Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Selecting Valves Used in Wine Production and Craft Brewing

wine and brewing process
Valves and Sensors
used in wine and
beer making.
Small wineries and craft breweries are appearing all over the Mid-Atlantic region. While mostly small in scale, these producers all have to refine their fermentation, filtering, and bottling processes using valves and process sensors. Controlling temperature, pressure, and flow is critical to any winery or brewery for product consistency and quality. 

Here is an excellent white paper by Scott Cameron of ASCO Valve describing the types of valves used and how they're used.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Level Phase Split Detection and Measurement

Phase Level Detection
Phase level detection.
Need a system for continuous interface measurement? This system will monitor the emission phase and detect when phase A/B occurs, avoiding any flow of the emulsion into the incorrect area. When phases are separated, the system allows for tight control, which increases efficiency of separation of liquids A&B.

This system provides the ability to remotely view a process that may not normally be watched. Multiple viewing stations may be linked to the system output so various departments may monitor a process. Customers may purchase video monitors, amplifiers or screen splitters to enhance the system.

  • Ethernet systems allow the additional functionality of being able to remotely view through a Gigabit network system. Users can have access to live system images from their office networked computer. 
  • Software is available for customers that require additional functionality over simple viewing of a live image. Liquid level, color of different phases, and visual verification. 
System verifies the color of fluid in phase split and sends an output signal locating specific points of the interface. All measurements can be recorded and archived for a historical record. 

Monitor phase split in batch mode on organic droplets for increased product recovery. As the droplets appear the system warns of organic phase and the upcoming emulsion. The amount of early droplets and their retraction time will indicate the completeness of the separation. Once the split is identified and stopped, the operator has a visual verification from the video monitor. The color can then be analyzed to ensure there is no inversion.

For more information, contact:

Ives Equipment
601 Croton Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(877) 768-1600

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Basics of Self-Regulating Heat Trace Cable

Heat Tracing Layout
Self-regulating Heat Tracing Layout
Self-regulating heater cable is a parallel circuit electric heater strip. An irradiation cross- linked conductive polymer core material is extruded over the multi-stranded, tin-plated, 18-gauge copper bus wires. The conductive core material increases or decreases its heat output in response to temperature changes. A thermoplastic elastomer dielectric jacket is then extruded over the conductive core. A copper braid is installed over this jacket providing a continuous ground path. A UV stabilized thermoplastic elastomer overjacket is provided to cover the braid for wet applications and exposure to the sun.

Principle of Operation:

The parallel bus wires apply voltage along the entire length of the heater cable. The conductive core provides an infinite number of parallel conductive paths permitting the cable to be cut to any length in the field with no dead or cold zones developing. The heater cable derives its self- regulating characteristic from the inherent properties of the conductive core material. As the core material temperature increases, the number of conductive paths in the core material decreases, automatically decreasing the heat output. As the temperature decreases, the number of conductive paths increases, causing the heat output to increase. This occurs at every point along the length of the cable, adjusting the power output to the varying conditions along the pipe. The self-regulating effect allows the cable to be overlapped without creating hot spots or burnout. As the cable self-regulates it heat output, it provides for the efficient use of electric power, producing heat only when and where it is needed, and also limiting the maximum surface temperature.


Self-regulating heater cable is ideal for use in maintaining fluid flow under low ambient conditions. Freeze protection and low watt density process temperature systems such as pipelines, fire protection, process water, dust suppression systems, hot water and structure anti-icing are typical applications for this product. For other than metal pipe heating, see appropriate application guide. The base product is supplied with a copper metal braid with a thermoplastic elastomer overjacket for wet applications, exposure to the sun, and where mechanical abuse is a problem. Cables are UL Listed and CSA Certified for use in non-hazardous locations and can be used on branch sprinkler systems.

For more information see the following Nelson Electric product sheet.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why Use Tri-Clover Sanitary Tubes and Fittings

Alfa Laval is a world-leading supplier of fittings for a wide range of sanitary applications within the food, dairy, beverage, bio-pharm and personal care industries.

Their products are developed not only to meet your exacting demands for safety, reliability, efficiency and hygiene, but also to ensure the careful handling of your products.

Alfa Lava (Tri-Clover) manufactures the following kinds of high-quality sanitary products:

• Unions, Tri-Clamp Fittings & Flanges
• Bends, Tees & Reducers
• Tubing
• Butterfly Valves

The following video provides some insight why Tri-Clover is the leader in their industry.

For more information, contact:

Ives Equipment Corporation
601 Croton Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(877) 768-1600

Monday, July 27, 2015

Upgrading a Mechanical Pressure Switch to an Electronic (Solid State) Version

This video demonstrates how to upgrade from a traditional mechanical pressure switch to a solid state pressure switch.

The example here uses the United Electric Controls One Series as the example.

This type of product (One Series) allows you to choose from explosion-proof, intrinsically safe and energy limited models that monitor gauge pressure, differential pressure or temperature. With up to two fully adjustable set points and deadbands, available 4-20 mA analog output, and absolutely no moving parts. They are used in a wide variety of applications where mechanical switches are not considered.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Installing the Siemens SITRANS FUS1010 Clamp-on Industrial Flowmeter

This video explains the installation of the Siemens SITRANS FUS1010 clamp-on flow meter, including identifying and selecting flow sensors, choosing a mounting location, and flowmeter programming. 

The SITRANS FUS1010 is one of the most versatile clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters available. Because it can operate in either WideBeam transit time or Doppler mode, there is no need to change the meter when operating conditions change. This makes it suitable for virtually any liquid, even those with high aeration or suspended solids.