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Electricity and Control February 2019One of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, Hekla, has been quiet for the past 19 years. While this is good news for visitors to the crater rim, it makes geophysicists nervous because it could erupt at any minute. In the hope of warning people in advance, geophysicist Martin Möllhoff and his team have installed six seismometers that will detect tremors in the ground and alert visitors to danger. The installation required specific cables to undertake the work required and to survive the punishing environment. This fascinating article is the primary focus of Cables + Accessories.

While electrical planning can be complex and multifaceted, there are many possibilities for improving efficiency and Siemens shares some of these in our Control Systems + Automation feature. In our February issue, we also learn how an ultrasonic level transmitter alleviated process problems in a dairy production plant; how a liquid radar level measurement instrument improved efficiency for bitumen suppliers; and how a sensor specialist developed an automation and control system, including instrumentation, for a mini hydropower plant. In our Transformers + Substations section, we find out how Cullinan Mine revamped the processing side of its operation to deliver higher performance on a smaller footprint; consuming less power and water, the new plant also minimises the risk of damage to large diamonds recovered from the orebody. Although the operating principles of electrical transformers have been around for over 130 years, design refinements have enhanced transformers’ efficiency and reliability, and Aaron Rost in the final feature article explains how.

We round off this issue looking to the future for engineering in South Africa, with CESA President, Neresh Pather, addressing this theme in his 2019 presidential message: ‘Reshaping our future together’ – and focusing on changing social norms by ‘Doing what is right!’


Cables + accessories

Cables to the crater

Bernd Müller for LAPP

Hekla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes and scientists hope to use a network of seismometers to peer into the belly of the mountain and warn of an impending eruption. Connecting this network called for an especially tough cable, as the environment in the mountains of Iceland is anything but friendly.

Control systems + automation

Recognising optimisation potential in electrical engineering

White paper from Siemens

The planning and design of machine control panels are essential steps in the production of a new machine. As in all engineering disciplines, the procedures and methods are subject to constant change.

Sensors, switches + transducers

Accurate tank level measurement in dairy production

Endress + Hauser

In this test case, Endress + Hauser supplied an ultrasonic level transmitter to provide highly accurate level measurement in the mixing tanks, enabling the dairy production plant to overcome process problems that were resulting in high product loss and high effluent costs.

Tooling up for improved efficiency

VEGA Instruments

Taking us to the highway network in New South Wales, Australia, asphalt plants and their suppliers explain how they were able to improve efficiencies using the VEGAPULS 64 liquid radar level measurement instrument.

Flexible automation system for mini pilot hydropower plant

Vishal Bachoo, ifm electronic (SA)

Sensor specialist ifm electronic (SA) developed an automation and control system, including instrumentation, for a mini pilot hydropower plant, specifically meeting the client’s requirement for a system solution with the least number of possible failure points and one that would offer comprehensive diagnostic capabilities.

Transformers + substations

Integrated electrical make-over for Cullinan’s diamond processing plant

Zest WEG Group’s diverse product and solutions package allowed it to provide a comprehensive solution for the revamp of the Cullinan Mine. The processing side of the operation now delivers higher performance on a smaller footprint.

Transformer design: Changing for a better tomorrow

Aaron Rost, Trafo Power Solutions

Small improvements in efficiency can add up to significant savings when scaled up to world-wide proportions, and here Rost discusses design refinements in electrical transformers.

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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.