Showing posts with label process instrumentation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label process instrumentation. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Coriolis Effect Simply Explained. And Then Not So Simply Explained.

This video very simply (and very elegantly) demonstrates the Coriolis Force through the use of a ordinary garden hose.

An Now the Not So Simple Explanation

This force occurs, when the medium being measured is flowing at velocity ν through a tube that is rotating around an axis perpendicular to the direction of flow at angular ϖ.
coriolis force

When the medium moves away from the axis of rotation it must be accelerated to an increasingly high peripheral velocity. The force required for this is called Coriolis force, after its discoverer. The Coriolis force reduces the rotation. The opposite effect occurs, when the medium flows towards the axis of rotation. Then the Coriolis force amplifies the rotation.

The formula for the Coriolis force is as follows:
coriolis force

The entire measurement tube is deformed slightly by the Coriolis forces, in the way shown. This deformation is registered by movement sensors at points S1 and S2 .

For practical exploitation of this physical principle, it is sufficient for the tube to perform sympathetic oscillations on a small section of a circular path. This is achieved by exciting the measurement tube at point E by means of an electromagnetic exciter.

Coriolis flowmeters use the oscillating movement of two symmetric metal tubes that are made to vibrate from an internal driver coil.  When liquids or gases flow through the tubes, a phase shift occurs (like you see in the hose) and pickups measure the “twist” and then relate that value to the actual flow. In other words, the amount of twist is proportional to the mass flow rate of fluid passing through the tubes. The greater the twist, the larger the distance between, and the greater the flow.

The general construction of a Coriolis mass flowmeter looks like the following:
Coriolis flowmeter
Coriolis flowmeter diagram (Yokogawa)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Process Control - Five Categories of Instrument Protection

Industrial process temperature and pressure gauges
Instrument protection is a key element of process design
and equipment layout
The performance of every process is critical to something or someone. Keeping a process operating within specification requires measurement, and it requires some element of control. The devices we use to measure process variables, while necessary and critical in their own right, are also a possible source of failure for the process itself. Lose the output of your process instrumentation and you can incur substantial consequences ranging from minor to near catastrophic.

Just as your PLC or other master control system emulates decision patterns regarding the process, the measurement instrumentation functions as the sensory input array to that decision making device. Careful consideration when designing the instrumentation layout, as well as reviewing these five common sense recommendations will help you avoid instrument and process downtime.

Process generated extremes can make your device fail.

Search and plan for potential vibration, shock, temperature, pressure, or other excursions from the normal operating range that might result from normal or unexpected operation of the process equipment. Develop knowledge about what the possible process conditions might be, given the capabilities of the installed process machinery. Consult with instrument vendors about protective devices that can be installed to provide additional layers of protection for valuable instruments. Often, the protective devices are simple and relatively inexpensive.

Don't forget about the weather.

Certainly, if you have any part of the process installed outdoors, you need to be familiar with the range of possible weather conditions. Weather data is available for almost anywhere in the world, certainly in the developed world. Find out what the most extreme conditions have been at the installation site....ever. Planning and designing for improbable conditions, even adding headroom, can keep your process up when the unexpected occurs
Keep in mind, also, that outdoor conditions can impact indoor conditions in buildings without climate control systems that maintain a steady state. This can be especially important when considering moisture content of the indoor air and potential for condensate to accumulate on instrument housings and electrical components. Extreme conditions of condensing atmospheric moisture can produce dripping water.

Know the security exposure of your devices.

With the prevalence of networked devices, consideration of who might commit acts of malice against the process or its stakeholders, and how they might go about it, should be an element of all project designs. A real or virtual intruder's ability to impact process operation through its measuring devices should be well understood. With that understanding, barriers can be put in place to detect or prevent any occurrences.

Physical contact hazards

Strike a balance between convenience and safety for measurement instrumentation. Access for calibration, maintenance, or observation are needed, but avoiding placement of devices in areas of human traffic can deliver good returns by reducing the probability of damage to the instruments. Everybody is trained, everybody is careful, but uncontrolled carts, dropped tools and boxes, and a host of other unexpected mishaps do happen from time to time, with the power to inject disorder into your world. Consider guards and physical barriers as additional layers of insurance.

Know moisture.

Electronics must be protected from harmful effects of moisture. Where there is air, there is usually moisture. Certain conditions related to weather or process operation may result in moisture laden air that can enter device enclosures. Guarding against the formation of condensate on electronics, and providing for the automatic discharge of any accumulated liquid is essential to avoiding failure. Many instrument enclosures are provided with a means to discharge moisture. Make sure installation instructions are followed and alterations are not made that inadvertently disable these functions. Moisture also is a factor in corrosion of metal parts. Be mindful of the extra degree of protection provided by special coatings or materials that may be options for your instruments.

Developing a thoughtful installation plan, along with reasonable maintenance, will result in an industrial process that is hardened against a long list of potential malfunctions. Discuss your application concerns with a knowledgeable instrument sales engineer. Their exposure to many different installations and applications, combined with your knowledge of the process and local conditions, will produce a positive outcome.