Friday, December 23, 2016

Seasons Greetings from Ives Equipment

Seasons Greeting from Ives Equipment
Season’s Greetings! In warm appreciation of our association during the past year, we extend our very best wishes for a happy holiday season.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays and a bright and successful New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Monitoring Interface Between Compounds in a Pipeline

Applied Analytics™ OMA
Applied Analytics™ OMA
In some cases, a single pipeline is used to transport a diverse array of chemical products. When discrete chemicals are moved sequentially through the same pipeline, a mechanical separator known as a “sealing pig” or “batching pig” is inserted between the sequential products to prevent inter-contamination.

Since the pigs are never completely effective at blocking the interface, a significant volume does suffer intermixing and must be removed for reprocessing. The amount of material routed to reprocessing is usually just pre-programmed with a large margin of error on either end of the interface to ensure removal of intermixed products. This is a simplistic model that is unnecessarily wasteful of material and time. 

By using a device such as the Applied Analytics™ OMA industrial analyzer, the chemical concentrations, purity, and physical properties can be measured in a continuously drawn sample from the liquid stream. This allows for real-time analytics of the materials in the pipe, including chemical concentrations, purity, and color. 

The OMA system continuously monitors full-spectrum absorbance in the pipeline stream. A change in this spectrum indicates a change in the purity/composition of the material passing through the pipeline. Therefore, the OMA immediately detects the ‘interface’ point where the material has begun to intermix with the subsequent material in the pipeline. 

Monitoring the 1st derivative of a complete UV-Vis/SW-NIR absorbance spectrum allows the OMA to detect changes in composition with high sensitivity and fast response. The user can define the threshold contamination level which will signal for rerouting of the stream.

For more information, contact Ives Equipment at http://www.ivesequipment.com or call (877) 768-1600.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Flow Meter for Efficient and Cost-effective Use of Water for Irrigation

Irrigation flow meter in the field
Irrigation flow meter in the field (courtesy of SIEMENS)
Water is necessary to sustain life, but in many parts of the world it is becoming increasingly scarce. As governments enact stricter legislation in an effort to preserve this vital resource for future generations, the irrigation industry faces a formidable challenge: more carefully managing water consumption and waste prevention while still remaining profitable.

Few resources are as vital to the human population, and the global economy as water. To ensure the continuous preservation of this valuable commodity, the water industry has
On-site testing and validation via SIMATIC PDM tool. 
come to rely on accurate and reliable of battery-operated electromagnetic flow meters is part of ideal water metering solution.

Features to be considered for irrigation flow meters:
  • Battery-powered for greater flexibility in the field 
  • Accuracy
  • Maintenance-free operation 
  • Tamper-proof and robust 
  • Flexible communication 
  • Qualification certificate
  • Wireless solution
The manufacturer SIEMENS produces the SITRANS F M MAG 8000 family of battery-operated water meters providing the flexibility to install a reliable water flow meter virtually anywhere without sacrificing accuracy or performance. No main power is required. MAG 8000 complies with the custody transfer approvals MID and OIML R49 water meter standards and is specially engineered for stand-alone water applications such as abstraction, distribution network, revenue metering and irrigation.

Benefit of the SITRANS F M MAG 8000
  • Simple meter placement - floating chamber IP 68 (NEMA 6P) design ensures continuous filterless performance regardless of position or in-line piping stresses, even when buried underground 
  • Low pressure loss - unrestricted flow tube ensures minimal pressure loss even at high flow rates and reduces overall network system pressure, helping to prevent leakage from burst pipes and excess stress placed on pumping stations 
  • Zero maintenance – no moving parts and 10-year battery life 
  • Bi-directional measurement - only one meter required for measurement in both directions
  • Installation requires 0D inlet to and outlet from the sensor - eliminating concerns about where the meter is installed 
  • Intelligent meter – capable of leak detection, data logging and error self-detection 
  • Remote capabilities – stay up-to-date on measurement data without having to visit the site through optional GSM/GPRS Wireless Communication Module
For more information, contact Ives Equipment by visiting http://www.ivesequipment.com or calling (877) 768-1600.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Special Application Challenges Call For High Performance Butterfly Valves

high performance butterfly valve double offset with actuator
Series 400 High Performance Butterfly Valve
ABZ Valve
Industrial process control applications can present stringent and challenging performance requirements for the physical equipment and components that comprise the process chain. The valves employed in fluid based operations need to be resistant to the impact of extreme fluid conditions, requiring careful design and selection consideration to assure proper performance and safety levels are maintained in a predictable way.

Industrial valves intended for extreme applications are generally referred to as severe service or high performance valves. While there are plenty of published and accepted standards for industrial valves, one does not exist to precisely define what constitutes a severe service valve.

So, how do you know when to focus valve selection activities on severe service or high performance valves, as opposed to those rated for general purpose? There are a number of basic criteria that might point you in that direction:

  • Extreme media or environmental temperature or pressure
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid or extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • Corrosive media

Certainly, any of these criteria might be found in an application serviceable by a general purpose valve, but their presence should be an indicator that a closer assessment of the fluid conditions and commensurate valve requirements is in order. The key element for a process stakeholder is to recognize when conditions are contemplated that can exceed the capabilities of a general purpose valve, leading to premature failure in control performance or catastrophic failure that produces an unsafe condition. Once the possibility of an extreme or challenging condition is identified, a careful analysis of the range of operating conditions will reveal the valve performance requirements.

There are numerous manufacturers of severe service or high performance valves, each with specialized product offerings focusing on a particular performance niche. ABZ Valve manufactures high performance butterfly valves ranging from 2-48 inches and 150-600 psi. The valve design is ideal for manual or automated actuation, installed with a manual hand gear, electric actuator, or a pneumatic actuator. Seats are available as soft, metal, and fire safe, and body types include wafer, double flanged, and butt-welded. Construction materials include carbon steel and 316 stainless steel. A range of options and variants are available to customize the valve build to suit a replacement or new installation.

More information about the ABZ Valve high performance offering is included below. You can always get more information and discuss your special requirements with a valve specialist. They have application experience and access to technical resources that can help with selecting the right valve components to meet your severe service and high performance applications.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Your Plant's Partners Make A Huge Difference in Performance and Profitability

The business relationships you make and the partnerships you choose have a dramatic impact on your plant operations. Choosing the right instrumentation and process equipment partner will save you time, money, and make your plant safer. 

For more than 60 years, Ives Equipment Corporation has successfully served the industries of eastern and central Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, metro NY, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington DC with the latest in process control equipment and services.

The Ives business is built on a foundation of quality people, highly trained and experienced, who take a keen interest in finding the optimum solutions to customers' control problems. If you need a proven, experienced, and reliable business partner, choose Ives.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Proven Ultrasonic Level Transmitter for Environmental, Water/Wastewater, and Energy Management Industries

SIEMENS SITRANS LU150
Reliable level control for
environmental applications
SITRANS LU150/180
The SIEMENS SITRANS LU150 is a short-range general purpose, 2 wire, 4 to 20 mA loop powered transmitter ideal for liquids, slurries, and bulk materials in open or closed vessels to 5 m (16.4 ft). The SITRANS LU180 is the intrinsically safe model.

Designed primarily for liquid applications in the environmental, water/wastewater, and energy management industries, the device is ideal for non-contact continuous level measurement of liquids and slurries in open or closed vessels.

The reliability of the level readings are based on Sonic Intelligence echo processing algorithms that Siemens has been refining for decades. These algorithms differentiate the true material level echoes from the false ones that can result from acoustic or electrical noises, as well as from agitator blades in motion. It's effective, accurate, unique, and it's exclusively Siemens.

Key Applications
  • Chemical storage vessels 
  • Filter beds
  • Mud pits
  • Liquid storage vessels 
  • Food applications
For more detailed information, check out the brochure below:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Industrial pH Control Basics

pH sensor
pH sensor courtesy of HF Scientific
Analytical measurement and control of pH within a system is necessary for many processes common applications include food processing, wastewater treatment, pulp & paper production, HVAC, power generation, and chemical industries.

pH display
pH display
courtesy of HF Scientific 
To maintain the desired pH level in a solution a sensor is used to measure the pH value. If the pH is not at the desired set point, a reagent is applied to the solution. When a high alkaline level is detected in the solution, an acid is added to decrease the pH level. When a low alkaline level is detected in the solution a base is added to increase the pH level. In both cases the corrective ingredients are called reagents.

Accurately applying the correct amount of reagent to an acid or base solution can be challenging due to the logarithmic characteristics a pH reaction in a solution. Implementing a closed-loop control system maintains the pH level within a certain range and minimizes the degree to which the solution becomes acidic or alkaline.

An example of an automatic pH level control system is a water treatment process where lime softened water is maintained at a pH of 9 using carbon dioxide as a reagent. As the untreated water (or influent) enters the tank, the pH is continuously monitored by the pH sensor. The sensor is the feedback device to the controller where the setpoint is compared to the control value. If the values are not equal, the controller sends a signal to the control valve that applies carbon dioxide to the tank. The reagent is applied to the tank at varying rates to precisely control the pH level. With the pH level at 11 detected by the sensor, the controller commands the control valve to open and introduce more carbon dioxide. As the increased carbon dioxide mixes with the influent, the pH is lowered in a controlled manner. Reaching the setpoint, the carbon dioxide flow is minimized and the process is continually monitored for variation. The effluent is the treated water that is discharged out of the tank. The process continues to provide the lime softened water at the desired pH level.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Process Equipment Corrosion / Materials Compatibility Guide

corrosion and material compatibility
Make sure your equipment
is compatible with your process!
Here is a handy quick reference guide for corrosion and material compatibility that can be applied for process control equipment (thanks to QCI Valves).

This chart is a guide to the engineer in the selection of materials for corrosive services. No one material can be expected to handle the wide variety of corrosive media found in industry today.  Therefore, the user must decide,  based on experience, which properties are  of prime importance in their application.

The process equipment in contact with the media should carry an A Rating. This chart is intended to be a guide, and if any questions exist on the application of a material, actual tests should be performed to determine the suitability of the material.  When in doubt, ALWAYS consult an application expert.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Simple Ways to Maximize the Efficiency of Your Process Control Application White Paper

Siemens Integrated Drive Systems
Siemens Integrated Drive Systems
A white paper courtesy of SIEMENS 

No matter what industry you’re in, the price of your inputs is bound to fluctuate – usually trending in a direction that doesn’t favor profits. You can’t control the rising costs of raw materials and energy, but you can control how much you get out of them. The simplest way to do this is by maximizing the efficiency of your equipment.

Performance and productivity are directly related to energy use, reliability and maintenance costs. The improved performance offered by a highly efficient drive train helps increase output and decrease energy consumption. It also reduces wear and tear, thereby limiting maintenance costs and downtime while extending the life of your equipment. To attain this level of efficiency, one need only turn to the application-specific engineering found in integrated drive systems. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

HydroRanger 200 Customer Loyalty Offer from Siemens

HydroRanger200
Take advantage of this
offer for the HydroRanger200
Time sensitive post!

Siemens Process Industries & Drives Division is pleased to bring you the enhanced HydroRanger 200 HMI ultrasonic level controller for measurement in a wide range of industrial applications including water/wastewater monitoring and pumping, inventory management, truck load-outs, and open channel monitoring.

Enhancements include faster commissioning with an improved HMI (Human Machine Interface) and graphical Quick Start Wizards as well as a redesigned enclosure with removable terminal blocks and wider communications.

The HydroRanger 200 HMI provides high performance measurement of level, flow, differential level, and volume conversion, with additional alarm and pump control functions. Siemens’ patented Sonic Intelligence signal processing technology differentiates between true and false echoes from obstructions or electrical noise, giving users repeatable, fast, and reliable measurements.

Siemens is making it easy for you to see the benefits this instrument has to offer. As a loyal customer, they are offering you a 15% discount toward the purchase of the enhanced HydroRanger(s) 200 HMI version.

Call Ives Equipment at 877-768-1600 to place your order.
Use discount code: SPR6029
(Offer valid until December 31, 2016).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Using Magmeters in Zero Upstream and Zero Downstream Applications

MagmeterThis video provides excellent information on installing magnetic flowmeters when you do not have optimal piping situations. The video also provides the viewer with an excellent overview of how Magmeters work.

The presentation reviews topics such as how Magmeter works, mounting configuration, best practices, alternatives for when required upstream/downstream piping distances are not available, the importance of a full pipe, and what kind of accuracy you can expect in less than ideal piping situations.

For more information on magnetic flowmeters visit this link or call Ives Equipment today at (877) 768-1600.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Enhance Control System Security Using Process Switches

Process Switches
Electro-mechanical switches do not have software or an
operating system susceptible to cyber attack.
Reprinted with permission from
Untied Electric Controls

In today’s world of standardized communications, no man is an island and neither is any process control system. Networking is about to expand greatly, thanks to the increasing adoption of integrated devices, the internet, and a proliferation of open operating systems. Increasing attacks that exploit weaknesses in the network may not be far behind. Real world examples have shown that control systems can be hacked, sometimes with deadly results.

This white paper looks at how open Microsoft technology used in virtually all contemporary control systems, such as distributed control systems (DCS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), can mean less security. The paper explores why current solutions may not be up to the task of protection. It also shows how simple, yet reliable electro-mechanical switch-based protection can improve cyber defenses by complementing traditional techniques with another layer of protection independent of centralized control systems.

Better Technology, Less Security

A long running trend is behind the increasing vulnerability of control systems to hacking and other forms of cyber mischief. Centralized control systems are typically tied together through an open network and software that is susceptible to cyber-attack. What’s more, the network extends out beyond the plant floor. Indeed, a part of the plant floor network is increasingly reaching around the world, thanks to web-based tools and interfaces.

Networking adds extra capabilities, information sharing, and lowers the cost of commercial off-the-shelf components used in process control systems. Data from a control system can be fed into enterprise management software, enabling the use of business intelligence techniques to tackle problems and improve overall performance.

However, current networked systems are more vulnerable to attack than yesterday’s stand-alone and analog-based setups. This increased susceptibility arises from expanding exposure on two fronts. First, an open standardized network that can be accessed around the world for good can also be manipulated globally for bad. Second, the more complex a network becomes, in terms of connected devices and topology, the more likely it is that some vulnerability will open up, particularly if system updates are not deployed in a timely manner.

Perhaps the best known and most complete example of this in a SCADA setting is the Stuxnet worm, which was discovered in June 2010. Stuxnet infects computers through infected USB ash drives and exploits multiple Microsoft Windows security vulnerabilities. More recently, another worm related to Stuxnet dubbed Duqu was discovered by a Budapest University. Built on the same source code as Stuxnet, Duqu may be one of many malware worms floating in cyberspace ready to attack.

An investigation by the Idaho National Laboratory demonstrated potential physical damage with a 27-ton power generator by sending conflicting instructions governing speed and other characteristics that induced the generator to literally shake apart, destroying it. In a simulation, Sandia National Laboratory engineers showed that turning o a recirculation pump while upping heat could incapacitate an entire oil refinery by simply destroying a critical component.

Current Solutions Need Improvement


Traditional solutions are not as effective as they once were. One aspect of the traditional approach is to patch software to plug vulnerabilities. Doing this prevents an attacker from gaining control of a system through the use of a trick - such as a buffer overflow overloading the software – thereby allowing an attacker free reign.

Yet another approach is to employ firewalls and intrusion detection devices to keep intruders out and prevent the exploitation of weaknesses. Very sensitive and critical control applications are further hardened through network segregation to limit points of contact to the outside world, making the systems more secure. Costly redundant components and controllers can also be used, if control applications are vital enough to warrant the extra expense.

In today’s world, unfortunately, all of these tactics can – and do – fail due to the efforts of smart savvy attackers. On the software side, the list of vulnerabilities in Linux, Windows, iOS, Android and other operating systems is long and growing. Despite the valiant efforts of the control system suppliers, attacks can succeed if an un-patched operating system or applications exist inside a trusted area due to lax system upgrades.

In addition, the growth of newer technologies, such as fieldbus networks, industrial wireless networks, and mobile hand-held devices is another potential path for hackers. The new crop of safety instrumented systems (SIS) shift from separated analog systems to digital networking architectures may be susceptible to operating system weaknesses. Wireless networks are new and even with the extraordinary security measures included in the standards, only one entry point out of an infinite amount due to ubiquitous access points through sensors and mobile devices is needed to create havoc.

In total, this situation means that the most secure approach possible – network segregation – is much less effective.

Turning to Tried and True Technology

Clearly, there is a need to add to the defense against cyber-attack. Ideally, the defense would operate in the event of a compromised control system. The solution has to be fast acting, as even small delays can lead to damaged equipment, toxic environmental exposure, loss of life, and long downtimes. It also has to be reliable, working when needed and not triggering at the wrong times. Finally, it has to be hack-proof and support current infrastructure.

Electro-mechanical process switches, a robust and proven technology, meet all of these requirements. At first glance, this is somewhat surprising since the technology is not typically considered for cyber security. However, electro-mechanical switches do not have software or an operating system susceptible to cyber attack. When properly applied, electro-mechanical switches can provide safety functions independent of a central control system. There is no processor involved, which means there is nothing to hack. Electro-mechanical switches are also fast, tripping quickly when milliseconds count. What’s more, modern implementations, like United Electric’s 100, 120 and 400 Series
of pressure and temperature switches, have virtually no false positives. When these switches trip, it is because a safe operating limit has been exceeded, dangerous conditions exist, or both.

The key to this approach is the placement of switches so that they monitor suitable process parameters. They also must be connected so that they can take the appropriate action. In the event of an out-of-limit process condition, the switches will trip. Since the switches can power relays, they can be wired so as to shut down compressors, pumps, turbines or whatever is needed to correct the situation and limit the damage.

Of course, the choice of what parameters to measure and where to do so will be dictated by the particular process in question. Likewise, what to have a switch act upon will also be process specific. They could, for example, shut o a compressor to keep a vessel from an overpressure situation or they could trip relays to take an entire plant floor offline.

To see the power of this approach, consider that one of the first actions taken in Sandia National Laboratory oil refinery attack simulation was to put the system on manual, thereby overriding automated safeguards. This hack attempt would have failed, though, given an appropriately placed and configured electro-mechanical switch. The switch would have tripped once the temperature exceeded a set point. There would be nothing the attacker could have done.

As an added bonus, switches protect against both deliberate and accidental catastrophes. After all, they do not care why a temperature limit, for example, has been exceeded. The situation could be due to malicious hacking or the failure of a pump circulating coolant. In either case, though, the switch would take the same action and provide an emergency shutdown.

Conclusion


As has been shown, increasing connectivity and automation have brought bene ts, such as diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and process optimization to process control. However, by bridging the gap between control systems and the world, these advances have also made automated control systems vulnerable to attack. Traditional solutions may not be adequate to safeguard systems in an environment where multiple, rapidly evolving technologies combine to create many potential weak links.

The solution involves a properly designed safety layer of electro-mechanical process switches to complement traditional software solutions. Switches are fast, reliable, hack-proof, and act independent of the control system. Electro-mechanical switches should be considered as the primary or redundant layer to protect critical equipment in today’s dangerous landscape. So, while no control system today may be an island, electro-mechanical switches can, in effect, provide protection from intruders before they can cause damage.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wastewater Treatment Plants Save Big on Energy with Ultrasonic Controller

SIEMENS LUT400
SIEMENS LUT 400

For a water/wastewater treatment plant (W/WWTP), pumping is one of the most expensive parts of day-to-day operations. Varying from country to country, these costs range from 30 to 50 percent or more of a W/WWTP’s hydro bills – and in the future, this number will only increase as energy prices climb. Overall, water and wastewater treatment are one of the largest energy consumers in most municipalities, so any savings have an impact on more than just the W/WWTP.

By the Numbers

Just how much does pumping cost? Take your average 50 horsepower pump. In an hour, this pump consumes around 37 kilowatts. Do the math and at a cost of $0.065 per kilowatt hour (kWh) – Ontario, Canada’s off-peak price – that one pump costs a W/WWTP $12 every day, $4400 each year (as it has a running time of five hours per day).

But we know that many places, including Canada, the UK, Germany, South Africa, and Australia, have different rates according to the time of day or season energy is consumed. So while our single pump costs $0.065 per hour during low-energy periods, it now costs up to 80% more during Ontario’s peak-energy periods. So if the same company did all of its pumping during these peak periods, over the course of a year it would have spent an additional $3500! And remember this is just for a single pump – many W/WWTPs have hundreds of pumps, depending on a facility’s size.

Of course, no company is going to pump only in peak-energy periods – as we have just seen, that would be outrageously expensive. But, since wastewater treatment happens at all times of the day, facilities must pump during these high-cost periods.

So, How Do I Save Money?

SITRANS LUT400, Siemens’ newest ultrasonic controller, features two models that control
pump operating range
Figure 1: During peak periods, the pump operating range is
much smaller than in normal operation,
reducing the amount of time pumps must run.
economy-pumping regimes (also known as skimming): SITRANS LUT430 Level, Volume, Pump, and Flow Controller; and SITRANS LUT440 High Accuracy Open Channel Monitor, providing a full suite of advanced level, volume, and pump controls.

In normal operation, the controller will turn on pumps once water reaches the high level set point and then will begin pumping down to the low level set point. In economy pumping, the controller will pump wells down to their lowest level before the premium rate period starts, thereby maximizing the well’s storage capacity. The controller then maintains a higher level during the tariff period by using the storage capacity of the collection network. Pumping in this way ensures compliance with environmental regulations and minimizes energy use in peak tariff periods.

How Do I Set Up an Economy-pumping Regime?

Install SITRANS LUT400 ultrasonic controller and connect it to a Siemens Echomax transducer in
Siemens Echomax transducers
Siemens Echomax transducers installed in the well and the
SITRANS LUT400 controller measure the level of water and
control pump operations.
your well. You will set pump on and off points based on your local peak- energy periods. During summer in Ontario, for example, the peak tariff period is between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

In the winter, these times change to 7-11 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. You can program up to ve peak zones during one 24-hour period.

To begin setting up your economy-pumping regime, enable SITRANS LUT400’s Energy Savings function. Set the Peak Lead Time to 60 minutes to start pumping water down 60 minutes before the high-cost period begins so the well is at its lowest point. Depending on the volume of your well, you can set your Peak Lead Time to any amount between zero and 65,535 minutes.

On the controller, select the Peak Start Time of 11:00 a.m. and the Peak End Time of 5:00 p.m. Set your Peak ON Setpoint to nine meters and the Peak OFF Setpoint to six meters, as shown in Figure 1.

In Normal Operation mode, the controller starts the pump when water reaches eight meters and stops the pump at two meters. In Energy Saving mode, SITRANS LUT400 turns on the pump when water reaches nine meters and stops pumping at six meters, thus running the pump for the minimum amount of time during peak tariff periods. Cost-savings through economy-pumping regimes are simple to put in place with these steps.

Don’t forget that when you are setting up your controller, you can take advantage of SITRANS LUT400’s real-time clock for daylight saving time adjustment. The real-time clock is a useful feature – input your location’s daylight saving time and economy pumping will occur throughout the year without interruption.

Infiltration and Ingress (I&I) Monitoring
LUT400 controller and XRS-5 transducer
LUT400 controller and XRS-5 transducer
in a wet well application


Another cost-saving feature of this controller is in ltra- tion and ingress monitoring with SITRANS LUT400’s pumped volume feature and built-in datalogging capabilities.

In a closed collection network, it is inef cient and costly to pump rainwater entering the system due to leakages from degraded pipes. SITRANS LUT400 calculates pumped volumes, providing useful historical trending information for detecting abnormal increases of pumped water.

To use this feature, provide the known volume in the well between the pump’s ON and OFF setpoints. The controller will calculate the pumped volume based on the rate of level change in the well during pumping. It also calculates the in ow rate based on the rate of level change in the well just prior to pump startup.

SITRANS LUT400 logs this information for you to review via the controller’s communications options, or by connect- ing a USB cable and downloading logs directly to your computer. By comparing these results, you can see if in ow rates are greater due to rainwater entering the system. Repair those damaged pipes and the cost savings begin!

Through economy pumping and I&I monitoring, SITRANS LUT400 gives companies the potential for sig- ni cant energy savings. One SITRANS LUT400 user stated that every small change his company makes to reduce consumption has the potential to save millions of dollars each year.

For more information, contact:
Ives Equipment
(877) 768-1600

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monitoring and Control of Carbon Monoxide Emissions in a Parking Structure

Parking lot CO2 Monitor
Parking lot CO2 Monitor
(courtesy of CONSPEC)
Reprinted with permission by CONSPEC


Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from motor vehicles can have detrimental effects on the air quality inside subterranean parking garages. CO, an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas, is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that CO poisoning claims nearly 500 lives and accounts for more than 15,000 visits to emergency rooms annually. When not properly ventilated, CO concentrations can build to toxic levels. Also when CO emissions fill a space, the oxygen in that space is depleted, causing asphyxiation.

In an underground parking garage without adequate ventilation, CO can easily exceed NIOSH and OSHA recommendations, and put workers, tenants and commuters at severe health and safety risks. Several states have passed laws to protect parking garage personnel from CO exposure.

Ventilation systems, therefore, are a must for today’s mixed use underground parking facilities, but they can be costly to operate 24 hours, seven days a week. This is why mechanical contractors and HVAC specialists are increasingly specifying CO monitoring and ventilations systems for both new and existing parking structures.

CARBON MONOXIDE SENSING TECHNOLOGIES

Not all CO sensors are alike. Electrochemical sensing technology provides many advantages over the older semiconductor (“solid state”) sensors or infrared sensors. Electrochemical sensors offer high resolution (≤ 0.5 ppm), a linear signal, long-term stability (≥5% over the lifetime of the sensor) and immunity to false alarms caused by “nuisance gases.”

The best CO sensing technologies will also alert facility and emergency personnel, via cell phone, in the case of dangerous concentrations of CO. Use of CO monitoring and ventilation can not only protect human health, but also can help prevent fire, as increased CO levels can sometimes predict the imminent threat of fire.

While inadequate ventilation can drastically increase the risks of liability, continuous operation of ventilation systems can
be costly. To minimize heat loss in winter, as well as conserve energy used by the ventilation fan motors, some parking garage owners began to operate ventilation systems only during peak traffic times, that is, during the morning and evening rush hours. This, however, failed to take into account instances

in which a car was left idling or parking patterns varied from the norm. This explains the growing trend toward installation of CO monitoring and ventilation control systems.

AN ALTERNATIVE TO CONTINUOUS VENTILATION

To minimize health and safety liability issues, some garage owners decided to simply run ventilation systems continuously, but this created other problems. Jeff Aiken, a project manager with Professional Mechanical Contractors, Inc., notes that continuous fan operation can mean continuous annoyance for tenants in apartments or condominiums close to fans.

“CO emissions also create tremendous liability issues,” Aiken noted, “but continuous operation is not a good solution. Installing a gas detection solves this dilemma.”

In response to the energy crisis in California in the 1980s, Conspec Controls developed a combined CO monitoring and ventilation system using electrochemical sensing technology. For maximum cost efficiency in new construction, the design should include an integrated CO monitoring and ventilation system.

The Conspec P2621 is often specified due to its large area of coverage. For instance, in a typical garage with ten-foot ceilings, one unit will cover 10,000 square feet, while competing systems require two units in the same space.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Examining the User Interface of the SensAlert ASI Gas Detector

The Sensidyne SensAlert ASI provides enhanced protection and dependability for critical safety applications where personnel, processes, and facilities are at risk. The third party certified SIL-2 SensAlert ASI offers dependability and versatility while remaining the easiest to install, commission, operate, and maintain.

The video below demonstrates the setting menu and the operator interface.

The product is third-party certified to IEC61508 Level 2 (SIL-2) for both hardware and software with certification to global hazardous area and performance standards. The Test-on-Demand feature with on-board gas generator provides remote functionality checks with generated gas while Predictive Sensor End-of-Life Indication provides advanced warning of impending sensor failure.

SensAlert ASI is a universal instrument platform for toxic & combustible gas detection and oxygen monitoring. Intrinsically safe or explosion proof installation configurations with options for remote sensors and gassing, duct mount, and sample-draw maximize application versatility. Intrinsically safe or explosion proof installation configurations for remote sensors and gassing, duct mount, and sample-draw maximize application versatility. The sensor head accepts all Plus Series sensor technologies – infrared, catalytic bead, and electro-chemical. Assignable and configurable relays together with communication options provide broad flexibility. The SensAlert ASI I.S. sensor head can be remote mounted up to 100 feet (30m) from the transmitter providing a useful option to position the transmitter in a personnel-accessible location while positioning the sensor closer to potential hazards.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Food Processing: Belt Scales Improve Tomato Processor Efficiency and Productivity

Belt Scales Improve Tomato Processor Efficiency
Belt Scales Improve
Tomato Processing
The following post is a case history on using alternative technology to improve large scale food preparation process.  You'll read about how belt scales outperformed legacy equipment for a tomato peeling process and increasing yield.

Application:

A tomato processor located on the Paciļ¬c coast uses the latest technologies in peeling, dicing, and packaging tomatoes. They were preparing to replace some of their older weigh feeders because of declining performance. One of their main concerns with installing new weigh feeders was the cost of moving the existing conveying systems in order to accommodate new weigh feeders.

See the document below for the full case history:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2 Wire, 3 Wire, and 4 Wire RTD Sensor Connections

Industrial temperature transmitters
Industrial temperature
transmitters (courtesy of
Siemens)
Industrial temperature transmitters are devices that measure the temperature of a process and provide a measurable output over some desired temperature range. Industrial temperature transmitters primarily use either of two popular temperature sensors - the thermocouple or the RTD (resistance temperature detector). The RTD changes resistance as process temperature changes, while a thermocouple provides a changing micro-voltage with process temperature change. RTDs are inherently more accurate, but require excitation voltage. There are three style RTD's - 2-wire, 3-wire, and 4-wire.


Proper connections for all three types of RTD sensor to a user- configurable transmitter are shown in the following illustrations:

proper wiring of RTDs
Proper wiring of RTDs
It is critically important to note that the common connections shown by the symbols for 3- and 4-wire RTD sensors represent junction points at the sensor; not terminals jumpered by the technician at the time of installation, and not internal jumpers inside the transmitter. The whole purpose of having 3-wire and 4-wire RTD circuits is to eliminate errors due to voltage drop along the current-carrying wires, and this can only be realized if the “sensing” wire(s) extend out to the RTD itself and connect there. If the transmitter’s sensing terminal(s) are only jumpered to a current- carrying terminal, the transmitter will sense voltage dropped by the RTD plus voltage dropped by the current-carrying wire(s), leading to falsely high temperature indications.

Click here for more information on industrial RTDs and temperature transmitters.

For more information about any temperature measuring application, contact:
Ives Equipment
www.ivesequipment.com
(877) 768-1600

Some of above content taken from Lessons In Industrial Instrumentation by Tony R. Kuphaldt – under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Combustion Analyzer Adds Higher Level of Safety by Measuring O2, Combustibles, and Methane

WDG-VThe reliable identification of low combustion oxygen in a fired heater or boiler has always been critical to the effectiveness of the Burner Management System for proper control and safety.

Low emission burners and aggressive firing control points to achieve increased efficiency and emission reductions have driven the industry to tighter control measures. But tighter control measures also hold a greater potential for combustion events. Reducing the risk of a combustion event has become a priority and has led to the implementation of Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). This additional layer of safety is added to the Basic Process Control System.

The WDG-V has been designed to provide an additional layer of safety with the measurement of excess O2, Combustibles and Methane and by using these measurements to ensure the safe operation of the Burner Management System.

WDG analyzers are based on a zirconium oxide cell that provides a reliable and cost-effective solution for measuring excess oxygen in flue gas as well as CO and methane levels. Information from the Gas Analyzer allows operators to obtain the highest fuel efficiency, while lowering emissions for NOx, CO and CO2. The zirconium oxide cell responds to the difference between the concentration of oxygen in the flue gas versus an air reference. To assure complete combustion, the flue gas should contain several percent oxygen. The optimum excess oxygen concentration is dependent on the fuel type (natural gas, hydrocarbon liquids and coal).

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Solenoid Valve Operating Principle

solenoid magnetic field
Solenoid magnetic field
A solenoid is an electric output device that converts electrical energy into a linear mechanical force.

At its most basic level a solenoid is an electromagnetic coil that uses magnetism produced by the flow of current to physically move the armature of a solenoid. The armature that is movable can be a rod or a metallic arm. One of the most common uses of solenoids are as the operators of valves.

A plunger solenoid contains a movable iron rod that is inserted into a coiled cylinder. The rod is connected to a plate with two contacts. With the aid of a spring the contacts are normally open. When an electrical current passes through the coil, it generates a magnetic field that attracts the rod into the coil chamber. The movement of rod will move the contacts into a closed position. When the current is turned off the magnetic force is removed and the tension in the spring forces the rod back out to its original resting position. This back-and-forth motion of the rod to control a circuit is used to operate a variety of mechanical devices such as valve seats and pneumatic poppets.

solenoid valve
Solenoid valve components
A solenoid valve is a combination of two basic functional units:
  • The solenoid (electromagnet) described above.
  • A valve body containing one or more orifices.
ASCO solenoid valve
ASCO Redhat Solenoid Valve
Flow through an orifice is controlled by the movement of the core when the solenoid is energized or de-energized. The core is enclosed in a sealed tube, providing a compact, leak tight assembly.

This video provides a very basic visual understanding of the solenoid operating principle and how the mechanism works. From this video it is easy to understand how the linear movement created by the solenoid can be transformed into the movement necessary to open and close solenoid valves.




For more information about solenoid valves, contact:
Ives Equipment
877-768-1600

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lost Plant Air a Hidden Source for Energy Savings

Save energy costs
Save energy costs by reducing
consumption of plant air.
Industrial plant air is one of the easiest sources of power to transmit and use. It’s also one of the most costly to generate. Information from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) indicates a wide variety of factors determine the cost of compressed air. These include, but are not limited to, local electrical energy cost, efficiencies of electric motors and compressors, load factors, and service time.

Plant maintenance are becoming more aware of air leaks and the subsequent increases in cost to overcome lost power because of those leaks. One of the major culprits for lost air in a plant is the pneumatic control valve positioner and the air required to operate them. In a typical process plant, there could be hundreds of control valves. Each control valve uses a positioner to move the valve actuator, based on a set point signal from a controller.

Control valve with SIPART
Control valve
with Siemens SIPART
It is the control valve positioner where the greatest air consumption savings lies.

Years ago, when electricity was cheap and when valve positioners were first introduced, plant maintenance and engineering were not concerned with something called the “bleed rate” of the positioner. Over the years though, plant personnel lost track of bleed rate and pretty much forgot that a positioner is just part of the system and it operates on air. Today, a modern process facility such as a power plant, refinery, or chemical plant can have several hundred control valves with positioners. The combined air loss due to the positioner “bleed rate” can be significant.

SIPART positioners
Siemens SIPART positioners
An immediate solution to this problem is to replace the control valve positioners with modern, energy-efficient, low-bleed models. One model, the Siemens SIPART PS2 has a proven track record of providing substantial savings to large plants. In one case, a tabacco company that had 2500 positioners was planning on spending $600,000 on a new compressor to increase output. After reviewing the capabilities of the low bleed positioner and running some tests, the plant decided to implement a plan for replacing the positioners which mitigated the need for a new compressor.

The significant change in technology came with the adoption of the adoption of a piezo ceramic valve block in low bleed positioners. Traditional positioners used an I/P and spool valve which both leaked air. Over time the leaks from these two parts is significant.

Could you and your plant be in the situation where lost energy efficiency through leaky positioners is costing big bucks? If you’re even the slightest bit concerned, call in an applications expert now for a system review.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Adhesives Manufacturer Saves Energy and Stays in Compliance with Flammability Anayzer

Flammability Analyzer
Flammability analyzer increases
safety while lowering energy cost.
A large manufacturer of adhesives needed to reduce energy costs in their plant. A large part of their energy cost was literally going out the window in the ventilation system and associated fuel costs. The heated air they produced for ventilation was expensive, yet is was necessary in order to comply with the NFPA's (National Fire Protection Association) standard of 25% LFL (lower explosive limit) on solvent vapor concentrations.

The 25% LFL applies to areas using just ventilation, but increases to 50% LFL if a continuous flammability analyzer is installed. If the manufacturer installed vapor analyzers, they could reduce the amount of energy on ventilation and fuel.

To meet the objective of lowering energy costs, the company installed PrevEx Flammability Analyzers, manufactured by Control Instrument Corporation, on each adhesive dryer. The PrevEx is a flammability analyzer for lower flammable limit monitoring (LFL/LEL) designed to provide fast response time (less than 1 second), capable of quickly changing gas concentrations, and with failsafe performance.

PrevEx flammability analyzers use a heated flame cell and an integrated controller that continuously measures total flammable vapor concentrations from 0 to 100% of the Lower Flammable Limit (LFL) range. To avoid condensation during sampling, the entire analyzer pneumatic assembly is heated.

A PrevEx analyzer was fitted on each printing press dryer to detect the possibility of solvent vapor accumulation. The PrevEx analyzers were chosen because of their "Universal Calibration" feature which prevents downtime due to re-calibration requirements.

By installing the flammability analyzers, the manufacturer was able to decrease ventilation and the associated energy costs while still staying in compliance with the NFPA code.

To understand more about flammability analyzers, look over the product document below:


For more information on flammability analyzers, contact:
Ives Equipment
www.ivesequipment.com
877-768-1600

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Clamp-on Flowmeter Locates Hard-to-Find Water Plant Leak

SITRANS FUP1010 clamp-on flowmeter
SITRANS FUP1010 clamp-on flowmeter
A rural water treatment plant in the Southwestern United States treats, stores, and distributes 325,00 gallons per day of water to the village it serves. The village consumes an average of 125,000 gallons a day and can store up to 1 million gallons.

The Problem

Unfortunately, the treatment plant was also losing 210,000 gallons a day due to an unknown leak.
Because of the leak, water storage was critically low at 100,000 gallons and the water service had to be temporarily shut off to half the village.

The village management hired a consultant company, at $1000.00 a day, to find the leak. The consultant worked for about a week without any luck.

The Solution

Read in the document below on how a Siemens SITRANS FUP1010 clamp-on flowmeter was used to find the leak.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

PART 1: Setting Up and Operating the United Electric One Series Safety Transmitter

One Series Safety Transmitter
One Series Safety Transmitter
This is PART 1 in a series of training videos for the United Electric Controls One Series Safety Transmitter.

The One Series Safety Transmitter is a pressure or temperature monitoring transmitter switch that provides a NAMUR NE 43 standard 4-20 mA analog output. Its programmable high-capacity solid-state safety relay output enables the fastest emergency shutdowns.

The One Series Safety Transmitter is certified for use in SIL 2 functional safety applications (HFT = 0), and is capable of SIL 3 applications when augmented by redundancy and voting logic. Its simple design means fewer nuisance trips — for greater safety, productivity, and throughput.

The One Series Safety Transmitter was designed with features that simplify installation, improve productivity, and eliminate nuisance trips. “I Am Working” sensor diagnostics with redundant data processing detect open, shorted, and plugged sensing elements.

The transmitter’s analog output conforms to the NAMUR NE 43 standard and provides process variable (PV) and detected-fault information. Discrete outputs provide a fail-safe (open) emergency shutdown when a fault is detected. Set point and deadband (reset point) are 100% programmable.


The instrument is password protected to prevent unwanted parameter changes; eliminating the risk of tampering. In addition, LED backlighting enhances viewing of process variables, parameters, and status in dimly lit areas.

  1. Fewer nuisance trips for greater productivity
  2. More affordable than adapting a process transmitter for SIS
  3. Internal relay for faster emergency shutdowns
  4. Higher safe failure fraction simplifies SIL achievement

For more information, contact:
Ives Equipment
(877) 768-1600

PART 2: Setting Up and Operating the United Electric One Series Safety Transmitter

One Series Safety Transmitter
One Series Safety Transmitter 
This is PART 2 in a series of training videos for the United Electric Controls One Series Safety Transmitter.

The One Series Safety Transmitter is a pressure or temperature monitoring transmitter switch that provides a NAMUR NE 43 standard 4-20 mA analog output. Its programmable high-capacity solid-state safety relay output enables the fastest emergency shutdowns.

The One Series Safety Transmitter is certified for use in SIL 2 functional safety applications (HFT = 0), and is capable of SIL 3 applications when augmented by redundancy and voting logic. Its simple design means fewer nuisance trips — for greater safety, productivity, and throughput.

The One Series Safety Transmitter was designed with features that simplify installation, improve productivity, and eliminate nuisance trips. “I Am Working” sensor diagnostics with redundant data processing detect open, shorted, and plugged sensing elements.
The transmitter’s analog output conforms to the NAMUR NE 43 standard and provides process variable (PV) and detected-fault information. Discrete outputs provide a fail-safe (open) emergency shutdown when a fault is detected. Set point and deadband (reset point) are 100% programmable.


The instrument is password protected to prevent unwanted parameter changes; eliminating the risk of tampering. In addition, LED backlighting enhances viewing of process variables, parameters, and status in dimly lit areas.

The Series One leads the market in process safety transmitters because:
  • Fewer nuisance trips for greater productivity
  • More affordable than adapting a process transmitter for SIS
  • Internal relay for faster emergency shutdowns
  • Higher safe failure fraction simplifies SIL achievement
For more information, contact:

Ives Equipment
(877) 768-1600

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Common Areas to Find Fluid Control Valves in Wine Production

valves used in wine making
Valves and controls play big role in wine quality
Wine making and craft breweries are becoming big business in the Mid-Atlantic region. Their growth leads to a need for continuous process improvement in fermentation, filtering, and bottling. Automation, with higher efficiency valves, sensors, and piping  becomes increasingly important as the enterprise grows. In wine making, process control is critical. Careful control of temperature, pressure, level and flow, and detection of solids, acidity, and sugars needs constant monitoring to assure the best quality and consistency.

A variety of fluid control valves are commonly used in the production of wine, both large scale production and smaller scale. These valves are found in many areas, from sanitary valves handling the product itself, to hot water valves for cleaning equipment, to pneumatic valves transmitting pneumatic signals to handling equipment.

Here is a quick video showing some typical areas where fluid control valves can be found in the wine making process.


For more information, contact:

Ives Equipment
www.ivesequipment.com
877-768-1600

Friday, April 8, 2016

Veterans in Automation

Hire Vets
Veterans are excellent candidates for
Automation careers
Reprinted with permission from the Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org)
Note: At time of writing, both Preston Mihalko and Nick Abbenante were employees of Ives Equipment.





Automation jobs require a combination of technical know-how combined with interpersonal skills, making them a great fit for veterans.

It’s always difficult to find suitable candidates for openings in industrial automation as most of these jobs require both technical and interpersonal skills, often with a bit of management expertise added to the mix. Universities graduate hundreds of thousands of mostly young men and women every year with business and liberal arts degrees, and many of these grads have excellent interpersonal skills, but generally aren’t very technical.

Engineering and other STEM graduates have the required technical background, but are always in short supply and command very high salaries. And many of these grads are a bit lacking in interpersonal skills as they have spent their formative years relentlessly hitting the books, not developing relationships.

As far as management skills, these are best gained through on-the-job training, where actual supervision takes place. Unfortunately, not many candidates for entry and mid-level automation jobs have this type of experience.

But veterans naturally combine all three of these skills, as just about every position in each branch of the military requires training and hands-on experience in one or more technical areas. Interpersonal skills are developed by forced close cooperation among those serving, and many relatively young veterans have impressive experience managing teams as commissioned and non-commissioned officers (NCOs). If fact, many would say NCOs, in particular, make great job candidates because they have risen through the ranks to become the backbone of the Army and Navy as sergeants and petty officers, respectively.

Preston Mihalko and Nick Abbenante are two great examples of veterans who have made the successful transition from the military to industrial automation, and their stories illustrate how their skills seamlessly transferred from the military to the civilian sector.

Navy vet finds success in sales

Mihalko spent three years as a service warfare officer in the Navy. He was onboard a ship for much of this time as his specialty was anti- submarine warfare. Technical training was part of daily life as he was required to understand ship operations, as well as the specialized equipment used to detect submarines.

In many ways, a ship is a small city at sea, with larger vessels crewed by thousands, and even smaller ships crewed by hundreds. As such, there are onboard systems for everything from propulsion to electrical generation to water treatment. And, of course, these systems need to be monitored and controlled around the clock, with very stringent requirements for reliability and uptime.

The mechanisms of a nuclear submarine or large surface ship rival any industrial installation, so the parallels between onboard and industrial automation systems are obvious. It’s virtually impossible to serve aboard a ship for any length of time without absorbing extensive technical knowledge and gaining lots of hands-on experience.

As far as interpersonal skills, these are naturally gained by living in very close quarters with hundreds or even thousands of sailors. These colleagues span the range from front-line workers to supervisors, starting with newly enrolled sailors and advancing to experienced ship captains. Close cooperation is forced, and virtually no one leaves the Navy without knowing how to develop and maintain work relationships with people from every walk of life and exhibiting most every temperament.

If one is an officer, like Preston, then these work relationships contain a supervisory component. The management training given to officers in the Navy and other branches of the service has been honed for over a hundred years, and it consists of both book learning and hands-on experience. Those who move up the ranks exhibit a strong sense of personal responsibility and judgment, giving them the ability to lead and work effectively with others.

Upon his honorable discharge, Preston was looking for a career where he could successfully combine his interpersonal and technical skills. “I was interested in sales and not operations because I like being in front of customers, and because I enjoy face-to-face technical interactions. I first went into medical device sales, then from there to industrial automation sales,” says Mihalko.

Successful industrial salespeople must work with application- driven products, as does Mihalko, and therefore need to exhibit a combination of capabilities. Technical skills are needed so salespeople can understand the products and how they t customers’ needs, and interpersonal skills are required so salespeople can properly communicate how products satisfy customer needs and expectations.

Mihalko found the specific skills he learned in the Navy transferrable to the field of industrial automation. “I was able to apply shipboard systems and concepts to understand industrial automation issues. Interaction with equipment on a daily basis helped me to gain hands-on experience and understanding, which I found applied both on board a ship and on land. In terms of intangible benefits, I gained the ability to network with co-workers through my interactions with other Navy personnel,” he notes.

Fittingly, Mihalko uses nautical terms to describe the position he’s held for the last three years working in outside sales for an automation distributor based in the Maryland/Washington, DC area. “I’m the captain of my own destiny in outside sales, and I enjoy marketing myself along with the brands I represent. The challenge of the uncertainty and having to figure out solutions is also appealing,” he indicates.

Among ‘a few good men’

As the iconic ad intones, the Marines are “looking for a few good men.” Nick Abbenante thought he might t the bill, and he ended up serving for four years as a Marine Corp First Commander Infantry Officer. In this position, he worked as a military occupational specialist in the areas of combat and weapons. Abbenante’s plans weren’t as specific as Mihalko’s, but were similar in many ways. “I wanted direct interaction with customers, and knew I wanted to be in outside sales,” he says. As a member of one of the most tightly woven cadres in any branch of service in any country, Abbenante knew what it meant to work closely with and depend on others. These interpersonal skills and deep relationships were something he could transfer directly to a sales position.

Sales, like many other areas of industrial automation, requires organizational skills, which Abbenante felt he gained in the service. “The Marines taught me the value of prioritizing, multi-tasking, attention to detail, taking initiative and persistence. And, like any branch of service, not being afraid to get involved,” he explains. Abbenante combined his skills and training to find the type of job he wanted in industrial automation, where he’s worked for the last two years as an outside sales rep with responsibility for the company’s Maryland territory. He works very closely with process plant personnel in this position to help them analyze applications, and specify the proper equipment to solve problems and optimize processes.

“Being a salesperson is like having my own little enterprise. One must show ownership and take stock in the success of your own business territory, which contributes to the success of the larger enterprise. Every day brings new challenges at different plants,” he notes.

Both Mihalko and Abbenante have some advice for other veterans looking to make the transition from the military to industrial automation.

Advice to other veterans and potential employers

Some people look at military life and don’t immediately see the connections to the private sector. To an employer considering a recently discharged candidate, or even a new veteran moving back into civilian life, there may seem to be a gap. Abbenante thinks both sides are looking at it incorrectly, and need to reconsider how to match military skills and experiences with job requirements. “Don’t look for an exact match to your skills, but instead look for positions with requirements complimentary to your knowledge, and then build upon that,” he suggests.

Mihalko chimes in with his advice: “You have an open-ended career choice because you’ve gained many different skills in the service. Sales is one area, but there are many other avenues which might match up your skills and abilities,” he points out.

And both Abbenante and Mihalko encourage disabled veterans to look for positions in sales and other areas where heavy lifting and other physical rigors aren’t involved. “Sales gives you the opportunity to solve problems and think on your feet, but not necessarily in a physical way,” Mihalko emphasizes.

Mihalko used the services of the military to find private-sector work. “I went through a transitioning veterans’ organization to find a position. I attended a career event with interviews set up based on my resume’s match with available jobs,” he says. Abbenante took a different route than Mihalko. “I worked with headhunters I met at a conference, and they assisted in setting up interviews,” Abbenante notes.

Although Abbenante and Mihalko served in different roles in the military and followed their own unique paths to find positions in the automation eld, both are proud to be automation industry professionals.