January 22, 2020 (Vancouver, BC) -  Plastic Oceans Canada is pleased to announce the Run Against Plastic, a cross-country initiative encouraging the public to help eliminate plastic pollution in Canada's lakes, rivers, and oceans. The yearlong event represents the largest consolidated cleanup in Canadian history. 

The Run Against Plastic is built around a national tour following Andy Sward, an avid runner who has run from coast to coast three times, clearing litter along the way (to see how his 2019 journey unfolded visit @millionbottlepledge). This year, Plastic Oceans Canada is encouraging the public to support Andy's efforts by purchasing plastic offsets, like their early business adopter 100 brand Water. The public can also get involved by attending the organized cleanups or engaging in community advocacy. The 2020 tour starts in St. John's, Newfoundland on April 12 and ends in Tofino, British Columbia on October 18.

"Run For Plastics and Andy's dedication to preserving the environment, allows us to carry our message and efforts across Canada, from east to west," said Adrian Midwood, executive director of Plastic Oceans Canada. "We look forward to meeting as many local organizations as possible along the way, establishing new relationships, and learning how they tackle the plastics issue on their home shores."

"Every time I run across our country, I witness firsthand the overwhelming impact of our single-use lifestyle - a lifestyle that has become the North American norm, and is taking an obvious toll on the environment," said Andy Sward. "If every person started to make conscious purchasing decisions and reduced single-use items, we could significantly turn the dial on environmental preservation. I feel confident that partnering with Plastic Oceans Canada will spread awareness of this message across our country. We hope you'll follow our journey, and we appreciate your support along the way!"

Plastic Oceans Canada is a CRA-registered charity that shares free resources supporting public efforts to reduce the single use plastic. The organization's programs include film screenings, educational presentations, and workshops that aim to inspire communities to organize pubic clean-ups and reduce their overall plastic footprint. The charity is currently creating a central database that lists Canadian organizations involved in the pursuit of the issue of plastic pollution.

To support the Run Against Plastic and contribute to both Plastic Oceans Canada and Andy's goal of executing Canada's largest consolidated clean-up purchase a plastic offset. For more information visit

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Janaury 20, 2020

Vacuum technology specialist, Leybold, has developed two new online tools to assist customer’s pump choice and layout of complete vacuum systems: The Pump Finder and the calculation tool LEYCALC. With these new web-based tools, users can select and build their vacuum solutions online. They are designed to be used for two different use cases: The homepage leads to both the Pump Finder and LEYCALC, the vacuum system calculation tool. Users with vacuum know-how can use LEYCALC to calculate the behavior and performance of vacuum systems in detail. The Pump Finder guides even beginners to suitable products by a questionnaire.

Step by step to the right offer

The Pump Finder is designed to navigate vacuum users step-by-step to find the ideal pump for their application. Throughout the selection tool, pumps can be refined by entering values for chamber size, target pressure and pipe dimensions. There are two calculation options for modelling different vacuum applications: process flow and vacuum chamber pump down. A process gas flow is a continuous gas flow where the constant pressure is conveyed. A vacuum chamber pump down is an application where the chamber is pumped/evacuated to a specific target pressure. The result is a selection of vacuum pumps that meet the customer's requirements.

Targeted product selection

LEYCALC can be used for detailed engineering of vacuum systems using the same powerful algorithms as Leybold’s application experts. The tool allows customers to calculate their vacuum systems fully independently and for complex scenarios, the experts offer their full support. "Previously, we had to adjust parameters such as chamber size, process gases, cycle times, pipe length and pressure values during the initial contact with the customer. With the help of the simulation software, the user can independently calculate configurations and get an initial idea of the vacuum performance," explains Dr. Tom Kammermeier, Global Application Manager, Industrial Vacuum. "In the past, there were often lengthy dialogues about such details," says Kammermeier. Now users can perform their calculations independently – with the result that the entire process leads to a more targeted and faster selection of the right solutions for the application. "We expect LEYCALC to improve the contact quality with our customers," summarizes Kammermeier.

Efficient communication and fast solutions Once the user of the online tool has defined the pump’s chamber and the target pressure, LEYCALC performs the calculation of a pump down curve: The result is immediately displayed in a diagram. This shows exactly how long it takes to pump the air out of the chamber to a defined pressure and how the pressure develops over time. Alternatively, the user can calculate the pumping speed curve of a pump system. This shows which pumping speed is provided at a certain pressure. All calculation data is stored centrally and can be called up at any time and from any device by customers who have registered. Calculation results can also be shared with specialists at Leybold. This allows a detailed discussion about the respective vacuum application. Overall, the platform leads to considerably more efficient customer communication and faster solutions in complex projects. Leybold’s vacuum experts will be happy to answer any questions regarding specific calculations in a timely fashion.

Conductivity losses immediately apparent "In addition to the chambers and pumps of a vacuum system, the different influences of pipelines are also taken into account. These include the conductance effects in all pressure ranges and flow regimes, blocking and, of course, the volume of the lines," explains Hannes Kamecke, the IT manager responsible for the online configurator. In some cases, it then becomes apparent that a pump with higher individual performance would not improve the overall vacuum performance because the reductions are caused by an incorrectly dimensioned pipeline. "However, the diagram immediately shows that the pipe diameter needs to be increased," explains Hannes Kamecke.

Further development planned

Navigation through the web-based software solution is conveniently possible on all kind of devices like tablets, smartphones. Sections in need of explanation are linked to more detailed background information on vacuum technique. In future, LEYCALC will comprise the whole Leybold product portfolio, covering also high vacuum applications. "With the publication of the new calculation tools, Leybold makes its vacuum know-how collected over decades available to its customers and thus lays the foundation for modern digital customer communication. The offer thus represents an important building block in the digital customer experience strategy of the vacuum specialist," concludes Hannes Kamecke.


17th January 2020


Increased investor interest in cell-based meat companies suggests this lab-produced

phenomenon may soon become a commercial reality, says GlobalData.

Backing for Mosa Meat of the Netherlands and US-based New Age Meats in the last few days should help these companies become viable businesses.

Andy Coyne, Food Correspondent at GlobalData, says: “The potential of cell-based or cultured meat has never been in doubt. Creating meat in a lab from animal cells without hurting the animal ticks so many boxes in an era in which animal welfare and world food shortages are major issues.

“However, turning that potential into a market-ready product is arguably an even greater challenge than the incredible scientific work done in the labs.

“What these new investments - from the likes of animal nutrition business Nutreco and US venture-capital fund Lowercarbon Capital - indicate though, is that the money men are no longer early stage supporters of what may become a brave new world but hard-headed backers of what could become a commercial reality within a relatively short period.

“Mosa Meat, for example, is aiming to bring a beef product to the market in the next few years and is in the course of developing its first pilot production plant where the debut commercial products will be grown, while New Age Meats has already developed cell-based sausages and is aiming to have pork products on commercial sale in the same sort of time period.

“There will still be barriers to overcome in terms of regulation and public perception but these companies are increasingly demonstrating they have a viable proposition.

“It is a proposition that could have serious ramifications not just for the food industry but for the planet we live on.”


January 15, 2020

When former British Prime Minister, Teresa May, proclaimed that she wasn’t opposed to scraping off mold from the top of a jar of jam and eating the product underneath, it sparked a conversation about what mouldy foods were safe to eat. Here, group vice president food & beverage at ABB, Darcy Simonis, looks at the advancing methods food producers are using to monitor the safety of their products.

On the whole, eating mouldy food is not an advisable practice – mould is the scourge of the food industry with producers striving to deliver the freshest produce possible to their customers. However, the world of technology is rapidly advancing, with applications making their way into all areas of food production, which is helping manufacturers to combat unnecessary food spoilage and waste.

In an industry where the demands of the customer are ever evolving, it is hard for food manufacturers to keep up with the latest trends. This is where data analytics can come into play, giving a level of insight that is invaluable. The use of data analytics in marketing and customer insight is well known, but its uses can go far wider, helping food producers to keep their products at the pinnacle of quality and freshness.

Over the course of time, the quality and the characteristics of a product can change. Yet, by using integrated data analytics, manufacturers can learn more about the factors that affect the shelf life of their products. This information can then be used to adapt the product or process to increase shelf life, potentially saving the manufacturer money and time, as well as reducing food waste.

Data analytics also has its uses when maintaining and improving the quality of a consumable product. For instance, during the beer brewing process, monitoring alcohol levels is critical and is something that is regularly analyzed. However, it is a time-consuming process and can be disruptive to the production line. As a result, there are new methods coming into play that allow testing to be carried out without disrupting production and data analytics is being used to measure whether these methods are as insightful and effective as the traditional wet chemistry method.

Monitoring and analysis in the food and beverage industry is vital — customers demand that their favorite product tastes the same no matter where they are in the world or where it was manufactured or packaged. The process requires strict control and repeatable standard solutions that can be rolled out across multiple production sites.

Manufacturing Execution System (MES) services from ABB comprise of a wide portfolio of visibility and transparency of the complete end-to-end process, from incoming raw materials to the finished shipped product. The MES incorporates functions such as equipment maintenance management, genealogy tracking from raw material as well as material tracing and tracking management. All these features are designed to support food and beverage manufacturers maximize the performance of their plant.

So, even if your customers tastes are as strange as Teresa May’s, by incorporating rigorous monitoring and data analysis across your manufacturing facility, you can be sure that your product is at its very best when it reaches the customer.


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