Flameproof enclosure (Ex d) and intrinsic safety (Ex i) are very common equipment protection methods in Process Automation. One reason to use Ex d is the amount of energy which could not be provided via Ex i. This disadvantage has gone with the introduction of intrinsically safe, dynamic methods of arc prevention such as DART or Power-i. This white paper shows that when using intrinsic safety, installation, maintenance and inspection costs will be reduced.
This paper addresses decision makers and professionals responsible for automation systems in hazardous areas. A good understanding of the principles of explosion protection is required.07/10/2012
Is Moving Your SCADA System to the Cloud Right For Your Company?
Cloud computing is a hot topic. As people become increasingly reliant on accessing important information through the Internet, the idea of storing or displaying vital real-time data in the cloud has become more commonplace. With tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Google pushing forward the cloud computing concept, it seems to be more than just a passing trend.
Recently the focus of cloud computing has started to shift from consumer-based applications to enterprise management systems. With the promise of less overhead, lower prices, quick installation, and easy scalability, cloud computing appears to be a very attractive option for many companies.
Common questions surround this new technology: What is the "cloud"? What kind of information should be stored there? What are the benefits and risks involved? Is moving toward cloud computing right for your company?
Cloud computing is not a "fix-all" solution. It has strengths and weaknesses, and understanding them is key to making a decision about whether it's right for your company. We'll explore the major benefits and risks involved, and give you a set of factors to consider when choosing what information to put on the cloud.12/01/2011
Article 120.1 of the NFPA 70E establishes the procedure for creating an electrically safe work condition. Since this was written, the day-to-day practice of electrical safety has changed going beyond the precise language of Article 120.1(1-6). This is due to the increased usage of permanent electrical safety devices (PESDs) in Lock-out/Tagout procedures. The relatively new concept of permanent electrical safety devices actually improves the workers' ability to safely isolate electrical energy beyond that which was originally conceived when Article 120 was written. PESDs go beyond the high standard, yet they still adhere to the core principles found in Article 120.1. With PESDs incorporated into safety procedures and installed correctly into electrical enclosures, workers can transition the once-risky endeavors of verifying voltage into a less precarious undertaking that never exposes them to voltage. Since, every electrical incident has one required ingredient - voltage, electrical safety is radically improved by eliminating exposure to voltage while still validating zero energy from outside the panel.10/20/2011
Preventing unplanned shutdowns, reducing downtime, and lowering maintenance costs have been shown to provide significant financial benefits. One way to achieve these results is to make certain that all installed assets are used to the best of their ability.
FDT Technology can be easily used in existing or new plants and can bring significant operational and financial benefits throughout the plant life cycle.
This paper provides an overview of FDT Technology and suggests text to use as part of your proposal or ordering specifications to make sure you are putting your assets to work.07/19/2011
The most commonly and most frequently measurable variable in industry is temperature. Every temperature measurement is different, which makes the temperature calibration process slow and expensive. While standards determine accuracy to which manufacturers must comply, they nevertheless do not determine the permanency of accuracy. Therefore, the user must be sure to verify the permanency of accuracy. If temperature is a significant measurable variable from the point of view of the process, it is necessary to calibrate the instrument and the temperature sensor.
Download this white paper to learn how to calibrate temperature instruments and why this is so important.07/14/2011
Paper is part of our everyday lives - whether in the workplace or at home. Global consumption of paper has grown 400% in the last 40 years. As manufacturing companies, our consumption of paper is far higher than it needs to be, especially given that there are technologies, software and electronic devices readily available today which render the use of paper in the workplace unnecessary. Calibrating instruments is an enormous task that consumes vast amounts of paperwork. Far too many automation companies still use paper-based calibration systems, which means they are missing out on the benefits of moving towards a paperless calibration system.
Download this white paper to learn more about the benefits of moving towards a paperless calibration system.07/14/2011
When adding, modifying or upgrading a system, many critical infrastructures conduct a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). A FAT includes a customized testing procedure for systems and is executed before the final installation at the critical facility. Because it is difficult to predict the correct operation of the safety instrumented system or consequences due to failures in some parts of the safety instrumented system, a FAT provides a valuable check of these safety issues. Similarly, since cyber security can also impact safety of critical systems if a system is compromised, it naturally makes sense to integrate cyber security with the FAT, a concept that brings extreme value and savings to an implementation process.
An Integrated Factory Acceptance Test (IFAT) is a testing activity that brings together selected components of major control system vendors and Industrial Control System (ICS) plant personnel in a single space for validation and testing of a subset of the control system network and security application environment in an ICS environment. Conducting an IFAT provides important advantages and benefits including: time savings, cost savings, improved ability to meet compliance requirements, and increased comfort level with integrated security solutions.
With the current trend of more intelligent ICSs and increased regulatory compliance, the best practice to achieving ICS and IT integration is by conducting an IFAT. A common problem that occurs in the industry is the unanticipated work associated with implementing security controls which can result in production issues. Performing an IFAT avoids costly redesign and troubleshooting during outage operations saving time and money that leads to an enhanced, sound security solution.07/05/2011
This report describes a framework for a proposed path forward for Smart Manufacturing in a number of priority areas. The report reflects the views of a national cross-section of industry leaders involved in planning the future of the process industries, vendors supplying technology solutions for manufacturing operations, and academic researchers engaged in a range of associated systems research. The report is based on information generated during the workshop on Implementing 21st Century Smart Manufacturing held in Washington, D.C. in September 2010, and from subsequent discussions among members of the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition. A complete list of participants who contributed their valuable ideas at the workshop is shown on the facing page.
21st Century Smart Manufacturing applies information and manufacturing intelligence to integrate the voice, demands and intelligence of the 'customer' throughout the entire manufacturing supply chain. This enables a coordinated and performance-oriented manufacturing enterprise that quickly responds to the customer and minimizes energy and material usage while maximizing environmental sustainability, health and safety, and economic competitiveness. Innovations that allow diverse devices, machines, and equipment to communicate seamlessly are opening the door for much wider use of system simulation and optimization software in the operation and control of advanced manufacturing systems. Today, smart tools and systems that both generate and use greater amounts of data and information are being used to innovate, plan, design, build, operate, maintain, and manage industrial facilities
Executive Summaryand systems in dynamic ways that significantly increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve competitiveness.
While industry is making progress in developing and using smart manufacturing, the infrastructure and capabilities needed to deliver the full potential of this knowledge-based manufacturing environment have yet to be developed. Challenges include incorporating and integrating customer intelligence and demand dynamics and the needs for greater affordability, operator usability, protection of proprietary data, systems interoperability, and cyber security.
To identify and prioritize the actions needed to overcome some of these challenges in smart manufacturing, a workshop on Implementing 21st Century Smart Manufacturing was held in Washington, D.C., on September 14-15, 2010.06/21/2011
This presentation discusses:
- Highlights of Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHG MRR)
Overview of Subpart A: General Provisions
Overview of Subpart C: Stationary Combustion Units
Several Industry specific requirements
- Green facilities of the future?
Energy and carbon management impact
Benefits from GHG Compliance
1. Enhance loss control (business process and procedures)
2. Enhance key equipment performance
3. Improve energy efficiency/emission recovery
Gulf Coast Chemical Plant Case Study06/21/2011
What You Need to Know to Select the Best One for You.06/02/2011
Frequently, our customers will ask for a "one size fits all" Surge Protective Device (SPD), eliminating the need to stock several different part numbers to meet their customers needs. Some manufactures claim to have a one size fits all Surge Protection Device (SPD), however there is absolutely no benefit of this to the end user. Why? The one size fits all approach could in most cases actually cause damage to the equipment it should be protecting.05/24/2011
Specifiers and users of Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) are adjusting to new terminology and requirements. UL revised their 1449 Safety Standard for Surge Protective Devices to increase safety. The National Electrical Code (NEC) incorporated specific language to require the use of these safer products. This tip sheet will explain some of the changes affecting specifiers and users.05/24/2011
Significant changes have taken place regarding Surge Protection Devices and UL 1449. With the changes has come different product marking requirements to identify those testing and product changes. Manufacturers of SPD equipment have long been testing to UL 1449 but only recently have such significant changes taken place regarding a whole product categories testing and performance.
An updated UL 1449 standard was released titled UL Standard for Safety for Surge Protective Devices, UL 1449 Third Edition, and was dated September 29, 2006. The result was that all manufacturers were required to retest their SPD products to ensure compliance before 9/29/2009.
The easiest way to notice a new SPD product versus an older product that still may be in inventory is the new gold UL holographic label on the product. The new label must have the SPD and not TVSS which was used during the later part of UL 1449- 2 edition.05/24/2011
In this global business environment, it is common for manufacturers in North America to ship equipment to Europe. North America and Europe each have their own standards for Surge Protective Devices (SPD's) which makes understanding the differences in electrical system terminology very important. In North America, all SPD products are associated with UL 1449 3rd edition whereas in Europe, IEC 61643-1 is used to provide standards. Recently 1449 3rd edition adopted new terminology and testing criteria to be more congruent with IEC 61643-1. However, system voltages and the how they are defined differ between the two standards.05/24/2011
Selecting the appropriate Surge Protective Devices (SPD) can seem like a daunting task with all of the different types on the market today. The surge rating or kA rating of an SPD is one of the most misunderstood ratings. Customers commonly ask for an SPD to protect their 200A panel and there is a tendency to think that the larger the panel, the larger the kA device rating needs to be for protection As we will explore in this paper, this is a common misunderstanding.
When a surge enters a panel, it does not care or know the size of the panel. So how do you know if you should use a 50kA, 100kA or 200kA SPD? Realistically, the largest surge that can enter a building's wiring is 10kA, as explained in the IEEE C62.41 standard. So why would you ever need a SPD rated for 200kA? Simply stated - for longevity.
So one may think: if 200kA is good, then 600kA must be three times better, right? Not necessarily. At some point, the rating diminishes its return, only adding extra cost and no substantial benefit. Since most SPDs on the market use a metal oxide varistor (MOV) as the main limiting device, we can explore how/why higher kA ratings are achieved. If an MOV is rated for 10kA and sees a 10kA surge, it would use 100% of its capacity. This can be viewed somewhat like a gas tank, where the surge will degrade the MOV a little bit (no longer is it 100% full). Now if the SPD has two 10kA MOVs in parallel, it would be rated for 20kA. Theoretically, the MOVs will evenly split the 10kA surge, so each would take 5kA. In this case, each MOV have only used 50% of their capacity which degrades the MOV much less (leaving more left in the tank for future surges).
Does this translate into surge "stopping power?" No, just because an SPD has 2 or 20 MOVs in parallel it does not mean it will limit the 10kA surge any better then a single SPD (of the same rating). The main objective of having MOVs in parallel is to increase the longevity of the SPD. Again, keep in mind that it is subjective and at some point you are only adding cost by incorporating more MOVs and receiving little benefit.
As mentioned before, panel size does not really play a role in the selection of a kA rating. The location of the panel within the facility is much more important. IEEE C62.41.2 defines the types of expected surges within a facility as:
Category C: Service Entrance, more severe environment: 10kV, 10kA surge
Category B: Downstream, greater than 30' from category C, less severe environment: 6kV, 3kA surge
Category A: Further downstream, greater than 60' from category C, least severe environment: 6kV, 0.5kA surge
How do you know what kA rating to use? The IEEE categories provide a good base for selecting kA ratings. There are many "right" sizes for each category but there needs to be a balance between redundancy and added cost. Qualified judgment should always be used when selecting the appropriate kA rating for an SPD.05/24/2011
The Surge-Trap is a branded surge protection device (SPD)that utilizes Mersen's patented thermally protected metal oxide varistor (TPMOV) technology. This technology eliminates the need for fuses to be installed in series with the Surge-Trap SPD.
which saves money and panel space. Surge-Trap SPD is typically installed in industrial control panels to protect sensitive electrical equipment from harmful voltage transients. Nearly 80% of all transients are caused by equipment or power disturbances within a facility.
What Types of Ratings Do SPDs Have?
Do SPDs have a current rating? This is a trick question! They do not have a continuous current rating however they do have other important current-based ratings. They are required to have a short circuit current rating (SCCR), which is the maximum rms current at a specified voltage the SPD can withstand.
The nominal discharge current (In) is new to UL 1449 Third Edition (effective 9/29/09). This is the peak value of the current (20kA maximum) through the SPD (8/20μs waveform) where the SPD remains functional after 15 surges.
There are two main voltage ratings for an SPD, the first is maximum continuous operating voltage (MCOV) which is the maximum rms voltage that may be applied to the SPD per each connected mode.
Voltage protection rating (VPR) is determined as the nearest high value (from a list of preferred values) to the measured limiting voltage determined during the transient-voltage surge suppression test using the combination wave generator at a setting of 6kV, 3kA.
How Do I Select The Correct SPD?05/24/2011
Download this presentation to see a series of highlights from the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHG MRR).05/20/2011
Are you taking advantage of it?
Over the years, we've had sensor upgrades for process measurement, improved controllers for automation, HMI/SCADA installations for Operator visibility, Historians for data archiving and operational analytics, and now we have enterprise integration for improved material management, corporate agility, regulatory compliance and a host of other features. The manager makes the decision, and the engineer is saddled with a lot of work and stress. That work often rolls downhill, creating opportunity for System Integrators. We are all in an age where there is a technology abundance, leading to many ways to skin the cat. Have you researched all the alternatives? Are you up to speed with the latest tools to solve complicated enterprise integration?
What does integration mean to you? It may mean sending data to your corporate database, enabling tools from Oracle, SAP and other enterprise vendors to report and analyze on it. The first step is usually to create an enterprise dashboard of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). That should keep management happy for a while. But then, the focus will shift to even tighter integration. You'll want to close the loop on equipment, enabling data to flow from the enterprise back down to the equipment. How you accomplish all this is very much driven by your automation perspective. Will you control this from the Enterprise, or will you coordinate this from the plant floor.05/16/2011
In today's highly automated machines, fieldbus valve manifolds are replacing conventional hardwired solutions. They more easily perform vital functions by integrating communication interfaces to pneumatic valve manifolds with input/output (I/O) capabilities. This allows programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to more efficiently turn valves on and off and to channel I/O data from sensors, lights, relays, individual valves, or other I/O devices via various industrial networks. The resulting integrated control packages can also be optimized to allow diagnostic benefits not previously available.
Fieldbus valve manifolds from manufacturers such as Festo, SMC, and Numatics find wide utility in packaging, automotive/tire, and material handling applications, as well as in the pharmaceutical, chemical, water, and wastewater industries. They are specified for purchase by controls engineers at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who design and develop industrial automation solutions - as well as by end users in relevant industries.
This paper presents controls engineers, specifiers, and buyers with new insights into five crucial factors they must consider before selecting pneumatic fieldbus valve manifolds - commissioning, distribution, modularity, diagnostics, and recovery - while also outlining some shortcomings of conventional approaches. Finally, it highlights new designs that offer substantial improvements in the application, performance, and maintenance of these valve manifolds from the end users and OEMs' points of view.05/12/2011
Equipment designers frequently must incorporate miniature solenoid valves into their pneumatic designs. These valves are important components of medical devices and instrumentation as well as environmental, analytical, and similar product applications. However, all too often, designers find themselves frustrated. They face compromise after compromise. Pressure for increasingly miniaturized devices complicates every step of the design and valve selection process. And missteps can wreak havoc. How do designers balance the needs for reliability, extended service life, and standards compliance against often-contradictory performance requirements such as light weight, high flow, and optimum power use?
This report consolidates the expert views of designers and manufacturers with wide experience applying miniature solenoid valves for myriad uses across multiple industries. It presents a true insider's guide to which requirements are critical for common applications. It also highlights new valve technologies that may lessen or eliminate those troubling compromises.04/11/2011