Upfront, please take the time to read Ian Jandrell’s Comment. In paying tribute to the late Ian McRae, former CEO of Eskom, he remembers the electricity-for-all campaign rolled out from the mid-1980s – a programme that McRae championed and that made such a difference in people’s lives. As Ian Jandrell highlights, it created a spark of opportunity and spurred local enterprise – and pointed then to the possible renewal of an economy that needed it, just as we do now with even greater urgency.
In this issue of Electricity + Control we feature: Industry 4.0 + IIoT, Energy management + the industrial environment, Sensors + switches, and Plant maintenance, test + measurement, exploring leading projects and new developments in products and services.
The Vola case study presented by Omron illustrates how this Danish manufacturer of sanitary and kitchen fittings has deployed a fleet of mobile robots which, working side-by-side with people at the factory, enable greater flexibility and made-to-order production.
We also learn how the Phoenix Contact Group is using digital data to optimise toolmaking at its in-house tool shop – networked across four sites in different countries – which enables it to produce all the parts it uses in its products. The tools are initially generated virtually in the form of a digital twin, and a digital description of the processes involved is developed to ensure continuing quality and consistency through product and process.
Global engineering firm Worley looks at the growing move away from centralised power supply to distributed energy systems. Such systems offer advantages for Africa’s mining and heavy industry sectors in particular. Worley’s DES solutions provide for cost-effective optimisation of complicated, multi-streamed energy systems and, using a sophisticated software platform, it can develop tailored solutions to meet customers’ needs.
At a different scale, Cape Town based SustainSolar is working with Equatorial Power to deliver another solar PV powered mini-grid system to Idjwi Island in the DRC. This will connect an industrial hub and supplementary systems to support growth of agricultural value chains on the island.
Sensor Technology reports how wireless sensors using radio wave communications and incorporating built-in electronics offer a smart alternative for monitoring torque – a key performance indicator on rotating equipment in automated plant.
And we present a Fluke case study that illustrates how a single smart instrument – an industrial sonic imager – can simplify the whole process of leak detection in industrial compressed air systems to ensure operational uptime and save energy and costs.
Write @ the back is an inspiring story of how adidas, in partnership with Parley Ocean Plastic, is producing sneakers using recycled plastic waste and illegal fishing nets reclaimed from the world’s oceans. Enjoy the read.