Friday, August 24, 2018

The Perfect Replacement for the Discontinued Moore / Siemens 353 SLC Controller: The Yokogawa YS1700

replacement for the Moore 353
The Siemens / Moore 353 has
faded away. Jump over to the
Yokogawa YS1700.
Siemens has recently discontinued their popular 353 SLC controller (also referred to as the Moore 353. This process controller was very popular and it's discontinuation leaves many companies without a path forward. Now that the entire Moore/Siemens 353 family is obsolete, Siemens/Moore 353 customers have very few options.

Instead of turning to eBay looking for spare parts, Flow-Tech has a better solution for you - the Yokogawa YS1700 PID loop controller. The YS1700 is a drop-in SLC replacement for the Siemens 353.

For more about why the Yokogawa YS1700 is your best alternative, visit this link.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Shift for Process Instrumentation: Solving Process Control Problems with Cloud-Based Solutions - Part 1

This two-part article delves into the recent trends in the use of cloud-based tools to help engineers improve their application validation, improve their diagnostic selection of instrumentation, and improve device commissioning.

In the industrial sector, capable engineers are retiring from the workforce and manufacturing companies are being forced to accomplish their work with fewer experienced employees. At the same time, as always, there continues to be the need to reduce maintenance costs and operating costs. Companies are looking for new answers and solutions to optimize project results – to track performance, monitoring, and reliability of process instrumentation.

Cloud-based application and validation tools are currently assisting in:
  • Confirming the correct technology fit.
  • Configuring the correct device so the manufacturer can deliver a pre-engineered and ready for installation product. 
Engineers and other factory personnel can input data via a smart phone, or a laptop computer so they can have their specific requirements recorded. In addition, collaboration with other team members is possible, through the cloud, to determine the optimum set up for the project devices to streamline engineering decisions (and to avoid expensive mistakes upfront in the project). Information in the cloud may also be equipped for instant duplication, so projects that have many identical device configurations can be rapidly repeated.

Using a cloud-based approach improves success in installing large numbers of new field instruments, which is common for unit expansion. Other benefits of adapting cloud-based services for prices control include:
  • A convenient way to share and collaborate in real-time. Multiple users can visualize the transmitter configuration though a link. This saves staff time and reduces travel time for support people. 
  • If a beginning user has an underdeveloped knowledge of the application, the cloud can provide readily accessible information such as compatibility charts, specification sheets, code requirements, etc … . 
  • Generation of a standard data sheet so engineers don't have to spend as much time on data entry. The data sheet can be stored to support the user's necessary documentation and audit trail. 
The paradigm for instrumentation setup is changing dramatically. Cloud-based solutions and engineering tools are helping to optimize manufacturing operations and carry out capital projects as cost effectively, efficiently, and as rapidly as possible.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Understanding Fluids: Viscosity, Viscosity Index, and Compressibility

Viscosity
In order to understand process flow control it is critical to understand the basic properties of fluids.  This article provides the reader with a fundamental understanding of viscosity, viscosity index, compressibility, and the advantages of petroleum based hydraulic fluids.

Fluids used in mechanical systems come in many different types. The type of fluid chosen for a
particular application depends on its characteristics. One of the most important characteristics of a fluid is its viscosity. Viscosity is defined as a fluids resistance to flow. Fluids with low viscosity flow very easily. Water is a type of fluid with low viscosity. Fluids with high viscosity are more resistant to flow. Honey is a type of fluid with a high viscosity, therefore honey is more viscous than water.

Viscosity Index
Viscosity index relates to the change
in viscosity to a change in temperature.
Another characteristic of fluids is the viscosity index. This rating relates the flow of a fluid with its temperature. Many fluids begin to flow more easily as temperature increases. The viscosity index is the measurement of this characteristic. A high viscosity index indicates a small viscosity change with temperature. A low viscosity index indicates a large viscosity change with temperature.

Compressibility is another characteristic of fluids. It measures the change in volume of a fluid as a response to a change in pressure. Fluids such as gases are highly compressible. Their volumes change significantly when placed under pressure. Liquid fluids also have a compressibility factor. Water and petroleum based hydraulic fluid are almost completely incompressible. They don't compress when put under pressure. This characteristic is what allows them to be used to transmit power in fluid systems.
Compressibility gases
Gases are highly
compressible.

Years ago, water was used as the first hydraulic fluid because there was no other liquid available in such large quantities at such a low cost. There are some major draw backs to using water as a working fluid. Due to its low viscosity, it is difficult to pump. Additionally, the speed at which it flows through the system causes an effect known as wire drawing. Wire drawing occurs when the water flow erodes, or scores, a pathway in the metal of machinery as it goes around corners and through orifices. It also has corrosive effects on metal machinery.

Over time petroleum based hydraulic fluids have become much more cost-effective. For starters, it has a lower specific gravity than any other liquid and can be pumped with less power loss. It also lubricates as it works through the system and has little corrosive effects on metal machinery. Flammability is an issue, but with the development of synthetic oils, alternatives to water remain the
Compressibility liquids
Water and hydraulic fluids
are almost completely
incompressible.
preferred working fluid.

Several factors should be considered when designing a fluid system that uses a petroleum-based hydraulic fluid. The first is cleanliness. Oil never wears outbut it can become so contaminated that it is unfit for further use. Fluid systems frequently employ filters throughout the system to help reduce contaminants. They may also require complete fluid replacement after certain time intervals and this can become cost prohibitive with larger systems. Another factor common to hydraulic fluids are the use of additives. Additives can be used to reduce aeration and the production of bubbles as the fluid travels rapidly throughout the system. They can be used to administer corrosion inhibitors within the reservoir and they can be used as a multi-agent which helps the fluid resist mixing with water.

The choice of modern fluids is so wide that when designing a new system fluid characteristics such as viscosity, viscosity index, cleanliness, filtration and additives should be considered as early as possible in the design process.

Always consult with a process flow expert before selecting materials and equipment in any process control loop. Their experience and knowledge will help you design an efficient, safe, and cost-effective solution.







Information courtesy of www.eicc.edu and funded through a Department of Labor grant under creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.