Rolls-Royce partners with AI software developer to boost engine reliability

Industrial AI and IoT software developer, Uptake, and Rolls-Royce have joined forces to extend Rolls-Royce’s digital ecosystem.
According to Uptake, the company will demonstrate how its capabilities can help Rolls-Royce implement a data-science-first approach to optimising the performance of its Trent engine fleet, the market-leading engine family for widebody aircraft.
Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare® service enables customers to maximise the availability of their engines while allowing Rolls-Royce to focus on the most efficient management of the fleet. Working with Uptake to analyse a number of disparate datasets will arm Rolls-Royce with new insights to deliver on its TotalCare® promise to airlines around the world by improving the uptime and availability of their Trent engine fleet.
“We’ve been applying analytics as a key part of our TotalCare® services strategy for many years and are always looking to advance our digital approach to improve the quality and value of our services. With industrial AI and machine learning techniques, we can increase the uptime of our engines and help customers extend the life and value of their critical assets,” Tom Palmer, Senior Vice President of Services for Rolls-Royce’s Civil Aerospace business said.
Built on a foundation of data science and machine learning, Uptake develops solutions that help industrial companies digitally transform their business. The company’s latest release of its Asset Performance Management application, Uptake APM, incorporates the Asset Strategy Library (ASL), the world’s most comprehensive database of industrial content including equipment types, failure mechanisms and maintenance tasks. This rich combination of deep operational and equipment knowledge with predictive analytics provides unparalleled visibility into, and insights surrounding, the entire asset environment, whether assets are connected or not.
Uptake APM is built on top of our industrial AI and IoT platform. This enables companies to put powerful AI and machine learning to work, using our pre-trained data science models and industry-specific content to turn mountains of data into actionable insights that drive financial outcomes.

Adaptalift to help modernise dnata fleet

Aviation services company dnata has signed a long-term agreement with specialised ground service equipment provider Adaptalift.
Under this new agreement, the company will take ownership of dnata’s entire motorised fleet across six Australian ports, modernising the fleet via a strategy of replacement, renewal and refurbishment.
The renewal aspect of the program is already under way, with orders placed with major manufacturers for contain/pallet loaders, pushback tractors, conveyer belts and baggage tractors. As part of the push to modernise, dnata has also committed to switching some operations from diesel to alternative power sources, including an all-electric baggage fleet in Adelaide. Moreover, they will introduce vehicle telematics to improve safety and maintenance tracking and proximity warning systems on some machinery.
The CEO of dnata, Daniela Marsilli, said the agreement allowed dnata to expedite the modernisation of all the ground services equipment as well as, “add innovative technological solutions in the areas of safety for our operators, clients and their aircraft plus protection of the motorised assets themselves”.
Importantly, Marsilli added: “Our operating costs will improve along with increased utilisation and reliability, which ultimately improves service to our valued customer airlines”.

Global industrial automation market to reach $80.6 billion

Analysts from Research and Markets have announced in their latest report on industrial automation that the global industrial automation services market was worth US$35.2 billion ($44.5 billion) in 2016 and is estimated to reach US$64.5 billion ($80.6 billion) by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 per cent for the forecasted period.
Industrial automation involves automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes, with control systems, information technologies and robots used to handle different processes in an industry. Various types of industrial automation include fixed or hard automation, programmable automation and flexible or soft automation. Project engineering and installation holds major share in this market. Advantages of industrial automation include increased productivity, improved product quality, reduced routine checks and improved operational efficiency.
According to the report, the US is currently at the head of the industrial automation market, followed by Europe. Asia Pacific (which includes Australia) is expected to be the fastest growing region in this industry. The reports says during 2015–16, US companies exported nearly US$10.5 billion worth of products to foreign markets.
Some of the key growth factors of this industry are the need for operational efficiency, rapidly growing SMEs, a growing inclination towards Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based automation, the growing demand for smart factories, mass customisation, supply chain synchronisation, integration of systems and increasing R&D and innovation in artificial intelligence and advancement in the M2M communication technology. High installation and maintenance costs and lack of trained professions are some of the constraints in this industry.
Major companies in this industry include Honeywell International, General Electric Company, Mitsubishi Electric, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, ABB, Samsung Electronics, Siemens AG and Schneider Electric. The report also pointed out that most of the regional and local vendors are vertically integrated. International players can grow by acquiring regional or local players.

"More flexible" train crew operations for Aurizon

Rail freight company Aurizon has announced major changes in its Queensland operations “to meet customer needs” which will see many of its full-time train crew members redeployed.
Aurizon reports that it is moving to a “more flexible” train crewing operations in Central and North Queensland and undertaking a staged closure of its rollingstock maintenance workshop in Rockhampton to address varying demand in the resources sector as well as changes to Aurizon’s operating footprint.
Carter said Aurizon would work to offset the losses of local jobs by undertaking a review of which metropolitan based roles have the potential to be relocated to Rockhampton and other regional centres.
The proposed changes will be phased through to late 2018, to allow all options to be explored for employees including retraining, redeployment and redundancy.
Mike Carter, Head of Operations, Aurizon, said the business has changed significantly in recent years in line with changing market demand.
“Aurizon needs to continue to change in line with what our customers need if we are to remain competitive,” he added.
“Historically, most of our train crew have been permanent full-time employees and we have been unable to match fluctuations in weekly and monthly demand in train haulage services from coal customers or contract wins or losses.
“As a result we are proposing to change the composition of our train crew workforce in Central and North Queensland. This will involve engaging more contractors to provide greater flexibility for our customers. This will result in reducing the number of permanent full-time train drivers.
“In addition we have also commenced consultation with employees on the staged closure of the Rockhampton rollingstock maintenance workshops by late 2018.
Carter noted that the amount of work required at the Rockhampton workshop has reduced significantly in recent years. “It is a legacy facility,” he said. “Designed for a different operating footprint in a different time – and [it] is not located close to our operations in the Central Queensland Coal Network.”
Aurizon has undertaken a review of core maintenance requirements for the Queensland rollingstock fleet and found that the company’s future maintenance task will be best delivered at newer facilities at Jilalan (Sarina), Stuart (Townsville), Willowburn (Toowoomba) and Callemondah (Gladstone), with components supply and non-core maintenance sourced from third parties.
More than 180 employees at the Rockhampton rollingstock workshop stand to be impacted by the closure, of these up to 40 are expected to have the opportunity for redeployment to Aurizon’s Jilalan facility.
Over 120 permanent train crew positions will be phased out progressively over the next 12 months at the depots of Callemondah, Bluff, and Stanwell, with approximately 70 locally based train crew contractor positions expected to be created over that period.
At the North Queensland depots of Mackay and Townsville, approximately 62 permanent positions including train crew, freight operators and leaders will be cut and the Mackay Freight train crew depot will close.
An additional 20 contractor train crew position will be created for the Coppabella depot near Moranbah in central Queensland to meet increased customer demand on the Goonyella and Newlands Coal Systems.
Carter said Aurizon would also commence discussions with local, state and federal government representatives on the opportunity for urban redevelopment in Rockhampton on land vacated by the workshops.
The Rockhampton Workshop was first established in 1870s and includes a heritage-listed and largely preserved ‘roundhouse’ previously used to move locomotives into various maintenance bays.
Aurizon’s presence in the Rockhampton region will continue, with more than 650 employees stationed across its various businesses in the area.

Thyssenkrupp Materials Australia opens new facility in Victoria

 Thyssenkrupp Materials Australia has announced the opening of a new facility in Dandenong, Victoria. The expansion will provide a growing customer base with a range of products and materials services.
“The opening of our facility in Dandenong is an opportunity for us to bring our quality products closer to where customers need them the most, and for us to establish a key footprint in the Victorian market,” said Brad Foster, General Manager, thyssenkrupp Materials Australia. “This strategic expansion signals our commitment to furthering and growing our operations in the country”
The new facility will offer a range of rolled and extruded aluminium products in the 2000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 series. It will also support the local Victorian market with other services including cut-to-size on both rolled and extruded products with state-of-the-art equipment including a CNC plate and band saw.

How to prevent warehouse accidents

Within the logistics arena, there are a myriad of scenarios where safety can be compromised. In a highly controlled environment like a warehouse, accidents are still highly likely to occur and even more so if the cargo stored consists of hazardous goods. In the US alone, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicated that across the United States, there were over 150,000 people working in warehouses across the country. So if one considers the immense amount of cargo movement all across the Asia Pacific region, these numbers would easily surpass the US.
With the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and mining sector growing rapidly, 3PLs have had to increase their agility in terms of turnaround times. The result is a surge in workload in this region, which in turn creates a simultaneous focus on the safety and ergonomics in the warehouses. This then brings about key concerns centring around operations involving lifting actions, vehicular movement and electrical functions, or a combination of all.
Forklifts, electrical and wiring, hazard communication, exits, mechanical power transmission and respiratory protection are just some of the hotspots identified by Safework Australia over the years that can be applicable to a warehouse just about anywhere. Thus it would be bad for the business if an employer ignores these elements that constitute a good and safe work environment.
Infusing the mindset of the integration of a pro-active approach to the management of safety, providing due attention and budgets on injury prevention into corporate culture would go a long way in reaping productivity and efficiency in the facility. Nobody would be looking forward to a 3PL version of Deepwater Horizon.
Safety guidelines in most industrial facilities are mandatory especially when it comes to hazardous materials. Attention needs to be given to liquid spills, which should to be cleaned as soon as possible because the exposure to workers is very high and can cause many problems so fixing damaged equipment is paramount. Preventing or reducing the chances of injury can be as simple as optimising procedures to manage the physical layout of the warehouse, reduce walking times and making sure access to equipment and material is easy.
In the Asia Pacific, German chemical producer BASF utilises its own Warehouse Safety Assessment (WSA) tool – a standardised questionnaire designed to assess the quality, safety and environmental management systems of third-party warehouses. The trained safety adviser will be responsible for undertaking these WSAs. At the end of each review, corrective and improvement actions will be discussed and agreed between the assessor and the assessed company.
In the packaging arena, containers have been undergoing a redesign because of the introduction of weight limits on containers. On paper, this will look to provide easy access to the product and reduce the stress due to lifting.
Replacing wooden pallets and corrugated boxes to reusable plastic containers will reduce or stamp out the possibilities of injuries. The key is to reduce the bending, reaching, and pulling associated with the tasks in warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
Looking for ergonomic options that increase the comfort of the operator when choosing a new forklift or automation technology for your warehouse will likely see higher productivity together with improved health and energy levels. The assist devices for moving containers could also include vacuum lift machines that use a vacuum of air to grip and lift boxes, or even computer-controlled assist devices that are sensor guided and can make fast, automatic adjustments for accurate container placement.
Manual handling has seen a steady recently as there has been a shift towards the investment in automation of order picking – especially forklifts. For the sake of efficiency these machines are designed for heavy lifting in distribution centres (DCs). Looking at the downside, without proper training and instruction, they can also cause injury to persons and damage to property so manufacturers of this equipment have been looking at ways to prevent these outcomes occurring. One tip is to invest in impact shock switches, which automatically switch the vehicle off upon any collision.
Models by leading forklift producers Junghenrich, Crown and Toyota offer impact resistance, which has increased up to threefold combining aluminium and cast iron in the manufacture, helping the trucks to cope with the normal bumps and scrapes of everyday applications. Linked suspension castors have been fitted to provide maximum load and truck stability on any surface.
Let’s not forget that workers in a warehouse also exert themselves on strenuous ergonomic activity that stress the body, which offers up risks such as repetitive motion strain and other potential injuries. The only way around this is education even if employees should be able to identify tasks that may involve higher risks in the warehouse. Employers need to be proactive and identify tell-tale signs of the symptoms of discomfort.
It is important that employees should ensure that any incident, accident or symptom be reported to their supervisor so that the appropriate measures can be put in place. Following this, the management has to give the appropriate attention to these incidents with documentation for follow up and action.
In Australia, with workers being aware of their rights to a safe work environment, plus the increasing insurance coverage of workers in a workplace, a safe warehouse environment will ultimately see that important cost savings are maintained with increase productivity and reduced equipment downtime.

Workplace ladders to prevent falls from height

United Forklift and Access Solutions have released the Elevah range of ladder systems and access equipment to prevent accidents and falls from low heights; one of the leading causes of serious workplace injuries.
The range includes the Elevah 40 Move, a self-propelled aluminium personal access lift with a four metre working height that has won the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Product of the Year award for low-level access.
The first vertical mast (access) and order picker (forklift) products to be distributed in Australia will also include the Elevah 40 Move Stock Picker for safe access to stored products, as well as the Elevah 51 Move Stock Picker with up to 5.1m working height and the Elevah 65 Move Stock Picker with a working height of up to 6.5 m, the largest lift height in its class.
Elevah products feature safe working platforms with built-in protection cages for operators enabling safe operation even in crowded or restricted spaces. The compact and versatile access machines each feature tight turning performance with a high turning radius that enables the machinery to turn virtually within its own footprint.
The range provide higher productivity than conventional ladder systems and have safety features including a side entrance with sensors which stop the cage opening; dual operator presence device; anti-tilting device; electronic slope monitoring; and overload monitoring.
In NSW between July 2011 and May 2016, 3168 workers were injured in falls from ladders, including two fatalities.
Nationally, in the eight years from July 2003 to June 2011, 37 workers died following a fall from a ladder.

Quality key to safety on the road

As cost pressures bite on suppliers to Australia’s major industries, safety can often be the first casualty of cutbacks to operating costs.
In very price-sensitive industries, such as transport, vehicle maintenance and logistics, cutbacks can lead to contractors turning to non-OEM parts for systems vital to road safety and on-time performance of vehicles.
Of all the trucks on the road today with air suspensions, more than half are equipped with Firestone Airide air springs. Airide air springs are sold directly to original equipment truck, trailer, and suspension manufacturers.
“Operators buying look-alike products are seldom making any savings at all really – they are just selling their risk management cheaply,” says Air Springs Supply sales manager Russell Chown. “Any small savings on products that don’t offer the same quality, performance and reliability as the genuine original can be wiped out in an instant by a single accident of downtime incident that puts a million-dollar truck off the road.”
Similar views are voiced by one of Australia’s most experienced specialist heavy brake companies, Australian Brake Controls (ABC) which produces transport, off-highway and industrial machinery braking systems engineered for optimum reliability and safety.
“We know it is tough out there for transport and off-highway equipment operators and we are sharing the pain with them,” says ABC Engineer Vinh Lam. “But cutting corners with lower-quality parts is no way to extend the value and life of vehicles and machinery costing hundreds and thousands and sometimes millions of dollars.”
Suspension and braking risks also exist for lighter vehicles. Vehicles without the right suspension components and setups for varying loads (such as a tank being progressively emptied in spraying operations), unevenly distributed loads or for towing can immediately experience a host of problems that compromise safety immediately and can ultimately wreck the vehicle involved.
“Not only can steering and braking be immediately compromised by poor load distribution, but also the chassis and tyres are placed under immense pressure by loading distortions,” says All Air Suspension Sales Manager James Maslin, a company that specialises in air helper suspensions for vehicles such as 4WD, utes, vans, and other machinery used for on and off-highway jobs and for towing. “Unevenly loaded vehicles can be subject to increased sway because of lateral forces, while trailer-imposed ball weight will cause headlights to shine up into the trees or blind other drivers. A perfectly good familiar vehicle can become a safety nightmare if its suspension is not properly set up to tow or cope with varying loads.”
Operating in conjunction with national air suspension specialist Airbag Man, All Air addresses these challenges with Ride-Rite, Coil-Rite and full air conversion kits manufactured in Australia incorporating Firestone airbags identical in construction to the Firestone airbags used in the suspensions of trucks and semi-trailers.

Cylinders lift heavy weight from maintenance managers

As cost and competition pressures intensify on the construction, infrastructure, mining and energy sectors, the last thing companies can afford is delays to heavy lifts involved in essential maintenance, machinery upgrades and project installations.
Such work – including bridge, road, power plant, mineral, energy process equipment installation and maintenance – typically offers a narrow window of opportunity during costly downtime when all equipment must be immediately to hand.
Enerpac is expanding the availability and optimising the delivery time in Australasia of its range of high tonnage cylinders, which are designed to handle up to 1,000 tonnes each, with higher capacities possible in custom orders.
The CLL, CLP, CLRG, CLS and CLSG ranges are designed to handle 50 to 1,000 tonnes with pressures up to 700bar (10,000 PSI), in demanding lifting applications such as construction, infrastructure, mining, energy, power generation and oil and gas.
“These cylinders are already the bywords for safety and reliability throughout Australasia – they are widely used in construction and infrastructure projects, as well as coal and mineral processing plants where outputs are being massively increased by hundreds of millions of tonnes compared with 10 years ago, says Enerpac National Sales Manager, Darryl Lange.
“Major projects such as these are not interested in cylinders sold at a low price with little product support or manufacturer accountability if anything should go wrong.
“We’ve found that the crucial requirements for customers are stock availability, lead time and rigorous quality control with traceability, criteria in which Enerpac has been an Australasian leader for more than 50 years.
“When lifting or lowering heavy loads, dangers and safety risks are posed if the lifting technology doesn’t perform. You just can’t afford to cut any corners with such vital tasks.”
High tonnage Enerpac cylinders are benchmarks of safety and reliability. CLRG and CLSG cylinders feature an integral stop ring which provides piston blow out protection, while CLL and CLP cylinders feature a safety lock nut for mechanical load holding. These feature provides additional safety.
Enerpac’s heavy lift cylinder range is complemented by Enerpac’s high-efficiency, high-safety synchronous lifting technology from its integrated solutions operations, which allows multiple cylinders to be used simultaneously, to lift massive structures. One example of this in recent years was in Malaysia, where Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (MMHE) used 352 compact, high-pressure 300-tonne cylinders to lift and skid the 43,000-tonne Gumusut-Kakap floating oil production system onto a vessel waiting in the Straits of Johor.
While the Enerpac technology employed is capable of lifting and shifting far greater weights than the Gumusut-Kakap FPS (it can lift more than the equivalent of the 52,000-tonne weight of the steel in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, for example) it the system’s ability to sense and control any deflection of the pontoons and main superstructure structure that won it plaudits for protecting structural integrity throughout the lift-weigh-shift-and-launch process.
The CLRG and CLSG ranges are similar, except that CLRG offers double-acting performance, whereas CLSG is appropriate where only single-acting cylinders are required.
Both ranges feature:

  • A baked enamel outside finish and plated pistons provide superior corrosion protection
  • A plunger wiper to reduce contamination, which helps to extend cylinder life
  • An integral stop ring to provide piston blow-out protection

The CLL range of lock nut cylinders come with mechanical locking of the load.  Instead of relying solely on valves for load holding, this feature provides high safety during heavy lifts for maintenance and installation.
The CLP range of pancake lock nut cylinders have and low height and are suitable for confined spaces. The CLP range also comes with lock nut load holding, as well as overflow ports that function as a stroke limiter.
The CLS range of cylinders are used where only single-acting cylinders are required and have a lower height than the CLSG range. They also come with an overflow port which functions as a stroke limiter.

Big fuel savings for ships with HPS concept

Jotun, a producer of antifouling coatings, believes the European Union’s decision to approve the use of copper in marine antifoulings will ensure continued delivery of powerful benefits for both the shipping industry and environment.
Copper is a key ingredient of most antifouling coatings, valued for its ability to provide the best overall balance of environmental protection and cost savings.
By preventing the settling, growth and spread of a wide range of fouling species, copper plays a key role in ensuring clean vessel hulls. This minimises frictional resistance, reducing speed loss, fuel consumption, emissions, and the spread of potentially invasive marine species.
“Copper’s efficacy is second to none when it comes to delivering clean hulls,” says Alfie Ong, VP Jotun Marine Coatings. “And clean hulls are integral to enhancing the sustainability of the shipping industry, both commercially and environmentally.
“Measuring hull performance in line with the soon to be published ISO 19030, we see that copper – a key ingredient of Jotun’s SeaQuantum X200 – performs well above competing alternatives. This means it provides not only the best ROI for ship owners, but also the best results for the environment. “
To prove the effectiveness of SeaQuantum X200 Jotun has developed the Hull Performance Solutions (HPS) concept. This combines the coating with enhanced technical service and performance analysis according to the soon to be published ISO 19030. On top of that HPS guarantees the performance with a cash back promise which is unique in the market.
In the first ever five-year dry-docking of a vessel treated with HPS (Gearbulk’s Penguin Arrow, dry-docked in late 2015), recorded data demonstrated that the ship was claimed to make fuel savings of US$1.5million, which led to a reduction of CO2 emissions by some 12,055 tonnes, across the 60-month period (compared to the previous five years).

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