Showing posts with label Eastern Pennsylvania. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eastern Pennsylvania. Show all posts

Brooks Instrument Sponsoring $2000 Engineering Scholarship

CLICK THIS LINK TO LEARN MORE

Brooks Instrument is committed to the next generation of engineers. Accordingly, they have established a $2,000 scholarship for a qualified student enrolled in an engineering program at an accredited college or university. Learn more here (https://www.brooksinstrument.com/en/about-us/scholarship).

Detailed Look at the Yokogawa YS100 Series as a Replacement for the Obsolete Siemens 353

This video is a thorough presentation detailing why and how the Yokogawa YS1000 Series is the best replacement for the obsolete Siemens/Moore 353 controller. It is composed of a series of presentation slides - hit the pause button to focus on any single slide.

New Jersey: 908-755-6700 
Pennsylvania: 610-363-6200

How to Select a Pressure Switch

UEC One Series Switch Transmitter Hybrid
UEC One Series Switch Transmitter Hybrid
Reprinted with permission from United Electric Controls

Pressure switches are widely used by many industries and within many applications. The basic function of a pressure switch is to detect a pressure change and convert it into an electrical signal function – typically on/off or off/on. Pressure switches may be of electro-mechanical or electronic/solid-state design (see our ONE Series); and while each may have its advantages, arriving at the correct pressure switch for your application is the same.

Set Point & Deadband


Application set point (sp) is the desired value reached at rising or falling pressure at which the micro-switch changes electrical states. Depending upon the pressure switch function, the micro-switch could be wired to open (turn something OFF)  or close (turn something ON) when set point is achieved, thereby triggering an event such as an alarm, equipment shutdown, or powering up secondary equipment. Ideally, the set point should fall into the mid 50% of the pressure switch range for best performance including repeatability and long life. On an electro-mechanical pressure switch, set point may be adjusted internally or externally either through blind adjustment or reference dial. An electronic pressure switch would have internal or external adjustment via a key pad and digital display or a handheld programmer.
Deadband graph

Deadband (DB) is the on-off differential required to reset the micro-switch. This value may be fixed or adjustable with an electro-mechanical switch and may be up to 100% adjustable on an electronic switch.

Deadband may be an important factor to consider depending upon the application requirements.

System Pressure


Knowing your normal and maximum system pressures will help in selecting a pressure switch with appropriate minimum and maximum operating parameters. Once your set point is established, other factors to consider are vacuum and/or surge pressure that could affect switch operation. This would involve maximum working pressure, over range pressure, and proof pressure specifications of a pressure switch. The relationship between set point and system pressure has a direct effect on switch performance and life.

Electrical Considerations


UEC 100 Series Pressure Switch
UEC 100 Series Pressure Switch
Micro-switches are available in a variety of configurations. The most common for electro-mechanical pressure switches is 15A, 480VAC SPDT (single pole, double throw). The advantage of a SPDT micro-switch is that it offers wiring flexibility to either open or close on pressure change. Other micro-switches available include 1A with gold contacts, useful when working with a PLC, or at the upper end, 30A when switching certain high voltage heaters or motors. Adjustable micro-switches help with deadband adjustment. A DPDT (double pole, double throw) micro-switch would provide two simultaneous functions off of one micro-switch. If a low-high limit alarm and shutdown were required, there are pressure switches that include two SPDT micro-switches that are independently settable.

An electronic pressure switch would use solid-state relays to change states. Like an electro-mechanical switch, the electronic switch can be programmed to open or close on rising or falling pressure. There are different capacities for switching voltage and current depending upon the application requirements.

Process Media and Wetted Parts


The pressure connection and sensor are known as wetted parts since they come into direct contact with the process media. Sensor material is either elastomer (i.e. Buna-N, Teflon®) or metallic (i.e. Brass, Stainless Steel) with metallic or composite pressure connections. The process media must be compatible with the wetted parts material. Process media temperature should also be considered as each of the different wetted materials would have differing operating properties.

Pressure Switch Mounting


If the unit is to be installed directly onto the process, there are many methods of installation.
Typically a 1/8”, 1/4”, or 1/2” NPT (national pipe thread taper) connection is used with a mating
fitting to secure the pressure switch to the process. There are also straight threaded (SAE, BSPT)
connections, flush mount connections, and sanitary connections. The pressure switch may be
mounted directly in the process line using the threaded connection, a manifold, or flange; or the
enclosure could be bolted to a mounting plate or other plane to secure it. If heavy vibration is
present, you may choose to use a remote diaphragm seal with the pressure switch. The diaphragm
seal mates with the process connection while the pressure switch enclosure is mounted securely
away from the vibration. 

Process Environment


It is important to know what type of environment the pressure switch would be installed in – hazardous or ordinary location; indoors or outdoors; exposed to salt air; inside a control panel; in high ambient temperature. These are just some of the factors to consider so the right enclosure type is chosen. Enclosure types come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. They also conform to various industry and third-party approval standards. Electronic switches can be used to replace electro-mechanical switches when SIL is needed for safety applications.  There are also electro-mechanical pressure switches without enclosures; typically used in OEM, non-hazardous locations where the environment is benign.

With careful consideration of all the factors listed above, choosing a pressure switch is a snap. If you are at all unsure, please contact your local United Electric Distributor or visit the UE Product Selector to find your pressure switch.

Miller Energy, Inc. - Expertly Serving These Industries in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Miller Energy is a Manufacturer's Representative and Distributor of Industrial Instrumentation and Process Control Equipment with offices in South Plainfield, NJ and Exton, PA. In business since Since 1958, Miller's success is attributable to their commitment to exceeding their customers expectations and a comprehensive line of "best-of-breed" measurement, control, and communication products. With a strong reputation for unparalleled customer service and expert local technical support,  Miller Energy continues to demonstrate strong growth in the Mid-Atlantic region.


https://millerenergy.com
908-755-6700 NJ
610-363-6200 PA

Radiometric, Non-contact Level Measurement for Liquids or Solids

Radiometric level detection
Radiometric level detection
(RONAN)
Radiometric level measurement, using a very low gamma level source, is designed to deliver outstanding performance in a wide range of difficult applications and process conditions for both liquids and bulk solids which include the most dangerous materials such as caustic, toxic, corrosive, explosive, and carcinogenic irrespective of their viscosity and temperature.

These level gauges meet “As-Low-As-Reasonably-Achievable” (ALARA) guidelines. Source activity is customized depending on vessel and process parameters such as diameter, wall thickness, material, and measurement span to ensure optimum sensitivity, economy and safety while keeping the source activity to a minimum.

Non-contact level
Sources and Detector Mounted
External to Vessel
An exclusive “Radiation Low Level” (RLL) source holder uses up to 100 times less gamma energy than comparable gauges, and is the only source holder recognized by the NRC to be so safe that it does not require the stringent documentation, training or handling procedures of other systems.

Operation

Radiometric level measurement provides a safe and efficient, non-contact method to measure liquids or solids in harsh process environments. Each system consists of a gamma source, detector and microprocessor.

  • The gamma source, typically mounted external to the vessel emits energy through the vessel walls collimated in a direction towards the detector mounted on the opposite side of the vessel. The gamma energy reaches the detector when the vessel is empty. As the process level rises in the vessel, the gamma energy reaching the detector will decrease in an inversely proportional relationship to the level. 
  • The detector measures the level of energy and sends a proportional signal to the microprocessor. 
  • The microprocessor linearizes, filters, and correlates this signal to a level measurement. 

The entire system is mounted external to the vessel and can be easily installed and maintained while the process is running ... without expensive down time, vessel modifications or chance of accidental release.

Applications
Low Level Source and Detector
Low Level Source and Detector
Mounted External to Vessel
  • Radiometric level detection
  • Low Level Source and Detector
  • Mounted External to Vessel
  • Solids or Liquid Measurement 
  • Measurement Not Affected by: 
  • Internal Obstructions. i.e. Agitators Extreme Process Temperatures 
  • Caustic Processes 
  • Violent Product Flow 
  • Sterile Process 
  • Changing Process 
  • Variable Product Flow 
  • Automatic Compensation for Vapor Density Changes 
  • Automatic Compensation for Foam or Gasses 
  • Automatic Compensation for Process Build-Up 
  • Detectors Contoured to the Shape of Vessels 
  • Upgrade Utilizing Existing Sources
Features and Benefits 
  • Accurately Measures the Most Complex Processes 
  • Solid Crystal or Flexible Scintillating Fill- Fluid 
  • Excellent Measurement Reliability due to Proprietary Filtering Technology 
  • Level Detection of Multiple Interfaces 
  • Low Maintenance / No Component Wear 
  • Auto-Calibration

For more information in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Metro New York or Delaware contact:
Miller Energy by visiting https://millerenergy.com or by calling 908-755-6700 in New Jersey, or 610-363-6200 in Pennsylvania.

Industrial Refractometers Used in Process Control

Refractometer Pharmaceutical Use
Refractometer for pharmaceutical use (K-Patents).
Part physics, part material science and part chemistry, refractometry is the process which measures the composition of known substances by means of calculating their respective refractive indexes (RI). RIs are evaluated via a refractometer, a device which measures the curve, or refraction, resulting when the wavelength of light moves from the air into and through a tested substance. The unitless number given by the refractometer, usually between 1.3000 and 1.7000, is the RI. The composition of substances is then determined when the RI is compared to a standard curve specific to the material of the substance.

Process refractometers provide the analysis to quickly, reliably, and very accurately identify a sample and determine it's concentration and purity levels. They measure the refractive index and temperature of flowing liquids, and apply mathematical functions to determine the concentration of dissolved solids.

Common industrial refractometer applications are:
  • Calculating beverages’ amount of sugar dissolved is water.
  • In commercial food applications such as juice production or tomato processing, refractometers are used to measure degrees Brix (Tthe Brix scale relates refractive index to sugar concentration, and is a key way to maintain consistency).
  • In the pharmaceutical industry, process refractometers are used to monitor and control concentration levels during supersaturation, a critical process in crystallization.
  • In pulp and paper production, process refractometers for measuring dissolved solids in black and green liquor during the chemical recovery process.
Equipment manufacturers have developed numerous refractometer configurations tailored to specific each use and application. Each has a set of features making it the advantageous choice for its intended application. Product specialists can be invaluable sources of information and assistance to potential refractometer users seeking to match the best equipment to their application or process.

For more information on industrial refractometers, contact Miller Energy by visiting https://millerenergy.com or by calling 908-755-6700 in New Jersey or 610-363-6200 in Pennsylvania.

Laboratory Flame Testing of Industrial Pressure Gauges: Wika vs. Competitor

Laboratory flame testing of industrial pressure gauges. Manufacturer Wika versus a competitor. The test is structured in (3) stages: a 10 second burn, a 30 second burn, and then a one minute burn. The Wika gauge maintains its reading, does not melt, and does not continue to burn.

https://millerenergy.com
New Jersey 908-755-6700
Pennsylvania 610-363-6200

Flow & Pressure Instrumentation for Biopharmaceuticals & Life Sciences

Flow & Pressure Instrumentation for Biopharmaceuticals & Life SciencesProducing biopharmaceuticals is one of the world’s most demanding manufacturing processes.

Brooks Instrument’s mass flow and pressure control technology helps maximize cell culture yields and control bioprocess costs. Their flow
and pressure controllers set global standards for reliability, repeatability and long-term stability.

Brooks Instrument mass flow controllers (MFCs) satisfy key biotechnology research and production requirements:
  • Tight control of DO and pH during experiments and production
  • NO unplanned downtime due to high cost of losing a batch or experiment
  • Ability to rapidly diagnose and resolve issues with bioreactors or fermentation equipment
  • Cost-effective method for adhering to regulatory requirements
  • Excellent technical support and rapid response for equipment service


What Advantages Do Displacer Transmitters Have Over Differential Pressure Level Transmitters?

Displacer Transmitters
Displacer
Transmitter
(Magnetrol)
Many technologies have been available over the years have helped the process control industry with level measurement. From basic mechanical float-operated level switches, the process automation industry has been developing new technologies to make industry safer and more efficient.

An example of a "tried and true" technology that was commonly used in the process automation industry is the DP (differential pressure) level transmitter. First introduced in the 1950s, DP transmitters measures the hydrostatic (head) pressure of a liquid in a tank or vessel and interprets this as level, based on the density/specific gravity of the liquid and programmed in by the user. A newer, alternative technology to DP transmitters is the displacer level transmitter, a device also based on specific gravity. While they both are dependent on specific gravity, they are significantly different in areas of installation, accuracy, and maintenance requirement.

Application/Calibration

Applying a DP transmitter or displacer level transmitter requires experience and there are many factors to be considered. Here are a few:

DP transmitters use inferential measurement to determine level measurement from the hydrostatic pressure.  Despite requiring the specific gravity variable having to be programmed into the transmitter electronics, the level displacer transmitter is in contact with the process media and the level measurement is direct.

DP transmitters requires time consuming and expensive calibration/re-calibration if any of the set-up parameters change or if the same DP transmitter is used on different materials in the same tank.
Displacer transmitters only require two variables to be programmed (temperature and specific gravity), making it easier when running multiple products in the same tank.

Many displacer transmitters do not require liquid to be present for calibration. They are programmed (wet or dry) using software. A huge time and money saving over DP transmitters.

Mounting

The physical mounting of DP transmitters is limited, which can in some situations can become downright problematic. DP transmitters require (2) side-mounted entry locations on the vessel or tank, with one having to be near the bottom. As a general rule, the fewer the entry points of a tank or vessel, the better, because of leakage. Tank bottom entries all the more so.

Displacer transmitters are mounted to meet the requirements of the application and do not require a connection at the bottom of the tank.

Installation Cost

While DP transmitters have a lower unit cost, adding ancillary components such as tubing and heat tracing can quickly "level" the installation cost playing field. Furthermore, don't discount the time cost savings when setting up, calibrating and re-calibrating displacer transmitters.

Temperature Range

DP transmitters have a normal operating temperature of up to 250°F, with an upper limit of 650°F when special options are specified.

Displacer transmitter can be used up to 850°F, very helpful particularly with level measurement in a hot oil separator application.

There are many options and variants to accommodate industrial level applications. Share your level application challenges with instrumentation specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop the most effective solution.

Cashco / Valve Concepts Model 3100 Packing Material Removal and Weight Installation Instructions

Valve Concepts Model 3100
Valve Concepts Model 3100
The Model 3100 end-of-line conservation breather vent is part of the Valve Concepts, Inc. modular vent product line. The Model 3100 can easily be field converted to a vacuum only vent, a pressure/vacuum vent with pipe away and can either be direct acting or pilot operated.

The Model 3100 end-of-line conservation breather vent is designed for use on atmospheric and low-pressure storage tanks where pressure and vacuum relief is required.

How it Works

Weight loaded pallets in the vent housing allow the intake of air and the escape of vapors as the tank breathes due to thermal changes and product movement in and out of the tank. The pallets open and close to permit in breathing and out breathing necessary to maintain the tank pressure within permissible limits to avoid damage to the tank.

Paperless + Wireless Process Control Recorder

Paperless and Wireless Process Control Recorder
Paperless and Wireless
Yokogawa GX20W
There are probably few among us who long for the days when process recorders used paper. Video based graphic (also known as paperless) recorders, aside from being paperless, provide a broad range of functionality that empowers a user to display and deliver process information in whatever way is most useful for the application.

High sampling speed of multiple inputs that can be configured to accommodate a range of input signals, along with data storage, network communications and programmable alarm outputs power up the usefulness of these instruments for monitoring and documenting process operation. Many utilize touch sensitive screens, eliminating any buttons or keys on the operator panel.

Some of the great features available on today's paperless recorders:

  • Multiple channels of input
  • Start/stop recording by batch, and create data files
  • Ample internal memory
  • Creation of template-based Excel spreadsheets
  • Custom display function
  • Historical data with date and time calendar search function
  • Ethernet interface
  • PROFIBUS-DP and EtherNet/IP protocols
  • Dust and splash-proof front panel
  • Front panel door lock and login function

Wireless Seals the Deal

Wireless technology is a serious contributor in the effort to improve plant efficiency, lower risk, and increase productivity. Wireless recorders are now available for monitoring virtual all process variables such as pressure, temperature, level, and flow (plus many more).  The use of wireless recorders provides a compelling argument when you consider installation cost savings and convenience.  Savings estimates as high as 70% are realized when compared to the cost using cables for the same application.

There are many options and variants to accommodate every conceivable process control application. Share your data acquisition and process monitoring challenges with instrumentation specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

For more information on paperless recorders, contact Miller Energy by visiting https://millerenergy.com or calling 908-755-6700 in NJ or 610-363-6200 in PA.

Pressure Switches - The Stalwart of Pressure Instrumentation

pressure switch
Pressure switch in an
explosion-proof housing.
(United Electric)
A pressure switch is an electromechanical device that detects the presence of fluid pressure and responds by opening or closing an electrical or pneumatic circuit.

In heavy industry, pressure switches are used in virtually every power plant, refinery, chemical plant, paper mill, steel mill, or other manufacturing plant that blends ingredients.

Pressure switches are simple devices. They can be broken down to their major parts: a pressure port or connection; a sensor that moves in relationship to changing pressures; an electrical or pneumatic switch that opens or closes upon movement; and finally a housing that protect the internals of the pressure switch from the ambient conditions.

pressure switch
Differential pressure switch.
(United Electric)
Pressure switches use a variety of sensing elements such as diaphragms, bellows, bourdon tubes, or pistons. In most cases, the movement of these sensors, caused by pressure fluctuation, is transferred to a set of electrical contacts to open or close a circuit. Normal status of a switch is the resting state. A pressure switch will be in its “normal” status when it senses low or minimum pressure. For a pressure switch, “normal” status is any fluid pressure below the trip threshold of the switch.

One of the earliest and most common designs of pressure switch was the bourdon tube pressure sensor accompanied by a mercury switch. A mercury switch is a position sensitive glass bulb containing mercury that flows over, or away from, the electrical contacts. When pressure is applied, the bourdon tube attempts to straighten, and moves enough to slightly tilt the mercury switch. Many of these kind of pressure switches were sold on steam boilers, and while they became a de facto standard, they were sensitive to vibration and breakage of the mercury bulb.

electrical switch contacts
NO vs. NC electrical switch contacts.
The most common electrical switch used in pressure switches are "microswitch" type. These are also called "snap switches" because they are actuated by very little physical force, through the use of a tipping-point mechanism. These type of switches offer reliability and repeatability. They also are available in many different voltages and current ratings

One of the criteria of any pressure switch is the deadband or (reset pressure differential). This setting determines the amount of pressure change required to reset the switch to its normal state after it has tripped.  The “differential” pressure of a pressure switch should not to be confused with differential pressure switch, which actually measures the difference in pressure between two separate pressure ports.

When selecting pressure switches you must consider the electrical requirements (volts, amps, AC or DC), the area classification (hazardous, non-hazardous, general purpose, water-tight), pressure sensing range, body materials that will be exposed to ambient contaminants, and wetted materials (parts that are exposed to the process media).

It's always a good idea to discuss your application with an expert before specifying or installing a pressure switch. You'll end up saving time and money, and ensure long, safe operation.

For more information on pressure switches, contact Miller Energy by visiting https://millerenergy.com or by calling one of these numbers: In New Jersey 908-755-6700. In Pennsylvania 610-363-6200.

Miller Energy - Industrial Instrumentation & Process Control Equipment

Miller Energy is a Manufacturer's Representative and Distributor of Industrial Instrumentation and Process Control Equipment. Since 1958, we have been committed to exceeding our customers expectations by providing an unparalleled level of customer service and local technical support. We offer the most comprehensive line of measurement, control, and communication solutions in the Industry today. The products we represent solve challenging applications in the Industrial Gas, Power, Refining, Chemical / Petro-Chemical, Food & Beverage, Water/Wastewater, and Pharmaceutical markets.

NJ 908-755-6700 
PA 610-363-6200

Bimetal Thermometers for Industrial Process Measurement

stainless steel bimetal thermometer
Bimetal thermometers have a place in modern process
measurement systems.
Image courtesy Wika
Temperature measurement is everywhere, with broad ranges of accuracy, range and other operational requirements to bring the measurement data into a process management or control system. The process could be as simple as measuring a cooking temperature, or a part of a complex refining operation. Temperature provides an indication of heat energy level that is used in many ways throughout process control.

Though there are many instruments and technologies available to measure temperature, one that everyone is familiar with is the dial thermometer. A familiar numeric scale and a pointer indicate the temperature at the sensing location. Even within the product range of dial thermometers, there are several differing methods utilized to produce a temperature reading. One of these is the bimetal thermometer.

A bimetallic thermometer is named for the mechanism that responds to process temperature and provides the force to position the indicator needle over the scale on the dial face. A bimetal is formed from two dissimilar metals bonded together. The metals expand and contract at different rates in response to a change in their temperature. A bimetal thermometer relies on the predictable deformation of a bimetal spring or strip in response to a temperature change. The mechanical deformation is transformed into rotational movement of the indicating needle on the instrument face where the corresponding temperature can be read by a technician or operator. This design principle has been in use throughout laboratories, kitchens, and industry for many years and has proven to be predictably accurate, stable, and rugged.

The major advantages of the bimetallic thermometer are its relative cost, ease of use, and ability to function without any external power source. This class of instruments provides operability up to +1000°F.

When applying dial faced thermometers, there are several main considerations.

  • Scale - The display behind the indicating pointer. The scale divisions impact the instrument's accuracy at indicating process temperature.  
  • Range - The physical suitability of the instrument to be exposed to the temperatures which may be present in the process. May be the same as scale.
  • Dial Size - Larger diameter dial faces make reading the instrument indications easier.
  • Connection - There are numerous options for the way in which the probe or stem, which is inserted into the process, attaches to the dial portion or head of the instrument. Common arrangements are back, side, or bottom connected. If the head cannot be rotated or angled, the connection attributes may be the sole determinant of how the dial face is oriented.
  • Stem Length - The stem extends from the head into the process. Coordinating the stem length with the insertion depth into the process and the placement of the instrument is important to achieving a useful and ergonomic installation.
  • Materials of Construction - Make sure the selected instrument is rugged enough to withstand expected environmental conditions at the installation site.
These are only the primary considerations. Share your operational requirements with a product specialist. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop the optimal solution.

Guided Wave Radar - An Option for Level Measurement in Hygienic Applications

GUIDED WAVE RADAR LEVEL TRANSMITTER FOR HYGIENIC APPLICATIONS
A special version of the Magnetrol Eclipse 705
is configured for hygienic applications.
Image courtesy Magnetrol
Measurements of a variety of process conditions are utilized to monitor and control operations and output. One general goal of measurement, other than answering the question "how much", is to avoid or minimize any interference with the process itself. A second goal is to not be fooled by the process into returning a false measurement result.

Guided wave radar is based upon the principle of TDR (time domain reflectometry). Pulses of electromagnetic energy travel from the emitting antenna via a fixed waveguide or probe immersed in the target medium. When it contacts the media surface, the pulse energy is reflected back along the probe to a receiving antenna. The instrument actually measures the time elapsed between the pulse transmission and the detection of the reflected return. The time measurement is used to calculate the distance from the antenna to the media surface. The distance calculation, with knowledge of the vessel, can be converted into a value indicating media level or volume. Of course, this is a simplified account of the operating principal.

Guided wave radar (GWR), as opposed to an open style radar level measurement method, uses a probe immersed in the process media to guide high-frequency electromagnetic waves into the media being measured. While it does involve contact by the sensing instrument with the media, GWR eliminates interference from fixtures or structures that may exist within the tank or vessel. The immersion probe waveguide also attenuates the impact of media turbulence and other potential disturbances. The waveguide reduces the potential impact of elements that may adversely impact the measurement accuracy, resulting in greater accuracy and reliability of the measurements.

For hygienic applications, the transmitters are available with 304 stainless steel housings designed specifically for use in facilities with the special requirements for the wetted and non-wetted materials, process connections and surface finishes of hygienic industries. In addition to high accuracy, the GWR instrument output is not impacted by media buildup on the sensing probe.

Share your level measurement challenges with process instrumentation specialists. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.


Mass Flow Controllers for Precise Dosing

mass flow controller cutaway view
Mass Flow Controller - Cutaway View
Image courtesy Brooks Instrument 
There are processing applications that require very accurate flow or dosing control of added constituents. The applications are diverse, ranging from controlled gas flow to precise metering of product fluid components. The ability to accurately and reliably measure and regulate mass flow of a fluid into a process is a common task in process measurement and control.

Thermal mass flow measurement, in basic operation, infers mass flow by measuring the heat dissipation from a heated temperature sensor and comparing it to an unheated reference temperature sensor. The heat dissipation is directly proportional to the mass flow of gas or liquid.

Thermal mass flow meters are very popular for several reasons. They have no moving parts, have a fairly unobstructed flow path, are accurate over a wide range of flow rates, calculate mass flow rather than volume, measure flow in large or small piping systems, and do not need temperature or pressure compensation.

For a process control application, accuracy and real time delivery of measurement data are key factors. Advanced smart controls with a range of communications options that will interface with a variety of devices across a choice of platforms bring high levels of functionality and ease of use to an application. For gas applications, smart technology allows one device to be applied to multiple gas types and ranges without removing the flow meter from the system. Product selection is enhanced by the availability of instruments targeted at a range of applications.

Share your flow measurement and control challenges with process measurement and control specialists. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Innovative Non-Contact Radar Liquid Level Transmitter

non-contact radar level transmitter for industrail process control
Pulsar R86 non-contact radar level transmitter.
Image courtesy Magnetrol
Level measurement of liquids and solids in containers, silos, tanks and other vessels is an essential part of many processing operations. Accurate and reliable measurement of solids or liquid level contributes to operational success, as well as enhancing safety, both of which contribute to the bottom line and successful operation.

Magnetrol, globally recognized innovator in flow and level measurement, incorporates years of experience into their latest version of non-contact radar level measuring instruments. The incremental improvements contribute to easier, more flexible installation and better performance.

The R86 is a 26 GHz level transmitter applicable across a wide range of requirements in many industries. Benefits of the 26 GHz radar signal, with its smaller wavelength, are a smaller antenna and improved 1mm resolution. The narrower beam from the antenna makes positioning the transmitter less restrictive, with easier accommodation for vessel fixtures or geometry. Advanced on board diagnostics supplement the improved performance and deliver the information needed to maintain proper operation and process visualization. A broad range of antennas and mountings are available for the R86, accommodating various tank sizes, fittings, and temperatures

More information on the Pulsar R86 is provided in the brochure included below. Share your level measurement challenges and requirements with a process measurement specialist. Employ the leverage of their product application expertise to your own process knowledge and experience to develop an effective solution.


Using Brooks Mass Flow Controllers with LabVIEW™

coriolis mass flow controller
Coriolis mass flow controller
Image courtesy Brooks Instrument
Brooks Instrument is the manufacturer of highly accurate and repeatable mass flow controllers. LabVIEW™ develops integrated software for building measurement and control systems used in laboratories, universities, and pilot manufacturing plants. The combination of Brooks MFCs and LabVIEW software provides users a great option for measurment, control, data acquisition and data storage for mass flow.

Listed below are some of the more convenient communication methods to tie Brooks MFCs and LabVIEW™ software together.

Analog Signal Interface

In many situations LabVIEW™ software users also use analog to digital
I/O cards. With analog input cards, users can run their mass flow controllers utilizing a standard 0-5 volt or 4-20 mA analog signaling via LabVIEW™. This is a time-tested, traditional approach and is recommended for applications without the availability of digital control systems.

RS485 Digital Interface

Brooks Instrument mass flow devices configured with RS485 communications (must have the ‘S’ communications option) provide RS485 digital communications via a 15-pin D connector. The RS485 digital signal is passed directly to a computer running LabVIEW™ through a serial RS485 converter. Brooks models GF40, GF80 and SLA Series mass flow controllers are available with the ‘S’ communications option.

Its valuable to note that there is also a free set of VI file for use with LabVIEW from Brooks. These can be loaded directly into the LabVIEW™ application and provide the basics required to create a LabVIEW control interface using the S-Protocol digital command structure. The VI files are available for download from the Brooks Instrument website.

Another communications alternative is using Brook’s Smart DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) software tool to create links between the LabVIEW™ application and the GF40, GF80 or SLA Series flow, control, and configuration parameters. Additionally, the user can leverage Windows applications (Excel, Word, Access) and programming languages ( C++, C#, Visual Basic) and SCADA programs from suppliers such as Allesco and Millennium Systems International. No knowledge of the mass flow device S-Protocol command structure is required. With Smart DDE, the user gets direct access to the required data fields. While not a complete turnkey option, it greatly reduces the amount of code required to communicate between LabVIEW and the mass flow controller.

DeviceNet Digital Signal Interface

Brooks models GF40, GF80 and SLA, configured for DeviceNet digital communications, can also be controlled via the LabVIEW™ application provided a National Instruments DeviceNet interface card, associated drivers, and software are used. These additional items support the development of application interfaces using LabVIEW™ software for Windows and LabVIEW™ Real-Time.

According to the National Instruments website:
National Instruments DeviceNet for Control interfaces are for applications that manage and control other DeviceNet devices on the network. These interfaces, offered in one-port versions for PCI and PXI, provide full master (scanner) functionality to DeviceNet networks. All NI DeviceNet interfaces include the NI-Industrial Communications for DeviceNet driver software, which features easy access to device data and streamlined explicit messaging. Use a real-time controller such as PXI and NI industrial controllers to create deterministic control applications with the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module.

Share your mass flow measurement and control challenges with application experts, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise.

Fixed Gas Detectors

fixed installation gas detector sensor transmitter
Fixed installation gas sensor / transmitters.
Image courtesy 3M - Oldham
The expansion of demand for increased levels of safety in the workplace continues, with calls for better protection for workers, the plant, the environment, and surrounding communities all weighing on operators to look for ways to reduce risk. Industrial plants, especially those employing hazardous or flammable materials, can have very high risk levels. Reducing the probability of accident or failure can bring a very substantial benefit for long term operation.

Oldham, a 3M brand, manufactures fixed and portable hazardous gas detection and monitoring equipment for application in commercial and industrial settings. Their sensors and stations enable continuous monitoring of process or facility conditions and alert of potentially dangerous conditions. The application possibilities range through every industry.

The product line employs a number of technologies, with varied housings and form factors to accommodate any installation requirement. A wide range of gases can be detected and measured. Share your hazardous gas and flame detection monitoring challenges with process measurement specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop a safer solution for your facility.