Showing posts with label UEC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UEC. Show all posts

Monday, May 7, 2018

Basics of Thermocouple Junction Design

Industrial thermocouples
Industrial thermocouples (AST)
Thermocouples are simple devices made up of several key components: thermocouple wire, electrical insulation, and the sensing junction. Many thermocouple designs also include a stainless steel sheath that protects the thermocouple from vibration, shock, and corrosion.

A thermocouple has three variations of sensing tip (or junction):
  • Exposed junction, where the exposed wire tips and welded bead have no covering or protection.
  • Grounded junction, where the welded bead is in physical contact with the thermocouple's sheath.
  • Ungrounded junction, where the tip is inside the thermocouple sheath, but is electrical (and somewhat thermally) insulated from the sheath (no sheath contact).
Exposed junction thermocouples respond to temperature change quickly and are less costly, but their signals are susceptible erratic reading caused by induced or conducted electrical noise. Because there is no sheath, they are also prone to mechanical damage and ambient contamination.

Grounded junction thermocouples provide fast response and are mechanically more robust, with a metallic sheath that protects the thermocouple both mechanically and from contaminants. But because their sensing tip is in contact with the external sheath, their signal still can be affected by externally induced or conducted electrical noise.

Ungrounded thermocouples, like grounded, are protected mechanically and from ambient contaminants by their sheath. However, their sensing junctions are kept separate from their metallic sheath, isolating the junction from external electrical  interference. This separation does come at a small cost in temperature sensing responsiveness though.

For safety, precision, and optimum performance, always talk to an applications specialist when applying temperature sensors. A short phone call can prevent major headaches and lost time in  troubleshooting a misapplied thermocouple.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

United Electric Controls Product Catalog

UE Champion Distributor
Ives Equipment is a
UE Champion Distributor
United Electric Controls has a rich history of over 80 years in providing protection for plant assets, people and the environment. Their pressure and temperature instrumentation is designed specifically to meet the rigors of harsh and hazardous alarm and emergency shutdown applications and includes certified safety transmitters per IEC 61508. UE, and Ives Equipment, serves the Chemical & Petrochemical, Power, Water & Wastewater and Oil & Gas industries, as well as many other challenging OEM applications.

You can download a PDF of the UE product catalog here, or view it online below.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tried and True: Industrial Bulb and Capillary Temperature Switches

UE NEMA 4 Temperature Switch
UE watertight and corrosion resistant temperature switch.
Not all processes or operations require the use of state of the art technology to get the desired result. Part of good process design is matching up the most appropriate methods and technology to the operation.

One method of changing the state of an electrical switch from open to closed in response to a process temperature change is a bulb and capillary temperature switch.  The change in state occurs in the mechanical switch when the temperature of a process control operation crosses a certain threshold. Bulb and capillary switches have the advantage of operating without requiring an excitation voltage, simplifying their use in a given application.

The physical operating principle behind the capillary thermostat relies on the use of a fluid. The fluid inside the thermostat expands or contracts in response to the temperature at the sensing bulb. The change in fluid volume produces a force upon a diaphragm or other mechanical transfer device. The diaphragm is connected to, and changes the status of, an adjoining circuit using a snap action switch.

Because of their simplicity and comparatively modest cost, commercial versions of bulb and capillary switches find application throughout residential and commercial settings. Some common applications include warming ovens, deep fat fryers, and water heaters.

UE hazardous area temperature switch
UE hazardous area temperature switch.

Industrial versions of bulb and capillary switches are fitted with appropriate housings for the installation environment. Housings designed for hazardous areas, drenching or submersion, high dust or high corrosive environments are standardly available. Many switching options exist as well, such as high current ratings, SPDT, DPDT, dual SPDT, adjustable deadbands, and internal or external adjustments.

Operation of the temperature switches is subject to a few limitations. The setpoint is most often fixed, so changing the setpoint accurately requires trial and error or a calibration procedure. The temperature range over which the switches are suitable is comparatively limited, with a matching of the bulb and capillary fluid system to the application temperature range a necessary task in product selection. Within its proper sphere of use, though, bulb and capillary temperature switches offer simple, reliable operation, with little requirement for maintenance.

Time-tested, and application proven, these simple mechanical devices are still strong candidates for applications in any temperature control process. As with any process instrument implementation, we strongly suggest you share your application requirements with a knowledgable product specialists for the best solution.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Process Instrumentation White Paper: Seven Switch Myths Busted

One Series Pressure and Temperature Transmitter-Switches
One Series Pressure and Temperature
Transmitter-Switches (United Electric)
Summary

With more than 80 years of evolution since its introduction, switch technology as changed significantly enough that some of the common beliefs about switches are no longer true. Seven common myths surrounding switches are analyzed. Recent technology advancements in switch design and how these advancements solve problems in industrial and OEM applications are discussed. Readers will acquire a better understanding of the new technology available to improve control, process efficiency and safety.

1. Blind & Dumb

Prior generations of switches were incapable of displaying process measurements locally, forcing the installation of gauges that created more leak paths and added additional costs. Operators were unaware when installed switches stopped functioning due to welded contacts in the microswitch. Switches required removal from service and manual testing to conform functionality. Often, the control or safety function would go unprotected for days while the switch was in queue to be bench tested, creating an immediate safety concern.

These industry-wide problems inspired manufactures to innovate the next generation of switches that incorporate liquid crystal displays (LCD), presenting local process variable measurements, and integrated internal diagnostics, monitoring the health of the device. The addition of LCDs and device diagnostics increases up me and improves overall plant safety. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) benefit from a reduction in installed components and a more dependable turnkey product for their customers.

2. Difficult Adjustments

Set point and deadband adjustments were a nuisance for operators and technicians. The instruments were required to be removed from service and calibrated on a bench in the maintenance shop. Installation instructions were not always available for installed devices, leading to wasted me searching for documentation or requesting additional information from the manufacturer. Delicate adjustments were required to achieve desired set points and deadbands, the dead time where no action happens, varied based on the microswitch inside the control. More often than not, instruments were mis- handled leading to premature failure due to inexperienced technicians.

Today’s generation of switches offer electronic platforms that reduce setup and programming to a ma er of seconds. A user interface on the local LCD provides simple prompts that allow users to program switch set points instantly without the need to remove the instrument from the process. Deadband and set point are now 100 percent adjustable, allowing operators to choose the desired range based on the application requirements. No longer are operators required to order and stock redundant devices in the event one failed in the eld. Users now have the flexibility of programming one switch to match many different process requirements.

3. Unsafe in Critical Applications - Not Appropriate for SIS

Industrial process plants are pushing pressure and temperature limits to new boundaries in an effort to stay competitive in a global market. Many of the systems designed 20 years ago were not intended to run at the current process extremes. It is only a ma er of me before these systems fail. Safety instrumented systems (SIS) are being installed to protect the process, people and the environment. These systems require devices that have been rigorously tested by third party agencies to verify the level of safety performance. Mechanical switches, referred to as sensors in SIS, are one of the most common components to fail in these systems. Users and designers require a switch that matches their required system performance level while also being fault tolerant.

Based on the strict performance requirements of SIS, newly introduced hybrid switches integrate the functionality of a switch and a transmitter. The switch portion of the device provides a direct digital output (relay output) to a final element that will instantly bring a process to a safe state in the event of a critically abnormal situation. The analog transmitter signal can be used for trending to determine the health of the device and the process. These new transmitter-switches and recently SIL 2 and 3 exida-certified devices (One Series Safety Transmitter) offer operators a simple and safe product that matches the demanding performance requirements of safety instrumented systems.

4. Problematic in Tough Environments

Whether installed on plant rotating equipment, such as turbines, or on demanding OEM auxiliary equipment, such as pumps or compressors, switches are required to function in tough environments that include shock, vibration, heat and pressure. Vibration is one of the leading causes of electro- mechanical switch failure. Most switches are mechanical in design and utilize a plunger to activate a microswitch. In areas of high shock and vibration, the plunger position can fluctuate and lead to false trips.

New solid-state, electronic switches provide a solution to the common problems with mechanical switches installed in high vibration applications. Because they have no moving parts, these switches can be mounted directly to the equipment or process without connecting impulse lines to keep them isolated from vibration. Industry leading turbine manufacturers and end users operating large compressors in petrochemical plants are experiencing much more reliability and fewer false trips with these new electronic switches, compared to the old mechanical designs.

5. Deploy Electromechanical Designs When Line Power is Unavailable

Most pressure switches sold over the past 80 years were designed to operate without electric power by incorpora ng a sensor that measures pressure by placing force on a plunger that would actuate a microswitch.

The first genera on of digital switches required line power to operate and were not adopted due the unavailability of line power and the cost of wiring. The new genera on of switches operates from leakage current in the circuit when connected to a host device, such as a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), allowing electronic switches to be drop-in replacements for the old mechanical switches. Today, we have the ability to replace a blind and dumb mechanical switch with a new solid-state, electronic switch that offers a digital gauge, switch and transmitter in one instrument without adding any wiring or hardware.

6. Antiquated Technology


Today’s process plants run their processes faster and ho er than they were originally designed. Ultimately, these plants will have to ini ate modernization projects to support the new demands of the process. Old switches provided users with digital, on-off signals that were either wired to control a piece of equipment directly or sent to a PLC for alarm functionality. As plants go through modernization projects, they restructure control system input/outputs (I/O) to support more analog signals than the digital signals used in the past. Transmitters are commonly chosen and recommended over switches in these new projects, but transmitters do not provide the internal control functionality found in switches.

These modernization projects are costly requiring new equipment, updated wiring, expanded I/O, extensive engineering resources, and costly down me. Users are diligently exploring new ways to reduce overall project costs. The average process transmitter can cost upwards of $2,000 compared to the average process switch costing around $500. Process plants often have 100 to 1,000 switches installed. To upgrade all switches to transmitters could cost a plant up to $1.5 million. Consequently, switch manufacturers researched and developed new electronic switches that are capable of producing both digital and analog signals required by these new modernization projects, while keeping a similar price point to the original mechanical switches installed.

This dramatic savings allows plants to reduce the overall modernization project costs by upgrading the 2nd most likely component (sensor) to fail in a tradional safety system, without upgrading the rest of the safety system and reducing the down me needed to complete the project during a short shut- down turn- around project.

7. The Speed of Response of Transmitters is Faster than Switches


Without question, electromechanical switches are faster than any pressure transmitter on the market. With transmitters, huge amounts of conversions, computations, compensation, and other work must be done to get an accurate signal. Even using today’s high-speed processors, they cannot match the speed of the instantaneous reaction of a mechanical device. The fastest of these devices can be be er than 5 milliseconds while process transmitters can range from 300-500 milliseconds or more. Purpose built transmitters for safety applications designed for speed of response in lieu of accuracy (not needed in safety applications) can be as fast as 250 milliseconds. New solid state transmitter-switches can react in 100 milliseconds or less in the switch mode. If your application requires fast response such as in positive displacement (PD) pumps and turbine trip for over-speed protection, consider new solid-state transmitter-switches over process transmitters.

Recommendations


United Electric Controls has recognized the challenges faced by users and developed new products to match their growing needs. In an effort to reduce plant project costs and help OEMs design and build affordable and reliable equipment for the industrial sector, we have developed a new line of electronic switches that provide drop-in replacement of old mechanical switches. These new switches reduce the costs of plant modernizations. Built-in digital and analog communication provides users the op on of control- ling a piece of equipment locally or sending information back to a central control system for process trending and health, or both.

About this white paper:

UE ViewPoint white papers provide Executive, Business and Technical Briefs written by product, application and industry subject matter experts employed by United Electric Controls.  For more UE ViewPoint papers, visit this link.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Upgrading to a United Electric (UE) Controls One Series from a Mechanical Pressure Switch

This video below demonstrates how to replace an older on/off mechanical pressure switch and install the UE One Series.

The One Series electronic pressure and temperature transmitter-switches set the standard for smart digital process monitoring. With a fully adjustable set point and deadband and 0.1% repeatability, the One Series performs in a wide variety of applications. Available in Type 4X enclosures approved for intrinsic safety, flameproof and non-incendive area classifications, these hybrid transmitter-switches are designed to provide transmitter, switch and gauge functions all-in-one rugged enclosure that can withstand the rigors of harsh and hazardous environments.

Each One Series model incorporates intelligent self-diagnostics and can report detected faults before they become major safety issues. Plug Port Detection protects against sensor clogging. Nuisance trip filtering reduces false and spurious signals. The ability to capture pressure spikes and valleys provides process information to aid in the commissioning and debugging process.

For more information, visit http://www.ivesequipment.com or call (877) 768-1600.

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An Introduction to Industrial Pressure, Differential Pressure, and Temperature Switches

pressure switch
Pressure switch with large diaphragm
Most industrial applications require the monitoring of pressure and temperature of a process. Pressure and temperature measurement can be accomplished either by transmitters, gauges or by switches.
This post will provide a quick introduction of industrial electromechanical pressure switches and temperature switches.

An industrial pressure and temperature switch is made up of the three main components: 1) the sensor, 2) the housing and 3) the switching element.

The correct combination of each component assures proper application of the device for its intended use.

Sensor

The sensor is located above the pressure port and process connection. For pressure and differential pressure switches, there are several varieties of pressure sensors to choose.  The most common types of pressure sensors are:

Metal Bellows - an accordion-like device that provides linear expansion and contraction based upon the application of pressure or vacuum. Bellows are excellent sensors because they provide good overall pressure range and are fairly sensitive to small changes in pressure.

Piston - A rod and o-ring combination that moves linearly in direct response to applied pressure. Piston sensors are normally only applied to only very high pressure ranges. They have very small surface areas and wide deadbands (the change in pressure required to change the position of the switch output).

pressure switch
Pressure switch with piston sensor
Diaphragm - A thin, elastomer or metallic membrane, often with a rolled lip that allows for greater movement. The diaphragm has a large surface area and provides the most sensitivity to pressure change, making it ideal for low to mid-range pressure sensing.

Housing

Housings are classified and selected based on the atmosphere in which they’ll be used. Housing ratings are classified by several national and international agencies such as NEMA and CENELEC. Very generally put, housings can be rated as general purpose, dust & water resistant, water tight, corrosion resistant and hazardous (explosive) environments. Proper selection of the housing is important to the operation and life expectancy of the device. In hazardous environments, proper selection is absolutely critical. If unsure about the housing classification, consultation with an applications expert is required.

Switching Element

The switching element refers to the signaling device inside the enclosure that responds to the movement of the sensor. It can be either electrical or pneumatic, and provides an on-off signal (as opposed to an analog, or proportional signal produced by transmitters).

differential pressure switch
Differential pressure switch
The switching element is most times a “micro” type single pole, double throw (SPDT) electrical switch. These microswitches come in many configurations and electrical ratings, such as double pole, double throw (DPDT), 120/240 VAC, 12VDC, 24VDC, and hermetically sealed.

For the switching element and the sensor, it is very important to know the cycling rate (number of on vs. off times over a period of time) the instrument will see. Since both of these elements are mechanical, they will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Switches are an economical and strong performing choice for low to medium cycle rates. For extremely high cycle rates, the use of solid state transmitters are a better choice.

temperature switch
Temperature switch
Temperature Switches

An electromechanical temperature switch (sometimes called a thermostat) is, for the most part, a piston type pressure switch connected to an oil filled capillary and bulb sensing element. The thermal expansion of the oil inside the bulb and capillary creates the pressure and linear movement upon the piston sensor of the switch. The bulb and capillary elements can be supplied in copper or stainless steel, and at various lengths.

There are many more details to selecting and applying electromechanical pressure and temperature switches. This post is only intended to provide a very general introduction. It is always suggested to discuss your application with a qualified applications engineer so that you are assured to get the longest lasting, most economical and safest instrument possible.