Our blog page is updated on a bi-weekly basis and covers a broad range of industry-related topics such as nuclear energy, application stories, new product highlights, replacement model updates, among many others. Here you can glean an insight into what we’re thinking, where we’re heading, and how we’re getting there, by checking out our blogs. Want to see a topic of your interest explored? Send us an email on our contact us page!

OTEK Corporation | Replacing Obsolete Panel Meters with 100% Form, Fit, and Function so you can “Plug and Play!”

Raytheon Technologies Closes Albuquerque Facility

U.S. aerospace defense contractor Raytheon, who recently merged with United Technologies, announced plans May 19th to shutter their operations in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company, now under the new conglomerate Raytheon Technologies Corp, intends to shift operations at the Sandia Science and Technology Park to other states including Massachusetts and here in Tucson, Arizona.

“We think this move is in the best interest of our customers as we look to further integrate and streamline our capabilities with pursuits and programs located at other sites while working with employees on a case-by-case basis to explore their individual employment options going forward” said Heather Uberuaga, a spokeswoman with the company. A nation-wide company, the facility in Albuquerque was primarily responsible for designing laser technology and other applications for directed energy systems. Partnering with the local Kirtland Air Force Base in Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque division produced high-intensity electromagnetic components, such as microwave weapons. The 175,000 square foot facility will now move its operational responsibilities to the company’s Missile and Defense branch, headquartered in Tucson.

Prior to the merger with United Technologies last month, Raytheon reported $74 billion in net sales for 2019. Combined, the newly formed Raytheon Technologies Corp presents a market value of over $95 billion.

Continuous Monitoring Technology in the Wastewater Industry

With the emergence of automated and integrated technology, the wastewater industry is poised to make the same digital leap their counterparts in the nuclear and military sectors have experienced in recent years. With such an environmentally critical presence, the wastewater industry stands to benefit significantly from the proposed advancements in continuous monitoring and Fault Detection/Diagnostics, as they pertain to efficiency and safety.

The real-time data, including alarm detection and analysis, that continuous monitoring platforms could provide the industry would prove invaluable. Using vendor-agnostic sensors (digital interfaces that communicate standardized data across a given network), such platforms cull data from multiple sources and synchronize it into display graphics that provide up to the minute information on processes, systems, and functionality within the plant that enables operators to make quick decisions and empowers them to carry out those decisions swiftly. Such up to the minute information can alleviate everything from unnecessary trips into the field to reactive maintenance within the plant. One of the significant benefits of continuous monitoring systems is the ability to detect, alert, and track a critical issue from discovery to resolution before it becomes a corrosive problem. Preventative maintenance in such an industry as wastewater is crucial to not only the plant itself but the greater community in which it serves.

Continuous monitoring systems also reduce manual labor within the plant itself, resulting in higher efficiency and less erroneous data entry, as we have seen with human to machine (HMI) interface systems and SCADA collection. The immediate notification these systems offer is paramount in streamlining efficiency for an industry that is relied so heavily upon for public safety.

Immediate notification, as well as various aspects of continuous monitoring on a lesser scale, are prominent features of OTEK’s New Technology Series (NTM). These technologically advanced digital meters carry our patented input-signal failure alarm with a runtime stamp, which alerts the operator in the event of a reduced or lost signal. In particular, the NTM-9 model within the series has been well-received within the wastewater industry for its Form, Fit, and Function replacement of the highly-prevalent GE/Yokogawa 180 analog meter.

Standing vertically with dimensions of 2.16” W x 6” H, the NTM-9 boasts an automatic tricolor bar with intensity control and includes a 4 digit display, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, USB/RS485, a configurable bar direction (up/down/center zero), math functions, four relays or O.C.T., 4-20mA/30v output, and comes with the OTEK lifetime warranty. As with all the products in our vast catalog, the NTM-9 is highly customizable to your application needs.

For more information on the NTM-9, its parent series the New Technology Meters, or OTEK’s presence in the wastewater industry, please call our office at 520-748-7900 or email our sales department, sales@otekcorp.com

Raytheon & United Technologies Complete Mega Merger

Raytheon Corporation Completes MergerCompleting one of the biggest mergers in recent memory within their respective industries, Raytheon Corporation and United Technologies resolved final regulatory objections earlier this month to create a defense stalwart capable of generating multi-billion dollar annual revenues. As a result of the merger, the two companies will operate as Raytheon Technologies and trade under RTX.

Instantly becoming a towering giant in the defense and aerospace industries, especially as a DOD U.S. government contractor, the new company is expected to hit nearly $74 billion in revenue (based off 2019 reportings). As a condition of pushing the merger through, United Technologies and Raytheon both agreed to divest company assets—with United divesting its GPS and various special optical businesses, while Raytheon intends to divest the company’s military airborne radio entity. Each company was also asked to convert their respective shares, which resulted in Raytheon converting a share into 2.3348 shares of the new company, and United converted on a 1:1 ratio.

Led by former United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes, the combined company intends to bring together the manufacturing capabilities of Raytheon for defense weaponry and electronics, and the aerospace acumen of United, to advance new technologies crucial to the ever-changing American landscape. “Our platform-agnostic, diversified portfolio brings together the best of commercial and military technology, enabling the creation of new opportunities across aerospace and defense for decades to come”, said Executive Chairman of the newly-formed Raytheon Technologies.

As a trusted supplier to Raytheon for the last several decades, OTEK is keenly interested in the development of this new player in the defense and aerospace industries. We frequently market our UPM-L model to the defense industry, where it has enjoyed great success over the years.

Able to be powered externally or by the loop/signal, the UPM-L is a truly universal panel meter that demonstrates its versatility by serving as a process PID controller, universal counter, an X-Y-Z conditioner, a data logger, scientific display controller with 10 math functions, and many more. The UPM offers 6 alphanumeric digits, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O: USB/RS485, intensity control via the serial port, an input fail alarm with runtime stamp and up to 4 relays.

For more information on OTEK’s service to the military industry or the UPM-L, please call us today at 520-748-7900 or contact our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com

Increase Your I&C Productivity!

Increase your I&C productivity and reliability without changing it and save MILLIONS.

See our ad published in Nuclear Power trade magazines

Increase I&C Productivity
Replace obsolete analog and digital meters as-needed or all in one outage without changing your present panels, wiring, or operators with our SSAM-N or NTM-9 and increase your I&C productivity.

About the SSAM-N

SSAM-N replaced DB40 models form, fit, and function

Cybersecurity Exempt (No CDA)

SSAM-N, illuminated by signal power featuring digital and graph tri-color LED display, eliminates reading inefficiency and error common with DB40 models.

SSAM: Plug & Play & “One Size Fits All”

  • 100% Signal or Externally Powered
  • Fail-Safe & H.V. Alarm Outputs
  • Any Color, Any Idiom, Any Scale
  • Just Change Filter for Any Use
  • Plug & Play Replacements for GE180/DB40

No budget for Cybersecurity Protection?
Contact Us for Free NRE with the SSAM!

About the NTM-9

NTM-9 replaces any 6" bargraph meter

Cybersecurity Safe (to NEI 08-09)

NTM-9 features digital and graph tri-color LED display which is fully customizable to plant requirements, eliminates inefficiency and error common with needled 6″ bargraph meters.

NTM: Plug & Play for more than 20 Models

  • 100% Signal or Externally Powered
  • 100% MMI/HMI Compatible, Serial I/O
  • Auto 3 Color Bar +/- 1%, .01% for Digital
  • Math Functions, X-Y Tables, Polynomials, etc.
  • 100% Form, Fit, & Function Replacement for:
      •     – Bailey RY 775
      •     – Chessell 700
      •     – Ametek 101/201
      •     – Foxboro 257
      •     – GE/Yoko/C-W/Weschler 180
      •     – Sigma/VMI 9200, 9300
      •     – WEC/Weschler/GE/Yoko DB40
      •     – Weschler VS252, VX252, BF6400
    • Learn how you can save an additional $100,000 in Free NRE for new tooling, qualification, and documentation costs applicable to Class 1E for “Plug & Play/One Size Fits All” new models.
  • Don’t delay. Increase your I&C productivity – and profits – today!

Raytheon Inks Lucrative Deal with Aerojet Rocketdyne

One of the largest defense contractors in the United States, Raytheon company, recently reached a deal with missile/rocket manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. for the purchase of the latter’s propulsion systems. Arriving on the heels of Raytheon’s standard missile production contract with the Department of Defense, this deal aims to vastly improve the company’s supply chain efficiency in the fulfillment of its government services.

Spread across facilities in Orange County, Virginia, Camden, Arkansas, Huntsville, Alabama, and right here in Tucson, Arizona, the deal lays the groundwork for streamlined production of Raytheon’s Standard Missile Catalog—namely the SM-2/SM-6 missiles, as well as the SM-3 interceptor. In this fashion, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s role will primarily be to supply these facilities with the solid rocket motors necessary for propulsion flight.

Similar to the vein in which Aerojet Rocketdyne will now serve, OTEK has been a long-time supplier of critical parts and components to Raytheon. While the instrumentation details of what OTEK supplies to Raytheon remain contractually silent, our award-winning technology has been continually faithful to the company in both its innovation and reliability, most recently supplying a bevy of digital meters for use in the anti-ship and other assorted close-range threat elimination program, known as the Phalanx weapon system.

The weapon system, deployed for both land and sea combat, carries out critical functions necessary to the safety of military personnel—such as search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement, and kill assessment. OTEK’s instruments are used in conjunction with other digital display features to enhance the individual tracking and recognition capabilities of each individual Phalanx.

While the product specifically designed for Raytheon remains classified, we do offer a commercially available unit of similar design in our UPM-L model. Standing 3” x 1.5”, the UPM-L is available in loop, signal, or external power, accommodating 4 relay options, isolated DAC and analog power outputs, as well as over 30 signal conditioners. Additional features of the UPM-L include 6 alphanumeric digits, a signal input fail alarm, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O with USB/RS485, intensity control via the serial port, 4-20mA/30V output, ethernet upon request, math functions, and power options of 5,7-32VDC & 90-265VAC. Like all our products, the UPM-L is backed by the OTEK lifetime warranty and is highly customizable to a wide variety of consumer applications.

For more information on the UPM-L or OTEK’s vast array of military-grade products (and the MIL-Standards we can meet) please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales office: sales@otekcorp.com

5G Also Brings Cybersecurity Concerns

As the 21st-century rolls ever forward, new advances in technology and connectivity continue to bloom like flowers in its wake. One such advance that has been highly anticipated for over a year now is the impending 5G wireless network. Colloquially referred to as the ‘5th Generation’ of wireless technology, this latest wave of digital cellular networks is expected to bolster efficiency, reliability, and speed across a host of industries—including the global manufacturing supply chain. 5G also comes with cybersecurity concerns.

For manufacturing companies especially, 5G offers three main pillars of improvement:

  1. 5G Cybersecurity Concerns Network Speed
  • – Expected to be 100x faster than its 4G predecessor
  • – Increased fine-tuning in the years to come could produce speeds up to 1000x faster
  1.  Latency
  • – The amount of time it takes to relay information from point A to point B
  • – Decreasing the amount of time this relay takes will improve machines’ ability to react to issues and        scenarios in real-time
  • – Also expands servers and machine capacity for larger amounts of data
  1.  Connection Reliability
  • – Confidence among human operators in the reliability of their wireless communication abilities should yield higher levels of productivity

**The ultimate goal for manufacturers using 5G is to mirror the reliability and efficiency of wired communications**

However, despite the vast treasure trove of resources 5G offers, we would do well to remember Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. The speed at which 5G will be able to process data, coupled with its broad range of connective communication, opens avenues not only for businesses and operations—but for cybercriminals as well. With our world steeping itself more and more in digital architecture by the year, cybersecurity has become a major aspect of both domestic and global business. 5G offers such an immense influx of speed that cyber attacks could be carried out with an exacting tenacity previously unseen—we think here of the recent cyber attacks on Riviera Beach in Florida, as well as the crippling attack on Baltimore that shut down large swaths of the city’s administrative capabilities and exacted a payment to release the compromised systems. What further damage might have been inflicted if these criminals were able to marshal the bullet-like speed of 5G technology?

As a result of our efforts to address this concern within another industry, that of the American Nuclear fleet, OTEK recently unveiled the instrumentation industry’s first Cyber Security Exempt digital panel meter.  Known as the Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM), this revolution in digital technology can boldly claim to be impervious to cybersecurity concerns faced by other digital instruments, by way of being designed without any critical digital assets such as microprocessors. OTEK’s engineering team replaced these digital assets with non-digital components such as CMOS Logic and married that with our latest hardware and award-wining digital technology—including the newest advancements in LED display technology. The end result is a highly visible, technologically superior instrument, that is invulnerable to the cybersecurity challenges rising throughout our increasingly digital world.

Product features of the SSAM include:

  • – 100% signal or external power
  • – Signal Failure Alarm which alerts the operator in the event of a lost or damaged signal
  • – 4 ½ digit LED display at 0.1% accuracy
  • – 3-second conversion rate
  • – SPDT SSR or Reed Relays
  • – Optional NEMA4x shielding
  • – Customizable scale plate design that allows for an unlimited range of colors and language decals,        easily interchangeable without having to remove the unit from the surrounding panel cut-out

As new technological innovations such as 5G wireless enter the global workforce and even our homes, OTEK stands at the ready to continue its role as an industry leader in efficiency, reliability, and innovation.

For further information on the SSAM or any of OTEK’s other products, please call (520) 748-7900 or email our sales department: sales@otekcorp.com

BWX Technologies Awarded Contract from the DOE

NuAmerican technology and power generation company, BWX Technologies Inc. has been awarded a lucrative contract by the Department of Energy to manufacture specialized nuclear fuel for a reactor project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The project in question center around the development of the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR)—a proposed additively manufactured microreactor (much like the increasingly popular small modular reactors) that would capitalize on the latest developments in nuclear technology to become the first advanced reactor operating within the United States in the last forty years. The goal of the TCR is to promote new technologies within the industry that are cost-effective, safety-enhanced, and easier to build than the current molasses-like construction parameters of our aging nuclear fleet.

BWXT’s role will be to manufacture the specialized type of nuclear fuel the TCR requires, namely Tri-structural Isotropic (TRISCO). Described as a “kernel” TRISCO is primarily composed of uranium, carbon, and oxygen. The kernel itself is then protectively surrounded by several layers of ceramic-based material designed to prevent the leakage of radioactive waste produced as a result of nuclear fission. After initially shuttering its TRISCO production line, the company announced it will restart activities with a complete operational goal of sometime in Fall 2020.

As a long time supplier of digital instrumentation to the nuclear industry, OTEK has a history of supplying commercial-grade units to BWX Technologies. Last fall the company’s nuclear arm, BWXT Nuclear Operations Group (NOG), purchased OTEK’s NTM-N unit for non-safety related applications within its Lynchburg, Virginia facility. The NTM-N is a direct “Plug & Play” replacement for the popular yet obsolescence-riddled DB40 analog meter, in addition to also serving as form, fit and function replacement for other common analogs in the industry such as the GE/Yokogawa AB30, the Weschler/Westinghouse K231, Dixson BEW51, Crompton 077/078, and a plethora of other 4” ANSI switchboard meters. The NTM-N is a single channel bar-digital meter/controller available in a loop, signal, or external power, and comes available in both plastic and metal housings. Highlight features of the model include an automatic tricolor bar display with intensity control and 4 digits at 0.6”, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O or USB/RS485, intensity control, math functions, a configurable bar direction of up/down/center-zero, 4 relays or O.C.T., and OTEK’s patented input fail alarm with a run time stamp that alerts the operator in the event of a lost or damaged signal. Like all our products the NTM-N carries the OTEK lifetime warranty and is highly customizable to a host of applications.

For more information on the NTM-N or OTEK’s history of dedicated service to the nuclear industry, please call our office at (520) 748-7900 or contact our sales office via email: sales@otekcorp.com.

Peach Bottom Receives a 20-year Extension from the NRC

Following the path set out by Turkey Point’s recent 20-year extension, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday granted a similar extension to the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, allowing the facility to functionally operate until 2054. Exelon, who owns the facility in York, Pennsylvania, made an announcement Friday that it fully intends to keep both of the plant’s twin reactors operational through the full 80 years now allocated.

Exelon hopes to emulate Florida Power & Light’s plan for their own Turkey Point reactors, noting that 80 years for a successfully running plant is now possible due to “significant investments in new equipment and technologies to increase Peach Bottom’s generation capacity by approximately 12 percent.” The company also expounded on Peach Bottom’s financial and economic track record, estimating that over 500 million tons of carbon could potentially be barred from entering Earth’s atmosphere as a result of the NRC’s 20-year extension. Bryan Hanson, the chief nuclear officer for Exelon, said in a statement released Friday, that, “This plant is well suited to continue running safely, reliably and efficiently, given the extensive upgrades accomplished over the past seven years. The ability to operate Peach Bottom for another 20 years is good news for the environment, our employees, and the community.”

20-year extensionOne reason for the optimism about extending a sixty-year-old plant such as Peach Bottom’s life span is the recent development in plug and place replacements for obsolete instrumentation such as analog process and control meters. “Many of the plant’s components have been replaced or upgraded in recent years”, an Exelon representative commented as part of Friday’s announcement.

Some of these components include OTEK’s very own HI-Q119 model, which proudly monitors process control and measurement applications within Peach Bottom’s I&C room. One of our more popular models for the nuclear industry, the HI-Q119 is a Form, Fit, and Function replacement for the Dixson BB101, GE/Yokogawa 180, and the Westinghouse/Weschler VX252/251 among others. The HI-Q119 also boats math functions, polynomials, 1,2, or 3 analog inputs, 51 segment tri-color bar graphs, optional 10a relay outputs, optional EMI/RFI shielding, and is completely customizable to consumer-driven applications.

For more info on the HI-Q119 or how OTEK’s products are obsolescence-hardened and could bring decades of profitability as part of your 20-year extension, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com

Navy Aims to Overhaul Its Cybersecurity Systems

Navy Aims to Overhaul Its Cybersecurity SystemsThe U.S. Navy released a memo last week outlining a proposed overhaul of their cybersecurity systems across the board, in response to a rise in such technological threats from China. At the heart of the memo was an intense focus on updating a network infrastructure that largely relies on computers and communicative technology from the 1990s, and has been revealed as vulnerable to repeated attacks from foreign actors seeking information on advanced weapons systems and other information critical to the Navy’s war-fighting abilities.

The memo is the first response to a scathing audit conducted last fall on the Navy’s cybersecurity systems infrastructure, in which the service largely failed. Among other areas of concern, the audit highlighted a branch of the armed services that routinely have difficulty adapting and responding to increasingly advanced digital attacks by China and other state-sponsored foreign actors, who have left the Navy “bleeding like a sieve” as Navy Secretary Thomas Modly called the present state of the maritime service. “Our adversaries gain an advantage in cyberspace guerrilla tactics within our defensive perimeters”, Modly continued, “Once inside, malign actors steal, destroy and/or modify critical data and information. The point of infiltration is often not the target location.”

The memo itself calls for an evaluation of current staff and reactive cybersecurity measures, as well as the length and extent to which they are being successfully followed. In a further effort to ensure improvement in this critical area of our national defense, the Navy has agreed to begin reviewing its supply chain contractors, on both a prime and subcontractor level, to ferret out any vulnerabilities before they even reach the vessels and ships in the fleet.

As a trusted contractor to the U.S. Navy, OTEK continues to seek new technology avenues to better serve our armed forces. As with other branches of the military, the navy relies heavily on instrumentation and control processes, which in turn are controlled by a galaxy of digital and analog instruments in each individual vessel or ship—and nearly all of these are hackable by foreign agents. And while our New Technology Series (the NTM’s) offers the latest in wire by wire, streamlined and efficient plug and play replacements for the plethora of obsolete meters crowding these vessels, the NTM’s are still subject to a host of NRC mandated cybersecurity provisions that are both costly and time-consuming in terms of implementation.

Our Solid-State Analog Meter (SSAM) on the other hand, was designed specifically as a counter to challenges in cybersecurity systems while still being able to retain the technological power and efficiency of the more vulnerable digital meters. The SSAM essentially functions as an analog device, powered and operated by the same award-winning technology that runs our highly successful NTM series—and this is achieved by way of containing no microprocessors or other critical digital assets that are gateways to cybercriminals. We took this unique design and wedded it the latest LED technology available, using pure white displays over which any multitude of scale plate covers can be placed for unlimited customization displays.

Major design features of the SSAM include a 4 ½ digit LED display (completely customizable with a range of languages and colors) at 0.1% accuracy, 100% signal powered by 4-20mA or 10-50mA current loops, our patented signal fail alarm that alerts the operator in the event of a signal or power loss, optional isolated H.V. SPDT dual alarms for enunciator panel lamps, as well as loop power burden of less than 5V. As with all our products, the SSAM is very receptive to consumer-driven customizations and carries the OTEK lifetime warranty.

If you have any interest in the SSAM or any of our other Mil-Spec products, please call (520) 748-7900 or email our sales office: sales@otekcorp.com

NuScale Brings Small Modular Reactor Technology to Canada

NuScale, the American company behind the development of the forthcoming Small Modular Reactor (SMR), has made a push to bring their potentially revolutionary technology to Canada. Last month the company submitted the first of four proposals to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (the CNSC) for a review of their SMR design as a way to streamline the potential implementation of their technology on Canadian soil.

Based out of Oregon, NuScale has been working closely with Idaho National Labs to bring the Small Modular Reactor design to life in the United States, but the NRC, the American version of the CNSC, has traditionally been slower to move on decisions within the nuclear industry than their neighbor to the north. With the submission of the first vendor design review, NuScale hopes to have more immediate success with the Canadian government. “This pre-licensing process allows our design to be reviewed by another highly respected regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission”, John Hopkins, NuScale CEO, said, “And we look forward to their thorough evaluation of our innovative safety features. We are thrilled to continue our path to introduce our scalable, economic, carbon-free, and safe SMR technology to Canadian customers.”

This initial submittal covers four highlight areas of interest: general plant description; classification of structures, systems, and components; vendor research and development program; & design process and quality assurance.

As a company built on efficiency and innovation, OTEK has long kept a close eye on technological developments within the nuclear industry, such as the Small Modular Reactor. That’s essentially what led our creation of the industry’s first Solid State Analog Meter, or SSAM—our answer to rising cybersecurity concerns as older nuclear plants move toward digital instrumentation. The SSAM was designed to be exempt from the cybersecurity provisions listed by the NRC under NEI 08-09, by way of containing no critical digital assets such as microprocessors. By welding our advanced digital technology to analog hardware, we’ve made the SSAM immune to the current capabilities of criminal hackers.

In addition to cybersecurity provisions, the SSAM also features signal and external power options (4-20mA current loops, V/A AC/DC, Watts & Hertz signal options), OTEK’s patented signal failure alarm that notifies an operator in the event of a signal or power loss over a minute long, a 4 ½ digit 0.6” LED display at 0.1% accuracy, optional isolated H.V> SPDT alarms for enunciator panel lamps and 4-20mA outputs, and our unique “One Size Fits All” scale plate design which allows for unlimited custom color displays that are as easy to interchange as removing the scale plate and sliding in another.

If NuScale’s design proposal is met with success up north, perhaps the American nuclear fleet will follow suit and usher in a whole new decade of nuclear technological growth.

For more information on the SSAM or OTEK’s nuclear effort, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com