Saturday, May 26, 2018

Yokogawa EJA-E or EJX-A Series Pressure Transmitter LPS (Local Parameter Setting) Overview

Yokogawa EJA-E
Yokogawa EJA-E
We have all run into this problem one time or another; you're out in the process area when you realized you need to make a change to a transmitter, but your Hand Held Communicator (HHC) is back at the instrument shop! Your HHC is a great device, but it does you no good when it is left back at the shop. However, if you have a Yokogawa EJA-E or EJX-A series pressure transmitter it is not a problem. Yokogawa's Local Parameter Setting (LPS) gives you easy access to nine (9) basic parameters:
  • Tag Number
  • Unit of measure
  • Set LRV (4 mA)
  • Set URV (20 mA)
  • Damping Time
  • Transfer Function (Linear or Square Root)
  • Display
  • Calibrate LRV (Requires applied pressure)
  • Calibrate URV (Requires applied pressure)
The LPS allows you to make changes to the transmitter without actually having a handheld communicator or FieldMate.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Wireless Instrumentation Promises to Improve Plant Efficiency, Mitigate Risk, and Increase Productivity

Yokogawa Wireless pressure transmitter
Wireless pressure
transmitter (Yokogawa)
Industrial companies are under great pressure to improve safety, reliability, and efficiency. Plant managers are faced with maintaining profits in face of greater competition and rising costs. Lost production, escalating energy costs, unexpected maintenance problems, and heightened safety concerns are always on the horizon. Situations such as unplanned shutdowns and outages due to equipment failure can be devastating to plant performance. Keeping personnel safe in dangerous or hazardous areas requires strict and deliberate attention to procedure. To address these concerns (reduce risk, save money, improve performance) higher reliability, and feature rich process technologies must continually evolve. Wireless instrumentation is one such technology. These new products deliver a promise to improve plant efficiency, mitigate risk, and increase productivity.

Yokogawa wireless gateway
Wireless gateway
Today's wireless instruments are available for monitoring virtually any process control variable including flow, pressure, level, temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen, etc..., or to monitor atmospheres for unsafe levels of toxic or combustible gases. These devices reliably transmit critical control and safety data back to central monitoring systems without the need for human supervision.

The argument for wireless instrumentation is very compelling when you consider installation convenience and cost savings.  Some cost savings estimates run as high as 70%  by eliminating wires and cables, as opposed to the cost when using cables for the same application. And most remarkably, wireless instruments provide additional safety and compliance benefits by keeping maintenance personnel out of dangerous or hazardous areas.

Wireless, portable gas detection
Wireless, portable gas detection
(Drager X-zone 5500)
In the process control industry, there are many reasons to adopt wireless instrumentation, but the acceptance by companies has been slow.  Why is this?  The fiscal argument for the industry to adopt wireless instrumentation networks is convincing as wireless is one of the more promising cost cutting technologies.

Impediments to Wireless
  • Reliability and Familiarity - Wireless must provide the same reliability (real and perceived) as traditional wired units, and engineers, operators, and maintenance staff must become just as comfortable with wireless as they are with wires and cables.
  • Working Within the Existing Infrastructure - Sometimes it doesn't make sense to build or relocate infrastructure or equipment just to create a reliable wireless link.  
  • Integration with Existing Communications - Concern over the impact on engineers, operators, and maintenance because of their work with the other, existing, field communications systems.

Drager wireless gateway
Drager wireless gateway
Industries will always be faced with cost cutting. A plant manager's job is continuous process improvement. There is always a need for better control solutions, and wireless instruments are promising. As the adoption of wireless instrumentation accelerate, concerns about reliability, user comfort,  infrastructure, and integration will subside. Industry-wide acceptance will be driven by deployment and maintenance savings, improved safety and easier governmental compliance.

Friday, May 4, 2018

7 Ways Thermal Mass Flow Meters Can Help Cut Wastewater Treatment Aeration Energy Costs

FCI Thermal Mass Flow Meter
One of the biggest expenses in wastewater treatment operations is the cost of energy to run the blowers and compressors that produce air for the aeration basins. The figures most often cited are that 40 to 50 percent of a wastewater plant’s total energy usage can be attributed to the aeration process.

By measuring the system’s air flows with accurate, repeatable air flow meters, the aeration process can be better controlled to optimize the process and minimize plant energy cost. Three flow sensor technologies typically have been used in aeration air flow monitoring applications in wastewater treatment plants:

Within wastewater treatment plant aeration systems, it is now generally accepted that thermal dispersion mass flow meters are the preferred, proven best solution and have the largest installed base. For plant expansions, new plants and upgrades this trend is expected to continue. The embedded document below presents seven tips that explain how thermal mass flow meters can reduce aeration plant energy costs and have become the flow meter of choice for aeration applications.

Alternatively, you can download your own copy of "7 Tips to Cut Wastewater Aeration Energy Costs with Thermal Mass Flowmeters" here.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Flameless Explosion Venting

Explosion test
Explosion test without flameless vent.
(Courtesy of Fike)
In the event of a plant explosion, the flames and dust exiting the process vessel threaten a plants personnel, equipment and property. In a normal venting situation, an explosion is freely discharged, with threatening dusts and flames exiting the process vessel. The dust and flame are then channeled down vent ducts and ultimately outside the building. The ductwork has disadvantages though, and indoor plant installations cannot be protected by explosion vents alone.

Flameless venting is highly suited for indoor applications and, used in in combination with explosion vents, can extinguish the flame from the vented explosion without the use of expensive ducting, limitations to equipment location, or more costly explosion protection.  Flameless explosion venting protects people and equipment from flames and dust by using a flame absorber with a mesh filter to rapidly and efficiently cool and extinguish the flames immediately.
Explosion test
Explosion test with flameless vent.
(Courtesy of Fike)

Flameless venting is a viable alternative to ducting.  Since indoor venting is not permitted, the designer has to select between vent ducting and flameless venting, and sometimes flameless explosion venting is the only alternative.

Advantage of Flameless Venting:
  • Eliminates need for expensive ducts
  • Enhanced venting efficiency over venting with ductwork
  • Virtually maintenance free
Explosion venting system designers must take design standards into consideration in order to ensure that the calculated relief area and selected venting devices are compliant with local codes and laws.

Flameless venting must consider venting efficiency and incorporate it in the overall design. The venting efficiency factors of the venting and flameless venting devices are manufacturer product specific, can be application specific and should be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations only.

It is also critical to discuss your explosion venting application with an applications expert. Gaining their  knowledge and experience can literally mean the difference between success and disaster.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Flow-Tech, Inc. Serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

Flow-Tech is a manufacturer’s representative and stocking distributor of process instrumentation and calibration equipment in Maryland, D.C and Virginia specializing in the Industrial Process, Control, and Test / Measurement markets.
410-666-3200 MD
804-752-3450 VA

Monday, April 9, 2018

What is a Pressure Transmitter?

Differential pressure transmitter
Differential pressure
transmitter (Yokogawa)
A pressure transmitter is a transducer that converts pressure into an electrical signal it outputs both analog and digital signals corresponding to the pressure. A pressure transmitter measures three phenomena: differential pressure; gauge pressure; and absolute pressure. The most common and useful industrial pressure measuring instrument is a differential pressure transmitter. This instrument senses the difference in pressure between two ports and produces an output signal with reference to a calibrated pressure range.

Industrial Applications of Pressure Transmitters

Pressure transmitters are commonly used to measure the pressure inside of industrial machinery or in industrial processes. They are used in various industries such as oil and gas, refining, chemical, pharmacy, and so on.

Pressure Transmitters in Industry

Pressure Transmitters in Industry
Pressure Transmitters in Industry
Pressure transmitters are widely used in industry to measure flow, level, and pressure. There are unlimited industrial applications. Oil and gas flow metering applications are found onshore, offshore and in subsea. It is also often used for monitoring filters in water and effluent treatment plants, monitoring sprinkler systems, and remote sensing of heating systems for steam or hot water. It can monitor pressure drops across valves and can be used to monitor pump control.

Differential Pressure for Flow Measurement

DP flow measurement is one of the most common applications for differential pressure transmitters by measuring the difference in fluid pressure. While the fluid flows through a pipe, it is possible to calculate the flow rate for differential pressure flow measurement. A primary and the secondary element are used. The primary element is designed to produce a difference in pressure as the flow increases. There are many different types of primary element, the most common being the orifice plate, Venturi flow nozzle, and pitot tube. The secondary element is a differential pressure transmitter. It is designed to measure the differential pressure produced by the primary element as accurately as possible. In particular it is important that the differential pressure measurement is not affected by changes in the fluid line pressure, temperature, or other properties such as ambient temperature. A good DP transmitter will ensure that the differential pressure is measured accurately regardless of other changing parameters and will reliably transmit a signal to represent the differential pressure. The DP flow transmitter output signal may also include square root extraction for flow calculation, although it is common for this function to be handled in a control system. In a typical control loop, the transmitter signal is fed to the controller whose output is used to regulate the flow rate through a control valve.

Differential Pressure for Flow Measurement
Differential Pressure for Flow Measurement

Differential Pressure for Level Measurement

Differential pressure transmitters can also be used for tank levels by measuring the pressure. The transmitter is installed at the bottom of the tank whose level is to be detected. In case of a sealed tank, a transmitter with capillaries measures a differential pressure between the upper side and the bottom side. The liquid inside the tank at the bottom creates pressure which is higher than the pressure at the top. The difference in these pressures can be used to calculate the level. In case of an open tank, the transmitter measures the differential pressure between the liquid inside the tank and the reference atmospheric pressure. In a typical control loop, the transmitter signal is fed to the controller whose output is used to regulate the tight level through a control valve.

Differential Pressure for Level Measurement
Differential Pressure for Level Measurement

Friday, March 30, 2018

Flow-Tech, Inc. - Process Instrumentation, Calibration, Safety, Measurement and Control

Flow-Tech is a manufacturer’s representative and stocking distributor of process instrumentation and calibration equipment in Maryland, D.C and Virginia specializing in the Industrial Process, Control, and Test / Measurement markets. Customers include: Power and Chemical plants, OEM’s, System Integrators, Municipalities, Engineering Firms, Universities, Medical Centers, and Research / Metrology Labs. Products and systems focus on the measurement and control of: flow, pressure, temperature, and level; as well as calibration equipment, analyzers, gas detection, annunciators, and data acquisition. Flow-Tech also provides field service, turn-key systems, equipment start-up, service contracts, and training.