had suffered considerably from corrosion to both the volute and the impeller, but there was no possibility of finding a replacement part ‘off the shelf’.

With a vertically driven impeller, the volute weighed 25,000 lbs (11 tonnes) and was built in two halves, while the impeller itself weighed 5,000 lbs (2.25 tonnes). Pump engineering specialists from Sulzer accompanied site service engineers to help with the removal of the pump, prior to its shipment to the Mobile Service Center, where brand new components were manufactured.

2017 05 15 075554The hydraulic design of the pump can be improved with the latest design software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

A similar service was provided for a Westinghouse cooling pump that needed a new impeller and matching suction bell. The new impeller was manufactured from 316L stainless steel and weighed 5,000 lbs (2.25 tonnes), while the new suction bell was fabricated from 304L stainless steel. The matched components were installed during a planned outage at the power generation plant.

These, and many other examples, show that it is possible to deliver precision-crafted replacement parts for large pumps cost effectively in a much shorter time frame than the OEM, if they are still in existence. Furthermore, advances in design technology enable significant improvements in performance and durability to be included, reducing the long term cost of ownership.

About Sulzer:

Sulzer is the leading worldwide, independent service provider for the repair and maintenance of rotating machines including turbomachinery, pumps and electro-mechanical equipment. With a global network of over 150 technically advanced manufacturing and test facilities, Sulzer offers a collaborative advantage that delivers high-quality, cost-effective, customized and turnkey solutions, providing its customers with the peace of mind to focus on their core operations.

Sulzer Rotating Equipment Services, a division of Sulzer, can accommodate all brands of rotating equipment including turbines, compressors, generators, motors and pumps. With an enviable track record, dedicated teams of on-site engineers provide best-in-class solutions to ensure that the most effective service is delivered.

Sulzer is dedicated to providing superior service solutions to a range of industries including power generation, oil and gas, hydrocarbon and chemical processing, water and air separation. Every solution is customized to suit the business needs of each application – whenever or wherever that may be.

With a long history of providing engineering service support, Sulzer is headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland where it began in 1834. Today, with sales over US$ 3 billion and with approximately 15,000 employees, the Sulzer footprint spans across the globe. The core aim is to deliver a flexible and cost-effective service that optimizes customer operational efficiency and minimizes downtime.

For more information on Sulzer, visit www.sulzer.com

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X-FAB and Exagan Successfully Produce First GaN-on-Silicon Devices on 200-mm Wafers

Silicon Foundry and GaN Start-Up Achieve Major Milestone in Establishing a 200-mm, Fully CMOS-Compatible Process While GaN Power Products Gain Market Traction

X-FAB Silicon Foundries and Exagan, a start-up innovator of gallium-nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters, have demonstrated mass-production capability to manufacture highly efficient high-voltage power devices on 200-mm GaN-on-silicon wafers using X-FAB’s standard CMOS production facility in Dresden, Germany. This accomplishment is the result of a joint development agreement launched in 2015, enabling cost/performance advantages that could not be achieved with smaller wafers.

2017 05 11 092022Exagan and X-FAB have successfully resolved many of the challenges related to material stress, defectivity and process integration while using standard fabrication equipment and process recipes. Combined with the use of 200-mm wafers, this will significantly lower the cost of mass producing GaN-on-silicon devices. By enabling greater power integration than silicon ICs, GaN devices can improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of electrical converters, which will accelerate their adoption in applications including electrical vehicle charging stations, servers, automobiles and industrial systems.

The new GaN-on-silicon devices have been built using substrates fabricated at Exagan’s 200-mm epi-manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France. These epi wafers meet the physical and electrical specifications to produce Exagan’s 650-volt G-FET™ devices as well as the tight requirements for compatibility with CMOS manufacturing lines.

The industry’s previous work with GaN had been limited to 100-mm and 150-mm wafers due to the challenges of layering GaN films on silicon substrates. Exagan’s G-Stack™ technology enables GaN-on-silicon devices to be manufactured more cost effectively on 200-mm substrates by depositing a unique stack of GaN and strain-management layers that relieves the stress between GaN and silicon layers. The resulting devices have been shown to exhibit high breakdown voltage, low vertical leakage and high-temperature operation.

“This is a major milestone in our company’s development as we accelerate product development and qualification,” said Frédéric Dupont, president and CEO of Exagan. “It demonstrates the combined strengths of our epi material, X-FAB’s wafer fab process and our device design capabilities. It also confirms the success of our vertically integrated fab-lite model, with expertise from materials to devices and applications. It’s perfect timing to establish GaN technology and products on the most competitive 200-mm platform just as GaN power products are getting broad traction in IT server, consumer electronics and automotive markets.”

“We have high confidence in Exagan’s leadership team and product performance roadmap,” said Rudi De Winter, CEO of X-FAB. “Through this productive partnership, X-FAB is leveraging its resources and expertise to bring Exagan’s technology into manufacturing and provide the power conversion market with a reliable supply chain.”

Exagan will showcase its innovative GaN technology and G-FET transistors in booth #9-230 at the PCIM Europe trade show, May 16-18 in Nuremberg, Germany.

About Exagan

Founded in 2014 with support from CEA-Leti and Soitec, Exagan’s mission is to accelerate the power-electronics industry’s transition from silicon-based technology to GaN-on-silicon technology, enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters. Its GaN power switches are designed for manufacturing in standard 200-mm wafer fabs to provide high-performance, high-reliability products through a robust supply chain. The company’s G-FET products offer very high power-switching performance with extremely low conduction losses, enabling unprecedented power integration and efficiency levels in electrical converters for applications including solar power, automotive and IT electronics. Exagan is based in Grenoble, France. For more information, visit www.exagan.com

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IDEC Releases Line of Stepper Motion Control Products

AMCI by IDEC motion control products integrate closely with IDEC PLCs to provide a simple yet powerful way to control single- and multi-axis motion.

IDEC Corporation introduces a line of motion control stepper products in conjunction with Advanced Micro Controls Inc. (AMCI), an established developer of motion control systems. This AMCI by IDEC product line includes controllers, stepper motors, an integrated controller/drive, an integrated drive/stepper motor, and an integrated controller/drive/stepper motor. When combined with an IDEC FC6A PLC and its embedded motion control macro instructions, these products allow users to quickly and simply implement single- and multi-axis motion control in a wide range of industries and applications.

2017 05 11 091629Many industrial applications require motion control, but users are often frustrated by the complexity and high cost of implementation, particularly with servo systems. IDEC and AMCI have partnered to address this issue by offering a simple yet highly capable stepper motion control system. Macro instructions embedded in the PLC WindLDR programming software can be configured with drag and drop commands to perform control of up to 12 axes.

The integrated controller/drive and drive/stepper motor units save space and money, and simplify installation, by combining multiple components into a single unit. The integrated controller/drive/stepper motor units offer the ultimate in space saving, cost effectiveness and system simplification.

All AMCI by IDEC products provide users with AMCI’s expertise in motion control combined with IDEC’s service, support and extensive distribution network. Motion control macro instructions embedded in IDEC’s FC6A PLC reduce design and programming time, allowing quick implementation in a wide variety of applications. Because all the components and the software modules are provided by IDEC and AMCI in close partnership, users are assured of correct operation right out of the box, with no need to perform integration among the components.

As compared to more complex servo motion control systems, steppers are a simpler technology, and require no tuning or adjustment. They also have excellent torque at low speeds, don’t require position feedback, and have very low maintenance requirements. These characteristics make them a great fit in a variety of industries including medical/pharmaceutical, printing, packaging, material handling and semiconductor.

Linear applications within these and other industries include conveyers, rail positioning, pushing applications/part eject, X-Y tables and filling stations. Rotary applications within these and other industries include indexing tables, material feed, cut-to-length, labelers and winding.

AMCI by IDEC’s iANF2E (2-axis) controllers can accept encoder feedback to provide stall detection and move verification. Each controller includes six discrete inputs for move conditioning and other functions, and four discrete outputs to indicate status and provide diagnostics. Each controller has a full complement of motion profiles, which can be selected by an IDEC MicroSmart FC6A PLC connected to the controller via an Ethernet-based Modbus TCP communications link. Up to six controllers can be connected to the PLC to control up to 12 axes of motion.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSM2340 NEMA 23 stepper motor comes in standard frame sizes with output torque of 130 or 240 oz-in.

AMCI by IDEC’s iANG1E integrated controller/drive unit can control one to six axes of motion, and it combines all the features of AMCI’s 1-axis controller and a 4.0A stepper drive into a single unit.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSMD23 integrated drive/stepper motor unit provides up to 240 oz-in of torque, and can be paired with the iANF2E to provide a complete solution. The unit can also be controlled by the PLC.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSMD23E integrated controller/drive/stepper motor unit provides all-in-one motion control with all the features of AMCI’s 1-axis controller, drive and stepper motor. No heat sinks are required due to its thermally efficient design. The integrated unit can operate over a wide range of input power, from 24-48Vdc.

IDEC offers free tech support for this entire line of line of motion control products, with no service or support contract required. For complete specifications or additional information, please contact IDEC Corporation at 800-262-IDEC (4332), or visit us online at www.idec.com

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Sandvik invites collaborative invention with launch of its Open Innovation portal

With needs growing exponentially along with population, Sandvik believes it’s vital to find smarter, safer ways forward. With the launch of its new Open Innovation portal Sandvik seeks to collaborate with like-minded innovators to deliver the next generation of products and solutions that will make a true difference.

Open Innovation portal image 1 LRSandvik’s Open Innovation portal invites individual inventors, small businesses and listed companies to propose innovative solutions to specific challenges.

“We’ve lived and breathed materials technology for 150 years – seen a lot of game changers and gathered the highest knowledge in our field. And perhaps the most important thing we’ve learned is that we can’t do it alone,” says Pasi Kangas, Vice President and Head of R&D at Sandvik Materials Technology.

“When we collaborate with other fields, other experts, the possibilities grow exponentially. Imagine what more we can solve by coupling new materials technology with advances in digitalization and big data, for example. Together, we can make a much bigger difference.”

Sandvik’s Open Innovation portal invites individual inventors, small businesses and listed companies to propose innovative solutions to a number of specific challenges. The company also encourages its own employees to use the portal for releasing creativity and utilizing their collective knowledge on customer’s applications and products.

The portal features innovation challenges for which individuals or groups can submit ideas and have the opportunity to discuss, develop and implement them together with Sandvik’s scientists and product developers.

Open Innovation portal image 2LR2With its new Open Innovation portal, Sandvik seeks to collaborate with like-minded innovators to grow the possibilities in the next generation of products and solutions.

The company believes that current challenges include three key areas which are Smart & Digital – sensor technology, big data capture and integrated system solutions, Unique Product Identifier – turning stainless steel or alloy products into data collectors, information carriers and knowledge providers that can be integrated into information systems. In addition, Cryogenic Drawing – finding applications that need the extra strength available from a revolutionary, patented drawing process for wire products made from titanium or austenitic stainless steels like ASTM 316.

Pasi Kangas added: “We are optimistic that open innovation will lead to new products and technologies that aren’t otherwise possible. Great ideas really can come from anyone, anywhere. We want to find them and give them every opportunity to make it real – to make a bigger difference – for all our sakes as we look to shape a more sustainable future.”

To visit Sandvik’s Open Innovation portal go to: http://smt.sandvik.com/open-innovation

Sandvik Materials Technology is a world-leading developer and manufacturer of products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys for the most demanding environments, as well as products and systems for industrial heating.