In his comment in this July 2020 edition of Electricity + Control, Editorial Technical Director Ian Jandrell refers to The Great Reset – the theme for the World Economic Forum’s 51st annual summit set for January 2021. It is aimed at opening the way to new thinking and implementing new possibilities and, as the WEF states, “It marks a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of a renewed economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient future. It requires a new social contract centred on human dignity, social justice and where societal progress does not fall behind economic development.”
Ian further notes how this time of crisis has already seen many interesting initiatives and opportunities arise – and how it may well be possible to do things very differently. The current global crisis has urged us all to rethink how we operate.
Indeed companies and organisations the world over are finding new ways of doing things – and it is remarkable how digital technologies are enabling and supporting this in a changing world.
In Control systems + automation, Beckhoff Switzerland presents the case study of Fischer AG – a company that produces high-quality motor spindles and where each spindle goes through a sophisticated test programme before it is delivered. A new test bench was developed with the help of PC-based technology from Beckhoff, to increase testing capacity, accelerate throughput, and improve the quantity and quality of test data. The success of this first digital test bench project has led to the next being planned for the company’s grinding spindles.
In Drives, motors + switchgear, we look at how South Africa-based Zest WEG successfully conducted a remote witnessed factory acceptance test on a range of WEG MV variable speed drives at the WEG factory in Brazil. This was done using web-based communication software and marked an innovative ‘first’ for the company. Leigh Darroll spoke to David Spohr at Zest WEG about the remote test process, as well as new opportunities emerging in SA and across Africa in the company’s MV and HV focus.
Digital technology is also demonstrating its value in Measurement + instrumentation. Endress+Hauser has developed a mobile measurement instrument which incorporates the company’s SmartBlue app to enable easy and reliable control and verification of measured values and ensure consistency of data between lab and process measurements. This overcomes the variations in measurement values that are often a challenge for plant operators and lab technicians.
In Safety of plant, equipment + people, EA Technology looks at how the measurement of partial discharge and related hazards on high voltage equipment has evolved with the development of increasingly smart instruments. Using digital technologies these ensure the safety of engineers and technicians and provide for condition monitoring and improved maintenance and management of electrical assets.
In this issue we also present two young women who are taking the lead in electrical engineering positions at Eaton, and we highlight the possibilities that South Africa’s renewed focus on sustainable infrastructure development promises to attract investment and spur the country’s economic recovery. Among many other news stories.