Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hazardous Gas and Flame Detection

CO2 gas detector for industrial safety
Carbon dioxide level detector
Courtesy Sierra Monitor Corp.
MS Jacobs handles the Sierra Monitor line of gas and flame detection devices for use in commercial and industrial facilities. SMC manufactures complete solutions for gas and flame detection, from the sensors to the monitoring and control stations. The systems approach includes sensor modules, controllers, and software working together to provide detection, alarm, analytics, and delivery of all necessary information across communications networks.

SMC employs a variety of technologies to provide application matched performance in their gas and flame detectors. The company innovates and leverages their IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) expertise to bring operating efficiency and enhanced levels of protection to customer facilities. Systems are tailored to provide the level of protection appropriate for a facility or application, as well as a customized response.

The various sensor  modules are optimized for their intended application range, bringing accuracy and efficiency to hazardous gas and flame detection. Some of the benefits include:

  • Low power requirements
  • Rapid response
  • Various filtering means to discriminate between noise and real hazards
  • Multiple output options that include relays, analog, and digital communications
  • Long calibration intervals for reduced maintenance
  • Remote sensor configuration
  • Self diagnostics
  • Local display
  • More
Share your gas and flame monitoring challenges with application specialists, combining your process and facility knowledge with their product application expertise to develop a comprehensive and effective solution.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Niagara Meters: Overview of Flow Measurement Devices

external view cutaway view target flowmeter
Cutaway and exterior views of target flowmeter
Niagara Meters, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is a well recognized brand in the flow measurement field. For over a hundred and fifty years, their products have been used in a myriad of industries, including agriculture, petrochemical processing, and even aboard United States Navy ships. The company’s flow meter products target three basic functions: flow measurement of liquid, gas flowmeters, and flowmeters for steam. The three product application groups are anchored by Niagara’s operating technology thesis statement, “specializing in innovative, reliable products.”

The largest array of Niagara meters are those utilized for liquid flow measurement. For measuring liquid in an open channel, such as a weir or flume, Niagara offers an application specific ultrasonic open channel flowmeter, which comes equipped with one or more sensors, along with a level monitor. The device is flexibly configurable for different arrays, and calculates liquid level, open channel flow and differential level measurement.

cutaway view turbine flowmeter
Cutaway view of turbine flowmeter
Measuring potable water flow through a pipe branch or system can be accomplished easily with the reliable mechanical MTX/WPX model series. In this turbine technology flowmeter, water pressure and resulting flow drives the internal turbine rotor. Magnetic coupling of the rotor to a flow indicator makes this instrument simple, reliable, and rugged for totalizing, rate of flow, and batch control applications.

Flow measurement in applications involving liquids with viscosity similar to oil are candidates for Niagara’s positive displacement oscillating piston flowmeter. This positive displacement device employs a piston which rotates in a flow chamber inside the meter. Liquid flow forces the piston to rotate, with the rotations recorded by a totalizer or pulse transmitter. Mechanical and smart electronic versions are available in a number of variants to meet the range of register and interface requirements.

Another mechanical positive displacement technology from the company uses a nutating disc and gear train to measure flow and provide a totalized flow register. The nutating disc is precisely fitted into the flow chamber and wobbles in a predictable manner that can be counted and used to measure volumetric flow. As with the oscillating piston products, a wide array of variants, including a smart meter version, are available to accommodate any register requirement.

Niagara also offers a fully electronic magnetic flowmeter, or Magmeter. The 6600 Series Magmeter can only be applied with conductive fluids, and converts the voltage produced when the fluid flows through a magnetic field to a volumetric flow signal for a high accuracy solution with no moving parts.

The company offers one additional category of flowmeter technology; applicable to liquids, gas, or steam. The target meter has a solid disk (the target) located in the flow path. The dynamic force of fluid movement acting on the target is converted to an electrical output signal that is proportional to flow rate.

All of Niagara’s flow measurement devices are time proven through many applications. For assistance in selecting and configuring a flowmeter for a particular application, share your requirements and process measurement challenges with a product specialist. The combination of your process knowledge and their product application expertise will produce effective solutions.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Float and Thermostatic Steam Traps

Float and thermostatic steam trap
Float and Thermostatic Steam Trap
Courtesy Colton Industries
Steam traps are found on almost every steam system in commercial and industrial sites. The trap is a self-contained automatic valve that allows condensate to drain from a steam containing system, while retaining the steam within the system. Non-condensible gases can also be removed by a steam trap with a thermostatically controlled port.

Steam based heating relies on the delivery of the latent heat of the steam to a heat exchanger or piece of utilization equipment. Once the latent heat is delivered, condensate (basically hot water) forms. The condensate contains no latent heat and provides comparatively little value as a heat source. Utilization equipment and heat exchangers have their performance predicated upon a supply of steam, not hot water. A properly selected steam trap will remove condensate across a range of steam utilization rates, keeping the system operating at the rated capacity.

The steam trap routes the condensate out of the steam containing portion of the system, often on a return trip to the boiler. Cycling the condensate back through the system for re-boiling contributes greatly to steam system energy efficiency. Condensate removal is accomplished with a float. Non-condensible gases are vented through a thermostatically controlled port on the unit.

More details on steam traps are included below. Share your steam system challenges with a product specialist, combining your facility and process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

White Paper - Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Primer

industrial control system cyber security
Industrial control system cybersecurity is a global issue
The International Society of Automation is offering a free white paper entitled “What Executives Need to Know About Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity”. The article provides useful commentary and information that establishes the scope of cybersecurity in the industrial process control space and provides a basic framework for understanding how every process may be impacted by lax cybersecurity efforts. The author, Joseph Weiss, differentiates Industrial Control System (ICS) cybersecurity from that of organizational IT through a review of various attributes common to both types, including message confidentiality, integrity, time criticality, and more. Any reader’s awareness and understanding of the cybersecurity risks to their operation will be enhanced through this article. I finished reading the article wanting more on the subject, and ISA is certainly a resource for additional content.

A quote from the article...
“Cyber incidents have been defined by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as occurrences that jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, or availability (CIA) of an information system.”
ICS cybersecurity extends beyond preventing malicious outside intruders from gaining access. It is an important part of maintaining the overall operating integrity of industrial processes. A holistic approach is advocated to identify physical risk factors to the process and its componentry (post on device protection), as well as vulnerabilities that may prevent exploitation by unauthorized parties. Weiss goes on to describe the role and qualifications of the ICS Cybersecurity Expert, essentially an individual that can function effectively as an IT cybersecurity tech with the added skills of an industrial control systems expert.

A synopsis of attack events is provided in the article, with the author’s conclusion that not enough is being done to secure industrial control systems and the risk exposure is substantial in terms of potential threats to personnel, environment, and economy. By providing your name and email address, you can obtain the white paper from the ISA website. Your time spent obtaining and reading the article will be well spent.

For any specific information or recommendations regarding our products and cybersecurity, do not hesitate to contact us directly. We welcome any opportunity to help our customers meet their process control challenges.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Analynk Wireless Overview Video - Wireless Connectivity For Process Measurement and Control



M.S. Jacobs handles the Analynk line of industrial wireless  products. Available for use in almost every industrial environment, including those rated hazardous, Analynk products enable extension of your industrial WiFi into hazardous areas. Other products enable radio links between process measurement and control locations on a local, remote, or global scale. The video provides a summation of the company's product offering.

Share your wireless connectivity challenges with product application specialists and work together to develop effective connectivity solutions.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thermoelectric Generator for Remote Site Power Generation

thermoelectric generators remote power system
Thermoelectric generators at remote site
Courtesy Gentherm GPT
Some operations, by their nature, dictate the location in which they will be undertaken. An obvious example is oil and gas production, but there are many others. These sometimes challenging locations burden designers and operators with providing remote communications, even on site power generation. Remote installations can often be unattended, yet require reliable continuous electric power to operate. Establishing an on site power source requires thoughtful selection of technology and equipment to provide the best solution.

thermoelectric generator is one of several solutions to consider as a power source at a remote location. Each generation technology has a set of attributes making it more or less desirable for an application under consideration.

Thermoelectric generators convert heat directly into electricity using a fuel source for heat, a hermetically sealed thermopile, cooling fins, and no moving parts. The TEG delivers a low maintenance and cost effective solution for remote power requirements, having operational and cost benefits over engine driven generators, batteries and solar sources for many applications.

The short document below provides an overview of thermoelectric generator operation and application. Talk to a product specialist about your need to power and communicate with a remote site. A thermoelectric generator may be an option you had not considered, but may prove to be the best solution.



Friday, December 2, 2016

Installing a Clamp-on Ultrasonic Flow Meter

industrial process ultrasonic flowmeter clamp on style
Ultrasonic flow meter with clamp on sensor
Courtesy Flexim
Ultrasonic flow meters are utilized throughout the fluid processing industries, as well as for compressed air and energy monitoring. The non-invasive nature of the sensor installation couples with sufficient accuracy and low maintenance requirements to give this technology a competitive edge for many applications.

Producing consistently accurate results with an ultrasonic flow meter depends heavily on a proper installation. Flexim, a globally recognized leader in the manufacture of ultrasonic flow meters, provides us with a video that steps through the installation process, with recommendations and guidance along the way.

Flexim manufactures a full range of ultrasonic flow measurement equipment and instruments for industrial and commercial applications. Share your flow measurement challenges with process measurement experts, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.