View All Process Instrumentation and Sensors
Odor measurement, control at industrial plants
Natural neutralizers mitigate malodors at industrial processing plants. By using instrumentation to measure and control natural plant-based odor removers, with from suppliers to research and prescribe tailormade formulas, processors are optimizing odor control techniques.
Wearable bioelectronic device capable of tracking multiple vital signs developed
University of Missouri researchers have created an ultrasoft “skin-like” material for use in the development of an on-skin, wearable bioelectronic device capable of simultaneously tracking multiple vital signs such as blood pressure, electrical heart activity and skin hydration.
Protecting oil and gas infrastructure with fiber-optic cable sensing
Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) can help prevent asset damage by continuously monitoring activity across thousands of miles of oil and gas infrastructure.
Elastic material impervious to gases, liquids developed
Researchers have developed a technique that uses liquid metal to create an elastic material impervious to gases and liquids, which could help improve protection from gases.
Switching on to pneumatic innovations
Pneumatic cylinder sensor switches may appear to be an automation commodity beyond advancement – but there is room for improvement.
Inertial measurement unit sensors lower risk for autonomous vehicles
Inertial measurement unit sensors lower risk for autonomous vehicles
Control Engineering hot topics, January 2023
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in January 2023 included stories on control system management, industrial robot trends, MQTT, most-viewed Control Engineering stories in 2022 and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Aircraft sensor market expected to double by 2033
The aircraft sensor market is expected to more than double by 2033 thanks to an increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In-place manufacturing method improves gas sensor capabilities, production time
Penn State researchers have recently enhanced their process for manufacturing flexible gas sensors made from nanomaterials.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: January 9-15, 2023
The top 5 articles from the past week covered universal automation, MQTT benefits, SI Giants, control system management and more.
Researchers demonstrate strain sensors for machine interface technology
Researchers have developed a stretchable strain sensor that combines sensitivity and range, allowing it to detect minor changes in strain than previous technologies.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: January 2-8, 2023
The top 5 articles from the past week covered control system management, December hot topics, nanoelectrics and more.
Process sensors and advanced analytics efficacy
Sophisticated sensors rely on predictive analytics for process and equipment monitoring. See examples of present and emerging process sensor applications.
Technique developed to help 2D materials expand
A technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices.
Leveraging the OT edge to navigate process manufacturing
As plants adjust to meet the realities of a new global marketplace, an evolving control system with secure operational technology (OT) edge technologies will help lead the way.
Control Engineering hot topics, October 2022
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in October 2022 included stories on alarm design management, edge computing, energy measurements, plant instrumentation and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: October 17-23, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered alarm design, EtherCAT, plant instrumentation and more.
Engineers develop shape-memory material for actuators
MIT researchers have developed a ceramic-based material that could be used for highly efficient actuators for aircraft or other uses, with minimal moving parts.
Instrumentation devices are joining the digitalization revolution
Instrumentation devices required regular inspection to identify faults and prevent downtime, requiring large maintenance teams and high costs, but that's changing with digitalization.
Scalable surface that mimics nature developed
Duke University engineers have developed a scalable soft surface that relies on electromagnetic actuation, mechanical modeling and machine learning to form new configurations.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: September 26 to October 2, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered plant instrumentation and controls, Engineering Leaders Under 40, PLC programming, automation mergers and acquisitions and digital twins.
Four practical steps to improved sustainability
Digital transformation concepts are the basis for projects to increase efficiency and reduce carbon footprint.
Sensor for E. coli risk detection for wastewater environments developed
Researchers at CU Boulder have developed and validated a sensor for E. coli risk detection when detecting contamination in wastewater environments.
Engineers fabricate a chip-free, wireless electronic skin
The chip-free device senses and wirelessly transmits signals related to pulse, sweat and ultraviolet exposure, without bulky chips or batteries.
2D boundaries could create electricity
Rice lab leads effort to generate thickness-independent piezoelectricity in atom-thick materials. 2D boundaries could be the key.
Smart face mask, other wearables designed as personal health trackers
University of Missouri researchers developed wearable smart bioelectronic devices and materials for better real-time health monitoring.
Soft actuators in robots emit light in colors, patterns
MIT researchers have created insect-scale robots inspired by fireflies that can emit light when they fly, which enables motion tracking and communication. See video.
Waterproof sensors improve temperature and motion sensitivity, wearability
Waterproof sensor devices could be used for health monitoring and to help with human-robot interactions
Standardizing data collection in breweries
Data collection in breweries is vital for cross-facility digitalization in the brewing industry.
Process knowledge system upgraded for improved automation
Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) is designed to provide process automation features and functionality to end users across the industrial sector.
Theory developed to help design systems that can interact more seamlessly
University of Chicago researchers have developed a framework that could help engineers design systems that can interact more seamlessly, resulting in better performance for multicomponent systems such as batteries or sensors.
Instrumentation calibration best practices, benefits
Instrumentation calibration is critical for process facilities to meet stringent calibration verifications and certifications. Four best practices and three benefits are highlighted.
Coordinate calibration, verification to improve measurement accuracy
By leveraging smart instrumentation and coordinating calibration and verification, plant personnel can automate maintenance tasks and increase productivity.
Upgraded software enhances subsurface flow visualization capabilities
Texas A&M University researchers are upgrading software with pathline calculation flow visualizations to show how changing conditions underground can affect the speed and direction of fluids.
What’s needed for a calibration analysis
A calibration analysis should consider how will the process operate and what is required to keep it running.
Industry 5.0’s role in process manufacturing’s evolution
Process manufacturing industries is undergoing a transformation as a wave of cognitive computing applications and infrastructure, collectively known as Industry 5.0, is changing how goods are produced.
Choosing the right packaging for a food and beverage facility
Owners must be strategic and intentional with material purchases and investments and what goes into a packaging process is no different.
Location-based process automation benefits
Leveraging location-based process automation technology for autonomous operations can help manufacturers in many ways.
Seven ways to choose between an electric and pneumatic actuator
Electric and pneumatic actuators are quite different, but knowing how and what they're using for can be confusing. Seven ways to choose the right actuator are highlighted.
Actuated butterfly valves 101 and piping systems
Butterfly valves are quarter-turn flow control or isolation devices, used for quick shut-off in piping systems. Four actuation methods are highlighted.
UniversalAutomation.Org welcomes oil and gas giant
UniversalAutomation.Org (UAO), an independent association managing a reference implementation of an industrial automation shared source IEC 61499 standard runtime, welcomes oil and gas giant ExxonMobil as a member.
Five things to keep in mind with gas ball valves
Gas ball valves are vital for industrial applications and it's important to know the standards required and some of their other special features. Five tips are highlighted.
Advancing flue-gas flow monitoring techniques
Considering advantages, disadvantages and process conditions of flowmeter technologies for the flue-gas (stack gas) measurement process engineers can help with selecting the suitable flowmeter for optimum performance.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 21-27, 2022
Articles about Engineers' Choice winners, enhanced level measurements, edge technologies, HMIs and situational awareness and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) were Control Engineering’s five most-viewed articles from March 21-27, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Turning wastewater into a valuable resource
Stanford University researchers have developed a method to help accelerate the adoption of wastewater technology that mitigates pollution, recovers valuable resources and creates potable water.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 21-27, 2022
Articles about Engineers' Choice winners, process monitoring, digital transformation, cybersecurity advice and industrial PCs were Control Engineering’s five most-viewed articles from February 21-27, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Solar-powered system offers a route to inexpensive desalination
A passive solar evaporation system developed by MIT researchers could be used to clean wastewater, provide potable water or sterilize medical tools in off-grid areas.
Product advice: Enhanced level measurements enable food and beverage production efficiencies
Accurately measuring levels in tanks and vessels can be challenging. Non-contacting radar transmitters designed for food and beverage applications are helping manufacturers improve production processes, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Controlling how surfaces and liquids interact
MIT researchers have developed a process that enables control over liquid-solid interfaces even with the most unlikely pairs of materials.
Flexible fiber lithium-ion battery developed for wearable devices
MIT researchers have developed a rechargeable battery can be woven and washed, and could provide power for fiber-based electronic devices and sensors.
Use thermocouple tech to achieve reliable multipoint temperature profiling
Advanced temperature measurement technology for cleaner, safer and more profitable downstream operations depends on reliable thermocouple technology
Wastewater management firm acquires SCADA company
Inframark, LLC has acquired MR Systems, Inc., which specializes in providing automation, process controls, instrumentation, and SCADA systems for the municipal water and wastewater market.
Vision and drone autonomy add to industrial process, safety, inspection applications
Technology advances such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR) are allowing drones to go to dangerous environments they couldn’t before without the need for GPS.
Mobile software provides instant tank inventory
New technologies provide tank inventory data to more stakeholders, wherever they are located, leading to improved operational efficiency. Tank inventory management software can provide level, interface level, temperature, density and pressure, and calculate volume and mass for inventory and custody transfers in real time.
Integrating vibration analysis devices with pumps, motors, compressors
An effective vibration measuring program can reduce downtime for manufacturers, but some tools are better situated for certain scenarios, and users should assess application needs and the situation.
Open process automation-based control system announced
ASRock Industrial is working with the Coalition for Open Process Automation (COPA) formed by CPLANE.ai and Collaborative Systems Integration (CSI) on the development of the first open-industrial control systems based upon the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS).
Benefits of non-invasive measurement in manufacturing applications
While thermowells are often used in process safety measuring, non-invasive measuring can offer many benefits and improved results.
Endress+Hauser inaugurates Texas campus
Endress+Hauser brings instrumentation, services and solutions closer to users in the process industries.
Vibration tests boost electric aircraft project
NASA carried out extensive ground vibration tests for its X-57 "Maxwell" electric aircraft, simulating the stresses it would experience during a real flight.
Smart sensor, compressed air monitoring helps Colgate-Palmolive with net zero carbon target
Emerson’s sensors and analytics help Colgate-Palmolive save energy and optimize production processes in manufacturing facilities, decreasing its carbon footprint. Other Emerson technologies applied to food processing and packaging were shown at Pack Expo Las Vegas, including controls, augmented reality, and pneumatics.
Urban mining for metals turns electronic trash into treasure
Flash Joule heating by Rice lab recovers precious metals from electronic waste in seconds, which could reduce hazardous waste and processing time. See video.
Flowmeters enable energy management
Building owners, manufacturers and institutions must seek ways to make their facilities more energy efficient with less environmental impact.
Ferrimagnet control for faster data storage, smaller sensors
MIT researchers have developed a way of rapidly switching the magnetic polarity of a ferrimagnet 180 degrees with a small applied voltage, which could help improve data storage and create smaller sensors.
Sinusoidal pump for pharmaceutical manufacturing
Sinusoidal pump provides pulsation-free product flow with no need for ancillary dampeners for pharmaceutical manufacturing applications.
New hydraulic actuator designs offer zero emission options
Compressor stations often employ automated valves activated using pressurized natural gas, requiring improved actuator designs to eliminate emissions.
Reliable multipoint temperature profiling in hydro-processing units
Advanced temperature measurement technology leads to cleaner, safer, and more profitable downstream operations.
Ideally suited for measuring the flows of conductive liquids, as well as for volume measurement of water and corrosive liquids.
Water detection monitoring sensors
The Zone Water Detection Sensor detects the widespread presence of water in areas like floors or drop ceilings.
Screening vibration sensor system
A screening vibration sensor system featuring batteryless technology, long-range sensor-to-gateway communication and more.
Flow measurement technology advances
Constant temperature and power anemometry advances in flow measurement technology are allowing process engineers to do more than ever before with process instrumentation.
Service ball valves
Valves engineered specifically for isolation in vent and drain valve applications in the power industry.
Power converters with conformal coating
Converters featuring conformal coating for protection in harsh environments.
Metamaterial reconfigured to modify its thermal, electromagnetic properties
The metamaterial is made using 3D printing technologies, which allows engineers to create networks of tiny tubes, known as microvasculature, that can be incorporated into a range of structural composites.
Heat transfer experiment arrives at International Space Station
The Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE) developed by Purdue University engineers, arrived at the International Space Station and will soon advance the science of heat transfer in microgravity.
How to quantify latency in batch processes
Here’s how advanced analytics software finds the root cause of, and the solution for, operational delays in batch processes.
Actuators explained: Types of actuators, application choice, maintenance
Actuators used in industrial and other applications require careful analysis of the requirements before choosing the right actuator for the application.
Siemens, Dow partner on process production test bed
The many uses of the digital twins in process automation
Vibration and temperature node
The GraceSense Vibration and Temperature Node 2 monitors vibration and temperature to insightfully predict health on any rotating equipment.
The KVZA Butterfly-Valve Configurator is designed to simplify procurement of manual and automated butterfly valves.
Intelligent linear actuator
RTK REact EQ-L electric intelligent linear actuator are ideal for processes that depend on 100% running time such as industrial, chemical, and power applications.
How process calibration has evolved with digitalization
Calibration has needed to evolve in line with the digital migration of HART devices, which has benefited both overall.
Streaming precise positioning data from valve positioners
The ability to use existing industrial Ethernet and wireless networks in process manufacturing plants and automation facilities has made data exchange within a facility and even throughout global corporate networks easier than ever.
Understanding HART status information
Using HART protocol is more effective when connected instruments provide status information back to the control system, providing reliability about the process variable, instrument reliability and troubleshoot. Learn nine HART statuses. See HART status diagram.
Process industry technical center opened
Beckhoff Automation opened a Process Industry Technical Center in Houston with a focus on process manufacturing
Four tips to get your process manufacturing facility off the ground
The next process manufacturing facility project can be made easier with precise planning, scheduling and coordination.
Four tips for calibrating a HART pressure transmitter
The fundamental purpose of a HART transmitter is to measure the input process signal and convert it into an accurate output signal and calibration is key.
Programmable fiber created to sense, store personal data
MIT researchers have created the first fabric-fiber to have digital capabilities, ready to collect, store and analyze data using a neural network.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 31 to June 6, 2021
Articles about the Career and Salary Survey, mature engineering information management, entry management portals, process control system connectivity and digitalization benefits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 31 to June 6, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Six things automation and control engineers need to know about calibration
Cover Story: Reasons for calibration include new instruments, repairs or modifications or scheduled care. Learn details about calibration’s impact on preventive maintenance, schedules, documentation and more.
Process automation standard integrated into control systems
Emerson is integrating the MTP process automation standard into its control systems to help increase speed-to-market and reduce project and operations costs.
National measurement system benefits for flow measurement
The importance of flow measurement accuracy in the energy sector which makes traceability, supporting documentary standards and regulatory regimes is vital.
Tank gauging systems increase safety, optimization
Modern tank gauging systems not only provide accurate and reliable level measurements, but also prevent overfills and predict roll-overs in cryogenic tanks storing LNG.
Safety instrumented systems: Diversity in flow measurement
The designer should consider what problems should be avoided via diversity — use of a different approach or technology.
How MEMS sensors are changing for automotive applications
Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensor suppliers are responding to new opportunities created by electrified and automated vehicles by developing inertial measurement units (IMUs).
Instrument technician’s evolving role
Many plant-floor technicians are being asked to do more as their role evolves.
Effective process control system migration: More answers
To help those with legacy distributed control systems (DCS) that need upgrades, Control Engineering offered a March 24 webcast for professional development hour (PDH) credit, “Effective process control system migration.” Additional answers from the speakers follow, along with a link to webcast, archived for one year.
Refining tests for detecting COVID-19 in wastewater facilities
Rice University-led study evaluates methods to find signs of COVID-19 virus in municipal wastewater plants and have found a viable and consistent method for detection.
Reduce waste, boost profits with process automation
Process automation can be used to reduce dairy process inefficiencies, while boosting profits.
Wastewater treatment reactor improves energy costs, reduces pollution
Systems featuring a 'membrane-aerated biofilm reactor' can also remove more nitrogen from treatment plant discharges have been developed by University of Michigan researchers.
Future-proofing process control systems with Lean project execution
Control engineers can future-proof their process control systems (PCSs) with Lean project management principles, which gives companies the flexibility needed to meet ever faster changing customer demands.
Smart pneumatic flow control
Reliable flow control equipment plays an essential part in the control of many manufacturing and industrial processes.
Low-cost, easy-to-use electric motion
Use easy-to-use electric actuators: Digital I/O ensures pneumatics-like control, while IO-Link adds a third, mid-point position for new capabilities.
Vertical pump efficiency and reliability
By optimizing performance and efficiency in these important pumps, operating and maintenance costs for vertical suspended pumps can be reduced.
How digital twins can help process simulations
Digital twins can help model-based technologies provide a basis for continuous process optimization and efficient plant operation.
Four ways to ensure production resiliency in food processing
Food processing operations need to be resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic and can achieve this by improving collaboration and enforcing consistency.
Control Engineering hot topics, December 2020
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in December 2020 included stories about 5 VFD parameter changes explained, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), 2021 System Integrator of the Year, replacing seven SCADA systems with one, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Method finds hidden warning signals in collected measurements
A deep-learning algorithm has been developed that could provide advanced notice when systems — from satellites to data centers — are falling out of whack.
Flowmeter testing, calibration has many challenges
There are several challenges of testing and calibrating flowmeters used in high pressure and high temperature applications.
Making process control more flexible
Large-scale automation systems have been at the heart of production line control, but an alternative modular automation approach is emerging.
Squeeze-twist coupling material strengthens actuators
University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have made an asymmetric material that twists, which could help advance actuator technology.
Maintenance automation: create a new recipe for data integration
To get top ROI for digitalizing your asset maintenance, consider a modernized version of the automation pyramid using ISA-95 Enterprise-Control System Integration.
Process instrumentation tips and tricks
Advances in process instrumentation extend beyond sensor accuracy. Computing, algorithms and networking capabilities add functionality.
Changes in store for advanced process control
In advanced process control (APC), closed-loop multivariable control brings the inherent benefits of greater timeliness and consistency, fewer alarms and constraint violations and more effective process optimization. Multivariable control is core to most process operations. See “What is ‘real-time’ optimization?”
IoT condition monitoring in the process industry
Industrial customers require insights into the behavior of their assets to proactively plan maintenance across their production facilities.
Velcro-like food sensor detects spoilage, contamination
A Velcro-like food sensor made from an array of silk microneedles has been developed that is designed to pierce through plastic packaging to sample food for signs of spoilage and bacterial contamination.
Smart thermometers use real-time data to help prevent outbreaks
Smart thermometers to detect and track the spread of contagious illnesses and pandemics like COVID-19 before patients go to the hospital have been developed by Kinsa, a startup company.
Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D material production
Mass production of 2D materials like graphene and molybdenum disulfide helps map crystal shapes and is urgently required by materials scientists.
Analyzing energy consumption using flow sensors
Arla Foods achieved energy transparency during cottage cheese production at a factory in Sweden. A flow sensor monitors temperature and flow rate.
Predictive analytics for efficient manufacturing production
Food and beverage manufacturers can use predictive analytics to reduce product waste and downtime.
3D-printed artery monitors blockages from the inside
UW-Madison materials science engineers developed an artificial artery that contains piezoelectric elements that can monitor for blockages and other problems remotely, which could be adapted for industrial hoses and pipes that could embed pressure sensors inside.
Researchers print, tune graphene sensors to monitor food freshness, safety
Iowa State researchers are using aerosol-jet-printing technology to create graphene biosensors that can detect histamine, an allergen and indicator of spoiled fish and meat for better food and beverage safety.
Graphene shield improves wastewater protection
Rice University researchers have found that a shield of graphene helps particles destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria and free-floating antibiotic resistance genes and other potential superbugs in wastewater treatment plants.
Researchers harness 3D printing to open new doors for microfluidics
Montana State University researchers have developed a new method of using 3D printing to make devices for microfluidics, which reduces manufacturing time and could allow researchers to produce affordable, customized prototypes of the devices.
Draw electronic sensors on human skin with a pencil
University of Missouri engineers discovered the possibility of using pencils to draw bioelectronics on human skin, which could potential use for biomedical components including electrophysiological, temperature and biochemical sensors.
Enhancing a mass spectrometer’s utility by making it smaller
Purude University researcher R. Graham Cooks is working on making mass spectrometers into a smaller, more portable system so its uses can be enhanced in the field.
Five tips for selecting the correct process valve for the job
Choosing an industrial valve for process applications depends on a variety of parameters: Use these five tips to help with process valve selection.
Method developed to measure temperature within 3D objects
University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have made it possible to determine a 3D temperature profile for semi-transparent objects in the infrared spectrum, which couldn't be done before.
Separating process control and safety systems
Process safety: Keeping process control and safety systems separate is crucial, but knowing what to separate and integrate and why is critical. Learn about safety instrumented function (SIF) and layers of protection analysis (LOPA).
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 4 to May 10, 2020
Articles about remote management, virtual process hazard analysis meetings, new controller options, manufacturing after the COVID-19 pandemic, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 4 to May 10, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How to run virtual process hazard analysis meetings
Although current circumstances prevent face-to-face meetings such as those for process hazard analysis (PHA), they can be accomplished online
Converting biological nutrient to low levels for wastewater treatment facilities
Many wastewater treatment facilities (WWTF) are either planning or are currently implementing biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes, which requires plant operations staff to balance carbon and nutrient needs. Four examples are highlighted.
ATMP facilities: The cost of manufacturing a magic bullet
Advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) projects could offer major breakthroughs in medicine, but the path to getting there is uncharted and extremely difficult. Tips for making the journey are highlighted.
How to tune servo systems (Part 1): Questions and answers
Inside Machines: More answers regarding servo system tuning follow the March 11 webcast on the same topic.
Understanding the role of multivariable control in industrial process operations
Advanced process control: An improved understanding of the role of multivariable control in industrial process operations will lead to more cost-effective solutions and engage a wider circle of people in the process automation enterprise.
EDGE Flow Sensor by AW-Lake
AW-Lake Company’s EDGE Flow Sensor with optional Bluetooth is designed for use in flowmeter applications requiring an analog, pulse or Modbus signal to a programmable logic controller (PLC) or other control system.
FWM8BLZ07A multi-function sensor by Fujitsu
Fujitsu’s FWM8BLZ07A is a multi-function sensor beacon that includes embedded temperature, humidity, air pressure, illuminance, 3-axis acceleration, and sound-level sensors.
DOE announced $3 million to improve manufacturing processes through high performance computing
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $3 million for high-performance computing, modeling, and simulation projects to improve manufacturing processes.
Understand partial-stroke testing
Partial-stroke tests (PSTs) of emergency shutdown (ESD) valves improve safety instrumented system (SIS) performance; monitor these critical valves to ensure the system’s ability to shut a process down in the event of an emergency
How to select, apply process sensors
When specifying process sensors, several common factors need to be considered such as the operating environment, mounting options and cable connections.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 17-23
Articles about the Engineers' Choice winners, process valve choices, cotton gin improvements, robots and drones in process facilities, and the top 2019 university articles were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 17-23. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Improving operations can save money for food, beverage manufacturers
Reducing operating expenses for food and beverage manufacturing applications does not mean compromising product quality and human safety.
Advanced radar technology optimizes separation process performance
Level measurement design: Guided wave radar (GWR) transmitters can detect a thinner top liquid layer in interface level measurement applications, making the separation process more efficient and preventing unwanted cross-contamination.
Control Engineering hot topics, January 2020
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in January 2020 included stories about the System Integrator Giants, Engineers' Choice finalists, robots in agriculture, subscription software, and advanced process control answers. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Making process control valve choices
Today’s process control valves offer an ever wider range of features and benefits for industries that require precise control over fluids, steam and other gases. With so many control valves to choose from it is important to establish the features that will deliver the most cost-effective design for a particular application.
Subscription software drives digital transformation
A subscription delivery model can hasten adoption automation software required to progress in the journey toward digital transformation.
Get flow measurement right the first time
Understanding, monitoring and controlling flow rate are essential elements to the viable operation of production systems and must be done right. See five key flow considerations.
Improve process control engineering with better collaboration, security
The process control system can provide a reliable basis for effective and efficient collaboration for engineering projects.
Researchers develop coating that uses thermal trickery for detection
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have built a coating designed to break the relationship between temperature and thermal radiation, which could have an impact on infrared cameras used for vision applications.
Control Engineering hot topics, November 2019
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in November 2019 included stories about the Engineers' Choice finalists, control system migration, information and the cloud, profit-driven operations, the future of industrial automation, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
HART increasingly used for quick diagnostics
Pluggable disconnect terminals for process engineering control systems. HART can help control processes in 3 ways.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 18-24
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, control system technologies, control system migration, industrial automation, and information and the cloud were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 18-24. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Double up on solenoid safety
Adding two solenoid valves to a safety instrumented system keeps equipment, facility and personnel safe and the system online.
Eight selection criteria for actuation components
Electromechanical systems offer advantages over hydraulic and pneumatic actuators
Nine critical considerations for aseptic processing in food and beverage
Whether you’re doing a brand refresh, looking to reach new consumers or want to expand your product offerings, adding aseptic processing for your food and beverage manufacturing can be a boon for your operations.
Profit-driven operations require IT/OT integration
Maximizing process plant profits requires close integration across all levels of an organization.
Flowmeter market growth expected thanks to oil and gas industry recovery
A study from Flow Research projects the worldwide flowmeter market will grow from $7 billion to almost $9 billion by 2023 as the oil and gas industry continues recovering. Flow measurement technologies advance.
PlantESP by Control Station
Control Station’s PlantESP is a leading control loop performance monitoring (CLPM) solution.
Opening your options: Control system migration
Inside Process: Aging process control systems (PCSs) create nine major problems. There are three good reasons to migrate distributed control systems before obsolescence.
How information ascends to the cloud for greater utilization
Modern instrumentation delivers data, but too often it serves no purpose.
Temperature sensors can be remotely targeted and hacked
Researchers at the University of Michigan and University of Louisiana at Lafayette demonstrated an adversary could remotely manipulate the temperature sensor measurements without tampering with the targeted system or triggering automatic temperature alarms.
Control Engineering hot topics, September 2019
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in September 2019 included stories about control system design shift, process control education, model-following control, the evolution of modern manufacturing, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
API 18.2 recommendations improve level instrumentation
Updates to safety standards call for capable instrumentation to address safety and accuracy concerns.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 23-29
Articles about control system design, HMI and SCADA web browsers, SCCR safety, water/wastewater applications, and process control and instrumentation productivity were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 23-29. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Water, wastewater industry is going digital and getting smarter
The water and wastewater industry is improving digitalization and automation with smarter sensors designed to make operations safer.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 16-22
Articles about process control and instrumentation productivity, control system technology, Leaders Under 40 winners, modern manufacturing, and electronic motion control developments were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 16-22. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Leonard W. Moore, founder of Moore Industries-International passes away at 85
Leonard (Len) W. Moore, P.E., founder and owner of Moore Industries-International Inc., an industrial and automation control company, passed at the age of 85.
Shift in control system technologies, design
Project execution using a process control system highly integrated virtual environment melds software and networking to uncouple control applications from physical equipment, and controllers from physical I/O. This reduces capital cost by shifting from customization to standardization and eliminating some non-value-added work.
Continuing education advances process control, instrumentation productivity
Process control productivity requires education for optimal technology specification, integration and use. Industrial suppliers are among those doing the educating.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 26 to September 1
Articles about smart control valves, orifice meters, managing automation projects, managing an engineer career, and preventing burner fuel delivery accidents were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 26 to September 1. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Antineutrino detection could remotely monitor nuclear reactors
Georgia Tech researchers have found antineutrino detectors offer a solution for continuous, real-time verification of what is going on within a nuclear reactor without actually having to be in the reactor core.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 19-25
Articles about smart control valves, orifice meters, managing automation projects, managing an engineer career, and preventing burner fuel delivery accidents were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 19-25. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Battery-free sensor developed for underwater exploration
A submerged system developed by MIT researchers uses the vibration of piezoelectric materials to generate power and send and receive data.
Test smart process control valves in minutes
An automated loop calibration tool can screen valves and identify which ones require more testing and should be pulled.
MAQ20-Eagle.Io IoT by Dataforth
Dataforth’s MAQ20-Eagle.Io IoT cloud-based remote monitoring system is designed to remotely monitor environmental sensors and can gather data in real-time from any data logger or text file, transform data automatically using processing and logic, and more.
Mobile process sensor technology developed to identify plant diseases
North Carolina State University researchers have developed a mobile process sensor that uses analytics to identify plant diseases in the field by sampling airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) plants release through their leaves with a mobile instrumentation device.
Prevent burner fuel delivery accidents
Valve safety trains require regular inspections, maintenance and training.
Condition monitoring and testing company acquired
Fluke Corp. has acquired PRÜFTECHNIK, a German-based company focused on condition monitoring and non-destructive testing.
Revised pump design saves diesel margin for nuclear power plant
Nuclear power facilities are equipped with large diesel generators that supply emergency power for important safety circuits in the event of a situation where a power outage requires critical pumps to operate and safety shutdown the reactor.
Control Engineering hot topics, June 2019
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in June 2019 included stories about the Career and Salary Survey, alarm management and process safety, choosing the right HMI, retrofitting Industrie 4.0, DCS migration, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Integrated virtual control system announced for processing, oil and gas applications
Honeywell unveiled Experion PKS Highly Integrated Virtual Environment (HIVE), which is designed to help engineers maintain industrial control systems (ICSs) for chemical, processing, and oil and gas applications and simplify the overall process.
Process manufacturer reports strong 2018 growth
Endress+Hauser reported strong growth in 2018 and positive projected growth for 2019 thanks to process automation sector sales in the U.S.
Flowmeter market growth expected thanks to oil & gas industry recovery
A study from Flow Research projects the worldwide flowmeter market will grow from $7 billion to almost $9 billion by 2023 as the oil & gas industry continues recovering.
Flow measurement instrumentation company acquired
The TASI Group has acquired Sierra Instruments, a flow measurement instrumentation manufacturer.
Sensitive heat sensor being developed for electronic, building applications
Researchers have developed a sensitive heat sensor that is flexible, transparent, and printable and could have potential for a wide range of applications – from electronic skin to smart buildings.
Online education benefits for process instrumentation, control
In-person training for process instrumentation and control (PIC) provides valuable training on-site for engineers, but online education can save time and money for everyone involved while giving engineers a base of knowledge they can build from.
Single-cable BiSS Line interface by Posital
Posital’s single-cable BiSS Line interface for its motor feedback kit encoders now has full implementation of 2- and 4-wire versions.
Aeroflow high performance control by Circor International, Inc.
The Aeroflow high performance control integrates aerodynamic and hydrodynamic flow design, smart valve technology, and a modular design.
Multi-conductor sensor/actuator cable by AutomationDirect
Flexible multi-conductor sensor/actuator cable is now available from AutomationDirect in 24 AWG and 22 AWG with 3, 4 or 5 unshielded conductors, and in customer specified one-foot increment lengths.
ERP questions and considerations for process manufacturers
Process manufacturers face many challenges when choosing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software due to many challenges with codes and standards and constant maintenance.
Control Engineering hot topics, April 2019
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in April 2019 included stories about rate-predictive control, Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, object-oriented programming, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Model-less multivariable control benefits
Part 2: Model-less multivariable control (XMC) is designed to solve multivariable control challenges without using detailed models or embedded optimizers.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 15-21
Articles about rate-predictive control, the Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, temperature sensor calibration, and connecting quality and process data were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.
10 steps to take when incorporating drug products into a facility
Companies that choose to incorporate drug products into a manufacturing facility need to consider many steps to make the process a smooth one.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 1-7
Articles about feedforward control, rate-predictive control, IIoT and machine control, Big Data analysis, and the top stories of March 2019 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.
PB Series by Microflex
Microflex’s Pixel Signs PB series process bar displays, which make it easy to monitor virtually any process data.
Understanding feedforward control
Feedforward controls applied to a process, with limited, measurable disturbances, can keep the process variable close to the setpoint.
Nanocrystals improve quantum dot manufacturing for process monitoring applications
North Carolina State University researchers have developed a system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots to reduce manufacturing costs for real-time process monitoring to help ensure quality control.
What is rate-predictive control?
Advanced control: A new non-PID control algorithm, rate-predictive control (RPC), is adaptive to changes in process gain, which is helpful given the industry’s difficult history of loop tuning, auto-tuning, and model maintenance. RPC also can serve as a model-less feedback multivariable control algorithm.
Manufacturing and process facility trends: Digitalization
Technology update: Digitalization was are among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.
Up next: More open process automation?
Process automation systems need lower lifecycle costs, easier integration with third-party components, better scaling, intrinsic security, flatter architecture, and interoperability. Multiple, broad-based efforts are underway to create cooperative, rather than conflicting, standards.
The art and science of solids level measurement
Experience is required to properly design and apply solids handling systems. Accurately measuring the quantity of solids in a tank or silo is crucial to product management, custody control, and transfer.
Extend edge data gathering with multivariable instruments
Measure multiple variables to deliver data-rich IIoT applications.
Temperature sensor calibration
Sensor failure risks are significantly reduced if the temperature sensor can be calibrated in situ.
How the R&D tax credit can benefit control system and process engineers
The research and development tax credit can help control systems and process engineers offset the mounting costs from product and service enhancements.
Process automation device model endorsed by standards groups
FieldComm Group's process automation device information model specification (PA-DIM) has been endorsed by the OPC Foundation, and Profibus & Profinet International (PI).
Top 5 Control Engineering articles January 28 to February 3
Articles about process closure benefits, the System Integration Giants, the future of IIoT software, MQTT's role as an IoT message transport, and primary and secondary flow measurement were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 28 to February 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Enabling process industry digital transformations
International: A new solutions center in China and digital capabilities of process instrumentation enable process industries to lower costs and increase efficiencies with digitalization, virtual reality, augmented reality, and advanced flow sensing capabilities.
Wireless gas detectors benefit from rising adoption of IoT technologies
Frost & Sullivan's survey finds vendors with Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for their wireless gas detectors will find greater growth opportunities.
How to select a process control system
Selecting a process control system (PCS) involves experienced personnel and understanding critical elements for operations.
Oil terminal efficiency improved with high-capacity flowmeter
Coriolis flowmeters mitigate pressures placed on terminal, tank farm, and pipeline distribution facilities.
Three primary systems used in continuous oral solid dose manufacturing
Three systems are primarily used in continuous oral solid dose manufacturing and each one has their benefits and drawbacks depending on the company and the product they make.
Four process closure benefits for a company
A process closure is easily misunderstood, but it can provide a process manufacturer many potential benefits such as increased profits and safer workers.
Verifying primary and secondary flow measurement performance
This article discusses a novel method to analyze the performance of the primary and secondary flow measurements by separating repeatability and accuracy (bias shift) without having to assume the PM is always accurate and repeatable and identifies whether the issue is with the PM or with the SM.
Hermetically-sealed, spring-loaded LVDTs by NewTek Sensor Solutions
NewTek Sensor Solutions’ series of spring-loaded linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs) are designed to provide accurate dimensional feedback for a variety of position measurement and quality assurance applications.
Control Engineering hot topics, December 2018
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in December 2018 included stories about the 2019 System Integrator Giants, Engineers' Choice Finalists, SIY winners, temperature measurement for process applications, leveraging process simulation, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 17-23
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, 2019 System Integrator Giants, automating a manual valve, temperature measurement, and P&ID diagrams were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 17-23, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Temperature measurement with RTDs, thermocouples
Process sensing: The most common process sensor measurement is temperature and resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), and thermocouples are the most widely used sensors for industrial temperature measurements. See 11 summary tips for temperature sensor selection.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 3-9
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, leveraging process simulation, implementing a linear motion application, getting stronger process readings, and AR and VR were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 3-9, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How to automate an existing manual valve
Automating an existing valve instead of replacing it can save time and reduce costs.
Getting stronger process readings
Getting an accurate process variable measurement depends on many factors, but it must begin with the right instrumentation.
Digital technology smartens Micro Motion sensor
Boulder, Colo.— Micro Motion Inc. unveiled its new MVD (multivariable digital) Technology at its Perspectives 2001 media event on Feb. 28-March 2. MVD Technology reportedly makes Micro Motion's flowmeters work smarter by using front-end digital processing to reduce signal noise and allow faster response time than with analog devices.
Three Asian shows will run together
Singapore— Previously staged separately, three Asian technology exhibitions will run concurrently here on June 5-8, 2001. ICAM Asia 2001, International Trade Fair for Industrial Control, Automation, and Measurement, and IA 2001, 7th International Industrial Automation Exhibition, will be staged together for the first time.
PVTs use diagnostics, go digital, deliver multiple readings
Trends in Process Variable Transmitters Diagnostic capabilities Digital protocols Faster communication ONLINE See this product focus at www.controleng.com for additional information. Process variable transmitters (PVTs) perform a type of dance that goes on between various processes and the transmitter moving information to the end-user.
Analyze data quality for process control systems
Data obtained from process analyzers need to be trusted and verified to help the user make an informed decision. Considerations include communications reliability, analyzer status, and logic platform.
Choose the right accelerometer
Comparing vibration sensor technologies for condition monitoring, which are increasingly being used for high volume, smaller machinery.
Top 10 tuning tips for control engineers
Best practices to follow to increase loop tuning performance and reliability in a facility include increased efficiency, controller gain, and being aware of loop interactions.
Eight factors for process automation project success
Process automation projects are complex and can go through many challenges before completion. Remaining open, honest, and demanding high expectations from everyone can help ensure the project will be successful.
Optimizing faster chemical reactions safely
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a flow-based high-throughput screening technology designed to identify optimum conditions for performing high-pressure/high-temperature catalytic chemical reactions.
Getting Lean on scrap
eKanban focuses manufacturers on reducing inventory, lowering cycle times, and helps best practice operations reduce scrap as part of continuous improvement efforts.
Open standards tackle digital complexity for process automation organizations
Process automation organizations often can’t take advantage of advances in digital technology due to the lack of interoperability between operations technology (OT) systems, but open standards can be a way forward.
Tips on sensor selection
Many types of sensors are available to manufacturers, and knowledge about the application type and basic operation conditioning requirements can create a more informed and accurate sensor selection choices for factory automation and machine control. How to find sensors, operating requirements, sensor explanations are provided.
Data analytics and visualization company acquired
Software AG announced its acquisition of data analytics company TrendMiner NV, which specializes in visual data analytics for the manufacturing and process industry.
Manufacturing requirements for device package met; microsite launched
FieldComm Group announced the first three companies have successfully completed the requirements for registration of an FDI device package for a field instrument. The group also launched their microsite to provide education on the benefits of FDI and assist users for upcoming projects.
Pneumatic technology company acquired by process manufacturer
Emerson announced it has agreed on terms to acquire Aventics for €527 million in a bid to expand their reach in pneumatics technologies for process and industrial applications.
How IIoT impacts tool and sensor functionality
On the front lines of the cloud’s maintenance disruption.
Vibration, industrial process control companies merge
Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (HBM) and Brüel & Kjær Sound and Vibration A/S (BKSV), will merge their businesses effective January 1, 2019 and will be renamed Hottinger, Brüel & Kjær (HBK).
Advice from the Triton cybersecurity incident
Cybersecurity incident: Human errors enabled it, but the Triconex safety controller shut down the plant as designed, say experts with Schneider Electric and ARC Advisory Group. But it’s still a call to action for industry. Have you implemented changes since then?
Near-infrared imaging growing in demand
Near infrared (NIR) imaging is growing in demand around the globe, typically as a replacement for thermal or far-infrared (FIR) vision for night vision and its potential applications are growing.
Remote monitoring of irrigation systems
Wireless remote monitoring and control systems enable farmers to gain better control and visibility over the operations of their irrigation systems and to make better decisions regarding water, chemical, and electrical usage.
Process control sensor types and applications
Taking accurate, reliable measurements of process parameters that matter is the first step to optimizing any control loop. You cannot improve what you do not measure. Process sensors help, including temperature sensors, pressure sensors, level sensors and flow sensors (flow meters).
Pump field services are vital to maintaining reliability
Large pumps, such as those operated in the oil and gas, power generation and water industries perform a crucial role and represent a significant investment by the owner. When it comes to maintenance it is possible to have the best of both worlds when choosing between an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and an independent service provider (ISP).
Open process automation leads to innovation
Innovation helps distinguish between a leader and follower and can take companies and users into directions they never anticipated, according to Kenny Warren of ExxonMobil during his keynote speech at the ARC Industry Forum.
Product design: Standards, error avoidance help
Look at how standards and error avoidance helped with applying new level technology to a process sensor for insights into other automation designs.
Measuring torque with angle sensors
A technique for measuring torque with angle sensors first used in the 1950s is making a comeback due to new developments in inductive angle sensors.
Setting internal automation standards
Industry regulations aren’t specific enough, so internal standards are required to ensure consistency among automation system hardware and software installed in your plant or facility.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles January 15-21
Articles about control and instrumentation tips, hot Control Engineering topics, modular control system design, four VFD trends, and selecting the correct factory automation controller were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Seven tips for better control and instrumentation RFP/RFQ results
A good request for proposal (RFP/RFQ) project should use qualified results, have a defined scope, an architecture overview, and a strong consideration for risk.
Know when to upgrade a facility’s control system
Upgrading control systems is costly and expensive and should only be done when necessary. Signs such as increased energy savings, current renovations, and the system reaching the end of its life are clear signs a chance is needed.
Top 10 Control Engineering topics for 2018
Think again: Hottest 2018 topics in automation, controls, and instrumentation are here, but don’t take my word for it; help write future history.
Picking the right discrete sensor for a machine application
There are many considerations for picking a discrete sensor for a machine application. These include if the sensor is being used for position detection or part detection or if the application is hazardous. See four factors for industrial sensor specification.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 13-19: Engineers’ Choice finalists, mobile robot standards, process analytics, more
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, industrial mobile robot safety standards, process engineers and analytics, IoT and ERP, and a motor and drive webcast Q&A were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 13-19. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Selecting the right hydraulic flow divider
Hydraulic flow dividers are getting smaller and more powerful, but the user still needs to know whether they need a gear type flow driver or a spool type as each provides specific benefits depending on the application.
Picking the right solenoid valve for operating a shutoff valve
Electro-pneumatic solenoid valves come with many options and it can be challenging to know what is the right type for a specific application.
Square root scaling for differential pressure flowmeters
The square root for differential pressure-(DP-) based flow can be taken either in the transmitter or in the controller and its easier to configure the transmitter to take the square root because, on the low end, a very small change in DP results in a large change in flow.
ERP for regulated process industries: Distinguishing between verification and validation
In the course of setting ERP selection criteria, keep in mind the differences between verification and software validation.
Pursuing wireless power, implementing wireless sensing
The August 2017 issue of AppliedAutomation focuses on the Tesla coil and how to implement wireless process sensing in large plants.
Implementing wireless process sensing
Installing a wireless sensing system may seem complicated, but following these four basic steps can simplify the required effort.
Ultrasonic sensor and mounting kit
Hoffmann-Krippner PiL’s P53 “Steel Head” ultrasonic sensor and mounting kit is an off the shelf, hygienic sensor solution designed for the food and beverage sector and chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Expansion in instrumentation with software, technology updates
Market update: Honeywell expands process automation and instrumentation products and channels to continue to augment growth in the next three years, according to Control Engineering China.
Inspection and repair program for gas analyzers
Q.E.D. Environmental Systems, Inc.'s Fast-N-Easy Inspection and Repair Program features a streamlined repair process.
Miniature pneumatic pinch valves
Clippard's NPP series 2-way pneumatic pinch valves are designed to isolate fluid from a mechanical valve for medical, food, and other applications.
Remote tank monitoring hatch sensor
SignalFire's Hatch Watchdog monitors the status of tank hatches to mitigate environmental and safety risks.
Five challenges for process manufacturers in the food and beverage industry
Process manufacturers face problems keeping up with strict regulations in labeling, traceablility, recipe management, and the manufacturing process.
Temperature manufacturing facilities opened in Indiana, Michigan
Endress+Hauser opened a 42,000-sq-ft. temperature manufacturing facility in Greenwood, Ind., and have extended their analyzer manufacturing plant in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Using diagnostic functions to improve system safety
Some diagnostic capabilities are built into smart instruments, while others are designed into a process.
Benefits of ERP for process and batch manufacturing
Batch and process manufacturing have specific needs for software and production and enterprise resource planning (ERP) modules can help ensure that production is efficient and profitable.
Water solenoid valves for food and beverage applications
AutomationDirect’s family of potable water solenoid valves are designed for food and beverage applications and are suitable for use with a variety of liquids, oils and gases.
Radar level transmitters with diagnostics and instrument verification
Endress+Hauser's Micropilot FMR5X free-space radar and FMP5X levelflex guided radar level transmitters feature Heartbeat Technology, which is an on-board diagnostics and instrument verification system.
Surface sensing temperature measurement solution
Emerson's Rosemount X-well Technology surface sensing temperature measurement solution is designed to measuring the pipe surface temperature and ambient temperature.
Digital temperature sensor series
AutomationDirect's ProSense ETS series digital temperature sensors combines a precision RTD sensing element, measuring electronics, and process fitting in a stainless steel temperature transmitter probe.
Data logger for profiling painted, powder-coated products
Fluke's Datapaq EasyTrack 3 system is a data logger designed to make profiling oven cure of painted and powder-coated products easier and it can be used in harsh environments.
Guided microwave level transmitter for continuous measurement
BinMaster's GWR-2000 guided microwave level transmitter provides continuous level measurement in vessels up to 100 feet tall and is designed for challenging conditions such as vessels with high dust and air movement, or excessive noise.
Getting focused: Using 80 GHz radar sensors for liquid level measurement
The introduction of 80-GHz radar sensors represents a paradigm shift in liquid-level measurement. High-frequency devices have ushered in an era of new possibilities for the process control industry, and it’s because of signal focusing. This article looks at things an 80 GHz radar sensor can do that its predecessors cannot.
Understanding upstream and downstream pipe diameters for flow measurement
While there are some creative ways to get flowmeters piped, there are certain installation best practices that should be adhered to whenever possible.
Vibrating fork level detector for level detection
Emerson Automation Solutions' Rosemount 2140 is a wired Hart vibrating fork level detector and is designed to perform in applications with high temperatures and harsh conditions unsuitable for other level monitoring devices.
Tips on sizing pneumatic actuators
Pneumatic actuators come in many design types, but all share the same need for basic understanding of how their torque operates a valve. Understanding torque requirements and how to size an actuator are crucial.
Thermal imaging camera for process control, monitoring applications
LumaSense's MCL640 thermal imaging camera is designed for industrial process control and monitoring applications and can be ordered with a number of environmental enclosures enabling accurate and safe operation in the harshest environments.
Miniature monitoring solution for data logging metal temperature
Fluke Process Instruments' Datapaq MonoPaq2 system is a miniature monitoring solution for monoblock cure processes and profiles the metal temperature of coated aluminum bottles, aerosols, and collapsible tubes.
How to set up proper steam condensate piping
Inside Process: Steam condensate systems must have proper piping to ensure optimal performance.
Coriolis mass and electromagnetic flow instrument families
Endress+Hauser's Proline 300/500 family of Coriolis mass and electromagnetic flow instruments are designed to simplify installation, speed commissioning, and streamline both operation and maintenance activities.
Using FEED for a successful batch implementation
Batch implementation projects are much more likely to be successful when a thorough front end engineering design (FEED) is performed and if several questions are addressed during the implementation process.
How to select a system integrator
CSIA experts advise setting benchmarks and following key steps to make the right decision for an automation project.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles November 12 to December 12: Engineers’ Choice finalists, PID velocity, PLC programming benefits, more
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, six action items for aging DCS/PLCs, process automation system understanding, easier and safer robotic programming, and PID and digital control efficiencies were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 12 to December 12. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
Vortex flowmeter for utility applications
Emerson's Rosemount 8600 Utility Vortex Flowmeter is designed specifically for utility applications and provide accurate flow measurement.
Thermocouple measurement instrument with military-grade connectors
VTI Instruments' RX1032 rugged thermocouple measurement instrument is designed to provide thermocouple measurement accuracy and acquisition rates and is configured in a rugged compact form factor that makes this instrument ideal for use in demanding environments.
Differential pressure switches and indicators
Clark Solutions' Series 604 differential pressure switches and Series 699 differential pressure indicators and transmitters feature a ceramic fulcrum lever technology and are developed for a variety of specialized pressure sensing applications.
Automation and controls manufacturer moves to new facility in Connecticut, appoints new president
Omega Engineering Inc., is moving its headquarters to a new facility in Norwalk, Conn., which coincides with an announcement of Joe Vorih as president.
Infrared cameras for industrial, process, and utility applications
Fluke's Ti480 and TiX580 infrared cameras are designed for industrial, process, utilities maintenance and building inspection professionals.
PID and digital control efficiencies
Most proportional-integral-derivative (PID) applications use digital controllers, though some still use analog. Digital control can offer additional process control system efficiencies.
Variable volume pump for delivering liquid with changing viscosity
Tri-Rotor's 220TV variable volume pump is designed to immediately respond to changes in the discharge line to provide optimum delivery of a liquid with changing viscosity.
Intelligent pump control and protection solution
ITT's PRO Services' PumpSmart PS220 is an intelligent pump control and features include patented pump protection technology designed to protect against upset conditions such as dry run, minimum flow, and cavitation.
Data acquisition system for process control applications
Endress+Hauser's Memograph M RSG45 data manager is a data acquisition system for small process control applications and has EtherNet/IP capability.
Volumetric screw feeders for metered dispensing
Scaletron's Model VMF-28 volumetric screw feeders are designed for metered dispensing of powdered or pelletized chemicals into water, wastewater, and chemical treatment processes.
Mass flow controllers for vacuum chambers
Alicat Scientific's MCE and MCV series of mass flow controllers are designed to ensure optimal coating environment in vacuum chambers and maintain product integrity in coating and sputtering processes.
Laboratory pH series for challenging environments
Sensorex’s Basic, Advanced, and Research-Grade pH1000 laboratory sensor series offer a range of options to maximize measurement accuracy and sensor lifetime for challenging environments.
Chilled mirror hygrometer for industrial, laboratory settings
Michell Instruments' S8000 RS precision chilled mirror hygrometer is designed to measure dew points down to -90°C for calibration laboratories and industrial settings.
Optical temperature transmitters for hazardous locations
Schneider Electric's Foxboro RTT15S optical temperature transmitters that feature a backlit LCD display with optical configuration buttons that are operable through the glass cover of the unit’s explosion-proof housing.
Hygienic conductivity sensor for pharmaceutical, food applications
Endress+Hauser's Memosens CLS82D conductivity sensor is designed for production, process development and laboratory applications in the pharmaceutical, food, life sciences and other industries.
Online process analyzer company acquired
Schneider Electric has acquired Applied Instrument Technologies, Inc., a provider of online process analyzers for the hydrocarbon, petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical and steel-making industries.
Humidity sensor with filter membrane cover option
Sensirion SHT3x series of humidity sensors features a filter membrane that is designed to protect the sensor opening from environmental conditions where spray water and high exposure to dust is common.
Pressure transducers for process applications
Endress+Hauser's Cerabar PMP11, 21 and 23 pressure transducers measure up to 6,000 psi and are factory spanable to specific application requirements and can be used in harsh washdown environments.
Temperature used by researchers to control droplet movement
Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new way of driving fluid droplets across surfaces in a precisely controlled way, which could be used for highly adaptable microfluidic devices, self-cleaning surfaces, and highly efficient condensers.
EC: SA Series Flow Sensor
Process Control — Flowmeters, process sensors: ifm's SA Series Flow Sensor with digital display, pushbutton menu reliably measures the flow of water, oils, glycol and air in pipes up to 16 in. in diameter. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: BOA Spot Vision Sensor
Machine & Embedded Control — Discrete sensors, machine vision: BOA Spot Vision Sensor simplifies system design and improves overall system robustness by replacing multiple photoelectric sensors and inspecting multiple part features at the same time. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 26 to October 2: Small-scale automation projects, SIF validation, motor efficiency standards, more
Articles about small-scale automation projects, SIF validation procedures, motor efficiency standards, wireless remote monitoring advances, and measuring humidity fundamentals were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 26 to October 2. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 19-25: Level instruments, piezoelectric measuring, PID control, more
Articles about level instruments for applications, piezoelectric measuring, PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, motor efficiency standards, and process control simulation benefits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 19-25. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Ultrasonic distance and level sensors for automation, tank level applications
Omega's LVTX-10 series of sensors are designed to provide accurate measurement for factory automation, warehouse materials control, pipe and conveyor belt blockage, or tank level applications with non-uniform surfaces.
Integrated panel systems for accommodating instrumentation and peripherals
Hardy Process Solutions' Integrated Panel Systems come in type 4 or 4X enclosures that are designed to accommodate instrumentation and peripherals such as buttons, switches, relays, and summing cards.
Radar level transmitter for liquid level measurement
Endress+Hauser's FMR10 and FMR20 free space radar level transmitters to measure liquid levels in storage tanks, open basins, open channels, weirs, and canal systems.
Wireless valve monitor for process applications
Rotork's RI Wireless is designed for wireless valve monitoring and diagnostics in the process industry and it transmits real-time position indication to the control room and enables predictive maintenance for actuated valves.
Fundamentals of measuring humidity
Measuring and controlling water vapor in industrial systems is critical. Temperature and pressure affect the physical behavior of materials and systems, while water vapor can also affect their chemistry.
Handheld analyzers for material analysis tasks
Olympus' Vanta range of handheld XRF analyzers are designed to increase productivity in materials analysis tasks and can be used in extreme and harsh environments.
Guided microwave level transmitter for continuous level measurement
BinMaster's GWR-2000 guided microwave level transmitter is designed to provide continuous level measurement and utilizes time domain reflectometry (TDR) to measure the distance, level, and volume of powders or solids in bins, tanks, and silos.
Pressure transmitter range for hydraulic, pneumatic applications
TT Electronics' TPM Series of industrial pressure transmitters are designed for hydraulic and pneumatic system applications as well as fuel and lubricant pressure sensing, leak detection, filter testing, and tank level sensing applications.
Valves and fittings designed for monitoring specialty gases
High Pressure Equipment has developed a line of valves and fittings designed for monitoring gases in cryogenic and extreme heat environments.
How to choose the right level instrument for applications
There are many level measuring techniques, however they need to be the right fit for the application. See the three key constraints to measuring solids in tanks and vessels.
Multichannel analyzer transmitter for sensor applications
Endress+Hauser's Liquiline CM44P can measure 16 different parameters from 6 analytical sensors simultaneously, simplifying monitoring of processes such as chromatography, fermentation, phase separation and filtration.
Liquid concentration analyzer for measuring process liquids
SensoTech's LiquiSonic V10 is a liquid concentration analyzer that determines the concentration of process liquids in industry and research applications.
Flexible electrical conduit in for electrical, enclosure applications
Liquatite conduit by Electri-flex is liquid-tight flexible electrical conduit in steel and non-metallic styles for electrical industry, including motors, lighting, electric signs, pools, and enclosure connections.
Vortex flow transmitter for heat exchange systems
Clark Solution's Huba 210 Series Vortex Flow Transmitter is designed for water and water/glycol based heat exchange systems and other fluids compatible with the materials of construction.
Measurement probe for coordinate measuring machines.
Renishaw's measurement is designed probe for use with the REVO 5-axis measurement system on coordinate measuring machines.
Humidity probe for harsh process conditions
Michell Instruments' HygroSmart HS3 probe is a humidity probe designed to withstand the kind of harsh and demanding conditions found in industrial processes.
Industrial pressure calibrator for pressure gauges, sensors
Fluke Calibration's 2271A industrial pressure calibrator is ideal for calibration laboratories adding pressure calibration services because it features a broad range of pressure measurement capabilities in a single instrument.
Electronic rotary latch series
Southco's R4-3M 9 series of electronics rotary latches is designed to provide electronic latching through microprocessor-controlled actuation.
Rotor insertion flowmeter for measuring mass and volumetric flow
Spirax Sarco's RIM20 Rotor Insertion Flowmeter is designed to utilize smart multivariable electronics for measurement of mass or volumetric flow, density, temperature and pressure in one instrument.
Process transmitters for monitoring and control applications
Sensorex has expanded its water quality and online process transmitters with four models that are designed for applications such as water quality, chemical, electronics, food production, environmental, and wastewater treatment.
Remote primary display for water meter testing
Mars Company's RCM-100 is a remote primary display with the ability to communicate with all types of pulse equipped water meter registers.
How reflex level gauges work
Reflex level gauges are designed to detect the difference in refractive indices of vapor and liquid and level detection and can be used in a number of process applications.
Portable pumping system with static mixer
Portable pumping system with static mixer is capable of handling both laminar and turbulent flow applications across a 26-element low pressure drop static mixer.
Inline vortex mass flowmeter for steam, liquid, and gas applications
Spirax Sarco's VLM20 utilizes a multivariable transmitter with integral temperature and pressure sensor giving solution for the measurement needs.
Coriolis transmitter for net oil measurement applications
Schneider Electric's NOCT60A Foxboro Net Oil Coriolis Transmitter is an all-in-one Coriolis meter and flow computer designed to measure net oil volumes on the liquid leg of two-phase separators or the oil leg of three-phase separators.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 20-26: Natural gas flowmeters, Salary and Career Survey, partial stroke valve testing, more
Articles about natural gas flowmeters, the 2016 Salary and Career Survey, partial stroke valve testing, a conference focused on digital transformation, and vital tools for a "go bag" were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 20-26. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Thermal mass flow meter series with alarm module
Vögtlin Instruments' red-y compact 2 series thermal gas mass flow meter has a 3-contact alarm module with remote alarm reset.
Pneumatic pinch valve series for washdown applications
Bimba's Model 600 series pneumatic pinch valves are designed for industrial, food and beverage, chemical, bioprocessing, and medical applications where washdowns for sterility are essential.
Selecting flowmeters for natural gas
Different parts of the natural gas delivery chain require different instruments, such as differential pressure (DP), ultrasonic, and Coriolis flowmeters.
Digital humidity sensor for tight space constraints
Sensirion's SHTW2 is a wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP) humidity sensor that comes in a flip chip package and has an operating temperature measurement range of -30 to 100 C.
Transmitter and switch line for industrial process monitoring applications
United Electric Controls' One Series of explosion-proof, programmable transmitters are designed for industrial process monitoring applications such as conventional mechanical switches and transmitters for controlling operations such pumps and compressors.
Compact temperature calibrator for harsh conditions
Ametek's Jofra CTC Series compact temperature calibrator contains an auto step function with up to 12 preset temperature points, assisted manual calibration using pre-defined temperature points, and memory to store up to five calibration processes.
CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Process manufacturers are under constant pressure to improve efficiency and throughput. Fortunately, opportunities to optimize production control are readily available. Advances in control loop performance monitoring (CLPM) software enables this technology to convert a greater share of everyday setpoint changes into opportunities to improve performance.
Submersible level transmitter series for liquid measurement applications
Viatran's Model 59Y submersible level transmitter series is designed to provide continuous liquid level measurements of water and wastewater within industrial and municipal environments.
Flush tip pressure transmitter for process, testing applications
Viatran's Model 386 flush tip pressure transmitter features a flush tip-zero cavity design that is designed to eliminate the measurement challenges of pressure transmitter port clogging as well as remove installation torque effects on the output signal.
Improving flowmeter calibration
Instrumentation engineers should understand the common methods used in measuring viscosity and their effects on final flowmeter calibration data.
Flow meter for hydrogen gas processes
The ST100 series thermal flow meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) is designed for hydrogen gas production processes and has multiple communication options.
Hydraulic fixed ratio system for filter manufacturing applications
Graco's Hydraulic Fixed Ratio (HFR) meter, mix, and dispense systems are configurable with a range of pump sizes, ratios, and flow rates available, including the high flow rates and large shot sizes necessary for filter manufacturing.
Electric actuator series for wastewater treatment applications
Hayward Flow Control's HRS series quarter turn electric actuator family is designed for wastewater and water treatment as well as chemical transfer and processing applications and other demanding environments.
Valve series for medical and analytical markets
Humphrey Products' 300 and 350 iDP valve series are designed for use in the medical and analytical markets and are suitable for aggressive chemicals and cleaners, and elevated liquid temperatures.
Smart pH sensor and transmitter for diagnostic applications
Schneider Electric's Foxboro PH10 smart sensor and 876PH smart transmitter combine a rugged polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) body and can be calibrated at any time against a standard or reference transmitter, or laptop PC, in the instrument shop.
Explosion-proof linear position sensor
Balluff's Micropulse TA12 hazardous area linear position sensor is designed for position feedback applications on hydraulically-actuated valves and in hydraulic cylinders located in hazardous locations as well as level monitoring and turbine speed control.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, May 2-8: Neural network training, ladder logic, managing automation upgrades, more
Articles about neural network training, ladder logic, managing automation upgrades, modern control valves, and neural network architecture and controls were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 2-8. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Temperature process controller with data logging, graphical trend charts
Watlow's F4T has added Intuition version 3.0, which features advanced data logging and allows users to create up to four trend screens.
Hermetically sealed relay for extreme environments
TE Connectivity's CII FC-325 Series relay is hermetically sealed device designed for harsh inductive, motor and lamp load applications within the aerospace, defense and marine markets, and other extreme environments.
Meter, mix, and dispense system with flow control, servo motor options
Graco's PR70 Meter, Mix and Dispense Systems are configurable with flow control and servo motor options and are designed for a range of applications such as including bonding and sealing, potting, gasketing, encapsulation, and syringe filling.
Coriolis transmitter with Ethernet connectivity
Emerson Process Management's Micro Motion Model 5700 transmitter has been upgraded with a native Ethernet connection, which includes dual redundant Ethernet ports that are directly integrated in the device.
Digital panel meter series for process, temperature inputs
AutomationDirect’s ProSense line of digital panel meters offers a simple and cost-effective solution to display analog process, temperature, load cell, and potentiometer inputs and feature IP65-rated meter faces and are available with 1/32 and 1/8 DIN housings.
Electromagnetic flowmeter for farming and agricultural applications
Krohne's Optiflux 4100 electromagnetic flowmeter is designed for farming and agricultural applications and provides an accurate record of the fluid that was moved and it can be independently verified to validate the measurements.
Support-focused enterprise controls: command control
Control circuits will always appear chaotic to support personnel. This is especially true when manufacturers task them with supporting various applications from different machine suppliers. Understanding the number of circuits that designers use and the way they are configured can provide clarity to users.
Pressure transducer for harsh conditions
The Hammer Union pressure transducer is built to withstand the toughest conditions.
Temperature control system series for heating, chilling cycles
Mokon's Full Range temperature control system is designed for industries such as plastics, composites, food processing, pharmaceutical, chemical and other processes that require heating and chilling cycles.
Actuator for pharmaceutical, food and beverage applications
ITT Corporation's Pure-Flo Advantage Compact Stainless (ACS) actuator combines a 316 stainless housing with a high cycle capable piston drive as well as a 316 stainless steel bonnet and cylinder construction.
Liquid velocity sensor for process measuring applications
Pulsar Process Measurement’s MicroFlow is a microwave based non-contacting velocity sensor that is designed to provide maintenance-free, reliable, repeatable and accurate velocity measurement.
Support-focused enterprise controls: machine application model
Machine events are typically mechanism movements, standalone external processes, or special application executions, and the length of a movement bar represents the allotted time a mechanism has to travel between two physical positions.
Integrated controls and information system adds product consistency, quality
Integrator Update: A fully automated integrated control and information system helped Whitmore Manufacturing, an industrial lubricant manufacturer, increase production capacity 28% with a 9-hour decrease in cycle time, adding 150 batches per year while increasing quality for one product line. System integrator Innovative Control Inc. helped with batch software, temperature control, motor control for mixers, flow control, a historian and enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) software.
Level sensor for measuring liquids
The BinMaster GWR-1000 level sensor utilizes time domain reflectometry (TDR) to continuously measure the distance, level and volume of material contained in bins, tanks or silos.
Interface for lean image processing, data transfer
Basler's BCON ensures image data transfer and offers flexibility to enable lean image processing and connects to technology based on low voltage differential signaling (LVDS).
Pressure switch for industrial, OEM applications
The Ashcroft B7 NEMA 7/9 pressure switch is IP66-rated and designed for satisfying requirements for pressure control, safety shutdown or alarm operations in hazardous applications.
Pressure sensors for industrial applications
Curtiss-Wright's range of robust pressure sensors are designed for pressure sensing applications across sectors including factory automation, process control, automotive and specialty vehicles, hydraulics, pneumatics and environmental systems.
Radar level sensor for liquid measurement
Endress+Hauser's Micropilot NMR81 utilizes 79 GHz technology to generate a narrow beam angle of 3 or 4-deg and fulfills all API and OIML requirements and the antenna is equipped with a gas-tight feed-through.
Data loggers for temperature, humidity measurement
The Omega OM-CP-TEMP1000IS-A and OM-CP-RHTEMP1000IS-A intrinsically safe data loggers are designed for environmental studies, medical and pharmaceutical and numerous other hostile environment applications.
Digital pressure gauge for testing, lab applications
Crystal Engineering's XP2i digital pressure gauge is now available in three accuracy levels that allow the XP2i to be used in high-accuracy lab applications.
Support-focused enterprise controls: sensor actuation charts
Inside Machines: To document speed transition points, designers remove the aspect of time and adopt sensor activation charts. These charts purposely convey an object’s station-specific movement information to control system designers. The bars found on sensor activation charts represent the length of actuators or the distance objects travel while not activating a sensor.
Flow monitor with digital signal processing technology
Badger Meter's Blancett B2900 flow monitor is hazardous location certified and is suitable for a variety of critical flow measurement applications in the oil and gas, and petrochemical industries.
Capacitive point level switch for water-based liquids
Endress+Hauser's Liquipoint FTW23 is designed for hygienic processes and tight conditions in the food and beverage industry.
Filtration process improves vermouth drinks
Inside Process: A food and beverage equipment manufacturer designs and builds rotating dynamic crossflow filter systems to replace traditional vacuum filters.
Infrared camera designed to capture automated, focused image
Fluke's Ti450 Infrared Camera uses Multisharp Focus technology, which is designed to capture an automated, focused image of multiple targets at once, delivering the image clarity needed by professional thermographers and maintenance managers.
Neural networks in process control: Neural network architecture, controls
Inside Process: Neural networks have been used in process control strategies for years, but they’re still not commonly found in industry. This technology has been applied in a number of fields with great success. With proper training to lift the veil from the technology, it can be more widely applied—without mystery—to solve some of the most nagging process control problems. This two-part series examines the process of producing a neural network application and includes tools to simplify the process. Part 1 of this 2-part series covers neural network architecture, control space, model range, data types, and dataset selection.
Tablet-based communication tool for HART communication functionality
Fluke's 154 HART Calibration Assistant is a standalone tablet-based communication tool that is designed to provide HART communication functionality.
Infrared camera for capturing fast-moving objects
Flir's X6900sc is a high-speed mid wave infrared (MWIR) commercial science-grade camera designed to capture accurate temperature readings up to 2000 C from fast moving objects.
3D scanner for detecting bin volume accuracy
The BinMaster 3DLevelScanner series is designed to provide continuous, non-contact level measurement and measures multiple points within the bin and can be used for tanks, silos, domes, warehouses, open bins and piles.
Sensor for measuring air temperature and velocity
Advanced Thermal Solutions' (ATS) base-and-stem Candlestick sensor is designed to simultaneously measure air temperature and velocity when characterizing thermal conditions inside electronic systems.
Coriolis flow meter series with five configurable communication outputs
ABB Measurement and Analytics' FCB400 Coriolis mass flow meter series features up to five configurable communication outputs via optional plug-in modules and has application-specific software packages to expand the flow meter's use.
Automated RTD and thermocouple calibrator
Saelig's PIE 525B Automated RTD and Thermocouple Calibrator is an industrial temperature sensor calibrator that accommodates resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermocouples.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, February 8-14: Engineers’ Choice winners, Microsoft Windows XP Embedded, learning from past mistakes, more
Articles about the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, Microsoft Windows XP Embedded, learning from past cyber security mistakes, wireless for closed-loop applications, process models and feedback control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Humidity verifier for probes in laboratories
The HygroCal100 humidity verifier from Michell Instruments is designed for laboratories that need to verify their humidity probes in-house and it is capable of validating up to seven probes of different sizes simultaneously.
Back pressure regulator for wide range of gases, liquids
Cashco's Model BR back pressure regulator is available in five different sizes and designed for use with a wide range of gases and liquids.
Machinery health analyzer for hazardous environments
Emerson Process Management’s CSI 2140 machinery health analyzer collects data required to assess a machine’s condition for hazardous environments.
Handheld particulate pollution meter for hazardous environments
Omega's HHTP21 is designed for monitoring particulate pollution in burning plants, petrochemical facilities, thermal power plants, restaurants, hospitals, mining facilities and metal refineries.
Process sensor assemblies for cleaning and calibration
Endress+Hauser's Cleanfit CPA875 and CPA871 sensor assemblies allow pH, ORP, oxygen and NIR sensors to be installed or removed during operation so they can be cleaned, calibrated or replaced without interrupting the process.
Particulate monitoring system with multi-channel configurations
The PM 100 Pro from FilterSense is a particulate monitoring system designed for sensing performance requirements ranging from detection to monitoring and concentration measurement in the power, cement, metal, and chemical industries.
Chlorine analyzer for water monitoring, treatment processes
The TC-80 Total Chlorine Analyzer from Electro-Chemical Devices (ECD) is designed for water monitoring and treatment applications and features a constant head flow control device, a pH sensor, a chlorine sensor and an analyzer/transmitter.
Digital pressure switch series
Bimba's Digital Pressure Switches (DPS) Series are designed for use with air preparation equipment and also transmit analog pressure data directly to the control system.
Analyzer for measuring boilers and process heater efficiency
ABB Measurement & Analytics' Endura AZ40 analyzer is designed to measure the efficiency of fossil-fired boilers and process heaters and simplifies fine-tuning combustion processes for increased efficiency, lower fuel costs, and reduced NOx pollution.
Pneumatic modular valves for mechanical applications
AutomationDirect's Nitra line of pneumatic products includes 24 Vdc modular valves that are designed for mechanical applications and also features various mounting positions that require no additional fittings.
Flow metering system for electronic manufacturing applications
Graco's Precision Continuous Flow (PCF) metering dispense system is designed for critical applications of single component sealant and adhesive materials and is engineered for electronic manufacturing applications such as powertrain gasketing and medical devices.
Valve positioner with linear potentiometer
Badger Meter's SRD991 top-mount valve positioner is designed for applications that require positioning accuracy or when greater force is required over the standard actuator such as high shutoff pressures or excess packing friction.
Field programmable vibration sensor with HART integration
Meggitt's programmable PCH420V vibration sensor is designed to easily integrate with existing networks and allows vibration data to be accessed by HART-enabled process controllers and information systems.
Non-clogging differential pressure sensor
FilterSense’s non-clogging DP 20T pressure transmitter is designed to reduce compressed air consumption, filter replacement costs, and ensure proper filter cake to help maximize filtration efficiency
Finned siphon for protecting pressuring gauges
Ashcroft's type 1198 finned siphon is designed to protect pressure instruments from extreme and hazardous conditions and features a built-in dampening mechanism to control pulsation effects.
Generation heat exchanger with proprietary technologies
Watlow's Optimax is a generation heat exchanger that features proprietary technologies and enhanced fluid dynamics (EFD) and optimized film temperature (OFT) technology in the heating elements for an accelerated heat transfer rate.
Speed handle for manual butterfly valve
Asahi/America has added a speed handle to its manual butterfly valve option offerings and is designed for smoother and faster single-handed revolutions of the hand wheel for quicker valve actuation.
Magnetic-inductive flow meters for process applications
AutomationDirect's ProSense line now includes the FMM-1001 and FMM-1002 magnetic inductive flowmeters are designed for applications such as liquid flow monitoring in industrial processes such as wastewater, mining and minerals, utilities, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals.
Particulate sensors for gas processing and heat recovery applications
FilterSense's particulate sensors are ideal for protecting blowers, turbines, and vacuum pumps in power conveying, gas processing, and heat recovery applications.
Pressure transmitter series for hazardous locations
Omega's PX51-IS/PXM51-IS Series of pressure transmitters are designed, tested, and FM certified for hazardous locations and is available in gage, absolute, and sealed gage models with a wide selection of outputs as well as dual fitting.
Temperature transmitter for safety instrumented systems
Moore Industries's STZ Functional Safety Smart HART Temperature Transmitter is a temperature transmitter designed for use in safety instrumented systems (SIS) and features a dual sensor input that reduces process interruptions.
EC: Liquiline Systems CA80 Analyzer
Process Control systems: The Liquiline System CA80 ammonium and phosphate analyers offer precise and reliable measurements, with the benefits of Memosens technology, fast commissioning, tool-free maintenance and cost savings. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: i-ALERT2 Equipment Health Monitor
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The i- ALERT2 Equipment Health Monitor is a Bluetooth Smart-enabled machine health monitor that allows customers to identify potential equipment problems before they become costly failures. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
HART-enabled transmitters for harsh conditions, environments
The One Series 1XTXSW transmitter from United Electric Controls integrates HART 7 compatible 4-20 mA output and two solid-state programmable relays for monitoring temperature or pressure in safety, alarm and emergency shutdown applications.
Programmable dispenser for process applications
Fluid Metering, Inc.’s PDS-100 programmable dispenser for battery manufacturing process applications requiring precision and maintenance-free fluid control.
Non-contact infrared temperature sensor and software
Process Sensors Corporation's PSC-SSS-Laser-3M-Video and companion software is suited for non-contact temperature measurement of metals and is designed for applications such as induction heating, forging, casting, and medical/aerospace applications that involve metal heating processing.
Ultrasonic sensor for processing and industrial applications
Hoffmann-Krippner's P53 Steel Head ultrasonic sensor is designed for demanding medical, pharmaceutical, food processing and industrial applications and incorporates an encapsulated stainless steel housing with gapless transitions.
Submersible level transmitter for wastewater monitoring applications
GP:50 NY Ltd's Model 311-M351 submersible level transmitter ensures high-reliability within challenging wastewater lift station monitoring applications.
Portable temperature and humidity data logger
Omega Engineering's OM-91 temperature and OM-92 temperature/humidity data loggers are designed for transportation applications and documents that in-transit material has stayed within particular environmental limits.
Push-quick fittings designed to connect pneumatic components, piping
Clippard's Push-Quick Fittings are designed to connect pneumatic components to each other and system piping using a push-pull method and are designed for packaging and food environments.
Sensors for level measurement applications
Balluff's pressure-rated Ultrasonic Sensors are designed for fill level measurement applications under normal pressure or in tanks and containers and a fill level measurement can be carried out at the same time as overflow protection.
Wireless gateway for sensors, Wi-Fi applications
Emerson Process Management's Smart Wireless Gateway 1552WU is a wireless solution based on one platform for both WirelessHART sensors and for Wi-Fi applications.
Two-wire pressure transmitter series for monitoring and tracking applications
Schneider Electric's Foxboro S series of pressure transmitters are designed for use for industries requiring precise differential, gauge, and absolute pressure measurement and feature two time-in-service clocks for increased accuracy.
Push buttons and signaling devices for harsh conditions
Siemens' Sirius Act are of 22 mm IEC push buttons, indicator lights, and selector switches are suitable for cleaning with a high pressure jet at high temperatures as well as other extreme environmental influences.
Level measurement: General process vs. inventory tank gauging
Determining what type of level instrumentation is required for a specific application can sometimes be perplexing. This is particularly true when we consider process tank level versus inventory tank gauging.
CANopen safeguards to reduce errors
Transferring data over CANopen networks is extremely reliable, but CANopen offers additional safeguards to decrease the effect of residual errors. This is part 1 of 2.
Control systems engineering: Are PE stamped designs a requirement?
Professional engineering licensure for control system designers, engineers, and integrators is always a topic that can bring forth heated arguments both for and against licensure. The purpose of this article is to put forth the facts and let the readers determine if professional engineer (PE) designed control systems are a requirement for their systems and facilities.
Overcoming process deadtime with a Smith Predictor
A controller equipped with an accurate process model can ignore deadtime. Deadtime generally occurs when material is transported from the actuator site to the sensor measurement location. Until the material reaches the sensor, the sensor cannot measure any changes effected by the actuator.
Dual input temperature transmitters
Moore Industries' THZ3 and TDZ3 are Smart HART temperature transmitters that are designed to increase usability and functionality including a dual sensor input and are also HART 7 compliant with exception-based reporting and dynamic variable mapping.
How to upgrade your control system with limited resources, budget
Take advantage of your system integrator’s time and expertise by allowing them to execute acceptance testing methods, freeing up plant personnel.
MES or batch: What is the best answer?
Should an application use a manufacturing execution system or will batch software suffice? A small set of decision points can determine the most commonly used models for selection or integration of ISA 88 batch execution systems and ISA 95 manufacturing operations management (MOM) systems. Ask these questions to decide. The ISA 95 Technical Report TR95.02 – Integrating ISA 88 and ISA 95 workflows can help.
Radar level transmitter also measures volume
Honeywell Process Solutions' SmartLine Guided Wave Radar Level transmitter is designed to measure the level and volume of liquids inside processing tanks up to 160 ft in height. It allows customers to input technical data about their specific process tank and to validate that the correct level transmitter application is delivered to the site.
Using programming standards to navigate your process
A definite set of programming and HMI standards can alleviate the burden of navigating your controls process from start to finish.
Factory acceptance testing with system simulators
System simulators allow developers to test most of a new control system, but not the entire system. See 6 tips for the factory acceptance test (FAT) phase of your project.
Microwave assembly cable series for aerospace applications
Gore has added a smaller diameter cable to the Gore-Flight Microwave Assembly, 6 series, which is designed to reduce total costs by withstanding installation challenges, preventing costly production delays, field service frequency, and the need for purchasing replacement assemblies in aerospace applications.
Separating good code from bad: The “paper-and-pencil” method
As the digital age continues to grow, the automation industry keeps up with upgrading or replacing control systems. When migrating, try the simple paper-and-pencil method to help identify programming issues.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 27 to November 2: Engineers’ Choice finalists, dual loop motion control, automation project reuse, more
Articles about the 2015 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalists, dual loop motion control, avoiding reuse on an automation project, fieldbus device couplers used in a chemical plant upgrade, and support-focused enterprise controls were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, October 27 to November 2. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
The importance of quality throughout project lifecycle
As engineers, we are very detail oriented and should always make quality part of our process—it should never be an afterthought.
Optimizing drum level measurement
How can steam drum level be controlled to maximize both stability and responsiveness? The best method is to feed forward (FF) the steam flow to the level PID loop and cascade the output of that loop to the setpoint of a boiler feedwater (BFW) and flow loop. Three element (3E) steam drum level control uses level and two flow measurements. See three diagrams.
EC: THZ3, TDZ3 dual input Smart HART temperature transmitter
Sensors: The THZ3 and TDZ3 Smart HART dual input temperature transmitters offer backup and fail-over protection along with other advanced features like sensor corrosion detection and sensor drift alerts to optimize temperature monitoring and control. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: DT9829 multi-sensor measurement tool
Hardware — Test, Measurement, Calibration: The DT9829 is a multi-sensor measurement module that provides up to eight input channels that allow any sensor connections on any channel including: voltage, current, thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors, resistance, bridge-based sensors, and strain gages. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Fluke 714B thermocouple temperature calibrator
Hardware — Test, Measurement, Calibration: The Fluke 714B is a highly accurate, easy-to-use, single function thermocouple temperature calibrator. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Submersible level transmitter series
AutomationDirect’s ProSense SLT series submersible level transmitters are available in two styles and are designed to provide liquid level measurement by continually sensing hydrostatic pressure produced by the height of liquid above the sensor.
Submersible level transducer
Siemens' Sitrans LH100 submersible level transducer is designed for use in hydrostatic level applications and features a ceramic sensor that and housing that is made of stainless steel 316L.
Pressure sensor with USB connectivity
Omega's PX51-USBH pressure sensor has a stainless steel body and comes with the choice of imperial or metric pressure ports and is designed to deliver pressure data directly to a computer via a USB output.
Modbus multi-purpose meter for harsh conditions and applications
Precision Digital's ProtEx PD6830X Modbus Scanner is designed for accurate display and quick access of information, locally or remotely, in hazardous areas and applications and can accept up to 16 individually programmed process variables.
60th Anniversary: CE History from 60, 30, and 15 years ago on process analysis, data buses, and process analyzer trends
Happy 60th, Control Engineering! Help us celebrate by looking at issues from 60, 30, and 15 years ago. Control Engineering magazine first published in September 1954. This monthly column in 2014 will review coverage in issues 60, 30, and 15 years ago. While technologies have progressed since then, topics below (process analysis, data buses, and process analyzer trends) remain relevant today.
Wireless temperature measurement module
Omega's OM-WLS-Temp series of wireless USB 2.0 full-speed temperature input module features 8 temperature input channels and supports thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors, and semiconductor temperature sensors.
Identifying power quality issues
Is your automation problem really a power quality problem in disguise?
Four advantages of state-based control
State-based control may increase your workload at first, but the benefits start to kick in and earn their worth quickly.
Industry first: In-line flowmeter employs SAW-based technology
Bürkert is preparing to launch its new FloWave series of in-line flowmeters which, uniquely in flow applications, employ surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology. The company presented for the first time at Hannover Fair this year, Suzanne Gill reports.
Identifying a clear scope, target to increase achievability
Without a clear scope and a clear target to shoot for, time and money are likely to get used up on the wrong tasks.
Vibration/position transmitter for compressor, pump and fan assets
Emerson Process Management's CSI 9360 vibration/position transmitter detects emerging sleeve bearing issues by capturing vibration or position data and translating it into a 4-20 mA signal for monitoring.
Volume booster for electro-pneumatic valve positioner
Siemens' Integral Volume Booster accessory for the Sipart PS2 electro-pneumatic valve positioner reproduces pneumatic signals in a 1:1 ratio for applications requiring increased flow capacity while maintaining accuracy.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 25-31: Future of the PLC, the first PLC, System Integrator Giants, more
Articles about the PLC’s future, the competition for the first PLC, the System Integrator Giants of 2014, writing a process operating description document, and developing good coding habits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, August 25-31. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Temperature sensor calibrator
Fluke's 1586A Super-DAQ Precision Temperature Scanner helps calibrate temperature sensors without requiring a PC or software and it also has up to 40 analog input channels and can scan up to 10 channels per second.
Distributed temperature sensor
The DTSX3000 Distributed Temperature Sensor is suited for plant and infrastructure maintenance applications that necessitate the monitoring of temperature over long distances or across wide areas.
Pneumatic series with solenoid valves
AutomationDirect’s Nitra AVS-series of pneumatics now includes additional directional control solenoid valves for pneumatic valve applications like controlling actuators and controlling air volume.
Enterprise batch records and enterprise manufacturing intelligence
Enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) has its own benefits, but it’s most useful when used with the enterprise batch records, providing personnel with to access the data they need.
Migrate your hard coded batching system
Prior to the development and acceptance of ISA-88 batch standards, legacy-batching system required the entire recipe, or procedure, to be hard coded directly into the controller. Today those end-users are faced with the inevitable task of migrating the inflexible legacy platforms to a modern control system.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 11-17: System Integrator Giants, process operation descriptions, tuning PID control loops, more
Articles about the System Integrator Giants of 2014, writing a process operating description document, tuning PID control loops, temperature measurement best practices, and modern updates in PID control tuning were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, August 11-17. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Differential pressure transmitter series
Omega's P2600 series of rangeable, differential pressure transmitters can output either static (gage) pressure or differential pressure and are designed for applications like building energy management systems and process control systems.
Converting control systems: Take the time to improve control strategy
Consider investing the time to write a scope that includes control strategy improvement and open the door to taking advantage of the functionality provided by a new control system.
Amplified piezo actuator can replace solenoids
Viking AT's ViVa actuator works with valves and flow controls with enough stroke to replace solenoids.
Temperature measurement best practices
Overcome temperature measurement installation challenges, enhance accuracy and reliability of temperature diagnostics, choose the right temperature sensors, connect sensors to control room, and understand thermowell characteristics. This article integrates six online articles offering practical temperature measurement advice for better industrial process.
Enterprise batch records and supply chain traceability
In addition to tracking a finished product from the receiving dock to the shipping dock, enterprise batch records can also connect upstream to suppliers and downstream to customers, taking traceability to the next level.
Wireless temperature data logger
Omega's OM-CP-RFRTDtemp2000A data logger is used for applications that require high accuracy temperature monitoring such as within laboratories, pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
MES project execution: 3 mistakes to avoid
Here are a few basic guidelines to help ensure your next MES project is successful.
Dust monitor for particulate emissions
Yokogawa Corporation of America's DT450G dust monitor is designed to detect the qualitative level of dust or particulate matter using the inductive electrification principle and is used for trend monitoring on the outlet of filters or cyclones.
Project delays: Identify the issue and keep the customer happy
Every person working on a project should be able to answer these five questions: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?
Composite push-to-connect fittings
Bimba's line of composite push-to-connect fittings combines plastic with existing metal barbed fittings and includes union branches and tube-to-stem elbow reducers.
Miniature capacitive sensor, rated IP67, works on many materials
Sick's CQ4 capacitive proximity sensor is IP67-rated and designed for detecting and monitoring a wide range of objects and materials including non-metallic surfaces.
Industrial temperature transmitters lower plant lifecycle costs
Honeywell Process Solutions' range of SmartLine industrial temperature transmitters are designed to lower plant lifecycle costs while ensure plant reliability and safety in harsh process environments. Video: Don Maness and Asheesh Arora discuss concepts of the transmitter platform.
Temperature process controller
Omega’s new CN142 series of universal temperature process controllers are designed for monitoring and controlling temperature or process applications.
Wide temperature relays can withstand harsh conditions
Coto Technology's four wide-temperature, professional-grade, high-reliability relays are aimed at automotive, test and instrumentation markets and can withstand harsh conditions.
Can there be a single wireless protocol for field devices?
One fieldbus protocol has emerged as the leading solution for process applications, and our industries have benefitted. Perhaps the same thing can happen with wireless field devices.
Overcome temperature measurement installation challenges with best practices
Your design looks great on paper. Now it has to work just as well in the real world, so make sure you install it using the same care.
Single function temperature calibrators
Temperature and 4 to 20 mA signals from Fluke's 712B RTD and 714B Thermocouple Temperature Calibrators can be measured and viewed simultaneously on large backlit display for easy transmitter calibration.
Miniature contactor series to switch, control motors
AutomationDirect’s WEG CWC series miniature contactors are designed to switch and control motors and are 35 mm DIN-rail mountable and have IP20-rated housings.
Temperature data logger, six channels, hand held
The RDXL6SD six channel handheld temperature data logger by Omega Engineering features a touch screen, an alarm indication for each channel, and a 2-channel temperature chart.
Radar level transmitters
Endress+Hauser's FMR5X radar level transmitter can measure level or volume of liquids and bulk solids products in metal or plastic tanks, stilling wells or other vessels up to 131 ft.
Integration of remote HMIs
That new pump skid just installed has its own HMI. What should you expect to see on that screen, and how should it interface with the larger control system?
5 basic questions for selecting a level instrument
Selecting the right level measurement instrument for your application can be difficult, but these questions are what you should be asking when evaluating your options.
Invensys: advanced process control
Tom Kinney, vice president for optimization at Invensys, introduced the company’s new advanced process control (APC) offering, SimSci APC 2014, that extends the capabilities of traditional APC tools. The software adds Director, a powerful calculation language that allows the control engineer to add and build custom controller support functions. Kinney made the Feb. 10 announcement at ARC 2014 Orlando Forum. See video.
Two-wire pressure transmitter for industrial field service
The Marsh Bellofram BelGAS Type 5000 P/I transducer is a two-wire device that uses a unique temperature-compensated transducer suitable for gauge pressure measurement of non-corrosive liquids and gases.
Multi-protocol wireless adaptor
Yokogawa's multi-protocol wireless adaptor enables wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as ISA100 Wireless devices in plants, including those used to monitor temperature, pressure, and other vital day-to-day aspects.
Coriolis flowmeter has high accuracy, is certified for pharmaceutical, food, and beverage use
Siemens' Sitrans FC410 is a light and compact Coriolis flowmeter with a high measuring accuracy of 0.1% of rate. It is certified for use in the pharmaceutical as well as the food and beverage industries.
Supplementing lab analysis with inline measurements
Reduce production downtime, off-spec product, and time-consuming manual grab sampling in food plants with inline instrumentation.
Field-mounted meters for level, flow, pressure, or temperature
Precision Digital's Vantageview Series of NEMA 4X Field-Mounted Meters are designed for use in virtually any industrial process that involves level, flow, pressure, or temperature.
Understanding pressure instrumentation
Measuring pressure is one of the most basic instrumentation functions in any industry. Pressure measurement devices are everywhere, and there are countless varieties of options.
Safety transmitter for system applications
United Electric Controls' One Series Safety Transmitter is designed for system applications and provides process variable, status, self-diagnostics, and field programming information.
Ultrasonic flowmeter is unaffected by temperature, density, viscosity
Clark Solutions' CSLFB Ultrasonic Flowmeter is designed for high accuracy flow measurement and is unaffected by changes in fluid temperature, density or viscosity.
Tuning surge tank level control loops
This type of PID loop has a different objective than most, which calls for a different strategy.
Capturing far-flung data
Advancements in RTU technologies help optimize data acquisition and control.
Given the number of process variables interacting at most plants, finding the optimum mix to maximize profitability is likely beyond manual capabilities.
Temperature sensor with integrated resistance detector
The TS530 by Turck has an integrated resistance temperature detector (RTD) and has IP69K protection ratings, making it ideal for harsh manufacturing environments.
Calibrating a wireless sensor in the shop
Direct connection of the calibrator, temperature block, and device management platform simplifies the process and records results automatically. Video: Beamex’s Ned Espy demonstrates the process.
ISA Automation Week wraps up in Nashville
Rebooted program reaches out to a broader audience. Video: Maverick Technologies’ Paul Galeski explains his strategy for drawing higher attendance.
Vibrating fork level switches certified for safety tanks
The Rosemount 2120, 2130, and 2160 vibrating fork liquid level switches by Emerson Process Management have been certified for safety tanks and are also designed for pump control and hygienic applications.
Taking measurement to a new level
New level sensing technology is said to offer a cost-effective way to accurately measure liquid levels without the need for calibration across a large number of fluids. Suzanne Gill, Control Engineering Europe, spoke to the principal engineer involved in its development by Cambridge Consultants.
EC: Beamex MC2-IS Intrinsically Safe Multifunction Calibrator
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The ATEX and IECEx certified second generation of the Beamex MC2-IS intrinsically safe multifunction calibrator is a practical tool designed for field calibration and testing in explosive environments. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Fluke 1730 Three-Phase Electrical Energy Logger
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke 1730 is a streamlined energy logging tool that allows technicians to conduct load studies and energy logging right out of the box. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Fluke 709H Precision Current Loop Calibrator with HART Communications
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke 709H is a precise loop calibrator and powerful HART communicator in one compact, rugged, reliable tool. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Fluke Ti400 Infrared Camera
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke Ti400 Infrared Camera with LaserSharp Auto Focus deliver consistently in-focus images for the best imaging accuracy. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: MFC 5150
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: First Hand-held HART communicator which can read manufacturer' DDs in their native format, no translations required. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Tracerco Personal Electronic Dosimeter
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Tracerco Personal Electronic Dosimeter (PED) is the first intrinsically safe contamination and radiation monitor that records both cumulative and real time exposure to radiation. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: CA700 Portable Pressure Calibrator
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Yokogawa CA700 is a portable pressure calibrator that provides an accurate and efficient calibration and verification tool for pressure/differential pressure transmitters and other types of field devices for commissioning or regular inspection. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Flexible thermocouple cables and assemblies
Cicoil's Highly Flexible Thermocouple Cables are designed for continuous motion, tight routing, and are used for temperature sensing, control instrumentation, heating systems and automated equipment applications.
Liquid level sensor line uses ultrasonic sensing technology
AutomationDirect's Flowline EchoTouch, EchoSpan, and EchoSwitch series of ultrasonic liquid level sensors and transmitters and the PodView digital level indicator are designed for chemical, water, and wastewater applications, and have single and multi-function capabilities.
Planning I&E activities for control system migration projects
While some of these elements may seem relatively minor, dealing with them early in the planning process keeps them from becoming major problems.
Enterprise batch records: Deciding what information you really need
In the final installment, consider how customer complaints can inform your decisions about what you include in your record keeping.
Enterprise batch records: A mechanism for traceability
In the second of three parts, we consider how you can add a new level of thoroughness to your product records.
Temperature and process limit controller
Omega’s CNi-AL series is a configure limit controller designed to provide flexibility in process measurement and limit alarm applications.
Enterprise batch records: Understanding basic concepts
If you liked moving to electronic batch records from keeping them all on paper, here’s the next step where everything that happens is kept in the data. First of three parts.
Taking the mystery out of thermowell selection
It stands between your process and the sensor element, so understanding thermowell characteristics is key to reliable measurements. Second in the temperature series.
Dual-input flow rate/totalizers
Precision Digital's ProVu PD6262 and PD6363 Dual-Input Flow Rate/Totalizers are designed to perform independent programming of inputs, including separate selection of input type and scaling.
Omega's Dpi-AL temperature/process meter series is designed to provide flexibility in process measurement and alarm applications and can be used in several industries including food, chemical, and manufacturing.
Multivariable transmitters for flow, level measurements
ABB's 266 Multivariable transmitters are designed to directly calculate the mass flow or standard volume flow for gases, vapors and liquids and can correct parameters for discharge coefficient and the thermal expansion of pipelines.
Fuel moisture sensor for biomass plants
Emerson Process Management has integrated a fuel moisture sensor into their Ovation control system to allow continuous monitoring of biomass feedstock for moisture content.
A visit to Sensors Expo
A quick video tour of the exhibit floor getting a look at products and technologies on display.
Control valve positioner
Samson Controls' Type 3725 Positioner is a control valve positioner designed for precise and reliable control of small or large flows and uses auto-tuning and contactless position sensing.
Control strategy for stabilizing the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy transport vessel
Emerson’s level sensors and control technologies help maintain stability of huge FPSO transporter using sophisticated ballast control system.
Digital panel meters
Precision Digital's PD765 and PD8-765 Trident Series Digital Panel Meters are adjustable to lighting conditions and designed to handle level, flow rate, temperature, and pressure applications.
The Daniel 3818 Liquid Ultrasonic Flowmeter by Emerson Process Management is designed for marine and offshore applications and uses two 4-path meters for complete measurement redundancy.
A straightforward maintenance strategy yields improved plant performance
Moving from reactive to preventive maintenance helps Monsanto improve output and reduce costs at its Muscatine plant. Smart field devices and control valve positioners provide critical diagnostic data to reliability engineers, guiding their efforts.
ISA-S88 system reduces batch device task development
New S88-based process control system from ECS Solutions simplifies and speeds up device configuration when creating or updating batch manufacturing campaigns using Rockwell controllers.
Tips for starting an alarm management program
Using the ISA-18.2 standard can help process engineers understand, simplify, and implement a sustainable alarm management program.
How to turn bosses into tree huggers: Show them the profits
Industrial automation technologies are doing the same for energy management as they did for production processes: Making already good strategies better, with faster and smoother operations.
Marketing for engineers
Think Again: 7 tips can improve how engineers market products, services, companies, and themselves. Link to Control Engineering videos with more advice.
Plug-and-play doesn’t happen by luck
Automation equipment from multiple suppliers may not always play well together. When interconnecting devices, a little planning ahead can help ensure success.
Enjoy fame and the admiration of your colleagues as a Control Engineering author
If you can explain the application or workings of a process field instrument, write down your thoughts and enter it in our bragging rights instrumentation tutorial competition.
New standard developing for intelligent process field devices
ISA108 aims at developing guidelines and work processes for effective use of smart devices and the information they generate in process applications. Video: Herman Storey and Larry O’Brien discuss the underlying user cases for the new standard.
Smart futuristic ideas to manage process control challenges
Emerging technologies, including safety, visualization, mobile computing, and alarm management, among others, were covered at the Yokogawa 2012 European User Conference, where the company showcased its R&D efforts, according to Suzanne Gill, Control Engineering Europe.
How advanced technologies can meet process engineering challenges ahead
Challenges facing the process engineering sector and technologies can help, explained Dr. David Brown, chief executive of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) at the 2012 Yokogawa User Conference. The European Commission expects advanced engineering to help, via the Horizon 2020 Initiative.
Having the right tools in your arsenal
Everyone starts out green, but getting a handle on a few important resources will move you to the experienced side much faster.
Online thermowell calculation tool
Emerson Process Management launches free online thermowell design calculator that incorporates the new ASME PTC 19.3 standard.
Industrial wireless hotspot serves as access point, bridge, and repeater
802.11 abgn Fast Industrial Hotspot from ProSoft Technology supports fast roaming between access points.
Hydroelectric utility has to control with the flow
Located in an environmentally sensitive area, Box Canyon Dam has to deliver power while remaining invisible to the surrounding community. This means trying to control output around changes in water flow.
Dynamic simulation predicts steam consumption in unpredictable paper mill application
Langerbrugge mill used simulation analysis to make sure the boiler and steam system could remain stable even during the biggest disruption: a turbine trip.
Coriolis flowmeters help pipeline reduce maintenance and ensure custody-transfer accuracy
Micro Motion Elite flowmeters used to upgrade measurement systems for Austrian crude-oil pipeline.
Head and DIN rail mounted temperature transmitters
AutomationDirect’s ProSense line now includes temperature transmitters in programmable and non-programmable models.
Level switch suitable for monitoring liquid levels in safety applications up to SIL3
E+H introduces Liquiphant FailSafe FTL8x point level switch and two-channel switching unit.
Turbine meter with pulse output
Omega introduces its FTB-630 mechanical flowmeter family for water and waste water applications.
Optimizing flowmeter selection
Using a best-in-class flowmeter selection methodology can help users avoid surprises and reduce lifecycle costs by identifying the optimal flowmeter for virtually any flow application.
More than a story, a process narrative can define your next automation project
This Q&A discussion can help you understand how and why it works.
Large touchscreen HMI offers full PLC capability
PLC built into 12.1 in. HMI from Unitronics can support 24 loops and 1,000 I/O points.
Smart pressure transmitter adds new graphic display capabilities aimed at improved operational efficiency
Honeywell’s new SmartLine pressure transmitters add new features designed to lower lifecycle costs and simplify communication.
Mini controller has IO-Link master, uses CoDeSys V3 software
Product Exclusive: Festo’s compact mechatronic controller CECC is the first mini controller with IO-Link master and CoDeSys V3 programming software, the company said. It reduces installation time, simplifies programming, and enables fast and cost-effective control of sensors and actuators.
EC: APL Version 8
Software - HMI software: APL is the standard library for Simatic PCS 7 V8.0 offering new and improved functionalities and visually-attractive GUIs for a higher level of operator experience. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: VLM10 Inline Vortex Mass Flowmeter
Process Control - Process sensors: The VLM10 inline vortex flowmeter measures mass, volumetric, and energy flows on steam, liquid, and gas applications in sizes 1 inch to 12 inch. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: ADC Series Analog to Digital Converter
Machine and Embedded Control - Discrete sensors: ADC Series connect up to eight 4-20 mA loop powered analog sensors, eight separately powered 4-20 mA output sensors or four of each, to produce a digital signal representing 0 percent to 100 percent of each sensor output. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Process Historian
Software - Applications: Process Historian is a database software that allows you to get access to real-time and archived data in order to optimize your processes and operating equipment. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
Drives software programming – using PLC or drive custom programming?
Automation Integrator Guide: Drive programming applications vary in difficulty, and some projects require custom software. Should one use the drive’s internal programming blocks or write one’s own blocks in the PLC to control the machine? Guidance follows.
Leader Under 40: Stephen Thomas
Automation Projects Team Lead, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering - B.S. Chemical Engineering, Auburn University
Will wireless instrumentation drive wider sensor deployments?
Can the convenience and low-cost of wireless instrumentation unleash a flood of pent-up demand for gathering more data? Video: Emerson’s Bob Karschnia provides some market statistics.
More about pumped-hydro and CAES systems
Pumped-hydro storage and compressed air energy storage (CAES) systems are traditional large-scale energy-storage methods, as noted in the main article, “Integrated Energy-Storage Systems” (CE Nov. 2012). Storage plants built around these technologies did not originally have renewable energy in mind but served regional power needs. Renewable energy integration will likely be a part of these plants in the future.
Military-grade computers can handle industrial abuse
AIS rugged computers and displays with MIL-STD-810 environment and MIL-STD-461 EMI compliance for industrial use.
Swedish biomass gasification plant expands strategy for smart devices and valves
Metso's valve and field instrument solutions will support performance of renewable gas production.
Electromagnetic flowmeter does more with new feature kits
M-Series kits from Badger Meter increase data efficiency and expand communication protocols.
Non-contact temperature sensor
Omega introduces new compact series for permanent mounting.
Just who is the customer and what does he really want?
Sometimes there are objectives for a project that are hidden below the surface. Can you satisfy those?
Four common commissioning mistakes to avoid
A few simple steps can prevent countless expensive headaches.
A construction manager weighs in on engineering design
Lessons learned about design teams by those that have to make the design happen. Pass those lessons on.
Technologies inside: Motor controls for artisan cheese maker
Danfoss VLT variable frequency drives helped Gunn’s Hill Cheese be more productive and energy efficient.
Artisan cheese maker shares secret technology ingredient
Case Study: Gunn’s Hill Cheese uses 15 variable frequency drives (VFDs) to improve consistency and quality. In one application, the installation of a variable speed system resulted in a 50% reduction in horsepower compared to a traditional fixed speed system.
Digital infrared video thermometer
Omega introduces its OS-VIR50 with laser aiming guide.
Coriolis flowmeter offers selections of materials and finish
E+H Proline Promass 100 Coriolis mass flow transmitter lets users customize sensor features for food, beverage, life sciences, pharmaceutical, chemical, and other industries.
The danger of what you don’t know you don’t know
Think of an engineering degree as a license to learn rather than an end in itself.
Distillation Columns – Internal Reflux Control
A view from the trenches considering one of the sources of distillation column instability that is often overlooked.
Device offers 360-degree non-contact position sensing
Honeywell introduces Smart position sensor with rotary configuration.
Selecting a control system
As capabilities of different platforms overlap in more areas, selection options grow but become more complicated.
Programming for the Future
Think about the people that will have to work on your project someday down the road. You can make their job easier, and one of those people may be you.
PLCs use CoDeSys IEC 61131-3 programming
Product Exclusive: Eaton XC controllers with Controller Development Software (CoDeSys) advance lean automation with powerful, modular systems for open, scalable, and high-performance control.
Optimize Multi-Fuel Boiler Operation with Modern Control
As fuel prices rise and emissions regulations become tougher, companies must adopt new methods to remain profitable and sometimes just to survive.
Are you quality obsessed? 7 steps to an effective quality system
How to establish an effective quality system: Statistical process control (SPC) can help.
Making Equipment Smarter Shouldn’t Make People Dumber
At times it seems that working with smarter devices can make people forget some of the most fundamental concepts and practices when troubleshooting. It’s time to remember basic training.
The Importance of a Project Specification Document
Leaving project specifications blank or TBA is a recipe for project trouble.
Analog pressure and temperature transmitter
Automated Control Engineering Group (A.C.E.) and STS introduces ATM.1ST/T and ATM.1ST/N/T analog pressure and temperature transmitters.
Optimizing Strategy for Boiler Drum Level Control
Avoid trips and maximize steam output by reviewing your control equipment, strategy, and tuning.
Adaptive control of deep fat fryers
Controlling the temperature of a deep fat fryer and maintaining that control is essential to productivity and that practice can be applied elsewhere, as well.
Understanding Process Elasticity
Lessons learned cooking french fries can teach much about process control strategy.
Intersections of Manufacturing and Process Control
The concepts of discrete and process manufacturing can overlap in interesting ways.
FCI: Advancing Thermal Mass Gas Flow Meters For 21st Century Process & Plant Needs
FCI’s latest White Paper explains the need for a future-ready approach to air/gas flow measurement with its ST100 Series Flow Meter.
Solution Partner Program for Information extended to China
Aeromat, a Guangzhou-based industrial automation systems integrator, has been accepted in implementing FactoryTalk applications from Rockwell Automation.
Sampling pump module simplifies gas monitoring in remote areas
New SM100 sampling pump module from General Monitors simplifies gas monitoring for wet wells, aluminum smelting, emissions monitoring of soil samples, landfill gas monitoring, printing press operations, and wastewater treatment.
DCS and SCADA upgrades, cyber security, marshalling are among user group topics
Foxboro User Group returns to Boston, Aug. 13-17, 2012, seeking optimization and the clearest path to modernization.
HART: New Lease on Life
Adding wireless capability extends the value of a legacy technology.
Air, gas flow meter receives FM and FMc approval
The future-ready ST100 Series Thermal Mass Air/Gas Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) has received FM and FMc approval, assuring FCI’s customers that it conforms to the highest national and international safety standards.
The TX-M12 series by Omega is designed for a broad range of applications including process control and monitoring equipment and is house in a rugged stainless steel enclosure with watertight connections.
Low maintenance 4-in-1 pH Probe
Yokogawa FU24 is a ‘four in one’ pH sensor designed to offer virtually maintenance-free operation and long sensor lifetime – especially in harsh applications involving severe temperature and pressure fluctuations.
Social media and process control merge using artificial intelligence
Emerson Process adds “tweeting” function to flagship DeltaV so it can reach out to operators. The system will establish friends, compose messages, and interact independently. Exclusive video: Jim Cahill explains new concept, operation.
Vibrating rod point level sensor for solids detection
Pipe-extended configuration from BlueLevel Technologies allows for a wide range of insertion lengths.
Signal conditioner offers flexibility in displaying transducer values
Compact E725 from RDP Electrosense can be used in stand-alone or panel-mounted mode.
Smart barrel pressure transmitter for shale oil and gas applications
United Electric Controls introduces compact sensor family equipped with HART 7.
Mechanical flowmeter family for water service
Omega introduces FTB8000HW Series, able to tolerate low-quality and hot water.
Control system suite for pharmaceutical manufacturers
New zenon 7 family from Copa-Data provides “ergonomic” workflows from sensor to ERP.
Flow switch/monitor receives Zone 2 ATEX, IECEx approvals
FS10A from FCI is optimized for continuous flow verification in process analyzer sampling systems.
Statistics from the National Science Foundation
The latest edition of 'Science and Engineering Indicators' from the National Science Board contains interesting information about our industries.
Linear hall-effect magnetic position sensor IC
Honeywell SS39ET series has a low-cost, versatile SOT-23 subminiature surface mount package ideal for compact designs with tight space requirements.
Apps for Engineers
Product Exclusive: CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers software is an “app of apps,” providing an interactive directory of approximately 60 mobile engineering-related software applications useful for Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer areas of coverage.
Advanced process control in electric utilities
How model-based predictive control can optimize the overall steam cycle and burner management.
I/O module for RTDs
Opto 22 adds new 1,000 ohm RTD temperature sensing I/O module for its SNAP PAC family.
Progress on EDDL and FDT protocol convergence
Work has been underway since last fall. Is there any progress yet?
The unexpected application of sensors
Engineering at 30 Frames: Sensors can lead to some impressive feats, even more so when it’s given to those with little familiarity with control engineering concepts.
Precision pressure test gages
Fluke introduces the 700G Series for high accuracy in harsh environments.
Temperature device validation diagnostic provides insight into process and measurement abnormalities
Emerson adds a new measurement analysis capability on Rosemount 848T temperature transmitters.
Industrial rackmount server
The Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS) 1U Short KTQM67 is a rackmount server for demanding application areas like industrial automation and process control.
Automation 2012: View from China
Control Engineering International: Energy efficiency and renewable energy are among 2012 automation development opportunities in China. Remote measurement and control systems, industrial automation, instrumentation systems, and smart sensors can help.
IMS Research: Custody transfer applications grow in sophistication, but no clear flowmeter technology winner yet
IMS Research says ultrasonics growing fast, but what about Coriolis? What will displace DP?
Hydrogen sulfide gas detector receives IP66/67 approval
Det-Tronics's NTMOS hydrogen sulfide detector received an IP66/67 approval rating, which allows it to be used in petrochemical, oil and gas applications
Shell Global Solutions launches major simulation program
Company signs technology agreement with Invensys for multi-year partnership on simulation and optimization.
New electro-pneumatic valve positioner
EDP300 from ABB offers high accuracy and speed for linear and part-turn actuators.
PCs versus PLCs for process control
Soapbox: Don’t settle for faults inherent in PLCs and PCs. Take the best of each for a more effective hybrid system for process control, according to a software and hardware provider to the process industries.
Sensors, controls improve beer: Less oxygen, better beer
Oxygen in beer reduces shelf life and can affect flavor. Advanced optical measurement and sensor diagnostic technologies minimizes oxygen, simply and dependably.
System Integration tutorial: Measure Twice, Cut Once
The front-end loading (FEL) process applied to automation projects ensures that the human, financial, and physical tools are in place to get the job done right the first time.
Center Ethanol plant finds efficiencies
Even in a tough market, smart companies that leverage efficiencies can stay in business and even thrive.
Integrated process control
Integration of multiple process control systems enhances track-and-trace capabilities for an Interstates Control System client.
EC: EXP-24 Positioner for explosive areas
Motion control: Exlar ATEX-rated high-temperature hazardous location EXP-24 Positioner can be used to control most three-phase linear and rotary actuators. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: ExactComp EC80 flow computer
Process control – Flowmeters: The ExactComp EC80 is a state-of-the-art flow computer/signal processor from Cox Flow Measurement that enhances the performance of frequency output flowmeters under varying fluid flow conditions. This product is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Model 394L FPI Mag Full Profile Insertion – Electromagnetic Bi-Directional Flow Meter
Process control – Flowmeters: The only hot-tap full profile insertion design McCrometer Model 394L FPI Mag Bi-Directional Flow Meter requires no line shutdown to install and features multiple electrodes measuring across the pipe for superior accuracy, including totalized forward/reverse flow measurement in pipes while reducing installed cost by more than 45% in medium and large line sizes. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: LMT Series Point-Level Sensor
Process control – Process sensors: The LMT Series Point-Level Sensor from ifm efector monitors the level of liquids, viscous media, and powders in food and beverage applications. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: PlantPAx ModelBuilder data monitoring and analysis software
Software – Diagnostics: PlantPAx ModelBuilder from Rockwell Automation is a data modeling and analysis tool that predicts real-time process and product conditions critical to peak performance. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Artificial Intelligence: Fuzzy Logic Explained
Fuzzy logic for most of us: It’s not as fuzzy as you might think and has been working quietly behind the scenes for years. Fuzzy logic is a rule-based system that can rely on the practical experience of an operator, particularly useful to capture experienced operator knowledge. Here’s what you need to know.
Temperature data collection device offers high signal isolation
New Ethernet measurement instruments from Data Translation use galvanic isolation to preserve signal integrity.
HART communicator platform adds trending capabilities
ProComSol upgrades DevCom2000 software so it can trend any parameter from a field device transmitter.
Second-largest wastewater treatment plant in the U.S. to replace HMI systems
Project to install Ovation human machine interface (HMI) technology at Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant part of $3.8 billion program to protect Boston Harbor from pollution.
New optimization software platform aims at refinery process applications
More powerful SimSci-Esscor ROMeo optimization software from Invensys adds OPC-UA connectivity
Batch management platform can boost efficiency, throughput
Honeywell launches Experion Batch Manager R410 with improved controller capabilities, reduced latency, and reduced execution times.
Leader Under 40: Brett Beauregard
Director - Product Development, Control Station Inc. – BS Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Concentration: Process Control
Leader Under 40: Kris Dornan
Process End-User Marketing Manager, Rockwell Automation Inc. – BS Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
Leader Under 40: Ben Mansfield
Manager with PlantPAx Process Automation System, Rockwell Automation Inc. – BS Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
Leader Under 40: Chad Schaffer
Associate Process Instrumentation + Controls Engineer, Burns + McDonnell – BS Chemical Engineering, University of Kansas
Multi-language human-machine interface, web-based software
InduSoft Service Pack 1 for its Web Studio v7.0 is designed to improve machine and process performance.
2012 Engineers’ Choice nomination deadline is Oct. 19, 2011
Deadline extended until Oct. 19: Automation industry vendors may submit Engineers’ Choice Award product nominations until by noon Oct. 19, 2011 (Wednesday), extended from Oct. 14, 2011 (Friday). With extended coverage in print, in email newsletters, and online, this is an extraordinary opportunity to put your best technologies in front of Control Engineering subscribers, and the wider world of automation and controls.
Social media in your learning mix for control engineering
Are you using all the possible resources you can when solving engineering problems? Don’t forget blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube.
Machine vision system inspects, reads barcodes
Cognex ISE 4.5, an inspection tool, is designed to have multiple functions, such as being able to read barcodes and provide inspections simultaneously.
When your parts supply for an old system runs out
Providing geriatric care for an aging control system or piece of critical equipment can require you to be creative when your parts supply dries up. There are alternatives.
FDI Cooperation, LLC: A new company to support the FDI technology is founded
FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, Profibus & Profinet International, and OPC Foundation launch a company to manage ongoing development work on FDI, the common solution for device integration.
Process control system selected to automate Georgia plant
Polystar selected the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system and SINAMICS to automate its Dalton, Ga., plant.
Automation conference in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Automation Technology Expo, Jan. 15-18, 2012, will focus on factory and home automation as well as BMS and SCADA applications.
Laser spectroscopy for measuring moisture in natural gas
Spectroscopy avoids sensor degradation possible with direct contact analysis methods resulting from contaminants in the product stream.
Non-contacting level transmitters receive update
Emerson Process Management's Rosemount 5300 and 5400 transmitters can now communicate via Modbus and LevelMaster (ROS) protocols
Statistical process control software predicts quality problems
Wonderware QI Analyst software 8.0 with SP2: Invensys Operations Management has enhanced its QI Analyst SPC software. The IOM product is designed to predict quality problems before they occur and gives manufacturers the ability to monitor process variation.
Multiple hop radios have I/O connections
Banner Engineering's Surecross MultiHop radios are designed for remote applications and can connect to control systems to communicate with input/output devices.
Technology Update: Low-power solenoid valves
For point-to-point and bus-based configurations, new low-power solenoid valves offer economies for PLCs, DCSs, and other control devices and use of easier, less expensive, smaller gage wiring. They are the same price as the previous low-power generation. More savings accrue due to smaller footprints, easier reconfiguration, and greater reliability.
Sensor mounting fastener improvements
Balluff is finding new ways to improve mounting fasteners for sensors to adapt to a variety of new situations for OEMs and system integrators.
Spectris to Acquire Omega Engineering
U.K.-based instrumentation and controls company expands its process measurement and control instrumentation offering.
Back to Basics: Relearning terms, concepts for process control
Process control terms vary according to engineering discipline and industry. A common vocabulary and better understanding of process control fundamentals make teams and communications more efficient and effective.
Two-color, digital-ratio pyrometer released
LumaSense Technologies's pyrometer is designed to provide greater accuracy in metal, glass, silicon and cement manufacturing
Control platform receives major upgrade
Yokogawa releases new Centum VP 5, aims at improving the use of plant information and reducing lifecycle costs with simplified engineering.
Tax Relief Act: OEMs, manufacturers hurry to get financial, operational incentives
Companies hurry to meet year-end deadline, get immediate ROI by immediately deducting the cost, rather than lifetime depreciation.
Inside process: Industrial gas producer upgrades control
Airgas Madison plant runs sold out, so downtime is very costly. Upgrading its DCS helped maximize production and maintain operational data.
Uncompensated, unamplified, board-mount pressure sensors
Honeywell TruStability NSC Series sensors (Uncompensated/Unamplified Board Mount Pressure Sensors) offer customers the flexibility of self-calibration, combined with industry-leading stability, accuracy and repeatability, making these sensors ideal for precise and efficient performance in a variety of potential industrial and medical applications, Honeywell said.
Automation solutions for Korean Gas Terminals
HPS Selected to enhance safety, reliability and efficiency of expanded LNG terminals for LNG importer
Siemens launches ‘Measuring Success’ tour
Siemens begins a tour to connect customers to automation technologies inside a 53-ft mobile showcase with process instrumentation, process analyzers and process automation products and solutions.
Separating process conditions from product attributes
What is your instrumentation telling you? Can the information help you learn about the product?
Cover Story – Wireless Applications: Less Cost, More Productivity, Compliance
What does industrial wireless do for you? There’s up to 90% installed cost savings. Look for productivity, security, and regulatory compliance advantages.
Power Control: Advanced Process Control
Control and stabilization of a multiple boiler plant can be improved by using an advanced process control (APC) approach.
Companies expand manufacturing in U.S. stressing sophisticated technologies
Equipois and Endress+Hauser both open new facilities to serve domestic and export markets.
Thermocouple probes offer multiple mounting options
Omega introduces thermocouple probes with mounting threads and M12 connectors.
Certified mass-based measurement system for marine bunkering
Emerson introduces Micro Motion solution with high measurement accuracy and traceability with third-party certification.
Low-cost line of pressure and temperature transmitters grows
AutomationDirect expands its offering of ProSense pressure and RTD temperature probe lines.
Honeywell Users Group Americas is June 12-16, 2011
Honeywell Users Group Americas is June 12-16, 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona.
How many tubes for a Coriolis flowmeter?
One is good, two is better, but why four?
Ultrasonic flowmeter line grows for general applications
High-performance Daniel flowmeters from Emerson Process Management integrate diagnostics with high-accuracy measurements.
Differential-pressure flowmeter well suited to steam
V-Cone flowmeter from McCrometer provides precision monitoring in enhanced oil recovery injection applications.
Digital pressure gage
DPG409 series from Omega offers high legibility and corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing.
ISA88 Part 5 draft: Traditional automation designs for batch recipes
A series of discussions follow seeking input on possible language in ISA88 Part 5 draft standard, Figures 1-6 follow. Please provide comments at the bottom of this posting to ensure the standard is understandable, appropriate, and useful across industries and areas of control, machine control, batch control, and continuous control, as well as flexible and scalable, across hybrid applications.
Smart valve positioner boosts gas production
ABB digital positioner stabilizes flow, helps gas separation plant increase argon production by 10%.
Multi-parameter level sensor adds measuring capabilities
E+H Levelflex FMP55 level transmitter uses both capacitance and guided wave radar technologies to measure the level and interface between two liquids.
Electric circuits, systems educator gets 2011 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award
Charles A. Desoer's cutting-edge research influenced generations of engineers and provided substantial progress in circuits and systems analysis and design. IEEE honored Dr. Desoer with the 2011 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award.
MEMS differential pressure sensor for liquids and gases
New sensor family from AST handles high pressure limits and wide turndown range.
Yes, but…will it run in the dark?
First Michael Babb editorial in Control Engineering, originally published in the November 1987 issue, talked about automation's contribution to efficiency manufacturing. Babb passed away April 6, 2011.
Ethernet communication gateway, backplane for remote I/O system
Ethernet Remote I/O from Pepperl+Fuchs builds bridge between traditional field instruments and Ethernet, enabling users to benefit from fast data transfer rates.
Pneumatic signaling still wheezes?
Are instrumentation transmitters that use 3-15 psi analog signals still around?
Yokogawa appoints new head for its North American business
Chester J. Mroz is named president and CEO, will oversee all business operations, drawing on his career in industrial automation.
Compact infrared temperature sensors are ideal for harsh industrial environments
LumaSense Technologies adds new multi-purpose pyrometers to IMPAC Line that offer EMI immunity and high-speed response times.
Avantha Power selects platform for plant-wide optimization
Indian electric utility deploys Rockwell Automation to integrate islands of automation.
Process control modules delivers PID loop control without PLC
Omega Engineering CS series of process control modules delivers PID loop control of any process without using a PLC. Modules allow control of temperature, flow, and pressure. Single- and dual-loop temperature modules provide ramp-and-soak controls.
ZhanJiang Chenming Pulp and Paper Co. expanding pulp production
New facility in Guangdong, China, will produce 700,000 tpy, driven by Honeywell integrated control system.
Imaging system controls baking process on production line
Georgia Tech Research Institute pairs an imaging system with advanced controls in the production of sandwich buns, instantaneous changes during the process can help ensure maximum efficiency, output.
Flowmeter for filling machines with high precision
New Micro Motion filling transmitter offers Coriolis technology for accurate mass readings.
ExxonMobil deploys enterprise control system
ExxonMobil installs Invensys InFusion system at its Beaumont, TX, lubes plant to unify existing systems and improve operations.
Cataloging loop drawings, tags in a spreadsheet
How a refinery used Excel to document its automation infrastructure during a DCS upgrade. Some simple tools can keep it all in order.
Ceramic jacket protects thermocouple in high-temp applications
CaO-stabilized zirconia tube from Morgan Technical Ceramics can operate in furnace environments up to 2,000 °C, outlasting alumina alternatives.
Turbine flowmeter for low volumes
Cox device uses low-friction ball bearings to perform in water, hydrocarbon, and cryogenic fluid applications.
Sensor measures particulates in stack gas
Particulate CEM from FilterSense monitors effectiveness of baghouses, ESPs, and other dust collection systems.
Biomass power generation grows in Baltic region
Two new biomass boiler plants in Finland and Estonia will provide steam and electric power from wood processing waste.
Swedish nuclear power plant modernizes I&C infrastructure
Ringhals Unit 3 implements a new control system during 30-day shutdown, back on line for winter demand.
Device Diagnostics and Asset Management
As field devices and networks get smarter, are we getting any smarter on how we use them and put that information to work? One automation consultant reflects on his experiences, the state of manufacturing, and how plants can use this information better.
FPI Mag Flow Meter provides accurate measurement of full flow profile
The FPI Mag Electromagnetic Flow Meter by McCrometer is ideal for municipal water or effluent wastewater treatment, provides accurate measurements via additional sensing electrodes.
Field device configurator designed to simplify instrumentation management
Handheld device from Honeywell allows operators to manage HART devices made by any manufacturer.
Liquid level controller family
Device works with conductive level sensors to control tank level, filling, and emptying functions.
Han-Tek acquires PowerLab Control Technologies
The acquisition of PowerLab Control Technologies is expected to expand Han-Tek’s solutions portfolio with process controls and SCADA capabilities.
Process instrumentation supplier expands offering of fieldbus enabled devices
Emerson expands its device portfolio adding temperature and pressure transmitters that support Profibus PA profile V3.02.
Measuring open-channel flow
As water flows over the dam, can we measure it?
Photoelectric sensor mounting brackets make positioning more flexible
Pepperl+Fuchs introduces mounting brackets that support multi-axes alignment in cost effective package ideal for packaging, material handling and general automation applications.
Fanless panel PC increases comfort in application management
Kontron’s fanless thin panel PC, the Micro Client IIA, ranges in size from 7 to 17 inches.
Vibrating fork level switch for safety instrumented systems
Rosemount 2130 switch certified for SIL 2 applications, even with low-density products.
Guided wave radar level transmitters for safety applications
K-Tek's guided wave radar level transmitters are certified for IEC 61508 SIL2 and SIL 3 applications.
Pressure sensor family receives new diagnostic capabilities
Rosemount expands options of its 3051S pressure sensors to help diagnose abnormal process situations and installation problems.
Cabinet dryers protect equipment in wet environments
Balston Cabinet Dryers avoid moisture damage in control equipment and marshalling cabinets, even in wash down areas.
Shaun Klann, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010
Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Shaun Klann ...
Fieldbus in the field
If you still connect devices and controllers with point-to-point wiring, it’s time to take a look at one of the fieldbus networking options available. An appropriate selection will save money now and later.
Temperature sensor survey
How do you handle your temperature measurement needs? What types of devices do you use, and are you satisfied with the performance? Take our quick survey.
Gathering Remote Data at a Water Treatment Plant
A water treatment plant reduced wiring costs for field instrumentation while improving operational readiness and reliability by using a strategy for distributed I/O.
EC: MassTracker Insertion Turbine Mass Flow Meter
Process Sensors - flowmeters: Spirax Sarco, Inc., MassTracker Insertion Turbine Mass Flow Meter. The MassTracker Insertion Turbine Multi-Variable Flow Meter combines measurement of mass or volumetric flow, density, temperature. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: Logix Batch and Sequence Manager
Process control systems: Rockwell Automation Logix Batch and Sequence Manager. The Logix Batch and Sequence Manager enables design engineers to configure sequences directly in the controller through a standard user interface. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
EC: Intune Valve Diagnostics
Process Control - analysis, optimization, tuning: ControlSoft Inc., Intune Valve Diagnostics. Intune Valve Diagnostics is a non-invasive software that qualitatively detects and quantifies the size of stiction in control valves in both online and offline diagnostic modes. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
Custody Transfer: Flowmeter as Cash Register
When bulk liquid or gas products change hands, everyone has to agree on the quantity and the product quality. This puts very special demands on instrumentation.
Temperature sensor is reliable, economical, noncontact
The IR-USB infrared temperature sensor from Omega Engineering provides a reliable and economical method for most noncontact temperature monitoring applications.
Wireless instrumentation helps pipeline operator with diagnostics
Atlas Pipeline – Westex improves production efficiency at gas processing facility, joining old equipment to new control room.
Multivariable vortex flowmeter works with liquids and gasses
Optiswirl 4070 from Krohne provides multivariable measurements in a two-wire configuration.
Ethernet data acquisition module for analog sensors
Data Translation uses proprietary ISO-channel technology to protect signals from noise and ground loops.
Sanitary level switch tolerates high temperatures
LFFS sensor from Baumer detects liquids and dry media, offers multiple output options.
Larger control valves gain new options
Spirax Sarco adds larger sizes with additional actuator selection choices.
Wireless technology moves into broader process control applications
As technology evolves, users are now moving beyond mainstream monitoring applications to wireless measurements for control in harsh and remote environments.
Temperature sensors include a built-in conduit adapter and grease-fitting (zerk) tap
Temperature sensors combine a sensor, signal conditioner and loop-powered 4-20mA transmitter into a rugged and compact package.
What’s the problem with overshoot?
Dear Control Engineering: I was looking at Back to Basics in the August issue about closed loop control. What is the main concern about overshoot? Why is it a problem, and can’t a controller prevent it? An ideal controller should be able to move a process variable quickly to the desired setpoint without shooting past. Sometimes controllers will push the variable aggressively toward the setpoint knowing that it may go past, or overshoot the desired value and have to turn around and come back.
Finding an oil / water interface level
Dear Control Engineering: I was reading the article on differential pressure sensors, and I was wondering if I could use that density calculating feature to determine the interface point between oil and water in the same tank? Let’s think about how that feature works and see how to solve your problem. As the article pointed out, if you have two taps on the side of a tank some known distance apart, you can calculate the density of the contents, regardless of the depth, as long as both taps are submerged. This works because density is mass per unit of volume and the pressure device is giving you, for all practical purposes, the weight of the volume of liquid between the two taps.
Large-memory ramp soak controller
Control strategy optimized for linear temperature movement and stable hold points.
New alarm management tool
Platform complies with ISA18.2 and provides support for a company-wide alarm database.
Automation Strengthens Supply Chain
Personal wash producer PZ Cussons built a fully-automated plant from the ground up. Benefits included improved asset and production performance with stringent quality standards.
New ultrasonic flowmeter
AC powered sensor family uses transit time technology for a variety of fluids.
Analog to digital: Frequency
Dear Control Engineering: I was looking at the discussion about bit rate, but can you go into more depth on how frequency works in this context? If bit rate is the vertical or y-axis on our graph, frequency is the horizontal or x-axis. Bit rate says how many divisions you have on y, and frequency says how often you make a mark. Here’s an analogy.
Level switch with no moving parts
Device detects liquids and dry substances with short response time.
Field-mount device enclosure certified explosion-proof
Enclosure allows use of hockey-puck style instruments in hazardous locations.
Scalable remote terminal unit
Integrates easily with SCADA systems for complex environments such as oil and gas production.
Temperature control software package
Function block-based platform can provide closed-loop control of multiple zones.
Alcohol producer upgrades to Coriolis flowmeters
Caviro Distillerie opts for high-precision metering strategy in its denatured alcohol unit for custody transfer and excise duty calculations.
Pressure transmitter for high temperature applications
Cooling neck extensions protect electronic components from hot process fluids.
Building control strategy in the brewhouse
Crown Valley Brewery designs its process control strategy and system along with its new brewhouse. Working hand-in-hand with the process equipment OEM, the end user gets just what it wanted.
Automation improves rapeseed oil production
Polish edible-oil producer moves to digital plant architecture, creating a highly efficient plant with lower operating costs. A very small in-house automation team can accomplish great things with the right tools.
Solving Process Instability
Some processes just seem hard to manage: Loops won’t tune, upsets are common, products are off spec. Nothing will run in automatic like it is supposed to and you can’t figure out why. What are the main causes of unruly processes, and how do you fix those at the source? How do you hunt down the causes? This is the June/July 2010 Control Engineering cover story.
APC Improves Energy Efficiency
Fertilizer producer improves process in key areas through advanced process control, and integrates more operator knowledge into control strategy.
Selecting Suppliers for Global Ambitions
Biodiesel processing equipment supplier looks for automation suppliers capable of supporting equipment deployments anywhere in the world. When feedstock prices were low, being first to market was the mantra heard throughout the biofuels industry. It is a different story today, where production efficiency and flexibility now take center stage as producers contend with unpredictable feedstock pricing and availability.
Micro-sensor for ultra-low gas flow applications
Thermal mass device from Innovative Sensor Technology reads very low velocities.
Propeller flowmeter for water applications
Water Specialties flowmeter from McCrometer aims at wells and booster stations.
ISA100.11a compliance group releases conformance test kits
ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute delivers package to verify wireless device interoperability and stack conformance.
Honeywell completes Matrikon acquisition
Honeywell has completed its acquisition of Matrikon, the Edmonton, Canada-based manufacturing technology company. Most of Matrikon’s capabilities will be placed under HPS’s (Honeywell Process Solutions) Advanced Solutions area, but the Matrikon OPC business will continue to operate as a stand-alone unit serving its traditional industries and retaining its name. The final acquisition price announced was US$139 million. Matrikon specializes in technology to manage production, optimize operations, and monitor assets at industrial plants, including oil and gas, refining, energy, power, and mining operations.
Provide safety through system integration, says CNC Solutions
Handling sheet metal parts for this punching and forming operation was causing an unacceptable number of worker injuries until CNC Solutions automated the process with robotics and reduced number of times employees handled sharp-edged parts.
Infrared emitter measures trace gases for analysis, control
Cal Sensors announces the launch of PIREPlus, a high-output, high-pulse rate emitter that can be pulsed as a source of blackbody radiation for near-to-far infrared applications at 180Hz with 50% modulation depth. With a pulsing speed 18 times faster than alternative technologies, the PIREPlus maximizes signal to noise performance, expanding the measurement dynamic range and resolution.
Diversity linked on a common platform
Device integration at the world's largest wastewater treatment plant links multiple manufacturers on common fieldbus and management networks.
Process analysis: ABB Industrial IT Extended PAT
Industrial IT Extended PAT, the latest generation of ABB's Process Analytical Technology solutions, provides simplified engineering and streamlined integration with enterprise systems.
Actuator: Fisher Control-Disk Valve from Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management says its Fisher Control-Disk Valve is a high-performance butterfly valve offering twice the standard control range.
ProSense motor monitoring relays: AutomationDirect
AutomationDirect's expanded proSense line includes phase monitoring, alternating and pump seal failure relays.
Emerson considering sale of motor divisions
Report says Emerson is considering possible sale of two motor businesses.
Application advice: Pressure sensors for water treatment
Life in water treatment applications is tough on sensors. Baumer offers pressure and level sensor designs that can take it.
High flow rate Coriolis flowmeters
Micro Motion unveils its highest capacity Elite series Coriolis flowmeters. Extends sensor capabilities for higher-volume applications.
GE Digital Energy MDS SD2 wireless digital radio for SCADA
GE Digital Energy MDS SD2 wireless digital radio is said to be useful for data acquisition and SCADA applications, monitoring and controlling pole-top transformers; reclosers and capacitor banks for utilities; pumps, compressors and flow meters in oil and gas production; and remote PLCs and measurement devices in water, wastewater and heavy industrial markets.
ifm efector Compact PQ Series pressure sensors for pneumatic applications
The compact ifm PQ Series pressure and vacuum sensors are designed for pneumatic applications often found in robotics and material handling applications.
Video tutorial: Differential pressure flowmeters
Using differential pressure to calculate flow is a very basic and common method. Here's how it works.
Universal wireless transmitters handle multiple signals
XYR 6000 transmitters from Honeywell can handle up to three measurements.
Single-channel thermocouple to USB converter
Low-cost device digitizes TC data, includes supporting software for connection via USB input.
Phoenix Contact calls Axioline ‘world’s fastest I/O system’
Blending Ethernet technology with terminal blocks, Phoenix Contact created the fastest available I/O speed, the company said at the Axioline I/O system introduction.
Rosemount 3051S MultiVariable Transmitter
Emerson Process Management Rosemount 3051S MultiVariable Transmitter from Emerson Process Management is a fully compensated mass and energy flow transmitter. It can be configured for flow applications by entering just three application parameters. The Rosemount 3051S measures up to three variables (DP, P, and T) and provides a flow or energy output, reducing the number of devices traditionally ...
Valve for pressure gages and sensors
Small footprint valve isolates and vents pressure devices. Design minimizes leak potential.
Portable chemical analysis instrument
Multi-parameter meters from Mettler Toledo measure pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and ion concentration.
Video tutorial: Measuring liquid depth with a bubbler
Simple but effective liquid level measurement requires only a pressure gage and compressed air supply. This method is ideal for slurries and difficult debris-laden products.
Semi-wireless instruments, failures, historian costs
Readers weigh in and ask questions about articles and multi-media
Reader writes: Real semi-wireless installation
Instrumentation devices that communicate wirelessly may still need power supplied the old-fashioned way. Here's one reader's experience installing a radar level sensor.
HART 2009 Plant of the Year
Exclusive: First ethylene plant for Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. is the HART 2009 Plant of the Year. HART technology helped detect onset of a plugged impulse line and plugged manifold during start-up, reducing maintenance costs and start-up time. An unscheduled shutdown would have cost an estimated $3 million.
Exida offers combined certification for safety, security
Exida, a global supplier of functional safety, security, and alarm management services and certifications, has begun offering an integrated testing package, which the company says evaluates the most important attributes of an automation product—functional safety, functional security, and availability.
Bottom Line-driven Integration
Metcam, a manufacturing company in Alpharetta, GA, specializes in custom sheet metal fabrication serving a diverse industrial base, including commercial HVAC, healthcare, electronics, automotive, food service and air filtration. It partnered with AutomationDirect in an integration project designed to provide a scalable automation system that allows for continued growth and expansion. See photos.
Industrial drive has integrated safety, swappable memory block
ABB's ACS850 drive with embedded safe-torque-off SIL3 functionality provides machine builders and system integrators with a high-performance motor-control platform in a compact package.
New multivariable transmitter simplifies DP flow measurement
The Rosemount 3051S multi-variable transmitter from Emerson Process Management improves productivity and energy management while enhancing environmental compliance.
Gas flowmeter for chlorine water disinfection systems
Flow control device helps optimize chlorine use in municipal water purification plants, works in a closed loop with the control system, and handles multi-gas or variable flow processes.
New family of disposable pH sensors
Invensys introduces PEEK-bodied sensor in 12 mm form factor.
Multi-function digital pressure sensor
The new Ashcroft GC35 digital pressure sensor provides remote signaling, local reading, and pressure control, all in one small, rugged design. Equipped with a 4-20 mA analog output, 4 digit LED display, and programmable switch contacts, Ashcroft says the unit performs the functions of a transducer, digital indicator, and pressure switch.
ISA88, batch control standard, Part 1 revision nears completion
ISA88 Batch Control Part 1 revisions are out for vote, and the three-year revision effort may be finalized by early 2010. ISA88.01 Batch Control Part 1: Models and Terminology was originally passed in 1995.
Turbine flowmeter specifically designed for water applications
Capabilities include current and totalized readings for potable water, wastewater, pumping stations, etc. Transmitter interfaces with larger control and SCADA systems.
Miniature pressure transducers thrive in high-temperature applications
New series of piezoresistive sensors from Endevco accurate in constant duty up to 500 °F.
Pressure transmitter for difficult environments
Rugged design from Wika withstands vibration, shock, and wide temperature variations.
Portable sulfuric acid dewpoint monitor
Sensor helps prevent corrosion in flue-gas handling systems for coal- and oil-fired boiler applications by monitoring the dewpoint for sulfuric acid condensation.
Low-cost, high-return process control improvements
George Buckbee, P.E., is vice president of marketing and product development for ExperTune and he is writing a three-part series on process control improvements for Control Engineering. Following is an excerpt of the first installment of that article; the full version can be found online at www.controleng.
Leak detection: Technology catches up to theory
Making sure all the oil that goes in a pipeline comes out the other end is harder than it sounds.
Flowmeters for petro and LNG custody transfer
Sentinel flowmeter family from GE Sensing optimized for complex and demanding service with liquefied natural gas and petroleum product sales and transfers.
Handy resources for instrumentation engineers
If you're responsible for day-to-day care and feeding of process instrumentation and sensors, here are two simple but useful resources to make your life easier.
Thermal dispersion sensor performs multiple functions
FlexSwitch from FCI can function as a level sensor, flow switch, and temperature sensor, with capability to differentiate media in separation tanks.
Digital non-contact infrared temperature sensor
Keyence introduces the FT series infrared sensor family. The ability to measure IR from distances of up to 3 m (10 ft.) means the sensor head can be mounted far away from harsh environments. An optional air purge enclosure can eliminate dust buildup, increasing sensor stability and decreasing process downtime.
Flowmeter Challenge: Right Size, Right Design
How many process plants suffer with poorly sized and poorly selected flowmeters? Why does this seemingly simple selection task get so complicated?
Guest commentary: Low-cost, high-return process control improvements, part 1
In the first of a three-part essay, George Buckbee, P.E., vice president of marketing and product development for ExperTune, considers a number of very practical ways you can optimize your plant control systems and improve profitability.
ifm optical fork and angle sensors
ifm introduces a new line of optical fork and angle sensors with a transmitter and a receiver in one housing. ifm's new sensors offer a one-piece fixed-distance design, eliminating the time-consuming alignment of a separate transmitter and receiver, company says.
Low-range analog differential pressure gages
Series 6000 from Mid-West Instrument covers DP ranges starting below 1 in. water column with high accuracy and wide temperature range.
New magnetic flowmeter family aims at water and wastewater markets
ABB Instrumentation has launched a new range of magnetic flowmeters, from small to huge, optimized for water and suited for underground use.
Flowmeter selection: Right size, right design
How many process plants suffer with poorly sized and poorly selected flowmeters? Why does this seemingly simple selection task get so complicated?
Chinese petrochem project uses FF and FDT/DTM for field instrumentation and valves
Massive project embraces advantages of instrument diagnostics and proactive asset management practices. Positive shift in "maintenance culture" prevents device failures.
Commentary: Security Incidents Organization tries to find its way doing important work
Newly formed organization carries on task of collecting information on cyber security breach incidents.
Security incident database public access: SCADA, manufacturing, process control cyber security info
The newly formed, non-profit Security Incidents Organization announced it will provide public access to The Repository of Industrial Security Incidents (RISI).
Non-contact photoelectric level sensors
Compact point-level units mount directly to transparent standpipes, requiring no penetration.
Spectrometer orbits the moon
NASA LCROSS mission takes a Ocean Optics spectrometer named Alice to the moon to analyze lunar makeup and look for water. The Centaur rocket carrying LCROSS will remain in orbit with the satellite until October 9. At that point the units will separate, sending the rocket, at more than twice the speed of a bullet ...
Podcast: Honeywell’s Norman Gilsdorf on process industries
After six months on the job, Honeywell Process Solutions’ president looks at the process automation landscape.
Benchtop windtunnels: Calibration, thermal analysis
Benchtop wind tunnels have practical value in engineering, product design, and academia, as well as in research and development. Benchtop devices follow the general principles of wind tunnel design, such as controlled air flow, low turbulence, flow accuracy, and repeatability, explains Omega Engineering Inc.
Commentary: Wireless for process moves beyond instrumentation
Systems for process plants are evolving to include more bidirectional functionality.
5 tips for monitoring temperature wirelessly
Today’s wireless instrumentation technologies provide new ways to apply temperature measurement sensors. Prior limitations and complexities of point-to-point, mechanically interconnected instrumentation systems no longer apply, according to Omega Engineering. With wireless connections, control can be centralized or decentralized and data can be collected and analyzed in real time or later...
Mipac optimizes plant processes using service platform
Process Advantage program promises to release your plant’s hidden potential.
Endress+Hauser expands U.S. production
Endress+Hauser (E+H), a Swiss-based manufacturer of measurement instrumentation and automation solutions, has expanded its flowmeter instrumentation plant in Greenwood, IN. The company invested more than $18 million in new production and calibration facilities for production of primarily magnetic and Coriolis designs.
Honeywell demo shows how process industries ‘can do work wirelessly’
At its recent Honeywell User Group (HUG) meeting, the company set out to prove that an entire process unit could be built with no wired devices, except for power in some cases. While the process in this case was nothing more than pumping water from one tank to another, it did involve an impressive number of devices, including a pump, control valve with indicator, radar level gage, pressure sens...
Sensors Help Quantum Tubers Speed Potato Growth
Among the thousands of varieties of potatoes, certain ones are prized for their ability to make specific products like potato chips or French fries. When a new breed is developed for specific characteristics, it can easily take five to seven years to generate enough seed to support commercial demand. Turck BL67 I/O system controls solenoid valves for CO2, humidity, and adding liquids used in the spray system.
Honeywell extends wireless platform with discrete input transmitters
XYR 6000 discrete-input transmitters send data from contact-closure and thermocouple devices.
Level sensors monitor fuel consumption in specialized auto race
MTS supplies liquid level transmitters for the IMSA-sanctioned American Le Mans Series' Michelin Green X Challenge. MTS System Sensors Division sensors provide real-time measurement data for each team's fuel usage, which is transmitted to a control room and used to calculate each team's fuel efficiency.
Why batch, recipe philosophies matter: 7 day series
ISA88 is undergoing Part 1 revision, and there's major discussion underway about batch- and recipe-related philosophies. The Control Engineering blog called, Standard profits: Make2Pack and ISA88, will dive into some finer points of batch control and recipes, challenging industry leaders to explain why they think the way they do.
Honeywell Process Solutions: 34th Americas User Group, 6 areas of change in next 10 years
Many new attendees converge on Honeywell user conference in spite of wide travel restrictions, finding advice on wireless instrumentation and process optimization advice. See six major areas of process control change by 2020.
Wireless sensor networks can address industrial, economic, and societal issues
Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell Sensing and Control, said the growing use of wireless sensors-and the increasing trend toward connecting multiple sensors on Internet-based networks-is creating an environment in which sensing technology is pervasive, and that "world of interconnected sensors," will produce tremendous industrial, environmental, economic, and societal benefits.
Endress+Hauser expands U.S. production, with flowmeter manufacturing, testing
State-of-the-art flowmeter manufacturing and testing facility in Indiana was inaugurated by Endress+Hauser. E+H invested more than $18 million in new production and calibration facilities for production of primarily magnetic and Coriolis flowmeter designs. See photos.
Waste-to-energy process control gets boost from new agreement
Waste Management joins with Inentec to develop and deploy plasma gasification facilities. Refuse is superheated to as high as 20,000 °F, rearranging the molecular structure, making ultra-clean, synthesis gas (syngas) from carbon-based materials. Link to process video.
Green Planet Farms selects control system for pilot organic processing facility
Process automation system provides the flexibility needed to extract the food industry’s first hexane-free soy isolate.
Emerson: Predictive intelligence to reduce operating costs at biopharmaceutical plant
Predictive intelligence software, which anticipates what needs to be done to maintain optimal operations, will be used in a new $350 million Lonza biopharmaceutical plant in Singapore, with help from Emerson Process Management.
P & ID design resource available from ISA
Instrumentation engineers, engineering companies, and anyone else who develops pipe & instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) have a new resource: ISA 5 P&ID Clip Symbols Version 2.0 CD.
Dual-rotor turbine flowmeter for subsea and topside applications
Bearing diagnostics and built-in redundancy suited to critical and inaccessible installations.
Ultrasonic flowmeter operates through thick and thin
New design M-Pulse multi-path ultrasonic flowmeter from Thermo Fisher Scientific allows the user to change viscosities measured without having to recalibrate. With a working viscosity range of 0.06 to 1500 cSt, this flowmeter can handle a huge variety of products.
Fluke milliamp clamp meters save time, money for process technicians, electricians
Fluke 772 and 773 Milliamp Clamp Meters: Two new milliamp (mA) clamp meters help technicians test critical automation and control circuits without breaking the circuit or interrupting operations. Photos show how you can test, but not break, the loop or stop the system.
Facility Focuses on Motors to Prevent Energy Waste
Sheboygan Regional Wastewater has five remote wastewater pumping stations throughout the city of Sheboygan, WI. These pumping stations are monitored remotely with a SCADA system that does not monitor motor load conditions. Therefore, maintenance personnel routinely go 30 ft. below ground to check the health of the pumps and motors.
Piezo resistive pressure sensor
Yamatake Corp. of the azbil Group (azbil North America Inc.) announced the AT9000 Advanced Transmitter model GTX pressure transmitter, designed to improve the safety of plant operations in petroleum, petrochemical and chemical industries. Safety instrumented systems are designed in accordance with IEC 61511 and require pressure transmitters based on IEC 61508.
Portable data logger with 4 button interface
The OM-SQ2020 series of hand held data loggers from Omega Engineering feature 8 true differential or 16 single-ended universal analog inputs plus 2 high voltage, 4 pulse, and 8 digital event/state inputs. The analog inputs can be used with thermistors, thermocouples, 2-, 3-, or 4-wire RTD temperature sensors, voltage, and 4-20 mA signals.
New sensor views objects in 3D
ifm efector is launching a new 3D image sensor that the company calls a breakthrough in 3D technology. The sensor uses a combination of time-of -flight distance measurement, photonic mixing device technology, and an integrated smart pixel array to view objects in three dimensions. Based on Phontonic Mixer Device (PMD) technology, the sensors capture a complete three-dimensional image in real t...
Tutorial: Isolating signals to kill crosstalk
When signals make the jump from one cable to another, it degrades accuracy. Here's advice on how to minimize the effect.
Level switch has huge temperature range
New vibrating-fork liquid level switch provides point readings in extreme applications.
Video illustrates gas flow controller operation
Sierra Instruments releases new video explaining operation and functions of its mass flow controller.
Mini-Coriolis flowmeters expand flow range
A solution for when you need high-accuracy mass readings in a very low flow range.
Using wireless technology to monitor energy consumption, Part 1
The first article in a two-part series exploring how wireless can be a major factor in increasing energy efficiency in industrial environments.
The Transparency of Wireless
Wireless networking and device manufacturers have gone to great lengths to create products that are secure, easy to work with, and operationally indistinguishable from wired equivalents.
Convert existing gages, transducers, monitors to wireless
Cypress Envirosystems, a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp., has recently released several non-invasive sensing and wireless technologies which can be installed on existing automation devices in retrofit applications. Focused on delivering products designed to save energy, time and money, Cypress Envirosystems says these wireless products do not disrupt processes, can often be installed ...
Guest commentary: Seven habits of highly successful control engineers, part 3
The last of a three-part examination by George Buckbee of ways control engineers can become more effective.
New snap-action air relay pressure switches
Family eliminates problems typical of throttling band designs, say K-Tek. New pilot-operated, snap-action pneumatic switch has a patented, snap-action mechanism that eliminates problems normally associated with throttling bands. This new-design air relay can be fine-tuned for accurate increasing or decreasing action. It has a narrow deadband, as low as ...
Mass flow controller monitors multiple variables
Unit controls gas flow precisely, even when pressure and temperature fluctuate.
Tutorial: A closer look at RTDs
RTDs eliminate many quirks of thermocouples, but have a few of their own. Is it the universal temperature sensor technology? Link to other RTD tutorials.
Emerson expands range of two-wire transmitters
Loop-powered model 2200S transmitter now available on wider range of Coriolis meter line sizes. See photo. Link to video.
Managed services: RedTail Solutions EDI-enables Microsoft Dynamics GP
RedTail Solutions offers three new modules for its managed EDI service for Microsoft Dynamics GP . According to RedTail CEO Bob Gleason, “Our managed EDI service is the right answer for Microsoft Dynamics GP users who want an integrated EDI solution with low cost of ownership.”New capabilities include the following:Support for conducting EDI with suppliers: Automatic generation of an outbound EDI purchase order (850) transaction from the POP module in Microsoft Dynamics GP enables purchase orders entered into Microsoft Dynamics GP to be translated via RedTail into the outbound 850 transaction and transmitted to EDI enabled suppliers. Invoices (810) received from suppliers can be reconciled against EDI purchase orders.Enhanced ASN generation: Users will now be able to generate outbound advanced ship notice (856) transactions based on completed shipment or open order information from the SOP module in Microsoft Dynamics GP.Support fro remote warehouse management systems and third-party logistics providers: Users will be able to automatically generate an outbound warehouse shipping order (940) transaction from the SOP module in Microsoft Dynamics GP, enhancing process control and accuracy.
Portable data logger
Hand held data loggers from Omega Engineering feature 8 true differential or 16 single-ended universal analog inputs.
Hybrid Doppler/transit time ultrasonic flowmeters
Ultrasonic hybrid flowmeter from Cole-Parmer operates by either Doppler or transit time method.
New batch process control platform
Simca Batch On-line provides multivariate process monitoring.
Temperature controller adds high-end features
West Control Solutions introduces the ProVU process controller with wide feature set. The controller offers the option of integrated data logging, a large LCD screen with simple text messages, and set up wizard with customizable menu options. Together, these can help to reduce setup and operating costs. A plain text feature can reduce the potential for confusion.
Math scores improve, but children retain engineering misconceptions
As U.S. students math scores are increasing, more than 85% of youth ages 8-17 say they aren’t interested in engineering as a future career and their parents aren’t encouraging it either. In the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS) report released last month, fourth grade students in the U.
Measuring Pressure in Steam Sterilizers
Whether it’s a pressure cooker in the family kitchen or a big industrial autoclave, airtight pressure tanks have to be monitored very closely. As a manufacturer of large steam sterilizers, Belimed Sauter AG relies on pressure transmitters to ensure performance and safety through constantly changing temperature conditions.
Low-flow turbine flowmeter adds integral flow computer
High-accuracy turbine meter can help blend, inject chemicals in low-flow applications.
Pressure sensors with CANopen interface, wide range
Baumer sensor product family offers very wide pressure range using piezoresistive measuring elements. Measuring range is from -1 to 1,000 bar (-14.5 to 14,500 psi). Overload capability is twice the operating maximum. See related resources.
Compact, economical pressure sensor
Sensor has high-pressure range and low-cost excellent for OEM applications in hydraulic systems, elsewhere, says Setra Systems. See photo.
U.S. DHS forms new industrial cyber security group
Formation of Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group (ICSJWG) replaces Process Control System Forum (PCSF). Cyber security blog explains related topics; post a question or comment.
2008 New Product Compendium: Process Instrumentation and Control Components
The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.
ABB releases next generation System 800xA high integrity safety system
Integrated system provides SIL 3 protection while optimizing process efficiency.
Flow switch pressure-rated to 2,000 psi
PKP Process Instruments’ DS04 flow switch measures and monitors the flow of low viscosity liquids and gases. Applications include monitoring equipment cooling loops used on laser systems and plasma welding systems, as well as pump monitoring/control and alarm functions for process flow. DS04 works on a variable-area principal and uses a float guided in a cylindrical measuring tube by mean...
Wireless adoption trends in factory automation
Wireless devices are perceived as the next big technological wave in factory automation. However, the current adoption trends are moderate at best, despite requirements for real time data, mobile workforce, remote access and flexibility in operation. This is mainly because wireless devices are not found to be robust enough by end users, according to Khadambari Shanbagaraman, a research analyst ...
Micro-machined silicon pressure transducers
Omegadyne announces the most durable version of its high accuracy MM Series micro-machined silicon pressure transducers. The new hermetically sealed version of the MM Series features all welded Stainless Steel construction, 316 wetted parts and glass to metal seals (GMS) at the electrical outlets. This ensures that the unit is hermetically sealed from external environments and the media.
Automation vendors boost biofuels
Over the past few years, bioethanol refineries sprang up all over the place, and companies that build process control systems jumped into the fray as the next big thing. This should be no surprise, as there aren’t many new chemical plants or oil refineries being built in North America these days.
New and improved: OPC puts forth online data connectivity resource for automation integrators
The OPC Training Institute says a new online resource center focuses on standards-based OPC technology used in process control and manufacturing automation. The center caters to automation personnel, integrators, process control engineers, IT architects, and others involved in industrial data connectivity.
Participate in National Engineers Week to support professionalism
The National Engineers Week Foundation and its coalition strive to be the global leader in cultivating and celebrating the engineering profession. The cornerstone program is Engineers Week. Programs reach out to current and future generations of engineering talent.
Flow on a budget: Cost-effective orifice plate flowmeters
Versatile measuring method is simple, economical, and suited to less critical applications.
Flanged seals protect instrumentation from aggressive fluids
Keep difficult process fluids where they belong while reducing the need for instrumentation made from exotic materials.
Ultrasonic continuous liquid level sensor offers multipoint switch capability
Sensor is suitable for non-contact applications such as industrial water treatment, wastewater management, and chemical storage.
More network standards: LonWorks gains ISO/IEC recognition
With ISO/IEC recognition, the way is paved for other standards bodies to expand LonWorks networking technology for energy management systems. It provides additional assurance that LonWorks meets the highest level of technical certification.
Precise measurement for flow rates below 100 ml/min.
The small, highly sensitive, MEMS-based Sensirion flowmeter has a response time of less than 50 ms.
Pressure sensor wins intrinsically safe approvals
Futek Advanced Sensor Technology PMP500 pressure sensor won intrinsically safe approvals from FM, ATEX, CE conformity, and CSA.
Valve controller adds diagnostics capabilities to reduce downtime, extend versatility
Diagnostics capabilities allow valves to warn of problems prior to failures.
Explosion-proof pressure switches for hazardous locations
Enclosures designed to operate in harsh and demanding applications are certified to many industrial requirements.
Tutorial: Instrumentation / DCS integration languages, part 2: FDT
Tools to help integrate instrumentation into your DCS are available. They help with configuration, communication, calibration, and HMIs.
Emerson validates Ovation with cybersecurity test tool
Emerson is among companies receiving an Achilles Certification. Achilles Satellite Security Assurance Platform to enhance internal robustness testing best practices for the Ovation control system.
EMCO Flow Systems offers electromagnetic flowmeter
EMCO Flow Systems offers the UniMag electromagnetic flowmeter for the food and beverage, pulp and paper, steel, chemical, and water treatment industries.
OPC UA: An End-User’s Perspective
OPC UA (Unified Architecture) represents the OPC Foundation’s most recent set of specifications for Process Control and Automation system interconnectivity. This paper explains OPC UA from the perspective of the organization that will benefit from the connectivity, in other words: the End User. The first form of OPC relied on DCOM for its data transportation, which was very powerful and versatile, but posed a problem for those who did not understand how to configure DCOM.
Automation acquisitions, expansions: Are you next?
Recent acquisitions and partnerships were announced by companies in the wireless technologies, power and process instrumentation, machine tool, and oil and gas sectors. Is your company a target? Here are a few considerations.
Liquid level sensor: Non-mechanical optical technology extends application possibilities
Level sensing switch has no moving parts, does not depend on conductivity, detects liquids with any physical characteristics
Deadline extended: Nominate award winning products now for upcoming competition
Products introduced and available for purchase in North America, January-November 2008, are eligible. Link to nomination form.
SCADA cyber security lessons from the movie ‘Eagle Eye’
In the movie, several severe infrastructure security breaches are accomplished before any one involved becomes aware of them. This lack of security monitoring is not so far-fetched, and provides lessons for control engineers.
Simple liquid level detection with floater actuator
Microprecision Electronics has announced the MP300 switch series with an attached floater actuator for cost-effective liquid detection in industrial refrigeration and other process control applications. By adding a floating polypropylene ball mounted on a stainless-steel level actuator to a switch from the l V3-size MP300 switch series, Micro-precision designed a solution to determine when a sp...
The Art of Instrumentation
At a recent process industry user group meeting, I was asking engineers informally if they believe their processes are adequately instrumented. Answers varied, but most suggested they could probably use more process data. One dissenter related a report that he’d heard of: A well-known oil refiner had categorized the criticality of instrumentation devices within the plant.
Intrinsically Safe or Explosion Proof?
The distinctive ring from the radio phone told the control room operator that the person on the other end would be the tank level technician. He also knew that if a call was coming in, something was amiss at the remote site tank farm. “I can’t get on the last tank” said the voice on the other end.... Here are considerations for deciding between intrinsically safe and explosion-proof.
Gas detector: Unit can accompany operators in hazardous environments
Such a device can be an operator's best friend when in a confined space or a problem develops.
Automation Alliance Group adds Omnicon, MES, motion integration
Automation Alliance Group (AAG) adds the Omnicon business unit based in South America, serving oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and mining projects in South America, North America, Europe and Asia with manufacturing execution systems (MES) and motion expertise.
New technologies, applications, and industrial partnerships featured on CEtv
Control Engineering hosts a video repository on its site for educational and tutorial videos created by Control Engineering and industrial technology providers. Recently posted videos at CEtv include: To view these and other videos, go to www.controleng.com, click on the “video” tab, then click “view all videos,” and select the videos you would like to see.
The Basics of Numerical Filtering
To coffee drinkers and auto mechanics, “filtering” extracts unwanted contaminants from a stream of valuable material. Control engineers, on the other hand, use numerical filters to extract streams of valuable data from measurement noise and other extraneous information (see the “Filtering the feedback” graphic).
Tutorial: Vortex shedding flowmeters
One technology that scored well in Control Engineering’s August 2008 Product Research survey on flowmeters is vortex shedding. Vortex shedding flowmeters calculate liquid, gas, or steam flow by observing the vortices formed when a fluid stream passes an obstruction with known characteristics. When a bar (called a bluff body) is inserted across the interior of a pipe, fluid flowing throug...
Project report: Oil & gas project calls for seamless integration of third-party technologies
Kuwait project taps automation supplier as system integrator.
Integrated HMI: Programmable LEDs enhance benchtop controller design
A new series of high-accuracy miniature benchtop controllers is said to have the only LED display that can be programmed to change color between red, green and amber at any set point or alarm point.
Product Research: Flowmeters, users buy more; new technologies
Large amounts of liquid, gas, or slurry feedstocks often require special handling and accurate measurement, a job for modern flowmeter technology. Control Engineering's recent online survey shows an increase in spending on these products, as 24% of respondents plan to increase spending on flowmeters over the next 12 months. See graphics on this research and more product photos.
Keeping the Juice Flowing
The Serious Food Co., a British supplier of fruit juices and smoothies, unified its process monitoring applications during a recent production upgrade in its South Wales factory. All instrumentation devices for pressure, temperature, level, and conductivity measurements were supplied by one company using a specific universal process connection system to ensure high mounting flexibility for the ...
Gateway to process automation
Valspar Corp. is the third largest paint and coatings company in North America, and the sixth largest in the world, with plant production totaling near 250 million gallons of paint annually. Meter Maintenance & Controls Inc. (MMCI), a system integrator based in Redlands, CA, that specializes in turnkey liquid measurement solutions, has set up or retrofitted five Valspar plants around the U.
ControlLogix interface to building automation systems
Fieldserver Technologies’ SlotServer ControlLogix Communications Interface brings together building automation/fire alarm control systems and process control systems. In many industrial facilities it is necessary to interface between building controls and process plant controls. According to the company process control devices such as PLCs and PACs are being used for control in industrial...
What process control applications are suitable for wireless?
When can a process application eliminate the cable and use open source radio technology? Gerrit Lohmann and Robert Schosker, product managers for Pepperl+Fuchs, Twinsburg, OH, say that use of wireless technologies will grow as options expand beyond proprietary wireless solutions, allowing easier integration and eliminating cable in certain situations, for process sensors, instrumentation, and p...
Podcast: Follow a migration in progress
In November 2006, Control Engineering’s Peter Welander first talked to Tom Williams from Honeywell Specialty Materials in Geismar, LA, about a major, long-term upgrade of the company’s fluorine products plant as it continues to produce hydrofluoric acid, polymers and refrigerants. Welander and Bob Vavra, editorial director of Plant Engineering (a Control Engineering sister publicat...
DIN-rail power supplies meet European directives
SolaHD has extended its line of SDN-P single-phase 24 V dc DIN-rail power supplies by adding three new models in 12 V dc and 48 V dc output voltages. SDN-P DIN rail power supplies provide sag immunity, transient suppression, and noise tolerance. Housed in a durable, compact casing, the power supplies are designed to provide a reliable dc power source for industrial process controls, machine too...
ISA Expo: Sensors help define cold fusion
Cold fusion will be a special keynote topic at ISA Expo 2008 in Houston, Oct. 14-16. Process sensors, instrumentation, and power protection and power control technologies are involved. The potential for a new sensing and instrumentation market with continued exploration and evolution of cold fusion technology will be discussed in the address, “Instrumentation for Low Energy Nuclear Reacti...
Radioland: Wireless spread spectrum, frequency hopping, data radio devices
Control Microsystems introduces the SCADAWave Ultra KR30 data radio; FreeWave offers wireless spread spectrum; and ProSoft Technology has new industrial frequency hopping serial wireless units.
Pressure points: pressure transmitters, sensors
Baumer, Honeywell, and Servoflo have introduced configurable pressure transmitters for food and pharmaceutical industries, a new series of products for harsh environments, and a line of pressure sensors for HVAC, among other applications. See photos. Link to Olympic automation and controls.
Mini-joystick for industrial applications
Elobau Sensor Technology Inc. has released the J1 mini-joystick, which can be operated by thumb or fingertip actuation. It is designed to be incorporated into a larger, manual joystick for secondary tasks or into a control panel with limited space. Applications include vehicle uses such as crane control, remote wireless controls, teach-in functionality on industrial robots, or single special us...
Desktop process analysis; Experion upgrade
Honeywell has announced Uniformance Process Studio, a desktop software package that allows plant engineers to analyze process performance. A user-friendly interface includes workflow management applications that help engineers build trend graphs and graphics with minimal training or manual configuration.
Co-winners Honeywell and Emerson: Solving the hard problems
Industrial networks move to the head of the class in wireless innovation
Integrating Environmental Processes
With rising prices of forest resources, producers have found ways to use lower cost raw materials while producing final products with higher levels of consistency and workability that professional builders want to keep projects profitable. One problem is that engineered wood products frequently use resins and adhesives that outgas potentially harmful solvents and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Listen in: New podcast says effective process control depends on well tuned instrumentation
Instrumentation can make all the difference for a controllable, stable running process.
Application case study: Upgrading flowmeter stabilizes control of process slurry flow
Poor performance from a flowmeter disrupts process stability, reduces output.
Pressure sensor: Compact design for harsh environments
No-diaphragm design fits in crowded, punishing applications.
Listen in: New Experion upgrade includes embedded batch, simulation capabilities
New release adds functionality to an established platform.
Pressure sensors for hazardous areas
Turck has expanded its line of pressure sensors to include a specialty sensor for hazardous areas. The PT4300 is a media-isolated stainless steel pressure sensor for use in oil and gas, refrigeration, gas compression, test stands, and industrial OEM applications. PT4300 sensors are UL/cUL 1604 (CSA 213) Class I, Div 2, Groups A-, B-, C-, and D-approved sensors for hazardous area applications.
Ultrasonic level transmitter/switch
KSONIK Micro from K-Tek Corp. is a compact, ultrasonic level transmitter/switch for liquid and bulk solids level applications. It features Variable GAP technology that allows the instrument to work in the presence of dust, vapor, or foam. The technology provides the narrowest beam angle in the industry, less than four degrees, for accurate measurements in narrow vessels.
2008 Siemens Automation Summit comes to Chicago, July 23-25
The 2008 Siemens Automation Summit in Chicago on July 23-25 is expected to offer 2.5 days of education, networking, training, expert sessions, and best practice exchanges exploring current industry-specific challenges, strategies, and solutions.
Wireless: Weather-resistant thermocouple, RTD transmitters
Temperature transmitters may need to be located in rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, falling dirt, splashing water, or hose-directed water; a NEMA 4X enclosure rating helps with industrial applications.
Signal conditioners: Configurable, universal series for process applications
Configure devices to solve specific instrumentation application problems.
Listen in tutorial: Positive displacement flowmeters
Mechanical technology still thrives in demanding applications.
Temperature sensors: Wireless thermocouple and RTD probe assemblies
Probes available in a wide variety of common sensor configurations.
Flowmeter: Vortex design replaceable without shutting down flow
No leak path design simplifies maintenance, resists contamination.
HMI: 24-in. rugged LCD; expansion
A new 24-in. industrial grade, panel mount LCD touchscreen monitor is all-steel enclosed to withstand demanding effects of harsh environments. The high-precision widescreen display can....
Flowmeters with dual interchangeable scales
Dakota Instrument's ACR Clear Acrylic Flowmeters feature direct reading dual scales mounted interchangeably at the rear of the flowmeter. The scales display English and metric system units and are mounted by locating holes between the rear of the acrylic block and the yellow-colored backing plate. The feature allows simple removal of existing scales and easy mounting of additional scales for di...
Listen in: High performance temperature indicator in compact case
Unit offers high precision, high visibility, in space-saving package.
Loop tuning: Handy pocket tuning guide is available free
Can't get that loop to behave? Maybe this guide will help solve your problem.
Listen in: First WirelessHART devices about to hit the market
Emerson taking orders for first devices under new wireless protocol.
Ultra-compact sensors: Gage and differential pressure in small package
Analog output allows for smaller transmitter profile.
Extreme pressure sensor: Rocket motor testing proves toughness
Pressure transmitters stand up to exceptionally difficult environments.
Listen in: Temperature/humidity transmitters for critical applications
Many manufacturing processes require precise environmental control.
The steady shrinking in size of cell phones and other types of electronic equipment has not bypassed test & measurement equipment, and handheld equipment is attractive to many users who have to make measurements in a wide variety of locations, of just want to keep things compact. To gauge trends in this product sector, Control Engineering and Reed Research Group, both part of Reed Business ...
Tutorial: Differential pressure sensors
Differential designs have many useful applications.
Pressure regulator: Pneumatic controller saves natural gas
Economizing when natural gas has to substitute for compressed air.
Temperature sensor: New design for sanitary applications
Configuration meets requirements for food, pharmaceutical regulations.
103: ‘Father of Quality’ passes away
Originator of many founding concepts in modern quality management passed away recently: Share your quality story.
Better interoperability: OPC Foundation certification test lab
OPC Foundation opens its first Independent Certification Test Lab to boost plug and play.
Control Engineering launches redesigned website
If you’ve recently visited controleng.com —Control Engineering magazine’s online home — you’ve undoubtedly noticed substantial changes. In early February, we redesigned the site to make it more usable, more concise and easier to find the information you want and need. In addition to a more intuitive look and feel, key features include: Check it out and let us know ...
The right system: Infotainment specialist Harrman/Becker tunes global operations with MES
After successful deployments in several Asian plants—as well as a new product introduction facility in Farmington Hills, Mich.— auto infotainment system maker Harman/Becker reports it chose the right manufacturing execution system. But Harman/Becker didn't just stumble into the right solution. It referred to Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) reports for an independent assessment of which system best met its needs.
Choosing the Right Technology for a Digital Automation Architecture
Many automation end users face the critical task of selecting a digital communications technology for their process control system. This choice can hinge on a number of cost and performance considerations, so it's important to understand the differences between the leading solutions before making a major investment.
Signal conditioning: Filters beyond coffee
Dataforth Corp. provides information on signal-conditioning filter fundamentals.
Application: Water utility brings calibration in house
Calibration--Do it yourself or farm it out?
Functionality on demand: Glovia adds inventory management module to GSInnovate
Glovia Services Inc. has added an inventory management module to its on-demand enterprise software suite. The new solution—GSInnovate Inventory Edition—integrates seamlessly and complements current ERP and manufacturing systems and applications, according to Jim Errington, director of sales support for Glovia Services.
Tips: All you wanted to know about temperature measurement
Agilent Technologies offers a series of measurement tips designed to share practical tips and hints based on real applications and test scenarios. Control Engineering provides additional help, below.
Pt-100 Sensor Technology by Turck
There are quite a few devices commonly used to measure temperature in industrial applications. Thermocouples, thermistors and resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) are just a few commonly used devices for temperature measurement applications, like those found in the pharmaceutical or food and beverage industries. Each device has inherent design advantages, but some are better suited for certain applications. Where there may be no right or wrong device for your application, newly designed temperature
Engineering passion, OEE ideas
Ticket into engineering My ticket into the engineering profession was my dad. He would help me with middle school math and science homework, but would use about 10 pages of clipboard paper, ultimately taking everything back to first principles. On occasion, I was allowed to borrow his Texas Instruments 8-digit LED calculator to check my work.
Pressure Sensor Technologies
Back in the days of mechanical, analog pressure gages, most designs were variations on one basic approach. However with the shift to electronic sensors, a whole new group of measuring technologies emerged. Should you pay attention to the sensor design? Is that instrument magnetic? Capacitive? Stressing a strain gage or crushing a crystal? How much do you need to be concerned? For most garden-va...
Partnering for cyber security
Providers of real-time process control / supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technologies expect to improve the security of technology offerings, providing users with more integrated cyber-security solutions, using a partnership program launched by Industrial Defender Inc. The move should help with regulatory compliance in utilities and other industries, the company suggests.
Dust-resistant flow sensors
Omron Electronic Components LLC has released the D6F-P MEMS flow sensor that incorporates a double cyclone patented dust segregation system (DSS). It delivers accurate results in real-world dusty environments that include HVAC/VAV (heating ventilation air conditioning/variable air volume) by keeping particulate away from the sensing chip.
Machine automation: New job-scheduling module for LETS production-reporting system
Honeywell Wintriss has introduced a job-scheduling module to provide enhanced capabilities for its Line Efficiency Tracking Software (LETS) production-reporting system.
Batch control: Next generation controller targets hydrocarbon-liquids measurement accuracy
The DL8000 is a new microprocessor-based batch delivery controller from Emerson Process Management.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms: Proficy Batch Execution 5.1 software
Charlottesville, VA – GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, has released Proficy Batch Execution – Version 5.1. The release focuses on ease of use, performance, and system integration to improve customer productivity and reduce operational costs, the company said. The version of the Batch Execution software product introduces features to simplify and improve the design, maintenance, and operation of batch processes.
Chilled mirror hygrometer
GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies has released the OptiSonde humidity indicator, transmitter, and datalogger, reportedly the first chilled mirror hygrometer that offers precision and repeatability found in laboratory standards. It may be used to calibrate and verify a variety of humidity sensors and instruments, and to document environmental conditions of process and storage areas.
Optical Fibers Need Critical Process Control
Optical fiber is designed to guide or transmit light in applications where illumination is needed for a target or area where light is not easily available. For instance, optical fiber can bring natural light into dark or recessed areas of buildings and has many uses in architectural, medical, inspection, and other types of applications.
STS has released the ATM/N/T precision pressure and temperature depth and level transmitter, which is fully submersible for monitoring ground or surface water, waste water, or tank level measurement. ATM/N/T features a modular design in 316L stainless steel or titanium. Full scale ranges from 40-in. WC through 360 psi are available with a proof pressure of typically greater than 3 x FS and a st...
Insertion style turbine meters
Hoffer recently introduced a series of insertion style turbine meters for liquids that can be installed in small metal, composite, or plastic piping. It is suitable for 2-, 3-, and 4-in. line sizes and is interchangeable among the sizes. The Saddle Turbine Series provides an economical insertion style meter for smaller pipe diameters and addresses applications in the HVAC market, physical indus...
Engineering Education: Festo supports mechatronics training center
Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, NY, in partnership with Festo Corp. unveiled a new Advanced Mechatronics Training Center. The center incorporates advanced, high-tech manufacturing and process control equipment providing world-class training capabilities.
Temperature sensors: Have it your way—RTDs, thermocouples built to order
If you’re an OEM or a volume user of temperature sensors and you can’t always find what you need from suppliers’ standard offerings, Thermalogic says it can make RTD, thermistor, thermocouple, and semiconductor sensor assemblies to order, to satisfy your unique applications. Custom designs are the heart of Thermalogic's temperature sensor business, so the company has streamlined the process of modifying its extensive library of sensor designs to fit applications quickly and exactly, both electrically and mechanically. Thermalogic’s design engineers can select from a wide range of combinations of sensing elements, tubing, lead wire, termination, fittings and calibration to fulfill specific needs. For example, choose from: Large selection of tubing, fittings, and mounting options; Coated sheath options; PVC, teflon, or armored cables; Special shaped cable and fittings; and, Sensor curve matching. Each family of Thermalogic sensors offers capabilities that make them suited to particular applications in a variety of applications, including food processing, test equipment, machinery fabrication, rail transport, cooling and heating equipment, semiconductor processing, environmental treatment, and laboratory apparatus. Thermistor sensor specifications: High stability; Industry standard or special curves; Ranges from -40 to 250 °C (-40 to 500 °F); and, Choice of element tolerance. RTD sensor specifications: Rugged platinum film elements; Industry standard or special curves; Ranges from -55 to 450 °C (-67 to 900 °F); and, Choice of element tolerance. Thermocouple sensor specifications: Grounded or un-grounded; and, Ranges from -100 to 450 °C (-148 to 900 °F). Semiconductor sensor specifications: Selection of industry standard elements and ranges; and, Practical mounting of semiconductor cases. —Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com , Control Engineering Weekly News.
Wireless: New equipment health monitoring platform
Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has raised the ante for wireless instrumentation platforms by introducing its OneWireless Equipment Health Monitoring (EHM) system. HPS is offering this in conjunction with SKF , using a combination of hardware and software from both companies. This system is aimed at applications where equipment is not super-critical, since those installations usually already have monitoring.
HART Helps Keep the Heat On
When winter strikes, you need heat to beat back the cold, and it’s best when the fuel is reliable, plentiful, and relatively clean burning. This year, consumers in the U.K. have a new source for that heat, natural gas and condensate pumped across the ocean from Norway’s undersea Ormen Lange gas field.
Explosion-proof laser level transmitter
K-Tek has launched the SureShot 140XP Explosion-Proof, Smart Laser Level Transmitter, a device designed for precise level, distance, and position measurement of dry bulk solids, opaque liquids and slurries in challenging environments. High performance optics include a measurement laser and an aiming laser to assist with alignment.
High-availability server ensures centralized IT network access for German automaker
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge—a Munich-based vehicle manufacturer that sold 80,000 commercial vehicles and 7,300 buses in 2006—places a premium on a high level of server availability. After successfully using high-availability software and service solutions from Marathon Technologies for a few years, leadership at MAN's commercial vehicles unit decided to do more.
By the Numbers – 2007-12-01
7 “Tips for Strategizing Holiday Office Schedules” include some fair-minded pointers for short-staffed workplaces, including rotating from year to year who gets blocks of time off during the holidays and sharing must-do responsibilities. www.allbusiness.com >40 videos, more than 40 hours total, show various manufacturing processes, courtesy of the Alliance for Innovative Manufact...
Flowmeter: Paddle wheel designs from Burkert for continuous measurement
Paddle wheel flowmeters use simple, reliable technology and are suitable for a wide variety of applications for clean liquids. A close relative of turbine designs, paddle wheel sensors use a cross mounted wheel that extends only partially into the flow stream. Burkert has released its 8012 sensor family, offering a variety of configurations of the same technology. The 8012 family uses either optical or magnetic paddle wheel sensing, and can supply the signal either as a digital pulse or 4-20 mA analog output.
Flowmeter: New differential pressure sensor from AW-Lake
AW-Lake Co. has released a new series of FreeFlow differential pressure flowmeters , under its Lake Monitor brand. They offer a simple and economical sensor with no moving parts, suitable for many light-duty applications with pipe diameters of 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 in. The FreeFlow series is constructed of PVC, polyetherimide and polycarbonate.
Industry news: China’s largest refinery project selects Emerson as instrumentation supplier
Emerson Process Management has been named main instrumentation provider for the largest integrated refinery and petrochemical project in China’s history: the Dushanzi Petrochemical Corp. oil refining and ethylene project in Dushanzi City, Xinjiang. The $4 billion project boasts truly colossal proportions. The Dushanzi project includes 20 refining and 12 petrochemical process units.
Vertical reinvention: Rockwell Automation Fair highlights process-sector push
Rockwell Automation is enhancing its appeal in process verticals such as pharmaceuticals via a steady stream of acquisitions. Historically strong in discrete and hybrid sectors, Rockwell also owes part of its process-industry momentum to software activities, including plugging new applications into a service-oriented architecture developed by the Rockwell Software unit.
In the green: First pure-play custom MEMS manufacturer to maintain profitability
Grenoble, France— Tronics Microsystems SA has announced that the fiscal quarter that ended Sept. 30 marked its fifth consecutive quarter of net profit, making the company the first pure-play contract manufacturer of advanced microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices to achieve consistent profitability; revenues for 2007 are expected to increase from last year by more than 50%.
Process expansion: Rockwell Automation to acquire Pavilion Technologies
Milwaukee, WI— Further expanding process industries capabilities, Rockwell Automation Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to buy Pavilion Technologies Inc., a privately held company that Rockwell calls “a recognized leader in advanced process control, production optimization and environmental compliance solutions for process and hybrid industries.” Terms of the transaction, announced Oct. 25, were not disclosed.
Flowmeter: Low-flow, high accuracy magnetic meters
Precision measurements of low liquid flow rates can be a challenge, which often demands expensive pieces of instrumentation. FTI (Flow Technology, Inc.) has announced a new series of small bore magnetic flowmeters, which the company says represents the state-of-the-art for low flow measurements. The new extended linearity (EL) 500 series of electromagnetic flow meters is available in line sizes from 1/8 to 3/4 inch, and uses a unique electromagnetic field profile that FTI says ensures accuracy not only in turbulent flow, but also during the transitional and laminar flow regimes. These compact meters provide extended linearity and a wide measurement range of up to 1000:1 without the aid of linearization software. The EL 500 has a bi-directional flow capability with no moving parts and no pressure drop.
Calibration: Why is the standard kilogram losing weight?
If you think you have calibration problems, consider this: The world standard kilogram, a cylinder of platinum and iridium alloy which was cast in 1889, is apparently losing weight. There are reports that its weight has decreased by about 50 micrograms when compared with other copies kept around the world. The standard kilogram is kept in a vault at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, France, southwest of Paris.
Process visibility: MiniConsoles interface system
Horsham, PA—The MiniConsole, a low-height console system from Strongarm, has a one-size-fits-anywhere design where process visibility is needed.
Greater control: Siemens simplifies advanced process automation
Siemens Energy & Automation says the latest version of its SIMATIC PCS 7 system makes it possible for almost any plant worker to install and manage advanced process control networks.
Integrated coil for flexible production
Parker Fluid Control’s integrated coil for its Series 204 and 304 solenoid valves features a rotating conduit hub for easy installation. Both types offer a complete line of high-temperature watertight coil designs to meet demanding environmental conditions. The valve lines also include interchangeable ac and dc coils and a tab coil for flexibility in production.
Rugged, under water temperature sensor
Direct immersion RTD temperature sensor from Weed Instrument is nuclear qualified and designed and tested to be installed directly into the bypass of the primary coolant loop of pressurized water reactors. Model N9355 RTD has been environmentally and seismically qualified to the RCC-E K2 equipment qualification standard.
Industry powers autonomous vehicles
During a test demo before the upcoming Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge on Nov. 3, the autonomous racecar Lone Wolf was recently made available for ride-alongs to industrial representatives, local media, and engineering students from the University of Minnesota. The event was hosted by Comtrol, a manufacturer of data communications products used to connect and c...
Nonlinear Control and Decision Making Usig Fuzzy Logic in Logix
This white paper explores fuzzy logic and how it helps engineers solve nonlinear control problems commonly found in process applications. Fuzzy logic, which mathematically emulates human reasoning, provides an intuitive way to design function blocks for intelligent control systems, advanced fault detection and other complex applications. Control systems deploying fuzzy logic can improve the management of uncertain variables, such as temperature fluctuations.
Pressure sensor: Transmitters for humid environments
Some ambient environments can be hard on instrumentation transmitters, causing more problems than difficult process conditions. If moisture gets inside the electronic elements of a transmitter, the signal can be corrupted or might fail altogether. Turck has introduced its new PT 510 pressure transmitter family, featuring a stainless steel diaphragm and fully welded construction that eliminates the need for an O-ring seal.
Tutorial: Rotameters (variable area) for compressed air flow metering
Measuring flow when the fluid is compressed air or other gas presents a different set of challenges than liquid, due to the fact that volume changes with pressure. To avoid that issue, air and gas flow is typically measured in SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute) rather than ACFM (actual cubic feet minute). Flowmeters that measure the mass of gas solve this issue easily, but they are generally expensive instruments.
Component manufacturers gain ground in actuator market
Wellingborough, UK—A new study from IMS Research found that the market for pre-assembled rodless actuators continues to grow at a faster rate than linear motion components in both EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Asia) and the Americas, with suppliers that traditionally manufacture components gaining market share.
MTS Systems joins Rockwell’s Encompass program
Cary, NC—The sensors division of MTS Systems Corp., a company that develops and produces magnetostrictive linear-position and liquid level sensors, is now a member of the Rockwell Automation Encompass Program for the Americas regions.
Patent granted: Cyber risk mitigation
Mansfield, MA—Industrial Defender Inc. (previously known as Verano, Inc.) won recognition from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its Industrial Defender risk mitigation technology suite on July 17, 2007 (U.S. Patent No. 7,246,156)
Autonomous vehicles: Leave the driving to the car
Minneapolis, MN-- During a test demo before the upcoming Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge on November 3, the autonomous racecar Lone Wolf was recently made available for ride-alongs to industrial representatives, local media, and engineering students from the University of Minnesota.
Industry partnership #2: Yokogawa will use Moore HART concentrator for Modbus connectivity
Yokogawa Electric Corp . and Moore Industries-International, Inc . have entered into an agreement for Yokogawa to offer Moore’s HART concentrator system (HCS) for HART enabled instrumentation.
Regulated or not, know good manufacturing practices
A Control Engineering technology Webcast provides guidance for how and when regulations influence manufacturing processes. Successfully producing sellable products on a global market can be achieved by producing them according to the rules of good manufacturing practice (GMP). Industries such as water and wastewater (Bioterrorism Act), and food and beverage (U.
Because of its abundance and affordability, coal continues to be a major energy source for power producers worldwide. However, as carbon consciousness becomes more prominent, technologies for gaining efficiency and reducing emissions from coal-fired plants become more critical. As boiler technologies grow more sophisticated, their control strategies must keep pace to take advantage of increased...
Learn how to learn
We learn from the accumulated wisdom of others and by doing, we combine acquired knowledge with our own experiences. Frankly, I’d rather learn from others to avoid as many of my own mistakes as possible, thanks (recording and studying history helps civilizations progress in a similar fashion). Development and the use of standards blend accumulated automation, controls, instrumentation and...
Model Predictive Cost Control
East Kansas Agri-Energy, LLC, in Garnett, Kansas, is not a company that takes things slowly. When a direction is plotted, it moves ahead with a goal clearly in mind. The company began as an energetic association of farmers and businesspeople interested in adding value to their crop production by converting corn into energy.
Tuning: Learn more about feedforward controllers
ISA will hold a course entitled “Tuning of advanced controllers” Aug. 6, focusing on practical, useful ways to tune feedforward controllers in the processing industries without requiring advanced mathematics.
Down at the Bit Level
Discrete manufacturing and some traditional process areas depend on vast numbers of small bit-level devices to monitor and perform critical functions. These devices do not generate scalar data, but simple on-off duties. Normally these are connected to PLCs using hard-wired I/O, but users can employ some of the same wire and labor saving methods that instrumentation engineers use, especially fie...
Level: New radar sensor offers sophisticated signal processing
Radar level detectors are already some of the most versatile level sensors available, but when their capabilities are married with sophisticated data analysis, new capabilities are possible. Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. has released its Sitrans LR 250 radar level transmitter with new process intelligence advanced signal processing.
Temperature: Flexible sensor installs in straight and bent thermowells
Here’s something for your maintenance technician: a temperature sensor that can be cut to length and even bent for insertion into existing thermowells. This device eliminates the need for a variety of different lengths and can save time required to replace and repair sagging or damaged thermowells. The Worm flexible sensor, from Moore Industries , helps save maintenance time and reduces inventory. In new and MRO applications, Worm flexible sensors replace straight probes with a rugged flexible design that installs in minutes.
Regulated or not? Know good manufacturing practices (GMP)
A Control Engineering Webcast on good manufacturing practices (GMP) features industry experts and an interactive Q&A session, live on Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 11 a.m. EDT, and will be posted for a time thereafter.
Tuning: ControlSoft to provide tuning option for Proficy systems
Charlottesville, VA—GE Fanuc Automation, a unit of GE Industrial, has entered into an agreement with ControlSoft of Cleveland, OH, to provide ControlSoft’s InTune loop optimization software as an option to the upcoming release of GE Fanuc’s new Proficy Process Systems solution for process control.
Device management: New software expands configuration tools via fieldbus
Given the importance of improving asset performance and plant uptime, operators need all the tools they can get to manage and configure field devices. ABB has expanded the range of choices with the release of Asset Master, a new software solution that helps users optimize performance through set-up tools for instrumentation configuration and calibration. "Asset Master is the first desktop device management and optimization solution that reduces the complexity of these solutions from larger control systems into a compact, easy to comprehend interface,” says Eric Olson, product manager. “Asset Master can manage up to 500 ABB and non-ABB devices, depending on the fieldbus configuration.
Designing Stream Selection Assemblies for Analyzers
Process engineers rely heavily on analytical instrumentation to ensure product quality. Properly designed analytical systems help prevent contaminated fluids and gases from being delivered to consumers or from reaching the next stage of production, yielding significant savings in reduced product loss and system maintenance.
Application news: Natural gas pipeline transfer station uses ultrasonic flow measurement
Creating a metering system to monitor the flow of natural gas over national borders is a challenging task. Accuracy and reliability are very critical given the high product value and importance of an uninterrupted supply. Emerson Process Management has completed a long term project with a major upgrade of the pipeline metering stations between Russia’s Gazprom and Makpetrol in Macedonia.
Proximity Sensors – 2007-07-01
No matter what they are called—discrete sensors, position sensors, or proximity sensors—they are a mainstay in the factory automation arsenal. They serve in all areas of manufacturing including continuous processing, batch processing, utilities, and discrete products. Technology has changed the mechanical limit switch (rollers, buttons—often teamed up with the mechanically adj...
Thermal mapping process control
Ametek Land developed the Fixed Thermal Imaging (FTi) system for the continuous thermal mapping of processing operations and plant surveillance. The system offers plant operators a complete thermal view of a process with a display that responds immediately to changes that then can be used to trigger alarms, automatically control a process, or provide critical quality control information by capt...
Rangeable pressure transmitters
PTM Series 40 precision rangeable pressure transmitters and transducers from STS are ideal for production test and development projects in automotive, aerospace, engines, compressors, process monitoring and control, and many other applications. PTM has a static accuracy of better than 0.1% and features a rugged modular design with an extensive range of pressure and electrical fittings.
In Control Engineering: Flowmeter product research
What flowmeters do Control Engineering readers use? In the June issue you can learn what your peers are using to solve flow control problems in their plants and on an OEM basis. Plus, you can see what’s new from a wide variety of equipment suppliers. Here is a special extra with a group of products that is only available online. Variable area, flexible mounting flowmeters for water metering Series LFM in-line or panel mount flowmeters from Dwyer Instruments Inc .
Opinion: Partnering and acquisition for greater instrumentation range
How many more pressure sensor designs does the world need? I’ve asked myself this question recently in the context of news coming out from well known control system suppliers that are either partnering with specialized instrumentation vendors or buying them outright. You might think that companies like Rockwell, Honeywell, and Siemens might want to create their own product lines from scratch, but do they really need to? Partnering and acquisition prevents re-inventing the wheel, or in this case, re-inventing the flowmeter. The latest news of a new partnership is between Honeywell Process Solutions and Krohne for the former to offer the latter’s products under a private label agreement. Honeywell will now offer its VersaFlow line, which will be Krohne magnetic, Coriolis, ultrasonic and vortex flowmeters distributed, supported, and serviced though Honeywell’s existing sales channels.
Sensors, robotics, vision: Angle sensor good for portable, wireless
Rosemont, IL —Smaller and more accurate absolute angle sensor available from GMW is among recent highlights from the Sensors Expo 2007, June 11-13 at the Stephens Convention Center. Also held that week was the Robot & Vision Show , June 12-14. The new sensor is said to be particularly suitable for portable or wireless applications because of low current draw in sleep mode. GMW displays at the show also included magnetic sensors for magnetic field measurement, electric current measurement, linear position sensing, and angle and rotation sensing.
Process optimization: Parsec and Vidac team to reach pharmaceutical, chemical, and beverage industries
Parsec Automation Corp., a leading provider of real-time performance management and enterprise manufacturing intelligence software announced Vidac Solutions has joined its partner program as a certified implementation partner (CIP).
Choosing Level Sensors
Measuring the amount of a substance, either liquid or solid, in a container is one of the most basic elements of process instrumentation and goes back to time immemorial. While we generally talk about measuring the level in a tank, in most situations the actual information desired is volume. Situations where a level measurement is desired for itself are far less common.
Verano makes it clear what it does
Verano has renamed itself as Industrial Defender, concurrent with the launch of a new integrated cyber security solution called Cyber Risk Protection Lifecycle. The solution offers a three-component “Defense in Depth” approach to securing real-time process control/SCADA environments. To assess risk, Industrial Defender offers comprehensive cyber security consulting services, coupled...
Big names show range at Hannover Fair 2007
Like a giant department store of innovation, Hannover Fair 2007 displayed aisle after aisle of automation products and technological advances. When this “world meeting place for industry and business” closed on April 20, it had hosted 230,000 visitors and given vendors of all sizes and nationalities a place to show off what they’ve been working on all year.
Pressure instrument: Silicon sensor technology overcomes accuracy constraint
Most pressure sensors, electronic and mechanical, express accuracy as a percent of total range rather than the reading. Consequently, users like to size devices so they operate near their upper limit for greatest accuracy. Crystal Engineering has a new digital gage line that expresses accuracy as a percent of reading.
Flowmeter: New magnetic flowmeter series offers exceptional accuracy
Magnetic flowmeters have many advantages. They’re compact, don’t restrict flow, economical, and generally easy to deal with. However, the conventional wisdom is that if you need very high precision, another technology (for instance, Coriolis) is required.
Instrumentation: Rangeable pressure transmitters, transducers
The STS PTM Series 40 transmitter is available for immediate delivery. Danbury, CT— STS offers the new PTM Series 40 precision rangeable pressure transmitters / transducers suitable for test and measurement applications in a wide range of industries. With a static accuracy of better than 0.1% and a total accuracy, including temperature, of 0.15%, the PTM is ideal for production test and development projects in automotive, aerospace, engines, compressors, process monitoring and control, and many other similar applications. The transmitter has a rugged modular design in 316 SS with an extensive range of pressure and electrical fittings.
Make2Pack’s S88.05: Continuous control to packaging
The standards effort aiming to unify and streamline connections from continuous process control and batch control into discrete packaging re-energized recently. Progress on Make2Pack and ISA’s S88.05 included increased attention to its packaging roots with help from OMAC PackML members, better explanation of the effort, clarification in terms, and resumption of monthly in-person meetings.
APC techniques boost production, profits for Irish food processor
When the only constraint standing between you and increased profits is plant capacity, it's time to look for ways to make all your production assets work harder. Sometimes taking on that challenge begins with a critical look at your plant control systems. Glanbia, which means “clean food” in Gaelic, is an international dairy, consumer foods, and nutritional products company.
Loop-powered: Bargraph configurable for 1, 3, or 5 pointers, full bars
Model LPB (Loop Powered Bargraph) from Otek Corp. comes in four grades: industrial, to specific Mil-specs, nuclear (10 CFR 50B), and intrinsically safe. Tucson, AZ —Model LPB (Loop Powered Bargraph) from Otek Corp .
Digital IR temperature sensor
Rayomatic 14 digital infrared (IR) temperature sensor from E Instruments Group LLC is intended to provide high performance and efficiency for applications where size is critical.
Dual-beam, high-resolution microscope
Quanta 3D FEG is FEI Co.’s latest addition to its Quanta family. High-resolution, low vacuum SEM/FIB (scanning electron microscope/focused ion beam) was created for 3D material characterization, failure analysis, and process control.
Condensate drain valve assemblies
Condensate drain valve assemblies from Asco Valve are designed for use in compressed air systems where moisture drainage is critical.
Bursting disk with non-fragmenting design
FAS (forward-acting scored) bursting disk from Oseco is the largest the company offers at 24 in.
Control upgrade: Emerson increases loop tuning capabilities with DeltaV 9.3
Emerson 's new DeltaV 9.3 release offers its InSight integrated control performance software as part of the version upgrade. This new integrated application reportedly enables users to optimize loop tuning across an entire control system. InSight has retained all the capabilities of its predecessors, DeltaV Tune and Inspect, however its functionality now includes more advanced diagnostics and adaptive tuning capabilities supported by embedded learning algorithms. Emerson says InSight can automatically learn users' processes with embedded learning algorithms running at the controller level, and then develop process models based on day-to-day operations. These models then allow users to identify operational benchmarks, diagnose problems, and calculate optimum loop tuning across the entire control system.
Process control blog: Technology, dialogue focus of new Web postings
Oak Brook, IL — Control Engineering 's newest home page blog features the musings of process industries editor Peter Welander. Pillar to Post bills itself as a 'meandering path through the world of process industry automation and other matters.' The blog will contain items gleaned from Welander's editorial research, conference attendance, and industry discussions. His responsibilities include two e-newsletters, Process & Advanced Control Monthly and Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly , in addition to regular magazine contributions.
Predictive maintenance tool
ControlSoft Inc. Intune Version 5, a non-intrusive plant management and process control predictive maintenance tool, combines process control monitoring with diagnostic, tuning, and reporting features to help companies achieve continuous improvement goals. Intune’s real-time moving window analysis and condition-based assessment allow for accurate, and meaningful performance indices—...
Safety-certified Coriolis meters
Emerson Process Management Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters have TÜV certification for safety instrumented systems in up to SIL-3 loops in accordance with IEC 61508. This TÜV approval results from factory and device audits, as well as validation of FMEDA report from Exida. Micro Motion devices are said to offer the best FMEDA scores of any Coriolis vendor.
Upgrade before disaster
Don't wait for a natural disaster to upgrade your plant. Better to upgrade your plant before it becomes an unnatural disaster. Hurricanes close plants, displace people, and inflict human suffering. So do manufacturing inefficiencies. Hurricanes kill people, communities, and history. Plant closings kill communities, dreams, and the future by decreasing investments, income, standard of living, a...
PAT for Pharmaceutical Cleaning
Since its introduction several years ago, the process analytical technologies (PAT) initiative of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has inspired significant reassessment of manufacturing practices in the pharmaceutical industry. Unlike other industries, pharmaceutical producers have been reluctant to adopt cutting edge process control technologies for fear of resistance from FDA and o...
Asian expansion: Tyco strengthens flow control presence in China
Shanghai, China —As part of its global strategy of providing dedicated local service and maintenance to its customers, Tyco Flow Control , a division of Tyco International Ltd. , together with Tyco Thermal Controls , opened its first service center in China at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Jin Shan, China. Tyco is among the world's largest providers of flow control and heat-tracing products. “I am pleased today to announce the opening of the Tyco Service Center,” said Jan van Ooijen, president of Tyco Flow Control Asia.
Tech Tips May 2005
MAY 31, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Learning level-sensing technologies. There are many different ways to measure the level of products in industrial storage and process vessels. One of the most commonly used devices is the differential pressure (dp) transmitter.
Level sensor: Sonar design monitors level and liquid condition
ORCA level gage is excellent for water and wastewater processing applications. The new ORCA series of sonar level measurement devices from Hawk Measurement Systems , offers a variety of capabilities that reportedly extends its usefulness beyond simple tank volume. First, it features a range of frequencies to allow it to select the best one for a specific application.
Tutorial: Coriolis mass flowmeters
A relative newcomer to the instrumentation scene, Coriolis flowmeters have quickly established a unique place in the measurement toolbox. They are known for being highly accurate, capable of very wide turndown ranges and expensive. However, their growing availability and popularity proves that these capabilities are well worth the price in critical applications.
Flow sensor: Straight tube Coriolis flowmeter
Straight tube design makes for a compact Coriolis package. Expanding its line of straight tube Coriolis flowmeter designs, Krohne has further developed its Optimass 1000 series, intended for more budget minded users. The Optimass 1300 Coriolis flowmeter (combining the 1000 series sensor and MFC 300 converter module) is now approved for hazardous area use, including FM Class 1, Div.
Legacy technology: Easy ways to use HART on installed devices
One of the great lost resources is the fact that so few pieces of HART enabled instrumentation can deliver all their capabilities. HART instrumentation is everywhere, and is used on a huge variety of products. You probably have some in your plant if you have any electronic pressure, flow, level, or temperature devices made in the last 15 years or so.
Instrumentation suppliers get good grades, could improve services
Williamsburg, VA —Customers gave instrumentation suppliers and manufacturers a good report card, says the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA) , although there’s room to improve services, according to the 2007 MCAA “Customer Satisfaction Survey.” Among survey respondents, 69.4% found MCAA instrumentation companies to be very good or excellent in customer service, 68% very good or excellent in technical support, 54% for availability of spare parts, 51% for customer training, and 50% for repairs. Respondents also rated 66% of instrumentation companies in the survey as very good or excellent for company reputations. More than 95% would be somewhat or very likely to recommend them and somewhat or very likely to purchase from them again in the future. Just 58% found instrumentation companies’ marketing materials and Websites to be very good or excellent, MCAA noted. More MCAA Customer Satisfaction Survey results , details, and methods are available from MCAA, a U.S.
Process imaging system
CS200 process imaging system for kiln shell temperature monitoring from Raytek is said to be a comprehensive temperature measurement system for monitoring, control, and analysis of rotating kilns primarily used in cement and lime production.
High temperature sensors from Turck operate at up to 250 °C (482 °F) and claim to provide the longest sensing range for their type in the industry.
Gas analyzer has zirconia sensor
Stationary gas analyzer from Witt with a zirconia measuring cell is said to offer a shorter reaction time than models with chemical sensors.
Programmable alarm trips for hazardous areas
SPA2 programmable current/voltage and RTD/thermocouple limit alarm trips from Moore Industries are FM-approved for use in hazardous locations.
Industrial, process control: Pushbuttons, pilot lights, e-stops
ASI offers new pushbuttons, selector switches, key-locks, joysticks, mushroom-head switches for E-stops, and complete operator control stations. Carlisle, PA —Indicating, stopping, and starting automation and process controls may be a little easier with a new line of industrial switches and pilot devices from Automation Systems Interconnect Inc. (ASI) .
Power plants: Ethanol plant captures waste heat from electric utility
Called the first of its kind, a new ethanol plant has been co-located and fully integrated with a coal-fired power plant to use waste heat for ethanol production. Headwaters Inc. and Great River Energy (GRE) began operation of the new Blue Flint Ethanol Plant in late February, launching a process that will convert 18 million bushels of corn into 50 million gallons of ethanol annually.
Control Design for CIP Systems
Clean-in-place (CIP) technology can clean appropriately designed process equipment and interconnecting piping without disassembly or reconfiguration. CIP methodology and equipment developed in the 1950s for dairy plant processes, and its implementation greatly reduced manual intervention and time required to clean process equipment, while improving quality and extending product shelf life.
Optimization: Honeywell buys PAS advanced process control business
In a move that should benefit both companies, Honeywell has agreed to buy PAS’ Advanced Control & Optimization (APC&O) business. The transaction includes the linear and non-linear controls and optimization technologies and related customer contracts and personnel. Divestiture of these assets, says PAS, will streamline its portfolio and accelerate the development of its alarm manag...
Characterized seat control valve for throttling applications
Worcester CPT characterized seat control valve from Flowserve Corp. is said to provide reliable operation and precise valve positioning under critical throttling conditions.
Process control: Valve positioner for safety systems
SVI II ESD valve positioner from Masoneilan-Dresser, introduced last week in Control Engineering magazine, is SIL3-compliant and said to be a one wire solution for emergency isolation valves. Oak Brook, IL and Avon, MA —SVI II ESD from Masoneilan-Dresser , an extension of the company's SVI II AP valve positioner, marks the company's entrance into the safety system arena. SIL3-compliant device is designed in accordance with IEC61508 and is suitable for use in safety instrumented functions.
Capacitive sensor has flexible mounting options
CQ28 programmable capacitive sensor from SICK features a thin, sleek design with a flat housing that offers numerous mounting options and room for two LEDs.
Product: Very low capacity flowmeter
With no intrusions into the liquid stream, the Model Situations where it is necessary to measure a small flow of liquid can be problematic. Most sensor technologies can't handle low volumes, or they depend on intrusive approaches that interfere with the liquid stream. Flow Technology Inc ., (FTI) has now introduced its Model Ultrasonic flowmeter technology reads through the pipe wall and does not intrude into the stream.
Texture analyzer for food applications
LFRA texture analyzer from Brookfield Engineering offers a precise method for grading quality in food texture applications.
Displays, displays, displays: Variety of features meet wide range of needs
Stand-alone 2-in. graphic display module from Ametek Dixson is said to provide the advantages of a graphic display in a rugged, versatile gauge that can be used alone or with existing instrumentation. Three new display products offer a variety of advanced features to meet such applications as rugged environments, visibility in bright sunlight, and touchscreen options.
Products: Mass flowmeter/controller gives fast response in gas applications
The 4800 series flow meter/controller is compact and suitable for OEM and end user applications. The new Brooks Model 4800 Series mass flow meters and controllers combine broad measurement range, fast response time and compact size for critical gas flow control applications. Series units feature micro electro-mechanical thermal sensors, which reportedly respond very quickly since they can be inserted in the process stream where gas can flow directly across the sensor surface. The company uses the same sensor technology in the Model 4850 mass flow controller.
Opinion: Advanced control schemes aren’t just for big guys
Recently, I moderated a Webcast sponsored by Honeywell Process Solutions on model predictive control (MPC). The interaction that makes those Webcasts the most interesting to me is the question-and-answer session after the scripted part. Believe it or not, most of those questions are real (at least they are on the Webcasts I've done) once you get past the one or two we plant to get the pump primed. There were two areas of particular interest where we received multiple questions on the same topics: MPC is great for an oil refinery, but is it suitable and cost-effective for a smaller plant? And, I'd like to consider MPC, but will I have to replace all my instrumentation? The first question opened some interesting discussion.
Rupture disks for pharmaceutical processes
S-Pro-S and Prolp disks from Oklahoma Safety Equipment Co. Inc. are intended for pharmaceutical processes that require precise rupture protection.
Wireless weight measurement kit
Wireless weight measurement kit from Loadstar Sensors Inc. helps designers and end-users build accurate and reliable weight measurement systems.
In memorium: Control Engineering’s George Blickley dies
George Blickley, an active participant in the world of process control, instrumentation, and automation for more than 50 years, died Dec. 16, 2006, at age 82. His career as a writer and editor for Control Engineering spanned 20 years, covering process control and other topics vital to readers. A news story announcing his arrival at Control Engineering in 1984 said, Blickley “brings with ...
Industrial Fuel Cells
Green power proponents are looking ahead to a time when the world runs on hydrogen, with our energy needs supplied by this simple and hugely abundant substance. Cars will run on it leaving only water vapor as exhaust. Every home will have its own fuel cell power plant. Dirty, centralized coal-burning boilers with their greenhouse gases will disappear in favor of distributed cogeneration technol...
Reader feedback: Amplifier Question of the Week
Dear Mr. Masi: Greetings! As usual, informative and concise answer to the Jan. 9, “Question of the Week.” [What is the difference between an instrumentation amplifier and an op-amp?] You may wish to note a slight variation on emphasis, as follows: Thanks, Alon Harpaz, Electrical Engineer, Danaher Motion, Dover Instrument, Westboro, MA 01581-0200
Flow control of pure, corrosive media
4BKR media-separated solenoid valve from Spartan Scientific controls the flow of ultra pure or corrosive media to prevent premature failure on wetted type solenoid valves.
Submersible liquid level sensors
Model AST4500 and AST4510 media isolated submersible pressure sensors from American Sensor Technologies Inc. are intended for areas requiring intrinsically safe equipment, when used with an approved entity barrier.
Software helps create KPIs, promotes data access
Visual KPI for 2007 from Transpara Corp. is a composite key performance indicator (KPI) engine that works with the 2007 Microsoft office system, including Excel Services and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Pressure sensor: Compact stainless steel transducer for tight installations
The standard mounting connection uses a AST (American Sensor Technologies, Inc.) has introduced its model AST 4800, a new line of miniature pressure transducers for a wide variety of applications in crowded areas. The stainless steel housing is less than 2 in. long by 0.7 in.
Tutorial: Clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters
For transit-time measurements, the transducers need to be far enough apart to create a measurable difference in co- and counter-current travel time as the sound pulse moves through the fluid. Graphic courtesy of Central Station Steam Co. Sooner or later, you will need to know the flow through some section of piping where you don't have appropriate instrumentation installed.
News: Instrumentation majors buy specialist vendors
Two large instrumentation and technology companies started the new year announcing acquisitions of smaller specialist suppliers: Emerson has acquired Damcos Holding A/S, makers of valve control and tank management equipment for offshore and marine applications. PerkinElmer has acquired a line of dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) products from UK-based Triton Technology Ltd. Emerson Process Management will take Damcos as one of its brands, expanding its capabilities for offshore and maritime markets. "We are excited about the addition of Damcos' marine tank management products and systems expertise," said John Berra, division president. "This key acquisition further extends our leadership in process control products and services into the marine and shipbuilding industry." Damcos has production facilities in Naestved; Ry, Denmark; Busan, South Korea; and Shanghai, China.
Flow sensor: Self-cleaning mass flow meter great for dirty gas applications
The transmitter features a 4 line, 20 character, onboard LCD and full keypad for programming and display changes. Measuring flow of a dirty gas stream can be problematic since debris left on the sensor invariably interferes with accurate measurements. If the sensor has to be dismounted for cleaning, maintenance costs pile up or the unit may not receive needed attention.
Temperature sensor: New programmable RTD’s from Turck
All programming functions can be performed from the unit's top. The recessed 'enter' key prevents changing settings unintentionally. Turck has introduced a new line of programmable RTDs (resistance temperature detectors) that reportedly feature high precision measurements, fast response time, and easy programming steps. The TS400 and TS500 product lines are platinum RTDs using Pt-100 technology, which the company chose for its reputed precision, repeatability, and fast response.
Orifice fitting targets safety, maintenance
Daniel Senior Model 2000 orifice fitting from Emerson Process Management is intended to improve safety, maintenance, and up-time (compared to the original device) while meeting applicable API 14.3, AGA 3, and ISO 5167 specifications.
High-density signal conditioners
Line of modular, high-density signal conditioners from Automation Systems Interconnect Inc. (ASI) includes analog converters and isolators, RTD and thermocouple converters, analog-to-frequency signal converters, and threshold modules.
Opinion: How should one build a wireless network?
Sven: So, say Ole, do you build a house from the ground up, or start with the roof and work down? Ole: Why, you start at the ground and work up, of course! Sven: Dang! Now I have to tear it down and start over. This old joke illustrates the situation facing companies that are early adopters of today's wireless process instrumentation and other accessories. Most are starting at the ground and creating point-to-point solutions or small mesh networks to test and validate technology for themselves. Most instrumentation providers are encouraging this activity to make users more comfortable as they consider adopting wireless in more applications. Emerson Process Management offers starter kits with enough instrumentation devices and supporting equipment to set up and prove a small battery-powered mesh network.
KPI software promotes data access
Visual KPI for 2007 from Transpara Corp. is a composite key performance indicator (KPI) engine that works with the 2007 Microsoft office system, including Excel Services and Office SharePoint Server 2007. Software delivers on-demand, business-critical data about process control, manufacturing, and utility operations to any PDA, phone, or desktop.
Addressable alarm control panel
Alarms combines the capabilities of a fire alarm control panel and digital alarm communicator/transmitter into one circuit board.
Viscometer: In-line viscosity sensor provides real-time data
The AST-100 is available with standard 1-in. NPT threads or tri-clamp fittings for food processing applications. In many processes from glue to ketchup, product viscosity is a critical quality attribute.
Pump monitoring: Measuring flow without a flowmeter?
PumpSmart provides a range of functions to monitor operation and protect the pump in the event of upset conditions or dry running. When working with positive displacement pumps, calculating output flow is simple in that speed and output are directly linked. Each shaft rotation effectively puts out a specific amount of liquid.
Troubleshooting tools: Diagnostics warn of abnormal conditions
Rosemount 3051S Series instrumentation from Emerson Process Management now incorporates ASP Diagnostics Suite to provide early warning of abnormal process or equipment conditions. Chanhassen, MN —Advanced diagnostics are now available on Emerson Process Management's Rosemount 3051S Series instrumentation. ASP Diagnostics Suite, embedded in the pressure transmitter, provides tools for troubleshooting, detecting, and preventing abnormal situations.
Compact, digital IR thermometer
Digital MI series infrared temperature sensor from Raytek is said to offer increased optical resolution to optimize performance in demanding process control environments and allow direct replace replacement of contact probes.
Analyzer measures water vapor in gas
Model 5100-NCM analyzer from Ametek Process Instruments is a tunable diode laser system that directly measures water vapor concentration in natural gas.
Spotlight on technology: Experts stress need to enhance innovation, science
Washington, DC —Policy proposals intended to spur investments in innovation, research, and the education of a highly skilled U.S. workforce are the latest offerings from the Brookings Institution 's Hamilton Project initiative. The papers, which could benefit future process control and machine control, were presented as part of a forum called "Promoting opportunity and growth through science, technology, and innovation," held here last week at the Paul H.
Transmitter eliminates blind spots
D-Epic control transmitter from Westlock Controls is a 4-20 mA, HART-enabled non-contact device that reportedly eliminates position blind spots during the stroke of a valve by supplying continuous feedback of rotary or linear valve position.
Thermal tracking: Clip-on temperature sensor accurate, easy to install
Clip-on temperature sensor assemblies from Spectrum Sensors and Controls feature accuracy of St. Marys, PA —Clip-on temperature sensor assemblies from Spectrum Sensors and controls are said to provide a low-cost option for applications where ease of installation and excellent thermal tracking are important. Sensor assembly is tied to the pipe thermally with a specially designed copper clip to ensure good thermal contact with the copper tube.
Correction: IAN Head to Head on Pressure Transmitters
The Aug/Sept issue of IAN Inside Products contained incorrect information in the Head to Head chart on pressure transmitters (page 36). The Yokogawa EJX series of pressure transmitters has: The EJX in its standard configuration is also certified by TUV as complying with SIL2 for safety requirements. www.
Black-and-white double on/off switch
Black-and-white double on/off switch, the latest addition to EAO Switch Corp.’s Series 44 range of industrial controls, features a large, illuminated central lens to indicate equipment status.
Direct-operated poppet valve limits damage
Series VFD direct-operated poppet valve from SMC Corp. of America is designed for use in zero pressure accumulation conveyor systems.
Recipe for success: Batch software improves pigment processing
Batch execution software is helping Ciba Specialty Chemicals plant in Scotland operate its pigment manufacturing process with more consistency and flexibility. Echternach, Luxembourg —A pigment processor in Scotland found the recipe for consistency by applying batch execution software to its operation. The installation, called one of the largest batch execution sites in Europe, is said to be more flexible than the legacy system it replaced, able to provide important batch records and reports, and offering capabilities for future development. Ciba Specialty Chemicals installed GE Fanuc 's Proficy Plant Application batch execution software, running on a Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix platform, on two pigment manufacturing processes at its Paisley, Scotland, plant.
High-capacity condensate pump
Pivotrol PTF4 high-capacity pressure powered condensate pump from Spirax Sarco Inc. can pump up to 40,000 lb/hr in rapid-cycling process environments and under elevated pressure and temperature conditions.
Staying in shape: Lean manufacturing streamlines operations, boosts quality
Oseco employees received training in the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques off site at Tulsa Training Center and preliminary instruction on site at the facility Broken Arrow, OK —Applying Japanese management philosophy Southwest style is helping to streamline operations at an Oklahoma safety equipment company. Oseco (Oklahoma Safety Equipment Co. Inc.) has been incorporating lean manufacturing into its daily operations.
Ultrasonic transducers are used for a variety of instrumentation and control applications, most commonly for flow measurement, non-destructive inspection of materials, and level measurement. In general, an ultrasonic transducer is any device capable of converting electric pulses into mechanical energy, producing sound at frequencies above hearing capability.
HART Plant of the Year: Digital Output
Just as all roads once led to Rome, today all pipelines lead to Fort Saskatchewan – at least those carrying hydrocarbons in the middle of Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province. The pipeline hub is the BP Canada plant located in the city. “We have just about every pipeline in central Alberta coming in and out of Ft.
Plant management software: New Intune release combines key control functions
ControlSoft 's new Intune version 5 software is billed as a non-intrusive plant management, process control, and predictive maintenance tool combined with diagnostic and tuning features. Intune v5 claims their performance improvement suite provides five key services: Increase productivity; Reduce energy consumption; Improve product consistency with less waste; Increase plant engineering and maintenance productivity; and Support continuous improvement. These capabilities are available through a variety of process analysis, reporting, and problem correction tools, according to ControlSoft. Managers can benchmark loop and plant performance while discovering gaps between current and potential performance levels. Poorly operating loops can be tuned, increasing efficiency and maintenance effectiveness. — Daily News Desk, Peter Welander ,process industries editor , Control Engineering.
Qualify an Advanced Control Project
A financially successful advanced process control (APC) project requires a project manager with skills to adequately qualify the project, negotiate contracts, and shape project schedules. In most APC efforts, the volume of information is not large, but a precise understanding of process characteristics and performance objectives is critical from the beginning, since it is the basis for applicat...
DARPA Urban Challenge: Field finalized for 2007 robotic vehicle race
The first vehicles line up at the starting gate for the beginning of a previous DARPA Challenge. Arlington, VA —Open enrollment has increased the field for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge to 89 teams. The 'Track B' list drew 78 additions to the robotic vehicle race, which will be held Nov.
Transducer with zero-based ranges
Type 900X current-to-pressure and voltage-to-pressure transducer from ControlAir Inc. now comes with zero-based units ranging from 0-7.5 psi to 0-60 psi outputs.
Pressure transducer targets gas, oil uses
Model 5100 Series pressure transducer from Sensor System Solutions Inc. targets oil burner, oil tank level indicator, process control system, natural gas production, and gas compressor markets, among others.
Portable gas analyzer
Low NOx GreenLine 8000 portable gas analyzer for compliance assurance monitoring from E Instruments Group LLC includes sensors for NO and NO2, heated probe and sample line, and a high-performance, built-in Peltier cooler.
Flowmeter: New electronics, improved display make vortex flowmeter user-friendly
A new on-board display allows field reading of the flow rate data. Racine Federated Inc . has updated its line of insertion-style vortex flowmeters with new electronics and onboard display.
Wireless made easy: Starter kit lets users test technology first
Emerson Process Management’s new in-plant Wireless SmartPack starter kit is scalable from 5 devices (shown) up to 100. Nashville, TN —Wireless SmartPack Starter Kit was among the products unveiled by Emerson Process Management at its Global Users Exchange held earlier this month in Nashville. The configurable suite of wireless technologies and services is intended to give users a risk-free way to experience wireless technologies in their own facilities.
HIMA expands its process industry safety presence with new U.S. office
In an effort to gain a stronger presence in U.S., HIMA has opened a new office in Houston, TX, to support a marketing push into the energy and petroleum industries. Based in Germany with offices and agents worldwide, HIMA designs and builds safety system technology for process industries. The company expresses pride in its track record of building safety technology for process industries, in addition to more conventional factory automation systems. Since 1966, HIMA has more than 18,000 installations worldwide, which, the company says, is more than all other safety system companies combined. “Automation processes in the energy and petrochemical industries are generally highly complex and have many potential hazards.
Gas detection: Personal monitor senses carbon monoxide
GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp. now includes a low hydrogen interference carbon monoxide sensor option. Pittsburgh, PA — GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp.
Reactor controller: Specialized device regulates difficult exothermic reactions
Controller performance is demonstrated and compared in this trend chart. Although reactors are major operating units in many chemical plants, keeping close control of temperatures in exothermic reactors is still a common problem. Many plants use poorly performing PID loops or do it manually and simply deal with resulting problems.
Self-cleaning mass flowmeter
Model GF90 flowmeter from Fluid Components International is said to maintain optimum flow measurement performance in rugged applications where dirt, grit, and grime are present in the fluid.
Automated Water System Control
Built largely on land reclaimed from the sea, Netherlands has always had a close relationship with water. It has been an innovator in land reclamation, water management, and drinking-water purification. As one of the country’s leading drinking-water companies, PWN has played a role in a number of these innovations, currently delivering water to more than 1.
Combustible gas sensor
Model 5100-02-IT catalytic bead combustible gas sensor from Sierra Monitor has an FM-approved long-term (6-month) calibration cycle. Unit is said to offer the advantage of long-term calibration characteristic of an IR sensor and cost effectiveness and broad detection range of a catalytic bead sensor.
Flowmeters, switches approved for Russia
The Russian Federation has granted Fluid Components International (FCI) approval to export its flowmeters and switches into its country. FCI received certification from the Federation for its MT Series, GF Series, and ST98 Series mass flowmeters. Flowmeters and flow switches were also approved for use in hazardous areas.
Growth of electronic flow sensors
The growth in offerings of electronic, non-contact flow measurement systems has fueled Europe’s sensors and transmitters market, says a new report from Frost & Sullivan. Newer technologies offer functional advantages over traditional mechanical designs, the research firm says. End-users like electronic, non-contact flow measurement systems for higher accuracy and reliability and unre...
International outlook: Flowmeters, switches approved for use in Russia
The Russian Federation has granted GOST-R and certification and RTN approval to FCI flowmeters and flow switches. San Marcos, CA— The Russian Federation has granted Fluid Components International (FCI) approval to export its flowmeters and switches into its country. FCI received certification from the Federation for its MT Series, GF Series, and ST98 Series mass flowmeters.
Growth of electronic flow sensors robs traditional mechanical suppliers
The growth in offerings of electronic, non-contact flow measurement systems has fueled Europe 's sensors and transmitters market, says a new report from Frost & Sullivan . Customers are enjoying the functional advantages of newer technologies and leaving traditional mechanical solutions behind. “The European flow sensors and transmitters market will be primarily driven by the migration of end users towards electronic, non-contact flow measurement systems,” says research analyst Gomathinayagam S. “These flowmeters offer advantages over mechanical flowmeters in terms of higher accuracy and reliability and also do not obstruct the flow in pipelines.” Frost & Sullivan finds that the European flow sensors and transmitters markets earned revenues of $1.33 billion in 2005 and estimates that it will reach $2.11 billion in 2012.
IMTS 2006: NC module for machine tool inspection
PC-DMIS NC module, the latest extension of the metrology software, runs onboard inspection tasks on various brands of machine tools without needed to transfer a part to a separate inspection station. Chicago, IL and North Kingstown, RI— New NC module from Wilcox Associates Inc ., a Hexagon Metrology company, is said to expand the capabilities of the traditional machine tool inspection probe, allowing for true onboard inspection with machine tools without the need to transfer a part to a separate inspection station. Demonstrated last week at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, the product is the latest brand extension of PC-DMIS 4.1. The capabilities are applicable to situations when parts are too large or immobile to be conveniently moved to an offline station.
Ruggedized converters in wide input ranges
C2500 Series of ruggedized, 400 W, 3 U high, VME/Eurorack compatible dc/dc and ac/dc converters from Schaefer Inc. use industrial grade components, making them suitable for such applications as process control systems and power stations, mobile controls and communications equipment, and telecommunication systems.
RFID: Beyond The Supply Chain by Opto 22
With RFID technology being rediscovered and increasinglydeployed over the past several years, it is important to rememberthat the use of RFID should not be limited merely to assetidentification and tracking-type applications. Though this may infact be a most effective use for the technology currently, thepotential exists for the use of RFID in process control, discretemanufacturing, utility operations and many other industrialsettings. Nevertheless, like any other technology, RFID cannot exist
Modular control components make small-scale systems easy
The process illustrated uses McMillan components, including model 250 multifunction display and alarm output card, model 104-9 liquid flo-sensor, and cable assembly.. Creating a small control system in-house is easy if you choose a few simple components, as this example shows. Runoff from a food inspection operation collects in a sump that is equipped with a pump serving as a lift station.
Benchmarks: industry gains R&D spending
Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA) reports that 2005 “was a good year for everyone,” after collecting information on the operating performance of its 36 member companies—North American manufacturers and distributors of instrumentation, systems and software used in industrial process control and factory automation.
Avoiding the Culture of Double Fieldbus
Schenectady Europe Ltd., located at Four Ashes, U.K. (near Wolverhampton), has produced intermediate industrial chemicals for over 50 years. A wide-ranging clientele, covering automotive to health care and pharmaceutical sectors, uses its products. The facility is part of the U.S.-owned Schenectady International Group's 15 affiliated companies worldwide.
Field data access improves business performance
AOC, a global supplier of resins, gel coats, colorants and additives for composites and cast polymers, needed to use data more effectively to free up personnel; ensure consistency in production planning, scheduling, inventory management; and improve overall business performance. Already known for producing resins of exacting consistency with their proprietary manufacturing program, AOC sought t...
Choose Instrumentation without Sensory Overload
Selecting instrumentation for a new or revised process can be daunting, especially if it involves unfamiliar areas. Someone experienced in measuring flow or pressure may find temperature sensors a challenge. When faced with a new situation, how should one begin the process? Choosing instrumentation begins with a careful analysis of the process and control objectives.
If you’re planning to expand, upgrade, or retrofit your plant, chances are it will be hard to find a place for all that new or upgraded equipment. Many fluid handling devices require specific, space-intensive, piping practices to operate properly, and you may run out of room in trying to implement these inside plant buildings or even outdoors.
Flowmeter for custody transfer, wastewater applications
Marsh Multi-Mag flowmeter from McCrometer is said to install in minutes without shutting down the system and removes easily through standard valves.. Hemet, CA— Marsh Multi-Mag flowmeter from McCrometer measures liquid volumetric flow rates in pipes from 4 to 120 in. (101.6 mm to 3 m) with a streamlined multi-point technology that creates only negligible pressure loss.
Determining natural gas dew point
Chanscope II characterizes natural gas dew points in a range of applications, from newly drilled wells to offshore production platforms, says Ametek Process Instruments.
Enhanced flowmeter performance
Next-generation multivariable digital (MVD) technology and improved sensor design are said to enhance Micro Motion Elite Coriolis flowmeter performance to new mass flow and volume flow levels for a two-fold improvement in density performance.
Free-form sensing points
Free form sensors from Sensor Products expand the Tactilus line of dynamic electronic pressure mapping systems.
Flowmeters for clean water uses
AquaProbe 1 and 2 insertion electromagnetic flowmeters for clean water applications are said to offer an alternative to full-bore meters and a convenient way to perform surveys on existing lines and meters, says ABB Instrumentation.
Will record instrumentation industry profits spawn new technologies?
Instrumentation suppliers’ revenues and operating incomes increased at a record pace in 2005, although total R&D expenses declined in 2005 and over the last five years, according to a report released by the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA). In a presentation to the MCAA membership, Edward J. Curry, partner for consultants Curry & Hurd, revealed that public companies in their industry saw 2005 revenue increase 11.7% over 2004 and operating income increase 20.3% over the same time period.
Miniature infrared temperature sensor series
New temperature sensor provides fast, accurate temperature readings without contact. The Rayomatic 6 infrared temperature sensor from E Instruments Group measures surface temperatures from–12 to 932 °F with optical resolution of 6:1 (180 mm @ 1000 mm). E Instruments expects that this series will replace many functions currently using portable devices, thanks to its small size and low cost. With a response time of 300 msec, it can measure items moving on a conveyor as well as a static subjects.
Upcoming: 2006 Process Control and SCADA Security Summit Part II and DHS, DOE courses, Sept. 28-30
The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Energy will offer free classes during Part II of the SCADA Security Summit for control system engineers and IT professionals who need or want a deeper understanding of security in control systems. The courses, both introductory and intermediate, will be held Sept.
Non-contact IR thermometer
Heat Spy DHS215XEL line of compact, handheld, non-contact infrared thermometers from Wahl Instruments is reported to be easy-to-use, cost-effective, and accurate.
Oxygen sensor for industrial process gasses uses new technology
Vaisala Spectracap The Vaisala Spectracap Since the sensor can be flange-mounted directly to a duct or process vessel, the OMT355 is able to provide real-time measurement data without sampling or sample switching delays. The probe has low sensitivity to gas flow or pressure variations, and can operate within a temperature range from -20 to 80 °C. Accessories are available for applications with elevated temperatures, high pressures, and excessive solids content in the gas stream.
Onboard the ‘Unified Architecture’ train
The OPC Foundation and four of its member companies officially announced the new Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) for data and information sharing between the plant floor and the enterprise at the ARC Advisory Group's annual forum in Boston in June. OPC-UA unifies all existing OPC specifications and leverages service-oriented architecture (SOA) based Web services technology as the communication me...
Sensor Placement Tips & Tricks
Placing a thermocouple inside a furnace seems like an obvious way to measure the temperature of the product being heat-treated. However, some care must be exercised in determining not only what sensor to use, but exactly where to place it. Even a highly accurate resistance temperature detector (RTD) tucked in the corner of the furnace will only be able to detect the temperature of its immediate...
Keith Jones isn't the type who'd use a hammer to turn a screw. He believes in using the right tool for the job. For Jones, president of automation systems integrator Prism Systems Inc. of Mobile, AL, that means that the right network for some parts of particular automation and control installations isn't one with more bandwidth and greater capabilities, like Profibus or ControlNet.
Reach out and touch something quantitatively!
Pressure Profile Systems’ finger-tip sensors are currently available only as a research and development kit. In addition to sensors, the system contains a sensing circuit, USB interface, and software. System integrators hoping to bring ergonomic sense into human-machine interface (HMI) devices can use FingerTPS tactile pressure sensors from Pressure Profile Systems to determine—quantitatively—what forces operators have to apply and what pressures they experience when operating the devices.
Ultrasonic positioning system for industrial assembly
Pepperl+Fuchs’ UOS-100 ultrasonic positioning system—including ultrasonic emitters, receivers, and control interface—is said to enhance error proofing in demanding industrial assembly operations. Twinsburg, OH — Pepperl+Fuchs ’ UOS-100 ultrasonic positioning system, consisting of ultrasonic emitters, receivers, and a control interface, is designed to enhance error proofing in demanding industrial assembly applications. It is especially suited for applications requiring assembly process assurance such as automotive assembly where screws need to be processed in a particular order, and also for the allocation of objects in assembly line production and other quality assurance systems. Ultrasonic positioning is said to eliminate the tool motion restriction of footprinting, achieving higher productivity without the loss of process control and precisely determining the position of a tool or object in three-dimensional space without complex mechanical systems, such as articulating arms. Complete system performs propagation time measurement and output of the calculated x, y, and z coordinates of the object to be positioned.
Flowmeters include retrievable instrument packs
Deepwater flowmeter from Solartron ISA includes a retrievable instrument pack that permits the removal and replacement of DP transmitters using a remotely operated vehicle. Shildon, County Durham, UK— Retrievable instrument pack from Solartron ISA , a business unit of Ametek Process & Analytical Instruments, lets operators remove and replace differential pressure (DP) transmitters using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). System typically consists of a flowmeter, seven-valve manifold, inboard plate, and outboard instrument pack including DP transmitters.
Micro Motion announces flowmeter performance strides
Boulder, CO— Better flowmeter measurement performance and safety certification were among Coriolis line developments announced by the Micro Motion division of Emerson Process Management at the 2006 Perspectives event held recently at Micro Motion headquarters. Company executives, including John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management, and Thomas Moser, president of Micro Motion, were on hand to outline the improvements. Among the specifics: all Micro Motion flowmeters are now rated to operate at temperatures to 800 °F (427 °C). The meters are equipped with heat-tolerant components throughout the sensor body, and their transmitters can be located away from the sensor at the end of an Emerson-supplied flexible conduit/cable.
Electromagnetic flowmeters for clean water
AquaProbe 1 and 2 insertion magmeters from ABB Instrumentation are intended for clean water flow measurement in large lines. AquaProbe 1 and 2 insertion electromagnetic flowmeters for clean water applications from ABB Instrumentation are said to offer an alternative to full-bore meters and a convenient way to perform surveys on existing lines and meters. AquaProbe 1 is intended for permanent installations with available power. It connects with the ABB MagMaster transmitter and provides 4-20 mA analog output and HART communication operations.
Free form sensing points for dynamic pressure measurement
Free form sensor systems from Sensor Products LLC, part of the Tactilus line of dynamic electronic pressure mapping systems, include up to 16 sensing points in a variety of sizes and shapes. Free form sensor systems expand Sensor Products’ Tactilus line of dynamic electronic pressure mapping systems. The systems consist of up to 16 sensing points that can detect pressures up to 60 psi (4.21 kg/sq cm), simple electronics, and a USB interface.
Bronze control valve for multiple uses
B-Series bronze control valve is designed for use with steam, water, gases, and other liquids for services at a maximum temperature of 204 „aC (400 „aF) and a maximum pressure of 27 barg (400 psig).
Signal conditioner IC has on-chip diagnostics
ZMD31015 signal conditioner IC with on-chip diagnostics from can be used with nearly all piezo-resistive bridge sensors.
Butterfly valve for corrosive applications
Type 567/568 butterfly valves from GF Piping are intended for corrosive applications and come in sizes from 2 to 8 in. with a variety of modular components. Type 567/568 butterfly valve from GF Piping is designed for corrosive applications.
Sensor with gas hazard protection
GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp. with a hydrogen cyanide (HCN) sensor option is light weight, features a large LCD, and comes standard with STEL and TWA readings. Pittsburgh, PA — GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp.
Compact 150 W ac/dc switching power supply
MicroPower Direct offers the RL9827Sx series switching power supply to provide 150 W of output power in a compact, high power density U-channel package. Features include power factor correction; auto-selectable ac inputs; overvoltage, load, and temperature protection; and safety approvals. Applications include medium-power in process control, telecommunications, industrial automation, power distribution, and other systems. MicroPower Direct’s RL9827Sx series switching power supplies are said to have compact construction, high output power density, safety approvals, high efficiency operation, and low cost.
Pressure transmitter for harsh environments
Hammer Union pressure transmitter from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group, is intended for use with highly abrasive and corrosive media and certified for intrinsically safe operation in hazardous locations. Logan, UT —Hammer Union pressure transmitter from the Automation Products Group of Scientific Technologies Inc. features cCSAus certification for intrinsically safe operation in hazardous locations.
Application development module for ‘C’
Application Development Modules for ControlLogix (MVI56-ADM for serial and MVI56-ADMNET for Ethernet) let users develop and deploy “C” applications for the Allen-Bradley processor.
Over-the-side immersion heaters
Over-the-side immersion heaters are designed for heating clear, opaque, or hard-to-heat liquids (from water to raw crude) in containers such as tanks and drums.
Sensors Expo 2006: Signal conditioner IC with on-chip diagnostics
ZMD AG introduced the ZMD31015 signal conditioner integrated circuit with on-chip diagnostics at Sensors Expo 2006 held earlier this month in the Chicago area. ZMD31015 signal conditioner IC with on-chip diagnostics from ZMD AG can be used with nearly all piezo-resistive bridge sensors. CMOS semiconductor device is the newest member of ZMD’s family of resistive bridge (RBic-Lite) signal conditioner integrated circuits.
Vibrating liquid level switches
Resonator line of vibrating liquid level switches is intended for chemical and petrochemical applications, including high-viscosity environments to 20,000 cP.
Inline process refractometer boosts wafer fab QC
PR-23-M real-time process refractometer from K-Patents measures the concentrations of process liquids in semiconductor fabrication plants. Instrument features inert non-metallic materials on all wetted parts for compatibility with ultra-pure chemicals; it is said to deliver continuous and accurate measurement.
Corrosion-resistant universal joints withstand undersea environment
Using machines and components in marine or underwater applications requires exceptionally high resistance to corrosive elements, a recent undersea oil pipeline system installation illustrates.
‘Out-of-the-box’ tracking, tracing
Tecnomatix FactoryLink Traceability module tracks and traces key production events on serialized products and provides full bi-directional genealogy and analysis functions. Intended for automated environments, the product can be added easily to existing FactoryLink applications or used to build a new class of applications.
Enhanced pressure regulator valves
Enhanced line of pressure regulating valves includes an improved molded design for Model Type V185 and Model Type V186. In addition, Model Type V182 features a new valve body and internal design that incorporates a new piston/o-ring design said to significantly improve flow characteristics. Valves are offered in three design styles for pressure reducing, retaining, or relief.
Off site—so you don’t have to be
A trip off-site or out of town on business can be a rare treat, an enjoyable adventure, or a grind that takes you away from your real work. Yes, for those who do it occasionally, it's a nice chance to learn something new. But I suspect we all know someone who travels almost weekly. Day trips on a commuter plane to another plant (with hours in rental cars and airports) can leave many people long...
Connection system for food, pharma apps
Stainless steel version of the BradConnectivity Ultra-Lock Connection System is designed to meet the sanitary requirements of the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. Threadless connection system quickly and securely connects sensors and control devices used in plant-floor automation systems, such as conveyors and robotic bottling and processing lines.
Rx for Instrumentation
Plant productivity depends heavily on the condition of process instrumentation, from sensors and transmitters for flow, level, pressure, or temperature to analytical instruments and valves. What's needed to keep field instrumentation healthy and operating properly without breaking the bank? Here, experts in the field suggest some actions to take and discuss the relative merits of EDDL vs FDT/DT...
Ultrasonic sensors, level measurement
USR Series ultrasonic level sensors are intended for short-range level measurement in process and industrial applications. Five models are available, each supplied with a factory-set sensing range so that no calibration is needed. Microprocessor-based circuits provide a temperature-compensated signal to improve accuracy.
Panels for hygiene industry
PC-based displays with touchscreens and keyboards, operator panels with simple text displays, and thin clients for remote visualization over Ethernet are among clean and hygienic visualization offerings for the bottling, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Universal and scalable product line includes features such as uniform IP65 protection, mounting on a swing arm system or directly on a mach...
Exclusive: Digital valve positioner for harsh use
SVI II AP (advanced performance) digital valve-positioner is the latest in a series of enhancements to the SVI II positioner family.
Signal conditioning instruments for DAQ
Edison, NJ—New family of high-performance, programmable signal conditioning instruments from Daytronic Corp. is a multifunctional product line that can serve as stand-alone devices or be combined for specific data acquisition applications.
Differential pressure sensor is hydrogen compatible
Model 5000 wet/wet differential pressure sensor from American Sensor Technologies (AST) is part of the company's line of hydrogen-compatible pressure sensors. Device is said to allow engineers and system integrators to safely measure differential pressure of hydrogen and other gases while reducing the number of components necessary.
SAP initiates chemical process industry collaboration
San Francisco, CA —A new industry-focused collaboration effort by software vendor SAP AG is designed to bring together customers, partners, and other software and hardware suppliers to meet chemical industry business requirements. The “industry value network” or IVN is intended to help solve customers’ most pressing business challenges. SAP recently also launched an IVN for the banking sector. Members of the IVN for chemicals reportedly will join forces “to deliver solutions and integration scenarios that address key industry-wide pain points such as price and margin management, predictive process control and optimization, and environmental compliance.
Wallmount dc/dc, ac/dc converters
C3700 Series of 1250 W, 6U high, VME/Eurorack/wallmount compatible dc/dc and ac/dc converters is available in 9 standard dc input voltage ranges from 10-800 V dc and ac input voltage ranges of 185-264 and 93-138/185-264 (switchable) V ac.
Invensys receives process control security leadership award
Foxboro, MA — SANS (Systems Administration, Audit, Network, Security) Institute presented its 2006 process control security leadership award to Invensys Process Systems . The award, given at the organization’s recent Security Summit, recognizes organizations that make a difference in cybersecurity for critical enterprise infrastructures. The citation honored Invensys for demonstrating that vendors can take much of the pain, cost, and uncertainty out of securing process and SCADA systems. It identified certain Invensys practices, including pre-testing of operating system updates and software security patches, and enhancements, such as providing anti-virus measures within its core distributed control system product to make security better, easier, and less expensive for asset owners. Said Ernest Rakaczky, program director of process control network security at Invensys Process Systems, “We, as vendors, are controlling major plants.
Omron names new head of European operations
Tokyo, Japan — Omron Corp. has announced the appointment of Roberto Maietti as president and CEO of Omron Europe B.V. Reporting to Fumio Tateisi, Japan-based president of Omron’s Industrial Automation Business, Maietti also will be president of the Omron Management Center Europe.
Rising plug valve for difficult media
Rising-plug style valve for process instrumentation from Parker Instrumentation features a patented design said to provide reliable operation where contaminated media can lead to premature valve failure. Common applications include oil and gas processing facilities.
Process points: Conferences, forums, resources
Noteworthy events and resources in the process control area this month include record attendance at the recent Interphex2006 exhibition, announcement of keynotes for the upcoming Process Control Systems Forum (PCSF), and the availability of process application audio CDs from Emerson Process Management. More details and links to additional information follow.
Yokogawa expands in Houston
Yokogawa dedicated its 100,000 sq ft sales and service complex in Sugar Land, TX, on March 8. Top management and other officials participating in a "spiritually refreshing" sake ceremony, offering blessings, happiness, and good business to assembled employees, customers, partners, other guests, and their families.
Basics of temperature measurement—thermistors
Whether in industrial applications, process industries, or in laboratory settings, accurately measuring temperature is a critical part of success. Temperature measurements are needed in medical applications, materials research in labs, electrical/electronic component studies, biology research, geological studies, electrical product device characterization, and other areas.
Digital valve positioner for harsh use
SVI II AP (advanced performance) digital valve-positioner is the latest in a series of enhancements to the SVI II positioner family. New device retains the philosophies and physics of the existing SVI II positioner, but adds modular construction and marine-grade components to increase ruggedness and durability for use in harsh environments.
Process control: what to teach?
There is an ongoing debate in chemical engineering departments on what should be taught in an undergraduate process control course. How can we better prepare students for what they will see in industry upon graduation? Topics covered in a typical 15-week university control course include dynamic behavior, with one week on Laplace transforms and analytical solutions to differential equations, ph...
Tutorial: IEC 61499 device model
Models, such as those offered in IEC 61499, can be used to represent parts of a measurement and control device, including hardware that runs software to execute a control loop, according to a white paper from ISaGraf.
Ultrasonic sensors use microprocessor technology
Logan, UT—IRU-5110 Series self-contained ultrasonic sensors from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group, are compact (113.1 x 76.2 mm; 4.45 in. x 3 in.) and easy to mount. They work on solids or liquids and provide a sensing range from 76 to 2,000 mm (3 to 79 in.).
Yokogawa dedicates Houston sales, service complex
Yokogawa dedicated its 100,000-sq-ft sales and service complex in Sugar Land, TX, on March 8, with top management and other officials participating in a "spiritually refreshing" sake ceremony, offering blessings, happiness, and good business to assembled employees, customers, partners, other guests, and their families.
Pen-sized scope probe with USB adapter
PicoScope 2105 from Saelig Co. Inc. is a USB pen scope that incorporates the features of many high-performance bench-top oscilloscopes into a small, lightweight, ergonomic probe that fits in the hand.
Siemens’ move to buy Controlotron will broaden process instrumentation presence
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets and business of Controlotron Corp. Siemens expects to complete the deal in May, but did not disclose terms.
Flowmeter programming software
VisualLink flowmeter programming software is designed for turbine flowmeters using FTI’s LinearLink and LinearLink Temperature Compensated Interface (TCI). Software simplifies flowmeter programming and eliminates the need for manual calibration data entry.
Liquid handling pumps
Cheminert Model M6 and M50 liquid handling pumps are designed for precision handling of liquids and gases.
Next-generation device server reduces cabling, simplifies factory equipment connections
Lantronix Inc. unveiled its next generation solution—XPress DR+ industrial-device server—to simplify and reduce the cost of connecting equipment to the network.
Mesh network-based system slated for Middle East fertilizer project
Foxboro, MA —A mesh network-based automation system from Invensys Foxboro will become part of a major fertilizer project in Oman, thanks to joint efforts by Invensys Asia Pacific and Invensys Middle East. The project, promoted by the Suhail Bahwan Group, is currently under construction at Sohar, a $638 million (U.S.) fertilizer project of Sohar International Urea & Chemical Industries SAOC (SIUCI). The effort includes a 2,000 metric tons per day (mtpd) ammonia plant, 3,500-mtpd urea synthesis and granulation plant, and related utilities and offsite facilities. Being built under an EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) contract by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, it is reportedly one of the world’s largest private sector greenfield fertilizer projects. Terms of the contract call for a Foxboro I/A Series Version 8 process control system that uses advanced commercial communication technologies in robust industrial configurations.
Next-generation device server simplifies connectivity
Xpress DR+ industrial device server from Lantronix Inc. cascades multiple devices from one network connection and connects enterprise systems to non-networked factory floor devices. Irvine, CA —Xpress DR+ industrial device server from Lantronix Inc.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger
It seems like all I read about is the threat of globalization. People and companies are worried about losing jobs and opportunities. China and India are the bad guys and we the victims. Wrong! Global competition is not a bad thing; it is competition. It is a game we can win and must win if this nation is going to keep its edge.
Interphex2006: New pharma products include sensor for CIP analysis
Rosemount Analytical introduced its new toroidal conductivity sensor for CIP (clean-in-place) liquid analysis in the pharmaceutical industry at Interphex2006 in New York last week. New York, NY; Irvine, CA —New Rosemount Analytical toroidal conductivity sensor for CIP (clean-in-place) liquid analysis in the pharmaceutical industry debuted last week at Interphex2006 . Demonstrations of the device were held at the Emerson life science solutions exhibit at the Javits Convention Center in New York City, Mar.
Mass flow sensor for multiple gases
Model 209 Mass Flow-Sensor from McMillan Co., suitable for a variety of industrial, laboratory, and OEM applications, may be calibrated for virtually any clean, dry gas. Model 209 Mass Flo-Sensor from McMillan Co . measures a variety of gas flowsCompact size and economical cost makes the products suitable for many industrial, commercial, laboratory, and OEM applications.
Interphex 2006: Electromagnetic flow sensor
Optiflux 6000 electromagnetic flow sensor for hygienic applications from Krohne is one of nine in a family featuring application, accuracy, and instrument diagnostics. It will be featured at Interphex 2006 in New York next week. New York, NY —Krohne’s Optiflux 6000 electromagnetic flow sensor for hygienic applications in the pharmaceutical industry recently received 3A sanitary rating 28-03.
Mechanical pump switch
Double-float master pump switch is a mechanically activated, wide-angle device that provides automatic control of 120- or 240-V pumps up to 13 FLA, 78 LRA in non-potable and sewage applications.
F-3000 Series electromagnetic-flowmeters use a velocity measurement principle based on Faraday’s Law.
European pressure sensor, transmitter market set for higher growth
Demand for process instruments is experiencing a steady increase, a recent study from Frost and Sullivan (F&S) shows, and a growing need for information and monitoring is expected to create continued interest in these devices across process industries in Europe. Total revenues in the European pressure sensors and transmitters markets stood at $1.
QC/process control system has real-time functions
Dimension-P Raman system for quality and process control provides functionalities for real-time analysis and monitoring. Compliant with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 for audit, security, and validation requirements, the device features trigger-activated probes for easy sample testing. Probes with working distances up to 20 mm are designed for use with liquids, powders, and solids, or through 10-15-mm quar...
Pneumatic vacuum conveyors for food, pharmaceutical use
UC Series vacuum conveyors feature unibody construction for tool-free dismantling and easy cleaning. Hygienic products are suitable for pharmaceutical processing applications. Constructed of stainless steel AISI 316L and powered by pneumatically air-driven vacuum pumps, the Series transports such pharmaceutical ingredients as sugar, dextrose, magnesium oxide, and starch quietly and safely.
Smart Valves in Harsh Environments
Day-to-day, oil-and-gas production often comes from wells in harsh conditions* that are situated in some of the world's most remote locales. While oil's rising price makes big media headlines, the daily work in the field is to maintain steady production. The opportunity to increase revenues and meet growing market demand offers added incentive to identify technologies to optimize production tec...
Submersible data monitor for harsh environments
Data Dolphin 320 data monitor from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group, monitors and records in temperatures from–40 to more than 60 °C. Logan, UT —Data Dolphin 320 data monitor from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group , offers NEMA 6P/IP68 protection for laboratory-grade accuracy in the field. Device provides data monitoring and recording in temperatures from–40 to more than 60 °C in a variety of industries from oil and gas to food processing.
Coriolis mass flow accuracy for fiscal gas measurement
Micro Motion Model 3711 gas flow computer from Emerson Process Management applies Coriolis mass flow accuracy to fiscal gas measurement. (Fiscal measurements are those accurate and precise enough for custody transfer applications). Austin, TX —Micro Motion Model 3711 gas flow computer from Emerson Process Management is said to use and benefit from the accuracy of Coriolis direct flow measurement.
Proportional valve offers expanded flow rates
VP60 proportional valve can now handle input pressure of 230 psi, allowing increased flow rates from 125 to 175 cfm.
Accuracy key when selecting measurement sensors, tank gauging systems
Accuracy and reliability are most important when selecting process level measurement sensors and inventory tank gauging systems, a recent market study shows. The research by Venture Development Corp . (VDC) asked end users, OEMs, and systems integrators what most influenced their choices for products and vendors in these areas. Among those buying process level measurement sensors, 70% cited accuracy and 60% reliability as being most critical.
Sensor targets pulp, paper industries
On-line measurement of paper formation based on image analysis technology is now available from Honeywell . Precision FotoForm Formation sensor gives paper manufacturers a new way to analyze paper formation, speed up quality control, and reduce paper process troubleshooting time. The device provides a wide range of information on a number of features that influence paper formation, including variability, light and dark spots, and floc size and shape.Paper formation is a key quality parameter for most paper grades. Fiber mixture, refining degree, water removal, and pressing process are among the factors that contribute to formation.
Fujitsu begins shipping RoHS-compliant touch panels
Fujitsu Components America Inc . is now shipping lead-free, RoHS-compliant, equivalent products on its touch panel orders for out-of-stock standard products. The change affects all products in Fujitsu’s 4- and 7-wire resistive touch panel line. The new devices are drop-in replacements for the company’s existing touch panel products.
Hungarian tank-farm goes digital
Austin, TX — Emerson Process Management recently completed a $500,000 digital plant-architecture project at the Gedeon Richter Pharmaceutical Co.’s tank farm in Budapest, Hungary. The project is an extension to the company’s central tank farm installation, which supplies four plants with solvents. In planning the automation, Emerson determined that its PlantWeb had the technologies best suited to optimize start-up time and maximize operations and maintenance efficiencies—a key element was the company’s Fisher Design-GX control valve. Work on the expansion started in October 2004 and included: a Delta V digital automation system; AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager software; HART-based communications; 59 GX control-valves, with Fisher Fieldvue-DVC6000 digital valve-controllers; 52 Rosemount-2088 pressure transmitters; and services that included engineering and installation. Designed in accordance with European standards, GX is a globe-style valve system that can control a wide range of process liquids, gases and vapors.
Smart metering pumps
PziG Series electronic diaphragm pumps extend the capacity of the company's PZ Series "smart" pumps, which are designed for injection of a wide variety of liquids, including moderate viscosity and highly corrosive substances. Pumps come in four sizes from 5 gph at 145 psi to 20 gph at 30 psi. They are available in PVC and Kynar liquid ends to handle viscosities to 50 cps; an optional PVC liquid...
How to apply thermocouples
Although many sensors can measure temperature, the three most common are resistance temperature detectors (RTD), thermocouples, and thermistors. The thermocouple (TC) is the most common of those, and is made up of two dissimilar metals joined together at one end and open at the other (output end), producing a voltage for a given temperature.
Backlighting for test gauges
Woven Fiber Optic panel with a single LED light source is said to offer manufacturers of digital pressure test gauges a practical, low-cost, easy-to-customize way to back light LCDs.
Flowmeter for filling applications
Batchcontrol electromagnetic flowmeter from Krohne Inc. has a compact design and digital bus configuration for volumetric filling systems. Batchcontrol electromagnetic flowmeter for volumetric filling applications from Krohne is especially suited for batching and dosing electrically conductive liquids and pastes in the pharmaceutical industry.
Cleverscope CS328 USB-connected, all-in-one PC-based, mixed signal oscilloscope from Saelig Corp. Inc. features two, 10-bit, self-calibrating A/D channels for sampling at 100 Megasamples/second simultaneously.
90% of the world’s engineers Asian residents by 2010?
James W. Bagley, chairman of Lam Research Corp. recently addressed the U.S.’ diminishing capability to maintain competitive manufacturing leadership and parity.
Options for pneumatic actuators
Series 79 pneumatic actuators offer two new options: safety spring and integral travel stop. Safety spring, available for the C79P through G79P line of single-acting devices, allows for end cap removal for maintenance or changing the fail orientation. Output torque of the actuator and actuator dimensions are unaffected with this option.
Quick-lock sensor/actuator box reduces install time
Phoenix Contact has added Speedcon, quick-locking, M12 connection-system technology to its line of sensor/actuator boxes (SACBs). A simple "half turn" makes a secure, watertight and vibration-proof connection between cordsets and devices, reducing installation time by 90%. Compatible with all standard M12-connectors on the market, Speedcon requires no special adapters, making it backward and fo...
Measure pressure, flow in Class 1, Div. 2 locations
Differential pressure (DP) gauges and flowmeters are designed for use where dangerous gases and vapors may exist. Products have a Class 1, Div. 2 (Group B, C, and D atmospheres) rating and are said to provide a lower-cost alternative to differential pressure and flow devices when more stringent Class 1, Div.
Chip process cuts power consumption, package size
Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has introduced a semiconductor manufacturing process combining high-voltage silicon (up to 30-V supply) with submicron CMOS and complementary bipolar technologies. Called industrial CMOS (or iCMOS), the process targets converters, amplifiers, switches, and other devices working in high-voltage factory automation and process control.
Program in IEC 61499, IEC 61131-3 software
ISaGraf 5.0 is said to be the "world's first commercially available, IEC 61499 automation-software." (IEC 61499 presents guidelines for using function blocks in distributed industrial process, measurement, and control systems.) Software from ICS Triplex IsaGraf incorporates IEC 61131-3 and 61499 standards to give users ability to build traditional control systems where interactions between devi...
Ford Motor selects Activplant software
Ford Motor Co. has signed an agreement to use ActivPlant Performance Management System (APMS) software across its North American Powertrain plants. The deployment of Activplant's software at Ford is expected to result in improved throughput and efficiency, and more effective scheduling and optimization.
Convert HART signal to serial Modbus
Converting a HART digital signal to a serial (RS-485) Modbus RTU communication protocol permits up to 15, smart HART-capable transmitters and valves to interface with Modbus-based monitoring and control systems, using Moore Industries' HART Concentrator System (HCS). HCS interfaces all HART parameters to Modbus, including ability to monitor primary and non-primary (second, third, and fourth) p...
Control option for material handling
PCC Cruise Control integrated control option is designed to fine-tune vacuum pump performance, lowering energy consumption. It is intended for automated handling of porous materials in a variety of manufacturing applications. Device automatically maintains a pre-set vacuum level to ensure consistent vacuum level and secure grip at the suction point.
Hazardous-location flowmeter needs little power
Only 60 mW operates the ISXC878 intrinsically safe loop-powered, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter from GE Sensing. Designed to bring the advantages of clamp-on flow metering to classified hazardous areas, the device reportedly features high accuracy, easy installation, no pressure drop, and drift-free performance, and requires virtually no maintenance.
Scanning thermometer for multiple processes
Scanning thermometer has 12 channels capable of storing and recalling up to 4,680 sets of date and time stamped readings.
Butterfly valve has blow-out-proof stem
Series-40 butterfly valves from Bray Controls have blow-out-proof stems. Houston, TX —Blow-out-proof stem is now incorporated into Bray Controls ’ high-performance, Series-40 butterfly valves. New stem will become standard on all Series 40 valves, the company reports; Series 40 complies with the latest edition of API 609 code for high-performance butterfly valves. Design is said to offer rugged reliability and easy field maintenance.
Process execution software for aerospace and defense upgraded
Intercim has released Velocity 4.2 process execution software, which is said to provide expanded execution capabilities for aerospace and defense component fabrication, sub- and final assembly, for avionics and mission-critical compliance control customers. Velocity 4.2 is Intercim’s Web-based, commercial off the shelf system that provides the traditional benefits of MES—cost savings, cycle-time reductions and greater operational efficiencies—as well as extended technology to simplify communications and boost confidence in data accuracy. Customers scheduled to implement the new release include Bell Helicopter and other major aerospace manufacturers. Built with enhanced precedence control, Velocity 4.2 software is said to enable customers to configure‘can’t-fail’ processes, which, in turn, ensures process control and data accuracy. “The customer’s ability to configure process-specific rules will simply not allow inaccuracies,” said Paul Meyer, vice president business development. “That enables true, seamless end-to-end product life cycle management.” In addition to quality and emergent process components, the newest version of Velocity includes interconnectivity to leading PLM systems, including 2-D and 3-D model and planning support systems. —David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering email@example.com.
Microelectromechanical (MEM), pneumatic directional-control valve
AFA Controls LLC's MEM valve uses electrostatic force to direct inert gas flows. It offers clean service by eliminating solenoids, spools, springs, and dynamic internal seals. Electronically controlled, MEM devices provide fast, consistent pneumatic response-time.
Speed, validation reasons for pharmaceutical manufacturing win
Faster time to market, easier validation, and operations excellence based on real-time diagnostics in smart field devices were reportedly among reasons Emerson was selected to manage, configure, and start-up a project to increase production capacity at GE's Lindesnes plant in Norway.
In-line measuring, monitoring, and analysis is found in all process industries. Whether involving liquids or gases, in-line methodologies provide a variety of benefits over sporadic grab samples, including greater data reliability, accuracy, and consistency (primarily because of automatic calibration and verification); more, faster, repeatable measurements; fewer man-hours required; and tighter...
Hurricanes don’t derail performance
The pivotal point of the third quarter 2005 was the damage wrought by Gulf Coast hurricanes—Katrina, Rita, and Wilma—and the resilience of domestic consumer and manufacturing economies to absorb these shocks and keep moving forward. At last count, damages are forecast to exceed $150 billion, and between insurance recoveries and the federal government's initial pledge of $62 billion,...
Laser through-beam sensor
Laser sensor recognizes objects as small as 0.05 mm at a distance of 50 m. Visible through-beam arrangement offers simple focus adjustment and a reaction time of 100 µs. Device is housed in a tough, hygienic stainless steel housing and can be used for a number of applications, including control of object height, remote sensing of tool breakage, presence or position check in hostile environ...
Digital display for flowmeters
DM 15 remote digital display indicates flow rate or temperature readings using the company's ST and GF Series thermal-dispersion mass flowmeters. DC-input indicator offers a high/low alarm setpoint option that can be set to any point plus-or-minus within its measurement range. Device features a push-button scalable ±9999 digit display and will accept 4-20 mA or 0-10 V dc output signals fro...
Training for Process Control Engineers, Technicians
Cleveland, Ohio —ControlSoft Inc. announced its Winter PID Loop Tuning and Ad-vanced Process Control Strategies training classes. PID Loop Tuning classes run a full day with engineers and technicians learning to set up, maintain, and tune a PI or PID controller using software-based process simulation. Classes will be held in: Baton Rouge, LA, Dec.
Pumps with diaphragm position control technology
D/G/MO3 Kel-Cell Series of industrial pumps from Wanner Engineering use diaphragm position control (DPC) technology to control the position of the diaphragm under adverse inlet conditions to achieve a high degree of diaphragm rupture protection. Minneapolis, MN —D/G/MO3 Kel-Cell Series of industrial pumps from Wanner Engineering now feature patented diaphragm position control (DPC) technology. The technology lets pumps control the position of the diaphragm under a variety of adverse inlet conditions to provide a high degree of diaphragm rupture protection.DPC technology reportedly eliminates the possibility of an incidental diaphragm failure caused by adverse system conditions that often result in excessive vacuum conditions on a pump inlet.
Graphical DAQ software
DasyLab Version-9.0, Microsoft Windows-based, graphical data-acquisition software features an updated user interface, improved on-line help, an interactive tutorial, and more than 150 examples to help engineers accelerate set-up and development of data acquisition, process monitoring, data logging and display, process control, data analysis, and reporting applications.
Temperature sensing application development
TSic (temperature sensor integrated circuit) plug-and-play Labkit from ZMD America and produced by its technology partner, IST AG, lets designers evaluate up to four TSic sensors at once. TSic (temperature sensor integrated circuit) plug-and-play Labkit from ZMD America lets designers evaluate up to four TSic sensors at once. Produced by ZMD’s technology partner, IST AG, the Labkit speeds development of temperature sensing applications by allowing simultaneous display and evaluation of four signals: data, minimum, maximum, and average.
Small-sized liquid level sensor
Magnetostrictive liquid-level C-Series sensor from MTS Systems Corp. is designed for use in OEM and other level applications where a float-based measurement can be used. Magnetostrictive liquid-level C-Series sensor from MTS Systems Corp.
Flowmeters for natural gas
Flowmeters for liquefied (LNG) and conventional natural-gas service include Bundle Waveguide Technology (BWT) system with DigitalFlow DF868 flowmeter for measuring cryogenic LNG flows and Sentinel natural gas ultrasonic flowmeter for fiscal custody-transfer measurement.
Pavilion’s manufacturing performance research receives DOE grant
Pavilion Technologies , a provider of advanced process- control and environmental- compliance solutions, has been awarded a Phase II grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Technology Transfer program. The fourth consecutive DOE award to Pavilion, this grant funds Pavilion's continuing work with the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) to develop advanced methods in process control of complex systems such as a high-energy electron accelerator in a physics research laboratory and a polymer reactor in a manufacturing plant.
Morshedi wins AIChE Computing Practice Award for advanced process control work
Cincinnati, OH—The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has awarded the Computing Practice Award to Dr. Mike Morshedi, inventor and co-inventor of several multivariable predictive control technologies in widespread use today. The award recognizes his ongoing contributions to advance real-time process control and optimization. Dr.
Process gas chromatograph adds micro-FID
Enhancements to Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount Analytical Model-700 process-gas chromatograph include a micro-flame ionization detector and a flame photometric detector module. Solon, OH —A micro-flame ionization detector (micro-FID) is among the enhancements added to Rosemount Analytical Model-700, process-gas chromatograph to expand its application capabilities. Rugged, field-mountable instrument from Emerson Process Management also now features a detector pre-amplifier/electrometer, micro-packed methanator, heated liquid sample injection valve, heated sample transfer tubing, and a flame photometric detector (FPD) module.Micro-FID with its detector pre-amplifier/electrometer board permits measurement of trace hydrocarbons in a variety of samples at parts-per-billion concentrations.
Bevel-gear valve operators
Limitorque Actuation Systems’ MT-Series of ductile-iron bevel-gear operators are said to provide reliable performance in power-industry valve applications.
Emerson chosen by GE Healthcare
Emerson will manage the project to install PlantWeb architecture at GE Healthcare's Lindesnes plant in Norway. Emerson will develop the solution and manage a project to increase the production capacity at GE’s Lindesnes plant in Norway. The project, scheduled for completion in February 2007, includes new installations and alterations to the existing production plant, designed to meet the increased market demand for its X-ray and MRI contrast agents.
ABB comments on role of FDT/DTM and EDDL
Wickliffe, OH — The ongoing debate on the value of FDT/DTM and EDDL for automation industry end users has become more heated. ABB Inc., which has traditionally supported both FDT/DTM and EDDL, issued the following statement on the relationship between these two technologies: "Recently, there have been negative public statements about FDT/DTM technology. The authors of these statements want their audience to believe that FDT/DTM technology and EDD are competing—mutually exclusive technologies—either you support EDD or you support FDT/DTM," said Mark Taft, senior vice president, Systems Marketing, ABB Inc., and board director for the Fieldbus Foundation.
Honeywell joins COL association
Open process simulation software may be more likely after a related standard effort gained support. Honeywell joined membership of the CAPE-OPEN Laboratories Network (COL). COL is a neutral, industry and academic association promoting open interface standards in process simulation software. CAPE-OPEN compliant interface is an industry standard for software developers.
Mass flowmeter for liquids, gases
Model CMM Coriolis mass flowmeter is said to be compatible with virtually every industrial process fluid. Unit's wetted surface parts are available in nine standard materials including 316 stainless steel, carbon steel, Hastelloy B, Titanium, and Zirconium. Flowmeter is designed for line sizes from 1/8 to 2 in.
Exclusive: Sasol Wins 2005 HART Plant of the Year Award
Intelligent HART instruments are connected to the process control system and operator stations at Sasol via HART flexible interface from the device to controller and via RS 485 from I/O to operator stations. Beginning as a broad vision for a control system and corresponding field instrumentation with the intelligence to predict failures before downtime occurs, this project encompassed communication and control at two new plants in South Africa housing 10,000 I/O points. Handed the task of overseeing the implementation of communication and control systems that would serve as the automation data lifeline for two new plants, Johan Claassen, engineering manager for control systems, instrumentation, and electrical, started small, but finished big.
Pressure transmitter for food, beverage apps
Sitrans P300 pressure transmitter for the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries features a stainless steel housing and measuring cell flush with the front panel to make it easy to clean and sterilize. Transmitter is suitable for process temperatures to 392 8F (200 8C) and is available with a full range of sanitary connections in accordance with FDA, 3-A, and EHEDG recommendations.
ISA 2005: Intrinsically safe clamp-on flowmeter
ISXC878 intrinsically safe loop-powered, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter from GE Sensing requires only 60 mW of power. Chicago, IL and Billerica, MA —ISXC878 intrinsically safe loop-powered, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter from GE Sensing is designed to bring the advantages of clamp-on flow metering to classified hazardous areas. Reported features include high accuracy, easy installation, no pressure drop, drift-free performance, and virtually no maintenance. Device requires just 60 mW of power.
Sasol Wins 2005 HART Plant of the Year Award
Handed the task of overseeing the implementation of communication and control systems that would serve as the automation data lifeline for two new plants, Johan Claassen, engineering manager for control systems, instrumentation, and electrical, started small, but finished big. The plants, to be constructed by South Africa's Sasol Solvents and Olefins and Surfactants, housed some 10,000 I/O points.
Users of linear displacement sensors are thinking of diagnostics
While most users of linear displacement sensors don’t use diagnostics for the sensors, more are thinking of doing so, according to recent research from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) . Seventh edition of VDC’s “North American Markets for Linear Displacement Sensors” says 74% of users surveyed cited no current requirements for sensor diagnostics; 10% require self-testing; 6%, calibration checking; 4%, accuracy checking; and 4%, signal-strength indication.
ISA 2005: Flowmeter features built-in display
Signet 2551 Magmeter from George Fischer has been enhanced to include a built-in display, empty pipe detection, and bi-directional flow capabilities. Tustin, CA —Enhancements to George Fischer’s Signet-2551 Magmeter include a built-in display, empty pipe detection, and bi-directional flow capabilities. Insertion style electromagnetic flow sensor is also now available with PVDF/Hastelloy C wetted parts to broaden its ability to meet a wide range of application needs.
Run full, after tool change, without backing off
An add-on controller is helping machine tool users reduce scrap after a tool change. Typically, when tools need changing, there’s some time and materials waste while recalibration occurs, according to Phil Lockhart, technical director of Leeco Inc. (doing business as www.thegagestore.com ).
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (October 19, 2005)
October 19, 2005 Our last meeting with the prime consultant and city was on 9/23. In that meeting it was agreed that employing standard Ethernet communications was the preferred architecture for the project. In hopes that it would speed things along, I gave our engineers approval after that meeting to consider alternative architectures employing Ethernet HMIs and controllers with an alternative direct Ethernet cell radio.
Flat-panel displays, monitors meet variety of needs
StealthVU SV-1700-HB LCD monitor from Stealth Computer Corp. operates in extreme, ambient light conditions. LCDs and monitors are in the HMI spotlight this month with the introduction of three new products.
Instrumentation leadership tips from Lyondell Chemical
“There’s no key on the keyboard you can push to get to be a leader in process control and instrumentation,” said Scott Pendegrass, control systems engineer, Lyondell Chemical Co . Leadership was the theme of the 2005 Emerson Global Users Exchange group meeting in Orlando, FL. Pendegrass, chairman of the meeting’s board of directors, offered leadership tips for attendees. Know: Equipment, tools, and processes.
Process Variable Transmitters Product Research (October 2005)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process variable transmitters.
Cardmaster 3 enclosure family is intended for instrumentation packaging, including measurement, monitoring, and process control equipment.
Intelligent control valve
Unocal’s Monopod platform in Cook Inlet, AK. (Photo courtesy of cookinletoilandgas.org) At Unocal’s Monopod offshore-platform in Alaska, Flowserve’s StarPac control valve delivered stability, remote control and monitoring, plus increased oil production. The valve reportedly dramatically improved oil-well performance and production in this non-traditional application with an "upset" well. “This well was not behaving correctly,” says Unocal production engineer Justus Hinks.
Smart Remote Automation extends Emerson’s PlantWeb
Orlando, FL — Emerson Process Management introduced Smart Remote Automation, an extension of its PlantWeb digital architecture intended to improve businesses with processes beyond the typical plant. Smart Remote technology enables continuous diagnostics to run at remote sites and connect in real-time to centralized operations centers where they allow predictive operations and maintenance, enabling staff to increase site availability and throughput, Emerson says. First target industry for the extended architecture will be upstream oil and gas, where production, transportation, and distribution operations can cover hundreds or thousands of square miles, requiring many personnel hours and miles of driving. BP, Chevron, and Shell are among companies with initiatives supporting smart technologies in field applications, says John Berra, president, Emerson Process Management.
ISPE releases RABS definition
In cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ISPE has released a definition paper on restricted access barrier systems (RABS). The paper provides a definition of RABS for the Agency and the pharmaceutical industry.
Free is good: VisualLink flowmeter software
Flow Technology Inc.’s new VisualLink flowmeter programming software is designed for turbine flowmeters. It employs FTI’s high-performance LinearLink and LinearLink Temperature Compensated Interface (TCI). The software simplifies flowmeter programming, eliminating the need for manual-calibration data entry. With Microsoft Windows 2000/XP-based VisualLink software, flow-rate data points from FTI .SAV flowmeter calibration files can be uploaded directly to the LinearLink and LinearLink TCI systems.
Siemens’ Wardzel joins Profibus board
Filomena Wardzel, automation solutions manager, Siemens Energy & Automation, is the latest addition to the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) board of directors. Atlanta, GA —Filomena Wardzel, automation solutions manager, Siemens Energy & Automation , has been named to the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) board of directors. Wardzel’s appointment continues Siemens presence on the PTO board, filling the slot previously occupied by Tom Kopanski, vice president of Siemens Automation and Motion Div.
Paddlewheel flow system
FP7002 Series paddlewheel flow sensor/transmitter flow system is said to provide a low-cost, factory-calibrated, and easy-to-install solution for applications requiring a long distance flow and temperature sensor remote from the main indicating meter or control instrumentation. When ordered with an installation fitting, device is factory calibrated to match the fitting flow rate.
Environmental Monitoring Using Raw Process Data
Environmental monitoring is a key function that will add value to businesses seeking operational excellence and allow them to demonstrate due diligence to environmental agencies. In many cases, environmental monitoring is carried out by dedicated instrumentation and recording systems, but some businesses may be surprised to find that the addition of a few more data points to an existing process...
Pressure/level transmitters with remote display
Series PT/EL pressure/level transmitters with remote local display incorporate flush- mounted sensors for reliable monitoring of fluids where clogging substances or sanitary requirements are involved.
Mid-East, Africa drive growth of level-measuring industries markets
Level-measuring industries worldwide are expected to grow over the next several years, but not at a uniform rate around the globe, a recent study shows. The most significant increases are forecast for Middle East and Africa. According to the latest survey data from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) on global process measurement and inventory tank gauging (ITG) markets, the process level measuring device market totaled approximately $1.3 billion in 2004 and is expected to increase at a 4.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to more than $1.6 billion in 2009.
Coriolis metering for large lines with harsh fluids
CM Series Coriolis flowmeters from Fluid Components International reportedly provide high-accuracy flow measurement in large line sizes and harsh fluids. San Marcos, CA—CM Series Coriolis flowmeters from Fluid Components International reportedly provide high accuracy measurements in large line sizes to 12 in., flow rates to 80,000 ppm (2,200 metric tons/hr), and applications in harsh, corrosive fluids. According to FCI, Coriolis measurements have not been applied to many process applications because typical Coriolis meters have been limited to service in line sizes 6-in. or smaller and with benign fluids compatible with stainless steel.
Pumps for adhesive applications
Positive displacement pumps are especially designed to handle adhesives.
DIN-rail power supplies
Two 480-W DIN rail-mount power supplies come with a choice of single- or three-phase inputs.
Secure remote data for fab tool diagnosis/repair
Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc., and ILS Technology are working on an integration strategy to enable secure remote equipment data acquisition and analysis by semiconductor equipment suppliers. The integration strategy combines Wonderware's ArchestrA application platform and ILS Technology's secure remote monitoring applications including eCentre, ServiceNet, and Flexible Security Wrapper. The proposed secure remote access solution would enable service engineers at tool suppliers to remotely and securely access tools in any fab worldwide for diagnostic and repair analysis. The combination of secure remote access with Interface C and high-speed tool data acquisition via Interface A allows a toolmaker to diagnose tool performance trends and obtain statistics using detailed historical data stored in the real-time database of the ArchestrA application platform. Specialized equipment engineering systems or advanced process control applications may store the results of tool data analysis in this database for later access by tool service engineers.
Two flow control products debut at WEFTEC
Model 640S wastewater insertion flow meter is one of two flow control products being introduced by Sierra Instruments at the upcoming WEFTEC show in Washington, DC. Monterey, CA — Sierra Instruments Inc. unveils two new flow control products at WEFTEC in Washington, DC, Oct.
Advanced Process Control: Fuzzy Logic and Expert Systems
Applying fuzzy logic to control the reactor using only the three existing process measurements—output flow, composition, and temperature—imposes a severe performance limit on the system. Without a mathematical derivative capability in the rule syntax the system can react to the current values of the measurements, but not to how fast they are changing.
Blend viscosity into the control loop
Viscosity management is a missing capability of many process control systems because of the absence of reliable digital instrumentation that can be incorporated into the process stream. Acoustic wave viscometers can fill this need for OEMs and process manufacturers as they can detect changes in the process stream to provide real-time quality control, eliminating need for decisions based on inte...
Sanitary magmeters target process industry flow applications
FXE4000 electromagnetic flowmeter from ABB offers universal measurements of all conductive liquids. Warminster, PA — ABB Instrumentation has launched the FXE4000 electromagnetic flowmeter into the U.S. market, expanding its line of flow measurement products. Device lets users take a wide range of measurements from simple to extreme in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries.
New in’s and out’s of I/O connections
I/O modules are one of the connective fabrics of automation and controls, linking sensors that touch the system with logic that makes a decision about the process. Control Engineering spoke recently with several manufacturers of I/O modules, about the fundamentals of I/O connections. For more on the topic, look for a September 2005 issue 'Back to Basics.' Wago Corp.
For critical analysis, reporting
Loop-Pro product suite version 4.1 includes enhanced process control monitoring, analysis, and reporting capabilities intended to help customers eliminate costs from production defects and process shutdown by providing early identification of negative process trends.
Worldwide pressure transmitter market growing
Increased adoption of multivariable transmitters and growth in Asia are among contributors to the solid growth of the worldwide pressure transmitter market, a recent study released by the ARC Advisory Group shows.
Sanitary use pressure transmitters
Family of pressure transmitters for use in sanitary applications include Models 360, 363, and 364, which meet 3A standards for sanitary instrumentation and are designed for markets including food, beverage, dairy, and pharmaceutical applications.
ISA-95 Part 3 released
The ANSI/ISA-95.00.03-2005 Enterprise-Control System Integration, Part 3 portion of the ISA-95 standard defines activity models of manufacturing operations management that enable an enterprise system to control system integration.
Flowmeters designed for precision measurement in process applications
Two recently introduced flowmeters from McCrometer and Fluid Components International, intended for a variety of process applications in the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals industries, are said to provide precision flow measurement and need almost no maintenance.
Magnetrol introduces thermal dispersion switch
Downers Grove, IL—Magnetrol International has launched its new TD1/TD2 thermal dispersion switch for air, gas, liquid, and slurry level and flow control.
Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation August 2, 2005
August 2, 2005 A good interlock design is one of the most crucial parts of any project as it provides protection of a company's most valuable assets--personnel, product and plant equipment. There are a few rules that we follow to make the interlock implementation easy to design, implement, and troubleshoot. Rule 1 – Interlocks are implemented at the control module layer between control modules. Since interlocking logic is designed to prevent unsafe equipment operation, it makes sense to implement them on the software that performs equipment control. Rule 2 – Device I/O points are monitored and manipulated exclusively through control modules.
Protect control systems from the Internet
The plant control system would seem to be one of the best-protected computer networks from those who might seek to do harm. It is typically so removed from the Internet that hackers and viruses should have a difficult time finding the control system. And that's just fine with most control engineers, who know that any connectivity to the Internet increases the potential for mischief.
Corrections – 2005-08-01
An incorrect gasoline savings amount was calculated in the "Think Again" editorial, "Money in the right places," Control Engineering , July '05, p. 30. Mark Hoske, editor-in-chief, reports that the 15-mpg difference between the most fuel-efficient (40 mpg) and least-efficient (25 mpg) vehicles he has owned would actually have produced only $5,805 in savings, assuming he paid $2.15 a gallon for gas and drove 18,000 per year for 10 years. A type of flowmeter was incorrectly identified using a brand name on the second-to-the-bottom bar of the chart, "Types of Flowmters in Use—2005 vs.
Magmeter solves flow rate monitoring problem for chip manufacturer
Upgrading sensing equipment with a new magmeter is helping a chip manufacturer solve on-going flow monitoring problems.
Weed Instrument launches five temperature transmitters
Round Rock, TX—Weed Instrument has released five low-cost temperature transmitters, which it reports provide 0.08% accuracy.
Hot-swap enabled power supplies
cPCI power supplies, the latest addition to the CompactPCI line, are fully compliant to the PICMG 2.11 power interface specification and fitted as standard with a Positronic 47-pin connector.
Flow control needle valve
NVM Series manual needle flow control valve features a needle plug with PTFE diaphragm seal that allows for easy and precise linear flow control.
Digital signal conversion
HCS HART Concentrator System converts a HART digital signal to a serial (RS-485) Modbus RTU communication protocol.
Spirax Sarco acquires flow products firm, launches pump upgrade
Emco Flow Systems is now part of Spirax Sarco Inc.
Inserta, TLV introduce valves for multiple process applications
Ball valves from Inserta and a pressure-reducing valve from TLV are among process-related flow control products announced recently.
Process infrared system growth fueled by innovative instruments
Dedham, MA—The worldwide market for process infrared systems (PIRS) is expected to grow at a 4.1% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years from $255.7 million in 2004 to more than $313.3 million in 2009, according to a ARC Advisory Group's new study, “Worldwide Process Infrared Systems Outlook.”
Probe promotes boiler efficiency
9060E Micro-processor and zirconium oxygen probe, developed in conjunction with Teledyne Analytical Instruments, gives boiler operators a continuous view of actual, real-time, combustion efficiency measurements.
Metering pumps provide accurate dosing
D35 Metering Series industrial pumps provide steady, pulse-free metering of ultra pure fluids, corrosives, and slurries in flows to up to 2,220 gph (8,400 lph) and pressure up to 1,200 psi (83 bar). Positive-displacement-type pumps incorporate five Hydra-Cells into a pentaplex design and feature tapered roller bearings and a seal-less design.
Butterfly valve for harsh applications
Type 388 metallic butterfly valve comes in two styles: cast-iron wafer and ductile-iron lug. Both configurations can withstand rugged industrial use. Typical applications include water and wastewater for pressure or vacuum service. Valve incorporates features that offer easy maintenance, high performance, and safety.
Moore’s HCS converts HART digital protocol to Modbus RTU
Moore Industries reports that its HART Concentrator System (HCS) converts a HART digital signal to a serial (RS-485) Modbus RTU communication protocol. This permits up to 16 smart HART-capable transmitters and valves to interface with Modbus-based monitoring and control systems.
Loop Controllers: Lone Logic is More Connected
Stand-alone loop controllers, desired because of cost and simplicity, still need to collect and report data, even if they operate outside of a larger control system. External and peer-to-peer communications are the most important traits in such controllers, after ability to do PID (proportional-integral-derivative) control.
Flow measurement for rugged environments
V-Cone Chem Processing Flowmeter offers accuracy and repeatability in a compact, no-moving-parts instrument that needs virtually no recalibration or maintenance. Designed for measuring liquid, steam, or gas, the device supports a wide range of chemical production process line and general plant applications.
AST buys Macro Sensors
American Sensor Technologies (AST), manufacturer of MEMS (microelectro mechanical systems)-based pressure sensors, transducers, and transmitters, acquired Macro Sensors, an LVDT (linear variable differential transformer) manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum.
Moore’s HCS converts HART digital protocol to Modbus RTU
North Hills, CA—Moore Industries reports that its HART Concentrator System (HCS) converts a HART digital signal to a serial (RS-485) Modbus RTU communication protocol. This permits up to 16 smart HART-capable transmitters and valves to interface directly with Modbus-based monitoring and control systems.
Fujitsu moves to RoHS compliant touch panels
Fujitsu Components America Inc. announced it will begin converting its touch panel products to RoHS lead-free compliant status to meet customer environmental needs.
Foxboro’s Coriolis flowmeter aids filling system measurement
Foxboro, MA; Dewbury, U.K.—Foxboro Measurements & Instruments division of Invensys Process Systems recently used its advanced digital Coriolis technology to help Mount Packaging Systems Ltd. develop and implement its automatic short-batch, rapid filling systems.