Latest Instrumentation Articles

While scheduled downtime is different from unscheduled, both can take away from a company.

Last year in “Trending Revelations in Vibration Analysis,” (Pumps & Systems, June 2009), I discussed the importance of statistic trending in vibrations analysis. Usually, as most would expect, vibrations gradually increase with time. This increase reflects the normal internal wear, accumulative misalignment and deformations that can occur within a pump. All these wear conditions will lead to eventual failure.

The service department of a variable frequency drives manufacturer frequently sees the following scenario: A frustrated user calls with what he perceives to be a defective piece of equipment. As the technician begins probing for information, the user's frustration boils over, often with an exclamation along the lines of "what a piece of junk!" As the service technician asks the pertinent questions, the exasperated user relays the details of a drive that is continually tripping on a fault until the user is at the end of his rope, not knowing what to do.

Today's electricians are often found working in applications outside the realm of what is traditionally considered "electrical." Through new programs sponsored by the IBEW-JATC training schools and others, the skill sets of the electrical union workforce have broadened to include automation and controls.

Traditionally, the primary use of drives has been in applications such as powering pumps, fans and conveyors. While they will continue to be used in these applications, today's end-users have a different approach from that of a decade ago.

Production, distribution and refining applications in the oil and gas industry rely heavily on motor-driven pumps and pumping systems. Keeping electric motors driving critical operations at peak performance is vital to ensure maximum profitability.

Economic pressures to minimize production downtime and improve operating efficiency are increasing the emphasis to accomplish on-site problem detection, analysis, and resolution as fast as possible. These requirements place a great deal of pressure on maintenance personnel to have all the right tools readily available in one place.

In the early days of adjustable frequency drive (AFD) technology, the typical application was in process control for manufacturing synthetic fiber, steel bars and aluminum foil. Because AFDs improved performance and lowered maintenance costs, they replaced motor generator sets and DC drives. When the energy crises occurred in the early 1970s, saving energy became a critical goal, and the use of AFDs quickly spreadpump efficiency, into large pump applications and eventually into HVAC fan systems. pump efficiency, pump system optimization

A Nashville-based hunting club required the flooding of several acres of land. A shallow area approximately 1.5-ft deep needed to be flooded to help attract wild game.

In the foothills of the Andes, among the sprawling vineyards of picturesque Mendoza, Argentina, stands an innocuous equipment cabinet located by the side of an infrequently used mountain pass. The cabinet's superficial surface rust belies its importance as one of the most significant technological developments in modern day corrosion prevention. The cubicle, battered from years of an abrasive cocktail of arid Patagonian winds and coarse earth, hides the cradle of a revolutionary approach to cathodic protection. The equipment within the cabinet resulted in an entirely new range of products.

This article explores the use of condition monitoring at the UPM-Kymmene's Wisaforest pulp and paper mill in Finland. Production capacity is 800,000 air dried tons per annum (ADt/a) of pulp and 180,000 ADt/a of kraft and sack papers.

Electric drives are used in various applications in the oil and gas industry for varying motor speeds driving critical components, including pumps, fans and compressors.

There are several ways to control two identical, parallel pumps operating under variable frequency control in pumping applications.

The level transmitter is a small but vital component in a sewage lift or pump station that helps maintain system integrity and avoid unwanted spillage.

Lift stations can be difficult and costly to monitor, especially when the stations are located in remote areas.

On July 16 last year, a high-speed centrifugal pump failed catastrophically at a large refinery in South America, causing production losses and costing a substantial amount of money for repairs. The inboard bearing of the pump lost lubrication, overheated, and seized up.

Wireless technology has significantly impacted business worldwide. It enables a greater degree of connectivity among devices for enhanced monitoring and utilization of existing assets. It has also led to the development of new applications that improve productivity, uptime and overall business performance.

Here is a primer on the proper locations for surge protection in water and wastewater facilities.

Active Front End (AFE) drives use two power sections. An active rectifier is used to minimize the amount of harmonic distortion reflected to the power grid by drawing nearly sinusoidal current from the power grid. Standard 6-pulse rectifiers used in most drives create harmonics (e.g.5th, 7th, etc.) that can generate anywhere from 30 to 100 percent current distortion. The active rectifier used in the AFE drive creates cancelling harmonics that effectively eliminate those that would be created in a standard 6-pulse drive.

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