Latest Instrumentation Articles

Lindmore Irrigation District uses Ethernet radios to improve SCADA communications system and pumping efficiency.

Last month, we ended our discussion of proportional control by saying there are times when P alone cannot provide the accuracy required by a process. Take, for example, a constant pressure booster system under VFD control. If changes in flow and the resulting change in pressure occurred gradually over a long period of time, the VFD could use proportional control to keep pressure constant.

Frequency analysis is an important method of vibration analysis.

It required only a couple notes of the haunting soundtrack to signal an imminent shark attack in the movie Jaws. As the theme began to swell, it became obvious that someone was going to “get it.” It would be nice to have a sixth sense that allowed us to hear "warning" music in daily situations. Condition monitoring systems provide a means of sensing when sharks are skulking toward your critical machines.

One of the most neglected tools in the vibration analysis toolbox is phase. This neglect is partially due to the extra time and effort often necessary to collect the information. Many analysts are also not properly trained in phase measurement and analysis.

Water chemical compatibility and electrical interference are two major challenges for control systems. Two major sources of fresh water can limit the performance of the control system.

In the past, the nuclear power industry has experienced equipment failures due to improperly set oilers. There was never a precision tool available to help ensure the level was being properly set on a typical oiler . . . until now.

Vertically mounted pumps can resonate as a total structure in a "rocking" mode, as shown in Figures 1 and 2 below. This is one of the toughest unsolved vibration problems at several plants.

Qualified, quality solution providers can resolve many aftermarket problems.

When the City of Delaware, Ohio, expanded its wastewater treatment plant, it looked to increase more than just capacity. It also wanted to increase its efficiency and automation capabilities to benefit the plant's operators and taxpayers.

Mechanical pressure gauges, which require no external power, provide an affordable and reliable source of accurate pressure measurement. Using the criteria below can help maximize gauge life.

Sensors and automation passively participate in our everyday lives to improve comfort, add safety and reliability, and increase the efficiency of needed products and services.

Changing traditional industry ways of thinking can help usher in the plant of the future.

In only a couple of years, the focus on energy efficiency has gone from blurred to steely-eyed. Green business practice is now a necessity, and organizations must find the best way to transition to this new reality. There are many opinions and approaches on "how we get there," and each one will have its own merits. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, and making the right steps in the beginning will hasten the achievement of energy efficient goals.

Soft starters and VFDs are useful for extending equipment life in HVAC applications.

Determining the correct maintenance strategy for industrial production assets poses a problem for many plant asset managers and reliability and maintenance engineers.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" may have been coined by process and plant engineers tired of repairing or replacing pumps. Pumps are often the most under-serviced pieces of equipment in process automation when it comes to maintenance and prevention best practices. Unfortunately, nothing moves without the humble pump, and a process becomes inefficient when a pump doesn't operate properly or completely shuts down. Many times the pump manufacturer is seen to be the problem, when in fact the process or the surrounding equipment configuration is the cause.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), a municipally owned utility, provides roughly four million residents in southeastern Michigan with an average of 710 million gallons of water per day.

Last month we reviewed the pump selection criteria for a closed loop circulation system (Vp-Vf). This month we will take a look at a similar application that adds some elevation to the equation.

When measuring vibration, one of the most important factors in obtaining accurate information involves selecting the proper vibration transducer. Selecting the wrong vibration transducer can yield results that are misleading or, worse, mask a problem.

PWM inverters introduce motor shaft voltages and bearing currents. The bearing damage in inverter-driven motors is mainly caused by the shaft voltage and bearing currents created by the common-mode voltage and its sharp edges [1]. All inverters generate common-mode voltages relative to the power source ground that cause coupling currents through the parasitic capacitances inside the motor. The main source of bearing currents is the capacitance-coupling currents that return via the motor bearings back to the ground.

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