Friday, December 2, 2016

Multi Position Test Board Operating Procedure Video

electric utility meter test board multi position
TESCO Four Position Meter Test Board
Testing procedures for electric utility meters are necessary to assure watt-hour readings are in alignment with actual usage. Electric utility meters are ubiquitous throughout the US, resulting in a need for rapid and effective testing of the devices prior to service and upon retirement.

TESCO (The Eastern Specialty Company) manufactures a comprehensive line of meter testing equipment and accessories to facilitate efficient and accurate electric utility meter testing. The four position meter test board, Model MTB, is pictured with this post, along with a short video showing actual usage of the unit by an operator. You will see how a properly designed and configured test board can dramatically increase the throughput in the testing process.

Share your electrical utility testing challenges with product application experts, combining your field knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Yokogawa Publishes Collection of Case Studies in Process Automation and Control

Yokogawa, an internationally recognized process automation and control provider, strives for customer satisfaction through operational excellence, bringing long-term success to its customers. Now available are collections of actual cases in which Yokogawa helped leading companies in a variety of industries address specific challenges and achieve their goals. The new e-books were redesigned and subdivided into six sectors including LNG, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Renewable Energy.

Browse the e-books online for insight into the breadth and depth of Yokogawa's capabilities and their commitment to their customer's success. Depending on your screen size, you may need to scroll down the page to see the e-books at the link. At e-books, you can browse using the online reader, or download them as a PDF file.

Share you process control challenges with a Yokogawa representative and expect the best solutions.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A High Speed, High-performance Controller for Industrial Weighing and Force Measurement

BLH Nobel G5 process control
BLH Nobel G5 process control.
There's a new industrial force measurement and weighing controller setting performance standards designed to meet tomorrow’s ever expanding industrial weighing requirements.

The BLH Nobel G5 process control instrument offers high speed and high-performance control for industrial weighing and force measurement. G5 offers a highly flexible instrument for your process automation needs.

A large (4.3 inch) high-resolution color display with LED backlight provides good visibility of process data such as weight and status. The advanced display and functional keypad allow easy navigation through parameters, menus and settings.

A built-in web server facilitates quick and easy operation and simplifies parameter changes through any web- supporting device. The web pages display weight and status, as well as parameters and diagnostics information.

Flexible digital inputs and outputs can be configured according to your specific needs.

Several industrial communication interfaces such as Ethernet, RS485 and optional fieldbuses are available, each complying with industry standard protocols. Analog output (current or voltage) is available as well.

  • Process weighing and control
  • Force measurement
  • High speed dynamic measurement 
  • Factory automation 
  • Software upgrades can easily be installed in the eld using a SD card. 
  • The G5 durable plastic enclosure is IP65 rated for panel- mount installations. 
  • DC-powered (24 V) and AC-powered (115/230 V) versions are available. 
  • BLH Nobel designs and customizes software for special applications upon request. Contact BLH Nobel for more information. 
  • Wide variety of communication options: Ethernet, RS485, USB, Fieldbus, analog output
  • Set-up and diagnostics through embedded web server
  • Up to 8x350 ohm load cells
  • 24-bit resolution, 2400 samples per second, 300 updates per second.
  • Easy parameters backup and restore via USB port, or SD card or internal memory.
  • Flexible digital I/Os
  • Graphical user interface, color LCD display with backlight
  • Functional and numeric keypad for data entry
  • Panel mount enclosure
For more detail, see the G5 cutsheet below:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Process Gas Chromatograph Using Parallel Chromatography

process gas chromatograph Yokogawa GC8000
Process Gas Chromatograph
Yokogawa GC8000
Gas chromatography is a common analysis tool employed in many areas of the process control industry, including oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, and others. Yokogawa Corporation of America developed instrumentation to provide top tier GC performance with their GC8000 Process Gas Chromatograph for use in oil and gas, and other industrial applications.
In addition to the ruggedness and reliability for which Yokogawa gas chromatographs are well known, the GC8000 brings a number of innovations and improvements to the company’s process gas chromatography product offering.
  • Color touchscreen HMI for easy operation
  • Advanced predictive diagnostics and software functions monitor key performance indicators during each analysis to verify analyzer is operating within proper tolerances.
  • Parallel chromatography is made practical through the use of the GC Modules provided as part of the GC8000. Virtual GCs can be set up inside a single GC with GC Modules to measure multiple streams simultaneously.
The graphics below expand on this overview of the GC8000 Process Gas Chromatograph, the culmination of Yokogawa’s 55 years of experience in the field. For more detailed information, or to discuss your application specifics, contact a product specialist.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Industrial Thermowell Styles: Straight, Tapered, and Stepped Shanks

industrial thermowells
Industrial thermowell styles courtesy of REOTEMP
A thermowell is a machined tube intended to protect or seal off a sensing element from the process media. They are available in many materials and process connections.  There are three common body styles (referred to as shanks) used on thermowells: the straight shank, the taper shank, and the step shank. This post will explain the difference in styles.

Straight Shank
The straight shank has the same diameter throughout its entire immersion length. Because of its greater diameter and thicker tip, it usually has the slowest response time compared to other shank styles. However, the extra metal allows it to have a high corrosion and high abrasion resistance. Common installations for a straight well are tanks or pipes to have low pressure, low-velocity and/or a high abrasion process. Although the straight shank has the best mechanical strength properties, it should not be used in high-velocity flow systems. Its larger surface area can be overly disruptive to flow, or it may fail due to vortex shedding.

Tapered Shank
The second design is the tapered shank, which has an outside diameter that gradually decreases from the point just under the process connection, down to the tip. This taper allows for a very high mechanical strength, with a faster response time than a straight well. This design has very good vibration resistance and is commonly used and high-velocity flow applications. Common installations for a taper well are applications with a very high flow rate, high vibration, high-pressure and are high temperature.

Stepped Shank
The final type of shank is the stepped shank. Usually this type of well is a straight shank from the process connection down to about two and a half inches from the tip, with the final two and a half inches a smaller diameter straight shank. The reduction in diameter allows for a faster response - usually the fastest response out at three different shank designs. There is however a reduction in strength because of the diameter change, and less mechanically rugged as a straight or tapered shank style. Common installations for a step well are where rapid response is needed, but without high-velocity flow or where there is a possibility of being physically damaged from the process media.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Water & Wastewater Open-channel Flow Measurement: Effluent Flow Measurement for Dual V-notch Weir

Nivelco for wastewater treatment
V-Notch Weir Flow Measurement
Nivelco for wastewater treatmentWastewater treatment plant effluent flow measurement is a common application that can be accurately measured with ultrasonic level transmitters. However, a US municipality presented an an application where two v-notch weirs in parallel to handle the flow requirements was proving more than a typical ultrasonic level transmitter could handle. A better solution had to be found.

Nivelco for wastewater treatmentThe existing flow meter that had failed after just two years of operation. The major problem was the flow meter on the effluent never matched what they were receiving on the input and thus passing bad data. The maintenance crew found that the preferred brand of ultrasonic level sensor, combined with a different brand flow meter, was prone to failure. They needed a reliable way to measure flow going across both v-notch weirs and add flow pacing to the other process controls.

After careful review of the operating conditions and required specifications, a NIVELCO EasyTREK
ultrasonic level transmitter with the MultiCONT universal display and controller was selected for this unique flow meter and level measurement application.
Nivelco for wastewater treatmentThe IP68 rated EasyTREK SPA-38N-4 integrated ultrasonic level transmitters are installed on a console above the basin. The units use HART digital communication to connect in multidrop loop to the MultiCONT multi-channel process controller. The MultiCONT is able to provide remote programming while displaying the process variables in real-time.

The instrument’s calibration was adjusted to read the flow across both v-notch weirs and send the data back to the central SCADA system, PLUS using the additional output of the MultiCONT to flow pace UV disinfection and the systems effluent wastewater sampler.

Nivelco for wastewater treatmentThe complete NIVELCO measuring system proved to be an excellent solution, providing highly reliable operation and high accuracy.

For more information on this application or for applying level and flow transmitters for any wastewater or water treatment need, contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Measurement and Monitoring of Process Conditions is an Essential Part of Producing the Desired Output

Prozess Technologie
Prozess Technologie Reveal 
Measurement and monitoring of process conditions is an essential part of producing the desired output. Some operations require, or can benefit from, faster or more accurate measurement of process variables. This can be especially true for chemical processes that rely on accurate mixing of components.

Process analyzers are available in a wide variety of technologies, configurations, performance ranges, and price points. Selecting the best analyzer for a particular process, take into consideration these points.
  • Technology - Assess whether the technology is cabable of producing the results needed 
  • Accuracy - Measurement at levels appropriate for the process and operating goals 
  • Specificity - Ability to reliably measure the subject components 
  • First cost 
  • Continuing costs of maintenance, expendables, calibration 
  • Ease of use and integration into overall process measurement and control scheme 
  • Reliability 
One manufacturer, Prozess Technologie, approaches process analysis with their Reveal optical spectroscopy analyzer. It is capable of operating continuously without ongoing operator interaction. Internal calibration software provides stability and reliability. The software suite for the instrument is compliant with numerous standards and a host of communication standards are supported to allow for easy integration into a process measurement and control system.

Pick up more detail about the Reveal unit below. Share your analytical process challenges with a product application specialist. Combining your process knowledge with their product expertise will produce effective solutions.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Basics of Industrial Thermcouples

Variety of sheathed thermocouples
 (courtesy of REOTEMP)
Industrial thermocouples are used for a very broad range of temperature sensing applications. They are inexpensive, accurate, and can be fabricated in many forms to meet the requirements of the process. They operate on the "Seebeck Effect" which is the phenomena of dissimilar metal conductors producing a measurable voltage difference between two substances.

Thermocouples are used widely in industrial processes in industries such as power generation, primary metals, pulp and paper, petro-chemical, and OEM equipment. They can be fabricated in protective wells, and can be housed in general purpose, water-tight, or explosion-proof housings.

Thermocouple types - such a type J, type K, type R, and type S - refer to the alloy combinations used for the conductors and are based on standardized color designations. 

The following video provides a basic visual understanding of thermocouple wire, how a T/C junction is determined, and also discusses thermocouple connectors, polarity and some aspects of construction (such as grounded vs. ungrounded vs. open tip).

For more information on any industrial temperature sensor, contact:

1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Spectroscopic Solutions for Process Measurement and Control - Prozess Technologie

Prozess Technologie is a St. Louis, MO and Silicon Valley-based technology company that designs, builds, and implements spectroscopic solutions for process measurement and control in multiple manufacturing sectors.

The company uses precision light technologies to measure, enabling customers to understand and control manufacturing chemical processes in real time.

Prozess has had significant success in Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences and has also deployed systems in food & beverage, agriculture, and petrochemical. Solutions include purpose built hardware, software and professional services.

The innovative new "Reveal" platform uses light to measure liquids, solids, gases and plasma without touching the target.  This measurement is done precisely, in real time.

The Reveal Platform was designed to be a key component of this "network of things" manufacturing. The enhanced features of the Prozess Reveal technology enables a reduced cycle time and improved yield by allowing a broader group of employees to more regularly and easily monitor their process environment at various points in real time.

For more information on Prozess Technologie, visit this link or contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Monday, August 29, 2016

pH and ORP Learning eBook Available for Download

Measuring pH/ORP is very common, but taking true measurements and correct interpretation of the results is not self-evident. Certain effects can potentially cause problems if not taken into consideration.

The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive understanding of pH/ORP measurement and how to achieve reliable results. Basic information on the principles of measuring pH/ORP, the construction of the sensing elements and their basic use in process applications are provided.

A part of achieving accurate and reliable pH/ORP measurements requires sufficient and correct maintenance and storage conditions. Prevention of common errors during maintenance and storage, as well as consistent detection of loop failures is important. This book describes how these can be avoided and how failures can be detected.

This book is accompanied with a frequently asked question and answer section as well as an appendix that includes helpful information like a Chemical Compatibility Table and a Liquid-Application-Data-Sheet, which can be used to describe the user’s application.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Industrial Temperature Sensor "Bends" the Rules for Process Control

Flexible temperature sensor
Flexible temperature sensor
by Moore Industries
Industrial temperature sensors (thermocouples and RTDs) all pretty much look, mount, and work the same way. Basically, you take a rigid probe and insert it into a protective well of some sort. The probe and well length is determined by the length required for immersion into the process. Convenience in mounting, inserting, and removing is almost always an afterthought and in many situations, a long rigid probe presents complications during installation or replacement. One manufacturer, Moore Industries, has found a better way.

Flexible temperature sensors are the new frontier in accurate temperature measurements and easy maintenance. They are designed to fit nearly everywhere, to be quickly cut to the correct length, and to reduce the number of spare parts a plant has to keep on hand.

Moore Industries "WORM" is a flexible sensor for thermowell temperature assemblies. It is designed to replace restrictive, rigid, straight sensor probes with a universal strategy that saves time and money.

When it comes to flexible and rigid temperature sensors, both can be inserted into thermowells or protection tubes, welded into place on boiler tubes or other objects, or clamped down for surface measurements. Both types of sensors are rugged, durable, and can measure a wide range of temperatures in industrial applications. 

Flexible temperature sensor compare
Comparison of rigid probe vs. flexible.
So, why replace rigid, straight sensors?

Rigid sensors have always posed installation and maintenance problems. It is difficult to work with rigid sensors— keeping the correct spares and replacing the sensors in “sagging” or dirty thermowells are some of the problems. When used with thermowells, a rigid sensor has to be the correct length to fit. That means a plant must keep several different lengths of spares in stock to fit every thermowell. If a thermowell sags from extreme heat or fills with debris, a replacement sensor often will not fit, and the thermowell needs to be replaced.

Replacing a rigid sensor can be difficult. Typically, a maintenance technician has to remove the enclosure cap, disconnect the wires from the transmitter or terminal block, disassemble the union, conduit and fittings attached to the transmitter and thermowell, and then move them out of the way before he or she can pull the rigid sensor out of the thermowell.

The flexible sensor was developed to ease these problems. The flexible sensor typically consists of a one inch, stainless steel sheath with an element and lead wires that are protected either with Te on or fiberglass insulation. A flexible temperature sensor, such as the WORM, slides into a thermowell or protection tube and is held in place with a spring. Advantages include easy replacement during maintenance and minimal need for spares - flexible sensor wires can be trimmed to the correct length, simplifying the need for spare parts because “one sensor size fits all.”

Five Reason to Consider Flexible Temperature Sensors:
  1. Flexible sensors help eliminate the debris problem.
  2. Wells installed horizontally have a tendency to sag with time and temperature.
  3. The “solid sheath” portion of flexible sensors is minimized.
  4. Flexible sensors gain durability in higher vibration applications.
  5. Replacing an old, straight sensor with a flexible sensor is easy and fast.
For more information on flexible temperature sensors, contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

White Paper: Practical Issues of Combustion Oxygen Measurement Specifically Related to NOx Emissions

Power plant emissions
Power plant emissions
Power plants concerned with lowering NOx emissions are making tremendous changes to accommodate EPA regulatory requirements. A substantial number of these changes include the expansion and upgrade of the plant combustion oxygen measurement equipment. There is a striking relationship between the number of NOx reductions projects and the sales quantity of insitu oxygen detectors. The reason is that power plant betterment groups, operators, boiler manufacturers and engineering firms understand the direct relationship between NOx and excess air in the combustion process.

An area of daily practical importance to boiler operators and I&C teams are the common problems with insitu oxygen measurements. This paper focuses on the practical issues of combustion oxygen measurement as they relate to specifically to fuel usage and NOx emissions.

Read the entire white paper, courtesy of Yokogawa Corporation of America here.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems

Custom CEMS
CEMS stands for "continuous emission monitoring systems" and are used to monitor the flue gas exiting to the atmosphere from a boiler, a furnace, or oven.

CEMS are installed by commercial and industrial plants to ensure compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's requirement limiting the volume of harmful gasses (such as CO2) into the air.

CEMS take samples of the flue gas, and then measures, acquires data, stores records and produces reports of the gas emissions. CEMS may also provide additional information such as measuring and reporting the gas flow, its opacity and the gas moisture content.

CEMS usually have the same primary components, which are:
  • a sampling probe; 
  • a filter; 
  • a sampling line;
  • a process to condition the sample gas;
  • a calibration gas;
  • gas analyzers set to the gases being monitored.
The most common gases measured are:
  • carbon dioxide
  • carbon monoxide
  • airborne particulate
  • sulfur dioxide
  • volatile organics
  • mercury
  • nitrogen oxides
  • hydrogen chloride
  • oxygen
The US Environmental Protection Agency requires a data acquisition system and handling process to collect and report the data, which CEMS provides. CEMS must operate and provide data continuously in order to assure governmental compliance and meet record keeping requirements.

For further information on CEMS, contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

pH Measurement: Power Plant Sulphur Dioxide Scrubber Application

pH Control
pH Control
Analytical measurement and control of pH within a system is necessary for many processes. Common applications include food processing, wastewater treatment, pulp & paper production, HVAC, chemical industries, and power generation.

To maintain the desired pH level in a solution, a sensor is used to measure the pH value. If the pH is not at the desired set point, a reagent is applied to the solution. When a high alkaline level is detected in the solution, an acid is added to decrease the pH level. When a low alkaline level is detected in the solution, a base is added to increase the pH level. In both cases the corrective ingredients are called reagents.

Accurately applying the correct amount of reagent to an acid or base solution can be challenging due to the logarithmic characteristics a pH reaction in a solution. Implementing a closed-loop control system maintains the pH level within a certain range and minimizes the degree to which the solution becomes acidic or alkaline.

Real World Application - Power Plant Sulphur Dioxide Scrubber Systems (courtesy of Yokogawa)

Power plant boiler houses designed to burn coal or high sulfur oil are required by Federal and State pollution regulations to "scrub" (remove) sulfur dioxide from flue gasses to meet emission limits. SO2 in flue gasses is known to be harmful to the environment, as it is one contributor to the formation of acid rain. pH control is critical for the proper functioning of the scrubber system. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) technology, is commonly referred to as a scrubber, is proved and effective method for removing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from the exhaust of coal-fired power plants.

Scrubber System

The basic principle of a sulfur dioxide scrubber system is the removal of SO2 by using its chemical characteristics to combine with water. In some cases, parallel rotating rods create a series of short throat Venturi openings. A series of low pressure, large orifice spray nozzles direct the scrubbing solution into the system. "Scrubbing liquor" is introduced into the system with the flue gas stream. Depending on the design of the scrubber, the gas can flow either concurrent (with) or counter-current (against) the scrubbing liquor. The high velocity turbulence caused by the Venturi openings ensures maximum gas to liquid contact. It is here that the droplets absorb the SO2 as well as impacting and dropping particulates out of the stream. The scrubbed gas is then sent through a demister or re-heater to prevent condensation and exhausted to atmosphere.

The scrubbing liquor can be bubbled through a slurry or either lime, Ca(OH)2, or limestone, CaCO3 and water. Either lime or limestone will combine with the sulfite ions from the flue gas to form gypsum, CaSO3. The SO2 that is captured in a scrubber combines with the lime or limestone to form a number of byproducts. A primary byproduct is calcium sulfate, commonly known as gypsum. Spent scrubbing liquids are sent to clarifier where the insoluble gypsum is removed and the water is returned to the scrubber system.

The addition of lime or limestone to scrubbing solution is controlled by monitoring the pH of the solution. Lime slurries are generally alkaline with a control point near a pH of 12 while limestone slurries are more neutral.

power plant scrubber
Typical sulphur dioxide scrubber pH control system.
pH Control

A pH measurement is one of the testing methods used to monitor continuous blowdown and replenishment. The SO2 within the scrubbing gases can be controlled by maintaining the level of caustic scrubbing chemicals that are commonly used. pH is a critical factor for proper operation of a scrubber. It is also difficult to measure due to 2-15% solids and tendencies towards scaling, coating and plugging.

CaSO4 concentration decreases slightly as pH decreases. Furthermore, because the concentration of oxygen dissolved in the slurry is constant, the formation of sulfate depends only on the concentration of SO3. The precipitation of CaSO4 increases as pH decreases, thus CaSO4 is apt to form scale at a lower pH. Hard scale formation can be controlled by keeping the pH high.

The solubility of CaSO3 increases greatly as pH decreases or conversely CaSO3 forms a precipitate as pH increases. If pH is too high, "soft pluggage" occurs. Soft pluggage is due to formation of calcium sulfite precipitates which appear as large leaf like masses. Obviously maintenance of equipment that has soft pluggage is easier than with equipment that has hard scale. In many cases where soft pluggage has occurred, it can be melted off simply by lowering the pH (increasing solubility).

It is obvious that a potential dilemma exists, operation at too low pH promotes the formation of hard scale and operation at too high of a pH promotes the formation of soft pluggage. Only through experience can the proper pH range be determined. Typically limestone is added to achieve the desired level of SO2 removal based on the sulfur content of the coal, the boiler load and the monitored SO2 concentration of the flue gas, while maintaining the pH in the reaction tank at 5.5 to 6.0 pH. The pH sensor can be located in the re-circulating tank or the re-circulating line.

For more information, contact:
Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

pH and ORP Learning eBook by Yokogawa

ph ORP controller
pH ORP controller
Measuring pH/ORP is very common, but taking true measurements and correct interpretation of the results is not self-evident. Certain effects can potentially cause problems if not taken into consideration.

The purpose of the book provided below (courtesy of Yokogawa Electric Corporation) is to provide a comprehensive understanding of pH/ORP measurement and how to achieve reliable results. Basic information on the principles of measuring pH/ORP, the construction of the sensing elements and their basic use in process applications are provided.

A part of achieving accurate and reliable pH/ORP measurements requires suf cient and correct maintenance and storage conditions. Prevention of common errors during maintenance and storage, as well as consistent detection of loop failures is important. This book describes how these can be avoided and how failures can be detected.

This book is accompanied with a frequently asked question and answer section as well as an appendix that includes helpful information like a Chemical Compatibility Table and a Liquid-Application-Data-Sheet, which can be used to describe the user’s application.

Form ore information on pH/ORP instrumentation and control, contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Applications for Mass Flow Meters in Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP)

Reprinted with permission from Eldridge Products
Inline Thermal Mass Flow Meter
Inline Thermal Mass Flow Meter
(courtesy of Eldridge Products)

The treatment of water and wastewater is a critical element of municipal responsibility. Increased public and private awareness of water quality, availability, and cost is a driving force behind the demands for better efficiency and economy in these processes. Whether local needs call for new facilities or improvements to existing facilities, thermal flow meters can help meet these demands and at the same time eliminate the undesirable system pressure drops and high maintenance costs associated with the older technology of differential flow meters and rotary load meters.

Aeration Basins

A common use of thermal flow meters at WWTP facilities is to measure the air (or oxygen) flow required for the secondary treatment of the activated sludge process when air and “seed” sludge are added to the wastewater to facilitate decomposition. To stimulate the growth of aerobic bacteria and other organisms that are present in the sewage, air is pumped at a pre-determined rate into large aeration tanks where the wastewater and sludge are mixed. The rate of the air flow must be carefully monitored and adjusted, as necessary, throughout the tanks and throughout the overall process for optimal efficiency. Adding either too much or too little air can have a very noticeable negative impact on this important step of the treatment process, so a well-balanced and properly distributed air/oxygen supply in an aeration system is a critical element in any effective wastewater treatment plant. Providing accurate measurement of the air flow is often the primary application for thermal flow meters at treatment plants.

After additional steps, such as settling and re-circulating, the sludge is subjected to anaerobic treatment where the sludge is placed in digesters (oxygen-free tanks) and heated for a number of days to stimulate the growth of anaerobic bacteria. This digestion process is required to convert as much of the sludge as possible into water and a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane gas called digester gas or biogas — and this presents another excellent and increasingly critical opportunity to incorporate thermal flow meters into the plant operations.

Potential points of measurement in a WWTP air system are:
  • (A) Blower inlet air
  • (B) Total air usage
  • (C) Distribution pipes
  • Typical thermal mass flowmeter applications
    Typical thermal mass flowmeter applications
  • (D) Aeration basins
Digester Gas / Energy Production

Water and wastewater treatment processes, such aeration and pumping, are energy-intensive. (Energy costs are commonly the second leading expense of WWTP facilities behind only facility staffing.) However, the digester gas from the anaerobic process typically contains 60–80% methane gas. Rather than allowing the gas to escape into the atmosphere — with its own set of environmental problems and restrictions! — the methane can be captured for use as an energy source to drive turbines that produce electricity or to directly drive other plant equipment. The gas can also be used in boilers to provide heat for the facility’s buildings. All of this helps reduce the need for purchasing natural gas from another source.

A typical digester system will contain the captured gas in a storage tank that acts as a buffer to balance fluctuations in the production of gas in the digesters. Production is usually greater in summer than in winter which is often the opposite of the facilities pattern of usage. As supplies dwindle, natural gas must supplement the captured digester gas. And it is here that the accurate measurement of both digester gas and natural gas will have a critical impact in the cost-effective operation of the treatment facility. Closely monitoring the use of both gases as it is distributed through the treatment facility provides the information needed for efficient operation and for the reporting of the cost savings derived from the capture and use of the digester gas itself.

Thermal Technology

Constant temperature thermal mass flow meters (such as those produced by Eldridge Products, Inc. of Marina, CA), operate on the principle of thermal dispersion or heat loss from a heated Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) to the flowing gas. Two active RTD sensors are operated in a balanced state. One acts as a temperature sensor reference; the other is the active heated sensor. Heat loss to the flowing fluid tends to unbalance the heated flow sensor and it is forced back into balance by the electronics. With this method of operating the constant temperature sensor, only the skin temperature is affected by the fluid flow heat loss. This allows the sensor core temperature to be maintained and produces a very fast response to fluid velocity and temperature changes. Additionally, because the power is applied as needed, the technology has a wide operating range of flow and temperature. The heated sensor maintains an index of overheat above the environmental temperature sensed by the unheated element. The effects of variations in density are virtually eliminated by molecular heat transfer and sensor temperature corrections.
Specifying the Requirements

A number of factors must be considered when selecting and specifying any instrumentation and this is true for thermal mass flow meters to be used in WWTP systems. To specify the best configuration, you must determine:

What are the flow measurement conditions, such as the minimum and maximum flow rates to be measured, the process pipe size, and the gas temperature and line pressure?
All flow meters have minimum and maximum flow limits for any given pipe size, and temperature and pressure ranges for the physical construction. Assuring that the flow meter meets these basic requirements is the first step in specifying the proper mass flow meter. These parameters will determine the calibration scale and the expected accuracy, as well as help to identify potential issues with the overall installation.

Where will the flow meter be installed and what is the piping configuration upstream and downstream of that location?
The flow readings will be their most accurate where the gas flow profile in the pipe is uniform and consistent so that the sensor output at the point of measurement is truly representative of the overall flow through the pipe. All instrument manufacturers have recommended straight run requirements for the installation of their meters. These recommendations are offered to help end-users determine suitable locations for the flow meters, but it is important to recognize that these are only guidelines and not guarantees of optimal positioning.

Is there moisture present at the point of measurement?
By its nature, most digester gas is considered to be “wet”. Simply stated, thermal mass flow meters will not read accurately* if water droplets come into contact with the sensor RTDs. Although there are successful strategies for minimizing the potential for problems, installing the flow meter at a location where the gas is dry is strongly advised.
* The heat loss to a liquid such as water droplets is so much greater than the heat loss to a dry gas that the meter’s flow signal will typically rise to a higher value producing an error that will remain until the heated RTD is dry again. Although Eldridge Products’ flow meters will be affected by these droplets, they will not cause damage to the flow sensor. Non-condensing water vapor in the gas is acceptable.

For more information on the proper application of thermal mass flow meters, contact :

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Transfer Switching with Breakers ... In Less Than 2 Cycles

Transfer Switching with Breakers
Transfer Switching with Breakers
A good transfer switch is able to transfer the load from an alternative source with zero or minimal loss of power. So far this can be achieved with static transfer switches, but the investment costs are substantial and there are technical limits due to the drastic short circuit constraints. For these reasons conventional medium voltage circuit breakers are still installed widely in power genera on plants and utilities.

Read the rest / or download / the document below.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Custom Detonation Flame Arrestor Technology: Examples of Success

Custom Detonation Flame Arrestor
Detonation Flame Arrestor
Flame arrestors and detonation flame arrestors are critical components to the safe operation of industries around the world, including loading terminals and storage tanks, and in the chemical/petrochemical, pharmaceutical, landfill, wastewater, refining, automotive, industrial production, pulp and paper processing, and oil production markets.

Custom designs and specially engineered products to meet specific applications are commonplace. Flame arrestor engineering design teams must have a wide range of experience, expertise and engineering disciplines to meet the application performance requirements and still provide innovative yet cost-effective solutions.

One particular manufacturer, ENARDO, has a great reputation for custom flame arrestors. Here are two examples of meeting tough challenges.

Group B Detonation Flame Arrestor
Group B Detonation Flame Arrestor
(courtesy of ENARDO)
Group B Detonation Flame Arrestors For Vapor Recovery

A Fortune 50 chemical company required a solution to protect their plant from high pressure flame propagation in its piping system. The detonation flame arrestor application encompassed several stringent requirements, including high flow capacity and the extreme volatility and explosive parameters of Group B gases. Additionally, the size requirement exceeded that of existing proof-tested products.

ENARDO developed a design for this unique application incorporating advanced materials from the aerospace industry, 36" diameter advanced technology elements, 16" piping connections, pressure drop and flame detection, and a steam nozzle port.

A prototype was designed, constructed and tested to validate its explosion and flow capacities and is now operating successfully and remains one of the few detonation flame arrestors for Group B gases.

30” Detonation Arrestor
30” Detonation Arrestor
(courtesy of ENARDO)
30” Detonation Arrestor

A specialty chemical manufacturer in Deer Park, Texas needed a 30" detonation arrestor.  The custom engineered product ended up weighing in excess of 15,000 lbs.,  a 72" inch (1.8 m) diameter flame element, and 30" diameter flanges. This detonation arrestor is believed to be the largest ever supplied for commercial operation at the time of its installation. It is constructed of a carbon steel housing with a complete stainless steel internal lining for corrosion protection, plus:

  • A revolutionary internal system that allows for cleaning of the element without removal.
  • Built in accordance with ASME Section VIII.
  • Flow capacity of this specialized Group "D" detonation arrestor far exceeds that of any previously established in the industry.
For more information on any flame arrestor application, contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Friday, June 24, 2016

Dust Monitoring Applications in Cement Manufacturing

Cement Plant
Cement plants have many areas requiring dust monitoring 
Cement manufacturing presents many applications and challenges for dust monitoring. There are several segments of the process that commonly provide the majority of dust monitoring applications. A unique design dust monitor, manufactured by Sintrol which uses Inductive Electrification technology is an ideal solution for many of these applications.

The monitor’s measurement is based on particles interacting with an isolated probe mounted into the duct or stack. When moving particles pass nearby or hit the probe a signal is induced. This signal is then processed through a series of advanced algorithms to  filter out the noise and provide the most accurate dust
Sintrol dust monitor
Sintrol dust monitor using
Inductive Electrification technology
measurement output. Classic triboelectric technology is based on the DC signal, which is caused by particles making contact with the sensor to transfer charges. Compared to DC based measurements, the Inductive Electrification technology is more sensitive and minimizes the influence of sensor contamination, temperature drift and velocity changes. By using the Inductive Electrification technology it is possible to reach dust concentration measurement thresholds as low as 0.01 mg/m3.

Areas Where Dust Monitoring is Found in Cement Manufacturing:

Crushing and Milling - In the raw materials handling process,  filtration systems are utilized to control emissions in the quarrying process of the plant. To minimize the loss of limestone and other materials that are fed into the kiln, dust measurement systems provide plant operators feedback on the deterioration or breakage of the bags in the filter. Monitoring the performance of these  filter systems also reduces the maintenance costs and downtime in plant operations.

Preheater and Rotary Kiln - In both dry and wet processes, materials go through some form of a heating process creating gases released on both ends of the kiln. There is typically a dust removal system and an emissions stack at each end. Filter leak detection provides an early warning that product is releasing into the atmosphere. Trend monitoring in common ducts and emissions monitors can provide trend data that enables plant operators to optimize the plant’s  filtration systems.

Clinker Mill - Once the clinker has been produced and passed into the cooling systems, it is important to maximize the production of cement in the plant. As the gases are passed through a dust removal system, the trapped particles are returned to the clinker silos as product rather than released into the atmosphere as loss. Particulate measurement in the outlet ducts of these  filtration systems is essential to optimizing the output of the plant. Identifying a broken  filter at the earliest stage allows plant operators to react quickly to breaches in the production output.

Packaging - In the last stage of production,  filtration units are used as product is transferred to packaging and shipping. Similar to the previous stages of the process,  filter leak detection and trend monitoring provides plants with tools to identify when cement is being released into the atmosphere. Dust monitors provide the perfect tool to ensure that the cement manufacturing process is able to optimize its total output.

Dust Monitoring Solutions Available for Cement Manufacturing:
leak detection
Sintrol leak
detection monitor

Filter Leak Detection - In each area of the process where there are single or multiple compartment
baghouses, Sintrol monitors are the perfect solution to provide notification to the customer of deterioration or breakage of the  filter bags. This provides early detection for the customer that excess particulate matter is in its process and releasing out of the stack. The monitors are largely maintenance free devices that can measure dust levels as low as 0.1 mg/m3.

Trend Monitoring - In many larger or combined outlet ducts, a continuous trend measurement is preferred to get a constant reading on dust levels in the process. A dust monitor allows the customer to identify increasing trends in the dust levels and possibly identify sources of extra pollutants in its process.

For plants that use Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP), monitors are available that allow the end user to
Sintrol ambient dust monitoring
Sintrol ambient
dust monitoring
get a continuous trend measurement in 4–20 mA output after an ESP. The user can learn about the efficiency of its ESP, optimize the hammering process, and make adjustments to maximize the efficiency of the filter system.

Emissions Monitoring - For each stack in the plant, monitors can be calibrated to provide extremely precise readings for actual emissions amounts. These virtually maintenance free monitors are a less expensive and more reliable alternative to the traditional opacity monitors that have been used historically.

For more information on any dust monitoring application, contact:

Array Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Accurately Weigh Process Tanks in Hot, High Vibration Areas

tank weighing
Accurately weigh process tanks
in hot, high vibration ambient
Most load cells are designed to handle vertical force and cannot discern errors introduced from side loading and/or torque loading. In real world conditions, though, load cells see much more than vertical loading, and unfortunately, can output erroneous values. While they are excellent for static weighing situations, such as scales, load cells typically can’t handle the rigors of process vessel applications.

A case in point is a chemical manufacturer with an several, existing three cubic meter batching tanks. It was decided the tanks needed modifications to provide more accurate weighing of the individual ingredients. The existing load cells were experiencing errors due to thermal expansion of the vessel, and the resultant side loads from expansion. Additionally there was a problem with vibration in the plant. A better solution was needed, and whatever the solution would be, the customer made it clear the new weighing system must provide system accuracy in the range of ±0.1%.

load cell problems
Typical areas of concern when using load cells for weighing.
An approach to deal mechanically with the thermal cycling while using the same type of load cell was discussed. It involved several mechanical modifications that required significant and costly structural changes.

BLH KIS Sensor
BLH KIS Sensor
Another suggestion was to evaluate a unique load cell design that was particularly tolerant against thermal expansion, vibration, and high lateral forces - the BLH Nobel KIS series.  The KIS load cell offered some obvious advantages over rebuilding the tanks supports and frame, namely time and expense. Beyond the short installation time and easy modification, the KIS also offers excellent reliability and accuracy.

The customer decided to “take the easy way out” and just replace the old, error-prone load cells with
BLH Instrument
BLH Instrument
KIS load cells. Installation and start-up was very easy, taking very little time. After installation, the customer was pleasantly surprised by the high accuracy of the new KIS load cells, despite the thermal expansion of the vessel and the inherent vibration.

For more information on any process weighing application, contact:

Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Monday, May 23, 2016

Process Control Basics: The Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID)

piping &instrumentation diagram
Sample piping &instrumentation diagram
P&ID's (piping &instrumentation diagrams), or Process and Control Flow Diagrams, are schematic representations of a process control system and used to illustrate the piping system, process flow, installed equipment, and process instrumentation and functional relationships therein.

Intended to provide a “picture” of all of piping including the physical branches, valves, equipment, instrumentation and interlocks. The P&ID uses a set of standard symbols representing each component of the system such as instruments, piping, motors, pumps, etc.

P&ID’s can be very detailed and are generally the primary source from where instrument and equipment lists are generated and are very handy reference for maintenance and upgrades. P&ID’s also play an important early role in safety planning through a better understanding of the operability and relationships of all components in the system.

For more information, contact:
Arjay Automation
1178 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337-1577
Phone (800) 761-1749
Fax (612) 861-4292

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Industry Application eBooks Available from Yokogawa

Yokogawa, an internationally recognized process automation and control provider, strives for customer satisfaction through operational excellence, bringing long-term success to its customers. Now available are collections of actual cases in which Yokogawa helped leading companies in a variety of industries address specific challenges and achieve their goals. The new e-books were redesigned and subdivided into six sectors including LNG, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Renewable Energy.

Browse the e-books online for insight into the breadth and depth of Yokogawa's capabilities and their commitment to their customer's success. Depending on your screen size, you may need to scroll down the page to see the e-books at the link. The books can be browsed using the online reader, or downloaded as a PDF file.