Latest Instrumentation Articles

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.

Have you ever wondered why a motor manufacturer would state that many of their 60-Hz motors will operate on 50-Hz power as long as you reduce the nameplate voltage by 1/6?

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.

A recent marketing survey found that 84.0 percent of satisfied customers would "jump ship" for a better deal if an opportunity arose. With markets becoming increasingly globalized, customer retention has become a critical part of business strategy. Companies need to ask themselves: What reason can I give this customer to stay, even if my competitor offers a cheaper price? The keys lie in keeping customers loyal to brands and products and ensuring a consistently outstanding customer experience.

Outdated water systems are pumping beyond their original specifications, resulting in inefficient operation, higher maintenance and operation costs and the potential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 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

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.

If pump cavitation is not detected and quickly eliminated, significant damage can occur to the impeller and other internal components. Since cavitation (the formation and collapse of vapor bubbles in the pumped fluid as it passes through the pump impeller) is often temporary or even induced by the process, timely knowledge of the condition is extremely important so operators can act to alleviate the problem and prevent damage.

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.

The service department of a variable frequency drives manufacturer frequently sees the following scenario: A frustrated user calls with what he perceives to be a defective piece of equipment. As the technician begins probing for information, the user's frustration boils over, often with an exclamation along the lines of "what a piece of junk!" As the service technician asks the pertinent questions, the exasperated user relays the details of a drive that is continually tripping on a fault until the user is at the end of his rope, not knowing what to do.

Today's electricians are often found working in applications outside the realm of what is traditionally considered "electrical." Through new programs sponsored by the IBEW-JATC training schools and others, the skill sets of the electrical union workforce have broadened to include automation and controls.

Traditionally, the primary use of drives has been in applications such as powering pumps, fans and conveyors. While they will continue to be used in these applications, today's end-users have a different approach from that of a decade ago.

Production, distribution and refining applications in the oil and gas industry rely heavily on motor-driven pumps and pumping systems. Keeping electric motors driving critical operations at peak performance is vital to ensure maximum profitability.

Economic pressures to minimize production downtime and improve operating efficiency are increasing the emphasis to accomplish on-site problem detection, analysis, and resolution as fast as possible. These requirements place a great deal of pressure on maintenance personnel to have all the right tools readily available in one place.

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.

Balancing is essential for minimizing vibration, increasing bearing life and minimizing downtime and repair costs. Follow the guidelines from these standards to balance centrifugal pumps properly.

In the foothills of the Andes, among the sprawling vineyards of picturesque Mendoza, Argentina, stands an innocuous equipment cabinet located by the side of an infrequently used mountain pass. The cabinet's superficial surface rust belies its importance as one of the most significant technological developments in modern day corrosion prevention. The cubicle, battered from years of an abrasive cocktail of arid Patagonian winds and coarse earth, hides the cradle of a revolutionary approach to cathodic protection. The equipment within the cabinet resulted in an entirely new range of products.

This article explores the use of condition monitoring at the UPM-Kymmene's Wisaforest pulp and paper mill in Finland. Production capacity is 800,000 air dried tons per annum (ADt/a) of pulp and 180,000 ADt/a of kraft and sack papers.

Cavitation is a destructive condition that can destroy the inside of a pump before you even realize it is occurring. Early detection can minimize damage, reduce downtime, and save money. Cavitation involves the creation of bubbles formed when the fluid being pumped vaporizes due to a decrease in pressure as the fluid enters the pump. These bubbles are then acted on by the pump impeller, causing them to implode.

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