Expansions: Drive technology, testing services, OMAC
A new drives technologies plant is under construction in Elgin, IL, adding 300 jobs (see photo); TÜVRheinland acquires Unified Testing Services of Woodstock, IL; and OMAC changed its name to expand.
By Control Engineering Staff
Siemens Drives Technologies is building a second plant in Elgin, IL, adding 300 new jobs (see photo); TÜVRheinland acquires Unified Testing Services of Woodstock, AL; and OMAC changed its name and widened its mission as the organization moves to broaden and expand membership.
A driving presence in Illinois is what Siemens Energy & Automation plans with additional growth in Elgin;
A multimillion-dollar Siemens plant is under construction to increase production of drives for wind turbines: Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. will develop a second plant in Elgin, IL, for its Drives Technologies business. Siemens, the largest producer of wind turbine gear drives in the U.S., designs and manufactures mechanical gear drives for the wind industry as well as for the cement, coal and minerals, and oil and gas industries.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the multimillion-dollar plant, which is expected to open March 2009, was held last month. Approximately 300 new jobs will be created in production and 55 in the offices over the next three to four years. The plant now employs 150 people.
"Siemens is committed to providing technologies that promote energy efficiency and reduce costs," said Anne Cooney, vice president of the Power Conversion Division for Siemens Energy & Automation. "Combined with the expertise and product knowledge we have in Elgin, the new
facility will enable Siemens to increase production of our mechanical drives to help our customers meet the growing demand for sustainable energy resources."
The State of Illinois and the City of Elgin provided incentives to Siemens to help secure the investment, including a Wind Energy Development Grant and Employer Training Investment Program job training funds.
"The City of Elgin is thrilled to help facilitate the Siemens’ expansion," said Elgin Mayor Ed Schock. "Elgin is attracting many global and international companies that are developing emerging technologies that will have a direct impact on the future. The Siemens expansion is an example of that."
Jack Lavin, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said, “By investing in companies like Siemens, we're continuing to make sound investments in our communities. We understand that by making these investments we are helping to create
better jobs, increase economic development and spur innovation across the state."
Siemens will invest more than $20 million in building infrastructure to support the new plant for production, in addition to the cost of a 15-year lease for the new building which will be used for the assembly and testing of mechanical gear drives. The existing plant will be maintained by Siemens to manufacture gears and components to be assembled and tested in the new plant. It will house the services and repairs business. Siemens companies employ approximately 7,000 people in 40 locations throughout Illinois.
TÜVRheinland acquires Unified Testing Services : TÜVRheinland announced the acquisition of Unified Testing Services Inc. (UTS), a full-service testing and consulting engineering firm in Woodstock, AL, bringing a variety of new services into TÜVRheinland’s portfolio. UTS will be a standalone member of TUV Rheinland of North America Group based in Newtown, CT.
Founded in 1993, the 70-employee, privately-based UTS, which generates $8 million in annual revenues, offers testing and inspection services focused on materials, construction, transportation, facilities, and environmental engineering, including environmental consulting and testing; destructive and nondestructive materials testing; and shop fabrication inspection of structural steel bridges.
“Acquiring Unified Testing Services will extend our capabilities to include a broad spectrum of new industries, allowing TÜVRheinland to deliver a more comprehensive portfolio of services to our clients throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” said Stephan Schmitt, president and CEO of TUV Rheinland of North America.
UTS has five service groups that will become part of TUVRheinland’s testing, inspection, and certification services for global clients:
1. Engineering and Environmental Services Group focuses on lead and asbestos testing, sampling, analysis and abatement offerings; assessments of environmental sites and storage tanks; and storm water management.
2. NDE Services Group offers technology and inspectors to perform visual, radiographic, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, and liquid penetrant inspections, as well as destructive or nondestructive testing of manufactured and mechanical parts, locks and dams, and structural steel.
3. Industrial Services Group performs “outage-type” non-destructive testing for pulp and paper mills, power plants, chemical refineries, and bulk storage facilities, with services that include annual boiler inspections, pressure vessel and critical piping inspections, and mechanical integrity verification.
4. D.O.T Services Group provides shop fabrication inspection services on welded structural steel bridges, qualifications of welders and welder procedures, nondestructive testing of welds, and material verification.
5. Construction Services combines expertise from multiple service groups within the UTS family to assist owners, lending institutions, architects, and developers with processes associated with the construction industry. “After 15 exciting years of business, UTS is now facing its greatest opportunity,” said Donald Uptain, president of UTS. “By merging with TÜVRheinland, our markets have expanded well beyond the southeastern U.S. I am most excited for our dedicated employees. With this merger, their horizons have greatly expanded and their opportunities for professional growth are unlimited.” UTS serves state departments of transportation, universities, banking and real estate institutions, paper and steel mills, steel fabrication shops, amusement/theme parks, and state and local government agencies. The investment bank Scott-Macon Ltd. of New York City assisted with the acquisition.
OMAC takes new name and mission to grow: Open Modular Architecture Control Users' Group (OMAC) is now the Organization for Manufacturing Automation and Control (OMAC) . This name change reflects the evolution of the organization's mission, the group says. The name, proposed at the board of directors meeting at ARC Orlando 2008, was recently approved by the OMAC Board of Directors, along with a new mission statement:
"OMAC is the organization for Automation and Manufacturing Professionals that is dedicated to supporting the machine automation and operational needs of manufacturing."
The new mission statement and name change are a result of member feedback from last year's Technical Symposium and working group meetings. The changes reflect the vision and value-added proposition the new OMAC has to offer. As the name implies, the potential membership base has increased to include a broader audience. The Board of Directors has decided to update the logo. The words "Users Group" have been removed to reflect the growth of OMAC.
The transitional plan is in place and includes a OMAC corporate membership drive , the upcoming OMAC Technical Symposium, and further development of its Technical Advisory Board (TAB).
Corporate membership, introduced earlier this year, allows companies to take a more active role in shaping the organization and how it affects industry through their seats on TAB. This group will assume an advisory role to the Board and focus on technical aspects of operations and working groups. The organization is part of the Automation Federation, Research Triangle Park, NC, along with ISA, WBF, and WINA.
OMAC expects to hold its 2nd annual OMAC Technical Symposium Dec. 3-4 in Charlotte, NC. The event, hosted by Okuma and Partners in THINC Facility, will accommodate 80 guests. This year's theme will be Total System Evolution. Updated information will be available on the OMAC Web site, including schedule and registration information. As part of the mission, OMAC has reached out to WBF to plan a joint conference in 2009.
The organization welcomes everyone interested in helping it continue to grow in its efforts to improve industry. Interested professionals can join as corporate or individual members.