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International technology group ANDRITZ has received an order from Steves & Sons, Inc. to supply two pressurized refining systems to Steves’ new mill in Athens, Georgia, United States.

Start-up will take place in 2024.

The state-of-the-art pressurized refining systems with innovative C-feeder in conjunction with HC (high-consistency) refining will process a mixture of hardwood and softwood chips for production of high-quality fibers for molded door skins.

“The ANDRITZ well-proven technology focusing on excellent fiber properties and the extensive North American network of experts and service specialists were all decisive factors in ANDRITZ receiving the order from Steves,” said Stephen Brien, Director of Fiber Operations at Steves.

  ANDRITZ high-consistency refiner © ANDRITZ ANDRITZ high-consistency refiner © ANDRITZ

For 157 years, Steves has provided quality products for homes in North America, with emphasis on doors, and continues to build its business and reputation among distributors, retail home centers, builders, and homeowners nationwide. With interior and exterior door plants in San Antonio, and interior door plants in Richmond, Virginia, Lebanon, Tennessee, and Brigham City, Utah, Steves employs more than 1,300 team members. The six-generation, family-owned business is built on a commitment to quality, superior craftsmanship and style, and a long tradition of environmental responsibility – expressed in long-lasting products incorporating recycled elements in their design.

International technology group ANDRITZ offers a broad portfolio of innovative plants, equipment, systems, services and digital solutions for a wide range of industries and end markets. Sustainability is an integral part of the company’s business strategy and corporate culture. With its extensive portfolio of sustainable products and solutions, ANDRITZ aims to make the greatest possible contribution to a sustainable future and help its customers achieve their sustainability goals. ANDRITZ is a global market leader in all four of its business areas – Pulp & Paper, Metals, Hydro and Separation. Technological leadership and global presence are cornerstones of the group’s strategy, which is focused on long-term profitable growth. The publicly listed group has around 29,700 employees and over 280 locations in more than 40 countries.

ANDRITZ Pulp & Paper provides sustainable technology, automation, and service solutions for the production of all types of pulp, paper, board and tissue. The technologies and services focus on increased production efficiency, lower overall operating costs as well as innovative decarbonization strategies and autonomous plant operation.

The product portfolio also includes boilers for power generation, flue gas cleaning systems, various nonwoven technologies, and panelboard (MDF) production systems. With waste-to-value recycling, shredding and energy solutions, waste and by-product streams from production are converted into valuable secondary raw materials as well as into sustainable resources for energy generation. State-of-the-art IIoT technologies as part of Metris digitalization solutions complete the comprehensive product offering.

Metso has received a repeat order to an iron ore processing plant in Europe, for a replacement chain for their iron ore pelletizing system.

Metso’s complete chain package delivery consists of more than 6000 high-quality grate plates, chain links, through rods, and side plates supported by comprehensive maintenance and full services to maximize production uptime.

metso metals logoThe order valued EUR 9 million has been booked in the Minerals’ segment first-quarter orders received.

"We are honored that the customer has chosen Metso to provide critical components for this important project," said Roar Vasboe, Vice President of Sales and Services Nordics for Metso. "Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality, reliable products that meet the needs of our customer. We are committed to sustainability and continuous improvement, and we are confident that our solution will help them to achieve their production goals safely and efficiently."

Metso is the only supplier in the world that has both the straight grate and the grate kiln process for pelletizing.

Metso has designed and supplied the most modern and largest grate kiln systems in the world. These plants have the highest outputs with the lowest fuel usage and lowest emissions.

Discover more about Metso iron ore pelletizing on our website.

Metso is a frontrunner in providing sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the aggregates, minerals processing and metals refining industries globally. By helping our customers increase their productivity, improve their energy and water efficiency and environmental performance with our process and product expertise, we are the partner for positive change.  

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Metso employs over 16,000 people in close to 50 countries and sales for 2022 were about EUR 5.3 billion. The company is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Ratingen, Germany 4th May 2023 Companies in the food and beverage industry are grappling with a number of challenges that can prevent them from thriving in today’s marketplace. However, there are real opportunities for these manufacturers to optimise and improve their operations using data science. Malte Schlüter, Global Director for Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) - Factory Automation at Mitsubishi Electric Europe, explores how during his exclusive videocast interview ‘Food and Beverage industry: Can cocoa be smart?’

Across the food and beverage value chain, businesses are encountering a number of obstacles that are holding back the potential for increased profitability, efficiency, throughput and, ultimately competitiveness. This is driving producers and packaging experts to look for technologies to help optimise product quality, uptime, productivity, costs, resource utilisation and environmental footprint.

These aspects can all be enhanced with the adoption of value-adding solutions based on data-driven digital technologies, according to leading expert Malte Schlüter. For example, it is possible to streamline and improve the results of product and packaging inspections using innovative vision systems that identify anomalies and remove defective or off-spec materials. These combine high-resolution, high-speed cameras, artificial intelligence (AI) image analysis platforms and automated machines, such as industrial robots. An additional benefit of these setups is the ability to continuously improve their detection performance over time, thanks to the data-led refinement of the models used.

Malte Schlüter, Global Director for Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) - Factory Automation at Mitsubishi Electric Europe [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Germany]Malte Schlüter, Global Director for Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) - Factory Automation at Mitsubishi Electric Europe [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Germany]

The potential gains that companies can achieve will be highlighted by one of Mitsubishi Electric’s latest demonstration units on show at interpack 2023 from 4th-10th May in Düsseldorf, Germany. Attendees will be invited to join the company at Stand A40 in Hall 6 to explore an open, modular and fully integrated quality inspection line for chocolate bars and their packaging.

The solution features a conveyor belt that passes three different stations. Firstly, the products go through an X-ray system that can spot foreign objects and impurities, subsequently, they are taken to a deep learning-based solution that evaluates packaging seal quality. Finally, an articulated six-axis robot picks, lifts, and turns the product around so that it can be weighed and then inspected by a vision system, which is used to perform a final check of the chocolate bars. All in all, this is a fully automated product and packaging quality inspection solution, that can be placed modular and highly flexible at many process steps on every production line.

To watch Malte Schlüter’s full interview on the Mitsubishi Electric Videocast and learn more about how data science can drive the performance of your food and beverage production lines, visit:

The image(s) distributed with this press release are for Editorial use only and are subject to copyright. The image(s) may only be used to accompany the press release mentioned here, no other use is permitted.

About Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
With more than 100 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. Mitsubishi Electric enriches society with technology in the spirit of its “Changes for the Better.” The company recorded a revenue of 4.476,7 billion yen (U.S.$ 36,7 billion*) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.  For more information please visit

*U.S. dollar amounts are translated from yen at the rate of ¥122=U.S.$1, the approximate rate on the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2022

About Mitsubishi Electric Factory Automation Business Group
Offering a vast range of automation and processing technologies, including controllers, drive products, power distribution and control products, electrical discharge machines, laser processing machines, computerized numerical controllers, and industrial robots, Mitsubishi Electric helps bring higher productivity – and quality – to the factory floor. In addition, its extensive service networks around the globe provide direct communication and comprehensive support to customers. The global slogan “Automating the World” shows the company’s approach to leverage automation for the betterment of society, through the application of advanced technology, sharing know-how and supporting customers as a trusted partner.

About Factory Automation EMEA
Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., Factory Automation EMEA has its European headquarters in Ratingen near Dusseldorf, Germany. It is a part of Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. that has been represented in Germany since 1978, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan.
The role of Factory Automation EMEA is to manage sales, service and support across its network of local branches and distributors throughout the EMEA region. For more information, please visit:

About e-F@ctory>
e-F@ctory is Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated concept to build reliable and flexible manufacturing systems that enable users to achieve many of their high speed, information driven manufacturing aspirations. Through its partner solution activity, the e-F@ctory Alliance, and its work with open network associations such as The CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA), users can build comprehensive solutions based on a wide ranging “best in class” principle.
In summary, e-F@ctory and the e-F@ctory Alliance enable customers to achieve integrated manufacturing but still retain the ability to choose the most optimal suppliers and solutions.

*e-F@ctory, iQ Platform are trademarks of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Japan and other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
*All other trademarks are acknowledged

Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions (WMFTS) today announces the company now offers the KROHNE FLEXMAG 4050 C ® electromagnetic flowmeter for biopharmaceutical customers. As a highly accurate and reliable flow measuring system that seamlessly integrates with other WMFTS products, it reinforces the company’s position as a provider of total-solution packages for customers utilizing fluid path processes.

Superior accuracy with the electromagnetic flowmeter

With the KROHNE FLEXMAG 4050 C electromagnetic flowmeter, WMFTS customers can verify the accurate flow conditions of compatible Watson-Marlow pumps. The KROHNE flowmeter is the first single-use electromagnetic flowmeter on the market.

Unlike other single-use flowmeter technologies, such as those which use ultrasonic technology, the KROHNE flowmeter provides accurate readings independent of pressure, temperature and viscosity of the fluid. The KROHNE flowmeter provides a completely stable, direct and accurate fluid flow measurement that does not drift over time. 

With a simple exchange between two different flow tube sizes, the flow measurement system can accommodate two different flow ranges with no need to recalibrate. The transmitter and flow tube are factory calibrated and do not require further adjustment on site.

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Tony Barrass, Pumps and Drives Portfolio Manager at Watson-Marlow said:

“Because of its superior accuracy and repeatability, the KROHNE flowmeter is a world class product. It joins many carefully selected products in our portfolio that are compatible with Watson-Marlow pumps. With the KROHNE flowmeter, we are further able to support customers looking for a total solutions package.”

A customizable solution for bioprocessing

Creating a sterile fluid path is crucial in the biopharmaceutical industry. The flowmeter features a disposable, biocompatible and gamma stable flow tube that easily integrates into customized single-use assemblies. The FLEXMAG 4050 C flow tubes are manufactured at an ISO 13485 certified site, and production takes place in an ISO Class 7 cleanroom environment. Fluid contact materials are made from biocompatible material. The flow tube is gamma stable up to 50 kGy with fluid contact materials made from biocompatible material. 

Part of the Watson-Marlow compatible accessory range, the KROHNE flowmeter is exclusively available as a package with the following Watson-Marlow pumps and/or puresu® assemblies: 

  • PROFINET® and EtherNet/IP™ 500, 600 and 700 series Watson-Marlow process pumps  
  • puresu® assemblies 

This new offering from Watson-Marlow is ideal for customers in the life sciences or biopharmaceutical industry involved in a range of bioprocessing applications, including filtration processes, chromatography, and buffer or media preparation.

For more information, visit

Eight manufacturing SMEs have responded to the lack of a coherent industrial strategy in the UK by launching their own MANifesto today.

The Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), which comprises seven sub-contract manufacturers and an engineering design agency, has responded to the Government’s faltering strategic vision for industry by delivering their own blueprint for making the country globally competitive.

Bosses believe the four pillars of Investment, People, International Trade and Sustainability & Net Zero should lead the overarching approach and will form the guiding principles for the individual businesses inside the collective.

They’re now calling on the powers in Whitehall to do their bit to facilitate growth by providing tailored support and in removing some of the bureaucratic barriers currently in place.

Austin Owens, founder of Grove Design and Co-Chair of MAN, commented: “UK manufacturing has come through Brexit and Covid-19 in remarkably good shape, but this is more to do with our innovation, our technical expertise and our quality than it has to do with a clear Industrial Strategy.

“We got tired of waiting for Government to develop a vision like they benefit from in other countries, so decided to create our own MANifesto that will guide the future development of the eight firms and, in our opinion, the sector as a whole.”

He continued: “These four pillars have been developed in partnership with members and focus on People (developing skills, attracting the next generation of engineers and ensuring safe and supportive workplaces) and boosting International Trade through easier access to funded export support, a Government commitment to boost reshoring and ringfencing infrastructure spend so the UK benefits.”

MANifesto Group (L): MDs and young engineers from the MAN Group launch the MANifesto at WMG in CoventryMANifesto Group (L): MDs and young engineers from the MAN Group launch the MANifesto at WMG in Coventry

The third pillar of the MANifesto is a commitment to Investment, and this covers specialist assistance to accelerate automation, digitalisation and technology, not to mention more funding support for R&D/product development and dedicated assistance to aid energy intensive industries to upgrade equipment.

Sustainability and Net Zero is the final element of the vision and arguably the biggest talking point in business at the moment.

There are two main strands to this pillar, including supporting UK manufacturing to commercialise greener products and technologies and the potential for a specialist fund to make factories more sustainable and to accelerate decarbonisation.

Peter Davies, CEO of James Lister & Sons and Co-Chair of MAN Group, went on to add:

“This isn’t eight manufacturers coming out with a begging bowl for Government to fill, in fact it’s the opposite.

“We believe the MANifesto outlines clear, short and long-term objectives and many of these we can achieve on our own. We’re just asking for a level playing field to compete on and some simple enablers to ensure our competitiveness.

“In fact, we’d love nothing more than Ministers to get in touch and work with us on developing some of our pillars into something more sustainable for industry as a whole.”

The Manufacturing Assembly Network works together to encourage collaboration, best practice sharing and to promote UK manufacturing.

It is made up of Alucast, Brandauer, Grove Design, James Lister & Sons, KimberMills International, Muller Holdings, Nemco and PP Control & Automation.

Collectively, the group boasts annual sales in excess of £95m, employs more than 1000 people and exports products to over 50 countries from its 20+ factories.

MAN can also call upon the R&D and technological expertise of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), who has been an associate member since 2014.

This leverages the best in academia with the best in industry and is an important partnership in helping companies develop new markets and explore new opportunities, as well as providing a ready-made proving ground for WMG’s business support offering.

Unison Tube LLC, the North American division of UK-based Unison Ltd, will present a number of innovative tube manipulation technologies at FABTECH – North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event. Unison machines on show at FABTECH Booth D41930 will include an all-electric Unison Breeze 100 mm (maximum tube diameter) multi-stack tube bender and one of the company’s manually operated, CNC-controlled EvBend 1000 models.

The all-electric Unison Breeze 100 mm machine

Unison Ltd invented ultra-precise, all-electric tube and pipe bending, and the Breeze 100 mm machine is one of the company’s flagship models. Like all Unison Breeze tube bending machines, the 100 mm Breeze offers rapid setup, fast tooling changes, exceptional power, rigid mechanical design, and all-electric control for right-first-time repeat sub-contract work, or immediately after producing a single trial part. These are all attributes that Unison Ltd believes make its Breeze models the ultimate tube manipulation machines for businesses specializing in small batch production runs. Equipped with Unison’s recently upgraded Unibend software, all-electric Breeze machines also offer cycle time speed improvements in the region of 25% compared to earlier models and incorporate new teach routine and simulation features.

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The Unison EvBend range

Unison’s EvBend 1000 is a high-precision 3-axis machine that was developed to reduce the entry cost to precision rotary draw tube bending. The machine combines manually operated feed, tube rotation and bending force, with CNC-controlled braking on the carriage feed, rotation and bend arm axes. Typically used for low-volume, high-accuracy production and prototyping, Unison EvBend machines provide accurate multi-plane bending at a much lower cost than many CNC benders. Two models are currently available – the EvBend 1000 for bending tube of up to 16 mm in diameter, and the EvBend 2000, a machine featuring power-assisted operation and capable of bending tube of up to 50 mm in diameter. The EvBend CNC control includes a PC-based 15” touchscreen and is capable of processing up to 100 bends per component. Unison EvBend machines are widely used across the aerospace and motorsport sectors for bending precision components.

“FABTECH 2022 was an incredibly successful event for us,” comments Unison Tube LLC’s Vice President, Stuart Singleton. “With that in mind, we are looking forward to attending this year’s event with a larger booth and an even more exciting line up of tube bending machines. To arrange to meet me or another member of the Unison Tube team at FABTECH, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Unison Tube LLC

Unison Tube LLC is the North American division of Unison Ltd, the UK’s leading manufacturer of tube and pipe bending machines, offering the largest range of all-electric benders for diameters from 5/32” (4 mm) to 10” (275 mm) schedule pipe. With a reputation for building highly powerful, highly robust machines that deliver uncompromising levels of accuracy and repeatability, Unison Ltd continually innovates the tube and pipe bending marketplace. The company manufactured the world’s first all-electric tube bender in 1994, followed by the world’s first all-electric multi-stack tube bender, then the world’s largest all-electric tube bender for the shipbuilding industry. Available in single-stack, multi-stack and right/left varieties, Unison machines are delivered to more than 20 countries globally. Unison’s tube bending software is recognized as the most user-friendly control system for tube bending machines. The software is written and supported by Unison, ensuring complete control of its evolution, with no need for third party support.

For more product information, please contact:

Stuart Singleton – Unison Tube LLC (North America)

T: +1 (828) 808 4286   E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Mark Boyle, PhD Senior Manager, Product Engineering and Applications, AMADA WELD TECH INC.

Q1: Our resistance welding process produces inconsistent results: Most of the welds are good, but we get too many weak welds that require rework or cause scrap down the line. How can I figure out what is going wrong?

A1: Process consistency is a common issue in resistance welding. A number of things can go wrong, all caused by variations in one or more of these areas: equipment performance, material properties, and process settings. We always recommend that customers start investigating by looking at weld process parameters recorded with a weld checker (aka, weld monitor). Why? The data collected by these devices can tell a story that even the most well-trained eyes and ears of an experienced operator cannot. Even when it is obvious that the weld is not working, the operator may not be able to pinpoint the root of the problem, whereas the data from a monitor could. Without data from a monitor, the operator is largely running blind and making guesses at the root of the problem.

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Q2: What process parameters can be measured by a weld monitor?

A2: A resistance weld monitor can capture electric current during the weld, voltage between electrodes, electrode force, and electrode movement.

Basic models output a numeric aggregated value (e.g. min or max) for one or more parameters. More advanced monitors can capture and analyze the entire, high-resolution waveform of every parameter. Waveforms provide much more useful information about the dynamic weld process than do aggregated values. For example, waveforms can reveal sparking due to inconsistent fit up, loose welding machine hardware, and inconsistent timing between application of mechanical force and electrical power.

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Q3: What do these parameters tell me about the weld?

A3: Resistance welding is achieved by applying heat and pressure over time. Heat is supplied by passing current through the electrodes and weldment. Pressure is supplied by squeezing the weldment between two electrodes at a predetermined force. The time profile, (rate at which current and pressure are applied) can affect the weld result.

Heat and pressure cannot be measured directly. But they are the consequence of the current through the parts, voltage across the electrodes, and force applied by the weld head. Other electrical parameters like power and resistance can be derived from these measurements. In addition, the weld process causes a small movement (“displacement”) of the electrodes that can reveal whether the weld has progressed as expected.

A change in any of these parameters could indicate issues in the welding process, like improper alignment, dirt/debris, change in material, change in coating, and other defects.

Q4: Can the weld monitor determine a good or a bad weld?

Q4: The monitor with its resultant values and/or waveforms does not, in and of itself, say whether the weld was bad or good. It can, however, compare the most recent weld to a known good weld. If the parameters are similar, it is passed as “good”; if outside the range, it is flagged as “different.” Different is often considered “bad” in a production setting and the part would be flagged for rework or scrapped.

To determine the range of acceptable values or limits, a user will run a design of experiments (DoE) using different weld equipment settings that will affect weld quality. Waveforms are recorded and reviewed with weld quality results. At the end of the study, upper and lower parameter limits can be set such that the range includes “good” welds and excludes “bad” welds.   The optimal limits settings reflect a balance between the successes at accepting a “good” weld and avoiding too many “false positives,” that is, welds that generate readings inside the limits fail welding quality specifications. It is a time consuming endeavor, but results in process settings that will identify a good weld within statistical limits. For critical welds, this is the de facto procedure to follow for such products as safety components or medical devices.

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Q5: What else can weld monitors be used for?

A5: In addition to quality assurance, weld monitors are used to identify correct settings in process development, for maintenance troubleshooting, equipment certification, and data storage. Identifying and monitoring correct weld settings provides a means for quality control of the product being manufactured. During process development, one can compare the stability of the settings and optimize the process.

For maintenance troubleshooting, weld monitors come in handy to capture values and waveforms to indicate the likely source of the issue. The shape of the waveform can indicate issues in material properties, process setting changes, and equipment malfunctions. The key is to quickly identify the true source of the problem and get back on track with production.

Weld monitors can also verify or certify that equipment is running as expected. If you programmed a 2,000 A weld for 10 ms, you want to be sure that the power supply delivers that as expected

Finally, since the monitor is recording the values, there is also an option to store the data. When connected to an MES system, weld values can be stored for a particular manufactured part.

Q6: Where is the weld monitor data stored and how can I use it?

A6: Data can be stored locally in the process monitor, or on a networked server either on premise or in the cloud. Modern, high-end monitors have software that stores recorded values in a database server. This database can be accessed and used by analytical statistical process control (SPC) software, and to monitor equipment health and analyzed by Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) programs.

Production managers, process engineers, and operators can use stored data to make informed decisions about the production process that affect product quality, throughput, and cost.

Q7: Can this data be used for artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms?

A7: Indeed, it can! Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being applied in the welding field to create smart adaptive limits and to predict weld quality.  

The AI/ML algorithms look for trends in the recorded data that may not be seen through standard analysis of graphs. In addition, AI/ML tools can generate many data ‘features’ from process waveforms. These features can be used to spot subtle details about the welding process. While the sheer volume of data can overwhelm garden-variety SPC software tools, the data can easily be handled by modern ML algorithms running on inexpensive computers.

The AI/ML programs go beyond the simple instantaneous limits we discussed in question 4. This adapts limits during the welding process allowing for external fluctuations that naturally occur over time (ambient temperature, electrode exchange, etc.). These “smart adaptive limits” will allow for higher throughput and better quality.

AI/ML may be able to achieve the holy grail of process monitoring and finally answer the question, “Was that last weld good or bad?” and provide a means for weld quality prediction.

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Further Expands Capabilities to Support Reclamation, a Critical Part of Lifecycle Refrigerant Management

 A-Gas, a world leader in environmentally responsible lifecycle refrigerant management, broke ground on another set of separation towers at their Rhome, Texas plant, strengthening their commitment to the circular economy. This expansion project is another example of A-Gas’ continued investment in cutting-edge technology, deepening their role as a sustainable industry player. These new separation towers will increase A-Gas’ output by 100% over the next eighteen months to supply the US with high-quality reclaimed refrigerant gasses, substantially increasing the number of such gasses in the market.

Late last year, A-Gas completed the construction of their latest refrigerant separation towers at their plant located outside of Dallas/Fort Worth. Recently, the separation towers were brought online, which multiplied the separation capacity at the Texas plant, increasing capacity by 100% since the first set of separation towers were brought online in 2021 and 200% since A-Gas began investing in this technology.

Year-over-year, A-Gas has nearly doubled their reclaimed refrigerant output, making A-Gas a market leader in reclaimed refrigerant in the US. Paired with the AHRI-certified laboratory at the Rhome plant, millions of additional pounds of reclaimed refrigerant, including the most complicated mixes, can be safely returned to the marketplace at AHRI-700 specifications.

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Expanding the recovery and reclaim of refrigerant gasses is essential for implementing the production and importation phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act), which ensures US compliance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. 

“Between the phase down of virgin HFCs in the US, local governments requiring the use of certified reclaimed refrigerant, and our customers’ desire to reduce their own environmental impact, the demand for high-quality reclaimed gas is only growing,” noted Mike Armstrong, President, A-Gas Americas. “We’re proud to meet the needs of customers, industry stakeholders, environmental stewards, and the government through our innovative technology. Together, we can continue to utilize existing resources to provide more circular economy solutions.”

A-Gas’ newest separators will be operational in early 2024. With these new separators, A-Gas will have quadrupled the separation capacity at the current site since 2017, which addresses a critical need highlighted by a recent NGO report: The 90 Billion Ton Opportunity: Lifecycle Refrigerant Management.

Taylor Ferranti, Commercial Vice President of Refrigerant Management at A-Gas, shared, “At the end of the day, every pound of refrigerant that is reclaimed is a pound of refrigerant that was recovered instead of harming the environment with illegal venting. Safe gas recovery through on-site recovery services like A-Gas Rapid Recovery®and cylinder exchange programs like Rapid Exchange® and Refri-Claim make reclaiming refrigerant possible. We’re thrilled to give industry stakeholders who are responsibly recovering refrigerant a solution to bring their used gas back to virgin-grade product specifications for future re-use. We look forward to giving more people and organizations the opportunity to participate in the circular economy.”

A-Gas continues to lead the way in managing the refrigerant lifecycle process through their reclamation capability while continuing to source the next-generation products to support their customers in transitioning to alternative refrigerants.

About A-Gas

A-Gas is the world leader in the supply and lifecycle management of refrigerants and associated products and services. For over 30 years, through first-class recovery, reclamation, and repurposing processes, A-Gas has been capturing refrigerant gas for future re-use or safe destruction, preventing its harmful release into the atmosphere.

A-Gas is the market leader in fire protection and carbon offsets, and their Rapid Recovery network spans the globe. A-Gas’ products and services help customers worldwide to move to more environmentally friendly products and processes.

For more information about A-Gas’ solutions, contact A-Gas at [+1] 419-867-8990 or visit

New features include hydrogen ready check and information about spare parts and products

CIRCOR International, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of differentiated technology products and sub-systems, continuously enhances the digital experience of its consumers by updating its industry leading CIRCORSmart™ app. This app provides a broad range of capabilities, giving users secure, round-the-clock access to critical technical information for over 860,000 products from any web-connected device. CIRCOR’s latest round of updates further expand the functionality and number of products covered by the app, putting even more power at the tip of users’ fingers.

One of the innovative new capabilities included in the updates is a hydrogen ready check. This feature allows users to check whether their RTK valves are ready for the hydrogen fuel economy. Expanding on the order and request quotes feature for spare parts, RTK now offers cover gaskets, spindle packing, cones, flange connections, seat rings and diaphragms for their valves (where applicable) as well as potentiometer, REPOS, transmitter, and feedback module for their REact actuators at the simple click of a button. This makes all necessary details available 24 hours a day for channel partners to check, approve, and confirm the latest prices and discounts to our customers. In line with the expansion of available product information in CIRCORSmart, Schroedahl channel partners are overwhelmed to be able to obtain the standard replacement valve prices. 

With Leslie Regulators and R.G. Laurence, two new product lines have been introduced into CIRCORSmart. Leslie regulators have established themselves as a leading flow control engineered solution. Customers globally across the power generation, maritime, industrial, and oil and gas industries trust these regulators for challenging applications, including those that demand 99% accuracy and severe service control valves requiring near 0% leakage.

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R.G. Laurence valves continue CIRCOR’s legacy of innovation. These on/off control valves prove effective in conditions that demand quick opening and tight shutoff, such as applications in power and process sectors. The tough structure of these products also qualifies them as the valve of choice for high temperature and severe service situations. Like the Leslie regulators, the CIRCORSmart™ app makes this product available at all times for users to access critical product performance and maintenance information. New products will be accordingly equipped with the CIRCORSmart™ QR code. It is also possible to upgrade legacy products with a new name plate to include the QR code for scanning via the app. Please reach out to your local CIRCOR representative to find out more.

CIRCORSmart is available for download from both the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android. Or you can enjoy the new desktop version for easy access via PC. Find more information about the app and the link to download it here:

About CIRCOR International, Inc.

CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE: CIR) designs, manufactures and markets differentiated flow control products and sub-systems for Aerospace & Defense and Industrial customers. The Company has a diversified product portfolio of recognized, market-leading brands (Allweiler®, Houttuin™, Imo®, Hale Hamilton, Aerodyne Controls, RTK®, Schroedahl®, Tushaco®, Warren® and Zenith®) that fulfill its customers’ mission critical needs. For more information, visit the company’s website at

Friday, 14 April 2023 11:38

Asset health in the palm of your hand

~ How on-site oil analysis could give control back to industry decision-makers ~

When it comes to minimising disruptive maintenance work and lowering costs, prevention is better than a cure. Using oil condition monitoring as a predictive maintenance solutions can provide a deep insight into ongoing system health, reducing the risk of equipment damage caused by unknown contaminants in the system. Here, Dr Tom Knott, product manager at petrochemical lab equipment supplier SciMed, discusses the benefits of oil condition monitoring (OCM) analysis and offers some advice on the best equipment for the job.

Keeping an eye on the quality and integrity of your oil is nothing new to most industries that rely on lubrication, hydraulic or coolant fluids. Almost 70% of industry respondents to a Spectro Scientific® survey had some form of reliability monitoring programme in place. It’s safe to say that most decision-makers are aware that tracking the status of machine lubricant to enable predictive maintenance action is an essential practice.

2023 04 14 113143Predictive maintenance is the sweet spot where facility managers can make decisions based on timely data about the health of their critical machinery assets. This is more cost-effective than preventative maintenance, where oil replacements are carried out based on a routine schedule, and far more economical than reactive maintenance, when components break and shut down production until the problem is fixed.

This predictive strategy is especially important in those industries where replacing worn bearings or overheated components is particularly difficult, such as off-shore power generation and remote materials processing sites.

In 2023, most OCM programmes involve sending samples to professional laboratories. While providing the peace of mind that analysis is executed by experts, this outsourcing practice can limit businesses in a number of ways.

For one, the timeframe of sending a sample to the lab and waiting for the report is usually multiple weeks. With each passing day, maintenance managers could be running out of time to intervene in the mechanical decline of a vital asset.

Another issue with outsourcing the OCM process is the rising cost. The UK’s industrial services have been universally inflated by the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues from China. The necessary increase in cost constrains testing volume: if you can only test six samples per month instead of ten, the likelihood that you miss a burgeoning problem increases.

These same geopolitical factors that are prompting quality managers to seek more cost-effective alternatives to outsourcing their oil condition monitoring needs also compound the potentially ruinous costs of a reactive maintenance policy. If your machine breaks and halts business, you might be waiting weeks, not days, for a replacement part.

Solving the fluid analysis conundrum

On-site fluid analysis instruments can significantly boost testing volume, improve sustainability and provide immediate results to give maintenance managers the best platform from which to make decisions and keep business running smoothly.

In the first implementation year of an on-site OCM programme that only tracked one parameter of oil quality, an industrial manufacturer of animal feed cut their unplanned maintenance downtime by 50%. Furthermore, the company saved almost $1 million (~£810,000) in lost production time and gear failures.

It’s true that the short-term investment costs of in-house OCM can deter facility managers from pursuing this as a cost-saving avenue. Additionally, it’s natural for engineers and machine operators without a chemical background to feel unprepared to take on the role of oil analyser.

Although understandable, these concerns can easily be assuaged.

OCM instruments are often sold as modules, each responsible for analysing different properties of the classic oil condition tri-vector; Wear, Contamination, and Chemistry & Viscosity. This is true of the Minilab series from Spectro Scientific®, a central docking station with multiple portable analysers. Maintenance managers can select the instrument most relevant to their business without investing in the whole selection.

One helpful device in this endeavour is a common software feature that allows the operator to schedule tests, collate and trend results, set alarm/action limits and track how much money has been saved on lubricant purchases, unplanned downtime and labour costs.

Indeed, the benefit to maintenance budgets is something worth highlighting. While the initial cost of investment might appear significant, the savings produced from predictive oil condition monitoring can be lucrative. An American city saved $2 million (~£1.62 million) in one year by extending the interval periods between oil changes in a large municipal fleet of city vehicles.

Uncertainty about the rapidity of oil degradation had pressured the city into spending millions on a preventative maintenance strategy and servicing their vehicles before it was necessary.

The popularity of on-site oil condition monitoring is set to sky-rocket in the coming years, as maintenance managers seek to optimise processes to protect their business against rising costs and increasingly drastic consequences for inadequate instrumentation management.

To find out more about how you can implement on-site oil condition monitoring into your workflow, visit Scimed’s product page.

About SciMed:

Since its founding in 1979, Scientific & Medical Products (SciMed) has been a highly successful distributor of laboratory and process equipment. It exclusively represents a number of leading manufacturers in the UK and Ireland and has recently been appointed the distributor for several companies in France and other selected regions around Europe. The company’s focus is on the promotion, sales, service and support of innovative and world-class products to customers in industry and academia.

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