2009

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  • Monitoring and Controlling Energy Efficiency in Utilities/W.A.G.E.S. for Cost Reduction

    Customers in all industries are coming more and more under pressure to measure the cost of their utilities. Important drivers for this pressure are the rising cost of energy and various certifications according to EMAS and the ISO 14000 series. Measuring utilities has been neglected in the past and using calibrated technology is necessary for this process. However, many companies only measure their utility consumption at the custody transfer point, and these few measuring occurrences leave room for inaccuracy and poor energy management. By investing money in efficient measuring tools, is possible to set up energy monitoring systems that measure the consumption of each respective utility close to the point of use. This white paper reviews processes that can help you attain better energy management. Download now to learn more.

    Endress+Hauser
    12/14/2009
  • Monitoring Geothermal Heat Pump Performance

    This paper discusses how portable data logging technology can be used to measure, record, and document the performance of geothermal heat pumps, and provides specific case study examples of how the technology is being applied in geothermal system monitoring applications.

    ONSET
    12/10/2009
  • Advantages of a PC Based HART Communicator

    It's now time to upgrade to a new HART Communicator. Your old hand held HART Communicator is obsolete and receives limited support. You shop around and find that it costs between $3000 and $7000 for a new hand held HART Communicator. A Google search reveals a PC based alternative. Will the PC alternative perform as required? What should you look for?

    The PC based HART Communicator has been around for many years, but until recently it has not been able to replace the hand held HART communicator. The main reason is that it could not communicate at the DD level with all the devices in the DD library. Recent developments have eliminated that problem and now is a good time to review the capabilities of a PC based HART Communicator.

    ProComSol
    12/01/2009
  • Planning and Developing Effective Emergency Mass Notification Strategies for Hazardous Industrial Applications in the Post 9/11 Era.

    Emergency mass notification for hazardous industrial processing operations has traditionally focused on audible and visual signaling devices such as sirens, horns, warning lights, beacons, public address and intercom systems. And the extent of the ability to quickly alert anyone outside the plant—including fire, police and medical first responders—was until relatively recently limited to auto-dialing telecommunications. On September 11, 2001, however, everything changed.

    The horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City dramatically accelerated the evolution of mass notification strategies and technologies. This has been particularly evident in the case of hazardous industrial applications, and resulted in plant safety being suddenly and inextricably interwoven with critical security and detection functions. The threat of terrorist attacks has most definitely prompted industrial plant managers to completely re-evaluate their approach to emergency mass notification—both internally and externally. And for obvious reasons, this comprehensive re-examination of mass notification requirements has had a substantial impact on facilities that process, use, store and distribute hazardous chemical materials.

    Compliance with directives from government agencies is clearly one of the driving forces propelling this comprehensive re-assessment of emergency mass notification planning, systems and resources. Also at play is the subsequent proliferation of new software-driven technology riding on existing network topologies; and the deployment of seamless, multi-device, interoperable communications both within and outside the facility. Finally, there is the growing trend towards integrated systems, which in this instance encompasses the integration of disparate mass-notification devices and communication systems to achieve the highest possible levels of reliability and monitoring through redundancy and operational simplicity.

    Federal Signal
    11/23/2009
  • Optimizing Solar Thermal Performance with Data Loggers

    This white paper discusses how solar thermal systems, with the help of portable data loggers, can be optimized to deliver the financial benefits residential and commercial users hope to achieve through their investments.

    Onset
    11/02/2009
  • TIA-1005 Industrial Ethernet Cabling Standard

    The Effect on the 10/100 Industrial Ethernet Switch Performance.

    The Anixter Infrastructure Solutions Lab wanted to determine what effect the new TIA-1005 industrial cabling infrastructure standard would have on the data throughput performance of real Ethernet data packets running between SmartBits test cards and various manufacturers' 10/100 Ethernet switches in a real-world simulation. The test included five (5) different IP20-rated switches and three (3) different enterprise rack-mounted switches using various cabling channels made from both Category 5e and Category 6 cabling components and connector pairs that are allowable under the standard. The premise also asserts that the effect of the cabling channel interference will also vary from port to port and switch to switch because of the variable transmitter and receiver functionality.

    Anixter
    10/28/2009
  • Wireless Monitoring of Valves

    The Need for Wireless Monitoring – An Overview
    There is a real on-going need for monitoring of valve positions (actuated or manual) in the process line. Malfunctioning of a valve can result in danger to human health and safety, affect yields, and generate environmental risks. In some industries, regulation requires constant recording of valve position. Currently, such monitoring is done through wired “Switch Boxes”. Each such device requires data transmission and power cabling. Not only are these cables costly to manufacture and install, they are also one of the most frequent sources of failures in the process line, due to the fact that they are very often exposed to harsh environmental conditions. In fact, it is right here, at the field device level, where the majority of problems with wires really exist.

    Israel Radomsky , CEO and Founder, Eltav Wireless Monitoring Ltd. Israel
    10/09/2009
  • Why Do Steam Traps Fail?

    Properly functioning steam traps open to release condensate and automatically close when steam is present. Failed traps waste fuel, reduce efficiency, increase production costs and compromise the overall integrity of the steam and condensate systems. Traps should be tested on a regular basis -- or the neglect may be quite costly.

    Bruce Gorelick, Enercheck Systems and Alan Bandes, UE Systems, Inc.
    10/09/2009
  • Development of Integrated Flexi-Burn Dual Oxidant CFB Power Plant

    Carbon-dioxide capture and storage (CCS) offers the potential for major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuel-based power generation in the fairly short term, and oxyfuel combustion is one of the identified CCS technology options. Foster Wheeler (FW) is working on reduction of carbon dioxide with its integrated Flexi-Burn dual-oxidant PC and CFB technology.

    The proven high efficiency circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) technology offers a solution for carbon dioxide reduction both in re-powering and in greenfield power plants. CFB technology has the advantages of a more uniform furnace heat flux, excellent fuel flexibility and offers the opportunity to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions by co-firing coal with bio-fuels.

    Development and design of an integrated Flexi-Burn dual-oxidant CFB boiler and balance of plant system was conducted in both air mode and oxyfuel mode. Through proper configuration and design, the same boiler can be switched from air mode to oxyfuel mode. The dual-oxidant CFB system incorporates features to maximize plant efficiency and power output when operating in the oxy-firing mode through firing more fuel in the same boiler.

    Existing boiler design tools are being modified to incorporate the features of oxy-combustion, so that various design options can be evaluated. The 460 MWe supercritical CFB power plant (currently under construction by FW) has been used as the basis for an integrated Flexi-Burn dual-oxidant CFB study.

    Foster Wheeler USA and Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, Finland
    09/23/2009
  • Control and Condition Monitoring of Reciprocating Compressor

    Optimum configuration for control system, instrumentation, electrical and condition monitoring of reciprocating compressor is presented. Reciprocating compressors are most flexible and most efficient available compressors. Recommendations regarding inter-stage pressure control, capacity control system, temperature control, performance monitoring, local control panel, irregularity and condition monitoring are discussed.

    Installed reciprocating compressor horsepower is approximately three times that of centrifugal compressors and maintenance costs of reciprocating compressors are approximately three and half times greater than those for centrifugal compressors. The expected level of reliability and availability of reciprocating compressors is very high and it presents a real challenge. Advanced methods of control and condition monitoring shall be applied in order to obtain the high level of performance, safety and reliability.

    Amin Almasi, Tecnicas Reunidas S.A.
    09/23/2009
  • Electronic Device Damage in Control Panel of Drilling Unit

    Reliability of electronic circuit boards and electronic devices of console of drilling units are investigated. This new analytical method confirms modification of electronic device dynamic behaviour which installed in console of drilling unit. It is in agreement with experimental results which show electronic circuit board failure in driller console when dynamic loading is considerably less than values required to affect the board when board itself , lonely, is under vibration test.

    Majority of failures of electronic equipment, instruments, sensors and sensitive devices are mechanical in nature. Typical failures caused by break, crack and creep. It is often quite difficult to determine main cause of malfunction and failure. Dynamic and vibration loads caused very large percent of sensitive equipment failures which installed in dynamic environment. Vibration failures are often difficult to trace. Usually resonance situations and coupling effects are involved. Sometimes it does not appear to be any connection between failed parts and vibration loadings.

    The dynamic behaviour of electronic and electric device is a subject that has received considerable attention due to its technical importance. Analysis of electric / electronic devices or circuit boards under dynamic loading was presented previously. But only a limited number of contributions have been published on counteraction effects of complex systems (in this case drilling unit) and these devices. New analytical formulations to study modified dynamic behaviour of sensitive devices in a complex system (drilling unit) is presented. When a circuit board or electronic device is installed in a driller console, there will be complicated interactions between its dynamic characteristics and drilling unit dynamic behaviour. There are different dynamic responses and consequently much more possibilities of resonance. Electronic devices and electronic circuit boards are vulnerable against dynamic loading. For example for a drilling unit revamp project, vibration tests were conducted on electronic circuit board in a broad frequency range and with high vibration amplitudes. Tests were repeated however no damage was observed. During drilling unit site performance test, failure of electronic circuit board was occurred because of mechanical damage. The dynamic loading amplitude was considerably less than amplitude in vibration tests. Extensive investigation shows that failure was only due to modified dynamic behaviour of system.

    Amin Almasi, Tecnicas Reunidas S.A.
    09/23/2009
  • Unlocking the Power of .NET for Industrial Automation

    Industrial application developers have had two main options for interacting with production processes via programmable logic controllers (PLCs): they can buy a preprogrammed monolithic, shrink-wrapped human machine interface (HMI), complete and ready to go or they can customize their own solutions.

    Shrink-wrapped HMI software packages are appealing because many complex tasks are hidden from you. Purchase the development software from an authorized distributor, load it into your development PC and then configure, debug and test. Then, just deploy the necessary runtime applications, data servers and configuration files on to your target PC or PCs. What could be easier?

    But cookie-cutter HMI software solutions might not necessarily be the best or most practical approach for your specific industrial applications.

    For one thing, while the shrink-wrapped HMI software packages enable connections to other vendors' devices, software, and systems via OPC or other standards, such connectivity is seldom adequate for high security or real-time control. And no matter how advanced the integration technology the package uses, you will end up lagging behind the technology curve. For example, if you had bought a package using the distributed common object model (DCOM) and wanted to benefit from advances in security and robustness that Microsoft had made since you bought the package, you would have to buy a new package. Moreover, the monolithic nature of the shrink-wrapped offerings often makes it difficult to embed third-party capabilities directly into your solution, thus limiting your options further.

    Then there's training. Because the development environment and behavior of each HMI vendor's software varies, you'll need to acquire specialized skills to accomplish similar tasks. Training courses, material costs and schedules also vary by HMI publisher and many times are offered only through exclusive distributor channels. You could consider hiring outside help, but because of the specialized training and experience, the talent pool can be relatively shallow and therefore proportionately expensive.

    And for many, cost of multiple deployments is an even bigger issue. Before you can actually deploy your solution to PCs, portable devices, or Web servers, you must typically have to pay for additional runtime software licenses. If you have more than a couple of users, this could amount to a considerable expense, often making this approach cost-prohibitive, especially if you are paying for more functionality than you actually never need.

    Finally, there are the intangibles. As well-designed and flexible as these shrinkwrapped solutions might be, they almost always force compromises that would not be necessary if the solution were custom built for your specific applications. Whether that is a matter of function or just pride, it can be significant determining your satisfaction with the resulting interface.

    INGEAR
    09/10/2009
  • Applying Wireless to EtherNet/IP Automation Systems

    Ethernet for industrial communications is growing rapidly in factory automation, process control and SCADA systems. The ODVA EtherNet/IP network standard is gaining popularity as a preferred industrial protocol. Plant engineers are recognizing the significant advantages that Ethernet-enabled devices provide such as ease of connectivity, high performance and cost savings. While EtherNet/IP has many advantages, cable installation is often expensive, and communications to remote sites or moving platforms may not be reliable or cost-effective.

    Wireless Ethernet technologies have emerged that can now reliably reduce network costs while improving plant production. However, applying these technologies is not a simple matter as industrial Ethernet systems vary greatly in terms of bandwidth requirements, response times and data transmission characteristics. This paper will explore applying wireless technologies to EtherNet/IP based networks for industrial automation systems.

    Gary Enstad & Jim Ralston, ProSoft Technology
    09/03/2009
  • Process Analytics Finds Process Problems

    Process Analytics and Intelligence—sometimes called Manufacturing Intelligence—has transformed the way companies produce goods, understand their manufacturing processes, and ensure a quality product in ways we could not have foreseen ten years ago.

    Real-time Analytics have replaced the legacy concept of running reports. Reports that represent a static picture of a process at a fixed point in time are great tools for compliance audits and long term warranty analysis. However, they may not accurately represent the "as-is" state of a process. Reports showing large amounts of data can be difficult to interpret. There are often limitations in how the report data can be drilleddown and viewed.

    With today's large volumes of data, there's a wealth of information that can be gained about the process. But how can this data be captured, managed and retrieved in a way that presents the information in an up-to-theminute easy to understand format? Real-time Analytics provides the techniques and solutions that address this problem. Instead of users having to interpret the data, it's presented in a graphical form enabling them to easily drill down to explore the data in real-time.

    This white paper discusses how Process Analytics is implemented and utilized. Ways of managing and distributing Process Analytics to the organization are presented.

    By Jack Wilkins, Canary Labs
    08/20/2009
  • Specifying the Correct Enclosure Material

    Thirty years ago, specifying an enclosure involved three steps: ordering the appropriately sized gray box, installing sensitive electronic equipment and hoping the enclosure would withstand its surroundings.

    Hoffman
    08/07/2009
  • Measuring Tube Construction Affects the Long-Term Stability of Magnetic Flowmeters

    Electromagnetic flowmeters, also known as mag meters, are popular and proven devices for flow measurement of electrically conductive process fluids and for volumetric filling machine applications. Of prime importance to a mag meter’s accuracy and long term performance is the condition of the metering section of the flow sensor.

    Unlike in most processes, mag meters in filling machine applications are frequently subject to widely varying conditions during normal operation. As a result, they are viable candidates for evaluating their long term performance in an accelerated use environment. Therefore PTB, a German research and approvals agency, in association with KROHNE, undertook an extensive project to study the long term measurement stability of mag meters in filling machine applications.

    Faraday's law is the basis of a mag meter’s measuring principle. The design generally features an electrical isolating liner on the inner wall of the mag meter measuring tube. Linings such as PTFE, PFA or polypropylene or for hygienic reasons, PFA (perfluoroalkoxy) are used. Pressure bearing ceramic pipes are also used. PFA is known to absorb moisture, it can flow under pressure and temperature which means that it changes structure and shape which, in turn, affects the interior diameter of the measuring tube. Changes in the inner diameter of the measuring tube lead to measurement errors. This can lead to problems, especially when extreme precision or repeatability are at stake. This only takes effect after the devices have been in use for longer periods of time and through the corresponding frequent cleaning processes using liquid or steam as are common in the food industry.

    The effect is particularly significant when it comes to mag meters used on filling machines for filling PET bottles ("Filling mag meter"). In this case, an extremely high degree of repeatability is required and the quality of the filling process is directly visible in each individual bottle.

    That is why, in a joint research cooperative with the Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (National Metrology Institute) (PTB), KROHNE Messtechnik tested the measurement stability of filling mag meters. Filling mag meters with PFA liners and filling mag meters with ceramic measuring tubes were both tested. The PTB was interested in this test because for more than 20 years Magmeters with ceramic measuring tubes have been the norm in the normal PTB measuring systems as well as in many other calibration test stations. Thanks to this test, the PTB was able to gain additional knowledge about the behavior of these devices under difficult conditions.

    Dipl.-Ing. F. Hofmann and Dipl.-Ing. B. Schumacher, KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH Co KG Duisburg, Germany
    07/29/2009
  • A Better Understanding of Power Over Ethernet for Industrial Ethernet Applications

    In the whitepaper, Ethernet Direct describes how PoE technology enables the end devices like Wireless Access Point, IP Phone, IP Camera, IP Access Control terminal, RFID reader and other IP-based appliances to get power supply from a Cat-3, Cat-5/5e or Cat-6 LAN cable without extra power connection needed.

    Ethernet Direct
    07/27/2009
  • Securing the Modern Electric Grid from Physical and Cyber Attacks

    Statement for the Record, July 21, 2009 Hearing before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology.

    I appreciate the opportunity to provide the following statement for the record. I have spent more than thirty-five years working in the commercial power industry designing, developing, implementing, and analyzing industrial instrumentation and control systems. I hold two patents on industrial control systems, and am a Fellow of the International Society of Automation. I have performed cyber security vulnerability assessments of power plants, substations, electric utility control centers, and water systems. I am a member of many groups working to improve the reliability and availability of critical infrastructures and their control systems.

    On October 17, 2007, I testified to this Subcommittee on "Control Systems Cyber Security—The Need for Appropriate Regulations to Assure the Cyber Security of the Electric Grid."

    On March 19, 2009, I testified to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on "Control Systems Cyber Security—The Current Status of Cyber Security of Critical Infrastructures."

    I will provide an update on cyber security of the electric system including adequacy of the NERC CIPs and my views on Smart Grid cyber security. I will also provide my recommendations for DOE, DHS, and Congressional action to help secure the electric grid from cyber incidents.

    Joe Weiss, PE, CISM. Applied Control Solutions, LLC
    07/22/2009
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