News from PLANT ENGINEERING: Week of Jan. 9

By Plant Engineering Staff January 6, 2006

Gouhin named ISA executive director

Patrick Gouhin has been named executive director of ISA, and began with the organization on Jan. 3. “Pat’s experience and aptitude make him an excellent choice to help our organization in this exciting period of renewal,” said ISA president Don Zee. “We are confident in his ability to work with our leadership, members, customers, and staff to lead ISA in setting the standard for automation.”

Most recently, Gouhin served as chief operating officer of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In his 15-year tenure with

AIAA, he was responsible for developing organizational strategies, launching numerous new ventures, enhancing the effectiveness of publishing and training programs, and conceiving strategic marketing and communications programs.

“I have tremendous respect for the legacy of ISA and am excited about becoming involved at this time when the organization is clarifying its position in the automation community,” said Gouhin. “ISA’s future is bright because of its strong foundation of products, services, committed leaders, and industry support. I am honored to be selected as Executive Director and look forward to taking responsibility for helping the Society achieve our mission.”

Energy cost savings drive AC drive market growth

Strong global economic growth and consumer demand contributed to robust growth of the high power AC drive market. Manufacturing companies in a variety of industries invested heavily to create additional manufacturing capacity and in capital equipment to upgrade existing plants. The worldwide market for high power AC drives exceeded $3.2 billion in 2004 and it is expected to grow at 8.9% over the next five years, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study, “High Power AC Drive Worldwide Outlook.” ( )

The escalating energy costs experienced in recent years has forced manufacturers to focus on energy conservation measures. Increased energy costs have spurred the use of high power AC drives particularly in energy intensive industries such as cement, chemical, and metals & mining. “With energy costs increasing and drive prices falling, the payback period is becoming shorter, helping users to justify capital expenditures on AC drives,” according to Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, co-author of the study.

Several factors are expected to contribute to robust growth of the high power AC drive market including manufacturer energy saving and reliability initiatives, incorporation of more user-friendly features, and new solution-based drive systems. New applications such as drives for hybrid powered automobiles will also contribute to market growth.

Berwanger acquisition boosts Siemens oil and gas business

Siemens Energy and Automation has completed the acquisition of Houston-based Berwanger, Inc. The company will be named Berwanger Incorporated, A Siemens Company. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Berwanger will be part of the oil and gas business of the Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group. Berwanger is a leader in front-end engineering, plant services and software for this key market and is expected to enhance Siemens’ position. The company will continue to operate from its Houston location which will become the global center of competence for oil, gas and petrochemical applications. Berwanger employs approximately 185 people who will be integrated into the Siemens business structure.

“The acquisition of Berwanger will allow Siemens to expand its international reach in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries,” said Aubert Martin, president and CEO, Siemens Energy & Automation. “Ever-increasing demand for fossil fuels and the impact of recent natural disasters makes process and production efficiency even more critical for oil and gas producers. Berwanger is renowned for its world-class engineering and software development to the oil & gas industries. A combined portfolio of Siemens and Berwanger products, services, and solutions represents a unique and complementary offering to our customers.”

Invensys, Energy Solutions form strategic alliance

Invensys Process Systems and Energy Solutions International Inc., a world leader in pipeline management systems, announced today that the two companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to form a strategic alliance and reseller relationship. Energy Solutions and Invensys will collaborate to provide customers with intelligent solutions for pipeline automation and optimization in the oil & gas transportation sector.

“We’re very excited about this collaboration with Energy Solutions. Our companies have worked together informally for years and we feel that this strategic alliance will allow us to continue to grow our partnership in a direction that directly benefits customers of both companies,” said Michael Chmilewski, vice president of SCADA and pipeline business of Invensys Process Systems. “ESI’s technology is a perfect complement to the extensive portfolio of technologies and services that Invensys already delivers to pipeline companies worldwide.”

“This partnership just made a lot of sense. We already have customers using both Energy Solutions’ and Invensys’ products together successfully. And we wanted to be able to make it that much easier to bring a comprehensive solution to our customers,” said Al Jacob, chief executive officer of Energy Solutions. “Customers will see the benefit of this collaboration immediately.”

Airgas acquires two companies

Airgas, Inc. has acquired Oxygen Service Company, Inc., headquartered in Macon, GA with four other locations in central and southern Georgia. In a separate transaction, it also acquired Alabama Cylinder Gas, Enterprise, AL. The six locations, which had more than $7 million in annual sales during the past year, have been integrated into Airgas South, one of the 13 regional companies within Airgas.

“We are delighted to welcome about 35 Oxygen Service associates to the Airgas South team,” said Jay Sullivan, president of Airgas South, headquartered in Kennesaw, GA. “Duell Stone, president and CEO of Oxygen Service, has built a strong, customer-focused company over the past dozen years and we are pleased that he and the other owners have decided to sell to Airgas.”


Sustainable design on ASHRAE agenda

Several sessions relating to integrated or sustainable design will be presented at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ 2006 Winter Meeting, Jan. 21-25, at Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton. There will be 104 sessions presented as part of the technical program.

Registration for the 2006 ASHRAE Winter Meeting is $635 ($375, ASHRAE member) prior to Dec. 2. After Dec. 2, the registration fee will be $750 ($490, ASHRAE member). For more information or to register, visit .

NMW blog up and running

The blog on the National Manufacturing Week web site is now on line. To post a comment, go to , and then click on the blog link.

Register for NA 2006

Both registration and booth space are filling quickly for NA 2006, sponsored by the Material Handling Industry of America. The event is slated for March 27 through March 30 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

NA 2006 focuses on the productivity solutions provided by material handling and logistics. The four-day event is designed to offer productivity solutions and information by showcasing the products and services of over 400 material handling and logistics providers.

Industry professionals from the United States, Canada, Mexico and around the world are expected to attend. More than 400 exhibitors from industry, commerce and government will display their productivity solutions on the 150,000 square foot show floor. The newly designed NA 2006 Education Conferences offer focused, half-hour seminars in specially designed “theaters” constructed right on the trade show floor.

For registration information, go to .