Monday, February 29, 2016

New Metal Seated Ball Valves Introduced

Cutaway view of metal seated industrial ball valve SVF Flow Controls
Cutaway view of a metal seated ball valve
Courtesy SVF Flow Controls
Ball valves are utilized across a wide range of industrial process fluid flow control applications. Consequently, there are many ball valve variants, each designed to satisfy a particular range of application requirements.

Reviewing some of the attributes of ball valves that might make them the best choice:
  • Tight closure.
  • Very low resistance to flow.
  • Best suited for applications requiring fully closed or open control.
  • 90 degrees of rotational motion from open to closed position yields rapid response.
  • Comparatively compact, without the space requirement for extending stem movement as required by some other valve types.
  • Wide range of construction materials for the body, stem, ball, and seals.
  • Moderate force required for actuation.
  • A full size port provides for very low pressure drop across the valve when fully open.
  • Requirements for maintenance are generally low. 
  • No lubrication required.

One limiting factor for the application of ball valves, as with many other valve types, is the seat material. Most often, seats are fabricated from elastomeric or other "soft" materials. While these materials provide good sealing performance, their inability to withstand higher fluid temperatures makes them unsuitable for some industrial applications. To satisfy a wider range of process applications, some manufacturers offer metal seated ball valves. The metal seated valves are designed to meet severe service applications involving high temperature, erosive fluids and other challenging shutoff requirements where soft seats would rapidly deteriorate.

One manufacturer, SVF Flow Controls, provides metal seated ball valves in sizes 1/2" through 12" with a full port design. Because of their intent for severe service applications, metal seated ball valves are generally provided with other design features that enable their application across a wide range of high temperature or erosive fluid applications.

I have included a data sheet below that provides additional technical information, or you may contact a valve application specialist for any assistance you need. Share you fluid control challenges and get effective solutions.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Multi-function Stainless Steel Compressed Air Filter Regulator For Severe Environments


Industrial processes utilize compressed air and gases for many applications. Maintaining appropriate pressure and keeping the air supply free of particulates is a basic requirement for almost every compressed air system. The Rotork Midland brand of filter regulators are designed to provide both the filtration and pressure regulation functions in a single unit. Additionally, the 3550 series is designed for service in harsh environments with it stainless steel construction. Intended primarily for use in valve actuation air supplies, several versions provide differing pressure ranges, connection sizes, and maximum flow rates. There are options for filtration to the 5 micron level.

Basic data sheets for the units are provided below. All the application assistance you need for your valve automation challenges is available from the specialists at MS Jacobs.



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Process and Equipment Monitoring Using Telemetry

high voltage transformers in electrical substation
Continuous monitoring of remotely located
equipment yields a wide range of benefits
Industrial operations and processes are populated with unimaginable variations of equipment and applications, each with specific operating sequences intended to produce a specific outcome. By their scale and nature, most have the capacity to substantially impact the success of the organization. As stakeholders in the operation of industrial processes and equipment, we have an interest in monitoring their performance for any number of reasons.

  • Financial - The investment in plant and equipment is financially significant to a company of any size. An operator benefits from monitoring process inputs and outputs. Scrutinizing the operating status of process equipment and intermediate process conditions provides valuable information that can be used to minimize negative events of many types.
  • Maintenance - Keeping a real time watch over operating characteristics of machinery can present opportunities to head off trouble before it happens. There are many warning signs that can precede equipment failure, and taking prompt remedial action requires issuance of real time warnings.
  • Safety - Industrial operations of all types tend to exhibit levels of hazard to personnel or environment ranging from minor to potentially catastrophic. The rigorous procedures employed to maintain operation within prescribed limits are enabled through the use of information about process conditions.
  • Regulatory - There can be jurisdictional requirements to monitor and report certain process characteristics. An ability to conduct the needed action from afar, without having to station personnel at a remote location, has some real benefit.
This list is not intended to be complete or definitive. There are countless ways that process operators can use real time data to enhance all facets of their operation. A challenge arises when the process or operation extends over a large area, perhaps beyond the boundaries of the primary facility. That's where telemetry serves as the means to deliver needed information to a decision making location.
Modern requirements for "knowing what is happening" increase the need for telemetry in industrial operations. 
Telemetry is getting the information you need from a remote or inaccessible location and delivering it to where it can be used for decision making. 
With the wide array of hardware offered by process measurement and control equipment suppliers, implementing the data collection and transmission has become a fairly straight forward task. Simply put, here is what you need to accomplish.

  • Measure or detect the information needed. You know how to do this. Sensors, counters, or other regularly available process measuring equipment is what is needed here.
  • Convert the measurement into a transmissible form. This will likely be accomplished by the transmission gear. The measurement devices you use should provide an output signal that is compatible with the input requirements of the selected transmission equipment.
  • Transmit the information to the receiving station (the decision making point). The device and equipment manufacturers do most of the hard work of accomplishing this task. Generally, regardless of the transmission method, the extent of the work needed to put transmission into operation involves powering up the equipment and assigning addresses or channels to identify the source of the signal.
  • Receive the signal and convert it to a form readable by the decision making portion of the system. Again, the telemetry equipment manufacturers handle the details in the design of their equipment. Implementation consists of similar steps to those of the transmission equipment.
It is recommended that the transmission method be selected first. It must accommodate any challenges presented by the distance to be covered and any obstacles that may impact the delivery of the signal to its destination. Coordinate the measuring device output signal selection with the transmission device input requirements. The receiving equipment must be capable of producing an output signal that is readable by whatever decision making or recording equipment is used.

Below is a case study illustrating how a user derived a signal from a utility plant to provide data on local power consumption.You will see how they selected and employed equipment to accomplish the four tasks outlined above.

The applications are only limited by your imagination and ingenuity. Instead of wondering about what is happening at remote locations, operators can now easily measure and deliver useful operating information across almost any distance. Share your challenges with process control specialists and develop the solutions you need.



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Improved Gauge Visibility With New Product Feature From Wika

luminous glow in the dark instrument gauge
Wika Instrument gauges have optional high visibility feature.
Wika Instrument, a world class manufacturer of temperature, pressure, level, and flow instrumentation for the industrial process control field, has introduced a product innovation that allows operators to observe gauge readings in low light conditions. The product enhancement comes in two forms, called InsightTM and Insight GlowTM. I have inserted the manufacturer's published description of both options below, along with a video that demonstrates the Insight GlowTM in low light conditions.

More detailed information, along with application assistance and product configuration, is available from an experienced Wika distributor. Use your process expertise and their product application knowledge to achieve the best solutions to instrumentation challenges.

From the company:
InSightTM
The InSightTMoption includes a retro-reflective material affixed to the dial face. At daylight, the fluorescent color absorbs non visual UV light reflecting additional light and making the gauge even more visible. At low light, the pattern of the retro-reflective material also makes the dial more visible to stand out among other regular gauges.
This easy-to-view option comes in three colors: white, fluorescent yellow, and fluorescent orange. It is currently available on industrial and process type gauges (SS wetted parts) and bimetal thermometers for both dry and liquid-filled case options, in sizes from 2 ½” to 6” in diameter.
InSight GlowTM
The InSight GlowTM option uses a retro-reflective, photo-luminescent dial design that illuminates the entire front of the instrument dial for an extended amount of time when exposed to a light source for as little as 10 seconds. The dial appears bright white in darkness, fog, smoke, and fire.
Like the InSightTM option, the Glow is also available on industrial and process type gauges (SS wetted parts) and bimetal thermometers for both dry and liquid-filled case options, in sizes from 2 ½” to 6” in diameter.
Additional Factors to Consider
WIKA has developed additional options to enhance the readability of gauges. For example, a magnification window enables instruments to be read from a distance. An anti-glare window eliminates unwanted reflection of sunlight or bright indoor lighting.
For any gauge, dial size is also a key specification that can aid in readability. Accurate information allows you to operate safely and efficiently. Where possible, WIKA recommends a minimum size of four inches in diameter for process gauge dials. This enables them to be easily read from three to six feet away.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Unique Cybersecurity Challenges For Industrial Control Systems

industrial control system cybersecurity
Industrial control systems have special
cybersecurity aspects.
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 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 (subject of a previous blog posting), 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.



Monday, February 1, 2016

Orion Instruments Announces New Level Transmitter

Direct insertion and external mount versions of
Orion JM4 Magnetostrictive Level Transmitter
Courtesy Orion Instruments
Orion Instruments, a world class manufacturer of magnetic level indicators, level switches, and level transmitters, has released a new product for use in the industrial process measurement and control field. Their Jupiter Model JM4 magnetostrictive transmitter incorporates the company's many years of research, development, and field experience to provide a safer, simpler, and smarter transmitter for liquid level measurement and control.

The new model from Orion boasts level measurements with accuracy as high is +/-0.05" (1.27mm). The transmitter head can be rotated up to 310 degrees with an option for remote mounting. Variants are available for direct insertion or external mounting, with approvals for a number of area classifications. There are other valuable features to this series of level measurement instruments that reflect Orion's expertise in the field.

Browse the new product brochure included below. It provides illustrations of the product and its operating principle, along with dimensioned drawings and a listing of all the product options and variants. You can always obtain whatever information you need about Orion level measurement instruments from a product specialist. Share your liquid level measurement challenges and requirements with them for recommendations on the best solutions.