Engineers to Work on Cybersecurity for Systems Linking Solar Power to Grid

University of Arkansas | April 16, 2020

Distinguished Professor Alan Mantooth of the University of Arkansas received a $3.6 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to advance technologies that integrate solar power systems to the national power grid. Mantooth and engineering researchers at the university’s National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission will lead a large, multi-institutional research group that will develop systems to protect solar technologies from cyberattack. As U.S. energy policy shifts toward more diverse sources, particularly solar, the Energy Department understands the critical importance of protecting these systems and technologies, said Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and principal investigator for the project. Our group is nicely qualified to address these problems. We’re already developing systems to protect the power grid from cyberattack, and this work will be a logical extension of that effort.

Spotlight

Processing and packaging applications in the food and drug industries have many criteria in common because both industries must meet stringent standards developed to guarantee the utmost safety of products intended for human consumption. Production methods must also be as efficient and cost-effective as possible, maximizing throughput and minimizing downtime.

Spotlight

Processing and packaging applications in the food and drug industries have many criteria in common because both industries must meet stringent standards developed to guarantee the utmost safety of products intended for human consumption. Production methods must also be as efficient and cost-effective as possible, maximizing throughput and minimizing downtime.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Emerson and Neste Engineering Solutions to Optimize Fintoil Biorefinery Operations for More Efficient, Sustainable Production

Fintoil | June 22, 2022

Fintoil, together with Neste Engineering Solutions, has selected Emerson’s automation software and technologies to maximize the operational performance of its biorefinery being constructed in the port of Hamina-Kotka, Finland. The plant will be the third-largest crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery in the world and produce advanced biofuel and biochemical feedstocks that help lower emissions and reduce reliance on fossil-based fuels. The plant will refine CTO, a by-product of the wood pulping process, to produce a sustainable feedstock for renewable second-generation diesel, as well as rosin, sterol pitch and turpentine used in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. These CTO derivatives have a carbon footprint up to 90% smaller than their fossil-based equivalents. This state-of-the-art facility, which utilizes Neste Engineering Solutions’ NEXPINUS™ technology, uses 40% less energy than a conventional tall oil refinery, and is the perfect example of efficient and sustainable production that supports the circular economy. Working with Neste Engineering Solutions and Emerson to implement the latest digital automation technologies will enable us to operate the plant safely and efficiently, minimize operating costs and deliver large-scale production of biofuel and biochemicals as a viable alternative to fossil-based products.” Jukka Ravaska,Fintoil CEO To reduce project risk and ensure schedule and budget are maintained, Emerson will apply its Project Certainty methodology, which digitalizes project execution and uses practices such as remote testing of equipment. And to enhance plant security performance, Emerson consultancy services will advise on the implementation of cybersecurity best practices. “Emerson expertise and technologies are playing a significant role in helping companies achieve their ambitious decarbonization and environmental sustainability goals, including the accelerated transition to cleaner fuels,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Our project expertise and latest advanced digital solutions are not only helping Fintoil develop the production capacity of a sustainable fuel, but also optimizing plant efficiency to lower its overall environmental impact. We are very pleased to have Neste Engineering Solutions as a partner in this project because of its extensive experience in the CTO business.” In addition to providing NEXPINUS, and engineering, procurement and construction management for the project, Neste Engineering Solutions will also be responsible for delivering the entire application software for the new CTO biorefinery. Fintoil, together with Neste Engineering Solutions, will implement Emerson’s DeltaV™ distributed control system, DeltaV safety instrumented system and DeltaV Live operator interface software to enable efficient production, greater visibility of operational performance and process, and emergency shutdown for improved plant and worker safety. Advanced measurement technologies that have minimal maintenance requirements and diagnostics made available through Emerson’s asset management software will enhance equipment reliability and performance, contributing to greater plant availability and throughput, and lower cost of ownership. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2022. The expected annual capacity of 200,000 tons will create a 400,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions, which is roughly 1% of Finland’s total emissions. About Emerson Emerson, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. About Fintoil Fintoil is a Finnish bioneering company established in 2017. Fintoil will refine crude tall oil for the production of advanced biofuels. Other derivatives will be sold for further refinement to clients in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. The company’s crude tall oil biorefinery will start its operations in the summer of 2022 in the port of Hamina-Kotka, a chemicals port in Hamina, Finland. The technologically advanced and energy-friendly production utilizes NEXPINUS™ technology and once operational it will be the world’s third-largest CTO biorefinery. In the future, the feed capacity can be increased. Fintoil’s key personnel and founders have decades of experience in the tall oil business and related investment projects. About Neste Engineering Solutions Neste Engineering Solutions offers high quality technology development and licensing, engineering, procurement, construction and project management services for the oil & gas, petrochemicals and bio-industries. Our NAPCON products enhance process industry production optimization, quality and logistics, as well as operator training with simulators and games. We work in close cooperation with our strategic customers and have world-class know-how in technology development and industrial investment projects. Many companies base their success on highly competitive novel process technologies developed by Neste Engineering Solutions. NEXPINUS™ is a feedstock flexible intelligent tall oil fractionation technology for superior quality products. Read more: neste.com/engineeringsolutions.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION,CONSTRUCTION

SafeAI and Obayashi Operate Autonomous Vehicle on a Construction Site in Japan

SafeAI | July 25, 2022

SafeAI, a global leader in autonomous solutions for heavy equipment, in partnership with Obayashi Corporation hosted nearly 150 visitors to view its retrofitted autonomous Caterpillar 725, operating on a construction site in Japan for the first time ever. The demos, which took place over a two week period, brought together delegates from nearly 50 organizations across the construction industry ecosystem, including leading OEM, general contractors, technology companies, universities and research groups and Japanese government entities responsible for regulation. In addition to winning buy-in from key stakeholders, the demos mark a critical first step toward securing approval from the government and industry organizations to bring autonomous construction to Japan. Prior to the public demo, SafeAI and Obayashi spent 6 weeks extensively testing in a Japanese environment to confirm all the features previously developed in the US-based proof of concept (POC), which was completed in California in November 2021. Japanese regulations were not originally designed to support the use of autonomous vehicles for off-road construction. Yet, this technology is poised to unlock smarter, safer, more sustainable and productive construction sites. Self-driving assets enable companies to add thousands of hours of productivity annually, completing major projects 20% faster and at 25% lower cost—empowering the industry to overcome chronic deadline, budget and safety issues. “At SafeAI, we’re committed to making heavy industry safer and more productive for companies around the world. In partnership with Obayashi, and through the joint demonstration of an autonomous construction vehicle in Japan, we are making major strides towards achieving that goal, From here, we are focused on securing autonomous vehicle buy-in from the government/industry organizations and executing a ramp up plan for the construction industry that starts in Japan and expands globally from there.” -Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO of SafeAI. Following the successful completion of ground breaking demos, SafeAI will continue to work with the government and industry consortium groups to review findings and evaluate regulatory changes around autonomous construction. We firmly believe the future of the construction industry is dependent on off-road autonomy and we’re committed to bringing this technology to Japan where it will have a massive impact on safety, sustainability, and productivity by partnering with SafeAI, said Mr. Shinya Sugiura at Obayashi. The Japanese construction market poses a great opportunity for autonomous technology and the recent demos that were conducted in Japan not only confirm the functionality of the system we built, but have showcased the global viability and impact of autonomous construction projects. Obayashi is a recipient of the special award in pioneering activity category of the 5th JAPAN Construction International Award sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), which cements the company as a leader in the Japanese construction industry and recognizes SafeAI’s joint development of this cutting edge system. SafeAI’s autonomous solution is powered by industry-specific AI technology and utilizes onboard processing power to enable real-time decision making. From using the latest multimodal sensors (LiDAR, radar, camera) to detect surroundings, to perception-based localization with GNSS, SafeAI leverages the most advanced technologies on the market to bring more effective, efficient and scalable autonomy to heavy industry. Additionally, the company uses a retrofit model to empower companies to upgrade existing equipment, regardless of manufacturer or vehicle type, instead of limiting companies to purchasing new, manufacturer-built autonomous vehicles, which is costly and more difficult to scale. About SafeAI- SafeAI is a global autonomous solutions provider for heavy equipment leaders focused on advancing modern industry. SafeAI retrofits heavy equipment for autonomous applications in mining and construction to serve a massive ecosystem of industry players with complex needs. By building a software platform with the most advanced, industry-specific AI, SafeAI enables equipment owners to transform existing machines into self-operating robotic assets. SafeAI is based in Santa Clara, CA. About Obayashi- Obayashi Corporation has delivered solutions to infrastructure challenges across the globe. Founded in 1892, Obayashi has provided a full range of general contractor services in both public and private works such as Tokyo Central Station, Kansai International Airport, TOKYO SKYTREE, Dubai Metro project, Jewel Changi Airport, and Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Other services include R&D, design, urban development, maintenance, and renewable energy.

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CONSTRUCTION

Render’s Expanded Platform Now Supports All Construction and Maintenance Projects

Render Networks | June 14, 2022

Global leader in geospatial network construction technology, Render Networks, announced the expansion of its Network Construction Platform to include three solutions: Render Scale, Render Connect, and Render Redline - designed to reduce the time and effort required to manage all sizes and types of network builds. The broadband industry is preparing to support over 10 million FTTH connections by the end of 2023. However, not all activity is focused on large, one-time fiber deployments. Increasingly, network operators and construction contractors are looking to solve adjacent construction challenges with the same field productivity and downstream efficiencies. The platform’s broader capabilities now streamline construction beyond large-scale deployment, including stand-alone GIS redline changes, small or high-volume network maintenance works and customer drops. Render Scale is the company’s flagship geospatial construction solution for managing large-scale deployment. Render’s Digital Construction Blueprint transforms network designs into a task-level GIS scope, harnessing the power of automation and machine learning to achieve industry-leading outcomes. Render’s customer portfolio has seen production rate increases of up to 30%, and direct project cost and schedule benefits of 20%. Render Connect is a fast-start offering designed to manage small or high-volume builds with highly efficient digital construction processes. Protect margins with faster scoping and turnover of assets for customer connections and ongoing operations and maintenance work. Render Redline is a light-touch redline change solution that helps construction teams simplify their redline change process with real-time GIS data capture and management. Working alongside existing construction systems and tools, Render Redline is simple to use and cuts redline change management overheads by up to 50%. Network and construction teams are actively seeking responsive, agile, and innovative solutions that unlock new efficiencies, especially faster build times.” Sam Pratt,Render CEO “Render consistently enables network operators and EPCs to achieve some of the best network construction outcomes delivered across the industry. With the addition of Render Redline and Render Connect, our innovation now solves for the full breadth of network construction works, from initial deployment, through to customer connection drops and ongoing maintenance works.” “By lowering barriers of entry and creating a new Redline change management solution, all network operators and construction teams can access Render and deliver outstanding results for the customers and communities they exist to serve.” About Render Networks Founded in 2013 with a mission to build networks better, Render has a successful history of streamlining large-scale network construction for CSPs and construction teams. Through the automation of manual tasks and improved utilization of resources, Render’s end-to-end geospatial network construction platform eliminates all paper-based processes, achieving real-time progress transparency and generating time and costs efficiencies of greater than 30% and improving visibility and control across global telco infrastructure rollouts.

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