Control Engineering's E-News for Process Instrumentation - February 2002


In this issue:

'Smart' sensors pack a punch

Chicago - Dr. James Truchard, president, ceo, and co-founder of National Instruments ( ) will be the keynote speaker at National Manufacturing Week, which includes the Industrial Automation Show. Dr. Truchard's presentation, The Impact of Smart Sensors and Next-Generation Networked Measurement Technologies, is scheduled to be presented on Tuesday, March 19, at 11:30 a.m. National Manufacturing Week will be held March 18-21, 2002, at the McCormick Place complex, Chicago. Dr. Truchard's presentation will cover how IEEE 1451.4 sensor/transducer standard can be more broadly applied than in the past and on committee efforts to update the standard so sensors can more easily be read locally or over a network. For more information visit event site at .

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Keep those instruments in tip-top condition!

Rosslyn, Va. - The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has reaffirmed ICS 1.3-1986 (R2001), Preventive Maintenance of Industrial Control and Systems Equipment. This document covers the fundamental principles, safety precautions, and common guidelines for preventive maintenance of most industrial control and systems equipment. According to NEMA, it is intended as a maintenance guide to supplement more specific maintenance instructions for particular product lines as well as other familiar NEMA standards. The document can be viewed on the Internet at , then clicking on Standards & Other Documents. It can also purchased for $31 by contacting Global Engineering Documents at .

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Industrial sensor market, stunned by 9-11, should rebound quickly

Norwalk, Conn. - According to an updated study from Business Communications Company, Inc. RGB-200R Industrial Sensor Technologies and Markets, the industrial sensor market is expected to cross $6.7 billion by 2006. The overall pace of growth is attributed to competitive pressures in process industries for improved performance and to new sensor technologies that are experiencing tremendous success. The strongest growth in sensor technology arises from developments in the semiconductor industry and the successful integration of microelectromechanical systems or MEMS as sensing elements. These products are said to have the necessary architecture to integrate complex functions in a single package and to comply with the demands of users regarding an acceptable price/performance range. For more from BCC, go to .

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Is there a Coriolis flowmeter in your future?

Dedham, Mass. - An entirely new market segment has been created with the introduction of low-priced Coriolis flowmeters, claims the newly released Coriolis Flowmeter Worldwide Outlook from ARC Advisory Group. According to the study, by eliminating density measurement capability suppliers have made Coriolis an affordable alternative to vortex and magnetic flowmeters for the measurement of mass or volumetric flow rate in general purpose applications. Direct mass measurement is the feature that sets Coriolis flowmeters apart from other technologies. Mass measurement is impervious to changes in pressure, temperature, viscosity, and density. With the ability to measure liquids, slurries, and gases, Coriolis can be considered the universal meter. For more from ARC, go to .

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Help with flowmeter selection

Picking the right flowmeter type for the job is never an easy task. And even when engineering has 'zeroed in' on the type most suited to a specific application, evaluation is far from complete. If a thermal mass flowmeter turns out to be the candidate for a particular flow measurement situation, a new web-based selection tool may be able to supply the help you need. Fluid Components International's (San Marcos, Calif.) now offers an online Application Evaluation Program at that is said to have been developed to meet the rigorous requirements of instrumentation, process, and plant engineers in the chemical processing, food/beverage, oil/gas, pharmaceutical, and many other industries.

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Specialty instrument department

Pompano Beach, Fla. - According to ISO 1520, a cupping test is used in 'accessing the resistance of a paint, powder, varnish, or related product to cracking and/or deformation from a metal substrate when subjected to gradual deformation by indentation under standard conditions.' The device, the CP2000 cupping test instrument developed by the Paul N. Gardner Co. Inc. resembles a manual ice-cream maker. It is, in reality, a mechanical instrument for testing the elongation of coating by means of a punch that slowly deforms the test panel until cracks are visible. Features include an ergonomic design zero-force test panel clamp, low force hand-cranked gearbox that ensures a slow and uniform cupping speed, a sliding magnifier with light source that ensures the first sight of cracking is clearly seen by the operator, and a digital cupping depth gage calibrated in millimeters or mils. For more from Gardner, go to .

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According to a survey, which formed the basis for 'Industry's Pulse' appearing in the February 1957 edition of Control Engineering, '...the control engineer has learned to be an objective specialist. He uses electrical, mechanical, optical, electronic, hydraulic, and pneumatic techniques in solving problems; 60% of the respondents work in three or more of these media. In this current age of engineering specialization this certainly cannot still be true. Or can it?

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