Chem Show Coverage: Steam Trap Monitoring Gets Easier

Sensor can be tied into a computerized maintenance management system for proactive maintenance scheduling.

By Mark Rosenzweig, Editor-in-Chief

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A wireless non-intrusive sensor from Armstrong International, Three Rivers, Mich. (Booth #427), is said to efficiently monitor and evaluate the operation of any type of steam trap. The Armstrong Intelligent Monitoring (AIM) Module ST5700 immediately detects trap failures and, thus, can serve as a powerful tool to significantly reduce energy losses and emissions, notes the firm.

The AIM ST5700 detects blow-through and cold traps via acoustics — all algorithmns for analyzing the acoustic response are built right into the device. It communicates via Wireless HART to a gateway, which can be supplied by Armstrong or other vendors, and then to a controller for monitoring or alarming. It can be tied into a computerized maintenance management system for proactive maintenance scheduling.

The ST5700 comes in models with and without local LCD display. The local display shows trap condition (okay, blow-through or cold), temperature, and battery condition. For readings at 5-minute intervals, the battery should last three-to-five years, says Armstrong's Kerry Phillips, who adds that battery replacement is the only maintenance required. All models are intrinsically safe (suitable for service in Class I/II/III, Division 1, Zone 0 rated environments). It can be clamp mounted on ½-in. to 3-in. pipes (having a maximum temperature of 315°C) for permanent or temporary monitoring. It is particularly handy for keeping tabs on inaccessible steam traps.

The sensor/gateway installation typically costs $1,500-$2,000 per point. The Armstrong gateway can handle up to 100 points, and can provide HART, OPC or Modbus outputs.

The company also offers a complementary device, the AIM AD5000, for acoustic monitoring of safety relief valves.

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