Latest Instrumentation Articles

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Outdated water systems are pumping beyond their original specifications, resulting in inefficient operation, higher maintenance and operation costs and the potential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

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.

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.

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.

Soft foot is one of the most prevalent conditions found in rotating machinery. This condition, if not corrected, makes an alignment job much more difficult and sometimes impossible. If the internal alignment is not correct, the external alignment will not matter.

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.

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.

There are several ways to control two identical, parallel pumps operating under variable frequency control in pumping applications.

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.

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