Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Industrial Process Pressure Transmitters

industrial pressure transmitter or differential pressure transmitter
One of many variants of industrial pressure transmitters.
Image courtesy Yokogawa USA
The measurement and control of fluid pressure is ubiquitous throughout many industrial processes. Measurements of pressure, directly and indirectly, provide real time information about what is happening in places that cannot be seen, such as inside a pipe, tank, or machine. The very nature of “process” suggests movement and change, the control of which is necessary to produce a consistent desirable outcome. Industrial pressure transmitters employ specific technologies and physical principals to derive a measurement of process pressure, then deliver or transmit, the measured value to a controller or recording device.

Fluid pressure tells a process operator much about what is currently happening. The pressure variable can be used to determine, among many industrial process elements:
  • Degree to which the process is conforming to a recipe or specification
  • Whether machinery is performing within its specified operation range
  • If conditions of the process remain within the bounds established for safety
  • A quantity measurement of flow, mass, or volume
Global industrial processes have widely varying physical arrangements, operating environments, and measurement requirements. Manufacturers of industrial pressure transmitters have responded with an immense array of transmitter technologies, arrangements, and configurations. When selecting the best suited pressure transmitter for your application, consult a sales engineer and consider some of the following:
  • Signal requirements – Type, distance, possible sources of interference
  • Device environment – Hazards, extreme conditions of temperature or corrosion
  • Accuracy and stability of measurement
  • Response time to changes in the process condition
  • Ratings and certifications required for the device
  • Configuration, arrangement, and mounting aspects of the transmitter device
Explore the differing technologies and how they can be best applied to implement or improve your process. Experienced sales engineers are a useful sounding board for discussing your needs. Share you process measurement challenges with them and leverage your own knowledge and experience into an effective solution.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Coalescing Filters For Compressed Air

coalescing compressed air filters for industrial use
Coalescing filters for industrial compressed air service.
Image courtesy Parker Hannafin - Balston Div.
Coalescing filters remove liquid aerosols from a gas by causing very small droplets to contact others, forming successively larger liquid droplets that eventually are moved via gravity to a drain. A combination of filter media and housing properly direct an inlet stream to maximize the combining, or coalescing, of the fine droplets. The filter media will also serve to trap solid particulates, as well. An automatic drain arrangement is a useful feature that prevents accumulation of liquid in the filter housing without operator attention.

Compressed air systems will typically produce output that contains moisture and small amounts of liquid lubrication oil. Leaving the compressor, the air is hot. As it cools, the moisture will condense in the piping system and utilization equipment without a means to remove it. Coalescing filters, properly located throughout the system, will trap and remove liquids entrained in the compressed air stream. The nature of the filter media also results in efficient capture of solid contaminants, such as rust, dust, welding flash and more.

The installation must route the compressed air through the filter in the proper direction. Improperly piped units can have their automatic drain function inhibited, leading to failure and a need to reconnect the unit correctly. Size selection is simplified with tables providing maximum flow rate for rated filtration performance. Oversizing a selection will not produce a negative impact. The filter media pressure drop increases as solids are collected and retained, requiring replacement when pressure drop is excessive.

Share your compressed air system requirements and challenges with filtration specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pressure Regulating Valves

pressure regulating valve
Pressure regulating valve, or pressure regulator.
One of many types.
Image courtesy Cash Valve
Pressure regulating valves (PRV) are common components of many processes and equipment. The function of a PRV is to maintain a desired outlet fluid pressure under varying conditions of supply pressure or outlet flow demand.

Many variants exist in the market, each specifically designed to address a range of process conditions or offset a performance characteristic deemed undesirable in another design. Each has a suitable place in the range of possible applications, with cost, size, construction material and complexity primary differences among the offerings.

In its simplest form, a pressure regulating valve (PRV) consists of a flow restricting element, a measuring element, and a setpoint element. Outlet pressure applies force to the measuring element, often a diaphragm. As the outlet pressure increases, the diaphragm will move the flow restricting element toward the closed position, reducing the flow from the inlet. The restricting element is commonly a plug, disk, or some other recognizable valve trim arrangement. The setpoint element, likely a spring, provides a counterbalancing force on the diaphragm. When the force applied to the diaphragm by the outlet pressure reaches equilibrium with the counterbalancing force applied by the spring, movement of the restricting element stops. In this way, outlet pressure is controlled without the need for electric power, sensors, transmitters, or even a process controller. The entire assembly is self-contained and requires little attention.

Selecting a PRV for an application requires coordinated consideration of process performance range, desired conditions, and valve attributes to produce a selection that will provide the desired service. A valve improperly selected for an application may perform poorly. Some of the items to be considered include:
  • PRV Type
  • Body size
  • Construction
  • Pressure Ratings
  • Maximum Flow Rate
  • Outlet Pressure Range
  • Accuracy
  • Inlet Pressure
  • Orifice Diameter
  • Response Speed
  • Turn-Down Ratio
A PRV is not a safety device. An independent means must be provided to protect the system from excessive pressure. Product specialists are a good source of help in selecting a properly sized and configured valve for an application. Share your fluid process control challenges with a product application specialist. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Flow Measurement in Subsurface Pipes

Ultrasonic flow measurement, properly configured, can be the preferred solution for flow measurement in water and wastewater pipes, especially those in subsurface locations. Demands for increased monitoring of system flow at numerous points throughout a network or system create a need to install flow measurement instrumentation on existing pipes that are unlikely to have built-in accommodations for the needed sensors.

Ultrasonic flow measurement transducers are mounted on the exterior of existing piping and require no pipe cutting or service interuption to install. The rugged transducers are suitable for subsurface installation and provide long term uninterupted operation. Ultrasonic flow measurement functions over a wide range of flow, providing accurate data during normal, peak, and off-peak hours. The data derived from the measurements can also be used for leak detection. Data output from the instrument can be used locally or transferred by a number of methods to remote monitoring stations for system wide analysis.

The video provides some additional application advantages of ultrasonic flow measurement for subsurface pipe applications. Share your flow measurement challenges of all types with process measurement specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Auma Heavy Duty Electric Valve Actuators

cutaway view of electric valve actuator for industrial use
Cutaway view of electric valve actuator.
Image courtesy Auma Actuators, Inc.
Electric actuators are used to enable remote control of industrial valves, allowing complex processes to be managed and controlled by remotely located control systems. Other means, including hydraulic and pneumatic, are used as  motive forces for valve actuators, but electric actuators bring a particular set of features that make them an advantageous choice for many applications.

Valve actuators are available in a wide range of variants to suit every application scenario. Auma, a globally recognized manufacturer of electric actuators, manufactures heavy duty actuators for demanding applications throughout every industry. Specializing in electric actuators, the company keeps their design and engineering efforts focused on a single product, its performance, reliability, and ruggedness.

  • Part turn, linear and multi-turn operation
  • Large selection of torque ranges
  • Variable or fixed speed operation
  • Controller options ranging from simple open-close to micro-positioning with logging of operating data or fieldbus interface
  • Numerous gearbox options and mountings to accommodate any application
  • Enclosures rated for a variety of installations, including underwater.
Learn more about the electric actuators from Auma. Share your valve and damper automation challenges with industrial application experts, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Fox Thermal Instruments Releases New Gas Flowmeter Targeted at Oil and Gas Operations

thermal mass flowmeters insertion inline and retractor styles
The FT4X thermal mass flow meter accommodates
inline, insertion, and retractor installations.
Image courtesy Fox Thermal Instruments, Inc.
Keeping up to date on the latest product information....

Fox Thermal Instruments, an acknowledged innovator in thermal mass flow technology and instruments, has released a flow meter targeted for gas flow measurement in the oil and gas industry. The FT4X delivers a long list of advanced and useful features for flare and waste gas monitoring, gas studies, royalty and allocation, and general gas flow research.

The instrument utilizes a constant temperature differential technology to measure gas or air mass flow, employing two precision RTD sensors. One temperature sensor follows the media temperature, while the other is heated by the instrument electronics to maintain a constant temperature differential between the two sensors. The amount of applied heat to maintain the differential is proportional to the mass flow rate. A linearized 4-20mA output signal is the final output of the transmitter.

The flow meter is available for inline or insertion installation, along with another variant that features retraction of the instrument from the line without flow interruption. Various probe lengths accommodate line sizes to 70 inches. Flow bodies, flow conditioners, and other accessories are available to customize the instrument assembly to fit each application.

There is a wealth of additional information provided in the brochure included below. Share your flow measurement challenges and requirements for process measurement specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Asset Condition Monitoring for Major Equipment

turbine blades
Asset and equipment monitoring promotes the maximizing
of productivity by reducing downtime.
Minimizing machine or system downtime, for whatever cause, is a common productivity and financial goal of industrial processing of all types. Lost production time can never be recouped, and unplanned equipment outages can cost millions. There is real benefit to be had from monitoring operational aspects of machinery and systems in real time.

Asset condition monitoring, as the name implies, is the process of continually monitoring a machine or piece of equipment with the intent to alert operators to anomalies in machine function. Data gathered can also be used to define a normal operating envelope and show trends that may indicate a need for service. The goal, ultimately, is to repair, adjust or maintain prior to and avoiding outright failure. Key indicators of failing equipment can be changing values in vibration, noise or temperature measurements. Monitoring these and other variables, some derived at very localized and specific points, provides key indicators of the condition of the machine. By evaluating trends in the data, intelligent systems can provide health information about the equipment and assist in the early detection of possible faults or failures.

Implementation of asset condition monitoring is benefiting manufacturing plants and process industries such as chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, power generation, wind turbine, and oil and gas. Not only can it save money from protecting against unplanned outages, but condition monitoring also improves productivity, quality and profitability.

GE's Bently Nevada 3500 Monitoring System provides continuous, online monitoring suitable for machinery protection and asset condition monitoring applications. It is the company's most capable and flexible system, with a traditional rack-based design. The useful features of the system are numerous, and it delivers advantages not provided in other systems. Share your major asset monitoring challenges and plans with a systems specialist, and leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to implement an effective solution.