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Posted by: Jim Russell, July 2014
Posted by: Jim Russell, May 2014
Analysis Division - Membership to the Analysis Division provides you with
access to a network of knowledge and opportunity to develop your own expertise
and share this with fellow professionals. Whether you are already a member or
thinking about membership, ISA provides a wealth of industry knowledge at your
fingertips and will ensure you are on the cutting edge of technology and
developments. In the Analysis Division, we enable our members to do their jobs
better and help their organizations strategically use technology so that they,
in turn, make the world a better, just, and equitable place. Membership in the
ISA entitles you to one free "Automation & Technology" divisional
membership. Simply check off "Analysis Division" when you register for
your annual ISA membership. You then have access to the finest collection of
process analyzer professionals in the world for the price of belonging to the
ISA. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be an Analysis Division Member.
and Conditioning Papers from the NGS Tech 2014 Conference - All the papers are on a single
pdf, just scroll down using the
index- Paper subjects are;
- Basic Chemistry and Physics for Sample Conditioning - Jim Witte
- Economics of Compositional and Quality Determination - David Wofford
- Basics for New Engineer/Project Manager - Brad Massey
- API Wet Gas AdHoc Committee Update - David Fish
- New Techniques for Liquid Calibration Standards - Dan Bartel
- Lessons Learned from Sampling in Eagle Ford - Royce Miller
- Wet Gas Sampling - Jay St Amant
- Training New Employees and the Importance/Impact of Baby Boomer Retirement - Gary Hines
- Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Sampling - Darin George
- New Techniques in LNG Sampling - Ken Thompson
- Improving the Speed and accuracy of Water Vapour and H2S Measurements by Optimising the Sample Transport System - Phil Harris
- Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) Sampling - Eric Estrada
- Injection of Chemicals and the Impact on Sampling - Brad Massey
Solutions Key to Reliable HIPPS - Carsten Thoegersen
Application of Safety Integrity Level (SIL) - Position Paper of the SIL Platform
- This Superb document put together by Mokveld by an Expert Panel of authors for
Safety Instrumented Systems Engineers Covers Questions as follows:
- What is the SIL platform?
- Why Issue a SIL Statement?
- What are the Basics of SIL Implementation?
- How do I Establish a SIL implementation?
- Which SIL subjects are covered in this Paper?
- What is a Systematic Design Approach?
- Why is a Systematic design Approach Important?
- What are the Pitfalls in Establishing a Systematic Design Approach?
- How do I Establish a Systematic Design Approach?
- What is Instrument Failure Data
- Why is Instrument Failure Data Important?
- What are the Pitfalls in Using Instrument Failure Data?
- How do I Correctly Apply Instrument Failure Data?
- How do I Use of Diagnostic Coverage Factor (DFC) and Safe Failure Fraction (SFF)?
- What are Hardware Safety Integrity Architectural Constraints?
- What are Proof Tests of Safety Instrumented Systems?
- What is Safety Lifecycle Management?
Pressure Regulator Selection Strategy - Using Flow Curves for Effective Regulator Specification - Bill Menz - The best way to select a regulator for your application is to examine its flow curve, which is often provided by the manufacturer. "Flow curve" is a misleading name. You could easily call it a "pressure curve" instead, since a regulator controls pressure, not flow. The curve represents the range of pressures that a regulator will maintain given certain flowrates in a system. When selecting a regulator, you are not just looking for the right size - you're looking for a set of capabilities, which is a function of the regulator's design. A flow curve illustrates the regulator's range of capabilities at a glance - from Swagelok.
Directive 94/9/EC - European Directives - This
white paper from ASCO details the objectives of the directives.
Periodic Inspection of HA equipment - Part of the DSEAR regulations is to conduct an inspection of the existing equipment in hazardous areas, to confirm that it has been designed, constructed, installed, maintained and operated in such a way as to minimise the risk of an explosion. This typically occurs once the site has been classified - from Sira Certification.
Process Seals - Craig McIntyre - Sealing Built into Instrumentation
provides a number of advantages over traditional approaches - from Endress +
Rethink Process Seals - Craig McIntyre - Sealing Built into Instrumentation provides a number of advantages over traditional approaches - from Endress + Hauser
Process Seals, Secondary Seals, and “Single Seal” and “Dual Seal” Devices - Dave Adams - A Process Seal is a device to prevent the migration of process fluids from the designed containment into the external electrical system. Electrical equipment with an interface in direct contact with process fluids under pressure must incorporate a “process seal” to prevent migration of the flammable fluid into the wiring system - from CPCA.
Ignition Hazards Associated with Flammable Substances in the Form of Gases ,
Vapours, Mists and Dusts - M.Glor
- The paper deals with the assessment of the electrostatic ignition
hazards when flammable gases, liquids or powders are handled and processed
in industry. It reviews the present state of knowledge in this field based
on information available from literature, codes of practice and guidelines.
In a short introduction the prerequisites for the ignition of a flammable
atmosphere are described. The steps from charge separation to ignition of
flammable atmospheres by discharges are outlined and the different types and
incendivities of electrostatic discharges occurring in practice are
discussed. Associated with the different flammable substances such as gases,
liquids and powders and with the typical operations performed with these
substances in industry, the electrostatic ignition hazards are reviewed. In
addition the electrostatic hazards related to the different types of FIBCs
are highlighted - from Explosion Solutions.
Incendivity of Electrostatic Discharges in Dust Clouds - The Minimum Ignition Energy Problem - M. Bailey, P. Hooker and P. Caine - Minimum Ignition Energy of dust clouds is required to assess the electrostatic ignition risk. Recent studies are reported that indicate that the test methods in use to determine M.I.E. give markedly different values. The use of M.I.E. to define the incendivity of discharges from conductors and non-conductors is discussed and the value of data from present day tests is considered.
Frictional Ignition of Powders - Geoff Lunn- This paper is a review of the literature on the effects that frictional heating and sparking can have on combustible dusts, on the ways in which frictionally ignited dusts can burn, and on the methods by which combustion in burning dusts can ignite an explosive dust cloud or propagate into a more extensive dust accumulation.
Explosion Protection Consistent with North American Practice - Helmut
Greiner - This report describes how the European Standard EN
61241-1 came into being and describes individual details of the design and testing
requirements along with
Australian Hazardous Areas Selection Chart - A useful chart for the wall - from eflare.
Explosion Protection Fundamentals - An excellent document from the IEC detailing fundamentals of Explosion Protection.
Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) - In the following table MIE is quoted for flammable substances mixed with air. A reference is provided to indicate the source of the data. MIE values are provided for guidance only. Please check references for specific measurement conditions - from Explosion Solutions.
Posted by: Jim Russell, April 2014
A Dozen Ways to Measure Fluid Level -
How They Work - This
article from ABB covers most level measurement techniques, however there is a
small section on Laser Instrumentation for the Process Industry on page 6.
Temperature Calibration Frequently Asked Questions – Asks the questions What is calibration?, Why should I calibrate?, Who says what is accurate?, Recalibration: what and why?
Custody Transfer Calibration - Using Multivariable Temperature / Pressure Calibrators
for Flowmeter Calibration
- Gas custody transfer flow computers require special calibration to perform
at optimum accuracy. In custody transfer applications where the buying and
selling of commodities like natural gas is involved, calibration checks are
performed frequently as a matter of fiduciary responsibility. For the
purpose of this white paper, the use of gas custody transfer flow computers
in the natural gas transmission industry is referenced.
Determining Accuracy and Stability for Digital Pressure Gauges - Like all calibration device manufacturers Martel Electronics spends a great deal of time determining what the accuracy specification is for the products we design. General convention is to publish one (1) year specifications as that is the generally accepted calibration interval for most calibration devices. Pressure measuring devices pose interesting challenges when trying to determine the one year specifications because not only must the long term stability of the electrical circuit be determined you must also determine the stability characteristics of the pressure sensor itself over time and combine those two numbers to arrive at a complete specification.
Calibration of Smart Instrumentation - A Better Way - The assertion
often arises that smart instruments don’t need calibration since they are
very stable, reliable devices. This assertion ignores certain vital
realities. These include;
- Field instruments are exposed to harsh environments.
- Good practice calls for in situ calibration.
- Safety Instrumented Systems require periodic calibration
- Custody transfer applications require periodic calibration by user demand.
to Look for in a Documenting Calibrator - A documenting calibration
system can be as simple as a single multi-function calibrator with an easy
to use software package or it can be a more sophisticated system with
extensive database software, custom reporting and multiple brands or types
of calibrators. There is a lot of choice in the marketplace, so it’s
important to determine your needs and buy accordingly rather than having a
system that dictates to you.
Martel LC-110H Loop Calibrator and HART Communications/Diagnostics - This white paper describes the basic functions of HART communications and the diagnostic capability of the Martel LC-110H mA (loop) calibrator.
Ultrasonic Clamp On Flow Meter Application Reports – A series of reports on Clamp On Ultrasonic Flow Meter applications across a wide range of industries – from TOKYO KEIKI INC
Flow Monitoring of Primary and Secondary Sewage Treatment - Achieve Better
Performance in Even the Most Challenging Applications - Monitoring the
flow of liquid is a vital component of any wastewater application. Flow data
is used to make important decisions that ensure various processes operate at
maximum efficiency, which is why plant managers must be able to trust that
the flowmeters installed throughout a facility are providing consistently
accurate information. However, certain operating conditions may make it
extremely difficult to achieve the necessary level of precision in flow
Knowing What’s Inside from the OUTSIDE - Clamp-On Ultrasonic Flowmeters Leveraged for Sophisticated Interface Measurements - John Accardo - Many petroleum pipeline companies transport multiple hydrocarbon liquids (e.g., diesel fuel, gasoline, and jet fuel) through a single common pipe. Between each liquid sits an interface where the flowstream transitions from one product to another. Pipeline operating companies depend on instrumentation to indicate which fluid is flowing through their pipe at any given time and when an interface occurs—information that is vital for proper management of pipeline operations.
Thread Tape and Paste - This is an essential component when installing Instrument fittings, it helps prevent galling and also assists with the "seal". It should be noted that there are different grades for various services, typically silver for Stainless Steel, yellow for gas applications by utilities and white for general plumbing. Thread Paste is a general purpose instant sealer for tapered and straight/tapered fittings.
Winterization Solutions for the Power Industry - In the power industry, winterization often presents a set of engineering, design and installation details that can fall to the bottom of a project priority list. Poor coordination of these details can result in a freeze up, which can cost millions in lost revenue and additional expense. High process temperatures combined with sub-freezing ambient conditions requires industry expertise in design and installation of winterizing systems.
Posted by: Jim Russell, March 2014
Purge Controls - A downpipe is the simplest type of liquid level sensor, often referred to as a “bubbler." This is merely a length of open ended pipe that extends downward into the tank. LiquiSeal™ or Purge Control differential pressure air flow regulators are highly refined versions of the basic bubbler air control.
Level Control — The end of an Era? Is it time to replace your
troublesome RF Capacitance/Admittance Liquid Level Transmitters? - Boyce
Carsella - RF Capacitance/Admittance is one of the most flexible level
measurement technologies ever developed. RF devices can be used in almost
any type of media, and the probes are actually mechanical devices that serve
an electronic function in the system. The probes can be made of almost any
material and, therefore, they are very flexible devices. They can handle
very high temperatures and pressures and corrosive media. Why then do some
people refer to capacitance level, as “the level technology some people
love to hate”? It seems that with this flexibility comes extreme
application sensitivity as well. It's not difficult to find people who have
had a capacitance application that did not work properly.
Pressure Relief Valve Engineering Handbook - Whilst specific for Anderson Greenwood, Crosby and Varec products this manual this document has some useful information. It has been designed to provide reference data and technical recommendations based on over 125 years of pioneering research, development, design, manufacture and application of pressure relief valves. Sufficient data is supplied so that an individual will be able to use this manual as an effective aid to properly size and select pressure relief devices for specific applications. Information covering terminology, standards, codes, basic design, sizing and selection are presented in an easy to use format – from Pentair
Evaluation of Control Valve Performance is Necessary in Plant Betterment Programs - Sanjay V. Sherikar - Reproduced with the permission of CCI Sulzer Valves
Valve Fail Action - Frederick Meier and Clifford Meier - Control valves may fail in various positions -open, closed, locked, or indeterminate. The position of a failed valve can have a significant impact on associated equipment, and therefore, it is of interest to operations personnel - from the ISA and InTech.
Video - Fundamentals of Cavitation and Flashing Video - An explanation of cavitation, how it differs from flashing, the damage that it can cause, and methods of controlling it - from Fisher
Application Considerations When Specifying Ultrasonic Contact Technology for Liquid Level Sensing - Ultrasonic contact level measurement technology plays a key role in the safe and effective measurement of liquids across all process industries. To ensure that you implement an optimal solution for your facility, it’s important to learn about the different applications where an ultrasonic gap switch can be used – and the advantages and limitations of using this technology.
Level Sensing with Ultrasonic Contact Technology - Reliable level instrumentation is required to improve process efficiency and ensure the safety of your facility and your employees. Whether you’re specifying liquid level controls for a paper mill or a facility that processes natural gas, chemicals, petrochemicals, power or water and wastewater, finding high-quality instrumentation that can accurately measure level in your clean liquid applications is a mission-critical requirement. This blog discusses ultrasonic contact technology to provide an overview of how the technology works, application considerations and a comparison to other level control technology, specifically tuning forks.
The Impact of Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Guided Wave Radar Transmitter Performance - In recent years, much has been said in the industry about the importance of the amplitude (size) of the guided wave radar (GWR) transmit pulse. While the size of the transmitted radar pulse is certainly important, it is a fact that pulse amplitude alone will not always yield accurate level measurement under all process conditions. A far more important parameter in reliable level measurement in difficult applications is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which essentially describes the difference between the desired signal and the unwanted noise. If the amplitude of the noise approaches that of the level signal, loss of accuracy or linearity is the first observed effect due to distortion of the level signal as it passes through and interacts with the noise. Worse yet, if SNR is bad enough, the adverse signal interaction can actually result in a loss of the level signal. While it would be desirable to eliminate all the unwanted impedance discontinuities, it is simply not possible. The good news is that today’s most advanced GWR solutions address this critical design issue.
6 Key Features to Look for When Considering a Guided Wave Radar Technology Solution - All process industries today require the ability to safely and accurately measure level in critical applications. This task, however, can be complicated by a variety of factors, including process media that are very low dielectric or contain corrosive vapors, foam, steam, build up, agitation, bubbling or boiling. Guided wave radar (GWR) technology, which is the operating principle used by the Eclipse® Model 706 transmitter from Magnetrol®, provides true level and interface control for applications across many process industries, including petroleum refining, electric power generation, chemical manufacturing, water and wastewater, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical processing and food and beverage. To ensure that you implement an optimal solution for your company, it is important to learn about some of the innovative features that the most reliable GWR solutions offer. The remainder of this post will discuss 6 features that you should look for when you are considering GWR technology as a possible solution for level measurement.
Importance of Application Level Controls for Steam Generation Systems in
Coal-Fired Power Plants – This blog discusses
how level control technology can help you achieve accurate level measurement
for critical applications within steam generation systems, including the
condenser hotwell, condensate storage tank and deaerator.
Guide to Level Instrumentation for Power Generating Plants
– This guide serves as an introduction to level sensing and control
products for Power Gen applications.
Seven Things you must know before Selecting Composite Solenoid Valves for your Reverse Osmosis System - Anne-Sophie Kedad-Chambareau, Roy Bogert, and David Park - This interesting white paper from ASCO highlights some important aspects of composite solenoid valve selection and design.
Posted by: Jim Russell, February 2014
Design of a Mercury Analyzer for Stack Gas - Koji ISHIKAWA - In December 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States implemented the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), a regulation to limit the a total emission of mercury from coal-fired power stations, to attempt to reduce the mercury content in exhaust gas. . Amid growing concern for mercury monitoring, detailed is the development of an analyzer that continuously measures total mercury in exhaust gas by oxidized mercury (Hg2+) to elemental mercury (Hg) - This technical whitepaper is courtesy of the team at IDC Technologies – for more IDC resources simply visit their website: www.idc-online.com/resources.
Posted by: Jim Russell, January 2014
Instrument Installation (Hook Up) – A Bagherian - This document from chagalesh.com covers different types of hook-ups.
Instrrument Index - An Instrument index is a document containing list of instrument devices within a plant. The Instrument index includes tag number of all physical instruments (e.g. field instrument, physical alarm and indicator) and pseudo instruments which commonly named “soft tag” (e.g DCS indication, alarm, controller). The Instrument index is created at the beginning of project and considered as a live document which should be kept updated even though the plant has been operated. Also the Instrument index should be revised if there is any plant or system modification which impact to additional, removal, or resetting of instrument - - from Instrumentationportel
Cybersecurity Matters, But How Much? - Matt Migliore - Everybody’s talking about cybersecurity these days, but just how concerned should industry be? During an aside at a conference I attended about a year ago, a representative for a major control systems provider told me that most of their large customers were facing attempted cyber attacks on a regular basis. This statement was an eye-opener for me, as it provided some level of confirmation that cyber threats to industry aren’t just limited to major events like Stuxnet, but rather present a more persistent danger. Prior to this chat session, I had read a number of reports about cyber threats to industry, but it was difficult to quantify how pressing the concern was, as most industrial end-users, for obvious reasons, were pretty hush about the cyber threats they faced. That said, information continues to emerge showing cybersecurity is a growing and very real concern for industry - from Flow Control.
Loss of Flame in Oil Refinery Fired Heaters using Advanced Pressure
Improving Temperature Measurement in Power Plants - Ravi Jethra - Temperature is one of the most widely measured parameters in a power plant. No matter the type of plant, accurate and reliable temperature measurement is essential for operational excellence. Incorrect measurement because of electrical effects, non linearity or instability can result in damage to major equipment. Using advanced diagnostics, modern temperature instrumentation can inform a plant's maintenance department that a problem exists, where it is and what to do about it long before anyone in operations even suspects that an issue exists. This article covers some of the basics of temperature measurement in power plants and discusses technical advances that impart higher a degree of safety and reliability. These advances are based on innovative technologies that are being implemented in process instrumentation. Implementation of these new technologies can result in improved safety along with lower installation and maintenance costs - from Endress+Hauser Inc and Power Engineering.
Temperature Measurement Applications in Process Plants - Ravi Jethra - Temperature is one of the most common measurement parameter used for monitoring and control in process industries. This paper covers some of the basics of temperature measurement, and leads into some of the technical advances that impart higher a degree of safety and reliability to process plant operation. These advances are based on some of the latest and innovative technologies that are being implemented in process instrumentation. Irrespective of the type of process plant, temperature measurement remains high on the list for operational excellence throughout the plant. Implementation of some of the new technologies results in improved safety and lower installation and maintenance costs. Incorrect measurement information due to temperature effects, non linearity or stability can result in major equipment getting damaged. Ensuring instruments that have minimal downtime from a maintenance standpoint, not just devices that have been evaluated to provide safety integrity level service in safety instrumented systems, is crucial for daily operations in a power plant - from Endress+Hauser Inc and Control Design.
Vibration of Valves and Piping - What Would Cause Vibration in a Gas Service, and What Protection Can Be Applied If It Occurs? - A question and answer article from Control Global.
Gas Chromatographs Rule - What Comes First--the Analyzer or the Analyzer Application? - Greg McMillan and Stan Weiner bring their wits and more than 66 years of process control experience to bear on your questions, comments, and problems - from the excellent Control Global.
Effective Management of PSM Data in Implementing the ANSI/ISA-84.00.01 Safety Lifecycle - Carolyn Presgraves - Throughout the evolution of Process Safety Management (PSM) engineering, Operations and Maintenance personnel have participated in the identification of process hazards and the mechanisms in place to prevent those hazards. Prevention mechanisms have included both active and passive engineered systems and administrative measures such as relief valves, procedures, operator alarms, Basic Process Control Systems (BPCS) interlocks, and Safety Instrumented Systems (SISs). Process Safety Information (PSI), Mechanical Integrity (MI), Operating Procedure, and Training requirements of 29 CFR 1910.119 provide guidance for many of these prevention mechanisms. Specifically applicable to the topic of this paper and conformance with ANSI/ISA-84.00.01, PSI requirements for safety systems include complete documentation of the design basis and specification data in accordance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. The MI section requires the inspection and testing of safety systems according to recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, maintenance of testing records, and documented correction of any identified deficiencies - from the ISA.
Understanding Safety Life Cycles - IEC/EN 61508 is the Basis for the Specification, Design, and Operation of Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) - The international standard IEC/EN 61508 has been widely accepted as the basis for the specification, design, and operation of safety instrumented systems (SIS). In general, IEC/EN 61508 uses a formulation based on risk assessment: An assessment of the risk is undertaken and, on the basis of this assessment, the necessary safety integrity level (SIL) is determined for components and systems with safety functions. SIL-evaluated components and systems are intended to reduce the risk associated with a device to a justifiable level or “tolerable risk”. When considering safety in the process industry, there are several relevant national, industry, and company safety standards used when determining and applying safety within a process plant - from the ISA and InTech (Have you considered Joining the ISA? It is well worth the minimal cost).
Process Safety Management Guidelines for Compliance - The major objective of process safety management (PSM) of highly hazardous chemicals is to prevent unwanted releases of hazardous chemicals especially into locations that could expose employees and others to serious hazards. An effective process safety management program requires a systematic approach to evaluating the whole chemical process. Using this approach, the process design, process technology, process changes, operational and maintenance activities and procedures, nonroutine activities and procedures, emergency preparedness plans and procedures, training programs, and other elements that affect the process are all considered in the evaluation - This is an excellent document from the US Department of Labour.
Electrical Safety from the Ground Up - Proper Grounding and Bonding is Critical for Electrical Workplace Safety - Reza Tajali - Risks associated with shock and electrocutions from inadvertent contact with energized parts have long been recognized as a threat to electrical workers. In recent years, OSHA and industry associations recognized the severity and urgency of the situation which resulted in the development of new standards for electrical workplace safety. In essence, they mandate that work on electrical equipment must be performed in a manner that does not expose the worker to undue risk of injury. While arc flash awareness has been growing (as well it should), the dangers of shock and electrocution should not be overlooked. In fact, electrocution is the second leading cause of construction site fatalities in the US. In an average eight-hour day, 16 workers require time off the job to recover due to electrically induced injuries - from Schneider Electric Engineering Services and Plant Engineering.
NACE MRO175 Recommended Practice: Assuring Compliance in Sour Service Applications - Due to the hazardous nature of sour service applications which contain hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) has issued a standard recommended practice that includes minimum requirements to resist sulfide stress cracking. While not mandatory, many petroleum and natural gas producers are using the current NACE MRO175 guideline to improve the safety of their facilities and employees.Petroleum and natural gas facility operators cannot afford to take sour service applications lightly because H2S is extremely hazardous. Any type of failure in the pressure boundary area of a level control – such as a displacer switch – can result in the release of concentrated sour gas vapors, which can be fatal within only five minutes at a concentration of 800 ppm - from Magnetrol.
NEMA Publishes Evaluating Fire- and Heat-Damaged Electrical Equipment - The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently published Evaluating Fire- and Heat-Damaged Electrical Equipment, a guide that provides information on how to evaluate electrical equipment that has been exposed to heat and fire residue through fire, firefighting activities, or close proximity to fire.This guide is useful for suppliers, installers, inspectors, and users of electrical products. Before this publication, little guidance was available for installers and inspectors on how to evaluate electrical equipment that has been exposed to heat and fire residue. Evaluating Fire- and Heat-Damaged Electrical Equipment may be downloaded at no cost on the NEMA website.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA VE 2-2013 Cable Tray Installation Guidelines. The fourth edition of this publication, VE 2 is a practical guide for the proper installation of cable tray systems.This publication addresses shipping, handling, storing, and installing cable tray systems. Information on maintenance and system modification is also provided. Cable tray system design must comply with National Electrical Code® Article 392, NEMA VE 1 Metal Cable Tray Systems, NEMA FG 1 Fiberglass Cable Tray Systems, and follow safe work practices as described in NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. The guidelines in this publication are useful to engineers, contractors, and maintenance personnel.NEMA VE 2-2013 has been revised to reference the 2011 version of the National Electrical Code® and provides clarification for grounding and bonding cable trays, as well as recent cable tray product developments. NEMA VE 2-2013 Cable Tray Installation Guidelines may be downloaded at no cost on the NEMA website or purchased in hardcopy for $88.
The Differences between Watts and Volt Amps - Steve Mackay - I often get questions about the practical differences between watts (W) and volt-amperes (VA); mainly from our civil and mechanical engineering fraternity; but surprisingly also from some electrical types. As you would know, electrical products generally indicate both to show how much energy and current they draw. This Blog details a quick summary of the differences with some interesting alternative calculations to work out total VA.
The Digital Drive - Jonas Berge explains how variable speed drives can become an integral part of the digital plant architecture. The final control element that first comes to mind for process applications is the control valve, but variable speed drives (VSD) also variously referred to as a variable frequency drives (VFD), adjustable frequency drives, or frequency converters are also used as final elements in closed loop flow or pressure control. When it comes to set up, the sheer amount of configuration options available in a variable speed drive can seem overwhelming to technicians who have to commission them. A drive can have hundreds of parameters to customize AC motor controls for different applications. Most AC drives also have useful diagnostics about the motor and drive system and some even have predictive diagnostics. To help technicians more easily setup applications and diagnose problems, drive manufacturers now use electronic device description language (EDDL) to make drives easy to setup and diagnose by defining how the drives are displayed in the system. Bus technology and EDDL provide the ability to integrate instrumentation and controls with electrical and switchgear, enabling plants to freely select control system and electrical system independently, yet enjoy the ease of use as a result of tight integration - from Control Engineering Asia.
Calibration Trim Wizard using EDDL - Narrated by Emerson's Harish Jayaraman this video shows how calibration trim is simplified by wizards from software or handheld communicator from different vendors using EDDL - from YouTube.
Intelligent Device Management Tutorial: Calibration - In the early days of smart transmitters the concept of remote range setting ("remote calibration") and re-ranging without applying input was revolutionary. It took years of education to be accepted and understood. Calibration can be carried out using a handheld communicator in the field, a laptop in the workshop, or from intelligent device management software as part of an asset management solution. Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is the technology used by device manufacturers to define how the system shall display the device information and functions to the technician. EDDL makes calibration of smart transmitters and other intelligent devices easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards and help, and unparalleled consistency of use - from EDDL.
Calibration Trim - Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) technology makes calibration easier thanks to user guidance such as wizards as well as know-how made available from the device manufacturer's experts. The result is lower cost of maintenance, and better performing devices - from EDDL.
Posted by: Jim Russell, November 2013
System Smoke Detectors - The purpose of this excellent guide is to provide information concerning the proper application of smoke detectors used in conjunction with fire alarm systems. The guide outlines basic principles that should be considered in the application of early warning fire and smoke detection devices. It presents operating characteristics of detectors and environmental factors, which may aid, delay, or prevent their operation - from System Sensor.
an Optical Flame Detector - There are several types of optical detector
available from single wavelengths of UV, and IR to combinations UV/IR and
multi wavelength IR's (dual and triple). Each type of detector having
differing flame detection performance (not just by type but also from
manufacturer to manufacturer). This article looks at the more fundamental
differences and design considerations for the selection of Optical Flame
detectors - from the ISA
Frequently Asked Questions about Flame Detection - A useful series of Questions and Answers related to types of Flame Detectors, location and installation, design and much more - from Desu Systems.
Flame Detection - Optical flame detection has evolved over the last 30
years with improved sensors, processing power, and high electronics
reliability, which has greatly improved the acceptance and use of automatic
optical fire detection in the harshest of environments and applications.
Single wavelength ultraviolet (UV) detectors were originally used for the
protection of large integrated oil and gas production platforms in the North
Sea, followed by single wavelength infrared (IR) detectors, but problems
with false alarms from numerous natural and artificial sources both on the
platforms and from adjacent installations prompted the oil industry to
search for a better technology. This paper covers the recurring problem of
flare reflections on offshore platforms and how the evolving technology of
visual flame detection has solved this problem.
Ultrasonic Detection Overview - Ultrasonic (acoustic) gas leak detection technology functions through the constant monitoring of wide areas by advanced acoustic sensors specially tuned to process ultrasound emitted from pressurized gas leaks. This detection technology has several advantages (a) It does not have to wait until a gas concentration has accumulated to potentially dangerous concentrations and (b) It does not require a gas cloud to eventually make physical contact with a sensor, and the response is instantaneous for all gas types - from Emerson Process Management.
Ultrasonic Leak Detection - The First Stage in Gas Detection - These sensors will detect gas at‘the speed of sound’ and do not need to be in the gas cloud to operate successfully. Ultrasonic gas detectors have been designed to detect pressure gas leaks from all gases, this includes the 35% of Hydrocarbon Leaks which go undetected in the North Sea (Source UK HSE) - thanks to ICEweb sponsor PROdetec
Application of Compact Actuators on High Pressure Manifolds – Space and Weight are an important consideration when designing Valving and their associated actuators on High Pressure Manifold Systems. Actuators which can be installed in different angles provide significant advantages. By utilizing Compact Actuators a “minimum design footprint” can be achieved - thanks to our sponsor Prochem Pipeline Products.
FNLG Vessel Design Requires the Latest Weight and Space saving Concepts - Space and weight saving on FLNG facilities are an essential design parameter as “real estate” is very limited. Hence Compact Actuators are an important component in achieving this design goal and have been utilised in major projects around the world. Also whilst space and weight are paramount the additional savings associated with Passive Fire Protection add to the overall justification and use of these products - thanks to our sponsor Prochem Pipeline Products.
Posted by: Jim Russell, October 2013
API RP 2350 Recommended Practice for Overfill Protection for Storage Tanks in Petroleum Facilities: Common Questions and Answers - In the aftermath of several tragic tank overfill incidents in recent years, the American Petroleum Institute revised its API RP 2350 recommended practice to address malfunctioning or insufficient tank level gauging. During the past few months, Magnetrol have received numerous questions about these new recommendations for overfill protection, and the answers to the most frequently asked questions are shared on this blog. See further answers in Part 2 and Part 3.
The Application of Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) - Position Paper on the SIL Platform - This is an excellent document on SIL which gives a comprehensive outline of SIL and the specific issues related to SIL in the Process Industries. The document provides basic information about the implementation of SIL, the relevant technology and focuses specifically on the SIL verification process to establish the adequate integrity of SIL loops - Thanks to our sponsor Mokveld and the SIL Platform Group.
The SIL Platform - Linked In Group - The interest in SIL (Safety Integrity Level) in industrial applications is growing. However, people involved in this process experience difficulties due to the relative complexity of it. Correct interpretation of the SIL standards is of great help. The SIL Platform attempts to achieve two objectives. The first is to provide a bulletin board to enable a Q&A process and exchange valuable experience and knowledge. The second is to provide input for the development of the relevant standards, such as the IEC61508 and IEC61511.
WirelessHART Extends Your Reach: The Easy Way to add New Instrumentation - Douglas Carlson – A discussion on the benefits and considerations of deploying WirelessHART device networks and advice on how to minimise growing pains when installing new field sensors and actuators. Any plant expansion will generally require an increase in I/O count. This seems straightforward enough, but in practice it soon runs into limitations. I/O cabinets have finite capacity, for one thing, and I/O is expensive. This leaves the plant engineer with several choices – continue to add I/O points to the existing system until all the spares have been used up, add additional I/O cabinets, or increase capacity by adding WirelessHART capability. This article shows that the third alternative can be the fastest and most economical approach to increasing plant I/O counts. Wireless I/O systems have two major advantages over wired I/O: They save money and they save time. But choosing one will require answering some questions - from the excellent Control Engineering Europe.
Temperature Measurement Engineer's Guide – This 420 page guide from
Emerson Process Management is excellent. From the basics to engineering
design and white papers it is very comprehensive. You will have to register
to get it but it is worth the effort!
Industrial Temperature Measurement Engineer's Guide – This 420 page guide from Emerson Process Management is excellent. From the basics to engineering design and white papers it is very comprehensive. You will have to register to get it but it is worth the effort!
Chemical Testing ISO/IEC 17025 Application Document - Annex H: Calibration of gas analysers - This document provides additional interpretative criteria and recommendations for the application of ISO/IEC 17025 in the field of Chemical Testing for both applicant and accredited facilities conducting calibration of gas analysers, except for motor vehicle emission testing to Australian design rules which is covered in Chemical Testing Annex I - from NATA.
Measurement in a Pump Station - Michelle Pawlowicz
Generation Mag Meter Solves Water Treatment Plants Tight Installation
Dilemma - Michelle Pawlowicz -
5 Keys to Selecting a Mag Meter - When choosing an electromagnetic flow meter, it’s important to consider a selection process that will provide the best possible solution for your flow meter application. Electromagnetic flow meters are typically the meter of choice when considering cost, accuracy, and longevity. Here are some tips that can assist with ensuring that the electromagnetic flow meter is the right choice. This E-Book is from our sponsor McCrometer.
Flow like an Egyptian -The Basics of Open Channel Flow – Walt Boyes - There are two basic ways to measure flow in an open channel or conduit. The first is to use one of the formulas like Manning’s Equation, which have been developed for open channel flow in ditches, rivers, and canals. You must calculate a wetted perimeter, and know the slope of the conduit, and guess at the roughness of the bottom of the conduit, or pipe. The second method is to measure the height of the flowing stream at a known distance behind (upstream) of a predictable hydraulic jump, such as a flume or weir.
Hour with Doctor Flowmeter - Walt Boyes - How do you pick a flow meter?
Picking a flow meter takes both knowledge of the kinds of meters
available and the kind of empirically derived knowledge that comes from
experience. If you are like most
people, you start by thinking about kinds of meters, their features and
their hardware and software. You might start to build the meter from the
application requirements. There are lots of flow devices, for both liquids
and gases, and closed and open channels. What we’ll do here is to look at
some of the most common, and try to home in on some simple ways to select
and use them. Note that there are at least 10 different types…and they
don’t all work on all applications - from the excellent Spitzer
New ISA99 Cyber Security Standard Defines Key Technical Requirements for Secure Industrial Control Systems - The ISA-62443 series of standards, being developed by the ISA99 committee of the International Society of Automation (ISA) and adopted globally by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), is designed to provide a flexible framework to address and mitigate current and future vulnerabilities in industrial automation and control systems (IACS). A newly published standard in the series, ISA-62443-3-3-2013, Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems Part 3-3: System Security Requirements and Security Levels, addresses risks arising from the growing use of business information technology (IT) cyber security solutions to address IACS cyber security in complex and dangerous manufacturing and processing applications - from the ISA.
Securing Offshore O&G Platforms - Advanced Threats need Advanced Firewalls - Heather MacKenzie - When engineers look at security, a topic they should know about is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and why offshore networks need to use it if they want to be secure. The critical systems managing production and safety on offshore platforms are largely based on legacy SCADA and Industrial Control System (ICS) products and protocols. Many of these products are decades old and were never designed with security in mind. Unfortunately these same systems are now connected to external systems using Ethernet and TCP/IP. That has been great for efficiency, but it exposes mission critical production systems to malware - from Tofino.
Briefing Kit: “Understanding Deep Packet Inspection for SCADA
Security" - Eric Byres - This Technical Briefing Kit explains:
- The lack of granularity of SCADA/ICS protocols, making Deep Packet Inspection a necessity
- How DPI improves the security and reliability of industrial systems
- The urgent need for DPI given the advanced malware, such as Stuxnet, that is attacking industrial control systems nowadays
- Tofino Security DPI technology for securing the OPC and Modbus protocols
After reading this Technical Briefing Kit you will understand how Deep Packet Inspection for OPC and Modbus improves SCADA and ICS security - from Tofino.
GRP Composites are the Material Of Choice for Tomorrow's Offshore Enclosure Applications - Enclosure designs for protecting offshore equipment are evolving rapidly to combat the widespread problem of corrosion, and to meet industry demands for higher levels of safety and reliability, and new functionality. Among the demands satisfied by enclosures made from GRP (glass reinforced polyester) based composite materials are superb resistance to the corrosive forces of the offshore environment, an ability to make pressurised explosion proof (Ex p) enclosures in any size - not just the small types that are commonly available - as well as the ability to withstand blast forces and jet-fires - from Intertec
Unique Passive Fire Shelter Technology Provides New Protection Choice for Process Plant Designers - Includes shelters for hydrocarbon fires with 90-minute protection which are light, corrosion proof, maintenance-free construction and ideal for offshore applications. They are designed to protect critical safety equipment from exposure to high temperature fires in hazardous areas. The shelters are entirely passive, maintenance-free and impervious to a wide range of corrosive chemicals – including salt, sulphur dioxide and sour or acid gas.
Sizing Actuated Control Valves - Do you Really Understand your Application Requirements? - Jody Malo - There are many options and several conditions that need to be considered when purchasing a valve. The more information from the field, the better the choice will be. The ultimate goal is to identify the best valve for the job required at the most economical price. While it’s not rocket science to do this, there is some fundamental information that needs to be taken into account – from Flow Control.
Taking the Mystery out of Cavitation Pilot-Operated Automatic Control Valves - Brad Clarke and Kari Oksanen - Cavitation can be an extremely damaging force as related to the application of pilot-operated automatic control valves. The consequences of cavitation are numerous and can include: loud noise, extreme vibrations, choked flow, destruction or erosion of control valves and their components resulting in disruption of water distribution or plant shutdown. This white paper deals with cavitation solutions as they relate to valves and specifically pilot-operated automatic control valves. A high level description of what causes cavitation and the associated impacts is covered. Typical occurrences of cavitation and consequences are also discussed in some detail – from Singer Valve.
Safety Controls, Alarms, and Interlocks as IPLs - Angela E. Summers, Ph.D., P.E. - Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) evaluates the sequence of events that first initiate and then propagate to a hazardous event. This semi-quantitative risk assessment technique can expose the role that automation plays in causing initiating events and in responding to the resulting abnormal operation. Automation that is specifically designed to achieve or maintain a safe state of a process in response to a hazardous event is now referred to as safety controls, alarms, and interlocks (SCAI). Guidelines for Initiating Events and Independent Protection Layers addresses four basic types of SCAI: safety controls, safety alarms, safety interlocks, and safety instrumented systems (SIS). This article discusses the design, operation, maintenance, and testing practices necessary for SCAI to be considered as independent protection layers (IPL). It also provides guidance on claiming multiple layers of protection in the basic process control system - - from SIS-TECH Solutions.
Reducing Costs and Enhancing Safety with Open Path Infrared (IR) Gas Detection - It is fair to say that Infrared (IR) technology has revolutionised the gas detection market, providing a principle of detection that offers many tangible benefits in terms of performance, functionality and reduced ongoing costs. Since IR’s introduction into gas detection during the late 1970s, a variety of principles have subsequently emerged, the most impacting of which has been Open Path. This is a detection technique that allows gas to be monitored across a large range. Unlike a single Point IR device, an Open Path detector usually has two components with a beam of IR light between them, allowing this type of device to detect a gas cloud that drifts into the beam. This configuration provides the instant benefit of an increased chance of detecting a gas leak. Designed to monitor a diverse variety of Hydrocarbon gases, Open Path IR has a number of key benefits that add real value, when compared to solutions like catalytic bead detection. It is essential to consider the build, configuration and value of the Open Path devices currently available, when selecting a system, as they can vary considerably in terms of performance capability and ability to reduce ongoing costs - thanks to ICEweb sponsor Honeywell Analytics.
Chloride Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking of Stainless Steel Thermowells: Potential for Ingress Of Atmospheric Moisture - This safety notice from the HSE describes a specific degradation mechanism found inside stainless steel thermowells operating where the external atmosphere contains halides, as is typical in coastal locations or near to cooling towers. Thermowells can ‘breathe’ during normal operation as vessels heat up and cool down, drawing in the external atmosphere through non gas tight fittings. If the atmosphere contains halides this can leave any stainless steel susceptible to Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking (CISCC).
Tank Volume Calculator – This App can be used to determine the volume of almost any vertical tank, based on varying parameters. While the tank volume calculator is invaluable when sizing a mixer for a tank or specifying a tank for a particular volume, it can also be helpful on the processing floor in determining how much to fill a vessel to get a specific volume for a particular batch or formulation. Similarly finished batch volume can be worked out using the tank volume calculator. There are also Bonus Tools - Since many engineers and operations personnel work in a global environment switching between metric and U.S. measurements, the conversion tool app is a handy reference for just about any process environment. Initially designed as a quick tank volume calculator for use in place of a slide rule, the new Silverson Conversion Tools app also offers users eight additional conversion applications, ranging from motor power to weight. Along with the conversion tools, the app lets users Email or Share tank volume calculation results with colleagues and includes a browser for viewing the Silverson website and product lines. Today the Silverson Conversion Tools app is available on the iOS platform for iPhones, iPads, etc. Watch later this summer for the release of an Android-based version. Download the app or if you prefer, go to the Apple App Store and search under “Silverson” or “Silverson Conversion Tools.”
Diagnostics to the Next Level - The FOUNDATION fieldbus specification
was created from the ground up to allow suppliers to add their own
competitive advantage to the technology. At the same time, we provide a
standard infrastructure for your process automation requirements.
Endress+Hauser is one supplier that has used the Foundation’s new FF-912
Diagnostics specification to address a wide range of diagnostic data from
field devices, from the process to the sensing element to the device
electronics. The world of device diagnostics is about to expand
Device Integration (FDI) - Making Device Management Easy -
End users have struggled with different forms of device integration
technology over the years, but the FDI effort aims to rationalize the
worlds’ leading technologies for managing information from intelligent
field devices. With FDI, managing the flood of information from today’s
intelligent devices will get much easier. FDI will allow users to focus on
how to best use their applications instead of worrying about how everything
will connect together. FDI also means reduced development costs for device
and system suppliers - from the Fieldbus Foundation.
Portable Tools Can Make Fieldbus Easier - Most people think of fieldbus as digital integration of field devices with process automation systems and that working with Fieldbus can only be accomplished with fixed assets (such as PCs) located in fixed locations, but there are also a number of portable tools available that can make specific fieldbus tasks a lot easier and help you get a better return on your fieldbus investment. There are some very good reasons for using portable tools and a wide range of products available with different functions and price levels. Here are some of the more compelling reasons to use portable tools, the different classes of tools, and some things the Fieldbus Foundation is doing to ensure that the products you purchase match their specifications.
Rupture Disk Preliminary Sizing for Atmospheric Venting - Preliminary sizing for rupture disks on liquid or gas service venting to atmospheric pressure. Imperial (English) units only - from www.cheresources.com
The following papers are from the excellent CEESI
Flow Measurement Technical Library - A superb resource!
Ultrasonic Meter Recalibration Intervals - Thomas Kegel - Covers data, discusses analytical results and presents a mathematical model that relates recalibration shift, meter size, velocity, and recalibration time interval. The results can be applied as a tool to assist in determining an appropriate recalibration interval for an ultrasonic meter. The database supporting this project is a result of twelve years of history in the operation of an ultrasonic gas flow calibration facility. The database includes 95 recalibration events, recalibration time intervals from less than one year to nine years, meter sizes from DN100 to DN500, and gas velocities between 3 and 30 m/s.
Ultrasonic Meter Repeatability and Reproducibility - T.M. Kegel - The high flow system of the Iowa natural gas facility has been in place for 14 years. A number of programs are maintained to monitor the random effects. Traditional control chart techniques have been adapted for the measurements of pressure, temperature, gas composition and flowrate. Turbine meter calibration standards have traditionally been monitored using ultrasonic check meters. A new low flow system has recently been installed that makes use of ultrasonic meters as both calibration standards and check meters. This paper will describe the development and interpretation of some monitoring techniques for the various flowrate standards.
Chemistry and Physics of Natural Gas Sampling and Conditioning - Dr.
Standards Pertaining to Sampling and Conditioning of Natural Gas - Fred
and Composite Sampling for BTU Analysis Determination and Natural Gas
Physical Properties David Fish
System Design Considerations for “Online” BTU Analysis - Matthew
Sample Conditioning Systems for Natural Gas Analysis - Jay St. Amant
of Water Vapor in Natural Gas by Automated and Manual Water Dew Point
Measurement Methods - Dan Potter
and Conditioning Natural Gas for H2S and CO2 Analysis - Sam Miller
Wet Natural Gas for BTU and Moisture Analysis - Shannon Bromley
and Conditioning During Loading, Unloading, and Storage of LNG - Jim
of Training Measurement Technicians in the Science of Sample
Conditioning and Analysis - Brad Massey
Are company sampling procedures in line with current standards? - Matt Holmes
Posted by: Jim Russell, September 2013
Whilst it looks like not much is happening on the site in fact there is a major change coming soon! Bear with us while we work on developing this.
Installation Manual - This pocket Ebook is just the
"Instrument Fittings Bees Knees" - full of fantastic information on
Pipe Threads - Straight and Taper, Thread Tape and its Application, The Pipe vs.
Tubing Decision, Tubing – Advantages / Variables / Derating / Care and
Handling / Bending / Bending
Information Charts - HOKE Gyrolok Assembly Instructions
/ Sizes 1˝, 25mm and Smaller / Sizes 1¼˝, 28mm and Larger 31 /
All Sizes / Installation Aids - HOKE
Safety Check List
Cold Hard Facts: Five Key Criteria for Selecting Low-Temperature Valves - Bob Cadwell - This paper examines five key qualities to look for when purchasing valves, cylinders, and other fluid automation devices for application in low ambient temperatures.
Things You Must Know Before Selecting Solenoid Valves For Your Reverse
Osmosis System - Anne-Sophie Kedad-Chambareau , Roy Bogert and David
Park - Membrane-based reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems offer valuable
service in a wide variety of industrial and commercial settings. They purify
water, improve taste, and provide savings in food and beverage processing;
increase energy efficiency in boilers; and supply a range of other benefits
in applications from water jet cutting, vehicle washing, and humidification
to restaurant and grocery use. One important component of these systems,
typically used at several critical points, is the solenoid valve. Design
engineers working for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face multiple
options—and issues—when selecting these complex, highly engineered
devices for their systems. Beyond the usual considerations of correct sizing
and wattage, experienced designers are aware that many current models may
exhibit worrisome performance problems, as well as difficulties relating to
certifications, availability, ease of assembly, and support, among others.
Fortunately, valve technologies are now available that avoid many or all of
these problems, while providing significant benefits for OEM and end user
alike. This report guides designers and specifiers in choosing the right
valve to make a major positive impact on budgets, equipment life, and time
Depressurizing Systems used to Reduce the Failure Potential for Scenarios Involving Overheating - Sari Aronen -When metal temperature is increased due to fire, exothermic or runaway process reactions, the metal temperature can reach a level where stress rupture can occur. Depressurizing reduces the internal stress, extending the life of the vessel at a given temperature. A relief valve cannot provide adequate risk reduction or safety to depressurize a vessel: it can only limit the pressure from exceeding the process upset point. Therefore, depressurizing valves are used to reduce the risk of losing equipment integrity.
to pH Measurement – the Theory and Practice of pH Applications - The aim
of this book is to give a representative description of pH measurement in the
process industries. The actual sensor, the pH electrode,
is therefore the main focus of the text. Correct sensor use is
fundamental for a meaningful pH measurement. Accordingly, both practical and
theoretical requirements are discussed in depth so that the measuring principle
is understood and an accurate measurement made possible - from Mettler-Toledo
Posted by: Jim Russell, July 2013
New Standard 61439 for Switch and Control Gear Standard - Compliant Switchgear and Controlgear will supersede the previous standard IEC 60439 from November 2014.
Liberating Operators From The Control Room - There is universal agreement that mobile devices will be making an appearance on more plant floors in the future, although agreement from automation suppliers on a timescale for this to become general practice is less easy to come by. When the maintenance team is trying to repair a failed transmitter or troubleshoot a drive at 2am it is useful to be able to check the inventory system for spare parts or review the online manuals for troubleshooting advice," said Eric Byres, CTO at Tofino Security, a Belden brand. "Being able to do that right where the problem is will be a powerful driver for allowing tablet devices on the plant floor – making maintenance and support the first applications for mobile device technologies in the process factory environment." - from Control Engineering.
Evolution of Asset Management Standards in Hazardous Environments - This overview from BSI, the British Standards Institute, looks at asset management standards for organisations operating in hazardous industrial environments - from HazardEx.
Engineering Maintenance of Safety Instrumented Functions - Early Involvement Improves Operations and Maintenance through the Safety Life Cycle - Henry Johnston and Fahad Howimil - International standards for safety instrumented systems (SIS) have had a profound influence on the analysis and design of these protection systems. The old prescriptive or recipe type was changed to a performance approach that designers must satisfy. The first stages of the safety life cycle (SLC) are now well known by a majority of designers and engineers involved in SIS; however, such grade of understanding and influence has not been widely accomplished at the final stages of the SLC as are the operation and maintenance (O&M). O&M involvement in the engineering of SIS is normally passive, participating in specific analysis when requested. Such approach leaves almost the complete engineering of the protection system under project designer “responsibility.” An early involvement with a proactive approach to complement the designer experience with reliability and maintainability vision is necessary to balance the design and to manage the SIS - from the ISA and InTech.
Ex d Enclosures: Understanding the Standards - Toni Ott - When specifying explosion-proof (Ex d) enclosures to house electrical apparatus for use in explosive atmospheres, engineers need to understand the implications of modifying the enclosure as part of the certified equipment prior to and after installation - from Control Engineering.
How Wireless Networks are Changing Industrial Environments - Todd Hanson - IEEE 802.15.4 based wireless networks can be reliable, robust, and cost effective for many industrial, warehousing, and facility applications. These wireless networks transmit through walls and floors, reducing wiring and routing challenges, and making equipment placement more flexible and productive - from Control Engineering.
How to Make Sure Your Dust Collection System Complies with Combustible Dust Standards - Tony Supine and Mike Walters - Combustible dust explosions are a risk in many areas of a plant, but one of the most common locations is the dust collection system. How do you know if your dust collection system complies? What do you do if it doesn’t? Are your employees at risk? What are the hazards and how do you identify them? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets standards and codes to protect buildings against fire and explosion risks, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is applying these standards with increasing vigilance. When it comes to combustible dust, several standards must be considered. This white paper reviews the current status of the OSHA National Emphasis Program for combustible dust, the NFPA standards that address how to prevent or limit explosion hazards, how to identify these hazards, and the types of equipment used to eliminate or control explosion hazards. We will also examine the most common shortfalls to compliance and how to avoid them - from Camfil.
Redesign Blowdown Systems and Alter ESD Practices - When compressor stations are taken offline for maintenance or the system shuts down, the gas within the compressors and associated piping is either manually or automatically vented to the atmosphere (i.e., blowdown). Emergency shutdown (ESD) systems are designed to automatically evacuate hazardous vapours from sensitive areas during plant emergencies and shutdowns. Some ESD systems route these vapours to a flare stack where they are combusted, while other systems simply vent the evacuated vapours to the atmosphere via a vent stack. Partners report a number of opportunities to reduce emissions from blowdown systems and ESD practices, including (a) Redesigning blowdown systems altering ESD practices (b) Installing YALE® Closures (c) Designing isolation valves to minimize gas blowdown volumes (d) Moving fire gates valves in to minimize blowdown volumes. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require that emergency shutdown (ESD) systems at gas compressor stations be fully tested on an annual basis. One common practice is to activate the entire system, which discharges very large volumes of gas to the atmosphere. A DOT acceptable alternative is to test each individual dump valve with the discharge stack blind flanged. This greatly reduces gas emissions, but has higher labor costs associated with installing and removing a blind flange on each ESD valve - from the EPA.
Using a Project Management Methodology for a Control System Project - Alan Kelm - A project management plan is crucial to the success of implementing a control system project. The use of a project management methodology provides consistent results from one project to another, on time project completion, within budget, and full documentation. This paper details a “Project Management Life Cycle” approach, which defines project tasks and assigns responsibility for these tasks. The life cycle addresses everything from the very beginning of a project, which starts when the business development team goes after and quotes a specific project, to the project conclusion. Included is information about the typical areas of problems on a project, which includes passing information from one group to another, and assuring complete and accurate documentation. The process includes all of the following areas: Business Development, Engineering Design, Software Design, Drafting, Validation, Purchase of Material, Panel Fabrication, Field Installation, Interfacing with Contractors, Turn Over Documentation, and Project Close Out – from Bay-Tec Engineering and the ISA.
Analytics to Meet Process Industry Demands - Moving analyzers from the
lab to a field-based shelter to the pipe will cut costs, reduce maintenance,
and improve operations - Creating products from raw materials in
pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and other process plants depends on intricate
process systems executing numerous steps or unit operations. To ensure
efficiency, quality, and safety, precise measurements must be taken during
the various stages of production. These measurements have typically been
made using instruments and analyzers. These devices supply information to
plant personnel in control rooms and laboratories. Instruments are used to
measure basic parameters, such as pressure, temperature, flow, and level.
Sophisticated analyzers make more complex measurements concerning the
composition of one or more components in a liquid or gas chemical stream.
Both instrument and analyzer data are used as inputs to automation systems
for the purpose of monitoring and controlling the process. Instrument
technology has been used for decades and is highly refined, enabling these
devices to be directly installed in pipes and vessels, delivering reliable
readings with minimal maintenance. Analyzers for some basic
measurements have advanced to the level of instruments in terms of ease of
use and reliability. In most cases, analyzers and related sample systems
remain quite complex in terms of installation, maintenance, and operations
– but recent advancements are changing this paradigm - from the ISA and
Basics of Thermowell Design and Selection - Do not underestimate the importance of thermowells in temperature measurements - When planning for a temperature measurement application, a fair amount of consideration is typically given to sensor selection (e.g., thermocouple vs. RTD) and wiring of the output (e.g., transmitter vs. direct wiring), and how these factors will affect the measurement. Often, by comparison, relatively little consideration is given to the mechanical components of the sensor assembly, particularly the thermowell. Of all the components in a typical temperature assembly, a thermowell would seem to be the simplest and least critical. In reality, the thermowell is fundamentally important because it directly and significantly affects the life span of the sensor and accuracy of the measurement. It also protects the closed process, providing plant and personnel safety - from ISA and InTech.
Get Rid of Rigid - The WORM Flexible Temperature Sensor - Flexible temperature sensors are the new frontier in accurate temperature measurements and easy maintenance. The WORM’s mission: to fit nearly everywhere, to be quickly cut to the correct length, and to reduce the number of spare parts a plant has to keep on hand. The WORM is a flexible sensor for thermowell temperature assemblies. It was designed to replace restrictive, rigid, straight sensor probes with a universal strategy that saves time and money. When it comes to flexible and rigid temperature sensors, both can be inserted into thermowells or protection tubes, welded into place on boiler tubes or other objects, or clamped down for surface measurements. Both types of sensors are rugged, durable, and can measure a wide range of temperatures in industrial applications. So, why replace rigid, straight sensors? From Moore Industries. Additionally see a Video outlining the features here.
Video - Wireless Network Module - Wireless I/O systems are gaining in popularity as plant operators understand the benefits of costs, reliability and flexibility associated with switching from traditional wiring. In this video, journalist and industry expert Peter Welander shows how the WNM Wireless Network Module from Moore Industries provides a robust and versatile wireless I/O solution - from Moore Industries.
On-Line Process Analyzers - Potential Uses and Applications – This document provides ideas for application of Precision Scientific process analyzers in petroleum refineries. The information is arranged by refining process. Included in this synopsis are applications which may be economically feasible in many refineries. The primary advantage to using on-line process analyzers in refining operations is the ability to control the product streams closer to specifications. Periodic analysis of the product streams leaving a particular unit can be used for both quality control and for control of the unit operation, in order to maximize the yield of high-value products. A dedicated process analyzer would be able to provide measurement results quicker and with better repeatability than laboratory analysis. This would allow for better control of heater loads, reflux, and the tracking of transients. Improved control would allow for greater yields of high value products by reducing the give-away needed to assure that all products meet specifications - from Expotechusa.
Hazardous Area Classifications and Protections - The intent of this document is to provide a broad overview of hazardous area classifications and the types of protection techniques involved – from Emerson Process Management.
Standard - Design of Safety Significant Safety Instrumented Systems Used at US Department of Energy Nonreactor Nuclear Facilities - This standard provides requirements and guidance for the design, procurement, installation, testing, maintenance, operation, and quality assurance of safety instrumented systems (SIS) that may be used at Department of Energy (DOE) nonreactor nuclear facilities for safety significant (SS) functions. The focus of this standard is on how the process industry standard, American National Standards Institute/International Society of Automation (ANSI/ISA) 84.00.01-2004, Functional Safety: Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector, can be utilized to support design of reliable SS SISs - from the USDOE.
Safety & Automation System (SAS) - How the Safety and the Automation Systems finally come together as an HMI - Ian Nimmo - Today we have clear guidelines on how the Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and basic Process Control Systems (BPCS) should be separated from a controls and network perspective. But what does this mean to the HMI and the control room design? Where do Fire & Gas Systems fit into the big picture and what about new Security and Environmental monitoring tasks? What does the Instrument Engineer needs to know about operators and how systems communicate with them. The evolution of the control room continues as Large Screen Displays provide a big picture view of multiple systems. Do rules and guidelines exist for this aspect of independent protection layers? What are today’s best practices for bringing these islands of technology together. This paper reviews the topic and provides advice on a subject on which the books remain silent. Today’s practices are haphazard and left to individuals without a systematic design or guidance - from Plant Services.
Measuring and Closing Safety Integrity Gaps - How Modern
Process Safety Management goes beyond Functional Safety to Keep your Plant
Continuously Safe and Profitable - Steve J. Elliott - Functional safety focuses
on the safeguards required to manage and mitigate hazards. It seeks to answer
the following types of questions: What can go wrong? (Hazard identification),
How severe might it be? (Consequence assessment), How likely is it to happen?
(Frequency assessment), Does it matter? (Risk assessment) and Do we have enough
protection? (Layers of protection assessment.) Safeguards typically include
safety instrumented systems (SISs) such as emergency shutdown systems (ESDs).
They also includes alarm functionality of the distributed control system (DCS),
burner management systems and pretty much any other automation and control
technology that provide a layer of protection that enables safe operation. But
regardless of how well designed, functional systems are only fully effective if
operated and maintained properly, and growing awareness of this fact has given
rise to the newer discipline of process safety. You will need to register to
access this paper.
At Bluewater, the clearest path to Modernization is through Invensys - This Project had several goals; (a) To replace and upgrade the existing integrated control and safety systems. (b) To achieve ‘First Oil’ on time in order to avoid contract penalties and lost production and (c) To maximize the availability/uptime of the control and safety systems and to minimize the total cost of ownership. Also there were challenges which included; The Project teams located in multiple locations, Process data from the new ICSS, including serial interfaces, safety systems and new I/Os, were available only in the very late stages before the planned FAT and the original DCS had to be kept ‘alive’ as long as possible and the existing safety systems were required to remain operational with just a few hours available to upgrade.
You will need to register to access this paper.
Gas Compression with Mokveld Subsea Control Valves - Subsea gas
compression is a technology approach that can boost recovery rates and lifetimes
of offshore gas fields. Aker Solutions - at the forefront of subsea gas
compression - was awarded the contract by operator Statoil to supply a complete
subsea compression system for Norway’s Åsgard field. The project represents a
quantum leap in subsea technology, and an important step in realising
Statoil’s vision of a complete underwater plant.
Blindness Simulator - Approximately one in
twenty people have some form of colour blindness that prevents them from
seeing colour the same way that people without any colour vision
deficiencies do. Many images and resources on the web are coloured in
such a way that it's difficult for users with vision deficiencies to
comprehend them. There are many examples in our time, including theatre
seating plans where colour blind users couldn't differentiate one section of
seating from another!
Use this Colour Blindness Simulator to reveal how your images may appear to users with a variety of colour blindness conditions. Upload a JPEG image of no more than 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels (100 KB file size or less) to see how colour blind users may see it - from ETRE.
Colour in Information Display Graphics - This site from NASA provides a
guide to colour design for information visualization. It includes
- a step by step process for designing colour usage in complicated interface graphics
- two detailed examples of design of aerospace displays
- a new colour selection tool to support the recommended design process
- information about colour usage standards and guidelines
- information about applied colour science, and
- reference resources.
Aerospace graphics get special attention, but much of the information should be useful for other colour graphics as well.
Backgrounds for DCS Operating Displays? -
Peter Bullemer, Dal Vernon Reising, and Jason Laberge - With
all the sophisticated and cool graphic capabilities available today, why
does the ASM consortium recommend such muted and boring colours? The answer
involves the human factors behind the selections -
To understand the factors
that influence design decisions on use of color in operator displays, it is
important to understand some basic principles of human sensation and
perception. To enhance situation awareness, visual coding techniques are
used to draw the operator’s attention to the most critical data and
information through enhancing the salience of the associated display
elements. An object is more salient than another object if it “stands
out,” or grabs one’s attention. In terms of the display design then,
this object appears to be in the foreground of the display relative to other
objects – from ASM Consortium and Control Engineering.
Myth of ASM® Graphics - How Many Companies Get Burned and Don’t See any
ROI - Ian Nimmo - ASM graphics have become a household name and
unfortunately anything in grayscale is passed off to be an ASM graphic. Many
poor HMI designs are being passed off as ASM Style graphics but most
operators can tell that something is not right and refuse to accept the
limitations and demand more colour, more graphics and yes, more alarms to
compensate for the graphics poor delivery of good situation awareness. So
what does good look like? How do you measure it? What is the ROI expected?
This session will explain the only way to deliver High Performance HMI using
an ISA SP101 approved Philosophy and Style Guide and how to document your
Object Library or Dynamo Toolkit - from User Centered Design Services, Inc.
Building an HMI that Works: New Best Practices for Operator Interface Design - Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are requiring a new standard in today’s automation industry. This white paper takes a look at the industry's new best practices for building an effective HMI. You'll find out what's wrong with most HMIs and why, see some of the research behind those that work, and learn specific ways to make yours better. Whether you're starting an HMI from scratch or thinking about adding to or changing yours, the information in this paper will help you build an HMI that increases productivity, saves downtime, and avoids accidents -from OPTO22.
Posted by: Jim Russell, June 2013
Practice Always Makes for Perfect Presentations - Steve Mackay – IDC Technologies - Most engineering professionals will readily confess that they are not overly enthusiastic about making presentations. Often the reason is that they are nervous, the presentations come across poorly and it is not a particularly pleasant experience for both the audience or the presenter. You’re unlikely to ever hear from someone, who has to attend a presentation, that they are looking forward to it. However, doing a high quality presentation is a key part of every engineer or technologist’s toolkit. And helps make your career and job considerably more successful. And by application of one simple rule (sounds like black magic or a quick get rich scheme doesn’t it?); you can dramatically improve your presentations. And that is practice. Going through one’s slides a few times is often tedious and unrewarding work (like discovering your old smelly running socks in your backpack a few weeks down the track?). But it works; and pays off with great feedback from your audience.
How to Write an Outstanding Engineering Resume - This Blog from IDC's Steve Mackay gives some excellent tips on creating an Engineering Resume - I believe we have all had what we considered an excellent resume (cv) rejected at some time or other in our career. While I am not suggesting that you need to leave your current good job; it is good to keep in mind what is required and perhaps, in these uncertain times, to help a buddy who may need some support in writing his or her resume. This skill is vital whether you are an electrician or a chief engineer. If you do an Internet search for ‘resume or cv writing’, you will have thousands of links – all guaranteeing you a top job. This short note is to help you create a winning engineering cv with a business edge. Which I believe is vital to success.
Ultimate Calibration - 2nd Edition - This calibration handbook covering various topics about advanced calibration comprises 203 pages and 19 articles - Calibrators, calibration software and other related equipment have developed significantly during the past few decades in spite of the fact that calibration of measurement devices as such has existed for several thousands of years. Presently, the primary challenges of industrial metrology and calibration include how to simplify and streamline the entire calibration process, how to eliminate double work, how to reduce production down-time, and how to lower the risk of human errors. All of these challenges can be tackled by improving the level of system integration and automation. Calibration and calibrators can no longer be considered as isolated, stand-alone devices, systems or work processes within a company or production plant. Just like any other business function, calibration procedures need to be automated to a higher degree and integrated to achieve improvements in quality and efficiency. In this area, Beamex aims to be the benchmark in the industry. This book is the 2nd edition of Ultimate Calibration. The main changes to this edition include numerous new articles and a new grouping of the articles to make it easier to find related topics. The new topics covered in the edition mainly discuss paperless calibration, intelligent commissioning, temperature calibration and configuring, and calibration of smart instruments - from Beamix.
Handbook - Electrical Installation, Inspection and Maintenance in
Potentially Explosive Atmospheres
A Guide to Risk Based Assessments of In-situ Large Ex 'e' and Ex 'N' Machines -Whilst not free this guide provides a practical method to undertake a comparative evaluation of the risk of incendive discharges occurring in existing large Ex 'e' and Ex 'N' high voltage machines in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Tips For Starting An Alarm Management Program - Kim Van Camp and Todd Stauffer - Using The ISA-18.2 Standard Can Help Process Engineers Understand, Simplify, And Implement A Sustainable Alarm Management Program. This article presents four practical tips for starting an effective and sustainable alarm management program that conforms to the tenets of a relatively new process industry standard for alarm management published by ISA - from Emerson Process Management.
Thermistors As Accurate Temperature Sensors - Introduction and Methods - Darren O'Connor, and Kasandra O'Malia - This two-part article describes how to use a simple voltage divider circuit with a thermistor to achieve high-accuracy temperature readings over broad measurement ranges. Part 1 discusses the circuit and various temperature estimation methods. Part 2 of this two-part article shows a method to a real-world application and how, by combining estimation methods with thermistor characterization data, high accuracy measurements can be achieved over a wide temperature range using the simple voltage divider circuit - from Sensors Magazine.
Posted by: Jim Russell, May 2013
Glass Selection and Maintenance Tips Webinar - Glass is a critical
element in process observation equipment, and understanding the properties
of glass is important for proper specification.
This streaming video webinar covers the physical characteristics of
glass, ways to maximize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses, plus
sight glass safety and maintenance –
You will have to register to access this Webinar -
On-line Engineering Tutorial on Sight Glass Technology as it applies to chemical processing and pharmaceutical processing. You will have to register to download this webinar. This free webinar begins with an overview of the essential aspects of glass, noting the various formulations used in chemical, food and pharmaceutical process observation equipment. Concentrating on sight glass selection, installation, and proper maintenance, the webinar explains how to safely and effectively use sight glasses in process applications ranging from standard lines to exceptionally demanding applications with high temperature, high pressure, and sanitary requirements.
Lighting for Sight Glass Applications
Step-by-Step Guide to Sight Glass Selection - Sight glass components allow operators to safely observe processes inside tanks, pipes, reactors and vessels. When it comes to selecting a sight glass, a wide variety of factors should be considered in order to ensure optimal performance. The guidelines that follow give tips and step-by-step advice on how to best select the ideal sight glass for a specific application. Start by defining the process to be observed, with considerations given to temperature, pressure, impact, physical characteristics of the process media, flow, and whether or not the process has sanitary requirements. With these factors in mind, one can begin the process of selecting the type of sight glass that best suits the needs of the process - From L.J. Star Inc.
The following videos are from Tofino
Security, it is recommended that they are viewed in the following sequence;
(1) What is Cyber Security? - Our modern lifestyle relies on critical infrastructure and industrial plants that use complex networks of computers, PLC controllers, remote terminal units and other specialized equipment. However as these industrial networks have become more complex and interconnected, Cyber Security becomes more and more important to ensure their continued safe and reliable operation. This video examines the current state of cyber security in SCADA and industrial control networks, talks about how we got to this point, and lays the foundation for discussing how to improve the security of these systems.
(2) We're Secure - We Have A Firewall! - Many companies already use firewalls to isolate the plant and enterprise networks. What's so bad about this approach? Aren't these networks already protected? In this video, we'll explore the types of cyber security issues we often see in plant networks and learn how these issues can impact plant operations in spite of these firewalls.
(3) Security Strategies that Work on the Plant Floor - The previous video in this series showed that a firewall on the plant network could not protect us against many cyber security threats. But if that doesn't work, then what ARE we supposed to do to protect our plant? IT engineers have been dealing with cyber security issues for years. This video examines the security strategies that they have found to work, and see how we can implement them on the plant floor.
(4) Why Is Cyber Security still a Problem in SCADA and Control Networks? - IT engineers have been dealing successfully with cyber security issues for years, and there are many security products in daily use in enterprise networks. Why is cyber security such a challenge on control networks? Why can't the same tools and techniques be used to secure these systems? The answers to these questions lie in understanding the unique requirements of control and SCADA networks, and applying cyber security strategies in ways that are appropriate to these applications.
(5) How does Tofino Protect my Plant? - Previous videos in this series have discussed how Defense in Depth can be an effective strategy to secure control networks. So how exactly does Tofino implement Defense in Depth? And what makes it the best solution? This video takes a deeper dive into the components of the Tofino Industrial Security Solution, and examines how they work together to implement cyber security on the plant floor.
Study Of Flow Instability And Its Implication On A Severe Service Control Valve Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) - Jeetendra Singh and Sudhakar Paranjothi Rajan - Some valve designs use finned plugs to divide the flow through the seat area into multiple, smaller jets in order to reduce the effective jet diameter, which helps in reducing the noise level in the valve. In this design flow instability develops inside the valve which creates high rotational moment on plug assembly. Anti-rotation pin is used to arrest rotation of plug. In some cases, the turbulent flow can be so severe as to result in the anti-rotation pin breaking. In this paper, analyses have been carried out to study flow instability and its implication on the rotational moment produced.
Mokveld Subsea Control Valves Service Norwegian Oil Field - One of the technology gaps to be addressed was the development of large fast-acting subsea control valves. Several operators recognised the unique advantages of Mokveld's axial flow design in topside severe service control applications and approached Mokveld to investigate the axial flow concept as the basis for a subsea control valve.
Large Size Quarter Turn Control Valves can Improve Safety in Pipelines - Carlos Lorusso - Most control valve applications in pipelines are related to system start-up and shut down, emergency operations, delivery control, fluid speed control for pipeline internal examination. Selection of the right control valve is a key factor for long term successful performance for large applications where the safety and security of supply are important considerations. This document presents considerations for control valve selection to improve the safety and operation of oil and gas pipelines. Axial control valves are used when high pressure drop, high flow coefficients, low noise levels and bubble tight shut-off are required. Common applications include compressor start-up, shut-down and High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems (HIPPS). Triple offset valves (TOV) are used for large volume flow control, bubble tight shutoff, pressure drops of less than 30%.Typical applications include delivery point and controlled blow down. Ball valves are used for speed control for intelligent pig travel during pipeline examination and cleaning operations - from Tyco and pipeline conference.
Mokveld Choke Valves, a Concept that Works - Chokes are critical for the safe and economic production of the world’s oil and gas reserves. In the past simple needle-and-seat chokes were adequate as pressure cuts were low and the applications of adjustable chokes were less demanding. Also, in that era, adjustable chokes employing the rotating disc principle provided satisfactory performance. A number of factors have changed the demands on chokes. Operating pressures have increased. Safety and reliability are becoming increasingly important. And ﬁnally, the economics of the equipment, seen over the life of the ﬁeld, are vital for the proﬁtable development of the ﬁeld. The new challenge was met by Mokveld with a proven expertise in control valves. Mokveld pioneered in the use of cages in production chokes. A cage-type choke has a multiple-oriﬁce cylinder - the cage - and a piston which is connected to the stem. The movement of the piston modulates the area of the ﬂuid passage. As a result of the impingement effect generated in the cage-type design, the erosive action of the ﬂuid is fully under control. Also, noise is reduced to safe levels.
High Integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) - Andrew Chu - A High Integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) is a Safety Instrumented System (SIS) designed to prevent an unsafe condition caused by pressure arising (e.g. due to separator outlet blocked in the choke valve downstream, blocked pipeline, etc). The decision to utilize a HIPPS in addition of utilize a PSV shall be based on the study of risk. The aim of this study is to determine a certain SIL requirement. This study will conclude whether some process condition need to have a HIPPS or its ok to protect it by a PSV valve only - from the Instrument Engineers Blogspot.
HIPPS ...for Cost-Effective Risk Reduction - Ken Bingham and Scott Lawson - With the oil and gas sector booming, many hydrocarbon processing facilities are trying to increase production to meet rising demand. These plants, initially designed and engineered, sometimes decades ago, to deliver a specific level of production, are being expanded or revamped in some way. When new gas production sources are tied into a gas plant, for example, the existing pipelines and processing equipment face the risk of overpressure in excess of design capacity. This may result in the unplanned release of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere via a triggering of a mechanical relief device such as a PSV (pressure safety valve), the undesirable burning of these hydrocarbons through the flare system or the worst case scenario of a rupture, fire and explosion. With the adoption of various standards including ASME, API, and the performance based, non-prescriptive standards IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, conventional thinking is evolving to include the application of high reliability safety instrumented systems (SIS) to replace and lessen the need for additional PSVs and expanded flare systems. HIPPS, an abbreviation for high integrity pressure protection system, is a specific application of a SIS designed in accordance with IEC 61508 which is growing in popularity. With HIPPS, the protection against overpressure is achieved by quickly isolating the source causing the overpressure, as compared to conventional relief systems where the overpressure is relieved to atmosphere - from ACM.
Optimizing Pressure in Subsea pipes with HIPPS - Jacob G. Hoseth, Bernard Humphrey - Most of the ‘easy’ oil fields have now been discovered, making it likely that new fields will be more difficult to develop than in the past. For those fields where high pressure is the main technical challenge, a subsea High Integrity Pipeline Protection System (HIPPS) which, by confining the high pressures to the wellhead area, allows existing infrastructure to be used. When subsea HIPPS is installed, the flowline and riser pipe wall thickness can be rated to just the flowing pressure. A modularized, flexible system, subsea HIPPS helps oilfield operators to reduce the cost of developing pipeline solutions without compromising safety - from ABB.
API RP 17O - Recommended Practice for Subsea High Integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) - This RP addresses the requirements for the use of high integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS) for subsea applications. API 14C, IEC 61508, and IEC 61511 specify the requirements for onshore, topsides and subsea safety instrumented systems (SIS) and are applicable to HIPPS, which are designed to autonomously isolate downstream facilities from overpressure situations. This document integrates these requirements to address the specific needs of subsea production. These requirements cover the HIPPS pressure sensors, logic solver, shutdown valves and ancillary devices including testing, communications and monitoring subsystems. You will need to purchase this standard.
HIPPS-Based No-Burst Design of Flowlines and Risers - Nikolaos Politis, Hugh Banon, and Christopher Curran - A methodology is proposed for design of subsea flowlines and risers coupled with a subsea high-integrity pressure protection system (HIPPS) for fields with high shut-in tubing pressure (SITP). The proposed approach uses a design pressure that is lower than the SITP while maintaining a high reliability against burst failure. This approach enables an inherently safer design and ensures that the system integrity is not compromised in the unlikely event that HIPPS valves fail to close upon demand. The proposed design methodology is supported by a combination of analytical and experimental results. Further, an example is provided for demonstration purposes - from spe.org
DNV HIPPS - An introduction to High Integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS) as utilised on high pressure Subsea Systems - from DNV.
Subsea HIPPS - HIPPS is an instrumented safety system that is designed and built in accordance with the IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 standards. Additionally API RP 17O – Recommended Practice for Subsea HIPPS - provides guidelines for using the IEC standards in subsea systems. These international standards refer to safety functions (SF) and Safety Instrumented systems (SIS) when discussing a solution to protect equipment, personnel and environment. A system that closes the source of over-pressure within 2 seconds with a determined reliability level is usually identified as a HIPPS. A subsea HIPPS is a complete functional loop consisting of; (a) The initiators that detect the high pressure (b) A logic solver, which processes the input from the initiators to an output to the final element and (c) The final elements, that actually perform the corrective action in the field by bringing the process to a safe state. The final element consists of a valve and fail safe actuator and possibly solenoids.
Checklist for Pressure Sensor Selection - 15 Tips to Ensure Performance Meets Your Expectations - Elden Tolman - We have all experienced the frustration of a problematic sensor, even when the supplier tells us everything seems to be working properly. What we often find is that while the sensor may be “working,” it is often not the right sensor for the application. Successful pressure measurement usually comes down to one thing—selecting the right sensor for your application. There are so many considerations that it is easy to overlook a key element until it’s too late. Nearly a decade of working with pressure sensors in various applications has convinced me that the most common reason for problematic pressure measurements is the failure to select the right sensor. Even industry veterans can fall into this fine spun trap. This article presents 15 fundamental considerations when selecting a pressure-sensing device- from Flow Control Network.
Specifying A Pressure Transducer – How To Select Pressure Range And Device Type - Mitch Berkson and Dave Field - When choosing a pressure transducer for a particular application, usually the first question which arises is: “For what pressure range should the transducer be rated?” This simple question begets a bevy of related ones, namely: “What is the pressure range in which the device typically operates? Does the device occasionally need to measure pressures outside this range? What pressure must the device withstand and still operate within specification when returned to its normal range? What pressure must the device withstand without failing even if it will function properly after returning to the normal operating range?” Closely related to the pressure specification is the type of device to choose - absolute, gage or sealed gage. The following sections will first address pressure selection and then device type - from Sensata.
Posted by: Jim Russell, April 2013
Flammable Facts Poster - This poster from MTL gives a quick look at the most important facts associated with Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas.
Equipment Protection Level (EPL) - EN 60079-14 standard of March 2010 introduced a method for risk assessment that considers the equipment levels of protection (EPL). EPLs were introduced to allow an alternative approach to the methods currently used for the selection of Ex equipment. The traditional design approach assigns the appropriate types of protection for specific areas using statistical data, based on how is most likely or frequent an explosive atmosphere. EPL indicates the risk of ignition intrinsic to the equipment, independently from the type of protection adopted. It was recognized that it is advantageous to identify and mark all the products based on their intrinsic risk of ignition. This should make easier the equipment selection. This method is an alternative and not a substitute of the traditional one and so far has created some difficulty in understanding – from Cortem Group.
Hazardous Areas Technical Guide - This publication provides a brief overview of the essential aspects of explosion protection. Ultimately, safety in a potentially explosive atmosphere is a team effort. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure only safe equipment is placed on the market. Installers must follow the instructions provided and use the equipment only for its intended purpose. Finally, the user has a duty to inspect and maintain the equipment in a safe working order - from Warom.
Installations In Hazardous Areas - Thomas Klatt and Andreas Hennecke -
Flameproof enclosure (Ex d) and intrinsic safety (Ex i) are very common
equipment protection methods in Process Automation.
One reason to use Exd is the amount of energy which could not be
provided via Exi. This disadvantage has gone with the introduction of
intrinsically safe, dynamic methods of arc prevention such as DART or Power-i.
This white paper shows that when using intrinsic safety, installation,
maintenance and inspection costs will be reduced.
This paper addresses decision makers and professionals responsible
for automation systems in hazardous areas. A good understanding of the
principles of explosion protection is required – from PEPPERL+FUCHS.
Controls and Burner Management Systems (BMS) on Direct-Fired Multiple Burner
Heaters - Although some detailed and prescriptive guidelines have been
around for many years, the rate and degree of adoption varies significantly
within the industry. Most operating companies have their own “standard”,
which may still vary from facility to facility. In addition to this, for
each installation, it is not unusual for adjacent heaters built two years
apart to have a different BMS design, simply because different engineering
contractors built them. With increasing government legislation and
regulations as well as mounting lawsuits for accidents in which applicable
codes and guidelines have not been adhered to, it is important to review the
BMS requirements for both existing and new heater installations - from
Playing it Safe - How Information Management Technology is essential to meet more stringent Process Safety and Regulatory Compliance - Process Safety and Compliance are universal issues across all the world’s plant industries and individual regulatory authorities are increasingly collaborating to share ideas and to normalise globally consistent, best-practice requirements. These authorities have recognised the potential of Information Management technologies for supporting safe and compliant operations and we can expect to see their use progressively being encouraged, expected and mandated as regulations advance. But the issue is not only one of maintaining regulatory compliance. The US Centre for Chemical Safety claims that an average offshore incident costs an Owner Operator $80 million, so there is a serious economic incentive involved as well.This paper examines current capabilities, opportunities and likely future directions in the application of technology. For convenience, reference will be made to new offshore regulations emerging in the USA, as these are likely to set benchmarks for global regulatory standardisation - from ICEweb Sponsor AVEVA.
and Crevice Corrosion of Offshore Stainless Steel Tubing - Gerhard
Schiroky and Anibal Dam - Oil and gas platforms regularly use stainless
steel tubing in process instrumentation and sensing, as well as in chemical
inhibition, hydraulic lines, impulse lines, and utility applications, over a
wide range of temperatures, flows, and pressures. Corrosion of 316 stainless
steel tubing has been observed in offshore applications around the world.
Corrosion is a serious development that can lead to perforations of the
tubing wall and the escape, under pressure, of highly flammable chemicals.
The two prevalent forms of localized corrosion are pitting, often readily
recognizable, and crevice, which can be more difficult to see. Many factors
contribute to the onset of localized corrosion
of Duplex Stainless Steels in Seawater - Bengt Wallén - In the
following paper a review of most types of corrosion occurring in seawater
applications is given. With just a few exceptions, only tests using real
seawater have been taken into consideration. Whenever possible, the
behaviour of superduplex steels is compared with that of super austenitic
steels – from Avesta Sheffield.
It’s Stainless Steel, it Shouldn’t Rust - This is often the kind of statements heard from individuals when discussing a failure of process piping or equipment. It is also an indication of how little is actually understood about stainless steel and the applications where it is used. For years industries have used stainless steels in their process piping systems. Most of the time stainless steel components provide satisfactory results. Occasionally a catastrophic failure will occur. The purpose of the information contained within this document is to bring an understanding to stainless steel, it’s uses, and why it will fail under certain conditions. This paper discusses the different classes of stainless steel, heat treatment, corrosion, welding, and finally material selection. As with any failure, it is imperative the cause of the failure be identified before a proper fix can be recognized. Most often the cause of the failure is identified as the wrong material being used in the wrong application - from CSI.
on Stainless Steel - Walter J. Sperko - Rust on stainless steel is ugly.
Rust on stainless steel raises a lot of questions. Is the steel really
stainless steel? If it’s stainless, why is it rusted? Where does the rust
come from? Will it continue to rust? Will it spread? Will other forms
of attack occur, such as pitting or stress-corrosion cracking? This paper
addresses these questions for rust that occurs on a tank or pipe that is
made from austenitic stainless steel such as Type 304, 304L, 316, 316L, 321,
317, etc. It covers the sources of rusting, the effect of rust on the
performance of stainless steel and methods for prevention and removal of
rust that appears on the surface of stainless steel components. It applies
to rusting on external surfaces of piping and vessels that are exposed to
the atmosphere, including rain, condensation, fog, etc. but are actually dry
most of the time - from Sperko Engineering Services.
Control And Treatment Manual - This manual provides guidelines for the
control of corrosion of materials in facilities, systems, and equipment at
the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. It is very comprehensive
– from NASA.
Protection Of Metals - Two methods of combating corrosion which are
widely used in New Zealand are cathodic protection and chemical inhibitors.
Both methods depend on controlling the charge on the metal surface, and this
can be monitored by measuring the potential of the metal. The conditions
needed to stop corrosion can then be predicted from an electrochemical phase
diagram - from NZIC.
and Cathodic Protection Theory - James B. Bushman -
Beginners Guide to Corrosion - Bill Nimmo and Gareth Hinds - This document gives an introduction to corrosion and its control in non-technical terms - from NPL.
Chromatography - The Basics - Chromatography is usually introduced as a technique for separating and/or identifying the components in a mixture. The basic principle is that components in a mixture have different tendencies to adsorb onto a surface or dissolve in a solvent. It is a powerful method in industry, where it is used on a large scale to separate and purify the intermediates and products in various syntheses - from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry - The highly-acclaimed Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry provides a much-needed professional level reference work for the 21st Century. The Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive analytical chemistry reference available, covering all aspects from theory and instrumentation through to applications and techniques.
Gas Chromatography Troubleshooting Guide - A useful guide for seeking out Gas Chromatograph faults - from msp.
Explosion Protection for Process Analysis - Safe operation up to the explosion limit - Jürgen Poidl and Helmut Schulz - Gas analysers are used for the continuous on line measurement of the composition of process flows in chemical production systems. These measurements provide support to key process functions of controlling and monitoring the temperature, humidity, and chemical composition of gases and liquids. In some cases, commercial considerations and demands are resulting in the operation of production processes in chemical plants increasingly close to the explosion limit. It is therefore essential that the explosion- protected gas analysers used for monitoring the explosion limit continuously supply the necessary and reliable data to the process control systems. Using the special safety systems it is possible to operate gas analysers, the electrical equipment and the safety devices even when the process conditions are close to the limit - from Stahl.
Fire Prevention Requirements for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) rooms - Best Practice Document - This document provides specification of the Norwegian HE sector’s recommended fire protection requirements for ICT rooms. The aim of this document is to raise personnel awareness concerning the fire protection issue, and to enhance the quality of fire protection measures within the sector. Furthermore, it is intended that the recommendations in this document will form the basis of expansion, renovation and new building projects, and that they will be applied in everyday work contexts - from Terena.
Acoustic Volume Mapping - An ideal solution for bulk solids and powders - acoustic volume mapping can help you make informed inventory control and usage decisions. This system measures the volume of bulk solids and powders in any size or shape of storage vessel. It accurately measures bulk solids and powders in any type of container, silo or open bin – regardless of the type of material or product characteristics – to provide continuously reliable volume and inventory information Also it measures challenging applications that were previously not possible, including buildup loads and random irregularities that can occur over time.
The Following Links can be found on ICEweb's Datalogger page which has just been upgraded thanks to our Sponsor HINCO.
Guide to Choosing Occupancy and Light On-Off Data Loggers – 5 Important Considerations - In 2010, the residential and commercial sectors in the United States used approximately 499 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity for lighting, equal to 13% of all electricity used nationwide (U.S. Energy Information Administration). In commercial buildings alone, 35% of all energy cost is attributed to lighting (2005 Buildings Energy Data Book, U.S. Department of Energy). Often the first step in any new facilities project is convincing decision makers that a project is worthwhile and will pay off. Before committing to costly equipment upgrades and making changes to electrical systems by installing hard-wired light sensors, it’s a good idea to first acquire data on room occupancy and lighting use in a facility to determine where best to implement permanent changes. Portable occupancy and light on/off data loggers are the solution. They are battery-powered, matchbox-sized devices that can be easily mounted on ceilings, light fixtures, and stairwells – anywhere data are needed.
Data Loggers Beyond Equipment Scheduling -
Brenden Millstein - While data loggers are a great tool for identifying
equipment-scheduling opportunities in buildings, their usefulness far exceeds
just that one function. This paper discusses how the use of inexpensive data
loggers and some spreadsheet analysis can provide all the evidence needed to
make powerful building-specific cases for saving money by replacing failed
air-handler economizers. It also describes how information from data loggers can
be used to accurately calculate the energy savings that can be realized from
variable frequency drives (VFDs) on pumps and fans, supply air resets, and
Air Handling Unit Efficiency
- Michael Rosenberg - Operating a heating, ventilation and air
conditioning (HVAC) system at optimum efficiency in a commercial setting is
complicated, to say the least. There is a very real chance that any number of
setpoints, levels, and feedbacks at boilers, chillers, pumps, fans, air delivery
components and more can cause costly inefficiencies. This 20-page guide,
Analyzing Air Handling Unit Efficiency with Data Loggers, explores the air
handling systems of an office building to illustrate how data loggers can be
used to help optimize their performance. The guide provides 13 best practices
for improving air handler efficiency and reducing costs, while maintaining a
comfortable working environment for building occupants.
Hidden Energy Waste with Data Loggers - 8 Cost Saving Opportunities -
Paul H. Stiller - The first step to reducing building energy costs is
identifying energy waste. Statistics on utility bills or name plates on
equipment, while useful, are not enough to identify what practices and equipment
are contributing to high energy use. Portable data loggers can be used to obtain
critical energy use information in a wide range of commercial building types –
from manufacturing plants to office buildings. This 12-page best practices
guide, Finding Hidden Energy Waste with Data Loggers, describes the data logging
equipment you need to obtain information on energy consumption and environmental
conditions in commercial buildings. It covers eight common forms of energy
waste, and provides an overview of how to gather and analyze data and calculate
savings for each opportunity.
Ten Alarming Blunders - Proper Alarm Methods Improve Safety, the
Environment, and Plant Profitability - Kevin Brown - Ineffective alarm
systems pose a serious risk to safety, the environment, and plant
profitability. Too often, alarm system effectiveness is unknowingly
undermined by poorly configured alarms. Static alarm settings cannot adapt
to dynamic plant conditions, and many other nuisances result in alarm floods
that overwhelm operators when they instead need concise direction. Alarm
systems are the primary tool for identifying abnormal situations and helping
plant personnel take timely, appropriate action to move their processes back
to operational targets. For operators considering undertaking an alarm
management program, taking the time to examine common alarming blunders is
important to ensure steps are taken to avoid them
Plant: Complete Coverage - Becoming an important part of a company’s
infrastructure both outside and inside a plant environment. The wireless
infrastructure can be used for both network and process data communication,
however coexistence must be considered early in the design of plant-wide
wireless systems. This article details a mesh network infrastructure
complete with I/O, gateways and IS equipment capabilities – from MTL.
Who’s Afraid of IEC 61508/61511? - Harvey Dearden - This paper highlights some key issues for owner/operators that may help maintain the right perspective on the requirements as they apply to the limited circumstances that are typical of most process operations. It has to be said that the 61508 standard is something of a monster. That is not to say that we should turn tail and run however. But how are we to respond? The key is to keep the thing in perspective. In detailing a completely comprehensive, rigorous approach for the lifecycle requirements for protection systems from the simplest through to the most complex, the standard does become somewhat impenetrable. Things do improve with 61511, but it still could not be described as an easy read. The intention here is to highlight some key issues for owner/operators that may help you keep the right perspective on the requirements as they apply to the limited circumstances that are more typical of most process operations - from IDC.
Functions as Probabilistic Filters for Accidents - Andreas Belzner -
“Protection Functions” are instrumented control system functions for
machinery or process installations, which are implemented for preventing
specific accidents. Frequently, such functions induce an emergency shutdown
of the controlled machinery. The over-speed protection function of a turbine
is a typical example. The prevented accidents may affect assets only
(equipment damages, production losses). They may endanger the health and
safety of people, the environment or other values. Since the protection
target is not relevant in the current context, the generic term
“protection function” is used in this paper rather than “safety
instrumented function”. For such protection functions, two sets of
requirements are typically specified; (1) Functional Requirements and (2)
The Importance of a Clear Safety Requirements Specification as Part of the Overall Safety Lifecycle -Andy Crosland - The need for specifying requirements clearly is recognised best practice for most automation projects, so it makes sense to be extra-vigilant when dealing with safety systems. Many project specifications cover functional and user requirements in great detail, but often miss the key safety considerations set out in IEC 61511. As well as the obvious benefits of a clear specification from the outset, the Safety Requirement Specification (SRS) is the essential reference document for the mandatory IEC 61511 Safety Lifecycle task of SIS Safety Validation. You will be shown the key SRS considerations, particularly why this information is so important at Validation time - from IDC.
Functional Safety and Engineering Judgement - Harvey T.Dearden - Discussion of the role of professional judgement in the context of the functional safety standards IEC 61508 and IEC 61511. It is the role of a professional engineer, having acquired the appropriate competencies, to exercise professional judgement with due regard to pertinent guidance. In terms of the functional safety standards, engineers should recognise that we approach compliance asymptotically along a curve of diminishing return; we may approach closer and closer to full compliance, but it requires ever increasing effort and investment. There is a point where the marginal increase in compliance does not warrant the additional effort, which may be more gainfully employed on other safety concerns. Professional judgement must be exercised to identify when this point has been reached - from IDC.
The following links are from ICEweb sponsor IDC
Protection against Lightning Physical Damage and Life Hazard - SANS 10313:2010 & IEC 62305 Part 2 & 3 Explained - T.J. Manas - This paper covers the process of assessing the risk of damage caused by lightning and give an in depth description of the requirements of protecting structures and living beings against the hazards of lightning - from IDC.
Lightning Protection for Equipment on MV feeders - WJD van Schalkwyk and M. du Preez - This paper presents the influence of lighting on MV feeders supplying small power users (400/230V). Attention is given to insulation failures leading to poor power quality. In order to minimize power interruptions, lightning related trips are reduced mainly by minimizing MV equipment failure. Examples of arc quenching are also studied.
Lightning Protection of Rail and Related Industries - AM (Bert) Hanekom - The rail environment is challenging and merciless. The overhead traction structure literally forms a huge lightning antenna. This requires a systems thinking approach to protect elements that are rail bound, rail mounted or in close proximity to the track, against lightning surges. What makes things even more challenging is the rapid growth in the use of low powered electronic devices in the rail environment. For example, signaling installations have evolved from mechanical interlockings to being based on sophisticated electronic sub elements. Additionally, condition monitoring of the rail infrastructure has brought in numerous electronic systems. Hence the critical need for lightning protection in all aspects of the rail network. The author’s real experience in lighting protection of rail systems is shared with you.
The Need to Ensure Energy Co-ordination of Surge Arresters in terms of SANS 10142:2009 section L.1.3.3 - Paul van As - This is a topic which is regularly overlooked and probably the most common cause for failure of surge arresters. Many people believe that the more surge arresters you install the better the level of protection obtained. This is all very well if viewed purely from a voltage protection perspective but can lead to premature failure of surge arresters. Cascading of surge arresters based purely on voltage protection levels without fully understanding energy co-ordination is a recipe for disaster. Many suppliers of surge arresters tend to sell their products purely on surge handling ability (kA), reaction time and clamping voltage. Obviously the surge arrester that reacts the fastest is the first to operate and hence takes most of the energy. In many cases this can lead to low energy, fast reacting surge arresters being overstressed causing damage to equipment. In light of the above problem SANS 10142-1:2009 section L.1.3.3, which states “When more than one SPD is connected on the same conductor, coordination between them shall be ensured.” Many manufacturers and sellers of surge arresters have no idea as to how their surge arresters will react when cascaded with each other. This problem is further aggravated when different surge arresters from different manufactures are installed in an installation.
Lightning Protection for Industrial Plants - Phillip Tompson - This paper provides an outline of a systematic approach to determine and apply lightning and surge protection to industrial plants such as water and sewerage and oil and gas facilities. All too often when lightning strikes an industrial plant, equipment is damaged and operations curtailed there is an initial rush to get the plant operational again. This is a reasonable response. Then comes the question of how to protect the plant against the next lightning strike. Inevitably the approach taken is ad hoc and the result is very often a lightning protection system that does nothing to protect the equipment that was originally damaged. Indeed by taking a systematic approach, applying the Australian standard, carrying out a risk assessment, then acting upon the results of that risk assessment both cost effective and successful solutions can be found.
Accurate Soil Resistivity Testing for Power System Earthing - Rodney Urban, Karl Mardira - Soil resistivity data is of fundamental importance in performing earthing system analysis. Reliable data is required to achieve good correlation between design and measured earthing system performance. The findings of numerous soil resistivity tests in the Sydney area for rail system earthing design is presented in this paper. The installations were inside the rail corridor where testing was often very restricted or not possible due to hazards, space limitations and adjacent buried metallic services or structures. A comparison of the results indicates the possible variation of soil resistivity at various depths over small distances and how this can be accommodated in the design process.
Arrester Earthing Resistance - Tony Gillespie - An analysis of the earthing resistance for surge arresters on the distribution network. The simplified analysis is based on lumped parameter circuit impedance values for a lightning strike.
Power System Earthing Due Diligence - Gaye E Francis and Richard M Robinson - There have been two primary paradigms of safety risk management co-existing uneasily over the last few decades. One is related to hazard based risk analysis driven by technical professionals using target levels of risk and/or safety. The other is the precaution based risk analysis driven by the courts focusing on ‘due diligence’ being a demonstration that all reasonable practical precautions are in place based on the balance of the significance of the risk vs the effort required to reduce it. The publication of the EG-0, Power System Earthing Guide, Part 1: Management Principles by Energy Networks Australia in May 2010 supports the hazard based / risk target approach to risk management whilst the impending (2011) national Model Workplace Health and Safety Act requires a positive duty of care for responsible officers to exercise ‘due diligence’. This paper will investigate the underlying conflict between the two positions and the manner of expected resolution using EG-0 as the focus.
Thanks to ICEweb Sponsor Zedflo
Level Instruments and Instrumentation page has been updated with new
links, these include:
- The Lowdown on Radar Level Measurement - Free-Air or Guided-Wave -- Which Do You Use When? - Walt Boyes - Radar level measurement is basically divided into two groups, free-air and guided-wave - from the excellent Control Global
- Application Considerations for Continuous Level and Inventory Monitoring of Powder and Bulk Solids - Continuous level measurement is about one thing, e.g. answering the question “how much stuff do I have”. There are many applications where you need to know how much material is in a bin, silo or other vessel type. Usually the desired engineering unit is expressed in terms of volume or weight. “Measuring” volume or weight is not always the most practical approach, sometimes it isn’t even viable. Take those silos you have, how do you weigh the ingredients if the silos weren’t installed with load systems? Not an easy or inexpensive question to answer. So what do we do? This is where continuous level measurement sensors and systems come into play and offer a viable and cost effective approach.The purpose of this white paper is to discuss and inform about the application considerations when you need to measure the level of material continuously or simply determine on a continuous basis how much stuff you have in your vessels - whilst this document is about many of the technologies available it does have a section on Laser level - from Blue Level Technologies.
Thanks to ICEweb Sponsor Zedflo
and Calibration Instruments page has been updated with new links, these
- Calibration Intervals, A Manufacturer’s Perspective - David Deaver - The analysis tools that are currently available for Calibration Intervals focus on setting intervals to achieve a desired reliability target. This paper suggests there is another perspective that these tools do not currently address; consequence cost or accumulated liability. A case is made that sometimes the reliability target is a secondary consideration to managing this consequence cost. The paper also addresses how manufacturers establish calibration intervals. The paper presents, and defends, the practice of using no analysis whatsoever in establishing the manufacturer's recommended calibration interval - from Fluke.
- Electrical Measurement Safety Program - Every day, an average of 9,000 U.S. workers suffer disabling injuries on the job. Anyone performing electrical measurements should understand the safety standards and be certain their tools meet code. This page from Fluke is an excellent Safety Resource.
- Video - Electrical Measurement Safety - This hour long session provides an awareness of electrical measurement hazards; a better understanding of the safety specifications for digital multimeters and testers; an understanding of the four installation measurement categories and; how to minimize and avoid electrical measurement hazards- You will need to register to see this video - from Fluke.
- 10 Mistakes People Make Working on Electrical Systems - Jim White - This list gets you thinking. We go through life making small mistake after small mistake and nothing happens, until we happen to get the wrong alignment of small mistakes and have an accident. Once the accident starts, we have no control over it, so the best thing to do is to avoid the small mistakes and tighten up the way we work – from Shermco Industries and Fluke.
Thanks to ICEweb Sponsor Zedflo
Flow Metering page has been updated with new links, these include:
- Clamp-on Ultrasonic Flowmeters - How they Measure Up - Clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters – portable or permanent – are valuable tools for helping district energy providers, building owners and managers and others measure and manage their system performance in a number of ways. These units provide the baseline and load profile information needed to effectively optimize system efficiency and reduce energy consumption – and costs - from Siemens.
- How Can Clamp-On Ultrasonic Flow Meters Identify what Product is Flowing from Outside the Pipe? - John Accardo -Many petroleum pipelines flow multiple products such as diesel fuel, gasoline and jet fuel. Between each of these products lies an interface where the flow stream transitions from one product to another. Pipeline operating companies depend on instrumentation to indicate what fluid is in the pipe and when an interface occurs in order to manage the pipeline’s operations. For example, flow arriving at a terminal is stored by product type in specific storage tanks. By knowing when an interface arrives, a valve can be switched to route the new fluid to its respective tank. Certain additives (e.g., Drag Reduction Agent “DRA”) may only be injected for specific fluids. So, you can see that knowing what fluid is presently in the pipe is critical to proper operation of the pipeline. Using a non-intrusive instrument for this purpose adds another level of benefits, including low cost installation, no loss of pressure, no interruption of the DRA, and the ability to allow pig passage through the measurement point.
- Are there Differences between Clamp-On Ultrasonic Meters Used for Onshore Purposes and Those Used for Offshore Projects? - Leslie Bottoms - While the basic technology used is the same for onshore and offshore projects, there are some differences between clamp-on ultrasonic meters in these applications. Offshore environmental conditions require a higher level of protection from the elements. The main concern with instrumentation when used offshore is the constant exposure to salt air and sea spray. This combination can easily corrode housings and cables which are exposed to the elements all day, everyday. A typical onshore application may involve temperature swings from 20 to 110 degrees F, but in most cases, the instruments used in these locations are generally protected from the sun and rain by sheds or some form of additional shelter. However, when located offshore, protection is limited to the instrument enclosure, due to size and weight limitations. In addition, temperatures are often exceeded at both ends of the scale.
- Siemens SITRANS FUS1010 Clamp-On Flowmeter Installation Guideline - In this Video learn how to get started with the FUS1010 clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter, including identifying and selecting sensors, choosing a mounting location and programming the meter. SITRANS FUS1010 is the most versatile clamp-on meter on the market today, with maintenance-free external sensors that eliminate the need to cut the pipe or stop the flow.
- Validating SITRANS F US Clamp-on Flowmeter Performance - Video - Learn how to use several simple diagnostic tools on any SITRANS F US clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter to ensure that the flowmeter is operating properly and the readings are as accurate as possible. The SITRANS F US flowmeter line from Siemens provides precise measurement of liquids and gases and features maintenance-free external sensors that eliminate the need to cut the pipe or stop the flow.
- Theory of Operation: Ultrasonic Doppler Flow Meter - This video details how a Doppler Flow Meter works - from Instruments Direct.
- Theory of Operation: Ultrasonic Transit Time Flow Meter
Posted by: Jim Russell, March 2013
Measuring Flare Gas within the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme - Simon Harwood and Jack Koeken, Sr - Prior to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, the measurement of flare gas on oil and gas production facilities in the North Sea was driven mainly by statutory regulations that required operators to simply report emissions to the Environment Agency. Consequently, there was never an economic incentive to install metering equipment. Importantly, depending on the Industry and size of the facility, the Trading Scheme stipulates different levels of accuracy for the instrumentation used to measure both fuel gas and flare gas. For the oil and gas industry, flow meters used to report emissions from flares fall within the Tier 3 accuracy level which, means they must have a degree of uncertainty (accuracy) better than ±7.5 percent of the measured value - from Fluid Components.
A New Paradigm for Thermal Dispersion Mass Flowmeters - John G. Olin - The ASME Standard and Recent Technology Advances - Since the publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard on thermal dispersion mass flowmeters in 2011, there have been major advancements in the technology. A review of that standard and a discussion of technology advancements provide the background to understanding ground breaking innovations in sensor design. That, along with a comprehensive algorithm facilitated by current hyper-fast microprocessors, has created a new paradigm for the measurement of the mass flowrate of gases by means of thermal dispersion technology - from Sierra Instruments.
Thermal Dispersion Mass Flow Measurement Handbook - Accurate mass flow measurement of gas is difficult to obtain. Thermal mass flow technology is a method of gas flow measurement that does not require correction for changes in process temperature or pressure. Thermal mass flow technology also has a benefit of measurement at low velocities and greater turndown capabilities than those obtainable with other gas flow measurement devices.
Tracking Natural Gas with Flowmeters - Wayne Shannon - Thermal mass flowmeters provide advantages over other options for metering the consumption of natural gas by individual combustion units throughout the facility.
Thanks to our sponsor Prochem ICEweb's Tubing,
Instrument Fittings, Heat
Tracing and Bundles, Instrument
Manifolds and Monoflanges
How to Keep Analysers Cool in the Field - Anthony Leong and Martin Hess - Field-based process analysers are often sited in remote environments where they need protecting against harsh environmental conditions, and high daytime temperatures. For optimum performance and reliability, their electronics and sample conditioning systems must be maintained within prescribed temperature limits, requiring that the environmental protection shelter is well insulated and incorporates some form of cooling. Most analyser shelters currently use air conditioning (AC) systems to protect against high temperatures. These are expensive - especially if they need to be explosion-proof - and can account for a high percentage of the capital, energy and maintenance costs of a typical oil or gas analyser installation. Furthermore, they do not easily scale down to suit small shelters, and their performance decreases by as much as two thirds at high ambient temperatures. One recent trend is to employ passive cooling technology. Originally developed for pipeline instrumentation shelters in remote desert locations without an electricity supply, passive cooling systems (PCSs) have been deployed successfully over the past decade - from the excellent Pacetoday.
Expanding plant Networks with WirelessHART - With process instruments getting ‘smarter’ every year, their capabilities are often underutilised. Important data that could help save costs remains unused. This potential can be tapped by using WirelessHART. Intelligent devices, whether they are valve positioners, temperature devices, flow meters or level meters, supply additional data such as secondary process variables or device diagnostics that can be used to obtain a better insight into the process. This data can be made accessible using a HART data transfer protocol. Although new control systems are HART enabled, the many legacy control systems in the field frequently lack the ability to collect HART data. The WirelessHART standard can be used in both retrofit and greenfield installations, providing distinct advantages for each - from Process On-Line.
Innovative Passive Fire Protection Cabinets Extend Margin of Safety for Critical Plant Shutdown Equipment - The cabinets ensure that equipment such as emergency shutdown valves remain operational by keeping them below 60 degrees Centigrade for periods of up to 64 minutes in the event of a hydrocarbon-based fire, to allow time for controlled shutdown - from Intertek,
Understanding Safety Life Cycles - IEC/EN 61508 is the basis for the specification, design, and operation of safety instrumented systems (SIS) - The international standard IEC/EN 61508 has been widely accepted as the basis for the specification, design, and operation of safety instrumented systems (SIS). In general, IEC/EN 61508 uses a formulation based on risk assessment: An assessment of the risk is undertaken and, on the basis of this assessment, the necessary safety integrity level (SIL) is determined for components and systems with safety functions. SIL-evaluated components and systems are intended to reduce the risk associated with a device to a justifiable level or “tolerable risk.” When considering safety in the process industry, there are several relevant national, industry, and company safety standards used when determining and applying safety within a process plant - from ISA and InTech.
Density’s Effect on a DP Flow Control Loop – A short but useful
article on how an orifice-plate flowmeter measurement in a flow control loop
is affected by an increase in fluid density – from Spitzer and Boyes
Understanding Safety Integrity Level
(SIL) - Understanding Safety Integrity Level - This brochure targets
safety applications and Emergency Shutdown Systems.
It provides an excellent overview of the concept.
Thanks to our sponsor McCrometer the V-Cone page has been extensively upgraded with more GREAT links to comprehensive technical information.
Posted by: Jim Russell, February 2013
Buying a Temperature Controller? - Understand the Specification Before you Order - Arthur Holland - A review some of the features and specifications of the commonly used discrete panel-mounted controllers. A review of all makes and features is impossible here, so to supplement this column, my best advice is, extend your reading to catalogs, operation manuals, FAQs and web sites of the top manufacturers. Technology help lines are so overloaded that they become impenetrable and direct you to existing sources of help. Rightly so - but be prepared to quarry your way through some hard to read material. With product knowledge in your brain and an eye on your process you can make a sound and economical choice of controller.
Resistor Colour Code Calculator - This calculator displays the value, the tolerance and performs a simple check to verify if the calculated resistance matches one of the EIA standard values - from Hobby-Hour.com
Instrumentation Terminology - Glossary of Terms - from Instrumentation World
Developments in the Field of Electronic Ignition Flaring Systems - With the developments in chemistry and petrochemistry on one hand, and concern for the environment on the other, more and more requirements are being set for the emission of flaring systems. Flaring systems have undergone considerable development, from a pipe with a perpetual flame to a well thought-out combustion system with pilot flame burners, purge gas, steam injection and automatic ignition - from Smitsvonk Holland BV.
Install Electronic Flare Ignition Devices - This technology replaces the intermittently or continuously burning flare pilots with electrical sparking pilots similar to a modern gas stove. These sparking pilots require low electrical power that can be supplied from a battery with solar recharge in remote sites. In addition to using electronic flare ignition devices for pilots, facilities may also install sensors to detect the pilot sensors to detect the pilot flame and shut off fuel gas if the pilot is extinguished - from EPA.
Flare Pilot System Safety - John Bellovich, Jim Franklin, and Bob Schwartz - One of the worst nightmares a plant manager can experience is a complete flare system outage. The flare system is the last line of defense for many refining and petrochemical facilities and, when out of commission, can cause the shutdown of the entire facility. Flare ignition failure may lead to unburned venting of dangerous gases, and may develop into an explosive hazard leading to the loss of property and equipment, or worse, injury to personnel or loss of life. The safety and effectiveness of flaring are dependent upon one or more continuously burning pilots for immediate and sustained ignition of gases exiting a flare burner. Because pilot failure can compromise safety and effectiveness, it should be detected quickly and accurately to allow prompt automatic and/or operator response. Proper disposal of process and waste gases during routine and/or emergency conditions is crucial to help operating facilities protect plant employees and the surrounding community, and to avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. These reasons alone make the pilot monitoring and ignition system the most important component of any flare system. The advanced flare pilot systems explained in this article offer increased protection from harsh environmental conditions and rapid notice of pilot flame failure. Recently published industry standards for flare pilot design and performance are also discussed - from John Zinc Company.
European Test Procedures For the Functionality of Cables Under Effects of Fire - Since the year 2000 there is a European test procedure regarding the functionality of cables in case of fire - EN 50200. This test procedure in its latest version of 2006 is leading to the fire protection classifications PH 15, PH 30, PH 60, PH 90 and PH 120. But for the practice this test procedure is insufficient. The European standard EN 50200 is applied for cables with a diameter of up to 20 millimetre. For larger cable diameters a similar test procedure had been developed in parallel to the EN 50200. This procedure is called EN 50362:2003 - from Dätwyler Cables.
Should You Specify Cable Glands? - How often have we heard:- "We
don't specify Cable Glands, as long as they have the relevant certification
then it must be fit for purpose. We leave it to contractor to sort out. We
are too busy concentrating on the high value, long lead time items to bother
about such an insignificant value product. In a recent paper presented at
the Hazard Ex conference by a Senior Manager of CENELEC Standards
Inspections, it was stated, "Resources should be directed at
eliminating the following common faults; Unauthorised modifications, badly
made-off or unsuitable cable entry devices and Corrosion.
Wireless - Bill Lydon - Wireless discrete monitoring and controls
standards emerging - Industrial wireless is proving valuable for automation
professionals in many areas of industrial automation with products and
standards emerging. People are comfortable with wireless since they use it
in their daily lives with cell phones, personal computers, security
monitoring, and other devices. Wireless standards to date have focused on
analog sensors, but there is growing interest and adoption of wireless for
discrete monitoring and for controlling digital output points. Discrete
monitoring and control points significantly outnumber analog input and
outputs in automation systems and are the largest installation cost on most
projects. Discrete points monitor contact closures from a wide range of
sensors and use contact outputs to control a wide range of devices,
including motors, two position valves, and solenoids. If wireless cost and
reliability improve to compete with hardwiring, this would be a real
improvement in automation systems. Today, wireless sensors are being applied
to select applications that have a high return on investment as a low-cost
means for monitoring hard-to-reach locations and deploying new innovative
applications. Examples include connecting far distant sensors that are too
expensive to wire, such as tank monitoring/control, and as an alternate to
electromechanical slip rings on rotating machines connecting electrical
signals from a stationary to rotating structure - From the ISA and InTech.
Selecting Temperature Measurement and Control Systems - Steve Byrom - How to get accurate data and perform reliable control from systems designed for the rigors of industrial applications - Measuring and controlling temperature is undoubtedly the most common measured parameter because it is critical to so many operations and tasks. Accurate temperature measurement and control is vital to the quality of manufactured goods, such as finished metal components, and to the efficient and safe operation of a process or system. In today’s market, there are myriad devices for monitoring and controlling temperature, ranging from simple temperature controllers to complex distributed control systems. Most temperature measurement and data acquisition products are well-suited for the job for which they are intended, but care must be taken when applying them in harsh industrial environments - from the ISA and InTech.
Posted by: Jim Russell, January 2013
The Following are from the very useful
Calibration Form - Calibration forms provide a list of actions to be done when performing instrument calibration. Instrument Calibration is required to make sure that instrument will function properly prior to installation. Before shipping, vendor has already done the calibration after setting the range to pre-determined value as requested by the end-user. It is common by contractor to re-check the instrument by performing bench calibration. However, some end-users prefer to install the instrument without undertaking this test. Following are some typical calibration forms for transmitters, gauges and control valves.
Transmitter Calibration Form
Control Valve Calibration Form
Pressure Gauge Calibration Form
Technology Guide - Wireless Communication is used by all of us on a
regular manner: Cellphones, WLAN and DECT telephones are all around and
widely accepted in consumer applications. As these technologies have
improved, they have started to make their way into industrial applications.
But the requirements and boundary conditions in the industrial world are
different from the consumer world. Industrial applications require higher
quality products and, more important, an increase in technical support. To
set up a wireless system which fullfills its duty in the required quality,
some knowledge of the following topics are required:
- physical basics of wireless communication
- modern wireless technologies
- available standards, their properties, advantages and disadvantages
- requirements in industrial applications
If some of these topics are unknown, setting up a wireless system can be difficult and debugging a nonworking wireless system is based on luck and not on know-how. Therfore, it can be very valuable to understand some basic principles rather than skill or knowledge. This short introduction describes some information which might be useful when setting up and debugging a wireless system in an industrial application – from Pepperl + Fuchs
Minimizing Arc Flash Exposure in Industrial Applications - This white paper will discuss the definition of an arc flash, including its risks, consequences and causes, industry standards to protect against arc flash and a solution to minimize arc flash exposure – from Turck.
What to Know When Selecting Your Cable Solution - When selecting the proper cabling for industrial applications, it is important for users to consider performance strengths and limitations associated with each cable solution in order to select cabling that meet an application’s exact needs. This white paper will address the differences between AWM recognized cable and UL listed cable, describing the testing requirements listed cables must satisfy and highlighting the benefits associated with ITC and PLTC cables, such as durability, reliability and longevity – from Turck
Identifying Tray Cables for Your Next Installation - Though rapidly increasing in popularity, tray cables are still a point of confusion for many. While the term “tray cable” is being heard everywhere, many do not understand what exactly a tray cable is or the benefits of using tray cables. Another gray area for many comes from the variety of types of tray cable, what each means and in which applications each type should be used. This paper defines what a tray cable is, describes the different types of tray cables, provide uses and standards for each type of tray cable. It will also provides a reference guide regarding the applications and governing standards for each tray cables type - from Turck.
A New Era of Liquid Chromatography: Improving HPLC Throughput with Automation and Real Time Diagnostics - Today's drug discovery labs are charged with moving thousands of samples through HPLC and MS screening processes. If your lab is operating 24x7 to keep up with the throughput demand, every second counts. To achieve high throughput, not only must the run time of a single analysis be shortened, but the total cycle time of the injection sequence and run time needs to be optimized. Solvent management automation and real time diagnostics allow you to increase sample throughput and maximize system uptime while meeting the need to produce reliable results and identify leads. This automation and diagnostics can be achieved by installing an in-line real time flow measurement device in the solvent management system - from Brooks Instrument.
Calibration and Standards in Flow Measurement - Richard Paton - Calibration is defined as follows: ‘The set of operations that establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between values of quantities indicated by a measuring instrument or measuring system and the corresponding values realized by standards.’ It is important to recognize at the outset the definition of a ‘calibration’ and to note that the ‘comparison’ applies only to the conditions at the time of the calibration. The purpose of calibration is to increase the confidence in the reading obtained from the flowmeter in service - From IDC.
Tuning of PID Controllers in both Open and Closed Loop Control Systems - This covers the application of procedures for open and closed loop tuning and how to calculate the tuning constants according to Ziegler & Nichols - from ICEweb sponsor IDC.
Applying Tank Farm Safety Standards for Petroleum Storage Tanks in India - S. K. Ravindran and John Joosten - Like other process industry operations, petroleum tank farms present difficult challenges for automation and safety technology. Tank farms, storage areas and loading/unloading sites all need effective safety solutions to protect personnel, assets and the environment. The consequences of incidents at these facilities can be enormous. The tank farm environment, being a hazardous area, requires continual monitoring of critical process parameters. Accurate and reliable tank level monitoring is especially important to prevent overfill situations. Some overfills are small and easily contained, but the accumulation of product from repeated overfills or a single large spill can cause significant soil and ground water contamination. Worse yet, recent catastrophic incidents at tank farms and terminals can be traced to ineffective safety technology leading to loss of level control and, ultimately, to loss of containment. Tank farm operations benefit from a holistic approach to industrial safety, which integrates advanced technology at all plant protection layers - and the people who interact with that technology - to help end-users achieve their safety objectives.This white paper describes various standards and recommendations as per international and Indian publications addressing safety in petroleum storage tank farms. It also discusses possible technologies/solutions, which can be used to comply with industry guidelines and create a safe work environment - from Honeywell.
ICEweb's Control Valve Page Upgraded - Thanks to our sponsor Samson Controls a total of 33 new technical papers and engineering articles have been added to ICEweb's Comprehensive Control Valve Page. The page covers a broad range of design, selection, specification and maintenance subjects.
Systems Integrity Assurance - Experience has shown that fire
detection and protection systems are not always designed or specified in
sufficient detail to ensure that they meet the performance criteria necessary to
reliably achieve their intended role; this can result in fire systems not
providing the performance required when called upon to do so. The OGP has
produced a Fire System Integrity Assurance report, which provides guidance on
issues involved in the assurance of fire system integrity from development of
appropriate performance criteria through to routine system testing and
inspection, in order to assess ongoing performance against the original
criteria. The objective of the report is to provide a high level model of the
steps to be addressed in assuring fire system integrity and to give guidance on
technical points to be considered at each stage, drawing on practical experience
from oil and gas installations - from OGP.
Human Factors Engineering in Projects - This report is concerned with human factors issues that can reasonably be expected to be within the scope of Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) funded engineering projects, including the design and layout of platforms, process plants and associated piping, equipment and facilities; control rooms (including the Human Machine Interface (HMI) to Distributed Computer Systems (DCS) and other computer systems), as well as buildings (including administration, accommodation, warehouses and workshops) - from OGP.
Verify Fluid Flow to Your Analyzer and Keep Your Plant Running - Sam Kresch - No matter how sophisticated a fluid analyzer system may be, it will be ineffective if a sample flow fails to reach the analyzer sensor or if the sample is contaminated or stale. The most advanced systems in the world cannot provide accurate results without a valid fluid sample. Gas chromatographs (GCs), mass spectrometers, optical spectrometers and photometers are a few examples of analyzer technologies applied in process and plant systems that need sample flow assurance. It is an accepted industry best practice that sampling systems have some type of flow monitor to assure valid samples and analysis - from Fluid Components.
How to Manage Vaporization in an Analytical System - D Nordstrom and T Waters - When done properly, this process ensures that all compounds vaporize at the same time, preserving the sample’s composition - from Swagelok and Hydrocarbon Processing.
Differential Pressure Transmitter Accuracy - Ted Dimm - Differential
pressure transmitters are extremely versatile instruments fitting a broad
range of applications in various process industries. Accuracy is a key
performance measure for any process-measuring device, and is an important
factor for proper device selection and maintenance. Differential pressure
devices are very versatile, but it is not always easy to understand,
calculate, or compare accuracies between devices. This document is intended
to help the reader better understand what manufacturers’ accuracy
statements mean, what specifications are important for a given application,
and how to properly compare various product capabilities - From Honeywell
Carbon – the Elephant in the Room! - Jim Mills - Traditionally,
ambient particulates have been measured gravimetrically according to their size.
This article Jim Mills, demonstrates that the time has come to change or at
least augment the way ambient particulates are monitored and regulated. It
explains why the measurement of Black Carbon could change the way we look at
particulate pollution, so that focus will be given to strategies that could
result in improvements to human health AND make a very significant contribution
to the fight against climate change. Also outlined is the rationale behind a new
€3million EU funded project (Carbotraf ) which will use Black Carbon
measurements to inform traffic management systems in both Glasgow and Graz.