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  • Monitoring geothermal heat pump performance

    This paper discusses how portable data logging technology can be used to measure, record and document the performance of geothermal heat pumps, and provides specific case study examples of how the technology is being applied in geothermal system monitoring applications.

  • Online Development's Enterprise Appliance Transaction Modules, the next generation

    ARC recently briefed Online Development Inc. regarding their latest generation of Enterprise Appliance Transaction Modules (eATMs). Over the last six years, Online Development's eATMs have built a growing installed base on the plant/factory floor with what ARC refers to as an "Automation Appliance," a device that provides a simplified gateway to exchange automation controller data with plant and enterprise applications running on general-purpose computers. These Automation Appliances, installed either in-chassis or standalone with their integrated hardware and software, tightly link PLCs/PACs and connect via "adapters" to databases or messaging queues such as MS SQL, Oracle or various versions of Java Messaging Service (JMS).

    Craig Resnick
  • Carbon accounting challenges: Are you ready?

    The development of carbon markets worldwide has created a host of challenges for companies — and of these challenges, accounting is perhaps one of the least understood. After all, even Europe (a four–year veteran of carbon trading) still has not come to consensus on how to account for emission allowances. Carbon traders in the United States have only begun to grapple with the accounting issues of an already complex and unfamiliar market. Moreover, as carbon markets evolve and incorporate new elements, additional accounting challenges will continue to emerge.

    Mike Rohrig and Matt Davis
  • Thermoelectric cooling for industrial enclosures

    The utilization of thermoelectric technology to cool industrial enclosures can provide a number of advantages for certain applications when compared to "conventional" cooling methods like vapor-compression refrigeration and water-cooled systems such as air conditioners and air-to-water heat exchangers. Using an electrical current passed through semiconductors to facilitate temperature change, thermoelectric coolers eliminate the need for refrigerants and operate with fewer moving parts — cooling enclosures to temperatures below or near ambient conditions, while producing far less noise and vibration than conventional cooling methods.

    This paper discusses how thermoelectric coolers work, improvements that have been made in their efficiency and the advantages of thermoelectric cooling for industrial enclosures.

    Judith Koetzsch and Mark Madden
  • Advantages of a PC-based HART communicator

    It's now time to upgrade to a new HART communicator. Your old handheld HART communicator is obsolete and receives limited support. You shop around and find that it costs between $3,000 and $7,000 for a new handheld HART communicator. A Google search reveals a PC-based alternative. Will the PC alternative perform as required? What should you look for?

    The PC-based HART communicator has been around for many years, but until recently, it has not been able to replace the handheld HART communicator. The main reason is that it could not communicate at the DD level with all the devices in the DD library. Recent developments have eliminated that problem, and now is a good time to review the capabilities of a PC-based HART communicator.

  • Planning and developing effective emergency mass notification strategies for hazardous industrial applications in the post 9/11 era

    Emergency mass notification for hazardous industrial processing operations has traditionally focused on audible and visual signaling devices such as sirens, horns, warning lights, beacons, public address and intercom systems. And the extent of the ability to quickly alert anyone outside the plant — including fire, police and medical first responders — was until relatively recently limited to auto-dialing telecommunications. On September 11, 2001, however, everything changed.

    The horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City dramatically accelerated the evolution of mass notification strategies and technologies. This has been particularly evident in the case of hazardous industrial applications, and resulted in plant safety being suddenly and inextricably interwoven with critical security and detection functions. The threat of terrorist attacks has most definitely prompted industrial plant managers to completely re-evaluate their approach to emergency mass notification — both internally and externally. And for obvious reasons, this comprehensive re-examination of mass notification requirements has had a substantial impact on facilities that process, use, store and distribute hazardous chemical materials.

    Compliance with directives from government agencies is clearly one of the driving forces propelling this comprehensive re-assessment of emergency mass notification planning, systems and resources. Also at play is the subsequent proliferation of new software-driven technology riding on existing network topologies; and the deployment of seamless, multi-device, interoperable communications both within and outside the facility. Finally, there is the growing trend towards integrated systems, which in this instance encompasses the integration of disparate mass-notification devices and communication systems to achieve the highest possible levels of reliability and monitoring through redundancy and operational simplicity.

  • Optimizing solar thermal performance with data loggers

    This white paper discusses how solar thermal systems, with the help of portable data loggers, can be optimized to deliver the financial benefits residential and commercial users hope to achieve through their investments. The paper shows installers and engineers how portable data logging devices can be used to measure performance of solar thermal systems, pinpoint any defects or inefficiencies, and optimize performance for greater return on investment.

  • Valves enhance machine and worker safety

    It is easy to say that "Safety is everyone's goal," but what is really meant by that? Sound workplace safety practices can reduce the risk of injury to not only machine operators but to other people such as maintenance technicians. Sound workplace safety practices can also reduce the risk of accidental damage to machinery and other company assets, or harm to the environment. Common industry standards acknowledge that there is no such thing as zero risk, but nonetheless provide guidance to machine builders and operators regarding how to minimize risks. This is commonly referred to as machine safeguarding. Here's a look at some key factors.

    Eric Cummings and Steve Boyette
  • Using business common sense to improve maintenance practices

    In recent years, we have seen the widespread proliferation of techniques which add little or no value to maintenance. Instead, they all too frequently represent the triumph of good marketing over good analysis. Further to this, we often see maintenance pundits struggling to define the output of maintenance as "reliability, availability and maintainability." Instead, the output of maintenance should very simply be "to improve the value of the organization." So how do we define value? The short answer is company share price. But in an operational sense we will use its proxy — ROI or Return On Investment. As part of this new evolution, we should be making a strong argument for the application of this business common sense to all common maintenance practices.

    In short, if it does not add value, don't do it.

    In this paper, we will use this logic to resolve some common maintenance issues and dichotomies. We will use a combination of logic, statistics and the application of well-accepted techniques to improve maintenance decision making. To do this requires better data and better analysis of that data. The result is better selection of maintenance tactics, better equipment reliability and better company value.

  • The need for wireless monitoring

    There is a real on-going need for monitoring of valve positions (actuated or manual) in the process line. Malfunctioning of a valve can result in danger to human health and safety, affect yields, and generate environmental risks. In some industries, regulation requires constant recording of valve position. Currently, such monitoring is done through wired "Switch Boxes". Each such device requires data transmission and power cabling. Not only are these cables costly to manufacture and install, they are also one of the most frequent sources of failures in the process line, due to the fact that they are very often exposed to harsh environmental conditions. In fact, it is right here, at the field device level, where the majority of problems with wires really exist.

    Israel Radomsky , CEO and Founder, Eltav Wireless Monitoring Ltd. Israel
  • Why do steam traps fail?

    Properly functioning steam traps open to release condensate and automatically close when steam is present. Failed traps waste fuel, reduce efficiency, increase production costs and compromise the overall integrity of the steam and condensate systems. Traps should be tested on a regular basis — or the neglect may be quite costly.

    Bruce Gorelick, Enercheck Systems, and Alan Bandes, UE Systems Inc.
  • Control and condition monitoring of reciprocating compressors

    Optimum configuration for control system, instrumentation, electrical and condition monitoring of reciprocating compressor is presented. Reciprocating compressors are the most flexible and most efficient compressors available. Recommendations regarding inter-stage pressure control, capacity control system, temperature control, performance monitoring, local control panel, irregularity and condition monitoring are discussed.

    Installed reciprocating compressor horsepower is approximately three times greater than that of centrifugal compressors, and maintenance costs of reciprocating compressors are approximately 3.5 times greater than those for centrifugal compressors. The expected level of reliability and availability of reciprocating compressors is very high, and it presents a real challenge. Advanced methods of control and condition monitoring shall be applied in order to obtain the high level of performance, safety and reliability.

    Amin Almasi, Tecnicas Reunidas S.A.
  • The benefits of busbar power distribution systems for U.S. and global applications

    Busbar power distribution systems are common throughout the world and are rapidly gaining broader acceptance in the United States due to their flexibility, safety and ability to reduce overall design and integration costs. In addition to these factors, increasing globalization has led many designers of industrial control systems to move toward design techniques, electrical components and integration methods that are readily accepted worldwide — making busbar systems more attractive than ever before. This paper examines the benefits that a busbar system can provide to designers, integrators and end users of industrial control panels, especially when compared to "traditional" block-and-cable power distribution solutions found primarily in the United States.

    Jerred Davis
  • Risk Control Hierarchy clarifies electrical safety

    The Risk Control Hierarchy (RCH) in the ANSI-Z10 standard provides electrical safety professionals an excellent roadmap for setting the right safety objectives that result in the reduction of electrical risks. This white paper details how applying the RCH to any electrical safety program will increase both safety and employee productivity.

    Phil Allen
  • The Unified Physical Infrastructure approach

    Businesses across all industries are shifting the way they think about the physical infrastructure. Traditional infrastructures are changing from an unrelated set of siloed systems to a unified, integrated solution capable of addressing complex business and technology challenges. Critical enterprise systems and the physical infrastructure that supports them need to be integrated to enable greater reliability, agility and flexibility while also managing operational costs and meeting sustainability goals.

    Unified Physical Infrastructure (UPI)-based solutions are designed to help customers manage risk and change within the physical infrastructure. These solutions intelligently map physical network systems onto logical infrastructure architectures, leveraging real-time information to increase safety and security in the workplace, manage systems more effectively, satisfy regulatory compliance requirements, minimize disruptions and maximize performance.

  • Process analytics finds process problems

    Process analytics and intelligence — sometimes called manufacturing intelligence — has transformed the way companies produce goods, understand their manufacturing processes and ensure a quality product in ways we could not have foreseen ten years ago.

    Real-time analytics have replaced the legacy concept of running reports. Reports that represent a static picture of a process at a fixed point in time are great tools for compliance audits and long-term warranty analysis. However, they may not accurately represent the "as-is" state of a process. Reports showing large amounts of data can be difficult to interpret. There are often limitations in how the report data can be drilled down and viewed.

    This white paper discusses how process analytics are implemented and utilized. Ways of managing and distributing process analytics to the organization are also presented.

    Jack Wilkins, Canary Labs
  • Energy modeling: warehouse heating systems

    Space heating and lighting consume most of the energy in non-refrigerated warehouses. Installing more efficient lighting to save electrical energy has been well documented by computer modeling. But what about energy modeling guidelines for selecting more efficient gas-fired heating/ventilating equipment that accounts for 75% to 95% of the gas used at these facilities?

    This white paper summarizes the approach, results and conclusions of the first published energy modeling analysis documenting predicted energy performance for six types of gas-fired heating systems commonly used in warehouses and commercial/industrial buildings with large open spaces. The computer simulation analysis includes a comparison to the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline heating system used to determine utility rebates, government tax deductions, energy points for LEED-certified buildings and other incentives for using energy-efficient heating equipment. A set of best practices guidelines is provided at the end of the paper.

  • Stainless steel enclosures in industrial applications

    Stainless steel is a versatile material known primarily for its strength and corrosion-resistant properties. It is utilized in the construction of enclosure solutions that satisfy applications across a broad spectrum of industries. While an assortment of different components are housed within these enclosures and placed in disparate environments, there is common criteria that must be considered to ensure that the proper stainless steel enclosure is chosen for a given application.

    This paper explores some of the technical details of stainless steel that are crucial to the selection of industrial enclosures, including composition, distinguishing properties of different grades, chemical resistances, suitable applications and general benefits offered by stainless steel when compared to carbon steel enclosures.

  • Remove water and particulate contaminants from oil efficiently and cost-effectively to prolong equipment life

    A majority of the failures and wear problems that lubricated machines experience are caused by oil contamination from particulates and water. In order to keep oil clean and dry, use advanced filter-dehydrator technology — which enables effective oil conditioning with a simple, low-maintenance design — to enhance particle filtration and to remove free, emulsified and dissolved water.

    View more content on PlantServices.com

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