In the U.S. industrial sector, motor-driven systems consume 70 percent of all electricity. Motor-driven pumps account for more than 30 percent of that amount-more than any other application. Considering energy and maintenance represent more than 80 percent of total motor life cycle costs, a growing number of system designers, specifying engineers, maintenance professionals and end users are turning to variable speed motor control systems that can save up to 60 percent in energy costs as well as significantly reduce maintenance and equipment costs, improve process control and enhance system reliability.

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.

As oil prices and gasoline usage have increased, the demands on U.S. oil and gas wells have grown dramatically. In the past, there was a low cost supply from the Middle East, and U.S. oil wells were not used as frequently due to low reservoirs and the energy cost associated with extracting the oil. A large number of U.S. wells were shut down in reaction to high electric costs, low oil prices, the need for monitoring the oil reservoir and machine maintenance. As of 2004, there were just over 800,000 onshore oil wells in the world, with about two-thirds of them in the United States.

State and federal requirements increase the need for pump monitoring and control.

The Village of Mundelein, Ill., 35 miles northwest of Chicago, had a growing water demand and needed options for managing the increasing demand.

Wireless control and monitoring are a vital part of pump systems.

Third in a series. Advances in wireless technologies can help address many common failure modes in mid- to low-level criticality assets and eliminate wiring costs for a range of asset types.

The 4-20mA current loop is used to transmit analog data representing various process variables like level, pressure, temperature or flow. Although conceptually simple, a 4-20mA current loop can be tricky to troubleshoot. Current flows in a single direction through each device in the loop.

The residents of Orlando and nearby communities are more likely to see lightning strike than have their toilets run dry. Extensive high-tech upgrades at Orlando's three advanced wastewater treatment plants, including new automation and control systems, have helped city staff process more sewage and gray water effectively and reliably.

Pressure gauges are an important indicator of whether a system or component is operating correctly. Pressure gauges generally require little to no maintenance, other than periodic calibration. However, if gauges require minimal maintenance, why do some seem to continually wear out?

Vertically mounted pumps can resonate as a total structure in a "rocking" mode, as shown in Figures 1 and 2 below. This is one of the toughest unsolved vibration problems at several plants.

Pulsation and water hammer can be limited with proper forethought and equipment.

Read how WirelessHART can be implemented in large process plants despite the distances needed for the network.

Even though control technology has become an integral part of many pumping systems, over half of our readers have not expressed much interest in pump controls. I think I know why - today's controls are simply not as intuitively understandable as they once were. Who wants to read about the advantages of PID control without a basic understanding of P, I, and D itself?

Water system operators know the challenges of keeping municipal drinking water consistently and safely chlorinated. Increased safety concerns regarding common disinfectants and mandated chlorine residual targets make maintaining large or small water systems difficult.

Lindmore Irrigation District uses Ethernet radios to improve SCADA communications system and pumping efficiency.

Vibration monitoring of rotating equipment and analysis of the resulting data are effective ways to evaluate the health of production machinery in order to achieve best maintenance practices, extend equipment longevity, and avoid unplanned shutdowns. Plant equipment seldom fails without giving signals well in advance, so breakdowns can normally be predicted by listening for the warnings and passing that knowledge on to those in a position to prevent such problems.

Frequency analysis is an important method of vibration analysis.

Use of disposable components in product downstream processing and final fill operations is increasing as technology improves for performing these steps in a single-use mode. There is a high demand for systems that support single-use purification, formulation and filling operations.

One of the most neglected tools in the vibration analysis toolbox is phase. This neglect is partially due to the extra time and effort often necessary to collect the information. Many analysts are also not properly trained in phase measurement and analysis.

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