Latest Instrumentation Articles

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.

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

Enveloping is a tool that can give more information about the life and health of important plant assets. It is primarily used for early detection of faults in rolling element bearings and gearboxes. Enveloped acceleration is an especially valuable parameter to trend, as the progression of machine condition can be evaluated. Armed with good information and assisted by service experts, plant engineers can be confident in the proper operation and management of the important assets in their care.

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.

Lubricated machines require clean, dry oil to work properly.

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.

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.

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.

Lift stations can be difficult and costly to monitor, especially when the stations are located in remote areas.

On July 16 last year, a high-speed centrifugal pump failed catastrophically at a large refinery in South America, causing production losses and costing a substantial amount of money for repairs. The inboard bearing of the pump lost lubrication, overheated, and seized up.

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.

Wireless technology has significantly impacted business worldwide. It enables a greater degree of connectivity among devices for enhanced monitoring and utilization of existing assets. It has also led to the development of new applications that improve productivity, uptime and overall business performance.

Here is a primer on the proper locations for surge protection in water and wastewater facilities.

In the early days of adjustable frequency drive (AFD) technology, the typical application was in process control for manufacturing synthetic fiber, steel bars and aluminum foil. Because AFDs improved performance and lowered maintenance costs, they replaced motor generator sets and DC drives. When the energy crises occurred in the early 1970s, saving energy became a critical goal, and the use of AFDs quickly spreadpump efficiency, into large pump applications and eventually into HVAC fan systems. pump efficiency, pump system optimization

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