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.

An 1,800 MW power station in the Midwest experienced constant trouble with four of its four-stage boiler feed pumps, which were driven by steam turbines and operated at variable speed to meet the required plant load.

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.

Pulsation and water hammer can be limited with proper forethought and equipment.

Even though control technology has become an integral part of many pumping systems, over half of our readers have not expressed much interest in pump controls. I think I know why - today's controls are simply not as intuitively understandable as they once were. Who wants to read about the advantages of PID control without a basic understanding of P, I, and D itself?

Water system operators know the challenges of keeping municipal drinking water consistently and safely chlorinated. Increased safety concerns regarding common disinfectants and mandated chlorine residual targets make maintaining large or small water systems difficult.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

One electrical equipment specialist is relying on a cleaning system to ensure that a variety of stamped and turned parts are thoroughly degreased at their production facility.

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.

Interpretation of equipment clues can help diagnose problems before failure occurs

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.

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