In this May 2022 edition of Electricity + Control, Editorial Technical Director, Professor Ian Jandrell reminds us, in his comment upfront, how important it is always to keep learning. He makes the point that technical magazines like Electricity + Control provide a platform to share information that may revise our understanding of specific fields or technologies, or alert us to new developments, new projects and particular applications. We may look for a review of the basics or for more insight on some specialist aspects of the industry. There is always more to learn.
In this edition we range through different features, each core aspects of electrical engineering in industry, plant management and ongoing operation.
In Control systems + automation, as manufacturers and logistics companies increasingly look to reduce their use of plastics and use sustainable packaging Omron Industrial Automation outlines some of the challenges this presents for automated production lines and the solutions available.
In Drives, motors + switchgear we also see industries locally and globally looking to improve resource efficiencies, not only to save costs but importantly also to make a difference in counteracting climate change and supporting sustainability.
Ferdie Fortuin of Danfoss Drives South Africa, presents the case of a Dutch brewing company where Danfoss was commissioned to install its smart variable speed drives with condition-based monitoring technology to enable improved efficiencies and production performance, minimising downtime and wastage.
In another case study, we learn that Pienaar Elektries, which specialises in agricultural operations, an important and growing contributor to the South African economy, chose Delta drives and automation equipment to deliver a water- and energy-efficient irrigation system for a South African dairy farm.
In the context of climate change, where we see once familiar weather patterns becoming erratic and unpredictable the world over, VEGA shares with us, in Sensors + switches, how the Flanders Environment Agency is using radar level sensors, installed with microcontrollers, to monitor and manage the water network remotely across five different provinces.
Across all industries, Plant maintenance, test + measurement requires consistent attention, and there are many different aspects to consider.
Brian Andrew, of RS Components Southern Africa, presents an interesting perspective, highlighting lessons from his triathlon experience for MRO procurement – where small savings can make a significant difference.
Choene Ramotshela from Schneider Electric outlines how OEM field services teams can support plant operators to manage production cycles and he highlights the benefits of digitalisation in monitoring and managing assets to enable optimum plant performance.
Another element of plant maintenance in many industries relates to the performance of steam generators and heat exchangers. Steinmüller Africa, which has decades of experience in numerical analysis of boilers and heat exchangers in the power generation sector, is extending this service to a wider range of industries.
Plenty to learn from in this issue – and more in the regular columns on Cybersecurity, Reskilling, upskilling + training, Engineering the future, and Write @ the back.