Providers seek competetive advantage through sustainability

With competition and consolidation intense, leading providers are increasingly finding creative ways to differentiate themselves.

As Infor’s Trevor Barrows notes on page 23 of the October Issue of Logistics Magazine (out October 3), the reduction of carbon emissions throughout the supply chain is a burgeoning area of service.

“Our peers in Europe have been working successfully on reducing carbon emissions through audit trails that monitor the baseline energy consumption of their vehicles and factories,” he says.

In Europe, carbon trading continues to gain prominence with 18 country/state members (out of 25) and over 12,000 company installations collaborating in carbon trading through the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

According to UK prime minister Gordon Brown, by 2010 the global environmental market – clean energy, waste and water – could be worth almost $700 billion – a sector as big as the successful aerospace or pharmaceuticals industries.

While they decline to be named, case studies include a provider who calculated CO2 emission costs per litre and opti­mised its assets by consolidating its supplier LTL lanes to enjoy total savings of 6.5 per cent and an emission reduc­ tion of 23 per cent.

Another achieved a 38.2 per cent CO2 reduction by moving secondary postponement of finished manufactured product including packag­ing, to the country of consumption, and offsetting cost against tax and carbon credits using the EU ETS.

Although Australia failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and the Federal Government is yet to provide tax incen­tives or carbon trading on par with the EU, a variety of policies and programs do exist to assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including trading schemes, predominantly at the state level.

Of the ANZ companies that completed the Carbon Disclosure Project question­naire last year, 93 per cent indicated that climate change was of relevance to their business, but the majority (61 per cent), have no trading strategy and do not par­ticipate in any emissions trading activi­ties.

Despite this, 19 per cent do have a strategy in place and are involved in limited trading.

Top ranked provider Queensland Rail is one Australian company pointing to environmentally friendly initiatives as a key driver of its growth.

“Businesses face increasing pressure to be environmentally sound and socially responsible,” says QR Acting CEO Stephen Cantwell.

“Global warming and climate change now make these objectives economically imperative. It’s in this area of environmental sustainability and social responsibility that rail freight transport has the opportunity to outperform road transport competition.”

Transport accounts for 14 per cent of Australia’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. Of this, 90 per cent are attributable to road vehicles while rail is responsible for only 2.2 per cent.

“A 20 per cent increase in the use of rail in lieu of road transport (freight and passenger) over the last five years could have yielded savings in excess of seven million tonnes of CO2 emissions,” Cantwell says.

“QR is committed to researching and implementing new ways of tackling the environmental challenges facing Australia and the world.”

” We have formulated a strong response to the increasing national freight task by highlighting the green credentials of rail transport, especially for long distance and bulk traffics,” he says.

One example is QR’s partnering with customers and its investment in alliances with supply chain partners that will help formulate new strategies. The company is also monitoring and participating in research into alternative fuel sources.

Sustainability will be a key factor in Australia’s business future, especially within the transport and logistics industry. Now is the time for providers to capitalise on the opportunity.

View related story: Australia lags on progressive measures

MATEX returns in 2008

Australia’s premier materials handling and warehousing Exhibition, MATEX, will make a return to Sydney in 2008 and will be held 15 -17 April, Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park.

With consultation from the industry and after five years co-located with National Manufacturing Week, the decision was made to move away from the present format with National Manufacturing Week and again become a stand alone event.

Nicholas Tossman, Event Director of MATEX says the move has created an extremely positive response from the Industry.

“Matex 2008 will be held over three day’s instead of the shows previous four day’s with NMW, bringing it back to its original time period,” he says.

“It will be a new vibrant Event that is more vertical, focusing one of the largest growing industry sectors in Australia, the warehousing and logistics sector.”

“We would like to welcome the Supply Chain Logistics Association Australia (SCLAA) as the Official Association for MATEX 2008 and for their effort in organising the two- day 2008 SCLAA Conference to be held on the first two days of the Event,” Tossman says.

“In addition to the Conference the SCLAA will be organising the Fork Lift Drivers Championship, where the final will be held at MATEX on the 17th April 2008 on a specially constructed course.”

“MATEX 2008 exhibition space is filling fast, with excellent support coming from leading Australian Materials Handling Company’s eager to showcase their products and equipment to a highly targeted visitor audience.”

For more information on what will be on show and the 2008 SCLAA Conference visit the official MATEX 2008 website at where you will get the latest updates on what will be on show and links to industry websites supporting MATEX 2008 or book a stand.

ALC consultation workshop

Having been commissioned by the Honourable Mark Vaile MP to lead the development of a new National Transport and Logistics Strategy — ‘T&L2012’, Logistics peak body, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) s in the process of consultation with industry.

A workshop is being held in Canberra as part of this consultation this Tuesday 2 October, at the Lecture Theatre, Australian Defence Force Staff College in Western Creek between 10:00 — 2:00pm with lunch will be provided.

A considerable amount of work has already been finished including the development of four 15 year scenarios that will provide essential context for the 5 year T&L industry strategy and the establishment of a T&L Futures Steering Group and a T&L Strategy Consultation Group.

These groups are made up of senior industry representatives to assist in the Strategy’s development and have been formed to ensure industry consultation is effective and to guide development of the Strategy on behalf of the Industry.

It is vital that all industry stakeholders are consulted and provide input into the development of the new national strategy and for this reason we ask that you attend this session if possible. Please feel free to invite other stakeholders whom you believe would also be interested in attending.

View Discussion Paper to be covered at the consultation.

To confirm your attendance at this workshop please contact the ALC on 1300 785 236.

Click here for more information about the ALC

Operational logistics wins accolades for health services provider

The first of its kind in Australia, healthcare services provider Aspen Medical has been rated the second fastest growing company in Australia and is a recent winner of the 2007 ACT Hudson Telstra Business Award.

In its fifth year, the dynamic young company has a turnover of over $40 million per annum and more than 250 people providing immediate, global healthcare services in remote areas around the world and those with high demand.

Co-founded by lifelong friends, logistics expert Glenn Keys and clinician Andrew Walker, the vision of the business is to be the preferred supplier of outsourced health services from medical staff to facilities, equipment and procedures in emergency or high demand situations and remote locations.

In East Timor early 2006, Aspen Medical was recruited to set up an operational hospital from scratch, which it achieved in three and a half weeks. “We exported everything,” says Glenn Keys, who’s also the company’s managing director.

“They gave us a piece of dirt and asked us to set up GP services, surgery, primary care, emergency beds, ICU, HDU, a ten bed ward, pathology, radiology, dental ambulance, environmental health and aero-medical evacuation.”

“We worked with the engaged contractors regarding laying a slab, utilities and temporary facilities while the permanent ones were put in place. We purchased over a million dollars worth of equipment and coordinated the shipping, delivery, fitting out, commissioning and testing by Defence, all in three and a half weeks.”

During the Solomon Island riots, Aspen Medical converted standard hospital care to full emergency preparedness in 36 hours.

“We realised there was a good chance the airport would be closed, so we planned getting in people and resources around a very small window of time,” Keys recalls.

“In a few hours we mobilised staff, pharmaceuticals and stores out of Brisbane, and within 12 hours we grew an additional team to 6 people on the ground in the Solomons. In 24 hours, we had doubled the stores required to treat the injured such as morphine, and provided other surgical supplies.”

According to Glenn Keys, the management of high clinical standards, logistics and operations is the key to Aspen Medical’s success.

An engineer by training at Duntroon, Glenn Keys qualified as a flight test engineer and worked extensively in logistics command with many deployments. Later employed by multi-national corporation Raytheon, Keys says planning and coordination are the single most important elements of Aspen Medical’s logistics operations.

“We use a range of project management and logistics planning tools right up front to scope the task,” Keys explains.

“We follow the process through on a regular basis to assess the progress of delivery. Every element is covered, including utilsing any person in the organization who might add value to the project on what needs to be done.”

In rapid deployment, logistics challenges include working with existing systems and procedures, understanding entry and exit requirements such as special visas, licensing or if Aspen’s people will need to be registered when importing equipment and resources.

“Planning incorporates everything from what style of equipment is appropriate in specific locations, how it’ll be operated and serviced, to what parts or spares will be required,” Keys says.

“We also handle delivery schedules, staff changeovers quarantine and any set-backs. Bad news doesn’t get any better with age. Right up front, we make a decision and get on to the next thing.”

“Finally, at the end of each and every project, we complete a wrap-up detailing what have we learned, what would we do differently and what strategies or processes that could be incorporated in to existing and future projects.”

According to Glenn Keys, every project is unique. Early in 2005, the company was contracted to clear an 8 year waiting list for urolology surgery in Ireland.

“In this instance, our deadline was three months,” Keys says. “Previously we’d been there to clear a 2-year ophthalmology surgery waiting list. They were only managing 12 cataracts a week. We facilitated 200 in 10 days. Every project requires a unique plan and implementation.”

Aspen Medical’s cutting edge approach to supplier and internal relationship management is another essential ingredient of the company’s success. Glenn Keys says performance based logistics, the science of managing staff and contract performance is an area the company has been pioneering.

“Establishing realistic, appropriate performance standards and how to monitor and report on them is quite new,” he says. “There’s a tendency to get in to contractual terms and conditions without truly evaluating whether the performance being measured actually reflects the desired outcome.”

“We’re big believers in gathering and analysing data. For us, setting up performance indicators, monitoring and evaluating them continuously against outcomes is an essential component of the business.”

“Customers should be very clear about identifying outcomes,” Keys says. “As part of the negotiation, parties must sit down and agree on how to measure those outcomes so everyone is measuring the right thing.”

“It’s also critical to look at how specific performance indicators drive behaviour,” Keys adds. “We’ve seen lots of examples where implementing KPIs creates bizarre methodologies that have a negative impact on the business. The ‘delivery in under fifteen minutes’ rule is an example.”

“KPIs need to be reviewed every three months initially and then six months, depending on the life of the contract,” Keys says. “If it’s a long contract, it’s essential to monitor whether the desired outcomes have changed.”

“If KPIs need to be changed, go through the whole agreement process again. It’s a lot of work but it will keep everyone focused on what the outcomes are. And it actually prevents contractual issues.”

Glenn Keys says businesses should have two sets of KPIs, those they are delivering for customers and those that measure internal performance.

“Productivity and efficiency are driven by the KPIs at Aspen, and by that I mean both the customers’ KPIs, and ours. Some will relate to our margin while others refer to customer and staff turnover.”

“It’s vital that you employ the same method to develop KPIs with each internal department as you do with your customers,” Keys points out. “Go through each and work out what’s important for finance, HR, stores, projects and so on.”

“No-one needs fifty pages of KPIs,” Keys laughs. “There will always be four or five that specifically relate to your business and chances are you won’t require any more. But those five KPIs must be the right ones and you need to keep looking at them.”

“It doesn’t matter what contract business you’re in, if you’re not measuring complaints and compliments for example, you’re missing the point.”

“The complaints register is the biggest indicator of what’s driving systemic errors, so it’s important to feed that back in to the business to make sure you never get that complaint again.”

“Similarly, if you’ve got a good margin but a dramatically high staff turnover something is going wrong somewhere.”

Glenn Keys is also an advocate of gain sharing — the practice of dividing the savings made by efficiencies achieved through a partnership equally between customer and supplier.

“Many contracts have non-performance penalties but gain sharing isn’t so common,” he says.

“There’s still a prevalent belief that you have to be brutal with your suppliers but negative reinforcement only supports the ‘status quo’ without driving suppliers to
improve. I think if we saw more gain sharing we’d see a more savings and efficiencies.”

Ultimately, Keys believes developing relationships is about talking. “It sounds trivial, but I think it’s important to schedule in a coffee, even if it’s just at your quarterly meetings,” he says.

“We all have stuff outside our jobs and you need to take some time to get to know your people whether they’re customers, staff or suppliers.”

“These days, everyone is so time- poor, they think they should only spend 15 minutes with a customer. But I’ve found if you spend an hour you might save 2 days or a million dollars later on.”

“Often, we’re only brought in if there’s a problem, so when it’s fixed there are many more pressing priorities to get on with. So I make a point of saying: ‘I’d really like to talk, let’s work out an opportunity to get together.’”

Despite the achievements of Aspen Medical, Glenn Keys is quick to confirm that he’s never complacent about performance. “We’ll never reach a stage where we just roll along,” he says.

“We promote the fact that our country managers and staff know their jobs best and we’re very supportive of any new ideas they might have to improve efficiencies or change the program. We have a range of methodologies to ensure we’re continually monitoring our service with fresh eyes.”

“We were able to purchase and distribute all the equipment needed in Timor within a week, but it took an enormous effort.”

Consequently, we’re currently putting all the agreements in place for our next logistics pipeline in advance. That kind of planning isn’t against a specific project, so it may seem like a cost. But I’ll be surprised if we don’t need those systems again.”

Spiral conveyor retrofits

Steel belt spiral conveyors suffering wear and tear or even those nearing the end of their lifespan can now be retrofitted.

Materials handling specialist Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd (ICA) has instigated a new retrofit option to save on the expense of replacing an entire system.

This will suit many industries including food processing, assembly, manufacturing, automotive manufacture and general engineering.

Often, when an existing belt is reaching the end of its life, users mistakenly believe there is no option except to purchase a completely new system.

In addition, if a spiral conveyor is worn and torn it is likely to be greatly increasing the user’s power bill as higher energy loads are then required to pull the steel belt around.

ICA is long established in the manufacture and supply of new freezer/chilling spiral conveying systems. The company can now also convert existing steel belt spirals to run on the new generation “Modular Plastic Spiral Belt”.

These belts are more efficient, quieter and cheaper. They can be fitted to ‘downgo’ or ‘upgo’ single-drum spirals or twin-drum spirals in any configuration for the in-feed and out-feed.

Once all the necessary components are replaced and the new belt fitted, the units are fully tested prior to being handed over for production.

Apart from the immediate aesthetic benefits, the new belts will provide quieter running and reduced maintenance costs.

Another immediate saving will be the reduction in energy costs. Contamination that can be experienced with steel belt spirals also disappears due to the engineering of the modular plastic belts.

ICA provides an assessment and quotation to get any system back to a high level of performance.

Inight Group appoints Logistics specialist

In the latest of a series of appointments, Brisbane-based based property development specialist Insight Group, has given a strong hint as to its future focus with the appointment of respected Logistics industry professional, Rod Brooks.

Insight’s satisfaction with the response of the Supply Chain industry to its soon-to-be-completed Insight Logistics Park at Stapylton on the MI, midway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, has encouraged the company to actively seek out other suitable locations for similar facilities along the east coast.

Adelaide born Rod Brooks had the ideal training for his eventual career with Insight Group beginning as an engineering student, followed by experience in international export sales. He then spent six years as Sales Manager with a prominent storage systems company before joining Colby Engineering, now Dematic Logistics Systems.

Now based in Brisbane, Rod spent 11 years advancing through managerial positions in several states with Dematic, the acknowledged leader in the Logistics Systems industry.

At the same time he enhanced his management and business qualifications with a series of further professional qualifications. Rod is a current member of the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia and is a well respected professional within the Logistics Industry.

Insight Director Rod Colwell said he was delighted with Rod Brooks’ acceptance of his invitation to join the company.

“We have worked closely with Rod in our development of the technological and construction initiatives that have made our innovative ‘Volumetric’ warehouse design a reality,” he says.

“We have seen at first hand his professionalism and ethical approach to business situations and we understand the regard in which he is held by the industry at large.”

“Rod will undoubtedly make a contribution to Insight that will enhance our capabilities across all our projects and accelerate our continued growth and success,” Colwell says.

The appointment of Rod Brooks closely follows that of John Porter in May as CFO and the Environment and Planning Lawyer Alison Ward in August to a strategically structured management team of a progressive company with an identified focus on regional areas of high demand.

Current projects include residential, retail, commercial and industrial stretching from the Gold Coast to Townsville, including:

• Insight Logistics Park at Stapylton on the M1 Motorway

• Bundaberg Central Plaza lifestyle shopping centre

• Insight Commercial Park, Townsville

• Oak Valley acreage estate at Townsville

• Pacific Breeze master-planned residential estate at Jacobs Well

Mercury Awards give young recruits a voice

Logistics Magazine’s Mercury Awards is nurturing young talent in the industry through its Young Professional of the Year category, sponsored for the second year by ProActive Recruitment.

With skills shortage, high turnover and brain drain top issues on the agenda for high pressure Logistics businesses, strategies to recruit and retain future talent are welcome.

Through its Young Professional of the Year Category, outstanding young performers can be recognised for their contribution.

Such recognition is one of the key factors in nurturing loyalty and the motivation employees require to continue striving for excellence, as can be seen from the moving testimonials of last year’s winners in the category.

“It was a great privilege to accept this award,” says Eagle Global Logistics Australia’s warehouse manager Matthew Shepherd, who won Young Professional of the Year.

“The award has given me a sense of achievement to be able to come up against other young professionals of such a high caliber and come out on top.”

“Personally, I believe this will benefit my career a great deal, to my company it is cost effective advertising that I’m sure will have positive feed back,” he says.

“As we all know good people are hard to find and this type of award and publicity will attract young people to focus on not only entering the logistics industry but striving to excel.”

Highly Commended in the category, Marcus Roennfeldt, of Manhattan Associates says his achievement has been publicised within the organisation which made him very proud to have been selected.

“The award has given me additional confidence and enthusiasm to continue finding solutions in all scenarios and especially the more difficult situations,” he enthuses.

“Industry awards are a fantastic opportunity for people to share knowledge, experiences and build contacts.”

The Logistics Mercury Awards are now open —we are calling for entries. Nominate one of your outstanding young professionals now!

Deadline: Friday October 12, so hurry.

About the Mercury Awards.

Initiated and co-ordinated by Logistics Magazine, the publication of choice for decision-makers in Australia’s vibrant logistics industry, the awards are open to all individuals, teams and companies regardless of size who work in, contribute to logistics strategy and/or execute supply chain design and management.

Proudly sponsored by Toyota Material Handling, Chep Asia Pacific, TIG International, SmartTrans Limited, ProActive Recruitment and Dematic, the Mercury Awards are designed enable supply chain management and logistics organizations to reap the rewards of innovation in their many specific fields of expertise.

Why Enter? Logistics professionals are driving a rapidly growing industry — increasingly the key to our nation’s economic progress.

As a professional, nominating a young professional for a Mercury Award is an excellent way of recognising the importance of supply chain management and logistics along with all the hard work your company has put in over the past year.

Other 2007 Mercury categories include

• Logistics Leader, sponsored by SmartTrans will reward proven Logistics industry service excellence and supply chain management

• Best Manufacturer, proudly sponsored by Toyota Material Handling, will recognize logistics and supply chain excellence in a manufacturing context

• Top Transport, Distribution and Logistics Provider is a new category generously sponsored by CHEP Asia Pacific will reward innovative approaches taken by Australian 3PLs or LLPs that bring about significant competitive advantage for their customers.

• Technology Application generously sponsored by TIG International showcases the highly creative application of technology in a supply chain context

• Australian Export, showcasing excellence in import-export supply chain innovation and strategy

Award winners will be presented with their trophy at a gala event to be held on December 5 2007 at the Anchorage Room, Waters Edge. Walsh Bay, Sydney

To enter just fill in our simple and easy application form, available on request from Yvette Veselic or Anna Game-Lopata: 02 9422 8947 02 9422 2645

For more information online:

Boom sparks dedicated WA safety show

The surging growth in Western Australia’s employment has brought a new, large workplace safety trade show and conference to the state.

The inaugural WA Safety Show and Conference will be held in Perth from August 12 to 14, 2008 and will then run every two years.

It comes from the same stable as the Melbourne-based Safety In Action trade show and The Safety Show Sydney, which each attract more than 10,000 visitors annually and the two-year-old Queensland Safety Show.

Backing the WA Safety Show and Conference is the Safety Institute of Australia’s Western Australian division and organiser, Australian Exhibitions & Conferences (AEC). The 7000 square metre WA Safety Show’s announcement follows strong demand from exhibitors at other safety shows, says AEC managing director Marie Kinsella.

“Plenty of exhibitors were asking when we’d launch a Perth show,” she says. “Within 24 hours of us announcing the WA Safety Show, more than a dozen had snapped up stands.”

Kinsella anticipates the show will host over 150 exhibitors and 3000 visitors. One of those foundation exhibitors will be floor cleaning products supplier, Pall Mall Manufacturing Company. Its national sales manager, Stephen Longworth, says Western Australia has a ‘massive and developing market’ for the safety industry.

“WA is going ahead in leaps and bounds in the midst of a state-wide boom,” Longworth says. “Wherever you have an explosion in the growth of employment, it’s important to match that with a renewed focus on safety.”

“As national supplier of electrical safety and compliance testing equipment, Emona has seen firsthand the gap in our ability to inform WA electricians and electrical maintenance personnel of the latest in electrical safety testing equipment,” says marketing manager, Emona Instruments Mark Breznik.

“We are very proud to be involved in the inaugural show and, with our experience in exhibiting at safety shows in other states, expect WA Safety to be an enormous success.”

According to managing director, Steeldrill Australia Peter Rayner, The WA economy is currently booming, directly as a result of large scale mining operations. “This industry can be very hazardous and relies heavily on the need for good quality safety products,” he says.

“It would seem obvious that a safety expo is well overdue for this region.”

The WA Safety Show will be similar in format to its eastern seaboard counterparts, spanning asbestos removal and automation safety through to waste management and workplace wellness.

The concurrently held conference for the professional development of safety practitioners is expected to feature more than 40 leading thinkers in workplace safety.

The inaugural WA Safety Show and Conference will run from August 12 to 14 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre.

Meanwhile, The Safety Show, Sydney, will be held from October 24 to 26 in 2007 at the Sydney Showground and Safety In Action will run from April 29 to May 1, 2008 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

For more information, visit, email or phone Australian Exhibitions & Conferences on 03 9654 7773.

Air Springs Supply introduces flexible tanks to Australia

Flexible storage tanks that can each hold up to 500,000 litres or more of stormwater, industrial water or drinking water are being introduced to Australia by Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd.

The PVC coated fabric Liquitanks are part of the internationally proven range of elastomer specialist Pronal, which is one of the world’s most experienced and respected producers of flexible products used to lift, push, separate, seal and store.

Pronal’s tanks, cushions, stoppers, grippers and lifting bags are employed in tasks

extending from manufacturing and onshore mining and quarrying, to water resources protection, offshore petroleum exploration and sub-sea operations (including hoisting artifacts from the ocean liner Titanic 4km below the surface).

“Pronal flexible tanks provide a perfect answer to liquid storage challenges ranging from reservoirs for grey water through to storage of compatible industrial and mining liquids, fire protection, public works and agriculture,” says Air Springs Supply National Sales Manager Simon Agar, whose organisation has more than 25 years specialist national experience in applying pneumatic actuation and isolation technologies and is the national distributor for the Pronal range.

“Flexible tanks are easy and economical to establish. Their main requirement is flat, cleared ground, ideally with a sand bed to rest upon, which is not hard to find in Australia.”

Available as either stock types up to 500,000 litres or custom-engineered for particular applications, the Pronal flexible tanks are mobile and compact, simple to deploy and use, and cost-efficient as an alternative means of liquid storage.

“The tanks are designed so stored liquids are never in contact with air so that, in addition to water, different versions can be used for the safe storage of products such as liquid manufactures, paint, latex, fruit juice, demineralised water and emulsions,” says Agar.

All compatabilities to the various products contained are checked and certified by Pronal’s specialised laboratories,” said Mr Agar. Different materials can be employed for specialist products or fuels.

The composition of the standard coated fabric (polyester textile supported coated with PVC)

Permits storage of drinking water and non-fatty and non-acid food products, even with low alcohol contents.

Weights of Liquitanks range from 20 kg for a 1000-litre type (one cubic metre) through to 655kg for the 350,000 litre (350 cubic metre) types. Their volumes when folded range from 0.09 to 3.00 cubic metres respectively.

Options include Gullemin Coupling, Kamlock Coupling, Storz Coupling, alimentary PPG Coupling, automatic vent, taps, pumps, refueling hose, reductors and adaptors, and flex9ible hose equipped with a valve.

Pronal tanks are proven worldwide in military and industrial applications, including helitransportable and vehicle transportable smaller types, with larger models being used for storage of drinking or industrial water at public works support bases and sites, water treatment works, villages and isolated sites.

Liquitanks are part of an extensive Pronal range of inflatable emergency, rescue and maintenance equipment used by industrial, military and civil defence organisations worldwide (including transportable water and fuel tanks and lifting cushions used to raise equipment ranging from crashed aircraft to mining plant and pipelines needing installation or maintenance).

“One of the major advantages of Pronal technology — in addition to its proven performance globally — is that its inflatable elastomer products can also be custom-fabricated to suit particular applications,” says simon Agar.

Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, which is one of Australia’s most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply’s national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 137 Bowden St, Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph 02 9807 4077,

Wireless standard for process measurement & control

The HART® Communication Foundation (HCF) announces the official release of the HART 7 Specification.

The HART 7 Specification enables many new capabilities for communication with intelligent field devices including Wireless HART™, the first open wireless communication standard specifically designed for process measurement and control applications.

The HCF membership approved the HART 7 Specifications in June 2007, following an extensive review and approval process. Today, the HCF Board of Directors authorized release of this new standard.

“With official release of the HART 7 Specifications, the Wireless HART standard is now publicly available and manufacturers can begin implementing this new capability into their products and process solutions,” says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson.

“I expect that products complying with this new standard will be available from multiple manufacturers in early 2008.”

Wireless HART technology addresses the critical needs of the process industry for simple, reliable and secure wireless communication in the real world industrial plant environment.

It is easy to use, easy to deploy, and fully backward compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications and work procedures used today.

“Wireless HART provides the same experience that users know and expect from HART-enabled products, protecting the global installed base of 24+ million HART devices,” says Helson.

Wireless HART communication builds on established and field-proven international standards including the HART protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4 radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum and mesh networking technologies. The new technology addresses the issues users face in the process plant environment and seamlessly integrates existing devices into HART-enabled systems.

Wireless HART technology was developed from user input through the combined, cooperative efforts of HCF member companies and leaders in wireless technology, including ABB, Adaptive Instruments, Crossbow Technology, Dust Networks, ELPRO Technologies, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Flowserve, Honeywell, MACTek, MTL, Omnex Control Systems, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Siemens, Smar, Yamatake and Yokogawa.

HART Communication is the global standard for smart process instrumentation with an installed base of more than 24 million devices worldwide. The HART Communication Foundation provides worldwide support for application of HART technology.

For more information, go to

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