Showing posts with label Instruments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Instruments. Show all posts

Don't Risk Equipment or Safety: Freeze Protect Your Plant Now

industrial heat tracing and freeze protection
Don't let this happen at your plant.
Winter is here in its full glory. Plant engineers and plant maintenance have to pay special care in preventing freezing in pipelines, tanks, Vessels, conveyors, and impulse lines.  The cold temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic can often damage or destroy process equipment and it's valuable contents. Most commonly, pipes, instrumentation, and valves are the vulnerable items affected by the sudden drop in temperatures, causing devastating consequences, including costly downtime and unplanned outages. But there's also safety issues to be considered with snow and ice build up, so attention must be paid to snow and ice melting.

Main Categories for Industrial Heat Tracing

  • Industrial Pipe Tracing Cable
  • Industrial Tank and Vessel Heating
  • Industrial Snow Melting
  • Industrial Roof Gutter Deicing

Responsible facility management includes protecting buildings and equipment against freeze damage. There are many items in any given manufacturing plant to protect, including piping systems, process instrumentation, holding tanks, transfer vessels, and valves. For each of these items, there's a good freeze protection solution to be applied. Here are some of the more common heat tracing products used in these applications.
Self-regulating Heat Tracing Cable

Self-regulating Heat Tracing Cable

Constant Wattage Heat Tracing CableThese self-regulating, cut-to-length cables are normally installed in commercial and light industrial applications, to maintain pipe temperature and/or prevent freezing. These heating cables are available in 120 and 240 voltages and are designed for use in ordinary or hazardous locations (with proper selections and application). Typical applications for this product are freeze protection and low watt density process temperature systems such as product pipelines, fire protection, process water and dust suppression systems.

MI (Mineral Insulated) CableConstant Wattage Heat Tracing Cable

Constant wattage heater cable is ideal for use in maintaining fluid flow under low ambient conditions. The product is used for freeze protection and process temperature maintenance systems such as product pipelines, process water, dust suppression systems, lube oil and condensate return.

MI (Mineral Insulated) Cable

MI Cable is a metal sheathed cable that uses a metallic conductor as the heating element. It is custom designed and fabricated for specific applications. MI Cable is a high performance, industrial grade heat tracing cable used for applications requiring high temperature exposure, immunity to stress corrosion, high maintain temperature, under tank heating (cryogenic tanks), high power output, constant power output over entire, rugged cable construction heater length, and extended heater life.

It is critical to consider the specific application requirements for any heat tracing application. The following checklist always needs to be clearly understood:

  • The mass and material of the item being traced
  • Insulation availability - type and thickness
  • Temperature to be maintained
  • Minimum ambient temperature
  • Minimum start-up temperature
  • Available supply voltage
  • The chemical environment - expose
  • Maximum intermittent exposure temperature
  • Electrical area classification

Always share your heat tracing requirements and challenges with a process heating specialist. There are many options and product variants from which to choose. A consultation with an expert can help direct you to the safest, most efficient, and most cost effective solution.

Prevent Downtime: Make Sure Your Process Measurement Device Is Protected

You're a process measurement and control engineer. Everybody is looking to you to make things work smoothly. When things fail, chances are someone is going to point a finger at you and ask why you didn't think of that bizarre confluence of events that managed to take things down. Let's look at a piece of your universe where some careful consideration will help keep disaster at bay.
Industrial Flow Meters
Industrial Process Flow Meters
Courtesy Siemens Industry, Inc.

Industrial processes require measurement to produce predictable, consistent, and desirable outcomes. It follows that there will be numerous data gathering points throughout the physical extent of the process, each staffed by a transmitter designed to measure temperature, pressure, flow, or some other process variable used to assure conformance of the operating process with its specifications. Each process measurement device must be carefully selected for accuracy, stability, and a number of other technical elements that make it well suited to measure the dynamic activity of your industrial process. Proper technical selection of the measurement hardware is certainly a key function that leads to a successful project. What other factors may play a role in delivering a well functioning, long lasting process measurement system?

The technical aspects of a process measurement and control device are but one consideration in product specification and installation. They come into play only when the device is working. Look at the event or condition possibilities, even those with very low perceived probability, that might take the measurement device out of action. Your research and good judgement, along with input from experienced application engineers will help you decide which to incorporate into your design and specifications.

Industrial temperature transmitters
Industrial Temperature Transmitters
Courtesy Siemens Industry, Inc.
  • Know the very extremes of weather conditions that may occur at the physical location of the device.
    Weather data for almost anywhere in the world, and certainly every major industrialized country, is readily available. Your device should be able to withstand the onslaught of any documented local condition on record, with some headroom included. Even if the process is planned to be shut down in unusual weather conditions, the temperature transmitter or other device you specified needs to be able to survive and immediately return to service when the process is restarted. Find local weather data and make it part of your process measurement device specification and selection process.
  • Know the process generated extremes that can impact device functionality.
    Of course, you will select a pressure transmitter or other measurement device to accommodate the generally expected conditions associated with the process. Consider, though, what other conditions might be produced coincidental to the process. There may be machinery, valves, or other physical events not contemplated here that might, on occasion, produce a local condition that can damage your transmitter. Look for potential sources of vibration, shock, temperature, or other elements that might have potential to take your measurement device out of service.
  • Know the security exposure of the device.
    Something rarely considered in the past, an assessment of who might want to commit malicious acts against the process stakeholders or the process itself, and how they might do it, should now be a part of all project designs at some level. Additionally, the ability for anyone to impact process operation, directly or indirectly, through its measuring devices should be well understood.
  • Know the physical contact hazards.
    Measurement devices need to be accessible for calibration, maintenance, even real-time observation in some cases. They also need to be protected from impact resulting from human activity related to operation, maintenance, and repair of nearby items. Often, flow meters or other process variable transmitters are located adjacent to traffic areas of the facility. This eases access for maintenance and repair, but also exposes the devices to damage from other activity along those traffic lanes. Consider the physical location and protection of installed devices to thwart the effects of unplanned contact with dollies, carts, boxes, dropped tools, and a host of other unpredictable happenings.
  • Know moisture.
    The vast array of modern industrial measurement devices employ electronics in their function. These electronics, along with possibly other parts of the device, must be protected from the harmful effects of moisture. Specify the proper enclosure and connection devices, as well as the manner in which they need to be installed in order to assure proper protection. The entrance of moisture into a device enclosure can be very slow, almost undetectable in the short term. Assure that barriers to moisture entry are adequate, as well as, in appropriate cases, a way for accumulated moisture to easily exit the enclosure.
Invest your time and effort to produce a solid installation with a trouble free life cycle. Then sleep well. Consult with an experienced engineering sales team for help with your application.

Going International With Your Design - Solenoid Operated Valves

Business is international
This is where your customers are now.
It's no secret to you, Engineer, that the world is densely populated with standards and approvals. No matter where you live or work, the process equipment designs that flow from your workstation, your team, your company, are more likely than ever to end up on foreign shores.

Solenoid Valve
Solenoid Valve
Solenoid operated valves are ubiquitous, even a little mundane in their apparent simplicity, but still require expertise for proper specification and application. The jurisdictional requirements for a valve assembly applied in the same manner can vary from one country to another. This can be especially important when designing equipment or processes that may be installed in different parts of the world, such as United States and European Union production plants of a single company.

Fortunately, many manufacturers now provide valves with multiple approvals from around the world to facilitate the use of a single component across a wide geographic and jurisdictional range. Even with this accommodation, it is still the specifying engineer’s responsibility to select the correct valve, not only for the application, but for a regulatory environment that is populated with standards and approvals that can be difficult to coordinate with confidence. One prominent valve manufacturer has authored a white paper that provides some insight into navigating this challenge, outlining an array of international approval agencies and providing a clear explanation of how T-codes (temperature codes) vary between US and EU agencies. The white paper is available on request and is a must-read for any engineer specifying or servicing solenoid valves.

Put A Process Control Sales Engineer On Your Team For Improved Outcome and Efficiency

Technical Sales Reps Provide Value
When it comes to specifying engineered products
a technical sales rep may be your best source.
Projects and tasks are best completed and accomplished through the proper application of the right resources. There exists an access point to high level technical knowledge and assistance that can be easily tapped and brought to bear on your successful task or project completion.  
Local distributors and representatives for process equipment and control manufacturers provide services that may help you save time and cost, while also achieving a better outcome for the entire project. Consider a few elements the technical sale rep brings to your project…

Product Knowledge: Sales engineers will be current on product offerings, proper application, and capabilities. They also have information regarding what products may be obsolete in the near future. This is an information source at a level not generally accessible to the public via the Internet.

Experience: As a project engineer, you may be treading on fresh ground regarding some aspects of your current assignment. There can be real benefit in connecting to a source with past exposure to your current issue. 

Access: Through a technical sales engineer, you may be able to establish a connection to “behind the scenes” manufacturer contacts with essential information not publicly available. The rep knows people, makes it his/her business to know the people that can provide answers to your  application questions.

Certainly, any solutions proposed are likely to be based upon the products sold by the representative. That is where considering and evaluating the benefits of any proposed solutions become part of achieving the best project outcome.

Develop a professional, mutually beneficial relationship with a technical sales team. Their success is tied to your success and they are eager to help you. 

Welcome to the Ives Equipment Blog

Thanks for visiting! In the upcoming weeks, months and years we hope to fill this site with interesting and useful information on a wide variety of process control topics. From pressure, temperature, level, flow, and analytical instrumentation, to control valves and valve automation, this blog will provide its visitors insight to how things work in industrial automation and process engineering.