Latest Instrumentation Articles

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.

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

A Nashville-based hunting club required the flooding of several acres of land. A shallow area approximately 1.5-ft deep needed to be flooded to help attract wild game.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The town of Walden rests on a high glacial plain in Colorado, just 20 miles from the Wyoming border in Jackson County. Situated in the center of a large open valley called North Park, the 734 residents (based on the 2000 census) of the town and the surrounding area refer to themselves as "North Parkers."

Active Front End (AFE) drives use two power sections. An active rectifier is used to minimize the amount of harmonic distortion reflected to the power grid by drawing nearly sinusoidal current from the power grid. Standard 6-pulse rectifiers used in most drives create harmonics (e.g.5th, 7th, etc.) that can generate anywhere from 30 to 100 percent current distortion. The active rectifier used in the AFE drive creates cancelling harmonics that effectively eliminate those that would be created in a standard 6-pulse drive.

SCADA can be utilized for remote data acquisition, but because it is primarily a real-time control system, the user must make significant compromises to use it for this purpose. These compromises include cost, data integrity, flexibility, convenience and control of the task. Here are some considerations to think through.

Wireless technology is enabling INEOS Köln GmbH (Cologne, Germany) to detect blocked filters in polyethylene pellet transportation tubes that can lead to production downtime at its plant in Cologne.

Monitoring motor-pump combinations for signs of impending problems provides useful information to prevent pump failure and minimize costly downtime. Since rotating machines exhibit recognizable failure modes that are revealed by their vibrations, analysis of vibration data can identify changing conditions and diagnose an evolving problem. This can be the difference between a plant or mill continuing to operate or having to shut down for unscheduled repairs.

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