Plant & Works Engineering Feb/Mar 2024

NEWS | FEATURES | PRODUCTS | CASE STUDIES February/March 2024 | Issue 479 @PWEmagazine1 How large language models can boost industrial automation Inside this issue: 20 > How much do air leaks really cost? 32 > Why digital magnet controllers are the unsung heroes of productivity 36 > Tackling the skills gap in the rapidly changing engineering industry page 10 @plant-&-works-engineering PWE Plant & Works Engineering Since 1981

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“The rise of ESG underscores an evolution in corporate consciousness, where businesses are no longer solely driven by profit margins but are aligning their strategies with societal and environmental imperatives.” The rise of ESG! The UK manufacturing landscape is experiencing a big shift towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. A recent report by Make UK and Lloyds Bank unveiled a 48% increase in manufacturing firms setting ESG targets since 2021, with 62% now actively engaged in this pursuit. This trend underscores an evolution in corporate consciousness, where businesses are no longer solely driven by profit margins but are aligning their strategies with societal and environmental imperatives. The report highlights the motivations behind this shift, citing mounting pressures from various stakeholders including the workforce, government, investors, and customers. With 77% of firms receiving ESG mandates from clients, it’s evident that consumer expectations are a driving force behind this transformation. However, Editor’s Comment ‘ ’ a stark disconnect emerges as only 27% of companies receive support from clients in meeting these requirements, highlighting a pressing need for collaborative partnerships to facilitate this transition effectively. Moreover, the report sheds light on the cascading effect of ESG integration within supply chains, with 74% of manufacturers incorporating ESG criteria into their procurement strategies. While this signifies progress, the revelation that 45% of firms lack visibility into their suppliers’ ESG performance underscores the complexity of this endeavour. It’s imperative for manufacturers to foster transparency and accountability across their supply networks to uphold shared sustainability goals. As regulatory mandates loom, compelling companies to disclose ESG transition plans, the urgency for comprehensive strategies intensifies. Faye Skelton, Head of Policy at Make UK, aptly notes that ESG is no longer a peripheral concern but a strategic imperative. Those pioneering this shift stand to gain a competitive edge, whereas laggards risk exclusion from lucrative supply chains. However, amid this progress, challenges still persist, particularly for smaller firms grappling with financial and technological barriers. Huw Howells, Head of Manufacturing & Industrials at Lloyds Bank, emphasises the need for collaborative efforts to surmount these obstacles and foster sustainable growth collectively. Furthermore, the report underscores the evolving landscape of ESG priorities, with a growing emphasis on human capital, carbon emissions, and biodiversity. This evolution reflects a nuanced understanding of sustainability, encompassing not only social welfare but also environmental stewardship. Although the burgeoning adoption of ESG principles heralds a new era of responsible manufacturing in the UK, the journey ahead is fraught with complexities and uncertainties. It is incumbent upon manufacturers to navigate these challenges with foresight and diligence, forging a path towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all stakeholders. February/March 2024 Plant & Works Engineering | 03

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February/March 2024 Plant & Works Engineering | 05 Editor: Aaron Blutstein t| 01732 370340 e| Content Sub Editor: Leslah Garland t| 01732 370340 e| Sales Director: Damien Oxlee t| 01732 370342 e| Sales Manager: Andrew Jell t| 01732 370347 e| DFA Direct: Ian Atkinson t| 01732 370340 e| Production Manager & Designer: Chris Davis e| Marketing Manager: Hope Jepson e| Operations Manager: Emma Godden-Wood t| 01732 370340 e| Reader/Circulation Enquiries: Perception t| +44 (0) 1825 701520 e| Financial: Finance Department e| Managing Director: Ryan Fuller e| Chief Executive Officer: Ian Atkinson e| Published by: DFA Media Group 192 The High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE t| 01732 370340 e| w| Official Supporters: Printer: Warners, UK © Copyright 2023, DFA Manufacturing Media Ltd ISSN 0262-0227 PWE is a controlled circulation magazine, published 11 times a year. Please contact DFA Media with any subscription enquiries. Paid subscriptions are also available on an annual basis at £100.00 (UK) or £170.00 (Overseas) P+P included. The content of this magazine, website and newsletters do not necessarily express the views of the Editor or publishers. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. COMMENT 3 NEWS 6 A round-up of what’s happening in industry. INSIGHT 10 MAINTEC PREVIEW 12 MAINTENANCE MATTERS - INCORPORATING PROBLEM SOLVER 14 Focus on: Condition Monitoring/ Maintenance 4.0 Product quality is high on the priority list of any reputable manufacturer. Whether your business manufacturers finished articles or components for other business to incorporate into their products, the risks are the same: If your production equipment fails, your business quickly transitions from a profitable organisation to a loss-making company. PWE reports. PROCESS, CONTROLS, & PLANT 20 Focus on: Compressed Air/ Pumps & Valves We all know that compressed air leaks are a huge source of energy (and money) waste, but do you know how much they really cost? PWE reports. ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 28 Focus on: Boilers, Burners & Controls/ HVAC PWE takes a look at how Babcock Wanson’s Navinergy is changing the way boiler rooms are managed, providing users with advanced tools to improve efficiency and maintain regulatory compliance. HANDLING & SAFETY MATTERS 32 Focus on: Handling & Storage Digital, dynamic control of industrial cranes on the factory floor is a largely unknown, but pivotal, source of uptime. Andy Swann explains why. SPECIAL FOCUS 36 Skills & Training PRODUCTS & SERVICES DIRECTORY 42 Contents 12 36 14 32 BCAS official media partner Subscribe for your FREE copy now

News 6 | Plant & Works Engineering February/March 2024 In a bid to propel industries toward sustainability, Hannover Messe 2024 is set to showcase cutting-edge innovations in automation, artificial intelligence, and renewable energies. The global trade fair, held under the theme “Energising a Sustainable Industry,” aims to address the pressing challenges of enhancing competitiveness, climate protection, and economic prosperity. Basilios Triantafillos, Global Director of Hannover Messe at Deutsche Messe AG, emphasised the pivotal role of innovative technologies showcased at the event in fostering a climate-neutral and highperformance industry. Triantafillos acknowledged the hurdles faced by companies, including the need for guidance in implementing automation, artificial intelligence, and energy management concepts, as well as the obstacles posed by bureaucracy and a shortage of skilled workers. Hannover Messe 2024 seeks to provide solutions to these challenges through a mix of new technologies, cross-industry collaboration, and a clear political framework. More than 4000 companies, representing a unified industrial ecosystem, will demonstrate how automation, digitalisation, and electrification can lead to climate neutrality. Key industry trends highlighted at the fair include artificial intelligence, carbon-neutral production, energy systems, Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing-X, and hydrogen and fuel cells. Large global technology companies such as Amazon Web Services, Bosch Rexroth, Google Cloud, Microsoft, SAP, and Siemens, alongside numerous small and medium-sized businesses, will present their contributions to a greener future. Leading research organisations, including Bavaria Innovative, various Fraunhofer institutes, the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), and Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research, will showcase the current state of research and technology transfer. Additionally, over 300 industrial start-ups will boost the focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. A significant focus of Hannover Messe 2024 is on green hydrogen, with approximately 500 companies from the hydrogen and fuel cell industry, including more than 300 at the group exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Europe. Norway, as the Partner Country at Hannover Messe 2024 under the theme “Norway 2024: Pioneering the Green Industrial Transition,” will highlight its plans for a low-carbon society and its role in developing solutions for renewable energy, carbon-neutral production, and green and digital applications. The European Union, showcasing itself as an economic alliance, presents a programme featuring Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at the opening ceremony. The EU’s programme includes the conference “EU as Home of Decarbonised Industry” and the European Commission Pavilion. Addressing the persistent challenge of a skilled workforce shortage, Hannover Messe introduces “YOUR FUTURE,” a young talent initiative encouraging high school graduates, college students, and young professionals to pursue careers in AI, engineering, and robotics. The programme includes meetings with potential employers, guided tours, information on apprenticeship and trainee programs, and networking opportunities. Hannover Messe 2024, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, promises to be a key event shaping the future of manufacturing and energy supply. The exhibition runs from April 22 to 26 in Hannover, Germany, with Norway taking centre stage as the Partner Country. Hannover Messe 2024: Empowering a Green Industrial Revolution BCAS appoints Steven Rohan as new President The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has appointed Steven Rohan as its new president. Rohan is the division engineering manager for Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division – Europe, Middle East and Africa and takes over the role from immediate past president, Mark Ranger from Atlas Copco. Having held the role of vice president for the past two years, Rohan is keen to build upon the excellent foundations set by the Society’s predecessors and to ensure that BCAS continues to play its crucial role in driving progress in the compressed air industry. Rohan commented: “It is an honour to be appointed as the 59th president of BCAS, a society that has been at the forefront of promoting safety and best practice in the energy efficiency and more cleaner and sustainable technologies. With this comes changing legislation and standards in a postBrexit regulatory landscape and, BCAS has a key part to play in representing its broad membership and as an independent voice of the compressed air industry. “To add further value for our membership, during my tenure I will also focus on talent acquisition and development. Our training and development portfolio and qualification programs will be broadened and strengthened, forming closer partnerships with the education sector. This will support the aim to attract more talent to our industry and our members’ businesses.” As part of the Society’s ongoing plans to compressed air industry for more than 90 years. “The world is changing rapidly. We are facing new challenges from the increasing demand for

News February/March 2024 Plant & Works Engineering | 07 boost growth, the BCAS team will be strengthened further too. Vanda Jones will continue in post, providing governance and stability while a new executive director is appointed, before continuing in the new role as company secretary. Tim Preece, as technical officer continues to expand the Society’s remit in the areas of EU and global standards and legislation, and a new training and development officer will be announced shortly. Frances Marsh also continues in her vital role as society administrator, providing membership support to manufacturer, distributor and end-user members. Commenting on Steven’s appointment, Vanda Jones, BCAS Executive Director added: “At board level we now have a wealth of experience across the team, with a balance of manufacturer and distribution directors to better represent our membership. This ensures we continue to support all our stakeholders on the issues that matter most to their businesses – whether it’s lobbying for changes in legislation to deliver a better outcome for customers, providing guidance on energy reduction or delivering technical training. “It is an exciting time for Steven to be leading the BCAS board and I look forward to working with him to support all our members and compressed air end users.” ABB to acquire SEAM Group to expand electrification service offering ABB has entered into an agreement to acquire SEAM Group, a major provider of energised asset management and advisory services to clients across industrial and commercial building markets. The acquisition will complement ABB’s Electrification Service offering, bringing significant additional expertise to customers in the areas of predictive, preventive, and corrective maintenance, electrical safety, renewables and asset management advisory services. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to close in Q3 2024. Financial terms were not disclosed. SEAM Group offers a suite of services including strategic advisory, custom training, advanced technology and data management solutions to help clients improve their safety and operational performance by securing asset uptime and improving productivity. The Company has nearly 250 employees and supports more than 1 million energised assets for over 800 active clients operating across 50 US states, as well as in the Americas, EMEA and Asia. With its presence at around 3000 customer sites and a strong foothold in fast-growing segments such as commercial buildings, data centres, healthcare, manufacturing and renewables including EV charging infrastructure, SEAM Group will extend ABB’s low- and medium-voltage services where reliable and available power is critical. “For many industries, every minute of production time counts. Proactive asset management is now a priority for industrial companies to guarantee peak performance of electrical systems and overall operational efficiency, safety and sustainability,” said Stuart Thompson, Division President, ABB Electrification Service.” Chief Executive Officer for SEAM Group added: “The synergies between SEAM Group and ABB are clear. From our shared values of customer focus, collaboration and enabling a more sustainable future, to our complementary portfolios, together we will deliver new levels of operational performance while supporting companies in their energy transition. We look forward to becoming part of ABB and the opportunity to bring the best of SEAM Group and ABB to our customers.” In a recent comment, Ken Young, Chief Technology Officer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), emphasised the critical need for governance in addressing the challenges and risks associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Young said that as AI continues to evolve, effective regulation and understanding are imperative to both maximise its benefits and protect against potential risks. Young explained: “We’re currently at the tip of the AI iceberg – what we see and understand today is a small fragment, but under the surface, there’s a vast amount of opportunity and challenges.” Highlighting the importance of governance, he stressed the necessity of a comprehensive approach to ensure the safe and ethical deployment of AI technologies. The Chief Technology Officer expressed full support for the Prime Minister’s vision of establishing the world’s first AI Safety Institute. This institute, as proposed by the Prime Minister, would focus on examining and mitigating the risks associated with AI technology. “Adequate governance will allow us to maximise AI’s potential safely, securely, and ethically,” Young continued. He underlined the significance of understanding the data used in AI models and the training processes involved, emphasising the need to make AI more predictable and less susceptible to bias. Turning the focus to the UK manufacturing sector, Young stressed the importance of education and upskilling initiatives on AI. He believes that stakeholders and the government should concentrate on fostering a deep understanding of AI to fully reap its benefits. Young pointed out that, through the digitalisation of the industry, AI has the potential to revolutionise decision-making, enhance productivity, and improve workplace safety in unprecedented ways. “With the prospect of smart factories on the horizon, AI can propel the move towards truly sustainable manufacturing,” he concluded, highlighting the transformative potential of AI in shaping the future of the manufacturing industry. MTC’s CTO urges robust governance to navigate AI challenges and risks

News 08 | Plant & Works Engineering February/March 2024 The topic of ESG is in the spotlight for a number of reasons at the moment. Not only is it one of the biggest trends in financial markets, attracting hundreds of billions of pounds as investors try to do well by doing good, but is also attracting the attention of Government which is looking to legislate on ratings agencies who have been accused of inflating the green credentials of companies to attract investment. Make UK’s latest survey with Lloyds Bank shows that ESG is also rapidly rising up the Boardroom agenda of manufacturers. A quarter of companies have responsibility for ESG at Board level while a similar number have their Executive Reward linked to ESG performance. Furthermore, the survey shows that three quarters of companies are now including ESG conditions in their procurements strategies, a significant increase since the last survey three years ago. This shows that for many companies this is not a ‘nice to have’ option but a cast iron pre-requisite for doing business and for those companies unable to comply there is a risk they will be shut out of supply chains or have to accept discounted prices or margins in order to simply do business. This is a critical factor because the survey shows that almost half of companies, presumably the majority being SMES, feel they do not have the resources required to achieve the conditions set by their customers. And the ESG requirements being stipulated are now moving beyond the traditional and expected conditions in areas such as health & safety and employment conditions into areas such as human slavery and biodiversity, for example wildlife habitats. Given the strains on supply chains for companies from the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine and the energy price shock these increasing requirements are presenting yet another challenge for companies but one they will simply have to meet. It’s now clear that those companies who are already ahead of the game and responding to their customers will be in pole position should Government ever to get to the position where the demands of consumers and other stakeholders make mandated ESG legislation necessary. By MAKE UK chief executive, Stephen Phipson MAKE uk - the manufacturers’ organisation monthly news comment The recent Talking Industry panel discussion, sponsored by the Drives & Controls Exhibition, delved into the intricacies of network connectivity in the industrial sector. The discussion, which featured seasoned experts David Bradley-Foley, Managing Director of HMS Networks, UK and Ireland, and John Browett, General Manager of CC-Link Partner Association Europe, highlighted several key trends shaping the landscape of industrial communications. Networking trends HMS Networks’ annual survey of industrial networking technologies for 2023 revealed a notable 7% growth in the number of installed nodes, with a rising prevalence of multiple networks being operated by users. Industrial Ethernet emerged as the frontrunner, now constituting 68% of total network usage, while Fieldbus technologies maintained a stable presence. Wireless solutions, although still modest in market share, experienced accelerated growth, signalling a shift towards wireless industrial networking solutions in factory automation. David Bradley-Foley underscored the challenges posed by existing wireless infrastructures predominantly based on 2G or 3G technologies, citing bandwidth limitations and maintenance issues. He emphasised the significance of fast-reacting networks, particularly in ensuring safety amidst the operation of machinery and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). With the advent of 5G, industries are increasingly gravitating towards deploying private 5G networks, previously perceived as cost-prohibitive but now more feasible with reduced costs, enabling real-time communication and connectivity even for legacy machines. Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) John Browett shed light on the evolution of TimeSensitive Networking (TSN) as a pivotal component in facilitating deterministic and convergent communications, essential for Industry 4.0 applications. TSN, which integrates seamlessly with Industrial Ethernet, emerged from the realm of professional broadcast and media, leveraging standards established by the IEEE to synchronise devices across networks. Browett drew parallels between TSN and the operation of a railway network, elucidating its role in ensuring precise timing and prioritisation of network traffic through mechanisms like the “QBV” standard. The QBV standard allows the same network to be used for many different functions, whereas in the past, you may have had one network for safety, one for motion control, another one for your cameras, etc. But with TSN, you can now just put all this together on one network. In turn, this ensures that machines are simpler, less expensive, and faster to develop. The launch of CC-Link IE TSN in 2018 marked a significant milestone, offering gigabit bandwidth coupled with TSN capabilities in an open industrial Ethernet platform. Browett highlighted the versatility of TSN in consolidating various network functions onto a single infrastructure, resulting in simpler, more costeffective, and expedited development of industrial machines. The insights shared by industry veterans David Bradley-Foley and John Browett underscore the evolving landscape of industrial communications, driven by the adoption of advanced networking technologies such as 5G and TSN. As industries continue to embrace digitalisation and automation, the importance of robust, highspeed, and deterministic networks cannot be overstated. The convergence of these trends heralds a new era of connectivity, enabling unprecedented levels of efficiency, safety, and innovation in industrial operations. For those interested in revisiting the engaging panel discussion, the on-demand video is available at: Industrial networking experts discuss trends in network connectivity Talking Industry

5-6 June 2024 | NEC Birmingham Crucial networking 100+ exhibitors Insightful content Learn more at or scan this code Part of Covering key topics such as

10 | Plant & Works Engineering February/March 2024 Insight Large language models are created using deep learning algorithms that are trained in massive amounts of text data. Recently, large language models have spread into various industries and increasingly applied in industrial automation. The ability of these models to understand and generate human language can greatly improve the efficiency of industrial processes. Our own conservative estimations show the potential of large language models to eliminate 20% of the effort required by an OEM to build a machine PLC application. The move from GPT-2 to GPT-4 enables models to handle more content as inputs, exponentially increasing the applications of large language models in industrial automation. Customising models for specific use cases or tasks within industrial automation can include: 1. Code generation, documentation, refactoring, and testing 2. Natural language interfaces 3. Automation system design and development However, it is important to consider the limitations that may be prevalent before the large language models are industrialised. 1. Code generation, documentation, refactoring, and testing Large language models can be used to generate code for control systems such as PLCs or to generate HMI screen using natural language inputs. This reduces the time and effort required to develop control applications. Furthermore, large language models have the potential to improve the quality of generated code, leading to fewer errors and faster commissioning times. Another application can be the automatic generation of recipe code which would save time when changing parameters, suppliers, or ingredients. The time to create the recipe often impacts production time so any saving that could made here would increase efficiency. Large language models can also automatically generate documentation associated with the code – like automatic test scripts which has always been time-consuming for the operator. Schneider Electric has been testing the use of private access versions of large language How large language models can boost industrial automation ChatGPT demonstrates the potential impact that large language models could have on the way people interact with machines. According to Boston Consulting Group, generative AI will surely bring about a boost in productivity from people and machines working together; and there is no place where people and machines interact more than in industrial automation segments. Aurelien Le Sant, Chief Technology Officer, Industrial Automation, Schneider Electric explains further.

Insight February/March 2024 Plant & Works Engineering | 11 models to train on our own EcoStruxure Machine Expert applications. The results are promising, with code able to be generated quickly and somewhat accurately, still needing a human eye to review, but we can see that the same kind of model can be applied to other software applications. 2. Natural language interfaces Large language models can also be used to create natural language interfaces for industrial automation systems, allowing operators to interact with these systems being human language rather than programming languages. This capability enables operators to rapidly access existing documentation using natural language commands. As documentation is digitalised and fed into secure and specific large language models, operators can simply ask questions. For example, “what does error code 8975 mean and how can I resolve it?”, the model will draw from approved and official manuals, technical descriptions, and source codes, for quick answers. An often-reported challenge across industrial businesses has been that domain knowledge can reside with specific people. While this is being addressed through digital transformation of work practices, many factories still encounter maintenance issues that can only be fixed by one person. If that same operator’s expert knowledge can be fed into the safe and secure language models, operators could use voice commands to troubleshoot and take corrective actions. The same large language models can also be applied to the creation of user manuals and documentation for machines, automation products, and systems, freeing up time for engineers to apply their knowledge to valueadding activities. 3. Automation system design and development Whether it is an expansion or a greenfield development, the design of automation systems requires significant coordination between numerous vendor and customer departments, and often third parties like regulatory authorities. Large language models can standardise known parameters to reduce the time taken and add a competitive advantage. Customer and partner inputs can take months, or even years, of rigorous work from experts to ensure quality and viability. Large language models speed up the whole process while adhering to strict compliance at all levels. Ethical considerations and limitations The use of large language models in industrial automation raises several ethical considerations and risks which must be factored in to ensure that the technology is used in a responsible manner. Safety: If AI models are used to perform actions in industrial automation, clear safety practices must be the first consideration. Data privacy: Large language models require large amounts of data to be trained. This data can include sensitive information that must be protected, adhering to all GDPR compliances. Bias: Large language models can amplify societal biases in data used for training. This could lead to unfair and discriminatory outcomes, it’s crucial to identify and mitigate these to ensure fair and equitable outcomes. Security: Large language modes can be vulnerable to malicious attacks such as model stealing or adversarial attacks. Models must be protected against these threats. Explanation: Large language models can be difficult to interpret, sometimes making it a challenge to explain responses. This can be problematic when used in decision-making processes as all decisions must be understood, ensuring they are fair and reasonable. People focus: Even with the capabilities of large language models, human interaction is still essential. These models must complement human capabilities, with any response being checked by experts before it is used. Industrialisation of large language models To fully leverage the benefits of large language models, they must be deployed appropriately while considering all the ethical considerations and limitations. Another important aspect to consider is the potential base size of that large language model. With each development, for an effective execution of large language models would require an enormous amount of compute power and space. The use of large language models is becoming increasingly common across a wide range of industries. McKinsey notes that “generative AI has the potential to change the anatomy of work, augmenting the capabilities of individual workers by automating some of their individual activities.” Large language models like GPT-4 are changing work practices in industrial automation by using them for code generation, with natural language interfaces and, further into the future, for automation system design and development. Using advanced machine learning techniques to generate high-quality code and documentation quickly significantly increases efficiency and reduces errors, when mindful of the ethical and risk considerations. Industrial automation can harness the potential power of large language models to change the way work is done across the complete lifecycle from design and build to operate and maintain. For further information please visit:

12 | Plant & Works Engineering February/March 2024 Maintec “I think it’s fair to say that Maintec has changed out of all recognition in the last two years” says Jos Diamond, Event Manager for Maintec, “Bringing the event into Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week ( has not only increased the number of visitors coming to the event but it has also placed maintenance engineering and asset management alongside the technologies and issues that are driving the other events such as Smart Factory Expo.” Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week attracts some of the largest, most innovative industrial and tech businesses in the world (think Google and IBM as well as Siemens and ABB) and the 2024 event will be no different. Some of the big names confirmed to exhibit at Maintec in 2024 include Amazon RME, Emerson, RS and ERIKS. As well as the large multinationals there are a host of other specialist businesses attending Maintec. Specialist recruiting firm Maintech Recruitment will be exhibiting for its third year in succession and Emma Devereux, Managing Director has an interesting vantage point as she looks across the industry sectors where maintenance expertise is in most demand: “We A smart use of time for 2024 Maintec will be taking place at the NEC on June 5th and 6th as part of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024. PWE takes a closer look at what visitors can expect. are seeing a growing demand for maintenance professionals in sectors such as rail, renewables and logistics as well as in the traditional manufacturing businesses.” She added: “But, there is a skills shortage and in many cases maintenance engineers’ skills are crosstransferable, so we help our clients take people from one market and place them into another, or perhaps take someone who has worked in the armed forces with both technical experience and an ability to work under pressure and place them in industry. You must be open-minded. “What’s also notable is that maintenance engineers’ skills need to evolve as we see more focus on automation in manufacturing and distribution. Even on the electrical side there is now a need to include electronics and PLCs in the skill set so having Maintec within a wider set of events allows us all to learn about what the coming trends are and what our clients will be demanding of our candidates in the future.” Educational content & summits Maintec will boast its own, specifically maintenance focused, seminar theatre but visitors can access a range of educational activities during the live events at the NEC. These will take place across eight topic-themed theatres that focus on: Automation & Robotics, Digital Transformation, IIoT & Connectivity, Industrial Data & AI, Innovation, Maintenance, Air-Tech Solutions and Fluid Power & Systems. A standout activity is the Manufacturing Automation & Robotics Summit that covers challenges such as integration complexity, developing a skilled workforce, cost and ROI concerns and regulatory and safety compliance. Commenting on the summit Grace Gilling, Manufacturing Portfolio Director of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024 said: “Manufacturers in the UK are experiencing a monumental shift in the way they operate. Automation and robotics are not just buzzwords; it’s a fundamental revolution that is reshaping how goods are produced, processed, and delivered to the market. While the promises of increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved quality are enticing, the road to embracing these technologies is not without its hurdles. This summit is dedicated to exploring the rapidly evolving landscape of automation and robotics and more importantly, addressing the challenges of this transformative era.” The full content programme is yet to be published but you can sign up for alerts or follow the events on social media for the latest updates. On the fringe Aside from the exhibitions themselves there is a multitude of events taking place on the ‘fringe’ of the exhibitions that range from the serious to the more light-hearted! The Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit, for example, is an innovative and interactive conference featuring both plenary session presentations and lively round table discussions with industry leaders. The Oscars of the manufacturing sector The Manufacturer Top 100 will be held on the evening of 5th June. It publicly recognises the heroes of UK manufacturing, those who stand out for their contribution to changing the face of the industry. Plus, The Manufacturer Directors’ Forum will take place; a professional network of senior manufacturers, drawn from across the industrial spectrum, who attend targeted events

Maintec February/March 2024 Plant & Works Engineering | 13 and roundtable discussions to share best practice and their experiences. On the fun side The Guitar Legends competition, where any visitor can show off their guitar skills and win a 3D printed guitar, will take place once again as well as the Day 1 after show party with The Shadow Monkeys providing live music. Co-located events A whole host of other activities are taking place during Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week. For instance, Smart Factory Expo is where manufacturers explore digital transformation solutions to gain a competitive advantage. The Design & Engineering Expo focuses on innovation so that those that want to reduce costs and optimise their future design and engineering strategy can find what they need. Of key importance are the new events that are taking place as part of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week for the first time, Fluid Power & Systems, Air-Tech and Drives & Controls. These are closely aligned to Maintec as they bring together key topics and suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment covering critical areas such as energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motors, motion control, robotics and automation. As well as the events mentioned in this article taking place at the NEC at the same time are the UK Garage & Bodyshop event run by Messe Frankfurt; Med-Tech Innovation Expo and TCT 3Sixty from Rapid News Group and Subcon from the Mark Allen Group. A single visitor registration to Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024 provides access to all the events. For further information please visit:

Many businesses used to keep a healthy level of reserve stock in the warehouse to ensure their customers are never let down in the event of an unplanned break in production. But as competition increases and margins erode, most businesses choose to tie up as little cash in stockholding as possible, making reserve stock a less efficient way to operate in today’s highly competitive environment. As businesses hold less stock, the effect of a disruption to production is quickly compounded, deliveries are more likely to be missed, and customers let down. This not only impacts revenue from lost business, but it also damages the reputation of a business too. Industries, such as the automotive industry, face severe supply fines if they fail to deliver on time. Many modern car production lines can produce a car every 90 seconds, so a one hour shut-down results in 40 cars not being produced. If the average price of a car is £30,000 (€35,000) then this type of incident would result in a lost revenue of £1.2m (€1.4m) - as a result, it is not difficult to understand the Maintenance Matters Focus on: Condition Monitoring 14 | Plant & Works Engineering February/March 2024 Why your business needs thermal condition based monitoring Product quality is high on the priority list of any reputable manufacturer. Whether your business manufacturers finished articles or components for other business to incorporate into their products, the risks are the same: If your production equipment fails, your business quickly transitions from a profitable organisation to a loss-making company. PWE reports. high fines associated with missed delivery deadlines. But can these issues be avoided in the first place? FLIR told PWE that it believes the answer is yes: carefully monitoring the condition of your production equipment on a regular basis has shown that many supply chain problems can be eliminated. For example, FLIR highlights that if your business uses an electric motor at any stage during the production process, when was it last checked for cleanliness? Electric motors can overheat due to a build-up of dirt and debris blocking air flow holes that are designed to help cool the motor. The motor may not be old or have any obvious issues - in fact it may appear to be working perfectly well until it suddenly fails. Other examples which the company highlights include electrical connections, fuse boxes, contactor plates, or other components found in electrical cabinets. Over time, tiny vibrations and heat cycles can cause crimped connections to loosen, along with nuts and bolts on connective wiring which give rise to elevated temperature as the electrical resistance increases. This type of common fault has no visual clues and can happen at any time during the production process, yet in most cases can be prevented using predictive condition monitoring techniques. Thermal imaging cameras: A key component in reducing unscheduled downtime FLIR explains that if regular thermal inspections are undertaken, thermal signatures can be identified for every electrical connection, electric motor, other electric component or moving equipment in a facility. While equipment operates as intended, temperatures will remain reasonably consistent, and the insights gained will be no more than regular reassurance. However, if suddenly a temperature reading begins to unusually increase, then this may be indicative of a developing fault. As already mentioned, correcting faults may be as simple as tightening a connection or cleaning cooling fins or airways, but faults may be more severe and require more detailed maintenance or component replacement. In the example of an electric motor exhibiting higher temperatures due to a build-up of dust and dirt, the fix may take 5 minutes when the motor has been turned off to clean it thoroughly. If the issue isn´t identified early, the motor may fail from deteriorate and require a replacement motor to be installed - potentially resulting in a shut down over several days while waiting for a new motor to be delivered. Thermal cameras require little training to use in the hands of an operator, and the investment in a camera, operator training, and associated reporting software may cost less than you think. The one certainty is that the overall cost will be less than an unplanned production shutdown. For further information please visit: condition-monitoring-solutions/

Name: Company Name: Address: Post Code: Tel: Total Number of Copies @ £ p+p Total £ Drives S & S Hyd H/B Pne H/B Ind Mot Comp H/B H/B Air QUANTITY QUANTITY Hydraulics & Pneumatics There are now 6 of these handy reference books from the publishers of the Drives & Controls and Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazines. Published in an easily readable style and designed to help answer basic questions and everyday problems without the need to refer to weighty textbooks. We believe you’ll find them invaluable items to have within arms reach. From the publishers of QUANTITY QUANTITY QUANTITY 2-5 copies £4.30, 6-20 copies £4.10, 20+ copies £3.75. QUANTITY PRACTICAL ENGINEER’S HANDBOOKS HYDRAULICS INDUSTRIAL MOTORS SERVOS AND STEPPERS PNEUMATICS COMPRESSED AIR INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC DRIVES PLEASE ALLOW UPTO 28 DAYS FOR DELIVERY $&! -!.5&!#452).' -%$)! ,4$ 4HE (IGH 3TREET 4ONBRIDGE +ENT 4. "% Postage and Packaging: 1-3 copies: £2.99 4-6 copies: £4.99 7 or more copies: £6.99 If you would like to obtain additional copies of the handbooks, please email or call us on 01732 370340. Alternatively you can return the completed form below to: Engineers Handbook, DFA MANUFACTURING MEDIA LTD, 192 The High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE Cheques should be made payable to DFA Manufacturing Media Ltd and crossed A/C Payee. Copies of the handbooks are available at £4.99 per copy. Discounts are available for multiple copies. Project1.qxp_Layout 1 15/02/2022 11:36 Page 1 01706 835 331 | | Safeguard your machinery – it doesn’t have to be complicated Wireless vibration and temperature monitoring Industry-leading measurement technology Wi-Fi or cellular network communication

It has been reported that around 90% of data generated in a manufacturing plant typically doesn’t get used to build insights that can really help the business. While this is concerning, it’s not surprising since data is often siloed and unavailable to the people that could benefit from it most. We are already in an era of big data, but it is estimated that the total volume of data doubles every two years. The colossal volume of data is something that threatens to undermine our capacity to derive value from it, especially in the world of manufacturing. Manufacturers expect data volumes to increase by more than any other industry. The potential from this data growth is enormous. Sensors can detect recurrent failure patterns; models can solve bottlenecks and optimise processes; analytics insights can improve sustainability. A joint study carried out by Honeywell and KRC discovered that harnessing big data analytics can lower breakdowns by up to 26 per cent and reduce unscheduled downtime by nearly a quarter. However, without the correct data architecture in place, the opportunity is lost. This is why many forward-thinking manufacturers are already moving away from the era of big data and talking instead about smart data. While big data in manufacturing comes with a number of challenges, perhaps the leading issue is that for as long as the data is captured in siloes, nobody is able to grasp the bigger picture. This is why, according to an often-cited report from Forrester Research, 73 per cent of all data collected in an organisation goes unused. Data siloes result in fragmented information, preventing a comprehensive view of operations. When data is confined to a specific department or system, it becomes challenging to gain a holistic understanding of the entire manufacturing process. All the elements of a manufacturing process are interconnected, so while data is isolated in siloes it hinders the ability to optimise processes and identify areas for improvement. Overcoming this challenge requires a strategic approach involving the integration of systems, the adoption of standardised communication protocols where possible and the implementation of comprehensive data governance practices. Technology like TwinCAT is key to this, as it allows all hardware and software on a production line to communicate via an open range of protocols, enabling everyone to see the data they need. In the shift from the era of big data to the world of smart data, the ability to use real-time data insight will also be key. Previously, there has been more of an emphasis on spotting patterns in historical data. However, the future of manufacturing will belong to those who can gather and utilise real-time data. This becomes a greater competitive advantage as stable product lines become less common and the demand for flexibility in manufacturing increases. Technologies like EtherCAT will be key to fulfilling this promise. EtherCAT has widely been adopted in the automation world with over 7000 members due to its speed, simplicity and efficiency. All EtherCAT devices can be connected to, collect information, and respond in real-time using the Ethernet backbone, enabling seamless data flow within the flexible network. Real-time insight is the holy grail of industrial connectivity, and EtherCAT architecture facilitates that. Consolidating production line data will be a major focus for investment in the coming years. Analysis from ABI Research estimates that manufacturers will spend $20 billion to transform and support data analytics by 2026. With the right data architecture in place, the continuous growth in manufacturing data can be a strategic asset. The key will be utilising technologies that prevent data from becoming trapped in siloes. For further information please visit: Maintenance Matters Focus on: Maintenance 4.0 16 | Plant & Works Engineering February/March 2024 Moving away from big data towards smart data Beth Ragdale, product manager at automation specialist Beckhoff UK, explains the value of consolidating production line data. AI-powered tool to simplify navigating electromechanical repair and maintenance standards The Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades (AEMT) is working with the British Standards Institute (BSI) and UKRI’s Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, to develop an AI-powered tool to help electromechanical repair specialists ensure they repair hazardous area motors to the correct standard. PWE reports. The tool, which is being developed with some funding and support from Innovate UK, will enable engineers repairing rotating electrical equipment to clarify technical requirements through an easy-tooperate chatbot-style interface. Within the BS EN and IEC 60079 series of standards, various technical standards govern, among other things, the repair, overhaul, reclamation, installation, maintenance, and inspection, plus the design, testing and marking of equipment designed for use in explosive

Focus on: Maintenance 4.0 Maintenance Matters February/March 2024 Plant & Works Engineering | 17 atmospheres. Navigating and interpreting this complex range of standards can be timeconsuming and open to error. In addition, these standards are reviewed and updated periodically; however, it can be a challenge to ensure the right standard is used in conjunction with the age of the equipment being repaired. The tool under development by the AEMT and BSI aims to vastly simplify interpreting and complying with these complex standards while reducing the potential for error. Users of the system will be able to ask questions about the repair they are working on and be provided with the technical guidance and information required to ensure compliance and safety. The chat-based interface draws on large language model technology, which allows for further detail or clarification where needed. This is particularly valuable in interpreting a range of cross-referenced documents, where identifying the pertinent parts of various standards is not straightforward. By understanding the year in which the type of hazardous area equipment was certified, which can be established from the first two digits of the certificate number, the chatbot will be able to establish which version of the relevant standard applies. For example, in the 2000 version of the Ex d standard BS EN 50018, the dimensions relating to flame paths differ from those in the 2004 version, IEC 600791. However, where IEC 60079-19, which covers the repair, overhaul, and reclamation of equipment designed for use in explosive atmospheres, is concerned, the chatbot will only give information from the latest version. This is because repair procedures improve over the different versions released. For example, a go-no-go test, which helps to check for damaged threads, was introduced in the latest edition, 2019, but this is not referenced in the 2015 version of the same standard. The tool will initially cover ten versions of four different BS EN Hazardous Area standards and is due to be tested by AEMT members and rolled-out from quarter 2, 2024. For further information please visit: IF YOU’RE READING THIS, THEN SO ARE 30,000+ ENGINEERS IMAGINE THE IMPACT YOUR ADVERTISEMENT COULD HAVE Contact Damien Oxlee at PWE Tel: 01732 370340 “You don’t knowwhat I got”