Latest Instrumentation Articles

New equipment improves SCADA functions.
Pump monitoring instrumentation is often not included with installations, but proper sensors can protect a pump and help with efficient operation.

This article will define a business case for achieving significant rotating equipment maintenance and energy cost reduction at industrial and municipal facilities.

Outdated water systems are pumping beyond their original specifications, resulting in inefficient operation, higher maintenance and operation costs and the potential for a system shutdown. This article takes a look at updating the controls and pumps for a water system.

In the oil and gas industry, custody transfer transactions involve transporting physical substance from one operator to another, including transferring raw and refined petroleum between tanks and tankers, tankers and ships and other transactions. An accurate account of the amount of material transferred is of great value to both the company delivering the material and the eventual recipient. This is especially true in bunker fuel oil delivery since a ship's bunker contributes to the ship's operating cost.

Few would dispute that variable frequency drives (VFDs) save energy, but the exact amount depends on the system. Hydraulically speaking, the main difference between a variable frequency (speed) drive and a discharge valve is that a VFD only changes a pump curve, while a valve only changes a system curve. A pump operates at the intersection between its H-Q curve and a system curve, and a change in either moves the operating point to a new intersection.

Growing infrastructures are creating more complex problems for municipalities than ever before, forcing them to search for a diverse range of system solutions to issues involving energy savings, maintenance savings and total life cycle cost analysis.

For controller-to-controller coordination, wireless Bluetooth is an excellent alternative to Class 3 radios.

Your company has recently purchased a laser based alignment system. Your newly trained technicians are asked to align a critical process pump. You witness the alignment. They save the final alignment data. You review the data, but what does it mean? How does it compare to dial indicators? Why did they rotate both shafts when measuring the misalignment? Why are the numbers at the feet higher than you would like? How do you KNOW the alignment is good? The debate begins.

In the last decade, ultrasonic flowmeters have grown in popularity in laboratory and process areas as a cost-effective, noninvasive alternative for measuring the velocity and flow rates of liquids and gases.

A variable frequency drive (VFD) can be a valuable asset in reducing the life cycle costs in certain types of pumping applications. The traditional method of motor control in pumping applications is a low cost mechanical starter, which is essentially a large switch with a built-in motor protection device known as a thermal overload relay. A conscious decision to reduce upfront costs by using a mechanical starter may result in higher energy consumption, excessive component wear and poor power quality.

Introduced in June 2010, the VibXpert II (VXP II) has many different uses and functions. The primary use is to extend the lifespan of equipment within a plant or facility using vibration signatures. One of its many applications is detecting bearing faults, either early or pre-existing within the machinery. It can also detect cavitation within pumps.

To explain why the apparent temperature seen through a thermal imager can be significantly different than the actual temperature, we will review our knowledge of physics.

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.

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

The small town of Groin, Mo., has an excellent source of water. The water board says its wells and distribution system are coasting along at about half the maximum capacity. Since demand is growing at less than 2 percent per year, it would be reasonable to assume the current system is more than adequate for many years.

In recent years, adjustable frequency AC drives have become increasingly popular as they provide an efficient, direct method of controlling the speed of the most rugged and reliable of prime movers, the squirrel cage motor. They provide a spectrum of benefits for a broad range of applications.

A crucial triumvirate for improving the bottom line. pump system optimization, pump efficiency

Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) radio was invented during World War II by the military for communicating information and strategic plans to allied forces in a way that would counter enemy efforts to "jam" or intercept traditional radio communication frequencies.

Last year in “Trending Revelations in Vibration Analysis,” (Pumps & Systems, June 2009), I discussed the importance of statistic trending in vibrations analysis. Usually, as most would expect, vibrations gradually increase with time. This increase reflects the normal internal wear, accumulative misalignment and deformations that can occur within a pump. All these wear conditions will lead to eventual failure.

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