Happy Holidays from Classic Controls

All of us at Classic Controls wish our customers, partners, vendors and friends a very Happy Holiday Season and a wonderful 2019!

Wireless Remote Monitoring and Control Systems Offers Cost Effective Solution for Tank Level Monitoring System

Tanks Wireless Remote Monitoring

When a chemical plant wanted to add level and temperature monitoring to a set of tanks on the edge of their property, the initial proposition was to run a HART cable from the control room to the tank site and, then, branch out to each tank and wire in the level and temperature sensors. The wire length would be several thousand feet between the two points and, then, more to wire sensors to each tank.


The cost and time associated with this wiring effort, however, was found to be enormous. In addition to the cost of expensive wire, trenching and running conduit was another large added cost. The proposed budget for this upgrade was close to $100K for just the connection costs.

HART Node installation

Taking a more cost effective route, the chemical plant decided to use a wireless solution offered by Signal Fire remote monitoring products. Multi-drop HART wireless nodes were installed on the top of each tank and connected – locally – to the sensors associated with each tank. (Nodes serve as the wireless, long-distance communication link in the remote monitoring and control of assets such as tank levels. The nodes extract then transmit data from sensors via a wireless mesh network to a Gateway where data is available via a Modbus RTU or TCP interface.) The total cost of the equipment and installation was a small fraction of the cost of running cable alone and the start-up time was a few hours as opposed to weeks. Additionally, because it was so easy to add additional wireless measurement points, other monitoring points can be easily added to the network in the future.

Reprinted with permission from SignalFire.

Tunable Diode Laser Spectrometers Improve Combustion and Heating Process Performance

Yokogawa TDLS 8000
Manufacturing facilities continue to explore ways to optimize processes by saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions, and improving safety. An area of plant investment that generally pays great dividends is in the optimization of combustion. By precisely controlling the air-fuel ratio, positive outcomes in fuel savings, emissions, regulatory issues, and safety are realized.

The implementation of a process instrument called a "tunable diode laser spectrometer" (TDLS) gives plant operators an excellent advantage in the management of combustion gases.

Yokogawa TDLS 220
Tunable diode laser spectrometers are laser-based gas analyzer which provide a quickly updating optical analysis. The TDLS line offers measurements for process gas, flue gas, impurity analysis, custody transfer, and safety with in-situ and extractive methods supported. They utilize laser absorption spectroscopy to detect and measure the concentration of O2, CO, CH4, NH3, H2O (and many more NIR absorbing gases) in combustion and heating processes.

Tunable diode laser spectrometers non-contact sensors are are optimal for use in corrosive, abrasive and condensing applications in the oil, petrochemical, electric power, iron and steel, and other industries.

For more information on tunable diode laser spectrometers, contact Classic Controls by calling 863-644-3642 or visit https://classiccontrols.com.

The Flexim FLUXUS F/G721 Ultrasonic Clamp-on Flow Measurement for Liquids and Gases

New hardware design and improved, powerful digital signal processing gives the Flexim FLUXUS F/G721 superiority over other non-intrusive ultrasonic flowmeters in terms of accuracy, reliability and versatility.

  • Oil & Gas
  • Chemical Industries
  • Water & Wastewater
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food & beverage
  • Semiconductor
For more information contact:
Classic Controls

Ultrasonic, Transit-time Flowmeters

Ultrasonic flowmeters measure fluid velocity by passing high-frequency sound waves along the fluid flow path. Fluid motion influences the propagation of these sound waves, which may then be measured to infer fluid velocity.

Transit-time flowmeters, sometimes called counter propagation flowmeters, are an alternative to Doppler ultrasonic flowmeters. A transit-time ultrasonic flowmeter uses a pair of opposed sensors to measure the time difference between a sound pulse traveling with the fluid flow versus a sound pulse traveling against the fluid flow. Since the motion of fluid tends to carry a sound wave along, the sound pulse transmitted downstream will make the journey faster than a sound pulse transmitted upstream:

The rate of volumetric flow through a transit-time flowmeter is a simple function of the upstream and downstream propagation times:

Q = Calculated volumetric flow rate
k = Constant of proportionality
tup = Time for sound pulse to travel from downstream location to upstream location (upstream, against the flow)
tdown = Time for sound pulse to travel from upstream location to downstream location (downstream, with the flow)

An interesting characteristic of transit-time velocity measurement is that the ratio of transit time difference over transit time product remains constant with changes in the speed of sound through the fluid. When this equation is cast into terms of path length (L), fluid velocity (v), and sound velocity (c), the equation simplifies to Q=2kv/L, proving that the transit-time flowmeter is linear just like the Doppler flowmeter, with the advantage of being immune to changes in the fluid’s speed of sound. Changes in bulk modulus resulting from changes in fluid composition, or changes in density resulting from compositional, temperature, or pressure variations therefore have little effect on a transit-time flowmeter’s accuracy.

Reprinted from "Lessons In Industrial Instrumentation" by Tony R. Kuphaldt – under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

Industrial Point Level Measurement

As opposed to continuous level measurement, point level measurement is used to measure liquid or bulk solids in a tank or vessel to a single, precise point. Most often used as a notification for high or low level, they are placed at the top or bottom of the vessel. When activated, the point level switch can activate an audible or visual alarm, start or stop a process, and/or notify a supervisory control system. There are several technologies that provide point level control, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This post focuses the more advanced technology used for point level control, namely capacitance, vibration, microwave, and radiometric.

Capacitance Switch
Capacitance Switch

Capacitance Switches

  • Measure the capacitance of the process medium’s ability to hold an electrical charge.
  • Can be used with both conductive or non-conductive liquids and solids
  • Looks for step changes in standing capacitance.
  • When media reaches the area between the two plates, the capacitance changes, and the switch output changes state.
  • Must be installed and set up in process to know the different capacitance values for a vessel that’s full and a vessel that’s empty.

Vibration Switches

Vibration Switch
Vibration Switch
  • Constantly vibrate at a specific frequency.
  • The frequency or amplitude is monitored to determine when a liquid or a bulk solid has reached the switch point. 
  • Once the medium contacts the sensing probe, the frequency or the amplitude changes and this change activates the output.
  • Easy installation.
  • Are "plug and play".
  • No media calibration requirement.
  • Little or no maintenance costs.

Microwave Switches

Microwave Switch
Microwave Switch Emitter
  • Non-contact.
  • Utilizes an emitter and receiver.
  • Use a microwave beam to determine point level. Once the bean is broken, a switch changes status.
  • Not only used for high or low level, but also for determining id material is filling a vessel or falling to a conveyor.

Radiometric Switches

  • Non-contact
  • Utilizes an emitter and receiver.
  • A detector measures the amount of gamma radiation from an emitter and determines point level when a threshold is met.
  • Can be installed externally, with no vessel penetration.
  • Good for volatile and hostile processes.
  • Radiometric Switch
    Radiometric Switch
  • Can measure changes in gamma radiation and be used to detect building vapors.

For more information or any process level requirement, contact Classic Controls by visiting https://classiccontrol.com or by calling 863-644-3642.

Industrial Control Valve Body and Actuator Operation

Control valve
Control valve (Masoneilan)
The design and operation of industrial control valves  is very important to understand if you work as a process engineer, a plant maintenance person, or if you design process control loops.

Control valves are used extensively in power plants, pulp and paper mills, chemical manufacturing, petro-chemical processing, HVAC and steam distribution systems.

There are many types, manufacturers, body styles, and specialized features, but the they all share some basics operating principles. The video below explains components, operation, and fundamentals.

Classic Controls provides control valve systems for all major industries including chemical, pulp and paper, petro-chemical, power generation, and water treatment.  Classic Control’s experience and engineering background make them a uniquely qualified partner for your next automated valve requirement.


VEGAPULS 64: The First 80 GHz Radar Level Sensor

VEGAPULS 64 is the first radar level sensor for liquids that operates at a frequency of 80 GHz. This delivers superior focusing of the radar beam. This means this level sensor can deliver reliable measurements even in vessels with internal installations such as heating coils and agitators. The narrow radar beam avoids these obstacles altogether and buildup on the vessel wall has no effect on performance either. The larger the dynamic range of a radar sensor, the wider its range of application and the higher its measurement certainty. VEGAPULS 64 is able to measure poorly reflective media with significantly better performance than previous radar sensors; for example, the sensor is able to measure poorly reflective liquids down virtually to the vessel bottom. Even with surface foam, extremely turbulent product surfaces, condensation or buildup on the antenna, VEGAPULS 64 maintains its accuracy and reliability.

Download the VEGAPULS 64 brochure here or read about it in the embedded document below.

Classic Controls, Inc.

Replacing the Obsolete Siemens 353 with the Yokogawa YS1000 Series

The Yokogawa YS1000 Series is a drop-in alternative to the obsolete Siemens/Moore 353. The video below provides details as to how and why. The video is composed of a series of presentation slides - if you need more time to focus and a single item, hit the pause button.

Non-invasive, Clamp-on Flowmeters for Boiler Feed Water, Fuel Oil, and Natural Gas Feeds in Power Plants

Clamp-on Flowmeters in Power Plants
Clamp-on Flowmeters in Power Plants
Natural gas fired plants burn the gas to heat boiler feed water up and convert it to steam for subsequent electricity generation. It is critical for the safety and performance of the power plant to monitoring and control the flow of boiler water feed lines.

FLEXIM, a manufacturer of clamp-on transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters, offers it's high temperature clamp-on WaveInjector mounting fixture as a very accurate and reliable device that accurately measures flow, even at pipe wall temperature of 400 °C / 750 °F. Since the measurement system is completely non-invasive, there is no concern about the pressurization levels within the pipe. Furthermore, Flexim's component design doesn’t cause any pressure drop and eliminates the need for process shut-downs for installation or service. Flexim also offers a unique integrated technology they call "HybridTrek mode" which can detect steam entrainment in the feed water flows – a clear cause for decreased plant performance.

Another area where non-invasive, clamp-on flowmeters are advantageous on fuel oil or feed gas supply. Flexim "Flexus" meters are also ideal to measure and monitor the flow of fuel oil or gas to the boilers to achieve the optimum efficiency.

Flexim flowmeter
Ultrasonic flowmeter for harsh environments.
Historically, fuel oil feed lines are either monitored by the use of orifice plates and differential pressure or positive displacement meters, both of which require hours of maintenance due to wear and tear by the abrasive and partially clogging medium. A non-invasive ultrasonic clamp-on flow meter technology offers a much better solution. No pipe cutting or welding, zero contact with the process medium, matched and paired transducers, sophisticated high-speed flow calculations and very rugged stainless steel construction make the Flexim flowmeter an excellent choice, even in this harsh

For gas feed lines, FLEXIM developed a special transducer technology called Lamb wave transducers to offer the most accurate clamp-on flow measurement possible. The clamp-on measurement system is independent from pipe dimensions, material and wall thickness.  There are no upper pressure limits and even on very low pressure lines, the flow meter is capable of carrying out a bi-directional flow measurement over a wide turndown range. By factoring in pressure and temperature (as well as the individual gas composition if needed), the FLUXUS gas flow meter outputs normalized flow rates.

For more information on applying non-invasive ultrasonic clamp-on flow meters in power plants, contact Classic Controls by visiting https://classiccontrols.com or by calling 863-644-3642.

The Best Alternative for the Discontinued Moore / Siemens 353 SLC Controller

Siemens has discontinued their 353 SLC controller. The 353 was used in many process applications for many years. It's discontinuation leaves many companies without an alternative.

Don't worry - you don't have to turn to eBay looking for spare parts? There's a better solution - the Yokogawa YS1700 PID loop controller. The YS1700 is a drop-in SLC replacement for the Siemens 353 and will keep you off of eBay.

The YS1700’s powerful function block programming allows for custom strategies to control many demanding processes such as boilers and steam generators, PH control, dosing control, and many other demanding plant processes. For more information, visit this site.

Understanding How Radiometric (Radiation-based) Level Measurement Works

Radiometric (also known as radiation-based) level measurement uses a very slightly radioactive isotope that emits focused gamma rays. A sensor, which is mounted on the opposite side of the vessel, receives this radiation. Because gamma rays are attenuated when penetrating matter, the sensor can calculate level, point level, density or mass flow from the intensity of the incoming radiation.

Advantages are:
  • Maximum operational reliability even in the harshest environments
  • Measurement is independent of pressure, temperature and product aggressiveness
  • Measuring system can be installed on the outside of a vessel during ongoing production
Watch this video to understand more.

For more information contact:

Classic Controls Becomes Associate Member of CARILEC

Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation
Classic Controls is very please to announce the company has been accepted as an Associate Member of CARILEC (Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation).

CARILEC is an association of electric services, dealers, manufactures and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean region, Central and South Americas and Globally.

CARILEC was established in 1989 with an original nine members as part of an electric utilities modernization project funded by USAID and implemented by NRECA under a five-year "Co-operative Agreement." Currently, CARILEC comprises a total of one hundred and six (106) members. This includes thirty five (35) Full Members that are electric utilities and sixty six (66) Associate Members that are companies involved in some aspect of servicing the electric utility business and four (5) Affiliate Members. The vision of CARILEC is "To be the Premier Association of Electric Utilities and Industry partners; facilitating the development of world class electric energy services for all peoples of the Caribbean."

Classic Controls Classic Controls is a total solutions, single-source provider of industrial process instruments for the entire Caribbean. Along with representing “best-in-class” manufacturers, Classic Control's employees are people driven by total customer satisfaction, with a field salesforce who are technically strong, conscientious, and who can properly apply, train, and support the products they apply.

Quarter Turn vs. Linear Industrial Valves

Linear valve
Linear control valve (Masoneilan)
Different types of valves are designed and applied for different roles in the process control. Linear valves and quarter-turn valves are two different types of valves utilized throughout industry to regulate and control fluid flow. Their design and construction reflect the intent of the valves application, with each being suited for a different class of use.

All valves operate by providing control of the position of an internal structure that impedes fluid passage to some degree. Generally, fluid flow at the valve can be characterized as one of three conditions, unrestricted (valve fully open), stopped (valve fully closed), and throttled (valve partially open). Process operational requirements will dictate whether just two (fully open and fully closed) or all three of those conditions will be needed. Many aspects of the fluid, the process, and the surrounding environment come into play when making an appropriate valve selection. Not always an easy task.
solenoid valve
Solenoid valves are
a type of linear valve.

Linear valves are generally characterized by their straight line motion that is used to position the valve plug, disc, diaphragm or other flow controlling element. The shape, size, and arrangement of the linear valve trim is generally intended to empower the operator with a range of flow through the valve. Through its positioning, the linear valve is able to regulate fluid flow at a slower, but more accurate rate. The valves can move a disk or a plug into an orifice, or push a flexible material, such as a diaphragm, into the flow passage. Gate valves and globe valves are common examples of linear motion valves. A solenoid valve also acts as a specialized type of linear valve. Linear valves are best applied as flow controllers, and are often suited for frequent operation and repositioning.

Quarter turn valve
Ball valves are examples
of quarter turn valves.
Quarter turn valves traverse from fully open to fully closed by a 90 degree rotation of a shaft connected to the controlling element. Their comparatively simple operation allows for a design that is rugged and compact. One distinction of the quarter turn valves is their ability to quickly reposition from open to closed positions. Torque requirements to operate the valves are generally low to moderate. Ball and butterfly valves are examples of quarter turn valves.

Depending on the specific scenario, linear valves and quarter-turn valves are optimal choices for particular process environments. The accuracy of the linear valve and its ability to move in a linear fashion as opposed to a quarter-turn comes coupled with easy maintenance and decreased likelihood of cavitation. Both valve types enjoy widespread use and should generally not be viewed as competing designs for the same application. Each has a range of applications where it excels.

Contact Classic Controls for any industrial valve requirement by visiting https://classiccontrols.com or by calling 863-644-3642.

Happy 4th of July from Classic Controls

"America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact — the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality."

Adlai Stevenson

Drying Compressed Air In Hazardous Atmospheres

Compressed Air DryerIn many industries, the atmosphere, though safe to breath, may be unsafe for an electrical spark. These areas often have pneumatically operated equipment for safety. And that equipment needs a source of clean dry air or as it is called in the industry, Instrument Grade Air. Plants typically have a centralized instrument grade air line that delivers air to the instruments that need it. However, oftentimes the instrument grade air is of inferior quality and contaminated with water. This air will benefit from a point of use drying system that guarantees instrument grade air. Traditional drying systems using PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) or refrigerant require expensive modifications to operate within hazardous areas. Air dryers made from hollow fiber membranes can dry compressed air without the use of electricity and are therefore safe for hazardous environments.

Hazardous locations have or could potentially have high concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, combustible dusts or ignitable fibers and flyings. Refineries, chemical processing plants, mines and grain mills are examples of industries with hazardous atmospheres. Even a small spark can lead to a horrific explosion dangerous to equipment and workers in the area.

Read the rest of the Parker Balston white paper in the embedded document below, or download your PDF version of "Drying Compressed Air In Hazardous Atmospheres" here.

For more information, visit https://classiccontrols.com or call 863-644-3642.

University Campuses Greatly Reduce Energy Costs Retrofitting with Clamp-on Thermal Energy Meters

Clamp-on Thermal Energy Meters
Flexim Clamp-on Thermal Meter
The cooling and heating of a university campus is one of the primary areas where better energy management, including improved efficiency and energy reduction, brings some of the highest returns.

Every university to some extent is now engaged in this process, and one of the first things that has to be addressed is the metering of distributed thermal energy. To effectively begin energy reduction initiatives, accurate and reliable thermal energy metering has to be in place.

Today, there is high priority for understanding that we need to be better stewards of energy consumption. Poor energy consumption harms the environment and creates much higher operating costs. Universities have become very involved in the move toward greener energy. Many universities began metering long ago while some are just beginning. Most are in the middle of the process.

Installation of clamp-on thermal meter
Installation of clamp-on thermal meter (click for larger view).
Installation in under 4 hrs. (steps from image above):
  • Step 1: Cut insulation where transducers and RTD will be located.
  • Step 2: Install stainless bands around pipe under insulation.
  • Step 3: Install transducers and RTD.
  • Step 4: Cover transducers and RTD with insulation and tape.
There are many different types of meters, and often, many of these choices turn out to be unreliable. In order to achieve real accountability for energy usage at campus buildings, energy managers at leading universities are applying a “utility model.” In the utility model, building managers responsible for campus buildings are billed at utility grade costs for the thermal energy consumed. This creates an environment where focus falls to thermal energy conservation. It’s also vital that inefficiencies are identified and corrected through metering.

Many universities have gone through an evolution of trying to meter thermal energy consumption throughout their campus. The success of these ventures can be elusive when the meter chosen for the job doesn’t live up to expectations. Examples include insertion meters that over time will foul and meters that cannot respond to low velocities that are prevalent during off-peak metering.

On proven alternative is FLEXIM’s Thermal Energy / BTU Flow Meter. The technology, based upon FLEXIM's ultrasonic clamp-on meters, do not require shutdown and are very cost effective to install.

Clamp-on ultrasonic meters have been doing the job of BTU-metering for decades and the Flexim thermal energy meters are leading the effort towards more energy efficient buildings and facilities.

More than 150 colleges and universities throughout the country are using the FLEXIM product as their preferred thermal energy meter and attest to FLEXIM’s performance, reliability and support.

For more information on Flexim thermal energy products, contact Classic Controls by visiting https://classiccontrols.com or by calling 863-644-3642.

Classic Controls Coverage Area and Territory

Classic Controls is a total solutions, single-source provider of industrial process instruments serving Florida, South Georgia, Caribbean North, Caribbean South, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname.

Listing by country or island:

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Barthélemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands.

Setting Limit Switches on AUMA SA Multi-Turn Actuators and SQ Part-Turn Actuators

AUMA SA Multi-Turn Actuator
AUMA SA Multi-Turn Actuator
Type SA multi-turn actuators and SQ part-turn actuators are the core products of the AUMA product portfolio.

AUMA SA electric multi-turn actuators are used for the automation of gate valves or globe valves.

AUMA SQ electric part-turn actuators are used where an automatic, electrically operated movement at a swing angle of less than 360 ° has to be implemented as it is the case for valves like butterfly and ball valves.

Below is a video that demonstrates how to set the limit switches for both SA and SQ.

This video is intended as a supplement to the operating instruction and/or manuals available from your local AUMA Representative.

Yokogawa TDLS8000 In-Situ Gas Analyzer

Yokogawa’s TDLS8000 houses all of the industry’s leading features in one robust device. The platform design is for in situ measurements which negate the need for sample extraction and conditioning. The non-contacting sensor allows for a variety of process types including corrosive, abrasive and condensing.

  • SIL2 TruePeak combined with smart laser Technology
  • Intuitive touchscreen HMI
  • HART and Modbus TCP communications standard
  • 8-stage auto-gain adapts to difficult applications
  • Fully field repairable with 50 days of data and spectra storage
  • Compact design for one-man installation without sacrificing ruggedness
  • Area classification Zone2/Div2 or Zone1/Div1

Wireless Remote Asset Monitoring & Control

SignalFire GatewaySignalFire’s unique patent-pending two-way mesh technology provides the power and stability needed for reliable data transfer over long node-to-node distances. They couple an innovative message-forwarding architecture with low-cost, high-power ISM-band radios, creating a simple, affordable system that’s easy to deploy. Their technology is ideal for applications calling for many assets widely dispersed (up to 4 miles point-to-point), such as flow, level, pressure, and temperature, and can control devices such as pumps, valves, fans, and lighting.

For more information on SignalFire, visit https://classiccontrols.com or call 863-644-3642.

Classic Controls: Your Total Solutions Provider for Instrumentation, Valves and Process Equipment

Classic Controls, Inc. is a total solutions, single-source provider of industrial process instruments serving Florida, southern Georgia, and the entire Caribbean. Along with representing “best-in-class” manufacturers, Classic Control's employees are people driven by total customer satisfaction, with a field salesforce who are technically strong, conscientious, and who can properly apply, train, and support the products they specify.


Application of Non-Invasive Flow Meter Technology to Extreme Temperature Lines

WaveInjector ultrasonic flow meter
One configuration of Flexim WaveInjector, allowing
non-invasive flow measurement at extreme temperatures.
Image courtesy Flexim Americas Corp.
The development of condensate in super heater and re-heater drains can lead to trouble in combined cycle and cogeneration plants with heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs). The need to reliably detect and measure condensate in these drain lines has emerged as an area needing attention.

The Problem

Heat recovery steam generators were never designed for cyclic service. The move toward renewable energy resources (such as wind and photovoltaic), in tandem with the ability of the combined cycle plant to start-up and stop quickly, is expanding the role of the combined cycle plant as a backup source of power. With frequent starts/stops condensate management can be challenging. Draining the condensate is critically important for the safe and reliable operation of the boiler. While the problem of condensate drainage has been around for years, the problem is greater now in installations with a higher frequency of cycling. The importance of finding a good solution for detecting condensate in the HRSG drain lines is growing.

Boiler manufacturers address this situation through the use of condensate pots, level instruments, site glasses, and valves. None of these technologies provide a satisfactory combination of reliability, economy, and efficiency. Knowing when steam converts to water is difficult with this approach. Plus, over cautious systems sometimes release steam instead of condensate, wasting energy. A more reliable and consistent way to sense the presence of water in drain lines had to be found.

The Solution

By designing specialized mounting and tooling, modifying their sensing diagnostics, putting in hundreds of hours of field testing, and investing hundreds of hours improving their firmware for water detection, the manufacturer Flexim developed an ultrasonic flow meter that elegantly and reliably solves the HRSG drain line problem.

These clamp-on sensors work by measuring the transit-time difference of an ultrasonic signal, at varying flow velocities, through the process media. Ultrasonic, clamp-on flow meters have no moving parts, are not affected by density, and are mounted directly to the pipe in a non-invasive fashion.

The most challenging aspects of this application are the exposure of the sensing units to high temperature and the thick-walled pipes with small diameters commonly used for drains. To handle the high temperatures, specialized mounting and tooling were developed for the sensor allowing for pipe temperatures up to 750 deg. F. To overcome the small diameter / thick pipe issue, Flexim engineers reconfigured the sensor’s firmware to change from measuring flow rate, and instead measure noise (decibels) as an innovative way to distinguish steam from water.

Flexim’s unique ability to measure the presence of liquid in condensate drain pipes is a revolutionary development. This valuable solution helps customers run longer and safer, minimizing downtime. Share your measurement challenges with process measurement specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

HVAC Energy Management - Thermal Metering With Non-Invasive Technology

control housing for ultrasonic flow meter thermal energy calculator
Ultrasonic flow measurement is an optimal choice
for thermal metering, with it non-invasive installation.
Image courtesy Flexim Americas Corp.
The modern business climate has, for some time now, been spooling up demand for accountability and, even more so, efficiency. Whether you think of efficiency as "doing more with less" or just avoiding the expenditure of financial, human, or natural resources the end result is the same and calls for similar prerequisites.

We live in a society of buildings, each with a mapped out function. Most buildings are predominantly occupied by people, bringing a requirement to maintain temperature, relative humidity, and air quality at levels of suitable comfort for human occupants. The energy consumption involved with providing that level of comfort stands as a bold line item in the operating expense ledger for any building. That is where accountability and efficiency come in. It is in the building stakeholders' interest to have knowledge regarding rates and quantity of thermal energy usage, as well as efficiency measures of delivered output per unit of input energy.

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) primarily is an endeavor that generates and moves thermal energy throughout an enclosed space. Commercially available technology now allows a building operator to accurately measure that movement of thermal energy throughout a system or building. The process is generally called BTU metering and has a number of justifiable benefits.
  • Real time equipment performance measurement.
  • Sub metering can indicate specific areas of consumption.
  • Ability to directly bill multiple tenants in a single building for their thermal energy usage.
  • Monitor and balance energy flows.
BTU metering essentially involves inlet and outlet temperature measurement of heat transfer liquids, along with their flow rate. While the principle is simple, the intricacies of the measurement methods and equipment accuracy can have a substantial impact on the accuracy, and thus the benefit, of the measurement data. Additionally, adding more instrumentation to an already complex system can create an additional on-going maintenance and calibration burden to retain the necessary levels of accuracy and function. Success at gaining the benefit of the performance data while minimizing the additional maintenance burden due to the instrumentation should be the goal.

One solution calls for the use of clamp on ultrasonic flow meters to measure liquid flow, coupled with temperature measurement in a single unit that will perform necessary calculations and provide output data in useful engineering units. An overarching benefit of the clamp on meter is its non-invasive nature, allowing its retrofit to in-place systems with no disturbance to existing piping. Here are some other characteristics of a highly effective BTU measurement unit:
  • No wear mechanism as part of the flow measurement unit
  • Traceable accuracy of flow and temperature measurements
  • Simple installation in new or retrofit applications without disruption to system operation
  • Reliable and maintenance free operation
  • Accurate measurement from near zero flow rate to maximum system flow
  • Stable sensing with no zero drift
  • Communications protocol to match building energy management system
  • Large storage cache for data, in case of communication failure
  • Common output signals, 4-20 ma or other, usable with selected ancillary equipment
Selecting the right equipment or instrumentation is the most important step along the path of adding measurement capability to increase efficiency. Without a solid stream of reliable data, useful decisions become difficult. Contact a product application specialist and share your goals and challenges. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Industrial Process Pressure Transmitters

industrial pressure transmitter or differential pressure transmitter
One of many variants of industrial pressure transmitters.
Image courtesy Yokogawa USA
The measurement and control of fluid pressure is ubiquitous throughout many industrial processes. Measurements of pressure, directly and indirectly, provide real time information about what is happening in places that cannot be seen, such as inside a pipe, tank, or machine. The very nature of “process” suggests movement and change, the control of which is necessary to produce a consistent desirable outcome. Industrial pressure transmitters employ specific technologies and physical principals to derive a measurement of process pressure, then deliver or transmit, the measured value to a controller or recording device.

Fluid pressure tells a process operator much about what is currently happening. The pressure variable can be used to determine, among many industrial process elements:
  • Degree to which the process is conforming to a recipe or specification
  • Whether machinery is performing within its specified operation range
  • If conditions of the process remain within the bounds established for safety
  • A quantity measurement of flow, mass, or volume
Global industrial processes have widely varying physical arrangements, operating environments, and measurement requirements. Manufacturers of industrial pressure transmitters have responded with an immense array of transmitter technologies, arrangements, and configurations. When selecting the best suited pressure transmitter for your application, consult a sales engineer and consider some of the following:
  • Signal requirements – Type, distance, possible sources of interference
  • Device environment – Hazards, extreme conditions of temperature or corrosion
  • Accuracy and stability of measurement
  • Response time to changes in the process condition
  • Ratings and certifications required for the device
  • Configuration, arrangement, and mounting aspects of the transmitter device
Explore the differing technologies and how they can be best applied to implement or improve your process. Experienced sales engineers are a useful sounding board for discussing your needs. Share you process measurement challenges with them and leverage your own knowledge and experience into an effective solution.

Coalescing Filters For Compressed Air

coalescing compressed air filters for industrial use
Coalescing filters for industrial compressed air service.
Image courtesy Parker Hannafin - Balston Div.
Coalescing filters remove liquid aerosols from a gas by causing very small droplets to contact others, forming successively larger liquid droplets that eventually are moved via gravity to a drain. A combination of filter media and housing properly direct an inlet stream to maximize the combining, or coalescing, of the fine droplets. The filter media will also serve to trap solid particulates, as well. An automatic drain arrangement is a useful feature that prevents accumulation of liquid in the filter housing without operator attention.

Compressed air systems will typically produce output that contains moisture and small amounts of liquid lubrication oil. Leaving the compressor, the air is hot. As it cools, the moisture will condense in the piping system and utilization equipment without a means to remove it. Coalescing filters, properly located throughout the system, will trap and remove liquids entrained in the compressed air stream. The nature of the filter media also results in efficient capture of solid contaminants, such as rust, dust, welding flash and more.

The installation must route the compressed air through the filter in the proper direction. Improperly piped units can have their automatic drain function inhibited, leading to failure and a need to reconnect the unit correctly. Size selection is simplified with tables providing maximum flow rate for rated filtration performance. Oversizing a selection will not produce a negative impact. The filter media pressure drop increases as solids are collected and retained, requiring replacement when pressure drop is excessive.

Share your compressed air system requirements and challenges with filtration specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Pressure Regulating Valves

pressure regulating valve
Pressure regulating valve, or pressure regulator.
One of many types.
Image courtesy Cash Valve
Pressure regulating valves (PRV) are common components of many processes and equipment. The function of a PRV is to maintain a desired outlet fluid pressure under varying conditions of supply pressure or outlet flow demand.

Many variants exist in the market, each specifically designed to address a range of process conditions or offset a performance characteristic deemed undesirable in another design. Each has a suitable place in the range of possible applications, with cost, size, construction material and complexity primary differences among the offerings.

In its simplest form, a pressure regulating valve (PRV) consists of a flow restricting element, a measuring element, and a setpoint element. Outlet pressure applies force to the measuring element, often a diaphragm. As the outlet pressure increases, the diaphragm will move the flow restricting element toward the closed position, reducing the flow from the inlet. The restricting element is commonly a plug, disk, or some other recognizable valve trim arrangement. The setpoint element, likely a spring, provides a counterbalancing force on the diaphragm. When the force applied to the diaphragm by the outlet pressure reaches equilibrium with the counterbalancing force applied by the spring, movement of the restricting element stops. In this way, outlet pressure is controlled without the need for electric power, sensors, transmitters, or even a process controller. The entire assembly is self-contained and requires little attention.

Selecting a PRV for an application requires coordinated consideration of process performance range, desired conditions, and valve attributes to produce a selection that will provide the desired service. A valve improperly selected for an application may perform poorly. Some of the items to be considered include:
  • PRV Type
  • Body size
  • Construction
  • Pressure Ratings
  • Maximum Flow Rate
  • Outlet Pressure Range
  • Accuracy
  • Inlet Pressure
  • Orifice Diameter
  • Response Speed
  • Turn-Down Ratio
A PRV is not a safety device. An independent means must be provided to protect the system from excessive pressure. Product specialists are a good source of help in selecting a properly sized and configured valve for an application. Share your fluid process control challenges with a product application specialist. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Flow Measurement in Subsurface Pipes

Ultrasonic flow measurement, properly configured, can be the preferred solution for flow measurement in water and wastewater pipes, especially those in subsurface locations. Demands for increased monitoring of system flow at numerous points throughout a network or system create a need to install flow measurement instrumentation on existing pipes that are unlikely to have built-in accommodations for the needed sensors.

Ultrasonic flow measurement transducers are mounted on the exterior of existing piping and require no pipe cutting or service interuption to install. The rugged transducers are suitable for subsurface installation and provide long term uninterupted operation. Ultrasonic flow measurement functions over a wide range of flow, providing accurate data during normal, peak, and off-peak hours. The data derived from the measurements can also be used for leak detection. Data output from the instrument can be used locally or transferred by a number of methods to remote monitoring stations for system wide analysis.

The video provides some additional application advantages of ultrasonic flow measurement for subsurface pipe applications. Share your flow measurement challenges of all types with process measurement specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Auma Heavy Duty Electric Valve Actuators

cutaway view of electric valve actuator for industrial use
Cutaway view of electric valve actuator.
Image courtesy Auma Actuators, Inc.
Electric actuators are used to enable remote control of industrial valves, allowing complex processes to be managed and controlled by remotely located control systems. Other means, including hydraulic and pneumatic, are used as  motive forces for valve actuators, but electric actuators bring a particular set of features that make them an advantageous choice for many applications.

Valve actuators are available in a wide range of variants to suit every application scenario. Auma, a globally recognized manufacturer of electric actuators, manufactures heavy duty actuators for demanding applications throughout every industry. Specializing in electric actuators, the company keeps their design and engineering efforts focused on a single product, its performance, reliability, and ruggedness.

  • Part turn, linear and multi-turn operation
  • Large selection of torque ranges
  • Variable or fixed speed operation
  • Controller options ranging from simple open-close to micro-positioning with logging of operating data or fieldbus interface
  • Numerous gearbox options and mountings to accommodate any application
  • Enclosures rated for a variety of installations, including underwater.
Learn more about the electric actuators from Auma. Share your valve and damper automation challenges with industrial application experts, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Fox Thermal Instruments Releases New Gas Flowmeter Targeted at Oil and Gas Operations

thermal mass flowmeters insertion inline and retractor styles
The FT4X thermal mass flow meter accommodates
inline, insertion, and retractor installations.
Image courtesy Fox Thermal Instruments, Inc.
Keeping up to date on the latest product information....

Fox Thermal Instruments, an acknowledged innovator in thermal mass flow technology and instruments, has released a flow meter targeted for gas flow measurement in the oil and gas industry. The FT4X delivers a long list of advanced and useful features for flare and waste gas monitoring, gas studies, royalty and allocation, and general gas flow research.

The instrument utilizes a constant temperature differential technology to measure gas or air mass flow, employing two precision RTD sensors. One temperature sensor follows the media temperature, while the other is heated by the instrument electronics to maintain a constant temperature differential between the two sensors. The amount of applied heat to maintain the differential is proportional to the mass flow rate. A linearized 4-20mA output signal is the final output of the transmitter.

The flow meter is available for inline or insertion installation, along with another variant that features retraction of the instrument from the line without flow interruption. Various probe lengths accommodate line sizes to 70 inches. Flow bodies, flow conditioners, and other accessories are available to customize the instrument assembly to fit each application.

There is a wealth of additional information provided in the brochure included below. Share your flow measurement challenges and requirements for process measurement specialists. Leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Asset Condition Monitoring for Major Equipment

turbine blades
Asset and equipment monitoring promotes the maximizing
of productivity by reducing downtime.
Minimizing machine or system downtime, for whatever cause, is a common productivity and financial goal of industrial processing of all types. Lost production time can never be recouped, and unplanned equipment outages can cost millions. There is real benefit to be had from monitoring operational aspects of machinery and systems in real time.

Asset condition monitoring, as the name implies, is the process of continually monitoring a machine or piece of equipment with the intent to alert operators to anomalies in machine function. Data gathered can also be used to define a normal operating envelope and show trends that may indicate a need for service. The goal, ultimately, is to repair, adjust or maintain prior to and avoiding outright failure. Key indicators of failing equipment can be changing values in vibration, noise or temperature measurements. Monitoring these and other variables, some derived at very localized and specific points, provides key indicators of the condition of the machine. By evaluating trends in the data, intelligent systems can provide health information about the equipment and assist in the early detection of possible faults or failures.

Implementation of asset condition monitoring is benefiting manufacturing plants and process industries such as chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, power generation, wind turbine, and oil and gas. Not only can it save money from protecting against unplanned outages, but condition monitoring also improves productivity, quality and profitability.

GE's Bently Nevada 3500 Monitoring System provides continuous, online monitoring suitable for machinery protection and asset condition monitoring applications. It is the company's most capable and flexible system, with a traditional rack-based design. The useful features of the system are numerous, and it delivers advantages not provided in other systems. Share your major asset monitoring challenges and plans with a systems specialist, and leverage your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to implement an effective solution.

Process Instrumentation Selection Tool

company logo Yokogawa
Yokogawa's Process Instrumentation Selection
Tool saves time when searching for the right
process measurement instrument.
Image courtesy Yokogawa
Yokogawa Corporation of America, an industry recognized source for innovative process measurement and control products, has made available an easy to use product selection tool for those navigating through the company's extensive product offering. The Product Finder is a great time saver that enables a user to quickly locate product and technical information on Yokogawa products that meet the user's selected criteria.

Let's step through a quick example. You will see how this quick and easy to use tool saves time by navigating quickly to the website pages detailing products meeting your requirements.

The Product Finder is accessible through a number of links throughout Yokogawa's network of Reps. Clicking the link lands you on the start page of the Product Finder. For this example, I am going to search for a flow meter with the following characteristics:
  • Mass flow measurement 
  • Non-conductive liquid
  • Accuracy of 1%
  • Flow measurement device must have an integral transmitter
  • Tri-clamp connections

Above, I declared my location as United States. The next step, shown below, is to select "Flow" as the measurement parameter. You will see in the drop down menu that there are many measurement elements that can be selected, with Yokogawa products for each.

My selection of "Flow" returns a list of all the company's flow measurement devices, of which there are many (this cropped screenshot, shown below, only shows four, but there were many more) . This is where the selector really helps you. Instead of examining several or many different models, the user can focus the search by adding more product characteristics. You can see the list of prompting questions on the left side of the page. Answering these will narrow the search results to the show only the products meeting all the criteria specified by the user.

The next image (below) shows selections of all my sample product attributes entered on the left column. Note that there is now only a single product that matches all of my sample criteria. The whole process took less than two minutes. By clicking on the "View More Details" button below the product image, I gain access to all of the available technical, support, and product data for my selected flow measurement device.

The process instrumentation experts at Classic Controls are available to provide additional help in meeting your process measurement challenges in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Combine their product knowledge and expertise with your process know-how for the best solutions.