Instrumentation

The Village of Mundelein, Ill., 35 miles northwest of Chicago, had a growing water demand and needed options for managing the increasing demand.
In today's growing industrialized market, the need for reciprocating pumps is increasing daily. As technology drives modernization, the demand placed on the pumping systems is continually rising.
Monitoring motor-pump combinations for signs of impending problems provides useful information to prevent pump failure and minimize costly downtime. Since rotating machines exhibit recognizable failure modes that are revealed by their vibrations, analysis of vibration data can identify changing conditions and diagnose an evolving problem. This can be the difference between a plant or mill continuing to operate or having to shut down for unscheduled repairs.
Picture a manufacturing enterprise with plants in multiple locations around the world. Using a single automation platform that handles discrete, process and motion control with common programming, human machine interface (HMI) and standards-based networks, a night shift operator gathers and logs data on product quality from his production line.
Determining the correct maintenance strategy for industrial production assets poses a problem for many plant asset managers and reliability and maintenance engineers.
With the old mechanical displacers, level fluctuations ran 4-in to 5-in with a lot of hysteresis and frequent failures, causing operators to control at much higher levels than were optimal. New magnetic technology is changing all that. Here's how.
Mechanical pressure gauges, which require no external power, provide an affordable and reliable source of accurate pressure measurement. Using the criteria below can help maximize gauge life.
Potential to Failure (P-F) curves graphically display the failure time cycle and measurement techniques that can be used to detect asset failures prior to reaching the asset incurring functional failure. Proactive strategies should focus on managing assets high on the P-F curve, or early (P1 to P5) in the failure cycle (Figure 1). The ability to detect failures early in development allows top quartile performers to proactively manage their maintenance programs by understanding the health of their assets. Many companies, however, find it difficult to operate proactively and continually react to assets that reach functional failure with little or no warning.
SCADA can be utilized for remote data acquisition, but because it is primarily a real-time control system, the user must make significant compromises to use it for this purpose. These compromises include cost, data integrity, flexibility, convenience and control of the task. Here are some considerations to think through.
Understanding technology capabilities and application requirements is important when selecting a wireless technology for an application. The reasons to choose wireless include reduced installation costs, installation and deployment flexibility and the ability to address new applications. Before selecting wireless, first ensure the bandwidth available with wireless meets the application requirements.
The level transmitter is a small but vital component in a sewage lift or pump station that helps maintain system integrity and avoid unwanted spillage.
One of the major contributors to unbalance in rotating machinery is eccentricity. When we disassemble parts, we must also reassemble them. Even if the reassembly requires heating to shrink-fit the elements back together, we probably balanced them in a balancing machine where tolerances due to fit-up on mandrels or roundness of journals may possibly far exceed the heavy spot tolerances that the target standard of balance allows.
In my experience, there are three types of maintenance philosophy regarding vibration programs: No philosophy at all, utmost attention with zeal, attention to particularly problematic units
Last month we reviewed the pump selection criteria for a typical constant pressure-variable flow (Cp-Vf) application that utilized variable speed (VFD) control. This month we will explore an application where pressure varies in proportion to a change in flow.
Of the technologies available for condition monitoring of rotating equipment, the quickest return on investment is from vibration analysis. For the novice, vibration data seems complex and is generally difficult to assess compared to other techniques. Once trained, however, the novice can recognize the patterns and diagnose a machine problem.
An 1,800 MW power station in the Midwest experienced constant trouble with four of its four-stage boiler feed pumps, which were driven by steam turbines and operated at variable speed to meet the required plant load.
As pump users, we often have to deal with fuzzy concepts, such as: What is low flow? When are vibration levels too high? When is suction specific speed value too high? When is a pump's energy level high?
Paddle wheel flow sensors not only continue to remain strong in industrial applications, their use is growing. Because these devices offer the lowest cost per sensing point of any flow measurement technology, users can save significantly on purchase, installation and maintenance costs.
Wireless technology is part of our everyday lives in the home and office. From garage door openers and television remote controls, to cellular telephones and wireless Internet access, radio frequency (RF) technology has been accepted as a reliable, efficient and easy-to-use medium.
Read how WirelessHART can be implemented in large process plants despite the distances needed for the network.

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