Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New Product Alert: Hoffer Flow Controls HIT-4G Gas Flow Rate Indicator & Dual Totalizer With Modbus & Data Logging

Hoffer HIT-4G
The Hoffer HIT-4G is a microprocessor-based gas flow rate indicator and totalizer with data logger and Modbus Communications Protocol.  The HIT-4G provides temperature and pressure compensated gas flow measurement. Featuring a 6-digit rate display and separate 8-digit resettable and non-resettable flow totalizers, the HIT-4G is configurable for 4-20 mA loop power or DC power. The instrument can accept a low-level signal from a magnetic type pickup coil, a DC pulse signal, contact closure or modulated carrier pickup (MCP/RF). Pulses from the signal input are converted into volume and rate values based on flowmeter calibration settings stored in the instrument. Temperature, pressure and compressibility compensation may be used to calculate corrected volume and mass flow. The total and flow rate are displayed on a two-line liquid crystal display (LCD). A 4-20 mA analog signal proportional to the flowrate is output on the current loop. The HIT-4G is configurable from the instrument front panel keypad or via Modbus communications.

Download the HIT-4G Users Manual Here

Contact Flow-Tech, Inc. for more information.
In Maryland: 410-666-3200
In Virginia: 804-752-3450
https://flowtechonline.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

FLEXIM Clamp-on Ultrasonic Flowmeters - Expert Testimonial for Municipal Water Treatment Pumping Systems


This video offers expert testimonial of the advantages of the FLEXIM clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter for use on pumping systems installed in municipal water treatment facilities.

Pumps are one of the main energy consumers within industrial and manufacturing environments. It is thus crucial to regularly test their performance and efficiency.

For simple pump control it is sufficient to measure the flow rates with a portable, non-invasive FLUXUS ultrasonic flow meter and to observe the pressure by reading from the permanently installed pressure gauges.

For more comprehensive pump audits, special measuring systems are available which can also be used to record pressure, temperature and consumed electricity. However, the FLUXUS clamp-on flow meters are still the central device used.

Documenting such actual load profiles regularly opens up huge potential for savings; in most cases by initially adjusting a pump to the correct dimensions.

Flow-Tech, Inc.
https://flowtechonline.com
410-666-3200 MD
804-752-3450 VA

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

$2000 Undergraduate Engineering Scholarship Sponsored by Brooks Instrument

Brooks Instrument is a world leading manufacturer of  flow control and measurement equipment based in Hatfield, PA.

As a gesture of their commitment to the upcoming generation of engineers, Brooks Instrument has established a $2,000 scholarship for a qualified undergraduate student enrolled in an engineering program at an accredited college or university.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Portable Industrial Gas Analyzers

SERVOFLEX portable analyzers deliver high performance gas analysis in hazardous and non-hazardous areas. Using the same precision sensing technology of Servomex fixed analyzers, these ergonomically designed, easy to use portable analyzers provide compact, precise and reliable gas analysis in a wide range of applications from labs and plants to food production and universities.

The portable product line includes:
  • Micro i.s. 5100 - Intrinsically safe analyzer measures oxygen, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide
  • MiniFoodPack 5200 -  Benchtop analyzer for checks / quality control in Modified Atmospheres Packaging
  • MiniHD 5200 - Resilient IP65 analysis of oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in industrial applications
  • MiniMP 5200 - Benchtop analyzer offering single or dual measurements of oxygen and carbon dioxide
For more information, view the video below. Contact Flow-Tech in Maryland and Virginia with application questions. They can be reached at 410-666-3200 in Maryland, 804-752-3450 in Virginia, or by visiting https://flowtechonline.com.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Part 2 - A Shift for Process Instrumentation: Solving Process Control Problems with Cloud-Based Solutions

Automated Device Commissioning
Click for larger view.
ADC is an abbreviation for "Automated Device Commissioning", sometimes referred to as "Smart Commissioning". From a practical standpoint, it is a set of engineering techniques and processes to check, inspect and test every operational component of a project. Workflows incorporating lean engineering can benefit from designing instrument configurations before the hardware is actually delivered to the facility.

ADC/Smart Commissioning can be used to do the following:
  • Reduce commissioning time to a fraction of the original hours needed.
  • Mechanically binds control configuration.
  • Reduces the need to verify I/O assignments.
  • Helps avoid costly errors in wiring and termination.
  • Automates intelligent device testing and documentation.
Use of ADC/Smart Commissioning promotes efficiency for automation projects.  In the early stages of projects, engineers used to have to deal with repetitive and complicated tasks to get the project set up.  Now with this new approach, teams of engineers can work on the project collectively, and at the same time, without needing to be physically at the same site.  Cloud-based engineering activities are also handled separate from the project hardware so the schedule doesn't necessarily drive the project.

ADC/Smart Commissioning helps engineers to confirm that the right transmitter is landed on the correct controller input/output module. (I/O)  If a mismatch is determined, the engineer can fix the mismatch in real time.  Then, once the hardware configuration is confirmed, the user can perform loop checkout as well.  The tool's loop test checkout template is simply modified using Excel and then the ADC/Smart Commissioning function runs the test according to the project plan.

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 engineering tools have the opportunity to make employees more productive and to drive efficiencies in manufacturing plants.  They reduce engineering hours and make commissioning steps more efficient, shortening device commissioning time.  They also have the potential to improve user safety, streamline usability, and significantly decrease budges for maintenance.

Flow-Tech, Inc.
https://flowtechonline.com
In MD 410-666-3200
In VA 804-752-3450

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Hoffer Flow Controls HIT-4U Flow Rate Indicator and Totalizer

HIT-4U
The HIT-4U, manufactured by Hoffer Flow Controls, is a battery, DC or loop-powered microprocessor-based flow rate indicator and totalizer with data logger and Modbus Communications Protocol. The instrument can accept a low-level signal from a magnetic type pickup coil, a DC pulse signal, contact closure or modulated carrier pickup (MCP/RF). Pulses from the signal input are converted into volume and rate values based on flowmeter calibration settings stored in the instrument. The total volume and flow rate are displayed on a two-line liquid crystal display (LCD). A 4-20 mA analog signal proportional to the flowrate is output on the current loop. The HIT-4U is configurable from the instrument front panel keypad or via Modbus communications.

For more information, download the HIT-4U Flow Rate Indicator and Totalizer Users Manual here, of view the manual in the embedded viewer below.

Flow-Tech, Inc.
https://flowtechonline.com
In MD 410-666-3200
In VA 804-752-3450

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Presentation: The Yokogawa YS1000 Series as Replacement for Siemens/Moore 353

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.

This video is a complete presentation on why and how the Yokogawa YS1000 Series is an excellent replacement for Siemens 353's in the field. To stop on a specific screen, push the pause button.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Brooks Instrument

Brooks Instrument is the global leader in flow and pressure instrumentation, enabling precision process control for industrial and semiconductor applications.

Products include:
  • Mass Flow Controllers & Meters
  • Variable Area Flow Meters (Rotameters)
  • Pressure & Vacuum Products
  • Vaporization Products
  • Semiconductor Products

Represented in Maryland and Virginia by Flow-Tech, Inc.
https://flowtechonline.com
410-666-3200 MD
840-752-3450 VA

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.

https://flowtechonline.com
410-666-3200 in MD
804-752-3450 in VA

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/.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Yokogawag Real-Time Dynamic Compensation for Static Pressure Effects

DP TransmittersAccurate measurement is vital to efficient plant operation and plant safety. When selecting a transmitter, a lot of attention is paid to the Reference Accuracy noted in supplier's specification documents. Reference Accuracy gets its name because the accuracy is based on a set of reference conditions. The reference conditions dictate a certain temperature, humidity, and static pressure for the Reference Accuracy to be measured in a laboratory setting. In the real world, DP Transmitters are rarely installed in a laboratory and never under the rigid confines of those reference conditions; therefore, Real-world Performance (RWP) is always worse than the Reference Accuracy. To improve RWP, all smart transmitters on the market compensate for variations in temperature; but, Yokogawa's sensor used in the EJA-A series, EJX-A series, and EJX-B series is unique in the market place because it can compensate for effects in static pressure change as well. This ability is referred to
Real-time Dynamic Compensation.

Review the entire document in the embedded viewer below, or download a PDF copy of "Real-Time Dynamic Compensation for Static Pressure Effects" here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How to Connect the Brooks Instrument MT3809 Variable Area Flow Meter (Rotameter) with FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus Transmitter to Your Network

Brooks Instrument MT3809 Variable Area Flow Meter
MT3809 Variable Area Flow Meter
Brooks Instrument has added a new FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus transmitter to its popular MT3809 variable area (VA) flow meter, making it easier for users to integrate the unit into their automation control systems for more efficient data capture and digital communication across the plant enterprise. The MT3809 is also EMERSON™ qualified for its Delta V control system and AMS device manager.

The FOUNDATION Fieldbus transmitter is a compact microprocessor device that interfaces directly with the MT3809 flow meter. A single 2-wire bus connection compliant with the international FOUNDATION Fieldbus standard provides power to the transmitter and communications access. The flow meter itself does not require power.

The new transmitter makes it easier to access multiple MT3809 VA flow meter variables, including:
  • Flow rates
  • Totalization, both resettable and inventory measurement
  • Temperatures
  • Densities
  • Calibration factors
  • Hi-low alarm parameters, which enable facilities and systems operators to be notified if gas or fluid flow rates fall outside set values
In addition, the MT3809 VA flow meter has a local operator interface with LCD display for insight into flow status and fluid measurement. These outputs are configurable and can be shown in various engineering units. Operators can also change parameters without removing the housing cover, enabling changes to be made in hazardous areas.

The FOUNDATION Fieldbus transmitter on the Brooks Instrument MT3809 VA flow meter is equipped with the most up-to-date version of the FOUNDATION Fieldbus protocol, ITK 6.0. The transmitter and alarm options have worldwide safety approvals as well as SIL 2 safety certification.

https://flowtechonline.com
410-666-3200 in MD
804-752-3450 in VA

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

New Product Alert: UM33A Digital Indicator with Alarms

UM33A Digital Indicator with Alarms
UM33A Digital Indicator with Alarms
The Yokogawa UM33A is an updated, newly-released digital indicator that can receive, process, and sequentially display data from up to eight process sensors. The enhanced UM33A is an easy to install and cost effective solution that enables the monitoring of data from multiple field sensors.

The previous version UM33A digital indicator was limited to accepting data from a single temperature, pressure, or flow rate sensor. It would then convert that data into digital signals, alarms and visual display. Adding multiple inputs to the older version was expensive as additional equipment was required. Yokogawa redesigned the UM33A to satisfy the needs of customers who want a lower cost, simpler solution to check measurement data from multiple sensors.

The enhanced UM33A supports the master function and the data monitoring function of the Modbus/RTU communication protocol, and is able to connect with up to eight sensors and sequentially display data from those devices. The UM33A is thus able to monitor data from multiple field sensors without requiring the installation and engineering of a separate device with user interface and controller functionality. It can also function alongside already installed systems that employ such specially configured hardware. With its ability to remotely connect with multiple sensors throughout a site, the enhanced UM33A makes it easier for plant personnel to check measurement data from these devices.

In plants, progress is being made in the introduction of field digital solutions that rely on digital communications between intelligent field devices and control systems. Field digital solutions allow the transmission of significantly greater amounts of data, including not only data on process parameters but also instrument status information, and the ability to monitor this information online improves maintenance efficiency. Thanks to its functional enhancements, the enhanced UM33A can handle both digital and analog communications with sensors, and is thus well positioned to facilitate the introduction of field digital solutions at plants.

Intended Markets:
  • Electrical equipment
  • Process equipment
  • Chemical processing applications
  • Food processing applications
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Automobile manufacturing
For more information on the UM33A digital indicator, contact Flow-Tech by visiting https://flowtechonline.com or by calling 804-752-3450 in Virginia.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

How Thermal Energy Meters Reduce Costs at University Campuses

Installation under 4 hrs.
Step 1: Cut insulation where
transducers and
RTD will be located.
The cooling and heating of a university campus is one of the primary areas where better energy management, including improved efficiency and energy reduction, brings some of the highest returns.

Every university to some extent is now engaged in this process, and one of the first things that has to be addressed is the metering of distributed thermal energy. To effectively begin energy reduction initiatives, accurate and reliable thermal energy metering has to be in place.

Today, there is high priority for understanding that we need to be better stewards of energy consumption. Poor energy consumption harms the environment and creates much higher operating costs. Universities have become very involved in the move toward greener energy. Many universities began metering long ago while some are just beginning. Most are in the middle of the process.

Step 2: Install stainless bands around
pipe under insulation.
There are many different types of meters, and often, many of these choices turn out to be unreliable. In order to achieve real accountability for energy usage at campus buildings, energy managers at leading universities are applying a “utility model.” In the utility model, building managers responsible for campus buildings are billed at utility grade costs for the thermal energy consumed. This creates an environment where focus falls to thermal energy conservation. It’s also vital that inefficiencies are identified and corrected through metering.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure!

Many universities have gone through an evolution of trying to meter thermal energy consumption throughout their campus. The success of these ventures can be elusive when the meter chosen for the job doesn’t live up to expectations. Examples include insertion meters that over time will foul and meters that cannot respond to low velocities that are prevalent during off-peak metering.

Step 3: Install
transducers and RTD.
On proven alternative is FLEXIM’s Thermal Energy / BTU Flow Meter. The technology, based upon FLEXIM's ultrasonic clamp-on meters, do not require shutdown and are very cost effective to install.

Clamp-on ultrasonic meters have been doing the job of BTU-metering for decades and the Flexim thermal energy meters are leading the effort towards more energy efficient buildings and facilities.

Step 4: Cover transducers and RTD
with insulation and tape.
More than 150 colleges and universities throughout the country are using the FLEXIM product as their preferred thermal energy meter and attest to FLEXIM’s performance, reliability and support.


For more information on Flexim thermal energy products, contact Flow-Tech by visiting https://flowtechonline.com or by calling 410-666-3200 in Maryland or 804-752-3450 in Virginia.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia's Premier Process, Control, Test & Measurement Representative

Process, Control, Test & Measurement Representative

Flow-Tech, Inc.

Providing applications expertise and engineering support for Power and Chemical plants, OEM’s,
System Integrators, Municipalities, Engineering Firms, Universities, Medical Centers, and Research / Metrology Labs.

Specializing in:

Process Instrumentation

Flow, Data Acquisition & Control Instruments, Gas Detection, Analyzers, Level Control & Measurement, Pressure & Temperature Indicators and Transmitters, Vibration - Asset Condition Monitoring , Indicators & Energy Flow Computers

Pressure Relief, Tank Blanketing and Flame Arrest

Rupture Discs, Tank Conservation Vents, Explosion Venting, Tank Blanketing, Flame Arrestors

Gas Detection

Personal Gas Detection - Portables and Drager Tubes, Hazardous Gas Area Monitor, Respiratory Protection

Control Valves, On-Off Valves and Regulators

Gas, Steam & Liquid Control Valves, Pressure Reducing & Back Pressure Regulators, Sanitary Regulators and Control Valves, On-Off Valves

Explosion Protection Testing, Isolation Valves, Vents and Systems

Active Explosion Suppression Systems, Explosion Isolation Valves, Explosion Venting, Explosion Testing Services

ABB Low & Medium Voltage VFD Drives

ABB General Purpose Drives, ABB Industrial AC Drives, ABB Industry Specific Drives

Environmental Instruments

Flow, Gas Detection, Analyzers, Pressure & Temperature Indicators and Transmitters, Indicators, Mosaic Displays and Annunciators, Paperless Recorders & Data Acquisition

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
(Yokogawa)
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.