Product roundup: Calibrator capabilities accumulate
Combined functions, networking, documentation let users easily achieve calibration benefits
IS CALIBRATOR WITH COMMUNICATORMC6-Ex is an accurate, intrinsically safe (IS), documenting, multifunction field calibrator and communicator that calibrates pressure, temperature and electrical signals, and contains a field communicator for HART, Foundation fieldbus and Profibus PA instruments. It's an easy-to-use, IEC- and ATEX-certified calibrator that can be deployed in any Ex Zone/Division, even in the most demanding Zone 0/Division 1. MC6-Ex also communicates with Beamex calibration software, enabling automated, paperless calibration.Beamix Inc.770-951-1927EXPANDED TEMPERATURE RANGEJofra reference temperature calibrator (RTC) 187 provides temperature measurement from -45 °C to 180 °C, which is an increase of 25° C over its previous…
The expert inside, part 1—level
Process, power and plant controls join forces to achieve performance gains
Resource guide: calibration education
Fluke’s faster, easier pressure calibrator
Prevent pressure transmitter problems
Installation details make the difference in DP flow and level applications
Greg: Measurements are our only window into what a process is doing, plus, you can’t control something if you’re not measuring it. There have been great advancements in measurement technology. Smart transmitters have increased accuracy an order of magnitude or more, and drift is so slow that calibration intervals can be significantly extended. However, a measurement is only as good as its installation. Not enough knowledge is published or presented on how to make sure the installation doesn’t limit performance or create maintenance and reliability issues. Here, Hunter Vegas and I (cofounders of the ISA Mentor Program) offer what we think is important. The newest resource to our ISA Mentor Program, Daniel Warren, has stepped up to…
Why and how to use ultrasonic flowmeters for flare flow metering
How to meet the wireless flow measurement power challenge
Custody transfer flow measurement: Why can a DP flowmeter be used for gas but not liquid?
Process control as inventory control
This concept eases troubleshooting, CV-MV pairing, developing models and more
Often, chemical process control is fundamentally inventory control. Understanding the cause-and-effect of the inventory is key to understanding the process, troubleshooting, choosing appropriate controlled variable-measured variable (CV-MV) pairing, designing cascade or ratio structures, specifying safety overrides and developing models (either first-principles or empirical).Usually, we don’t measure the inventory. We measure the response to it. Unfortunately, an initial focus on the response often distracts the person from seeing the fundamentals. Recognize the fundamental mechanism. Here are several examples.Inventory of gas molecules results in pressure:A standard air compressor can be an example. The inventory relation of number of…
Product roundup: Multitalented level measurement devices
Is it wise or dangerous to back up differential pressure with nuclear instrumentation?
Virtual sensors validate vital data
Sometimes a level instrument is only as smart as the guy doing the calibration
Your DP problems could be a result of improper use of purges, fills, capillaries and seals
Here are some alternatives in terms of the use of purges and capillary systems
Greg: Last month we discussed a lot of potential problems with impulse lines. Here, we get into what are some alternatives in terms of the use of purges and capillary systems, particularly to deal with problems with solids, polymers, hazardous materials, and corrosive and sticky fluids that could plug lines, coat and corrode surfaces, or present safety concerns in terms of maintenance. Hunter and I, (co-founders of the ISA mentor Program) continue this conversation on DP and PT installations.
Some basic requirements that come to mind are associated with the purge flow rate not creating a variable significant offset in the measurement due to purge pressure drop or by effect on the process. The purge flow must be constant for all lines. For…
Digital technology redefines scope of pressure measurement applications
Mechanical innovation opens pressure measurement horizons
Emerson marks 50 years of pressure instrumentation innovation
Ask the Experts: Cascade reactor temperature control
How to set up and tune external heat exchanger controls for safety and stability.
Q: I have two questions regarding a process transfer function determination. We have a semi-batch exothermic polymerization reaction, and the reactor is provided with a jacket and an external heat exchanger to control the temperature (Figure 1). The cascade master controller controls the reactor temperature, and manipulates the setpoints of two slave controllers, one on the jacket, the other on the external heat exchanger.First, does it make sense for the master controller to send the same setpoint for both slave controllers? If it does, are there preconditions, such as "jacket has dominant effect on reactor temperature?” If not, could you please tell me why, and give me some suggestions how to do this?Second, I want to test the design…
Watlow introduces new heater catalog
Watlow introduces SELECT for heater, sensor and controller products
2017 State of Technology: temperature and pressure measurement
Meggitt offers HART-enabled vibration sensors
Meggitt's PCH420V vibration sensor has a programmable transmitter that allows vibration data to be accessed by HART enabled process controllers.
Meggitt's PCH420V is the first HART®-enabled piezo-electric vibration sensor enabling continuous online monitoring of balance-of-plant assets with a digital connection to PLC or DCS systems for local analysis of multiple vibration bands. They are capable of installation in multi-drop configurations and reduce wiring requirements. HART functionality enables the user to specify vibration frequency bands, detector types and full-scale measurement ranges—effectively enabling field-configuration for specific monitoring requirements.
PCH420 sensors are powered by the network for continuous coverage, unlike wireless solutions only offering snapshots of asset performance and employing batteries that require frequent replacement. Utilizing PCH…
Designing and testing networking devices for harsh environments
2016 Readers' Choice Awards
Meggitt provides HART-enabled piezo-electric vibration sensors
Resource guide: Weighing systems
Pressurization affects hopper weight
Resource Guide: Weighing systems tip usefulness scale
Improve efficiency by combining wireless and analytics
Pairing the technologies eases evaluation of process units with little or no wired instrumentation
Plant managers always are looking for ways to improve operational performance or reduce costs. This effort involves many elements; much hinges on the condition and performance of process equipment. Getting a handle on relevant metrics requires effective instrumentation and data analytics — which often can pose challenges due to a lack of measurement points and the complexity of data analysis software.Wireless instruments can provide a more cost-effective and easy-to-install solution to provide efficient data streams. Of course, you must always balance the cost of WirelessHART instruments and the possible downtime from installing them against expected benefits. Presuming you can justify installing WirelessHART instruments, you certainly…
Water-in-oil analysis uses controlled vortices
High-pressure mass spectometers offer robust, real-time, in-situ analysis.
Gas safety for semiconductor fabs
E+H unveils new Midwest temperature, analyzer plants
Monitoring versus controlling has a significant impact on system design
Flow measurement techniques continue to grow and evolve with new methods such as multipath ultrasonic, magnetic and Coriolis increasing at the expense of more traditional technologies such as orifice, weir and other differential pressure (DP)-based techniques. The increased use of these new technologies is partly a result of the increased capability of microprocessors and sensors to enable measurements not possible without enhancements in these areas. Another reason for their adoption is that, in most cases, they also provide higher accuracy and rangeability than DP technologies. But most of these flow measurement techniques tend to require more energy than DP flowmeters, and hence aren't well suited for deployment as wireless devices.A…
Controlling steam: What you don't know can hurt you
Achieving the best APC
HART PSK achieves practicality
Understanding P, I and D
Function block fundamentals: The case for bigger libraries created, tested and vetted by vendors
Function blocks are a recognized language under IEC-61131-3 for control system configuration, although it is hardly prescriptive in configuration, compilation or execution
Juanita asked her DCS systems engineer what seemed to be simple request: a rolling average of the last hour or so of analyzer results, so she could better direct her operations crews to make process adjustments. The analyzer produced a new update every three minutes, so how hard could it be to sum up the last 20 results and divide by 20?
Carlos, her systems engineer, began by poking around the pre-built function blocks in the plant’s DCS engineering and configuration tool. Function blocks can be broadly thought of as functions in the mathematical sense: inputs are acted on by a function and produce a result (output), which could be as simple as “multiply x by y” or as complex as “compute an output based on the error between…
New NovaTech controller helps control systems modernize, provides next-generation features
Reader feedback: April 2018
Schneider Electric details DCS at Foxboro event
Virtual plant virtuosity
Bedrock Automation releases OSA Remote
Product roundup: PLCs, PACs & PCs get connected
The father of the PLC lives on in all the lives he touched—and will continue to touch
Open system gives precise temperature control
SCADA reflects and reinvents
The cloud, IIoT, virtualization and other forces are reshaping supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) into new forms and functions, but can they do it securely?
If it had a face—and it sort of does—would you recognize supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) if you saw it on the street? Would SCADA even recognize itself in a mirror these days?
Chance are, probably not. This is because all the…
Benefits of upgrading to get more information may easily justify the cost
HMIs are multiplying, diversifying, and gaining flexibility
Yokogawa Corp., eSimulation Inc. form partnership
Control 2017 Readers' Choice Awards
AI’s impact will depend on how we control it
We need to get a grip on AI while there’s still time
We control the planet, not because humans are the strongest, fastest or biggest creatures, but because—as of yet—we’re the smartest of all God's creations. The totality of our mental processes allowed us to best adapt to our environment. This was the case since the end of the last ice age, but it is ending because of our own activity. This ending does not endanger nature, but could endanger us. This new chapter in our evolution was opened by automation, which delegated some of our muscle and brain functions to machines.Human or "normal intelligence" is the totality of all mental process to acquire and apply knowledge. When we delegate some of that intelligence to machines, they acquire artificial intelligence (AI). In the very…
2017 State of Technology: control systems
An ‘entitlement’ approach to continuous process control improvement
Expanding advanced process control to secondary units
Boilers as fast as fast can be
HMIs on tablets, smart phones need to comply with intrinsic safety standards
How to keep devices safe in hazardous areas
Going out in bad weather? You may need a sweater or coat. Working in a harsh or hazardous environment? You and your co-workers will need the right protective and safety gear.
The same goes for tools and accessories, especially all the human-machine…
2017 State of Technology: HMIs and industrial PCs
Working with IoT is not as easy as it sounds
Avoiding the Internet of spam still requires human intelligence
Factoring life cycle variables helps make intelligent motor-drive purchases
The largest potential for electric motor energy savings lies in system- and process-level optimization
Early electric motors were operated at one speed, guided by available current and voltage and often drive belt and pulley systems that mechanically controlled system speed and power. As motors evolved, efficiency improved, mostly by changing output control from mechanical to electrical and eventually leading to the creation of modern adjustable speed drives (AC drives).
Today, the largest potential for electric motor energy savings lies in system- and process-level optimization. Many different measures can be taken to improve the performance of processes and systems, but AC drives have the most important role to play. System-level optimization is possible thanks to several key elements in AC drive technology:
Motor independence: Drives…
Motors, drives deliver force behind the scenes
Resource guide: motors and drives turn on process industries
How automation can best affect the ratio that defines energy efficiency
Nord Drivesystems delivers biggest gearbox
Why equal percentage valves act linear
Computerized analysis quantifies the phenomenon found in real-world piping systems.
I was recently asked how the installed flow characteristic of an equal percentage valve in a system that includes a significant amount of pipe or other pressure-consuming elements “magically” becomes a linear, or approximately linear, installed flow characteristic. Although it has always seemed reasonable to me, I couldn’t find a simple formula or explanation that verifies this fact, but a computerized analysis, using a mathematical model of a system does confirm that it is indeed the case.To demonstrate this, we will consider the system shown in Figure 1. This is a system with a centrifugal pump and a significant amount of pipe, both upstream and downstream of the control valve. A static analysis shows that as flow changes, the…
Butterfly valve positioning: Nonlinear torque requirements can cause misbehavior
Digital positioners facilitate tuning
Product roundup: Valve technologies
How to sequence valves to smooth the transition from small to large
If a valve opens and closes automatically (spontaneously) what does it mean?
Q: We have a 3-in. Samson model 3310-07 AT butterfly control valve on steam service, with a BR 31a (Pfeiffer) SRP 150-4 (normal close), rotating angle 90 +/- 4 ° with a Capable Positioner model 3731-321 00421 100010000 01 served by a filter regulator 4708. The valve is installed between block valves with bypass. Maximum flow is 10 ton/h, steam inlet pressure (max) is 17.6 barg (I think this pressure is high for the selected valve and I will resize and change the selection of the valve), normal temperature 200 °C, valve Cv is 400.When there is no flow, the valve works correctly and responds properly up to 15% opening, but when we or the controller call for a greater opening than 15%, it suddenly opens fully (100%). I need your help to…
Smart instruments deliver
Resource Guide: valves, actuators and positioners
Reader feedback: How large does an actuator have to be to handle actual process conditions?
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality could benefit process automation industry
Tank-filling experiment exposes exciting potential with surmountable problems
Wherever software supports people at work, the question of the best human-machine interface (HMI) arises. In other words, how and where can the data the person needs be presented, so it can be understood, is easy to find and can be used in practice? This also applies in the daily work of automation engineering, and especially in the process industry, whether in the operation of the plant or in servicing and maintenance work. Can solutions from the field of mixed reality simplify users’ work in the future?Since many people are not necessarily wholly familiar with the terms virtual, augmented and mixed reality, here are a few definitions. Virtual reality is understood as the complete simulation of a virtual reality. Augmented reality, on…
How to design effective HMIs
Leeway on the learning curve
Interfaces lighten the load
Knowledge on demand - Part 2
Tapping into better, faster, more useful process information—for wiser decisions—can be easier than you think.
Putting fingertips to work
Of course, once quicker access to data is gained and better decisions are possible, some users are also confronted with unexpected capabilities and new roles based on that enhanced information and perspective.
Reader feedback: May 2018
OI package empowers operations
Advice on implementing ANSI/ISA standards for operator interfaces
Resource guide: Alarms
Control's monthly guide brings you invaluable industry information to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments.
Practical approach, benefitsThis online article, "Improve alarm management," by G.C. Shah of the Wood Group in Chemical Processing, covers how the main standards—ISA-18.2 (IEC 62682) and EEMUA-191, API RP 1167—provide guidelines for implementing an effective AM system by considering the alarm lifecycle. It also describes gap analysis and alarm system development. Read the article here. Chemical ProcessingCompare EEMUA 191, ISA-18.2The 23-page whitepaper, "Alarm management standards—are you taking them seriously?" from Honeywell, demystifies alarm standards and guidelines. It compares EEMUA publication 191, "Alarm systems—a guide to design, management and procurement” with ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, "Management of alarm systems for the…
Risk management offers an expanding menu of opportunities for ROI
Why automation has limitations in emergency situations
How to reduce alarm chatter
Our readers tell us who they think delivers the best technology in our industry
There's knowledge in our readers. That's why every year we ask our loyal audience to help us determine which automation service providers offer the best products and brands they can rely on to get the best combination of performance, ease of use,…
How Smart Can You Get? The Newest in Data Recorders
Data Acquisition Must-Haves
The Latest Data Acquisition Tools
Data Acquisition and Logging Gets on Track
How to handle the deluge of data
Plant-floor and enterprise levels are closer and more accessible than ever
Just as any path will get you there if you don't know where you want to go, possessing multiple avenues between plant-floor and enterprise-level systems is only useful if you can take an available shortcut by knowing what data you need and what to do with it.Until recently, the challenge was just establishing a connection between sensors, I/O, PLCs and DCSs at the operations level and the enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution system (MES), IT-based and management solutions on the business side. In the past, this was because so much data translation, protocol conversion, programming and other hurdles had to be crossed. Now, many of those former barriers are gone or diminished thanks to software that automatically…
How to identify and process data for usable, actionable information
Application gateways enable collection of edge data
We all can be data analysts
Resource guide: Process safety sources
Define your termsThe Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), an AIChE technological community, maintains its 49-webpage CCPS Process Safety Glossary, which contains helpful definitions for hundred of safety-related terms. There are even iTunes and Google app versions to download. They're all located here. resources/glossary AIChEEyeful of incidentsThe legendary video collection at the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's (CSB)website contains 82 computer-animated videos detailing the most significant process safety accidents since the CSB was founded in 1990. The detailed videos provide dramatic illustrations of the causes of the incidents, how they unfolded, and some recommendations for preventing similar events in…
Where wireless meets intrinsic safety
Resource guide: Sure-fire intrinsic safety
Intrinsic safety gives an inch
5 fieldbus pitfalls to avoid
Our next group of common fieldbus errors center around diagnostics and alerts.
The operations team had asked about a loop that appeared to be unstable, but by engaging the DCS autotune function, the systems engineer discovered issues maintaining a connection to the PID block. Drilling down into the DCS diagnostics application, she noticed that the controller’s backup (standby) redundant partner was unavailable. It was alive, but cycling through successive unresolved downloads, never returning to a healthy state and confirming its availability as a hot backup. Had it not been for the loop troubleshooting, this condition might have gone unnoticed until the primary failed and no partner was available. That would not have been a good day. But the redundancy trouble indication was masked by standing “bad quality”…
15 ways to fail at fieldbus - Part 1
Task force to release new Power over Ethernet wiring standard
Implementing the IIOT requires specialized, real-time data management skills
Slip rings use CC-Link IE for gigabit data transfer
Phoenix Contact introduces new VIP-ER system
Marshalling system supports configurable I/O
The introduction of configurable I/O has given users a new world of opportunity and advantages. With this evolution though, there remain traditional requirements and challenges like safely marshalling signals, converting voltages and simplifying loop checks.“The Honeywell Universal I/O solution is fantastic because it’s software- rather than hardware-based, so people who want to can keep their marshalling,” says Michael Hardman, product specialist, Phoenix Contact. But traditional marshalling requires I/O-specific components for each point, such as relays, fuses and isolators, which traditionally must be individually wired."Phoenix Contact’s new VIP-ER system allows users to configure the wiring functionality for any type of…
Resource Guide: I/O, terminal blocks
How do we deal with the brittle?
Making mobile process automation control devices safe
Mobile control device users rely on durable, reliable and safe solutions
Because process facilities and applications typically include difficult and dangerous environments, going mobile means bringing along added protections for people and devices alike.Dave Stock, president of Innovative Control Inc., a system…
Mobile process automation monitoring and control evolves
Resource guide: Drones and UAVs
Knowledge on demand - Part 1
App Platform aims to ‘drive the 33s’
Product roundup: Power supplies
Developers bake capabilities into their supplies that give users precise electricity profiles in small spaces.
Two- and three-digit LED programmable EZPPS programmable power supplies include two- and three-digit LED displays of output current and output voltage, respectively, at a glance without having to connect to a meter. The built-in displays let these NEC Class 2 models show field-programmable, current-limit using the LED displays and two buttons. They also feature a maintenance timer to alert users about expected unit lifetime, keep track of total number of hours they've been on, and provide an alarm for preventive maintenance and replacement before an unanticipated outage.EZPPS is available in 30-, 60-, 90-, 120- and 240-W models, which are protected against an output short or an overload with automatic recovery. They include DIN-mount…
Power supplies: just another detail?
Energy efficiency tools
Power control joins process control to aid energy efficiency
2016 State of Technology Report: The latest trends in power systems
Honeywell assists users with Connected Plant efforts
Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), Honeywell UOP and other divisions report they've been implementing their firm's Connected Plant program in projects worldwide
In a recent flurry of activity, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), Honeywell UOP and other divisions report they've been implementing their firm's Connected Plant program in projects worldwide.The company reported May 30 that OMV Petrom S.A. will use Connected Plant to provide prescriptive monitoring of its CCR Platforming unit at its Petrobrazi refinery in Ploiesti, Romania. Platforming upgrades low-value naphtha into high-octane gasoline and aromatics. OMV will use Honeywell's Process Insight Reliability Advisor software to feed plant data through Honeywell UOP process and fault models, and deliver proactive information and recommendations.Likewise, Shandong Tianhong Chemical Co. Ltd. reported May 29 that it's selected Honeywell UOP's…
CSIA to release Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual version 5.0
Reduce cutover concerns
Software speeds water plant project
Intelligent device management
Eaton’s Power Defense molded case circuit breaker adds connectivity and intelligence
MCCB offers higher-level metering and predictive diagnostics in a foundational electrical-system component
A circuit breaker’s useful life varies greatly, depending on many factors. The harsh conditions in a mining operation might shorten a circuit breaker’s life to mere months. But it’s not uncommon to find factories with banks of them in use for…
Column about nothing
Smart Industry & Safety Instrumented Systems
Honeywell launches batch solution
Experion Batch increases productivity for batch operations
Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) introduced a control technology solution, Experion Batch, which increases productivity for batch operations and speed-to-market of batch products by allowing operators to “look ahead” into their processes and see an intuitive and comprehensive timeline of every task required to complete a product batch. Experion Batch uses patent-pending visualization technology to provide batch automation processes with the benefits of distributed control capability. This approach provides operators with insights into upcoming events or potential delays, which make it easier for them to conduct multiple tasks, take appropriate actions sooner and adjust next steps accordingly.
Sometimes operators sense changes missed by managers and engineers
Resource guide: Mixing up a batch—maybe even golden
Getting away from batch opens opportunities for quality and throughput
Procedural automation everywhere
Cooling tower safety vs optimization: The operational and safety aspects of cooling towers
Part 1: Complexity affects reliability, operations and efficiency.
This will be a two-part series. Here, we describe the operational and safety aspects of cooling towers. The next column will discuss their control and optimization.Cooling towers (CT) are water-to-air heat exchangers, used to discharge the waste heat from processes into the atmosphere. They vary in size from small roof-top units to very large hyperboloid structures that can be as large as 200 m (660 ft) tall and 100 m (330 ft) in diameter, or can be rectangular structures that can be more than 40 m (130 ft) tall and 80 m (260 ft) long.When functioning properly, they serve the safety of the plants, while their failure can cause serious accidents due to overheating. Their cost of operation is the sum of the water and air transportation…
DSM Dyneema uses process analytics to improve business results
Process safety 101
Here is some of the latest process safety related coverage from CONTROL
It's one thing to talk the talk, but another to walk the walk. Although talking about process safety is a good place to start, taking initiative and implementing process safety procedures is another beast. Here is some of the latest process safety related coverage from CONTROL, highlighting the importance of process safety, making it a profitable endeavor and other resources."In the U.S., the process industry has lived through the aftermath of the Texas City and Deepwater Horizon events. This has resulted in many companies expending significant monies attempting to educate workforces on the importance of critical protection layers such as basic process control systems (BPCS) and/or safety instrumented systems (SIS), but even with the…
How to implement and achieve ROI from process safety - Part 2
How to effectively evaluate low-demand safety instrumented functions
ISA, The Open Group cooperate on development of control architecture
Interoperability and cybersecurity goals drive partnership
The International Society of Automation and The Open Group have agreed to a liaison Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate cooperation in advancing and harmonizing the development of a multivendor, interoperable, secure control architecture for application across the process industries. Activities will include sharing of best practices, document review and joint forums.The Open Group is an industry consortium of more than 625 companies and organizations that develops open, vendor-neutral technology standards and certifications. The new liaison agreement specifically pertains to The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), which is focused on developing a standards-based, open, secure, interoperable process control…
Consider managed services to fill cybersecurity gaps
Why GDPR spurred compliance
Successful cybersecurity depends on up-to-date intelligence
Exploring security awareness levels, new guidance, and unique vulnerabilities for industrial plants
How to design functional enclosures to protect electronic devices
It's easy to make small and costly mistakes when specifying and applying enclosures
Every component of a control system, from sensors to cables to controllers, needs to be protected from its environment. The most common way of providing this protection is by placing the equipment in some form of enclosure.
Sensors and associated electronics are typically packaged in a metal transmitter housing. Cables have insulation, of course, and in many cases, the additional protection of conduit or a cable tray. Controllers and other larger electronics or combinations of equipment are normally mounted in some form of cabinet.
The most common form of enclosure is metal, typically painted steel with stainless steel closing mechanisms and a suitable gasket or sealing assembly to provide the necessary level of protection from ambient…
Chemistry: What you don’t know can hurt you
Genpak plant roof collapses as staff evacuate building
How to secure your industrial networks
Product roundup: Enclosures, workstations protect and serve
Resources: workstations and enclosures
Enclosures are more than a box
2017 State of Technology: Workstations and enclosures
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