Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Compact NTEP Approved Custody Transfer Coriolis Flowmeter Means Easier Installation and Space Savings

SITRANS FC430
SIEMENS SITRANS FC430
Running an industrial plant carries with it a very high level of responsibility. You must adhere to the highest standards of safety and hygiene, ensure that your final products are of consistent quality, and comply with stringent industry and governmental regulations.

By combining the Siemens SITRANS FCS400 sensor and SITRANS FCT030 transmitter, the digitally based SITRANS FC430 is suitable for applications within the process industries. It is also one of the first Coriolis systems worldwide to achieve SIL 2 and 3 approval in hardware and software, respectively – the ultimate assurance of safety and reliability.

The Siemens SITRANS FCS400 is the market’s most compact sensor, making installation and replacement easier than ever. It provides an accuracy rate of 0.1% and high sensitivity for optimal measurement of even low flows. The SITRANS FCS400 features a very stable zero point, low pressure loss, and high immunity to process noise and plant vibrations.

The SITRANS FCT030 transmitter delivers multi-parameter measurements with enhanced efficiency, simplicity and security. Available in a modular design, it can be remote or compact-mounted with all SITRANS FCS400 sensor sizes. An enclosed micro SD card serves as a removable database of operational information and provides direct access to all certificates and audit trails.

The SITRANS FC430 is ideal for a broad array of process industries and applications, including:
  • Chemical. Designed for optimal performance in hazardous areas and compliant with a wide variety of certificates and approvals, including SIL 2 (hardware), SIL 3 (software), FM, ATEX, CSA
  • Food & Beverage/Pharmaceutical. High level of accuracy improves quality control, while multi-parameter measurement ability strengthens process management. 
  • Oil & Gas. NTEP approved for custody transfer and capable of measuring mass flow directly, ensuring performance is not affected by fluctuating process conditions. Unique tube design results in minimal pressure loss and high resistance to process noise.
  • Affiliated Industries/OEMs. Highly customizable nature offers versatility to meet the needs of customers in many different businesses, from food and beverage to automotive to HVAC, to oil and gas to pulp & paper and beyond.
Formore information, contact:

Ives Equipment
877-768-1600

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Specialty Temperature Sensor Specifically for Improving Heat Tracing Applications

Heat Tracing RTD
Heat Tracing RTD (courtesy of
Applied Sensor Technologies)
A temperature sensor is key to any heat tracing application as it provides temperature feedback about the pipe temperature, which in turn, is used turn on or off the heating system (electric pipe tracing or steam control valve).

The temperature sensor is critical for both categories of heat tracing - process temperature maintenance and freeze protection.  Failure to maintain process temperature in a pipe or vessel could significantly effect product quality, or cause failure of ancillary equipment such as pumps, valves, and compressors. Properly protecting against freezing keeps pipes from bursting or product from blocking the flow. For both situations, product maintenance and freeze protection, accurate and reliable temperature sensing is critical.

There’s a new and very innovative line of RTD temperature assemblies specifically designed for heat tracing applications. The unique, replaceable element concept can save customers both time and money, plus increase overall system reliability and up-time.

A major refining company determined that they save over $1,000 in labor each time they have to replace a sensor and have reduced their repair time from two days to less than one hour.

The design consists of a terminal head and right-angle shaped outer sheath, with a curved weld-pad at the end. The replaceable RTD element assembly is contained in the outer tube and, when installed, presses against the pipe. Heat transfer is excellent and heat conduction away from the element is minimal. Should the element ever need to be replaced, it's a five-minute job to open the terminal head, unwire the sensor, slide it out and slide a new one in.

For more information, contact:

Ives Equipment
(877) 768-1600

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Ten Things Everyone Should Know about pH and ORP

pH ORP probe
pH ORP probe
(courtesy of AquaMetrix)
Reprinted with permission from AquaMetrix

1. pH measurements are only good to 0.1 pH units

Electrodes are funny things. They are the only electronic components that don’t even have specifications listed in their data sheets. One major figure of merit, the impedance of the glass electrode, is on the order of megahoms and can vary by a factor of two. Cross sensitivity to other ions (e.g. sodium), response time and differences between any two electrodes limit the accuracy of measurement. Expecting accuracy of greater than 0.1 pH units is unrealistic.

2. Speaking of accuracy... It is not the same as precision.

For a consistent process a pH probe can achieve precision of results to within 0.02 units but it’s accuracy will always be limited by variables such as calibration accuracy, high sodium content or Careful routine calibration, however, will narrow the gap between the accuracy of readings closer to the lower level of precision.

3. ORP measurements are only good to ± 20 mV. 

Once again the measurement of ORP might be characterized by a high precision but the accuracy of the reading is constrained by the difficulty of calibration, as explained in point 6, and the non-buffered calibration solutions that allow the ORP value of the calibration solutions to change over time. Whereas the buffered composition of pH calibration solutions insures that they will change minimally an ORP calibrations solution is a mixture of Fe2+ and Fe3+ salts. Just the addition of air to the mixture will increase the ORP of the mixture. So don’t look for “NIST traceable” on the label of an ORP calibration solution.

4. ORP measurements are relative.


The process electrode is nothing more than a platinum (or gold) band upon which oxidation (reduction) reactions take place. To complete the circuit, as in all potentiometric devices, is a reference electrode. Usually that is the same Ag/AgCl electrode used in a pH probe so the REDOX potential that you read is the difference between the Pt band process electrode and the arbitrarily chosen reference electrode. What matters most with an ORP measurement is its change to an agreed upon standard.

5. pH calibration requires two points.


Calibration measures the response of an instrument as one changes the measurement variable in a known way. For pH measurements that measurement variable is the concentration of hydrogen ions. One calibrates a pH probe by drawing a line through points representing the response of a pH probe to more than one H+ ion concentrations (or pH values). Therefore calibration requires at least two points.

6. ORP calibration can only realistically be done with one point.

This sounds like a reversal of point 4 but it’s not. ORP is not a measure of any one species (e.g. H+ ions or oxygen molecules). It measures the collective REDOX potential of everything in the water. Furthermore calibration solutions, e.g. 200 mV Light’s solution and 600 mV Zobell’s solution are two completely different mixtures of reagents. Therefore all we can is choose one calibration solution and calibrate for it.

7. ORP measurements can be slow.

Stick an ORP probe in a calibration solution and you will get a steady reading with- in half a minute. Take the same probe and stick it in a glass of tap water and it might take 20 minutes for the read-

ing to settle to the 200-300 mV that is typical of tap water. The response of the process electrodes to the REDOX reactions that take place on the surface of a Pt electrode depends on the speed of the many reactions that give the potential and the rate at which molecules diffuse through the water. The Fe2+ and Fe 3+ ions that comprise most of the ORP value in calibration solutions react very quickly with the Pt but the Cl- and dissolved oxygen that make up tap water react much more slowly. So the key to successful ORP measurement is patience.

8. pH measurements must be temperature compensated to be accurate.


A pH measurement is the determination of H+ ions in solution. Higher temperature causes the chemical activity to increase and the pH reading to increase accordingly. So we must remove the temperature effect by measuring it and using the well known Nernst equation to correct it for the reading at 250C. (The correction is quite simple. The pH value is proportional to temperature when the latter is an absolute value (i.e. in Kelvins).

9. ORP measurements are affected by temperature but are NOT corrected for it.

An ORP value simply reflects the ability of whatever is in the water to oxidize whatever contaminants are in the water. Of course oxidation speeds up at higher temperatures. But since ORP measures the rate of chemical reactions and not any one chemical species there is no need to correct it. However we can convert the temperature reading to the ORP that we would measure at 250 C so that we have a basis for comparing the chemistry of the process. That’s why we provide a temperature sensing thermistor or RTD with our differential ORP probes.

10. A differential probe properly cared for will last a long time but it won’t last forever.

Over time chemicals in the process make their way through the junction or salt bridge and into the pH 7 buffer that bathes the reference electrode. Manufacturers go to great length to minimize this contamination but they can only slow it down. Aquametrix differential probes allow the user to cheaply and quickly replenish both the pH 7 solution and the salt bridge so that our probes our industry leaders when it comes to probe lifetime. Nonetheless electrodes themselves lose their efficiency as the glass becomes contaminated and/or eroded by the process. However the good news that, with routine calibration and maintenance a differential probe can last for years in most environments.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Automation Federation, Oil & Gas and DHS Work Together for Cybersecurity

The Oil & Gas industry explore, extract, and deliver vital energy via a finely-tuned network of worldwide control systems. These systems used to be isolated proprietary systems, but they're now connected to the Internet just like so many other of our critical infrastructures, and are now susceptible to the same vulnerabilities that we see reported on a daily basis.

Since 2006 the Automation Federation has been the Host Organization for LOGIIC (Linking Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity.) This has been a successful collaboration between the Automation Federation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the members of LOGIIC.

Over the past decade, the LOGIIC consortium has designed tools and techniques to protect critical systems on a global scale, from research & development through practical implementation. LOGIIC is a visionary project. It was one of the first of its kind including partners that would normally compete against each other. LOGIC is about collaborating in cyber security.


The Cyber Security Division of the DHS Science & Technology Directorate leads an ongoing consortium that began with a single partner in 2004 and now includes five major oil & gas companies and the Automation Federation, supported by world-class vendors and research organizations. It's a global engagement with global impact on cyber security. LOGIIC is one team. It's important to be international because a threat does not come from one country or from another one country.

Since its inception, LOGIIC has successfully completed eight major projects, with plans for many more.  Upon completion of selected projects, LOGIIC delivers public reports to help elevate best practices across the entire industry. Both the member companies and the government are putting funds towards these projects which benefits not only the private sector, but also the public interest. Companies are applying these learnings within their organizations, because it helps bridge the gap between information technology and the industrial-environment sides of the organization.

The lessons learned through the LOGIIC projects allows the roll out of higher level cyber security and protection across all the industries. DHS is a key contributor to LOGIIC and to the success of the projects year after year. In addition to providing that technical expertise and environments such as labs and research institutes, they’re able to conduct substantial testing, and act as a conduit to make it all happen. LOGIIC started as a new model and a vision. Members came to the table, bought into the vision, and now LOGIIC is delivering real results to protect the modern industrial infrastructure.

To recognize the success of LOGIIC, DHS has released a video that features the efforts of LOGIIC. You can see the video here on the Ives Equipment Community Page.