OTEK Meters in Hollywood

OTEK Meters in HollywoodOTEK technology has been applied to numerous applications over the years, which has brought our meters into the secret bowels of submarines, into the cockpits of both commercial and military aircraft, into nuclear power plants and waste-water facilities, into tanks, jets, training simulators, oil rigs, farming equipment, trains, radio towers—and even, into space. Well, the Hollywood version that is. Yes, you’ve seen OTEK meters in Hollywood.

For all you Trekkies out there, this one’s a gem. Originally airing on December 1st, 1999, on the popular science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager in an episode entitled “Pathfinder”, protagonist Reginald Barclay is involved in an effort to communicate with the USS Voyager stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Barclay has a theory about using the MIDAS Array to create a micro wormhole in the Delta Quadrant near Voyager and use it to create a two-way communication link. Barclay commands the array which as he predicted creates the wormhole into the Delta Quadrant. During this scene (31:48) an original OTEK (formally IMC) meter can be seen controlling the Tachyon Beam of the MIDAS Array.

That’s all Trek jargon for OTEK on your television at the turn of the century. The model in question (long since discontinued due to parts availability) was our 580 meter, which first went into production during the previous year, 1998. This was well before the current illusionary circus of CGI and other magical special effects that populate the silver screen these days—so back then, when Hollywood wanted metering technology that looked professional, they called OTEK.

But our meters do much, much more than aesthetically persuade the human eye. Inside, where firmware and our award-winning technology combine to power our meters across a wide swath of industries and applications, we perform as professionally as we look. In a sense, OTEK meters are the exception to that beautiful cardinal rule: you can judge us by our cover.

We upgrade our technology as time unfolds into new options and avenues. While the 580 model was discontinued, we replaced it with technologically superior successors that have remained, twenty years later, highly successful among our customer base. We can brag about OTEK meters in Hollywood, but we’d rather brag about all the industries working smarter.

            So yea, we’ll snag a page from Star Trek on this one:

            To Boldly Go, Where No Meter Has Gone Before…

If you would like more information on the HI-Q series or any other instrumentation in our product catalog, including our Class 1E and cybersecurity compliant/exempt meters, please feel free to call our office at (520) 748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com

Nuclear Energy Russia – Set Sail

Nuclear Energy in Russia Sets Sail

Nuclear Energy RussiaA nuclear power plant is churning through the dark cold waters of the Arctic. Bound for Russia’s Far East port city of Pevek, the Akademik Lomonosov is the first of its kind anywhere on planet Earth. Commissioned by Rosatom, the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation in 2007 and strapped with twin KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors in 2009, the floating nuclear power plant received its first payload of nuclear fuel in May of last year. Recently announcing it has received the required operating license to begin supplying power to Chaun municipality, Rosatom’s Akademik Lomonosov is now clear to pioneer the future of nuclear power generation through 2029, with a potential for a 40-year life extension.

With all that entails a nuclear power plant dancing on the surface of the ocean, a nuclear cathedral would be a more apt description. The Akademik Lomonosov extends to a length of 472 feet and carries a hefty width of 98 feet, in addition to a displacement of 21,500 metric tons. Its twin reactors combine to produce up to 70MW of electricity or 300MW of heat, which the Russian agency claims will be dispersed throughout the sparsely-populated and geographically isolated Chukotka region—and that’s the real trailblazing appeal of the Akademik Lomonosov: a nuclear power plant mobile enough to offer energy to a remote and desolate population who otherwise would struggle to obtain a standard of living electricity, heat, etc. It is an innovation of Nuclear Energy in Russia.

The question is, and given the country, a highly warranted question at that, how safe is a nuclear power plant that rests upon the ocean? Naturally, an enormous eruption of criticism has rained down from nearly every environmental group alive—they oppose traditional plants built on bedrock and secured on land, one can imagine their minds scrambling at the notion of nuclear power on the high seas—with prominent organizations such as Greenpeace and the Bellona Foundation throwing around phrases like “Chernobyl on ice” and “a nuclear Titanic”. Even the design calls back old Chernobyl questions due to Russia’s continued refusal to house their nuclear reactors within a containment dome. The Akademik Lomonosov has no such dome and instead features the box-like structure the world horrifically remembers looming over the disaster in Chernobyl.

Questions, safety concerns, right or wrong aside, this ship has sailed. A nuclear reactor now roams the ocean—and other countries are noticing. China already has plans to construct a vessel of their own as soon as 2020. Will America follow suit? Has a new future been opened up in the global nuclear industry? The answer is blowing in the water.

Process and control will be a part of whatever the future unfolds. That’s why OTEK became a Class 1E manufacturer of commercial and safety-related DPM’s such as our New Technology Series and our Cyber Security Exempt SSAM (designed without any digital components such as microprocessors) to help usher in the future of nuclear energy. OTEK’s commitment to the nuclear industry affirms our long-standing belief in staying in technological step with the future.

For more information on our products or our nuclear efforts please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com.

UK Nuclear Sees Business Leaders Rally

U.K. Nuclear Sees Business Leaders RallyBusiness leaders rally around UK Nuclear.

The tangled blight of nuclear energy and carbon emissions is not only an American inferno—the United Kingdom feels the flames as well, albeit with much less of the jejune political self-possession. Their citizens, their communities, and their ideologies seem much less blinded from scientific truth and common sense than their American counterpoints. Hence we see the Confederation of British Industry, the CBI, in a letter to the UK business secretary Greg Clark, clearly and without reservation outlining how important a role nuclear energy must play in the country’s attempt at zero carbon emissions.

The U.K. nuclear program has notoriously sagged in recent years, falling well behind neighbor and world-nuclear pioneer France. Recent criticism has come from the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant which has accumulated enormous production costs in an effort to power 7% of the U.K’s electricity output by 2025. The CBI is comprised of industry leaders across the United Kingdom from various corners and avenues of power generation, water treatment, electricity, etc—and what’s striking is that all of those numerous and moving parts have aligned together to produce one message: we will never meet our carbon goals without nuclear energy. The confederation said prioritizing both large-scale and the newer small module reactors would lead to huge strides and advantages, including the investment of foreign capital across the U.K. The CBI’s chief economist Rain Newton-Smith labels the nuclear initiative as “mission-critical”. If only America could rally behind science, common sense, and unified purpose as business leaders have rallied around UK Nuclear energy initiatives.

So until that long-distant future in which America awakens from its bickering slumber, OTEK will keep pushing its award-winning and patented technology in instrumentation and process control forward. As a Class 1E company, we’ve recently designed a new DPM designed to replace obsolescence-riddled ammeters in nuclear I&C rooms without incurring the costly parameters of the NEI 08-09 cybersecurity mandate. Our Solid-State Analog Meter (SSAM) was designed without any digital assets such as microprocessors and uses only CMOS logic which allows the meter to operate with a Cyber Security Exempt status. Currently, the SSAM is starting to generate a mounting buzz within the American nuclear industry.

Want more information on the SSAM or any of our other technologically advanced and application-driven customizable meters? Please give us a call at 520-748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com.

Helping The Nuclear Industry PowerPoint

How to Modernize/Digitize Your Control Room

A presentation by Dr. Otto Fest, President of OTEK Corporation.

Cybersafe | NEI08-09 and Appendix B 10CFR50 and 10CFR21 Compliance

80% of Nuclear Power Plants are over 30 years old and are overwhelmed by obsolescence, inefficiency, and regulations. The meters in these facilities are inaccurate, short-lived, obsolete, and expensive to buy or maintain. Replacing an entire control room to a flat-panel digital system is cost-prohibitive for many plants nearing the end of their commission. OTEK’s meters offer a cost-effective means to meet regulation standards without investing millions of dollars or losing profit with extended shutdowns.

All of our meters are designed to replace their obsolete counterpart in form, fit, and function without requiring any rewiring of the facility. We employ signal power to illuminate LED lights, modernizing the way the control room looks and functions without significant re-training for operators. Additionally, our panel meters are reliable, obsolescence hardened, and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

With our NTM or SSAM series meters, you can replace the old, unreliable meters as the need arises or all at once during a scheduled outage.

For specific questions regarding our products and how they can improve your facility, contact our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com or by phone at 520-748-7900.

And remember: If one NTM or SSAM increases your efficiency by 1%, it will pay for itself and increase profit by approximately $3.65 million each year until decommissioning!!

The Cybersecurity of Riviera Beach

Cybersecurity Riviera BeachThe Cybersecurity of Riviera Beach

East of Miami, under the tropical liquid heat and along the smooth white sands nestled into the Atlantic, the small city of Riviera Beach waits idly inside a digital paralysis. The looming threat of cybersecurity attacks dropped through golden air and punctuated the city’s computer systems. In the stalled doldrums of the last three weeks, employees of the city have waded through a frustrating tapestry of locked emails, inaccessible bank accounts, blocked call logs and records, just to name a few. Local emergency dispatchers are unable to record 911 calls and even the police have had to issue paper citations and keep their records by hand. In essence, the governmental functions of Riviera Beach have been suspended until they agree to pay a $600,000 ransom to faceless and virtually untraceable computer hackers.

With little choice, city officials agreed to pay the ransom this week, using the hackers’ preferred payment in bitcoins. The coastal Florida city isn’t alone—last year major cyberattacks fell upon Atlanta, Newark, and Baltimore, the latter of which is still struggling to bring their services back online after refusing to pay the ransom. The truth is that cyber-attacks are becoming an increasingly prevalent side effect of the rabid digital world we have grown into as a species. With the all-encompassing rise of technology, with the connective wires roaming the planet in spades, it also comes to the bullet hole by which cybercriminals can easily slip through. The Cybersecurity of Riviera Beach could easily by the plight of a major corporation, a network of hospitals, or worse, a nuclear power plant.

In that regard, Otek has stepped up to the plate. We recently launched our brand new Solid State Analog Meter, colloquially known as the SSAM, that incorporates our award-winning patented technology with analog hardware to create a digital meter that can empirically be classified as a Cyber Security Exempt DPM. The secret lies in the meter’s construction—we designed it without any critical digital assets such as microprocessors, and using only good old fashioned CMOS logic. It functions as an advanced DPM and does so without the potentially comprising parts cyber hackers love to pounce on. Going beyond even the security the SSAM offers, it also can play a major role in reducing the cybersecurity compliance costs Nuclear Power Plants brush up against under the provisions of NEI 08-09. The SSAM also features a 4 ½ digit display, H.V. isolated alarm outputs, a postmortem signal fail alarm, and is covered by our lifetime warranty among many other exclusive features.

With the world moving ever further under the digital cloud, it is imperative that we are proactive in guarding against cybersecurity threats. The lesson of Riviera Beach as proven what a reactive approach engenders.

For more information on the SSAM or any of our other vast array of products please call our office at 520-748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com

Instrumentation Global Market Released


Fior Markets has released a global market study report entitled Global Process Instrumentation Market 2018 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type, and Application, Forecast to 2023, which predicts exponential growth for the process instrumentation market over the next five years. Several key players that are expected to shape and drive this growth are analyzed, including ABB Ltd, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Mitsubishi Electric, Honeywell International, and Yokogawa amidst a litany of others.

The study takes a global approach, examining past market trends and their indicative futures along the key regions of North and Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Asiatic-Pacific area, and the Middle East. Competition among and within these regions has been extensively analyzed within the report. This inter-market competition is segmented into key areas, many of which overlap to show transparency, to underscore the dynamism and inclusive potential of the global market. Segmentation categories include field instruments, control valves, analyzers (instrumentation type), and by Oil & Gas, Chemical & Pharmacy, Paper/Pulp, Water & Water Treatment, and of course, Power (application types).

The study also poses several leading questions designed to make sense of the aforementioned data stream:

  • What are the influencing factors for the growth of the global market?
  • What are the major drivers and restraints of this market?
  • Which regions are most demanding in terms of production and consumption?
  • What are the key outcomes of industry analysis techniques?

Overall the global market study predicts a progressive expansion of the instrumentation market over the next five years, mainly due to a diversified global economy, the increasing demand for greater and more efficient energy (which in turn drives up the need for precise measurement and control instrumentation), and the ineluctable rise of technology.

As a recognized leader within the instrumentation industry, OTEK prides itself on being part of this expected growth over the next five years. Our award-winning and patented technology continues to drive our commitment to innovation, precision, efficiency, and reliability every day. Our digital panel meters are enhanced with ultra-bright, pure white LED displays that nullifies the old parallax, inefficiency, and stuck needle syndrome of obsolete ammeters, and even replaces them form, fit, and function, using the same panels and wiring in most applications. Recently, we even became a Class 1E company because we believe our highly customizable and technologically advanced meters have enormous potential to help the nuclear industry.

OTEK is always looking toward tomorrow, with the lessons of the past firmly in hand.

Give us a call at (520)748-7900 for more information on our products or email our sales department for a quote at sales@otekcorp.com.

A sample copy of the Fior Market study may be obtained here: https://www.fiormarkets.com/report-detail/332965/request-sample

Nuclear Energy Conference Addresses Global Concerns in London

Earlier this week delegates and industry leaders from around the world gathered in London to hold court on the current state of the nuclear industry. Billed as The Nuclear New Build 2019 Conference, the two-day event broached several key topics affecting today’s nuclear energy, as well as influencing its directional future.

A brief overview:

  • -Tim Stone opened the conference comparing the benefits of nuclear energy against their often perceived rivals, renewables such as solar and wind. He recalled a recent International Energy Agency report warning that decreased global nuclear power would empirically contribute to rising carbon emissions. He also joined with German-based Volkswagen decrying the German withdrawal from nuclear energy and the disastrous effect it has had on the country’s energy expenses.
  • -EDF Energy managing director Humphrey Cadout-Hudson discussed the feasibility of diminishing nuclear plant construction costs by copying previous plant designs, as well as the massive potential of the new advanced and small modular (AMRS & SMRS) reactors in terms of both energy output and financial costs. These new-age modular reactors became a continuous topic of interest throughout the conference.
  • -Nuclear Industry Council CEO David Blee continued the modular reactor talk in terms of the global market, noting, “AMR and SMRs are game-changers that could lead to a “renaissance” in the supply chain.” The discussion continued over AMR’s and SMR’s as they pertain to individual countries’ nuclear energy output, at which the U.S.’s is expected to fall from 19% to 12% by 2050 unless modular reactors and policy changes are introduced.
  • -The conference concluded with a definitive commitment to global net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Skepticism remains prevalent unless governmental policies in key countries, such as the U.S. & Germany, are radically altered.

While OTEK did not attend the conference, our President and Owner Dr. Otto Fest is currently presenting a timely paper on nuclear I&C room’s efforts to digitize, and the economical feasibility of doing so. We have long supported the nuclear industry with a specialized line of DPMs that are uniquely designed to replace obsolete ammeters with Form, Fit, and Function technology, as well as adhere to NEI cybersecurity mandates.

For more information on our pledge to the nuclear industry or any of our products, please give us a call at 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com.

Obsolescence Hardened Bargraphs, Controllers, and More

Obsolete Meters Solution

Video Highlights:

History has always given us a choice: evolution or extinction. Will analog meters outlast your I&C room? Might we suggest that less is more? Our technology is simple and obsolescence hardened.

Since 1974, OTEK has evolved it’s Loop-Powered technology and 45-years later, it still works! It has evolved through today. Any signal-powered meter, just like obsolete analog meters, can be exchanged with no changes to your present controls. Our high accuracy and reliability meters eliminate guessing the needle position. If the signal fails or is off-limits, it will alarm you.

No or low-budget for cybersecurity or control room? Our SSAM has NO CDA and replaces obsolete signal-driven analogs 100% form, fit, and function. Just plug and play! Replace them as your old meters fail or your complete control room in one scheduled outage.

Need data collection or automatic process control? Our New Technology Meter (NTM) is cybersecurity compliant and 100% compatible with digital IO systems. Like the SSAM, the NTM is 100% form, fit, and function.

The choice is yours.

Do nothing? Spend millions of dollars and years without ROI before closure? Or evolve, prosper, and profit until plant decommissioning like others have done. You can say no more to stuck needles, human errors, and expensive obsolete rebuilt old meters.

Our team at OTEK is happy to help you determine which product would best suit your facility. Give us a call at 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com.

A Secular Glance in Coal Among Northeastern Pennsylvania

Coal—the darkness animated by fire, the acrid smoke hurling future death into the air from chimneys, the ebony sheen, the stories deep in the black underworld of mines, the horrific recoil environmentalists liquefy into at the mention of its name, that long train whistle, burning dinosaur bones. Coal for all its uncovered malice, is nearly extinct in the United States. Seventy years ago half of America’s homes warmed their evenings and blistering winters with heat produced by coal—now, in 2019, that number has dwindled to less than 130,000 homes. What was once an American empire has been ravaged by circumstance—the Greenhouse effect entered the collective consciousness upon the backs of global climate related disasters, polar ice caps falling into the sea, monstrous hurricanes eviscerating New Orleans and Houston, the planetary temperature climbing higher inch by inch….these are sins by which coal now where’s the malicious mantle. But there are two sides to every hysterical coin….

In a recent NPR article, Northeastern Pennsylvania resident John Ord, among others, was profiled for his continued use of coal to heat his home. Once about every two weeks Mr. Ord drives to a hardware store in his rural community where he buys close to 400 pounds of coal in forty pound bags, which he then lugs home to feed into the hopper of a coal-burning stove in his basement. This keeps the house a comfortable 70-72 degrees throughout the harsh northeast winter months, and most importantly, is cheaper than oil and electric he says. “It’s cleaner too”, he says, pointing to a dry chimney atop the house, “No smoke at all”.

While it may be cleaner than the more common bituminous coal burned in industrial applications, this does not mean the anthracite coal Mr. Ord is burning is contributing CO2 free emissions into the Susquehanna skies, according the Energy Information Association. “It still emits quite a bit of dangerous sulfur dioxide, as well as heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury,” says Tom Schuster with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

But there is a human side to this within the depth of the Quaker state. Pennsylvania sits atop vast coal reserves in its lumbering hills, which were tapped into for a century by the prosperous coal industry which called the state home. Generations of families grew up, lived, and died by the whims of the coal industry. Now all that remains are a few stragglers who are operating more out of namesake nostalgia than any logical pursuit of profit. Coal is contributing to the decline of planetary health yes, it fosters the Greenhouse effect’s meteoric rise, and is a piece that would need to be moved off the board to achieve a clean energy future by 2050—that’s all true. Yet before we throw our voices against the walls of Washington in circus-like, Twitter-funded hysterical cries for legislation and a New Green Deal utterly devoid of scientific reality, perhaps we should consider families like Mr. Ord. Perhaps we should help them transition to cleaner forms of energy instead of lassoing them to our conclusions with the firebrand whip of idealism.

Coal must be overtaken by cleaner alternatives, but those cannot be solar and wind renewables alone. Nuclear energy must have a seat at that table and it must be at the head. As they say, the numbers don’t lie. Just like the readings on all Otek’s digital panel meters—super bright LED technology is accurate, reliable, and efficient. We don’t know what will happen to individuals like Mr. Ord or bituminous coal facilities with their smoking towers when the dust settles in Washington, but Otek’s lights will still be on, faithfully keeping their measurement—instrumentation that measures up.

For more information on Otek products please call our office at (520)748-7900, or shoot our sales department an email at sales@otekcorp.com

A Look into Security Threats Facing the Water Treatment Industry

In a recent article published in Water Technology magazine, Indegy Director of Industrial Security and cyber-defense strategies guru, Chris Grove draws attention to the types of cybersecurity threats currently facing industrial water facilities. What he extols is rather surprising—while nuclear power plants sit on a fevered pitch against cybersecurity hackers, Mr. Grove says that for the water treatment industry, the most subversive threat lies in what he terms “insider threats”. The Trojan horse passing through the gates of Troy to applause and falling garlands, only by the glint of shadows does it spill its lethal payload of soldiers unto the slumbering streets.

Mr. Grove identifies three main tricks of Odysseus that typically prey on water facilities from the inside: the malicious insider, the compromised insider, and the negligent insider. The malicious insider mostly closely resembles Odysseus’s famous trick—these are the employees who’ve risen through the ranks and endeared themselves to a company before the empty their soldiers’ knives into operational technology that comprises the facility; they are the lease prevalent invasion. The compromised insider resembles the unaware leadership of Troy who welcomed the horse into their city as an offering. This type of threat entails an employee whose access to the facility’s networks has been hacked or pilfered by an external threat, which then, unbeknownst to the employee, uses their information to spindle into the network with malware and other harmful programs. Phishing scams that ask for user ID and passwords are the typical manifestations of this particular threat. Last and sadly most common of all, is the horribly-preventable negligent insider. This is plain and simple human error. Engineers, as every industry on earth knows, are perpetually overworked and under herculean mountains of stress—which can lead to miscalculations, overlooked procedures, and erroneous reporting. While this type of accidental threat is wholly preventable, to expect flawlessness under such scrutiny is incorrigible with human nature—a diamond after all, only achieves its perfection under immense and suffocating pressure. Negligent engineers are not carbon crystals waited to be spun immaculate. This would be the Trojan common sense—wholly negligent.

Mr. Grove’s conclusion is that the water treatment industry should employ the same measures it takes against cybersecurity to these insider threats.

At OTEK we know a little bit about cybersecurity. Our Solid-State Analog Meter, colloquially referred to as the SSAM, was designed specifically to meet the cybersecurity regulation wrung around the nuclear industry by the NRC, in the form of NEI 08-09. When nuclear I&C rooms look to join the wave of digitalization they incur massive expenses in switching their analogs over to DAS systems that must pass ROI-bleeding security compliance measures. The SSAM avoids all that by being able to replace the obsolete ammeters individual using the wiring already in place and performing without any critical digital assets, rendering our new technology completely cybersecurity exempt.

For more information on OTEK and our products please call us at (520) 748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com.

The full article in Water Technology magazine may be found here: https://www.watertechonline.com/cybersecurity-risks-industrial-water-fac