Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Keep Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Top of Mind

depiction of industrial data around the world cybersecurity
Industrial control system cyber security is a 24/7 operation 
Cybersecurity risks should be a concern to any business with an internet connection or data port. Smaller operators may feel their limited size and notoriety renders them generally immune to invasion. This is a falsehood. Every control system should be considered as a potential target. That said, paranoia and fear should not be your primary decision drivers. Cybersecurity is accomplished through awareness, diligence, and collaboration.

Even if you consider yourself a small and insignificant operator, it is useful to begin, then maintain, a connection to the conduits for industrial control system cybersecurity information. Develop your awareness of the potential for intrusion into your control system. Start to become knowledgeable about how cyber threats can impact your operation, how cyber intruders gain access. As you build your knowledge, it is likely you will find ways to improve your level of security without major change or expense.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security houses the watchdog organizations for industrial control system cybersecurity. There is a group within the department that is dedicated solely to industrial control systems. The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, better known as ICS-CERT, works to reduce cyber intrusion risks for industrial control systems. The link for ICS-CERT should be your first stop when delving into industrial cybersecurity. The site provides links to many other resources and activities, all directly related to cybersecurity. You can sign up for newsletters, even receive alerts when new threats are uncovered.

Your steady progress of knowledge building will better prepare your organization for the cybersecurity challenges of the current environment, as well as those that will emerge in the future. A fact sheet from the National Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Center, providing some useful information on their functions and activities, is included below.

Any concerns you may have about the potential vulnerabilities of instruments or equipment currently in place should be shared with vendors as part of the evaluation of your current systems.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Power Generation Conversion From Coal To Gas - Impact on Valves

industrial gas turbine power generation
Gas Turbine
The combination of historically low gas prices and pressure from more stringent emission requirements for combustion operations has led to a wave of plant conversions from coal to gas as the fuel for power generating equipment. Conversions, as opposed to completely new facilities, pose a challenge regarding how much of the existing system can be used as part of the converted system. One aspect of that challenge is the valves on the existing system.

Crane ChemPharma & Energy, a globally recognized manufacturer of industrial valves for a wide range of applications, authored a white paper covering the subject of valve usage and replacement in power generation facilities converting from coal to gas. The paper provides a useful overview of the current state of power generating facilities with respect to regulation and the anticipated supply and cost of gas in the future.

The application and suitability of existing and new valves at various function points throughout the power generation system is outlined and explained. The paper does a good job of reducing the complicated issue into a few pages of direct understandable explanation.

The paper from Crane ChemPharma & Energy is included below. Share your industrial valve challenges with product application specialists, combining your own process expertise with their product knowledge to develop effective solutions.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Specially Designed Heat Exchangers Deliver Hot Water on Demand

plate heat exchanger steam to water Spirax Sarco
Plate heat exchanger for producing hot water from steam
Courtesy Spirax Sarco
Hot water is readily available on demand from your steam system with the application of a properly configured heat exchanger. The installation of a well designed steam to water heat exchanger can deliver large or small demand volumes of hot water efficiently and with little need for maintenance or attention.

Spirax Sarco, globally recognized leader in steam and condensate system solutions, provides complete pre-engineered heat exchanger packages for adding hot water production to a steam system. The company combines their renowned control components with a plate or shell and tube heat exchanger, all performance matched to provide optimum performance in a single package.

  • Compact design requires minimum footprint.
  • Control valves specifically designed for steam service deliver efficient operation and long service life with minimal maintenance.
  • Condensate removal system eliminates backup of condensate in steam space for maximized efficiency.
  • A single source for the entire unit assures a coordinated installation.
  • Low maintenance requirements.
  • All piping connections on one side for easy installation.
  • Hot water on demand reduces or eliminates the need to store hot water.
There is more to learn. Additional detail is provided in the document included below. Reach out to a steam system specialist with your questions, requirements, and steam system challenges. Combine your facility and process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pressure Regulating Valves

industrial pressure regulator valve for steam brass
PIlot operated pressure regulator
intended for use in a steam system
Courtesy Pentair - Cash Valve
Many processes and equipment employ pressure regulating valves, the function of which is to maintain a desired outlet fluid pressure under varying conditions of supply pressure or outlet flow.

There are many pressure regulating valve variants, specifically designed to address a range of process conditions or offset a performance characteristic deemed undesirable in another design. Each variant has a suitable place in the range of possible applications, with cost, size, and complexity primary differences among the different 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, so 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, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Friday, December 2, 2016

Diaphragm Valves For Heavy Duty Industrial Applications

industrial diaphragm valve with handle metal body and metal diaphragm
Series 611 Industrial Diaphragm Valve
Courtesy Gemü
Diaphragm valves are suitably used for applications requiring hermetic isolation of the valve bonnet and stem from the flowing media. They also are capable of throttling flow and are generally tolerant of particulate matter entrained in the media. Selecting body and diaphragm materials that are compatible with the media are primary elements of achieving a successful application.

Gemü, a globally recognized manufacturer of diaphragm valves and other control components, offers a line of industrial metal diaphragm valves available in a range of materials and sizes to accommodate heavy duty applications.
  • Suitable for inert and corrosive liquid and gaseous media
  • Chemical resistant bonnet
  • Insensitive to particulate media
  • Valve body and diaphragm available in various materials and designs
  • Compact design
Share your fluid process control challenges with application specialists, combining your process knowledge with their product expertise to develop effective solutions.