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Industry News In brief...

Brady has launched a new transac- tional website to further grow the availability of products in wire & cable, product, asset and facility identification for UK customers. Finding and ordering identification products has been simplified. Product filters help support the cus- tomer in making the best choice in specialised identification products. Customers can also select their Brady distributor for expert support, and save that information for future orders. Orders can also be saved, making it easier to reorder products.

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism has officially opened ABB’s new facility in Aberdeen, following a £3.5 million upgrade. The Altens site is the head- quarters for the power and automa- tion technology company’s UK ser- vice businesses, bringing together its oil & gas and marine services, spare parts and logistics, tur- bocharging and consulting activities. The facility accommodates a learn- ing centre for employees and cus- tomers, an automation build and test staging area and upgraded tur- bocharger workshop.

RS Components has completed the global implementation of its Live Chat service, which offers help to customers when browsing and making a purchase on the RS web- site. Now live in 29 countries in 19 languages, the service aims to enhance the customer’s online experience with relevant human interaction and support. Live Chat helps customers save time and money when using the RS website. The service includes both sales chats, when customers are invited to chat based on their behaviour on site, and service chats, when customers can click a button to initiate a chat themselves.

Rotor Valvekits is now the UK stockists for Soldo switchboxes. The compact switchboxes feature a range of switch options with local visual position indication for rotary quarter-turn pneumatic actuators. The company will predominantly

stock Soldo switchboxes for haz- ardous area applications, including the SK and SQ explosion-proof ranges and intrinsically safe models from the SP range.

4 Shale gas reserves fuel pump market Comment

GREATER POLITICAL ACCEP- TANCE of shale gas exploration and the growing need among European countries to be self-suf- ficient in terms of energy is expected to result in growth for the pumps market. Pump manu- facturers, though, may not be able to capitalise on this potential as concerns on the environmental impact of fracking are likely to curb shale gas exploration activi- ties by oil and gas companies. These are the findings of new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. Its report: ‘Strategic Analysis of the Pumps Market in the European Shale Gas Industry’, reveals that the market earned revenues of $35.3 million in 2012, and is expected to reach $47.7 million in 2017.

While the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Poland are at the forefront of shale gas production in order to meet energy require- ments and reduce dependency on Russian gas imports, the industry will be affected by uncertain poli-

Service and support

BOSCH UK HAS opened its new state-of-the-art facility designed to provide a single northern loca- tion for Bosch, which combines Bosch Rexroth (industrial drives and controls), and Worcester, Bosch Group (heating and hot- water solutions).

The facility in Normanton, near Wakefield, consolidates three Bosch sites in the North of England into a single location. It provides customer service and support to its Bosch Rexroth mechanical engineering cus- tomers and training to its installers in the heating and hot- water sector.

Bosch Rexroth will design and manufacture hydraulic systems

for many industry sectors, including marine, offshore and bulk materials handling, at the site. It will also be a base for hydraulic training and courses. A fully equipped workshop and test site will service and repair hydraulic equipment, both at the site and in the field, for UK and overseas customers.

Apprentices get their own factory

SIEMENS IS OPENING the first Junior Factory for apprentices at its facility in Congleton. The fac- tory was launched during the Government’s ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers Week’ and was opened by UK and Ireland Chief Executive Roland Aurich. It will act as a ‘small factory within a factory’ run by a mixture of com- mercial and technical appren- tices aged 16 to 21.

The apprentices will be responsible for the full breadth of

the factory’s progress. The initia- tive will be open to all appren- tices and graduates as part of Siemens’ plans to train young people in engineering and real business management.

The Junior Factory will manu- facture a sub-assembly for supply into production of Siemens G120C drives, which was previ- ously imported, and will repre- sent a re-shoring of domestic manufacturing.

Training centre will benefit all

Endress+Hauser celebrated the launch of its new training centre in November with special guest Michael Portillo. The former Cabinet Minister cut the ribbon on the £650,000 facility which has been created in the grounds of Endress+Hauser’s UK headquarters in Manchester. The training centre offers bespoke courses for both customers and staff in the areas of instrumentation, field communication and process control. The facilities include a 12-seater classroom fitted with audio visual equipment and interactive software as well as four process rigs, a purpose- built workshop and control room to allow trainees to get ‘hands on’ with the equipment.

In addition, the facility will demon- strate the company’s commitment to young engineers by complementing its apprentice and graduate schemes. Michael Portillo said he was “deeply impressed” by what he’d seen, adding: “We need to address the problem of not enough young people being inspired to follow technical subjects. This training centre will not only benefit the young people themselves but our country as a whole by driving up the skills base of our society and encour- aging economic recovery.”

NOVEMBER 2013 Process & Control

cies of local governments in other countries. For instance, France and the Netherlands have banned shale gas exploration. Moreover, although Germany and the UK have issued permits, large-scale exploration is yet to begin since the feasibility of com- mercial shale gas production in Europe remains doubtful. Nevertheless, pump vendors will continue to find growth pock- ets as oil and gas companies such as Royal Dutch Shell continue exploration activities during the forecast period.

“In fact, proponents of the shale gas industry in Europe predict that increased exploration would be beneficial to countries affected by the slowdown, as it is expected to attract investments from major oil and gas companies...” said research analyst Niranjan Paul. “...pump manufacturers must develop high-pressure pumps that will be suitable for applications in the shale gas industry.”

It’s certainly ‘good news week’ at the moment, with positive stories on everything from an improving econo- my to falling unemployment. On this news page alone we have stories from big players such as ABB, Endress+Hauser, Bosch and Siemens, all of whom have opened new facilties this month. Not only does this signal a return to confi- dence for some of the key companies in our industry, it also demonstrates a willingness to invest in customer ser- vice and training, and also, most importantly, recognition of the need to commit to the development of the next generation of engineers, engi- neers that we so desperately need. So, after a mixed year, it is good to end on a positive note. Enjoy the christmas break and recharge those batteries ready for what promises to be a very buoyant 2014! Michelle Lea - Editor

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