Articles

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  • Cutting the wires of communications

    Users want wireless, vendors want to sell wireless, so what’s the problem? This article tackles one of the most discussed topics: the use of wireless communications in process automation.

    Walt Boyes, Editor in Chief
    08/15/2006
  • Spot problems with adsorbents

    The longer-than-expected life of an adsorbent points up the need to always assess the consequences of system additions. While sometimes this may involve detailed calculations, simply looking to the laws of physics can eliminate potential headaches.

    Andrew Sloley, contributing editor and Bruce Veale
    08/14/2006
  • Executing Alarm Management

    For you to succeed in advancing your strategy, while keeping the peace, you must meet many challenges — motivating personnel and juggling the integration of changes. The solution is better plant-wide communication and understanding of the alarm philosophy.

    Roy Tanner, and Rob Turner ABB and Jeff Gould, Matrikon
    08/07/2006
  • Low flow injection improves scale-up of catalysts

    Dow Chemical recently developed a reactive catalyst for use in one of its production facilities. Indications were that this new catalyst could save the company millions of euros once it reached full-scale production. The challenge was transferring the recipe using this new reactive catalyst from the laboratory to the pilot plant and, ultimately, to the production level.

    Kees Kaijser, Dow Chemical Company
    08/07/2006
  • Shake up your processing lines

    Vibratory equipment plays a critical role at many plants and there are significant opportunities to upgrade this equipment.

    Linda Mioduszewski, Eriez Magnetics
    07/31/2006
  • Try before you buy

    There is another side to toll processing. It involves the companies that arguably have the best possible know-how and hardware — for the simple reason that they are the equipment manufacturers themselves, offering toll processing services that utilize their own products.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
    07/24/2006
  • Better Design Is No Pipe Dream

    The benefits of using pipeline simulation tools at the piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) level, rather than running simulations just on the process flow diagram, can often be overlooked.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
    07/17/2006
  • Avoid Alarm Blunders

    Ineffective alarm systems pose a serious risk to safety, the environment, and plant profitability. Too often, alarm system effectiveness is unknowingly undermined by poorly-configured alarms. Read about these 12 common mistakes that can undermine the management of your alarm system.

    Michael Marvan
    07/12/2006
  • Control your maintenance

    Automation systems have now reached such a high degree of reliability that many personnel at plants now take them for granted. Learn to use digital communication with your asset management tools to achieve predictive maintenance and substantial savings.

    Ian Verhappen, MTL Instruments Group
    07/12/2006
  • Effective Shift Handover Is No Accident

    A successful handover between shifts heavily depends on the organizational skills of management and the effective use of the communication tools available. Learn what these tools are and get the most out of your operators.

    Ian Nimmo, User Centered Design Services, LLC
    06/28/2006
  • Pilot plants: destined for development

    Pilot plants are on the verge of an unprecedented evolution. Read about the 10 factors that'll impact the design, construction and operation of these next-generation units.

    Richard Palluzi, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co.
    06/28/2006
  • Small sensors promise big impact

    Because many environmental applications of nanotechnology will almost certainly revolutionize the science, law, and regulation of water pollution, readers are urged to keep abreast of this fast-changing area.

    Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor
    06/28/2006
  • NIOSH makes big effort on small particles

    Many federal and international bodies are striving to identify and conduct research to fill data needs in connection with the health and safety implications of nanotechnology.

    Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor
    06/20/2006
  • Measure your progress

    How well do you know your measurement uncertainties? Find out with this 15-item quiz from Dr. Gooddata.

    Ronald H. Dieck, Ron Dieck Associates, Inc.
    06/19/2006
  • Pumping Temperature Considerations

    "Bad actor" pumps are those pumps that have trouble with frequent and repetitive failures. In many cases, the source of the problem is an ANSI pump trying valiantly to handle a liquid well beyond the range of its design rating.of 300 degs. F.

    Ross Mackay
    06/19/2006
  • Plants smarten up

    Smart field devices can be a smart investment to better manage assets and thus boost competitiveness. These devices are increasingly being relied for analysis as well as data collection.

    C. Kenna Amos, contributing editor
    06/13/2006
  • Level transmitter — art not science

    There is much more to setting up a transmitter than a mere equation. Design and control errors can certainly compromise performance. Follow these simple tricks to get it right.

    Dirk Willard
    06/13/2006
  • Outsourcing moves up the maintenance ladder

    Outsourcing of non-core operations within a company, large or small, is now a well established corporate strategy. By entrusting services such as IT support, accounting, human resources and other “back office” activities to specialist firms prepared to do the job at an acceptable price, chemical companies can concentrate on their main business — where they are the specialists. That's the theory, at least.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
    05/29/2006
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