Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DCS Extension or Upgrade Can Boost Process Performance

automated factory
Process automation and control
Industrial control systems, regardless of their type or brand, command first line attention in the operation of a process. After all, with the purpose of a centralized control system being the integration and coordination of all process functions, the control system runs just about everything. Over time, all systems begin to lose some of their value. Causes can include:

  • New technology, regulation, or another factor renders all or part of existing system obsolete.
  • Deterioration of operating components from use.
  • Procedural requirements that are overly burdensome in the current business environment.
  • Outright failure of portions of the system due to unforeseen events.
  • Abandonment of, or major changes to, all or part of the process.
There are certainly more events and circumstances that can lead to consideration of a control system overhaul or replacement. Numerous paths can be charted to resolving a control system challenge of large magnitude, each with a set of costs, technical hurdles, logistics, and time constraints that must be considered. Successful project completion will likely require the services of outside vendors and contractors with expertise in areas of concern.

ABB is a global leader in distributed control system design, hardware, and software. Their expertise can be brought to bear on:
  • New projects or installations
  • Support for existing ABB installations
  • Migration from other vendors
  • Industry specific requirements
  • Extending useful life of heritage systems
Having global and local expertise on board will help your DCS project proceed expeditiously from concept and planning through implementation. Reach out to a DCS expert with your concerns and challenges, then combine your process knowledge with their product application expertise to build an effective solution.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Multifunction Calibrator Keeps Process Instruments "In Tune"

Genii 620 multifunction calibrator shown on pressure station
GE Multifunction Calibrator
Shown with pressure calibrator accessory
Courtesy GE Measurement & Control
Industrial process operations are populated with sensors, transmitters, and other measuring instruments of many varieties. This instrumentation is not installed without good reason, with each data point providing valuable and necessary information with regard to process status and safety. Regular maintenance and calibration of measurement instrumentation is a necessary part of maintaining quality, efficiency, and safety.

With so many different types and manufacturers of instruments, purchasing and maintaining calibration equipment can become and unwieldy process in itself. GE Measurement & Control meets the challenge by incorporating numerous calibration capabilities into a single high accuracy unit with flexibility and ease of use. The unit can simultaneously source and measure an extensive array of signals, providing capability to use a single calibrator for a long, maybe even complete, list of instruments installed at your site. Utilization of the multifunction calibrator can potentially reduce the total number of instruments in your calibration shop, with a commensurate reduction in cost, documentation, and time commitment to keep your calibration instrument arsenal ready for use.

A datasheet with all the details is included below. Browse the data sheet and reach out to a specialist with your calibration requirements and challenges. Work together to develop an effective solution for your operation.



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Versatile Thermal Dispersion Switches For Level, Temperature, Liquid Interface, and Flow Applications

flow level interface temperature switch for fluid process control
Sanitary version of  FLT93 FlexSwitch
Courtesy Fluid Components International
Thermal dispersion, as a method of process measurement, relies upon precise temperature measurement and, in some cases, the ability to measure heat input. The principal is fairly simple, based upon the relationship between two temperature measurement points in the subject fluid. One is heated by the control system in a known manner, the other is not. Whether measuring fluid flow, or functioning as a liquid level or interface switch, the relationship between the two temperature measurements can provide the needed information reliably, accurately, and without any moving parts in the measurement system.

Fluid Components International utilizes these physical principals in the operation of their FlexSwitch line of thermal dispersion measuring instruments. By combining modular components in various ways, the company offers switches suitable for applications across a wide range of industries.

  • Flow
  • Level
  • Flow and temperature
  • Level and temperature

Features throughout the product line include:

  • Dual trip points and relays
  • SIL 2 rated, ultra reliable
  • 3 year warranty
  • Broad agency approvals
  • Suitable for full range of pipe sizes
  • Apply in fluids to 850 °F (454 °C)
  • No moving parts to foul, clog or maintain
  • All welded elements
  • Easy to install and set-up
  • Highly sensitive and accurate
  • Threaded, flanged, packing gland installation
  • Integral or remote mounted electronics
  • Choice of enclosures
  • Field selectable AC or DC power
More information about the FlexSwitch line of thermal dispersion based switches is provided in the document below. For best results, share your project requirements and challenges with a product application specialist. Combine your process knowledge with their product application experience and develop effective solutions.



Friday, December 9, 2016

Portable Gas Detectors For Industrial Applications



This video covers the Servomex line of portable gas analyzers that can be utilized as benchtop units or true carry around portables. Servomex has a long history of solid instrument performance and innovation in gas detection and analysis.

Share your gas detection and analysis requirements and challenges with an application specialist, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Toxic Gas and Vapor Detectors - What Can Be Measured

hazardous toxic gas detector explosion proof
Explosion Proof Toxic Gas Detector
Courtesy Dräger
Industrial sites that employ or produce hazardous or toxic gases have a high level of responsibility for protecting workers and the environment from exposure or harm. A significant component of efforts to mitigate the risk posed by toxic gas or vapor is to install instruments capable of detecting the target gases at levels sufficient to provide an alert before, or when, levels reach unacceptable concentrations.

Dräger manufactures gas detectors utilizing electrochemical sensing technology, providing continuous detection of target gases and vapors under a wide range of environmental conditions. The sensors are factory calibrated and ready to use when shipped. The sensor connection is intrinsically safe, so a flame arrestor is not needed. Intelligent self-testing provides predictive maintenance assistance.

There is more to learn about the toxic gas and oxygen sensors from Dräger. The document included below provides a guide to the over 100 toxic gases and vapors detectable by the unit. Share your toxic gas, vapor, and oxygen detection challenges with a product application specialist. The combination of your process knowledge with their product application expertise will produce effective solutions.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Applying Turbine Flow Meters For Clean Liquids and Gases

turbine flow meter flange connections Hoffer
Turbine Flow Meter
Courtesy Hoffer Flow Controls 
A turbine flow meter provides a volumetric measurement of liquid or gas flow through the use of a vaned rotor (turbine) inserted in the fluid flow path. Fluid movement causes the turbine to rotate at an angular velocity proportional to the flow rate. A pickup senses the passage of the rotor vanes, producing a sine wave electrical signal output which is detected by the unit electronics. The frequency of the signal relates directly to the flow rate.

Generally, a turbine flow meter is applied to measure unidirectional flow. Some turbine flow meters, through the use of two pickups, have the capability to measure flow in both directions.

There are a number of considerations when selecting a turbine flow meter:

  • Material of construction: Numerous material options are available for the housing and internal parts. Proper selection considers media characteristics and cost.
  • Bearing selection: The combination of bearing type and material will likely be selected by the device manufacturer, based upon a comprehensive application information set.
  • Pickup selection: Several pickup options may be available, with the manufacturer making a recommendation that best suits the application parameters.
turbine flow meter installation schematic
Typical Turbine Flow Meter Installation Schematic
Courtesy Hoffer Flow Controls
Here are a few other things to consider about applying turbine flow meters:
  • Turbine flow meters are precision instruments and will not tolerate debris well. An installation should include a strainer configured to trap debris that may damage the instrument of hinder its operation.
  • For longevity, it is advisable to size the flow meter to avoid extended operation near the upper end of its rotational range. Excessive rotational speeds can accelerate wear on bearings.
  • Lower rotor mass will provide more rapid response to changes in flow, allowing use of the device in applications with flow pulsations.
  • Maintain sufficient downstream pressure to prevent flashing or cavitation. This condition will cause the instrument to produce readings higher than the actual flow rate.
  • Sufficient straight pipe length should be installed at the inlet and outlet of the flow meter to provide flow conditioning necessary for accurate readings. In some cases, a flow staightener may be needed on the upstream side.
  • The output signal from the pickup may need amplification or other signal conditioning. Electrically noisy environments or long cable lengths may require special treatment.
Careful consideration of what is necessary for proper operation will pay off with reliable and accurate performance, low maintenance, and a long service life. Share your flow measurement challenges with product application experts, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Box-In-Box Coriolis Flow Meter Design Explained



Yokogawa, manufacturer of the Rotomass Coriolis Flow Meter utilizing the patented "box-in-box" design, has produced a short video explaining how their design counteracts some of the environmental and process piping conditions that can negatively impact measurement of fluid flow. On Coriolis type flow instruments, conditions that apply stress to the sensor tube assembly can change the resonant frequency of the assembly, impacting the measured reading. The Yokogawa design employs a means to minimize or eliminate their effect, maintaining accurate measurement of flow in process piping.

Share your flow measurement challenges and requirements with product application specialists, combining your process knowledge with their application expertise to develop effective solutions.