Sunday, August 30, 2015

Modern Refrigeration Technology Delivers Energy Saving Air Drying for Industrial Compressed Air Systems

Industrial Refrigerated Air Dryer
Modular Refrigerated Air Dryer
Courtesy SPX Pneumatic Products
Compressed air is a common utility and source of power in many industrial plants and operations. It is well known that limiting the amount of moisture in compressed air is advantageous. Modern operations increasingly demand drier compressed air supply containing fewer contaminants. Some of the potentially damaging effects of moisture in compressed air systems include:

  • In air operated instruments, corrosion, leading to incorrect readings and false responses by plant operators.
  • In industrial processes utilizing pneumatic controls, clogging of orifices and malfunction of controls due to rust and scale can result in additional maintenance and repair, even process malfunction or shutdown.
  • In industrial spray-on coatings, moisture can affect their color, finish, and adherence.
  • In industrial production equipment, moving parts can experience rust and premature wear due to the washing away of lubrication by excessive moisture in compressed air.
For many industrial applications, removing moisture from compressed air can be accomplished on a continuous basis utilizing a properly configured mechanically refrigerated air dryer. SPX Flow Techonology's Pneumatic Products brand of refrigerated air dryers applies best in class refrigeration technology to deliver substantial energy savings to the process. The ESM product line features:
  • Measurable energy savings.
  • Rapid return on investment
  • Load matching performance
  • Modular construction for multi-station design with isolation for service and maintenance
  • Fault tolerant operation
  • Integral filtration
Review the product data sheet below for more detail on the versatility, energy savings, and all around performance of the ESM Series Refrigerated Air Dryers. Product specialists can provide answers to your application questions, along with assistance with product selection and incorporation into your plant or process.




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Steam Condensate Return Systems - Basic and Essential

Condensate Return Pump
Condensate Return Station
Courtesy Roth Pump Company
Many industrial processes and plants utilize steam in their operations. The generation and use of steam is one of the oldest industrial processes and is so well understood that it may be considered more of a utility than part an industrial process. Whatever the case, if your process or installation uses steam, then steam is a necessary input for successful operation. Keeping your steam system performing at capacity frees up time and resources for the more complex aspects of your work.

If steam is not consumed directly by the process as a component input, it is steam's heat of vaporization that is utilized by the operation. Efficient use of steam as a heating medium results in the conversion of vapor to liquid (water). Returning the liquid condensate back to the boiler for conversion to vapor again is a necessary step in the efficient operation of a closed loop system.

Condensate return systems are certainly not high technology, but keep in mind that a steam system may be the lifeblood of not just one, but many operations throughout a plant. Avoiding downtime in the steam system, of which the condensate return pump is an integral part, ranks highly on the list of "Important Things for Plant Operations". Condensate return is critical. What are some strong attributes of a good and reliable condensate return pump?


Condensate return station with dual pumps
Condensate Return Station with Dual Pumps
Courtesy Roth Pump Company
  • Minimize or eliminate cavitation at high temperatures. Cavitation will impede pump performance and cause premature deterioration of pump and drive components.
  • Ability to handle a high load during cold starts through motor and pump design.
  • Design and configuration to handle high temperatures without deterioration of pump and motor.
  • Develop higher pressure at lower motor speeds for extended service life.
  • Avoidance of mechanical seals below water line.
  • Consider a single unit with dual pumps for handling high loads and extending service life.
Specifying and installing a solidly designed and built condensate return pump may require an investment of your time and consideration. The return on that investment will be reduced maintenance, repair, and downtime. Talk to a product specialist about your steam system. Combining your intimate operational knowledge and experience with their deep product knowledge and experience with many installations will yield a good solution.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Economical Suction Diffuser Provides Industrial Pump Protection

Suction Diffuser for Industrial Pump
Courtesy Titan Flow Control, Inc.
Liquid handling in industrial processes commonly involves the provision of a pump to move the fluid in the desired manner. Industrial pumps operate best and longest when they are provided with inlet conditions within a range for which the pump is designed. Two conditions prevalent among many pumps are low levels of particulate matter greater than a tolerable size and minimized turbulence at the pump inlet. Piping and specialties approaching the pump inlet should be arranged to provide these conditions to promote low vibration, energy savings, and a long service life.

An effective way to provide pump protection, save installation space, and reduce the probable demands for maintenance and service over the machine's expected operating life is to specify and install a suction diffuser at the pump inlet. There are numerous advantages to this approach.
  • The unit is mounted directly to the inlet side of the pump, saving space and additional connection points.
  • An integral strainer prevents unwanted materials from entering the pump inlet.
  • Straightening vanes on the outlet side of the suction diffuser reduce turbulence in the flow entering the pump.
  • Provision of a suction diffuser reduces the total parts count and connection points (joints) approaching the pump inlet. A single cast unit takes the place of a strainer, reducing elbow, and entrance pipe. Reduced installation time and cost are achieved using the integral design of the suction diffuser.
Titan suction diffuser installation
Suction Diffuser shown installed on pump inlet.
Courtesy Titan Flow Control, Inc.
A suction diffuser may not be the most exciting specialty you ever install, but the benefits of its use warrant your attention. It's one of those simple product ideas that contributes to a good pump installation you can confidently sign off on. You can find out more by reaching out to a product expert and discussing your potential application.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Chemical Flow Meters for Hazardous Environments


ISTEC Aquametro Chemical Flow Meter
Chemical Flow Meters for Industrial Process Measurement
Courtesy ISTEC
ISTEC Corporation’s Aquametro Domino line of Chemical Flow Meters provide accurate measurement of water and liquid chemical flows using rotary piston or vane wheel technology. Versions of the instruments are designed for use in safe and hazardous areas (ATEX). The Domino line has flexible mounting configurations to minimize installation space, and is suitable for conductive or non-conductive liquids. Proper operation and accuracy of the instrument is not diminished by flow disturbances. The rugged units are manufactured in a wide array of sizes and configurations to accommodate every application.

Review the product literature below, or contact a product specialist to discuss your water or liquid chemical flow measurement requirement.



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Industrial Steam Coils and Unit Heaters - Specify For Longevity

Industrial Steam Coil
Industrial Steam Coils
courtesy of Industrial Mechanical Specialties, Ltd.
There are many applications for steam coils and unit heaters in the industrial  and processing fields. Lacking the sizzle of high technology, steam coils are simple, straight forward pieces of gear that are intended to transfer heat from steam to air. While simple in principle, their importance in process or application is notable. You are heating that air because it needs to be heated in order for something else to continue working properly. Steam coil thermal performance is predictable and well understood, making sizing of the coil tube and fin components a relatively simple task. A critical and practical element for steam coil selection is specifying attributes that will deliver ruggedness and longevity to reduce the probability of failure due to normal wear and tear associated with the process and installation environment.

Employing heavier gauge fins and tube walls can provide a longer service life. Cabinets or casings fabricated of corrosion resistant materials, such as stainless steel, may also lengthen the service life of the unit. Any motors, mountings, fan guards, or other hardware should also be evaluated for upgrading to enhance service life.

Industrial Unit Heaters With Motor
Industrial Steam Unit Heaters
Courtesy Industrial Mechanical
Specialties, Ltd.
Of course, there is always cost involved. Examining the true cost of downtime to repair or replace a steam coil will likely show that some carefully considered options are well worth the comparatively small additional cost. Consult with a coil specialist. Discuss your application and see what construction enhancements will deliver longer on-line performance for your process.




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pneumatic Actuator With Air Fail Safe Operation

Pneumatic actuator on industrial valve
Air Fail Safe Actuator
installed on industrial valve
Courtesy Hytork, EPM
Pneumatic actuators are used throughout the industrial process control field to provide remote or automated control of valve operation. This type of industrial valve actuator employs pressurized air to move a piston or diaphragm and apply force to the valve stem, opening or closing the valve. Since, by the general nature of their scale and content, industrial fluid processes tend to carry substantial risk related to safety and financial loss due to failure, the engineer’s task is to plan and design for safe operation, should a wide range of possible failure modes occur. Hytork, an Emerson Process Management brand, provides a solution for fail safe operation of pneumatic actuators.
The Hytork Air Fail Safe Acutator is intended for use on larger valves with high torque requirements. The actuator has a built-in air reservoir that provides reserve air capacity to safely close the valve when the input air pressure fails. The accumulator stores compressed air at the highest pressure seen at the device. The design of the Air Fail Safe actuator delivers a high torque level in a double rack and pinion arrangement that is inaccessible using spring based designs. Learn about the Hytork Air Fail Safe Actuator and discuss your potential applications with a product expert.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Selecting the Right Valve Type - Plug Valves

Valves are the primary fluid flow control device employed in the industrial process control arena. The widely varied applications and requirements have led to an almost daunting array of vendors. valves and options from which to choose. For your particular project or application, the selection candidate pool can be shrunk down to a manageable size if you first select the type of valve that will best suit your needs.

industrial plug valve internal part
The "Plug" in a Plug Valve
Courtesy Fluoroseal Inc.
Valves are generally used to start, stop, redirect, or throttle (control at some intermediate level) the flow of a fluid. They may also be tasked with preventing fluid flow from going in an undesirable direction or regulating pressure. Industrial flow control valve types are generally classified according to the structure or arrangement within the valve body that provides the obstruction to fluid flow. Some of the common types are ball, butterfly, gate, globe, and plug. Surely there are more valve types, and this article is not intended to list them all. Some of our previous blogs have discussed selection considerations for ball, butterfly, and gate valves. Let’s look at one of the oldest valve types, the plug valve.

Plug valves are similar to ball and butterfly valves, with their rotational movement of 90 degrees from the fully open to the closed positions. The “plug” in a plug valve is installed in the flow path within the valve body and rotated by means of a stem extending to the exterior of the body. Plugs are often tapered toward the bottom and are fitted to a seating surface in the valve body cavity. An opening through the plug, the port, can be shaped to provide particular flow characteristics. There are numerous variants of the basic plug valve which may make it suitable for particular applications. One common variant is the lined plug valve, with an interior lining of material suited to provide a measure of corrosion resistance for special media applications.

industrial plug valve
Industrial Plug Valve With Manual Operation Handle
Courtesy DHV Industires
What are the general positives for plug valve application?

  • 90 degree rotation from open to closed provides fast operation.
  • With proper configuration, can be well suited for frequent operation.
  • Availability of corrosion resistant liner may provide comparative cost savings because valve body can be constructed of less expensive material.
  • Design is simple and employs a low parts count.
  • Valve can be serviced in place.
  • Generally, low resistance to flow when fully open.
  • Reliable leak-tight service due to tapered plug wedging action, replaceable sleeve, and injection of lubricant in some variants.

What are some potential negatives for plug valves?

  • Higher friction in the closure mechanism may require comparatively higher operating torque than other valve types.
  • Generally not well suited for throttling applications without special design modifications.
  • Rapid shutoff may not be suitable for some applications where hammering may occur.

As part of your own assessment and selection process, share your application requirements and concerns with an experienced sales engineer. Their product knowledge and application experience can provide the additional input needed to make the best choice for your project.