Jan 10, 2018 - Les Rapchak who has over four decades of experience in the compressed air field and over thirty years in specialty compressed air products, the Nex Flow™ brand has become a worldwide name with global sales. During 2017, Les made a commitment of getting information about health and safety benefits of thousands of Pneumatic products. Utilizing the power of his LinkedIn profile he was able to provide hundreds of articles on important topics to his nearly 30,000 followers.
31 Oct: Automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler Australia has welcomed its global parent company’s acquisition of Autinity Systems, an IT company that specialises in machine data recording and evaluation.
Condition monitoring of machinery and equipment as well as digital networking in production are of great interest to both Schaeffler’s internal and external customers throughout Australia and New Zealand, said Mark Ciechanowicz, Industrial Services Manager, Schaeffler Australia.
These include key Schaeffler Australia markets, among them bulk materials handling; mining and energy production; food, beverage and primary processing; and broader industrial and road and rail machinery systems.
The company noted that the purchase of 100 per cent of Autinity shares, completed this month, is an important step in implementing Schaeffler’s global and local digital agenda, with Autinity specialising in digital condition monitoring and machine data recording.
“Schaeffler has been using software solutions by Autinity for many years now,” said Ciechanowicz. “The acquisition of this company will help us to intensify our collaboration and accelerate further developments in the fields of machine data recording and condition monitoring. Both topics are essential elements of Schaeffler’s digital agenda, which are in strong demand both from internal and external customers.”
Kotahi, New Zealand’s largest supply chain collaborator and Pro Kinetics, one of Australia’s leading supply chain management businesses have struck a strategic partnership to strengthen their Australian businesses and trans-Tasman trade.
Pro Kinetics’ landside capability complements our ocean freight offering and will allow us to deliver on our aim to simplify the export / import supply chain by providing seamless end-to-end integrated digital solutions.
Kotahi Chief Executive David Ross said Kotahi and Pro Kinetics currently provide ocean freight and landside services to a number of joint customers and the time is right to share synergies.
“Pro Kinetics’ landside capability complements our ocean freight offering and will allow us to deliver on our aim to simplify the export / import supply chain by providing seamless end-to-end integrated digital solutions.”
“Furthermore, the partnership will allow Kotahi to strategically align container reuse between New Zealand and Australia. Our differentiation will be the ability to create value for customers by better matching New Zealand’s high export flows with Australia’s high import flows.”
“Opportunities to align cargo flows and reposition equipment across the Tasman will bring these markets closer to unlock value and reduce waste in the supply chain. Pro Kinetics is a like-minded strategic partner. They complement our future direction to deliver digital supply chain management and enhanced service to bring even greater value to our customers,” he said.
Pro Kinetics General Manager George Garth said: “We have great connections and knowledge, innovative digital solutions for documentation and customs clearance, and together with Kotahi’s ocean freight capability, we have a compelling new offer in Australia.”
“We share Kotahi’s approach to drive digitisation and technology development in supply chain management. We’re aligned on a digital journey to provide customers with an enhanced experience,” he said.
Pro Kinetics and Kotahi will offer customs clearance and documentation, export, import and coastal shipping, ocean freight, landside transport and warehousing. Going forward the Pro Kinetics and Kotahi team will be based in Melbourne.
Rod Oram goes under the covers of Fletcher Building's results for Newsroom and finds the source of its financial problems with project cost blowouts: corporate governance.
The table below from Fletcher Building’s results presentation on Wednesday clearly shows the company’s incompetent corporate governance.
Five years into the biggest, longest construction boom this country has ever seen our largest construction company has lost almost $300m on its $2.65bn order book for commercial buildings.
Two big projects – the Justice Precinct in Christchurch and the Sky City convention centre in Auckland totalling $737m of work -- account for the bulk of the losses.
This, though, is not a simple story of two bad projects.
Fletcher has written down the value of the rest of the order book of Building + Interiors, the commercial building business in its construction division. Breakeven is the best it hopes for on this $1.49bn of business, it announced at its results briefing.
Nor is this bad news a bolt out of the blue. B+I eked out EBIT of only $16m a year over the 12 years to fiscal 2016. Add in the infrastructure business, the other main part of the construction division, and Fletcher’s EBIT on all construction averaged only $32m a year over the 12 years.
That insight is on slide 30 of Fletcher’s results’ presentation to analysts. Anyone wondering how Fletcher could achieve only a 6.76% total return to shareholders over the past six years of booming construction and stock markets will find the 1hour 24 minutes’ briefing revealing.
An article preparred by Dan Hermandez and published earlier this month in The Fabricator.
Following specified pipe welding procedures and ensuring proper weld preparation can save significant time and money and ultimately improve productivity of the entire operation.
No matter the welding process being used, proper preparation before you get started is key to ensuring quality in the finished weld. Taking the necessary steps to prepare the weld also can reduce the risk of weld failure as well as wasting time and money on rework and consumables.
Proper weld preparation in pipe welding helps prevent problems such as weld inclusions, slag entrapments, hydrogen cracking, lack of fusion, and lack of penetration. Consider the following key points for cleaning and preparing the weld joint and avoiding some common mistakes to achieve success in pipe welding.
Cleaning and Prep
Joint preparation and cleaning go hand-in-hand. Which happens first depends on the state in which the pipe is received. Some welding operators, especially on outdoor job sites, may be responsible for cutting the pipe and beveling edges. But in some applications, often performed in pipe shops, the cutting and beveling are handled by someone else before the welder receives the pipe.
Proper joint preparation—and whether it’s beveled, grooved, or notched—is often dictated by the qualified weld procedure, which should ensure access to the joint and proper penetration and weld strength for the application. Once the pipe is cut using an oxyfuel torch, plasma cutter, cutting machine, or other tool, and the bevel is established with a grinder or by machining, be sure to clean the inside and outside of the pipe joint and the bevel.
If the pipe was cut with a machine, it’s likely a lubricant was used, so be sure to remove it during cleaning to reduce the risk of hydrogen inclusions. Cutting with an oxyfuel torch or plasma cutter typically leaves a slag or oxide layer on the cut edge. Be sure to clean this to prevent inclusions and porosity.
Remove any paint, oils, and dirt on the base material before welding; otherwise, these materials could make their way into the weld and cause inclusions or porosity that could harm weld integrity and cause it to fail. Clean the area 1 to 2 inches from the weld joint and the tie-in points, where the lacquer coating on the pipe’s outside surface meets the bevel.
While some welding processes or filler metals are more forgiving to dirt or mill scale on the material, don’t rely on the belief that dirt and oil can be burned off during welding. Any foreign material in the weld can cause problems later.
Part Fit-up and Tacking
Proper part fit-up ensures that the joint is set uniformly from start to end, resulting in weld consistency throughout the part. It helps prevent problems with lack of penetration or too much penetration, issues that can decrease the service life of the finished weld.
It appears Japanese factories, companies are looking beyond the IOT and or IOE; aiming to connect a variety of assets, e.g., machines, data, technologies, people, and organizations, as well as the existing industries and digital technologies, thereby bringing about the creation of new added value and the solutions to societal problems, bringing “Connected Industries” to fruition.
Industrial sensors,data and communications are becoming the core topic among factories, companies that foresee themselves in advanced industrial automation. IOT, smart solutions are at surge for individual customer; where as for factories it seems the challenges are more especially getting the machines to communicate in safer environment.
No wonder Japan introduced “Just in time Manufacturing” , Kaizen ,TQM, TQC concepts in the past; In response to fierce international competition resulting from increased globalization, as well as labor shortages and a reduced number of skilled workers due to falling birthrates and aging populations, the companies in Japan have come up with new concept called as “Flexible Factory Partner Alliance” .
The formation of this alliance or this concept is pretty simple and straightforward, utilizing advanced automation technologies of ICT in manufacturing to improve productivity and to tackle to seamless communications among machines, factories , plants in an secured wireless network.
Japanese companies always stressed upon ‘visualization’ in production equipment and production status is the stepping stone to moving forward for improving productivity, and as product development cycles have shortened in recent years, there has been a demand for greater flexibility in the configuration of production facilities equipment and in modifying the production line construction. As a means of achieving greater flexibility, there are rising expectations for wireless communications among machines, different plants and factories.
A major issue in wireless communications in factories where various wireless systems coexist is communication instability due to interference between wireless systems and the impact that has on equipment operation. There had previously been few efforts, however, to resolve this sort of wireless communication issues in manufacturing facilities; To find solutions Alliance of 7 companies in Japan have been formed .
OMRON, ATR, Sanritz, NICT, NEC, Fujitsu, and Murata Machinery have been conducting trials of wireless communications and evaluating the wireless environment in factories. These companies and organizations have at academic conferences and other venues broadly proposed coordination control technology that would enable stability in communications. This would work by controlling independent wireless systems for each piece of equipment, with specific use cases in actual manufacturing facilities.
These companies have come together to form the Flexible Factory Partner Alliance to promote the formulation of standards for coordination control technology. This will thereby ensure stable communications in an environment where various wireless systems coexist, as well as promote their use and further accelerate the adoption of wireless systems in manufacturing facilities.
Through the initiatives of this alliance, the partners will work to meet expectations for a new industrial revolution 4.0; 5.0; accompanying the spread of the use of IoT in manufacturing facilities. Sensors, Data and Communication in safer Wireless communications in manufacturing factories that are expected to accelerate wireless-connected devices to increase productivity, and disseminate the standards.
Few companies were working on trial specifications; last month the first set of 7 companies announced the first alliance . OMRON Corporation, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Sanritz Automation Co., Ltd., National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), NEC Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, and Murata Machinery, Ltd., while Professor Andreas Dengel of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)) is appointed as Chairperson.
Experts say "Based on the traditional concepts safe manufacturing concepts; Japanese companies aims at IoE (Internet of Everything)" that connects people as well as machines and things; smart factory is one main part where people /humans take leading role.The use and communication of on-site data, ideas of people seamlessly are important.The data utilization evolves and impacts equipment and factory facilities, Many companies are working towards a thorough process Specifically, Connecting objects (connecting), Connect information (visualize), Improve (Collect and analyze information, create value) and Expanding the scope (sharing data).
Although the Implementation and utilization of IoT in many Japanese factories has been existing for many years now ; or being started, it is merely an extension of the traditional Kaizen effort for the purpose of "productivity improvement" to the last step of product manufacturing.
Few of the Japanese factories feel that to understand the magnitude of change that can be brought by connecting machines, factories and various things in manufacturing plant and to understand the ROI for the given product , line and market these things can not be taken only at the manufacturing site.
While Private companies are working at group factories alliances program; Recently, Japan Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry [METI] proposed a Policy Concept Titled “Connected Industries” as a Goal that Japanese Industries Should Aim for an ideal approach that Japanese industries should strive for.
As one of the efforts for promoting the Connected Industries policy concept, a goal to create value through connecting a variety of industries,last month the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held the first symposium for this policy concept, bringing together approximately 600 stakeholders.
It appears Japanese factories, companies are looking beyond the IOT and or IOE; aiming to connect a variety of assets, e.g., machines, data, technologies, people, and organizations, as well as the existing industries and digital technologies, thereby bringing about the creation of new added value and the solutions to societal problems, bringing “Connected Industries” to fruition. To this end, the Japanese government is advancing a wide variety of policy initiatives in cooperation with private sector parties.
| A Manufacturing Tomorrow release || August 16, 2017 |||
Young trainees and apprentices will be sharing their success stories with keen young kiwis during next week’s ‘Got a Trade? Got it Made!’ week.
“We want young people to know about the massive range of job opportunities that offer the chance to ‘earn and learn’,” says Industry Training Federation Chief Executive Josh Williams. “You can get paid and get qualified, and launch successful careers without racking up a student loan.”
Got a Trade! week begins on Monday 21 August, and celebrates 148,000 apprentices and industry trainees who work every day in over 140 trades and services.
“While three out of ten school leavers go to university, ten out of ten will need jobs,” says Mr Williams. “The number of apprentices and industry trainees now exceeds the number of university students, and this growth is set to continue.”
“New Zealand is crying out for more apprentices: There are major skills shortages in industries such as building and construction, manufacturing, infrastructure, automotive, retail, aged care, community support, electro-technology, the list goes on.”
‘More apprenticeships’ will be a catch cry this election campaign, with Government targets and opposition policies looking to grow the numbers of traineeships and apprenticeships.
“Employing young people in growing industries is a win-win. Training on-the-job develops the right skills at the right time, and individual growth translates into the regional and economic growth the country needs,” says Mr Williams.
“Trades are the way of the future and trades are what keep this country moving,” says Auckland print apprentice and Got a Trade! hero, Frank Uati. “What a good way to see the world. You earn while you learn, you’ve got a qualification that’s internationally recognised, and there’s no fees, no loan.”
Plasterer Ricky Dewes left school at 16 to find a trade, and went on to become apprentice of the year in both New Zealand and Australia, and Got a Trade! hero. His advice to young people is, if you want to own your own home, car and “toys”, as he now does, become an apprentice. Because skills become careers that can take you where you want to be.
When it comes to getting a trade, employers are also heroes. “Employers are now the largest provider of post-school education in New Zealand. We all benefit from their grateful time, talent and commitment to growing the next generation of skills,” says Mr Williams.
“We never forget the name of the person who first gave us a chance in our careers,” says Mr Williams. “Thousands of employers are out there taking on apprentices and trainees, training them up and giving them a chance. This week, we salute them too.”
New Zealand-based ammonia sensing equipment manufacturer Photonic Innovations Ltd. has partnered with ammonia refrigeration system supplier Active Refrigeration.
In a sign of increasing demand for ammonia-based refrigeration systems in New Zealand, locally-based ammonia sensing equipment manufacturer Photonic Innovations Ltd. has partnered with another NZ company, ammonia refrigeration system supplier Active Refrigeration, in their first national distribution deal.
“It is fine timing. Ammonia’s popularity as a refrigerant has increased dramatically due to its green credentials,” said Dr. Ojas Mahapatra, CEO of Photonic Innovations.
Photonic Innovations Ltd. manufactures laser-based ammonia detectors and has recently been encouraged by interest in its products from large and small food processing businesses concerned with safety.
“At the same time health and safety regulations have also tightened to ensure that companies manage the significant risks that comes with ammonia usage. The end result is a strong demand for high quality, reliable and affordable ammonia sensors,” said Dr. Mahapatra.
“We are very excited and proud that we are able to deliver a world-class technology, in fact a world-leading product, for the safety of people who use ammonia,” he added.
Active Refrigeration, which is one of New Zealand’s biggest players in ammonia refrigeration, also sees safety as a top priority, particularly given the increasing number of ammonia systems in use.
“We are proud to partner with Photonic Innovations for nationwide distribution. Active Refrigeration has a history of promoting and installing natural refrigeration solutions with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Mr. Craig Duff, Active Refrigeration’s managing director.
“We have a strong focus on leading-edge innovation and workplace safety with a nationwide support network. Partnering with like-minded companies such as Photonic Innovations with a paralleled ethos is simply a good fit to support our industry,” he added.
“ It is fine timing. Ammonia’s popularity as a refrigerant has increased dramatically due to its green credentials." – Photonic Innovations CEO Dr. Ojas Mahapatra
Photonic Innovations is encouraged by the demand and sees a growing market for ammonia systems in New Zealand as well as in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
"We plan on having 100 units in the field in New Zealand by the end of the year. We're shipping our first units to Australia next week so that is also a very exciting frontier for us,” said Photonic Innovations Sales Manager Daniel Healy.
“Our products have become extremely popular in Australasia and are gaining ground rapidly. We will make our products available to other parts of the world shortly,” added Dr. Mahapatra.
The globally acclaimed industrial software solution Wonderware is set to be exclusively distributed in New Zealand by Schneider Electric.
The move from Schneider Electric reaffirms its commitment to the innovation and growth of industrial software solutions, with the distribution deal effective as of this month.
There will be a dedicated locally based technical sales and support team in place and global expertise supporting the New Zealand market.
Software director for the Pacific at Schneider Electric, Damien McDade says the company is delighted to be the exclusive distributors of Wonderware, a solution which is currently used in over a third of the world’s industrial and manufacturing plants.
“We have over 500 worldwide experts in the field and combined with local support, it is fantastic for our valued partners and customers to be able to access,” says McDade.
According to Schneider Electric, the reason for the industrial software solution’s popularity is that it is open, easy-to-use, scalable, secure and versatile that ultimately empowers people to connect, control, understand, and optimise their operations.
The addition of the full Wonderware portfolio (which was part of the Invensys acquisition in 2014), now complements the extensive software portfolio offered and distributed by Schneider Electric.
“We look forward to being able to offer our valued partners and customers the extensive range of software options and customise to their requirements both now and in the future,” says McDade.
Schneider Electric says its range of software solutions available to its integrators, partners and end users is expansive and covers everything from entry level to those for complex large scale industrial operations.
Ultimately, it is these new and innovative solutions for the industrial and manufacturing sectors that is helping to keep New Zealand in the game by enabling collaboration and making operations more productive and cost-effective in an increasingly cornered market.
| A Schneider Electric release || July 11, 2017 |||
A record number of Kiwis are looking to the trades to build a career but this is still not enough to meet industry demand.
For the first time in the organisation’s history, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation has 11,000 apprentices actively working towards a qualification.
This is a fantastic milestone but we still need thousands more apprentices in training each year to meet demand,” says BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn.
“New Zealand is in the midst of a skills shortage,” says Quinn. New Zealand’s construction and building sector desperately needs more recruits. It needs 65,000 new people over the next five years to meet new growth and replace people who leave.
There has never been a better time to consider a career in construction, says Quinn.
“We expect this current pressure to continue into the 2020s. Forecasts for the next few years provide confidence for people considering a career in the construction industry and for business owners thinking about expanding their business and taking on more staff.”
The 11,000th apprentice, Aucklander and father of three Daniel Poe, says the trades offer him fantastic career opportunities and job security.
"Building is the family trade," says Daniel. “My father was a builder, I used to tag along with him on jobs. He taught me a lot and was really supportive when I decided to start an apprenticeship.”
Daniel who completed his schooling in Samoa before moving to Auckland, says it is never too late to begin an apprenticeship and is looking forward to gaining his qualification and taking the next step in his career.
“I’m looking forward to becoming a foreman, stepping up and taking the lead on projects. One day I would like to own a business in New Zealand and also find a way to give back to the community in Samoa and the Islands.”
Daniel is employed by FreeStyla Constructors in Auckland which employs about 100 people. His employer Michael Patton says taking on apprentices benefits both sides. “By training my staff I help them to get better at their jobs, earn more money and expand their opportunities. As an employer, training is essential to make my workforce grow.”
“The current environment is hectic and is only going to become more so,” says Michael. “There is a definite shortage of skilled workers in New Zealand so the more people we encourage to join the trades the better.”
BCITO has organised a range of nationwide initiatives in recent months to demonstrate the value of apprenticeships in the building and construction industry. These have included the Not Your Average Tradie Road Trip, their annual Big Construction Tour and the Build-Ability Challenge which is currently underway at secondary schools across New Zealand.
A presentation will be held in Auckland on Wednesday 12 July to mark this milestone.