Friday, December 8, 2017

Smart Output™ Module For Water System Monitoring

magnetic flowmeter variants
Full bore flanged and insertion style magnetic flowmeters,
with Smart Output™ technology to enhance their functionality.
Image courtesy McCrometer 
Water distribution systems, though mostly invisible to the general public, are highly complex infrastructure arrangements that extend to a very large number of locations throughout a service area. Monitoring the activity and operational health of the distribution system, key to maintaining high levels of efficiency and service, requires measurement instrumentation installed throughout the system.

Magnetic flowmeters are an integral part of water system instrumentation. Their advantages for use in water systems were outlined in a previous article on how magnetic flowmeters work. McCrometer is an innovator in the design and manufacture of magnetic flowmeters for water system flow measurement. Their Smart Output™ technology is available for use with full bore flanged and insertion style flowmeters to provide the information needed for modern water system operation.

  • AC or DC powered versions
  • Compatible with Sensus and Itron smart water networks
  • Enables networking of water meters throughout distribution system
  • Queries, diagnostics, and data transfer can be scheduled or on demand
  • Enables AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) and AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure)
The Smart Output™ function is an additional module included as part of the instrument transmitter. 

More information is available from product application specialists, with whom you should share your flow measurement challenges of all types. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Best Temperature Control Performance Starts With a Match of Sensor Configuration to Application

temperature sensors configured for surface temperature measurement
A specially configured temperature sensor can improve
measurement response and process control.
Image courtesy Applied Sensor Technologies
There are more temperature controlled operations than any of us could count in a lifetime, each with a set of signature performance requirements and design challenges. Matching the means of temperature measurement, the control loop characteristics, and heat delivery method to the application are essential to achieving successful operation.

Step one is to measure the process temperature. This sounds simple until you start researching products and technologies for measuring temperature. Like the temperature controlled operations mentioned previously, they are numerous. To filter the possible candidates for temperature sensing devices, consider these aspects of your application and how well a particular sensor may fulfill your requirement.
  • Response Time - How rapidly the sensor will detect a change in process temperature is a function of how the sensor is constructed and how it is installed. Most temperature sensors are enclosed or encapsulated to provide protection for the somewhat vulnerable sensing element. Greater mass surrounding the sensing element, or a shape that inhibits heat transfer from the process to the sensor, will slow sensor response. Whether the slower response time will adversely impact process operation needs to be considered. More consideration is due to the manner in which the temperature sensor assembly is installed. Not all applications involve a fluid in which the sensor assembly can be conveniently immersed, and even these applications benefit from careful sensor placement.
  • Accuracy - Know what your process needs to be effective. Greater levels of accuracy will generally cost more, possibly require more care and attention to assure the accuracy is maintained. Accuracy is mostly related to the type of sensor, be it RTD, thermocouple, or another type.
  • Sensitivity - Related to the construction, installation, and type of sensor, think of sensitivity as the smallest step change in process temperature that the sensor will reliably report. The needs of the process should dictate the level of sensitivity specified for the temperature sensor assembly.
Take a simple application as an illustration. Heat tracing of piping systems is a common function throughout commercial and industrial settings experiencing periods of cold weather. Electric heat trace installations benefit from having some sort of control over the energy input. This control prevents excessive heating of the piping or applying heat when none is required, a substantial energy saving effort. A temperature sensor can be installed beneath the piping's insulation layer, strapped to the pipe outer surface. A specially designed sensor assembly can improve the performance of the sensor and the entire heat trace control system by enhancing the response time of the temperature sensor. A right angled sheath permits insertion of the sensor beneath the piping insulation while orienting the connection head upright. A surface pad at the tip of the sheath increases the surface contact with the pipe to provide faster sensor response. The surface pad is a metal fixture welded to the sensing end of the temperature sensor assembly. It can be flat, for surface temperature measurements, or angled for installation on a curved surface, like a pipe. The increased surface contact achieved with the surface pad promotes the conduction of heat to the sensor element from the heated pipe in our illustration. This serves to reduce and improve the response time of the sensor. Adding some thermally conductive paste between the pad and the pipe surface can further enhance the performance. While the illustration is simple, the concepts apply across a broad range of potential applications that do not allow immersion of the temperature assembly in a fluid.

A simple modification or addition of an option to a standard sensor assembly can deliver substantially improved measurement results in many cases. Share your temperature measurement requirements and challenges with a process measurement specialist. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Maintenance Procedures - Yokogawa ADMAG TI Series AXW Magnetic Flowmeter

magnetic flow meter with corrosion resistant lining
The AXW series of magnetic flow meters is available in
a range of sizes with corrosion resistant lining.
Image courtesy Yokogawa
The ADMAG AXW™ series of magnetic flow meters has been developed based on Yokogawa's decades of experience in the design and manufacture of magnetic flowmeters. The AXW series continues the tradition of high quality and reliability that has become synonymous with the Yokogawa name.

The AXW series is ideal for industrial process lines, and water supply and sewage applications. With outstanding reliability and ease of operation, developed on decades of field-proven experience, the AXW will increase user benefits while reducing total cost of ownership.

Magnetic flow meters, also called electromagnetic flow meters or "magmeters", operate on a very simple principal. An electrically conductive liquid moving through a magnetic field will generate a voltage that is related to the velocity of the liquid. Magnetic flow meters have no moving parts and present little to no pressure drop to the piping system into which they are installed.

Sizes are available from 500 to 1800 mm (20 to 72 inch.) with a wide liner selection such as PTFE, natural hard rubber, natural soft rubber, and polyurethane rubber. The line accommodates industry standard process connections such as ASME, AWWA, EN, JIS, and AS flange standards. A submersible version is also available.

Care and maintenance for magnetic flow measurement devices is simple and minimal. The manual included below provides basic guidelines for maintenance procedures of ADMAG TI (Total Insight) Series AXW magnetic flowmeters. Share your flow measurement challenges with process instrument specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

White Paper About Safety Compliance for Solenoid Valves

industrial solenoid valves
Solenoid valves for industrial process control applications
Image courtesy Asco Valve
Regulatory modifications have raised important issues in design and use of industrial safety systems. Certain changes in IEC 61508, now being widely implemented, mean that designers and users who desire full compliance must give new consideration to topics such as SIL levels and the transition to new methodologies.

In particular, these issues can impact the selection of solenoid valves and prepackaged redundant control systems (RCS) for implementation in a safety instrumented system (SIS). Such selections may also be affected by how experienced valve suppliers are at dealing with complex new compliance methodologies.

These issues are especially applicable to the oil, gas, chemical, and power industries - in applications such as safety shutdown systems, boilers, furnaces, high-integrity protection systems (HIPS), and more. These issues are of concern to safety engineers and reliability engineers, as well as to process engineers, engineering executives, and plant managers.

This report, a white paper made available by ASCO Valve, will address these issues in developing a compliant safety instrumented system using valves and redundant control systems. Making the right choices in safety system planning and in valve supplier selection can affect design time, costs, and effort — as well as the safety of the plant itself.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Top End Guided Wave Radar Level Transmitter

guided wave radar level transmitter
Magnetrol's model 706 embodies the best of guided
wave radar level measurement.
Image courtesy of Magnetrol
The Eclipse Model 706 is Magnetrol's loop powered high performance guided wave radar level transmitter. It incorporates many of the company's latest innovations into a single instrument capable of meeting the demanding requirements of an array of industrial applications.

Product improvements include increased signal to noise ratio, suitability for use with low dielectric media, and the ability to deliver accurate indication under foaming, flashing, or other challenging conditions. An extended probe offering enables use in measuring interface, liquified gas, even bulk solids.

The instrument is suitable for overfill applications, and does not use algorithms to infer measurements in a dead zone that may occur near the top of the probe in some other designs. The Eclipse 706 delivers true measurement right up to the process flange. Upgraded electronics allow the unit to be pre-configured prior to shipment, if requested. Additionally, the widest range of communications options is available.

For more information, share your level measurement challenges with a process measurement specialist. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Miller Energy Expands Capabilities With New Valve Line

sliding gate valve with actuator
The sliding gate control valve is part of the Schubert & Salzer
product line. Image courtesy Schubert & Salzer.
Miller Energy is pleased to now represent, in the company's Pennsylvania office, Schubert & Salzer, a recognized innovator and manufacturer of high precision process flow control valves.

Schubert & Salzer specializes in precise control and stop valves for industrial fluid processing operations.
  • Sliding gate valves
  • Ball Sector Valves
  • Segment disc valves and segment disc orifices
  • Seat valves
  • Three-way valves
  • Sanitary valves
  • Pinch Valves
  • Manual valves
  • Positioners & controllers
  • Accessories to complement all products
With the expansion of its already wide range of common and specialized valve technologies, Miller Energy further solidifies its position as the go-to source for solutions to fluid process control challenges. Contact the Pennsylvania office for detailed product information. Share your challenges and leverage your process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tips For Best Control of Low Flow Rates

coriolis low flow measurement and control instrument
Low flow measurement and control instrument uses
Coriolis flow measurement sensor.
Image courtesy Brooks Instrument
Coriolis mass flow measurement is the method of choice for applications requiring best accuracy under very low flow conditions. The Quantim Series of mass flow controllers from Brooks Instrument provide indication of fluid flow, density and temperature for applications down to 0.001 Kg/hr. The instrument, in addition to a Coriolis flow sensor, provides digital signal processing, an integral or close coupled control valve, and PID control to deliver a total flow control solution in an integrated package.

Obtaining best available performance on a consistent basis is supported by a well done installation.

  • Mount the instrument to a stable surface free from excessive mechanical shock and vibration that might impact performance.
  • Locate the device where it can be easily accessed or removed.
  • Install an appropriate filter on the fluid inlet side.
  • Provide a positive shutoff valve on the downstream side to enable zeroing after installation.
  • Make sure the process flow direction matches the required flow direction of the instrument.
The sensor and control valve are designed to function properly when filled with process fluid. This means your installation cannot deliver entrapped gas in a liquid or liquid droplets in a gas. If compressed gas is used to force dosing fluids through a system, it may be necessary to provide a degassing arrangement upstream of the flow controller. Dissolved gas that flashes due to a pressure drop through the instrument can form bubbles that distort sensor and valve performance. 

Little to no maintenance is required after the instrument is installed and zeroed. The inlet filter should be changed at intervals sufficient to assure delivery of clean process fluid to the instrument.

More technical detail on the Quantim Coriolis flow measurement and control instruments is provided in the document below. Whatever your flow measurement or control application, share your challenge with measurement and control specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to leverage an effective solution.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Voltage Ranging Solenoid Valve Coils are a Game Changer

industrial solenoid operated valve with voltage ranging coil
Voltage ranging coils simplify the application of solenoid valves
Image courtesy Emerson - ASCO
New power management technology is rewriting industry standards for reliability and power consumption of solenoid valve coils. The new technology solenoid valves accept both AC and DC voltage while improving performance. Available in 2-way, 3-way and 4-way, these solenoid valves are designed to handle a wide range of fluid control applications.

The enhanced valves are designed to be drop in replacements for existing valves. There is no change to functional attributes such as flow, pressure, ambient & fluid temperatures or physical attributes such as envelope size and face-to-face dimensions. If you're looking to just switch out a coil, enhanced coil kits are direct replacements for the old coil kits.

Here are the benefits to end customers:

Lower Power Consumption
  • 1.0 watt (DC version) & 1.5 watts (AC/DC versions)
  • Lowers energy cost up to 80% compared to standard solenoid valves 
RoHS 2 Compliant
  • Satisfies CE Directives 2002/95/EC and 2001/65/EU (RoHS 2) for the restriction of hazardous substances 
Supervisory Current Compatible
  • Suitable for systems employing supervisory currents not exceeding the following drop-out currents: 20mA (12-24V DC), 15mA (24-120V AC/DC) and 7mA (100-240V AC/DC) 
  • Also suitable with devices having leakage currents not exceeding the drop-out currents noted above. 
Broad Voltage Ranges Reduce Inventory
  • Available in 24-120V AC/DC, 100-240V AC/DC & 12-24V DC 
  • Covers hundreds of global voltage requirements
  • Simplifies product selection and reduces complexity
  • Lowers inventory cost by eliminating need to stock both AC & DC products
  • Includes 125VDC battery (AC/DC versions) & 24VDC battery (DC version) 
DC Performance Increased Up to 500% To Match AC Ratings
  • Transition from AC to DC without sacrificing performance
  • Eliminates the need for separate AC & DC output cards
  • Simplifies control schemes
Integrated Surge Suppression
  • Prolongs the life of the coil by suppressing external voltage spikes
  • Lowers system cost by eliminating the need for additional surge protection
Fit For Use In Rugged and Demanding Environments
  • Wide ambient temperature range for hot and cold environments
  • Enclosure Types 1 through 4X for indoor and outdoor applications 
  • Optional Class 1, Division 2 coils available for hazardous locations
No AC Hum
  • Ideal for applications requiring quiet operation
More information and application assistance is available from product specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Process and Equipment Monitoring

products for equipment and process monitoring and alarm
The RACO remote alarm product line provides solutions
for a wide array of applications.
Image courtesy RACO  Manufacturing and Engineering Co.
Process operations are comprised of a continuous stream of events. Operational information that is actionable comes from effective monitoring of process events and conditions.

RACO Manufacturing and Engineering has been perfecting process monitoring and alarm equipment and systems for many years. Their various product series are tailored to accommodate a wide variety of industrial applications with a variety of input, output, and communication options.

Share your process alarm and monitoring challenges with product application specialists, leveraging your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Magnetic Level Indicators

magnetic level gauge magnetic level indicator
Configurations of magnetic level gauges
Image courtesy Orion/Magnetrol
Fluid process control operations often involve vessel or tank storage of liquids. Continuous and accurate indication of the liquid level within the tank is an essential data point for process control decision making and safety. Several methods and instrument types are available for tank level measurement, each with its own set of attributes that may be advantageous for a particular installation. Selection criteria for a tank liquid level indicator may include:
  • Direct or indirect measurement of level
  • Level measurement accuracy and reliability
  • Tank shape, regular or irregular
  • Media compatibility with measurement device
  • Requirements for maintenance or calibration
  • Compatibility with process temperature and pressure range
  • Local display and visibility
  • Level indication signal type and transmission
  • Level alarm switches or other indicators
The selection of a magnetic level indicator, also referred to as a magnetic level gauge, for the project will likely be based upon at least one of the instrument's strengths. Magnetic level gauges have a host of potentially positive features for level indication.
  • Continuous level measurement
  • Operable without electric power
  • Direct visual tank fluid level indication, regardless of tank shape or profile.
  • Wide range of operating temperature and pressure
  • Breakage resistant construction
  • Range of construction materials available to accommodate corrosive media
  • Measuring indicators, switches, and transmitters mounted externally, without contacting the medium being measured.
  • Low maintenance operation.
  • Readable level indication from greater distance than glass sight gauges.
  • Applicable to large fluid level ranges with a single instrument.
Magnetic level indicators have a strong position in the tank liquid level measurement field and should be considered as a candidate for fulfilling those application requirements. There are many options available to customize the level indicator for each specific application. I have included a technical data sheet from Orion Instruments, a manufacturer of level instrumentation, for more detail. Share your application challenges with a sales engineer that specializes in level measurement. Combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise will yield positive solutions.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Magnetic Flowmeters: Principles and Applications

industrial process measurement instrument magnetic flow meter magmeter volumetric flow transmitter
Magnetic flowmeters are well suited for flow measurement
with conductive fluids.
Image courtesy Yokogawa
Fluid process control operations rely on the operator's ability to accurately determine qualities and quantities of liquid or gaseous materials. In terms of appraising and working with fluids (such as liquids, steam, and gases) the flowmeter is a staple tool, with the simple goal of expressing the delivery of a subject fluid in a quantified manner. Measurement of media flow velocity can be used, along with other inputs, to determine volumetric or mass flow. The magnetic flowmeter, also called a magmeter, is one of several technologies used to measure fluid flow.

In general, magnetic flowmeters are sturdy, reliable devices able to withstand hazardous environments while returning accurate measurements to operators of a wide variety of processes. The magnetic flowmeter has no moving parts. The operational principle of the device is powered by Faraday’s Law, a fundamental scientific principle stating that a voltage will be induced across any conductor moving at a right angle through a magnetic field, with the voltage being proportional to the velocity of the conductor. The principle allows for an inherently hard-to-measure quality of a substance to be expressed via the magmeter. In a magmeter application, the meter produces the magnetic field referred to in Faraday’s Law. The conductor is the fluid. The actual measurement of a magnetic flowmeter is the induced voltage corresponding to fluid velocity. This can be used to determine volumetric flow and mass flow when combined with other measurements.

The magnetic flowmeter technology is not impacted by temperature, pressure, or density of the subject fluid. It is however, necessary to fill the entire cross section of the pipe in order to derive useful volumetric flow measurements. Faraday’s Law relies on conductivity, so the fluid being measured has to be electrically conductive. Many hydrocarbons are not sufficiently conductive for a flow measurement using this method, nor are gases. On the other hand, water and aqueous solutions tend to exhibit sufficient conductivity to apply magmeter technology.

Magmeters apply Faraday’s law by using two charged magnetic coils; fluid passes through the magnetic field produced by the coils. A precise measurement of the voltage generated in the fluid will be proportional to fluid velocity. The relationship between voltage and flow is theoretically a linear expression, yet some outside factors may present barriers and complications in the interaction of the instrument with the subject fluid. These complications include a higher amount of voltage in the liquid being processed, and coupling issues between the signal circuit, power source, and/or connective leads of both an inductive and capacitive nature.

In addition to salient factors such as price, accuracy, ease of use, and the size-scale of the flowmeter in relation to the fluid system, there are multiple reasons why magmeters are the unit of choice for certain applications. They are resistant to corrosion, and can provide accurate measurement of dirty fluids – making them suitable for wastewater measurement. As mentioned, there are no moving parts in a magmeter, keeping maintenance to a minimum. Power requirements are also low. Instruments are available in a wide range of configurations, sizes, and construction materials to accommodate various process installation requirements.

As with all process measurement instruments, proper selection, configuration, and installation are the real keys to a successful project. Share your flow measurement challenges of all types with a process measurement specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New Fluid System Connectors From Miller Energy

quick connect hose fittings for hydraulic and pneumatic systems
One of the many series of quick connect hose couplings
from Parker
Image courtesy of Parker Hannafin
Miller Energy now distributes the Parker line of fittings, couplings, quick connects, and hose products for commercial and industrial applications. The addition of this well known and respected brand to the company's product portfolio enables Miller Energy to serve a wider array of customer needs, as well as integrate the new products with its other process measurement and control products to deliver complete, ready to install, solutions for many applications.

An overview of the quick coupling products, just a part of the new product offering, is provided below. To find out more, contact Miller Energy directly and share your hydraulic, pneumatic, and fluid handling requirements and challenges. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Miller Energy Expands Product Offering

general purpose solenoid valves for industrial use
Miller Energy is now a distributor of Asco solenoid
valves for a wide range of general and special applications
Miller Energy, through its acquisition of a New Jersey based distributor, has greatly expanded the company's offering of solenoid valves, pneumatic system components, and fluid handling and control components.

A solenoid is an electrical device, converting electrical energy input to a linear mechanical force. Solenoids are used to provide rapid two state mechanical movement of other devices. In process control applications, those devices are often fluid control valves.

At the basic level, a solenoid is an electromagnetic coil and a metallic rod or arm. Electrical current flow in the coil creates a magnetic field which will position the rod in one of two locations, depending upon whether the coil is energized. The movable component of the solenoid is linked to, or part of, the operating mechanism of another device. This allows the switched electrical output of a controller to regulate mechanical movement in another device and cause a change in its operation. A common solenoid application is the operation of small valves.

A plunger solenoid contains a movable ferrous rod, sometimes called a core, enclosed in a tube sealed to the valve body and extending through the center of the electromagnetic coil. When the solenoid is energized, the core moves to its equilibrium position in the magnetic field. The core is also a functional part of valve operation. It's repositioning causes a designed changed in the valve operating status (open or close). There are countless variants of solenoid operated valves exhibiting particular operating attributes designed for specific types of applications. In essence, though, they all rely on the electromechanical operating principle outlined here.

A solenoid valve is a combination of two functional units.
  • The solenoid (electromagnet) described above.
  • The valve body containing one or more openings, called ports, for inlet and outlet, and the valve interior operating components.
Flow through an orifice is controlled by the movement of the rod or core. The core is enclosed in a tube sealed to the valve body, providing a leak tight assembly. A controller energizing or de-energizing the coil will cause the valve to change operating state between open and closed, regulating fluid flow. There are almost countless variants of solenoid operated valves, specifically tailored for applications throughout industrial, commercial, and institutional operations.

The document provided below illustrates a portion of the broad array of solenoid valves available for industrial control applications. Share your fluid control requirements and challenges with an application specialist. Leverage your process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to produce effective solutions.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bulb and Capillary Temperature Switches

general purpose industrial temperature pressure vacuum switch
General purpose temperature switch with bottom connection
for capillary and bulb specific for each application.
Image courtesy United Electric Controls
Not all processes or operations require the use of state of the art technology to get the desired results. Part of good process design is matching up the most appropriate methods and technology to the operation.

One method of changing the state of a switch in response to a process temperature change is a bulb and capillary temperature switch. The switch operation produces a state change in the mechanical switch when the temperature of a process control operation crosses a certain threshold. Bulb and capillary switches have the advantage of operating without electricity, simplifying their application.

The physical operating principle behind the capillary thermostat relies on the use of a fluid. The fluid inside the thermostat expands or contracts in response to the temperature at the sensing bulb. The change in fluid volume produces a force upon a diaphragm or other mechanical transfer device. The diaphragm is connected to, and changes the status of, an adjoining circuit using a snap action switch. For example, a main use of the operating principle in action is when a commercial food company relies on the capillary switch to control temperature related to processing and distribution. Each individual use of a bulb and capillary thermostat is specifically designed based on manufacturer and industry specifications, all of which apply the same physical principle of fluid based physics.

Because of their simplicity and comparatively modest cost, commercial versions of bulb and capillary switches find application throughout residential and commercial settings. Some common applications include warming ovens, deep fat fryers, and water heaters. The HVAC industry uses capillary and bulb switches because the rate of temperature change found in their applications fits the adjoining range offered by the bulb and capillary type switches. Operation of the temperature switches is subject to a few limitations. The switching point is often fixed, so the application must be without a requirement for an adjustable setpoint. The temperature range over which the switches are suitable is comparatively limited, with a matching of the bulb and capillary fluid system to the application temperature range a necessary task in product selection. Within its proper sphere of use, though, bulb and capillary temperature switches offer simple, reliable operation, with little requirement for maintenance.

Bulb and capillary switches are typically used to evaluate average temperature and are especially useful for applications where the temperature is to be maintained at a well-known, consistent value. The bulb portion can be configured to accommodate mounting within the media to be controlled. The devices can be applied effectively to liquid and gaseous media when the proper bulb is used.

Industrial versions of bulb and capillary switches are fitted with appropriate housings for the installation environment. Hazardous location installation can be accommodated, as well as high current ratings and auxiliary functions. There are almost countless variants of bulb and capillary temperature switches available. Don’t overlook these simple mechanical devices as candidates for application in any temperature control process. Share your application requirements and challenges with product specialists for useful recommendations.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Application of Load Cells in Process Measurement

Advanced force, weight instrument for load cells
The advanced model G5 can handle input signals from multiple load cells
Image courtesy of BLH Nobel
In industrial application of process measurement and control, principles of the physical sciences are combined with technology and engineering to create devices essential to modern high speed, high accuracy system operation. Years of research, development, and the forward march of humanity’s quest for scientific knowledge and understanding yields packaged devices for process measurement that are easily applied by system designer and operators.

Load cells are the key components applied to weighing component or processed materials in modern industrial operations. Load cells are utilized throughout many industries related to process management, or just simple weighing operations. In application, a load cell can be adapted for measurement of items from the very small to the very large.

In essence, a load cell is a measurement tool which functions as a transducer, predictably converting force into a unit of measurable electrical output. While many types of load cells are available, one popular cell in multiple industries is a strain gauge based cell. Strain gauge cells typically function with an accuracy range between 0.03% and 0.25%. Pneumatically based load cells are ideal for situations requiring intrinsic safety and optimal hygiene. For locations without a power grid, there are even hydraulic load cells, which function without need for a power supply. These different types of load cells follow the same principle of operation: a force acts upon the cell (typically the weight of material or an object) which is then returned as a value. Processing the value yields an indication of weight in engineering units.

For strain gauge cells, deformation is the applied operational principal, where extremely small amounts of deformation, directly related to the stress or strain being applied to the cell, are output as an electrical signal with value proportional to the load applied to the cell. The operating principle allows for development of devices delivering accurate, precise measurements of a wide range of industrial products.

Load cell advantages include their longevity, accuracy, and adaptability to many applications, all of which contribute to their usefulness in so many industries and applications. A common place to find a strain gauge load cell in use is off a causeway on a major highway at a truck weigh station. Through innovation, load cells have been incorporated in an efficient measuring system able to weigh trucks passing through the station, without having each stop. Aircraft can be weighed on platform scales which utilize load cells, and even trains can be weighed by taking advantage of the robust and dependable nature of the transducers.

Thanks to their widespread incorporation and the sequential evolution of technology, load cells are a fantastically useful tool in process measurement and control. Share your process weighing challenges with application experts, combining your own process expertise with their product knowledge to develop an effective solution.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Product Update: SMARTDAC+ GX/GP Series Recorders & GM Series Data Acquisition System Release 4

industrial process control data acquisition equipment
Updated SMARTDAC line of data acquisition instruments
Image courtesy Yokogawa
Yokogawa Electric Corporation announced it's Release 4 of the SMARTDAC+® GX series panel-mount type paperless recorder, GP series portable paperless recorder, and GM series data acquisition system.

With this latest release, new modules are provided to expand the range of applications possible with SMARTDAC+ systems and improve user convenience. New functions include sampling intervals as short as 1 millisecond and the control and monitoring of up to 20 loops.

Overview


Recorders and data acquisition systems (data loggers) are used on production lines and at product development facilities in a variety of industries to acquire, display, and record data on temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, pressure, and other variables. Yokogawa offers a wide range of such products, and is one of the world’s top manufacturers of recorders. Since releasing the SMARTDAC+ data acquisition and control system in 2012, Yokogawa has continued to strengthen it by coming out with a variety of recorders and data acquisition devices that meet market needs and comply with industry-specific requirements and standards.

With this release, Yokogawa provides new modules with strengthened functions that meet customer needs for the acquisition and analysis of detailed data from evaluation tests. These modules decrease the cost of introducing a control application by eliminating the need for the purchase of additional equipment.

Enhancements


The functional enhancements available with Release 4 are as follows:

High-speed analog input module for high-speed sampling.


To improve the safety of electric devices such as the rechargeable batteries used in everything from automobiles to mobile devices, evaluation tests must be conducted to acquire and analyze detailed performance data. For this purpose, sampling at intervals as short as 1 millisecond is desirable. However, this normally requires an expensive, high-performance measuring instrument. When the new high-speed analog input module, a SMARTDAC+ system can sample data at intervals as brief as 1 millisecond, which is 1/100th that of any preceding Yokogawa product. This is suitable for such high performance applications such as measurement of the transient current in rechargeable batteries to vibration in power plant turbines. A dual interval function has also been added that enables the SMARTDAC+ to efficiently and simultaneously collect data on slowly changing signals (e.g., temperature) and quickly changing signals (e.g., pressure and vibration).

PID control module for control function


In applications that need both control and recording, such as controlling the temperature of an industrial furnace or the dosage process at a water treatment plant, there is a need for systems that do not require engineering and can be quickly and easily commissioned. In a typical control and monitoring application, a separate recorder and controller is required to control temperature, flow rate and pressure. At the same time, a data acquisition station must communicate with the controller to ensure data is being capture and recorded. It is time consuming and oftentimes confusing, to ensure the controller and the data acquisition station is communicating seamlessly. By combining continuous recording function of the SMARTDAC+ and PID control module into a single platform, customers can now seamlessly control and record critical process data in one system. The SMARTDAC+ can control, monitor and record up to 20 loops. Each PID control module comes with 2 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, 8 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs.

Four-wire RTD/resistance module for precise temperature measurement


While three-wire RTDs are widely used in many fields such as research institutes to manufacturing, some applications require higher level of precision and accuracy that is only possible with 4-wire RTDs. A 4-wire RTD is the sensor of choice for laboratory applications where accuracy, precision, and repeatability are extremely important. To satisfy this need, Yokogawa has released a 4-wire RTD/resistance module for the SMARTDAC+.

Target Markets


GX series: Production of iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, pharmaceuticals, and electrical equipment/electronics; water supply and wastewater treatment facilities.

GP series: Development of home appliances, automobiles, semiconductors, and energy-related technologies; universities; research institutes.

GM series: Both of the above target markets.

For more information on the SMARTDAC+ GX/GP Series Recorders & GM Series Data Acquisition System contact Miller Energy at (800) 631-5454 or by visiting the company website.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Electronic to Pneumatic Converter

illustration of setup for current to pneumatic converter
Component schematic using electronic controller and pneumatic
control valve
Image courtesy of Yokogawa
A straight forward device, the current to pneumatic converter produces a pneumatic output signal that is proportional to an electrical control level input signal of 4 to 20 mA or 10 to 50 mA. This provides a useful interface between electronic controllers and pneumatically operated valves, air cylinders, or other air operated control elements.

Pneumatic signals are regularly used throughout many installations as matter of safety, legacy, or because a pneumatic signal can provide motive power to an operating device such as a valve positioner. Electrical control signals can be transmitted long distances across wires to deliver control signals to operating elements. The current to pneumatic converter provides a bridge between the two systems and allows the most beneficial aspects of each to be brought to bear on process operation.

Converters are available in standard variants that accommodate a number of hazardous location designations, as well as several output pressure ranges and calibrations. Share your process control connectivity challenges with application specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Friday, July 28, 2017

WirelessHART Toxic and Combustible Gas Detector

wirelessHART toxic and combustible gas detector
Vanguard WirelessHART toxic and combustible
gas detector for industrial safety use.
Image courtesy United Electric Controls
Earlier this year, United Electric Controls released its Vanguard WirelessHART gas detector for use in a wide range of industrial settings. Detecting potentially hazardous levels of toxic or combustible gases is an essential element of plant safety where these gases are employed. The Vanguard detector integrates seamlessly into existing WirelessHART networks and asset management systems. A battery lifespan of 5 years and a design that provides in-place test and calibration mean there will be little burden to maintaining the proper operation of the unit.

More detail is provided in the brochure included below. The Vanguard incorporates solid construction and design features to deliver ease of use and long service life. Share your gas detection and process measurement challenges with instrumentation specialists. Combining your own process experience and knowledge with their product application expertise will result in an effective solution.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Level and Flow Instruments for Hygienic Applications

Magnetrol is a globally recognized leader in the manufacture of flow and level instrumentation for industrial scale applications. The products employ a range of differing technologies to provide measurement precision across an array of challenging applications. The informational piece included below highlights Magnetrol's products intended for use in industries, such as pharma or food processing, where special materials and product design are employed to meet the special requirements of hygienic processing.

Share your flow and level measurement challenges with process instrumentation experts, combining your own knowledge and experience with their expertise to develop effective solutions.


Pump Protection Using Thermal Dispersion Flow Switches

thermal dispersion flow switch
Thermal dispersion flow switches have advantages
when applied for pump protection
Image courtesy Magnetrol
Good practice for installing industrial pumps calls for inclusion of protective devices to assure that the pump is not exposed to conditions beyond its design intent. Monitoring liquid flow is a useful method for determining if a pump is operating within a safe range.

There are numerous methods of verifying flow in piping connected to a pump. Magnetrol, globally recognized manufacturer of flow and level measurement technologies, offers up their assessment of various pump protection measures and a recommendation for what they consider an advantageous choice for flow measurement in a pump protection application.

Magentrol's white paper is included below, and you can share your flow and level measurement challenges with application experts for help in developing effective solutions.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Yokogawa ROTAMASS "Total Insight" Line of Coriolis Flowmeters

In the last decade, the use of Coriolis flow meters has been changing from general purpose to supporting customer needs in specific applications. While the technological complexity increased, the demand for simple operation and handling also grew.

Yokogawa answers these needs by offering six dedicated product lines with two specialized transmitters allowing the highest flexibility - the ROTAMASS Total Insight.

Total Insight

The ROTAMASS philosophy gives Total Insight throughout the whole lifecycle.

To facilitate the implementation of optimal processes and increase the efficiency of personnel, Yokogawa has placed a strong focus on simplifying fundamental operating concepts with Total Insight. The Total Insight concept is built in to the latest generation of Rotamass transmitters and provides enhanced settings for customized setups, predefined trend views, or multiple configuration sets for fast changeover in batch production.

ROTAMASS NANO - When every drop counts

The world's smallest dual bent tube Coriolis flow meter series for highly accurate measurement at lowest flows.

The dual tube design compensates for fluctuations of density, temperature, pressure and environment conditions. This provides a consistent repeatable and accurate measurement especially for small size Coriolis flow meters.

Typical Applications
coriolis flow meter yokogawa nano
  • Batching
  • Dosing
  • Blending
  • Chemical injection
  • Dosing systems
  • High pressure gases
  • Liquid and gas low flow measurement
  • Precision coatings
  • Metering pump control
  • Metrology
  • R&D laboratory
  • Vacuum thin film coating

ROTAMASS Prime - Versatile in applications

The favorably priced and versatile Coriolis flow meter with lowest pressure drop in the market. Ideal for a broad range of standard applications, this series is a flexible and cost effective solution for highly accurate flow and density measurements.coriolis flow meter yokogawa prime
Features such as concentration measurement or the Tube Health Check function allow the meter to be adjusted to customer needs.
  • Typical Applications
  • Batching
  • Blending
  • Chemical recovery
  • Continuous reaction
  • In-line concentration and density measurement
  • Catalyst feed
  • Filling and dosing
  • Mass balance
  • Net oil computing
  • Palm oil
  • Process control

ROTAMASS Supreme - Experience meets innovation

The most accurate Coriolis flow meter with industry’s best zero stability.

The successful Rotamass series has been progressively developed and is also newly equipped with
industrial coriolis flow meter
the latest technology. This meter delivers unsurpassed performance for demanding and critical applications with superior aeration handling and advanced diagnostic functionality.

  • Typical Applications
  • Batching
  • Burner control
  • Feed and product control
  • Filling and dosing
  • Gas void fraction
  • In-line concentration and density
  • Loss control
  • Material and mass balance
  • Net oil computing
  • Process control
  • Solvents
  • Water cut

ROTAMASS Intense - Safe under high pressure

The Coriolis meter with the most robust and durable design for precise measurement in high pressure applications.
industrial coriolis flow meter

Safety is always a concern and especially when operating at high pressures. Therefore, this series has been designed to meet the highest safety requirements. Combined with advanced diagnosis such as the “Total Health Check” function, operation is always under secure control.

  • Typical Applications
  • Chemical injection
  • Compressed gases
  • Fuels
  • Glycol TEG/MEG
  • High pressure gases
  • Hydraulic oil
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Liquified gases
  • Natural gas hydration
  • Offshore and onshore
  • Oil refinery processes
  • Solvents

ROTAMASS Hygienic - With pure dedication

Specifically designed and certified for food & beverage, biotechnology and pharmaceutical utility applications.
industrial coriolis flow meter

This series is the appropriate answer to the daily constraints of hygienic processes ensuring continuous product quality and minimizing losses. This is made easy by the provided multi-variable measurement and various dedicated features.

  • Typical Applications
  • Bioreactor feeds
  • Bottling
  • Carbonation of beverages
  • Deionized water
  • Fermentation
  • Juice processing
  • Molasses measurement
  • Online sugar concentration
  • Raw milk tanker unloading
  • Process water reclamation
  • Product quality control
  • Sugar industry

ROTAMASS Giga - Big in performance

Delivering best in class accuracy and most flexible installation at high flow rates.

The unmatched accuracy at the low end of the measuring range offers maximum flexibility from engineering to final operation. This series unifies a long service life with low maintenance costs and reliable performance.
industrial coriolis flow meter


  • Typical Applications
  • Bitumen
  • Distribution networks
  • Drilling mud
  • LNG
  • Rail car loading
  • Ship loading
  • Truck loading
  • Tar
  • Offshore and onshore
  • Oil well cementing and hydrofracturing

Essential and Ultimate Transmitters

Future Ready. The ROTAMASS TI product family has a common and unified transmitter platform with two options that provide the highest flexibility and a tailor-made solution. The Essential transmitter is the cost effective solution for general purpose applications, and the Ultimate transmitter provides various additional features for best-in-class measurement.

Essential Transmitter

industrial pressure transmitter

  • Wizard for easy setup and guidance through the main configuration
  • “Event Management” as unique and useful support to run the process effectively and safely
  • Data mobility provided by microSD card for easy transfer to other devices for fast setup or to pc for in-depth process analysis or remote service
  • Widest range of I/O combinations in the market for most flexible adjustment to the existing system periphery
  • Universal power supply to install the device anywhere in the world
  • HART communication

Ultimate Transmitter
industrial pressure transmitter

  • Patented “Tube Integrity” function and “TotalHealth Check” for inline meter verification without disturbing running measurements
  • “Features on demand” for easy expansion of special functions via software activation key
  • Batching function combined with multiple configuration sets to support fast changeover
  • “Dynamic Pressure Compensation” for consistently accurate and stable measurement even with significant fluctuations in operating pressures
  • Inline concentration measurement
  • Integrated net oil computing acc. API standard
Share your process flow measurement requirements and challenges with application experts, combining your own experience and knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sometimes the Simple Solution Is the Best

metal tube variable area flowmeter
This metal tube variable area flow meter is reliable,
accurate, and requires little maintenance
Photo courtesy Brooks Instrument
For process control and commercial or industrial applications, there are numerous methods of flow measurement from which to choose. Technologies range from very simple applications of physical principles to deployment of very specialized electronics and sensors. The available range of accuracy, response, and cost is quite broad, with a general expectation that higher cost will deliver better performance and accuracy.

Making the best instrument selection for a flow measurement application should include an assessment of what the operators really need in order to safely and effectively run the process or perform the task related to the measurement of fluid flow. Installing instrumentation with capabilities far beyond what is required is almost certainly a waste of financial resources, but may also have an unexpected impact on operators. Through the generation of data that, while accurate, does not provide any actionable information about process condition, operators can be misled, similar to the occurrence of a false or nuisance alarm. Some applications call for high accuracy, some do not. Define your informational needs and select instruments that will meet those needs.

There is a large array of applications that can be satisfied with simpler, less costly measurement technology. These devices often employ turbines or vanes to produce an indication of flow rate. Incorporated into some of the instruments is a means to visually observe the flowing liquid to verify color and clarity. Simple devices sometimes are intended only to indicate the presence of fluid flow, and whether the flow rate is high or low. Configurations are available that allow insertion into lines under pressure (hot tap) through a full port ball valve. Other variants with combinations of features and capabilities abound.

The selection range is enormous, so define your minimum needs first, then search for a compatible product. Your search can be enhanced by contacting an instrumentation specialist. Combining your process expertise with their broad product knowledge will produce effective solutions.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Heat Processing of Industrial Fluids

gas fired steam boilers in industrial facility
Steam produced by gas fired industrial boilers is a
commonly applied means of delivering heat energy
Heat, as an entity, was not always something seen as a partially visible potential indicator of changing weather patterns. The now outdated caloric theory portrayed heat as a measure of an invisible fluid called the caloric, typifying it as a solely physical property. Thermodynamics have surpassed the caloric theory and rendered it obsolete, but the understanding and manipulation of heat in industrial settings, especially pertaining to fluids, is a central part of some of the world’s most important industries. Specifically, the measurement and control of heat related to fluid processing is a vital industrial function, and relies on regulating the heat content of a fluid to achieve a desired temperature and outcome.

The manipulation of a substance’s heat content is based on the central principle of specific heat, which is a measure of heat energy content per unit of mass. Heat is a quantified expression of a system’s internal energy. Though heat is not considered a fluid, it behaves, and can be manipulated, in some similar respects. Heat “flows” from points of higher temperature to those of lower temperature, just as a fluid will flow from a point of higher pressure to one of lower pressure.

A heat exchanger provides an example of how the temperature of two fluids can be manipulated to regulate the flow or transfer of heat. Despite the design differences in heat exchanger types, the basic rules and objectives are the same. Heat energy from one fluid is passed to another across a barrier that prevents contact and mixing of the two fluids. By regulating temperature and flow of one stream, an operator can exert control over the heat content, or temperature, of another. These flows can either be gases or liquids. Heat exchangers raise or lower the temperature of these streams by transferring heat between them.

Recognizing the heat content of a fluid as a representation of energy helps with understanding how the moderation of energy content can be vital to process control. Controlling temperature in a process can also provide control of reactions among process components, or physical properties of fluids that can lead to desired or improved outcomes.

Heat can be added to a system in a number of familiar ways. Heat exchangers enable the use of steam, gas, hot water, oil, and other fluids to deliver heat energy. Other methods may employ direct contact between a heated object (such as an electric heating element) or medium and the process fluid. While these means sound different, they all achieve heat transfer by applying at least one of three core transfer mechanisms: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction involves the transfer of heat energy through physical contact among materials. Shell and tube heat exchangers rely on the conduction of heat by the tube walls to transfer energy between the fluid inside the tube and the fluid contained within the shell. Convection relates to heat transfer due to the movement of fluids, the mixing of fluids with differing temperature. Radiant heat transfer relies on electromagnetic waves and does not require a transfer medium, such as air or liquid. These central explanations are the foundation for the various processes used to regulate systems in industrial control environments.

The manner in which heat is to be applied or removed is an important consideration in the design of a process system. The ability to control temperature and rate at which heat is transferred in a process depends in large part on the methods, materials, and media used to accomplish the task. Selecting and properly applying the best suited controls, instruments and equipment is a key element of successful process operation. Share your challenges with application experts, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Valves for LNG and CNG Operations

high pressure valve intended for use with natural gas
Valve specially designed for gas extraction operations
has integral bypass which equalizes pressure across the
valve prior to opening the main line, reducing torque
requirements and  piping stress.
Courtesy Habonim
The production and distribution of natural gas presents operators with substantial logistical, safety, and physical challenges. Maintaining flow control, containing, and dispensing of natural gas, CNG, and LNG are hazardous endeavors requiring special equipment configuration throughout the supply chain.

Source and pipeline operations are faced with high pressure and extreme working environments. At various points along the distribution path, valves will be needed to regulate or direct flow and isolate portions of the system for safety or service. Emergency shutdown valves must be configured and installed to provide failure-proof reliability when called upon to operate. Transportation containers and equipment will utilize specialized valves adapted for the pressure, temperature, and reliability requirements of the application and industry. Additionally, some may need to survive fire conditions without failure.

Fueling stations for compressed natural gas employ valves that will endure cold temperatures produced by gas expansion, plus dynamic pressure cycling. Bubble tight shutoff is necessary to maintain safety.

Liquified natural gas (LNG) presents many of the same application challenges as pressurized gas, with the added element of cryogenic temperatures.

All of these applications can be adequately served with a properly selected and configured valve and actuator. Share your fluid flow control and valve challenges of all types with application specialists. The combination of your process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise will produce an effective solution.