• The Center for Operator Performance (COP) announced May 1 that new research it sponsored shows that some standard alarm tones in distributed control systems (DCS) may be undetectable by older operators with age-induced hearing loss, especially in the presence of control room noise. A pilot study by John Casali and Kichol Lee of Virginia Tech University conducted spectral analyses of alarm sounds in two refinery control rooms. They found that some common DCS alarm sounds such as chimes are mostly in the same frequency range affected by age-induced hearing loss, which means older operators may not be able to hear alarms using these sounds. A more detailed study to determine optimal alarm sounds and make recommendations is being planned.
• Yokogawa Corp. of America and Dover Energy Automation announced May 1 they're joining forces to create the Well Managed product portfolio that will give users an optimized business operations solution. Their collaboration is intended to increase performance from one well to an entire field, and help operators monitor, control and enhance well-site performance to improve productivity.
• Opto 22 announced April 27 that it's joined the Linux Foundation as a silver-level member. Opto 22 hopes to spearhead adoption of open-source technology in the industrial automation and process control industries, and accelerate rollout of IIoT applications. Three days earlier, Opto 22 reported that it had joined EdgeX Foundry as a founding member. An open-source project hosted by the Linux Foundation, EdgeX is building a common open framework for IoT edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components to unify the marketplace and accelerate enterprise and IIoT.
Related: more industry expansions and contractions:
• Aspen Technology Inc. revealed April 24 that it's acquired rights to Operator Training Simulator (OTS) framework software from Inprocess Technology and Consulting Group. AspenTech reports OTS software will extend its focus on asset optimization by enhancing its ability to meet increased demand for operator training capabilities, and enable it to offer a complete set of OTS software.
• Lincoln Electric reported April 27 that it's buying Air Liquide's welding subsidiary for about €115 million, and that the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2017. A key player in the manufacturing of welding and cutting technologies, Air Liquide Welding has approximately 2,000 employees worldwide, and generated approximately €350 million in 2016 sales.