Control Engineering's Process Instrumentation Enews - January 2002


In this issue:

Three new programs help with Control Systems Technician certification

Virginia Beach, Va. - Coastal Skills Training (Virginia Beach, Va.) and ISA, the Instrumentation Systems and Automation Society (Research Triangle Park, N.C.), have developed three new training programs, which will help technicians prepare for ISA's Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) Program. The training programs, available in both web-based and CD-ROM formats, include the following:

  • The Basic Process Control Series -- This 9-part series teaches the principles and concepts of process control, covering many aspects of instrumentation with special emphasis on maintenance skills;

  • Process Measurement -- This 8-part program details the principles of temperature, pressure, level, and flow; and

  • The Calibration and Test Equipment Series -- This 6-part series covers calibration and the use of process control test equipment. Instrumentation errors are also covered.

The training programs can be previewed for 15 days free by contacting Coastal Skills Training at

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New alliance seeks educational consensus

Baytown, Tex . - Steve Ames, process training coordinator at the Baytown Area Training Organization, ExxonMobil Chemical Co. realizes that attrition will really take its toll in his organization over the next 10 to 15 years. In fact, 40-60% is forecast, and that figure may not be far off for other organizations that rely on technology, instrumentation, and manufacturing skills in their workforces. To help replenish retirees, training for younger people needs to be available and standard to some degree.

To that end, Mr. Ames has been working with those in business and education in the newly created Instrumentation & Control Technology Alliance (IPTA) to create consensus on at least 80% of the core courses on these topics at various institutions. The IPTA is an organization through which various Process Technology Alliances and other interested parties from throughout the U.S. and Canada have chosen to share and collectively pool their knowledge and efforts to further process technology education in the public sector. The IPTA's mission is to provide an annual forum and structure for industrial and education partnerships, alliances, consortiums, their members and supporters to come together with the purpose of sharing knowledge, ideas, expertise, and materials and stimulating dialogue on common competencies, curriculum, and degree programs in process technology. The ultimate goal is development of curriculum to support the two-year associate degree in process technology.

The Gulf Coast Process Technology Alliance of Texas and Louisiana sponsors the annual IPTA meeting along with its major partners the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium and the Greater New Jersey Process Technology Alliance. Thus far, 12 states and Canada have been represented at these annual meetings. For further information about IPTA or links to any of the Process Technology Alliances visit

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Understand industrial processes, measurement, control

Research Triangle Park, N.C. - The ISA Training Institute announces that 'Understanding Industrial Processes, Measurement, and Control,' will be held at the Cleveland, O. location on Feb. 25-27, 2002. This course provides an overview of industrial measurement and control using a generally non-mathematical approach. A detailed course description, information on related classes, and online registration is located at

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Infrared sensor market poised for growth

San Antonio, Tex. - According to Frost & Sullivan's latest market research, North American Infrared Sensors Market , infrared technology no longer is for expensive high-end instrumentation any longer. Falling prices and technological advances have combined to make infrared sensors the favorite technology for control engineers, manufacturers, and investors. Innovative smart sensors represent a fusion of infrared measurement capabilities with high-speed digital features. Integrating these components into new and existing applications offers commercial applications a higher level of sophistication in monitoring.

Says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst, Daniela Carrillo, 'The infrared sensors market in North America is dynamic, developing, and growing. Although there are many manufacturers in the gas, optical, humidity, and temperature sensor markets, most of them have not yet developed and introduced infrared sensing into their product line.' New analysis reveals that the infrared sensors industry generated revenues of $474.4 million in 2000 and projects revenues to increase steadily to $815.4 million by 2007. To visit the Frost & Sullivan website, click

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Size does matter! So does accuracy in setting food processing records

Leola, Pa. - What do you get when you take 269 lb of sausage, spread it into a 6-ft diameter patty and cook it over a charcoal fire? Or when you spend over four hours shaping 150 lb of icing? Hopefully, you get two world records. These events took place recently at the Farm Show Complex at Harrisburg, Pa., during Feeser's Distributing's 100th Fall Food Show, where various manufacturers vies to create food items that will qualify for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records (London).

On hand to verify the attempts were representatives from Pennsylvania Scale Co., manufacturers of the Model 6600 Base scale that was used to accurately weigh and verify the results of these submissions to Guinness. The scale itself is a load-cell type industrial low profile unit with remote NEMA 4-rated stainless steel enclosed electronics. The prepared sausage patty created by Hatfield Packing Co. (Hatfield, Pa.) weighed in at 252 lb after cooking and was submitted as the world's largest sausage patty. The icing, which was formed in a 36-in diameter rose for Hunt-Wesson Inc. (Fullerton, Calif.) will be submitted as the world's largest cake icing decoration. The Model 6600 weighed the items, which were prepared on site, only after the instrument was monitored and certified for accuracy. To visit the Pennsylvania Scale Co. website, click

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Specialty instrument department: porometer

Ithaca, N.Y. - There are some highly specialized devices out there in the instrument world and the capillary saturation porometer is surely among them. Porous materials of all kinds from sintered bronze bushings to packing materials need to tested for various industrial characteristics such as permeability, pore size, and pore distribution as part of overall manufacturing quality control.

Developed by Porous Materials Inc., the PMI capillary saturation porometer can determine the pore volume of a sample material. The sample is first soaked in a liquid that spontaneously fills its pores. Once placed in the instrument, a known pressure of non-reacting gas placed on the sample to displace the liquid from its pores. The volume of displaced liquid is then measured and pore diameter, pore volume, pore volume distribution are calculated. Liquid permeability can also be determined. The instrument is fully automated with short cycle times. Additionally, no toxic material or high pressures are used in the testing process.

To visit the Porous Materials website, click

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Some things make you go hmmm. Comments managing editor, Lloyd Slater, in the 'What's New' department in the January 1957 edition of Control Engineering , 'Data logging measures up to industrial standards but there are disturbing as well as reassuring reports from the first users in the process control field. During conclaves there is a visible groping by the designers for what is right and how to justify it.'

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Control Engineering News: survey, webcast, expo, online

Take this electronic records and signature survey: Is your company involved in FDA's 21 CFR Part 11 Electronic Records and Signatures regulation? Please take this survey. Control Engineering has scheduled an article about electronic records and signatures for April 2002. To help prepare the article, we want to understand your awareness of FDA regulation 21 CFR Part 11. If your company is directly or indirectly affected by FDA regulations, please click on the following link to complete a 25-question 21 CFR Part 11 awareness survey:

Register for the fieldbus webcast: Learn from experts in fieldbus technology in a Jan. 31 Control Engineering Technology Webcast, at noon. Register now at /webcast/archives/fieldbus.htm for this free, sponsored webcast: 'FOUNDATION Fieldbus: An Open, Integrated Architecture for Information Integration.'

Log on before Jan. 18, for your last chance to see SupplyChainLinkExpo , with 40 conference sessions, 85 speakers, and 120 exhibitors. It was co-produced by Control Engineering and the Cahners Supply Chain/OEM Group. Webcasts include:

  • The Use of Six Sigma in Supply Chain Management; with W. James McNerney Jr., CEO, 3M Corp., and Control Engineering's Dave Harrold.

  • Lifecycle Costs: Automation and the Supply Chain; John Moore, Vice President and General Manager for Supply Chain & Enterprise Software, ARC; and Control Engineering's Mark Hoske.

  • Ethernet and Industrial Networks; Roundtable with representatives from ControlNet/ODVA, Fieldbus Foundation, and Profibus Trade Organization; moderated by Control Engineering.

Log on before Jan. 18 through

Control Engineering's website includes registration for eight topical e-mailed newsletters, access to exclusive news and coverage from Control Engineering Europe , site search, Online Control Engineering Buyer's Guide , and Automation Integrator Guide Online , with advanced search functions. Go to /

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