Monday, December 14, 2015

Process Measurement - Tank Fluid Level Measurement

industrial magnetic level indicator
Industrial Magnetic Tank Level Indicator
Courtesy Granzow
Industrial process control often requires the storage of liquid in vessels or tanks. Continuous and accurate indication of the liquid level within the tank is an essential data point for safety and process control. There are a number of methods and instrument types utilized to provide tank level measurement, each with attributes that may be advantageous for a particular installation. Some of the selection criteria for a tank fluid level indicator may include:
  • Direct or indirect measurement of level
  • Tank shape, regular or irregular
  • Media compatibility with measurement device
  • Requirements for maintenance or calibration
  • Compatibility with process temperature and pressure range
  • Local display and visibility
  • Level indication signal type and transmission
  • Level alarm switches or other indicators
When the instrument of choice is a magnetic level indicator, also referred to as a magnetic level gauge, the selection has usually hinged upon one of this instrument's strengths. Its use for providing level indication has a number of positive attributes:
  • Continuous level measurement
  • Operable without electric power
  • Direct visual tank fluid level indication, regardless of tank shape or profile.
  • Wide range of operating temperature and pressure
  • Breakage resistant construction
  • Range of construction materials available to accommodate corrosive media
  • Measuring indicators, switches, and transmitters mounted externally, without contacting the medium being measured.
  • Low maintenance operation.
  • Readable level indication from greater distance than glass sight gauges.
  • Applicable to large fluid level ranges with a single instrument.
These process measurement devices have a strong position in the tank level measurement field and should be considered as a candidate for fulfilling those application requirements. I have included a technical data sheet from Granzow, one of several manufacturers of this type of instrument, so you can see more detail. Share your application challenges with a sales engineer that specializes in level measurement. Combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise will yield positive solutions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Close Look at Butterfly Valve Seat

Butterfly valve soft seat cutaway view
Cutaway View of Butterfly Valve With Soft Seat
Courtesy Flowseal - Crane CPE
Butterfly valves are found throughout the fluid based applications in the process control field. They are one of many common and special types of industrial valves used to regulate fluid flow in ways that are compatible with the media being controlled and the degree of precision needed to produce the desired process outcome.

The industrial process control field benefits from a large array of valve manufacturers in pursuit of the favor and business of process operators. Operators continually seek better performance and lower life cycle costs. Manufacturers respond with increasingly improved designs.

A butterfly valve has a disc that is positioned in the fluid flow path. It rotates around a central axis, the stem, through a 90 degree arc from a position parallel to the flow direction (open) to perpendicular (closed). A critical element of a butterfly valve is the seat, where the disc seals to the body in the closed position. Seat design should provide these positive operating attributes:
  • Low friction to reduce valve operating torque
  • Resistance to wear
  • Arrangement that provides for easy replacement
  • Seal or shutoff tightness appropriate for the application
Flowseal, part of the Crane, CPE group of brands, utilizes their specially designed Soft Seat valve sealing arrangement on their resilient sealed butterfly valves. The Soft Seat feature provides beneficial fulfillment of process requirements for the attributes listed above. The valve is available in a range of sizes, with options and variants to meet a wide array of industrial process requirements.

Learn more about the Flowseal Soft Seat butterfly valves by watching the short video below. You can delve deeper with a browsing of the illustrative brochure that is also included below. It provides some detailed illustrations of how the seat functions under differing operating conditions. Contact a product specialist and share your process challenges. Your process knowledge and their product application expertise, when combined, will produce a useful solution.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cooling Tower Case Study: HDPE vs. Metal Clad

HDPE constructed cooling tower
HDPE Constructed Cooling Tower
Courtesy Delta Cooling Towers
In any business venture or other organization, relying on doing things the way they have always been done can be detrimental to real progress and improvement. Certainly, incorporating change has risk, but careful consideration and planning can make deciding upon and implementing change a big win for an organization.

Cooling towers are common elements of heat rejection systems, like building HVAC and industrial process cooling. By design, cooling towers have large wetted surfaces in almost continuous contact with aggressive solutions of water and various chemicals used to maintain certain fluid conditions. Many towers are constructed using metal for the wetted parts and case of the unit. This has traditionally been an area of concern with cooling tower ownership, since the combined elements of water, treatment chemicals, and time take their inevitable toll on the equipment.

There is a good solution to the deterioration of metal clad cooling towers. Construction utilizing high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is impervious to corrosive water treatment chemicals and elements often present in the air, whether harsh chemical vapors emitted from nearby industrial plants or natural corrosives such as salt air.

Delta Cooling Towers, Inc. is a US based manufacturer of HDPE cooling towers with a substantial portfolio of completed projects. Below is a short case study showing how one industrial user benefited from installing HDPE cooling towers.

Read the case study and get more information from an application specialist. See how incorporating HDPE cooling towers into your operation can reduce maintenance burden and lead to longer machinery life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Special Solenoid Valve for Pneumatic Valve Actuators

Industrial Valve With CATS Solenoid Valve Control
Industrial Valve Actuators With
CATS Solenoid Control
Courtesy Emerson Hytork
In our industrial process control operations, we strive for uninterrupted reliable operation of control valves to maintain safe conditions and produce the desired process outcomes. Let's look at pneumatic valve actuators and their control solenoids. Hytork™ has a well thought out solution to enhancing actuator performance and longevity with their CATS solenoid valve. Instead of paraphrasing, I share the manufacturer's own words describing the operational benefits...

Hytork™'s 'CATS' (Clean Air To Springs) is a solenoid valve designed specifically for superior operation of pneumatic actuators. 
All spring return actuators that use a 3-way solenoid valve require air to enter and leave the spring chambers. As compressed air is introduced to the actuator to push the pistons apart, air from the spring chambers must be allowed to vent. During the fail or spring stroke, the compressed air between the pistons must exhaust to permit the springs to drive the pistons together. This piston movement creates a vacuum in the spring chambers which is usually filled by ambient air that may contain dirt, abrasives, corrosives and moisture of which are bad for the actuator - reducing its performance and life. 
A wrong solution for this problem is the use of a 4 way solenoid valve (sometimes referred to as "air assist"). It does prevent the ambient air from entering the actuator, but it will also pressurise the spring chambers. The actuator now acts like an air to open, air to close unit. In the unlikely event of a spring breakage or if the valve torque increases, due to line media build up within the valve, the actuator would still appear to operate normally until its fail action was needed in an emergency. At this most critical time, with supply air not available, the actuator could not perform as intended and it's function as a safety device would be defeated.
Hytork™'s CATS solenoid valve prevents this undesirable action from happening.
As the solenoid is de-energised, permitting the springs to push the pistons together, an internal by-pass in the CATS valve permits some of the exhausting air to fill the spring chambers at atmospheric pressure while the remainder exhausts to atmosphere. No ambient air enters the actuator.
Only clean supply air gets into the actuator - Air that was normally planned to be vented!-There is no pressure build up that can lead to false torque availability on the fail stroke, as in the case of air assisted springs! No extra clean compressed air is used!
The solenoid valves are available in a number of configurations to accommodate almost any installation. To summarize, the advantages include:

  • Maximises actuator life.
  • Reduces installation and initial costs.
  • Prevents actuator seal failure.
  • Prevents corrosives from entering actuator.
  • Prevents dirty air from entering actuator.
  • Proves that the actuator springs are working correctly every stroke.
  • NAMUR standard - Easiest assembly possible - only two mounting screws.
  • Eliminates brackets and tubing - mounts directly to the NAMUR pad on the actuator.
  • Only one style of solenoid valve required for Spring Return and Double Acting actuators - reducing inventory costs.
To explore how these solenoid valves can improve your pneumatic valve actuator operation and longevity, contact a product specialist and share your requirements. Combining your process expertise with the product application knowledge of a professional sales engineer will move you quickly toward a good solution.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mountain States Engineering and Crane Expand Their Relationship

Triple Offset Butterfly Valve
Krombach Triple Offset Metal Seated Valve
Courtesy Crane CPE


Mountain States Engineering and Controls has been selected as the new distributor of the Krombach branded valves from Crane CPE. MSEC has been a master distributor for various brands in the Crane family for fifteen years, and will be capitalizing on knowledge and experience gained from their many years of providing solutions in the industrial process control and valve fields. The Krombach branded valves complement the applications range of other industrial valves handled by MSEC.

The Krombach line includes:
  • Butterfly Valves - High performance, resilient seated, double-eccentric, triple offset and special purpose butterfly valves.
  • Ball Valves - Process one-piece, two-piece and three-piece, metal seated, soft seated and compact ball valves.
  • Globe and Angle Valves - Bronze, cast iron, cast steel and stainless steel globe and angle valves.
  • Gate Valves - Bronze, cast iron, cast steel and stainless steel gate valves.
  • Check Valves - Ball, dual-plate, foot, full body swing, steam stop, tilting disc, wafer style swing, nozzle-type and pressure seal check valves.
  • Vacuum Relief Valves - Available with flanged or threaded connections.
  • Aerating and Deaerating Valves - Essential for trouble-free operation of pipeline systems handling liquids.
  • Float Valves - Single seated and double seated versions for a variety of applications.
  • Throttle Valves - Available with flange connection, wafer- or weld-in type.
  • Bottom Drain Valves - Available manually operated or with a diaphragm actuator.
I have included below one of the many comprehensive data sheets available. More information on any application or product is available from the process control specialists at MSEC. Combining their product knowledge with your process mastery is the key to positive outcomes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pipeline Strainers: Proper Selection and Application

Pipeline Basket Strainer Cutaway View
Basket Strainer
Courtesy Spirax Sarco
Pipeline strainers are one of those simple devices that perform a critical role in maintaining the smooth operation of any piping system. They are found in any operation that has fluid moving through a pipe, and their proper selection and application is the subject of a great tutorial authored by the experts at Spirax Sarco, a premiere manufacturer of specialties for industrial piping systems.

One of the basic tenets of industrial process control operations is to maintain a specified function or outcome, to keep things working. Reduced to its simplest, the function of a strainer is to trap materials flowing in the pipeline that should not be there. Rust, scale, joint compound, and particulate materials can impact the function of valves and other elements in the system. A strainer will trap and hold undesirable material, for removal at a later time.

The attached article is excerpted from the company's extensive tutorial library, which you can access by contacting an application specialist. That same application specialist can provide additional detail at any level you need, as well as work with you to meet application challenges and improve your industrial or commercial operations.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Capable Single Tank Level Display Solution

Oil Refinery Storage Tanks
Oil Refinery Storage Tanks
Earlier this year, King Gage released their LP1 Tank Level Indicator. The unit provides a number of integrated features that give the user accurate indication of tank liquid level. Mate the LP1 with any level sensing instrument that produces a 4-20 ma output signal and it can calculate tank inventory based upon hydrostatic pressure or direct level measurement. Tank level is displayed directly in engineering units, referencing a capacity profile that correlates the transmitter output to actual tank geometry. All application parameters are preprogrammed at the factory, based upon supplied application data, and stored in nonvolatile memory. Options include an isolated 24 Vdc transmitter power supply, Modbus communications, and more.

This simple, accurate, flexible unit can be easily applied in many industrial process measurement and control settings. Discuss your application possibilities with a product specialist to save time and take advantage of their wide range of application experience.