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  • Wireless: Ready or not

    A lively discussion of the current role of wireless in online condition monitoring.

  • Wireless finds its calling

    For maintenance and condition-monitoring, wireless technology offers much more than just reducing or eliminating costs. However, wireless also requires an integrated infrastructure approach rather than independent, proprietary point solutions.

  • Plug it in?: The decision to integrate condition monitoring

    Efforts to tighten communications of condition-monitoring instrumentation and data analysis software with CMMS and automation infrastructure, combined with the proliferation of wireless sensor systems and the drive to reduce manpower skill and time requirements, are bringing implementation costs down and drawing much attention to this approach. But should you implement it?

  • What Works: Wireless PCs streamline warehouse operations

    The basic principles of Lean Manufacturing date back at least to the 18th century. In Poor Richard's Almanack, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “He that idly loses 5s. [shillings] worth of time, loses 5s., and might as prudently throw 5s. into the river. He that loses 5s not only loses that sum, but all the other advantages that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the time a young man becomes old, amounts to a comfortable bag of money.”

  • Gamma scanning seeks an inside edge

    Many companies decide not to build up certain capabilities in-house mainly because they don’t have sufficient regular demand for them. Gamma scanning of distillation columns is a case in point, but on-site scanning specialists may be the wave of the future.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • What’s in the air for continuous emissions monitoring?

    More attention to mercury and increased acceptance of predictive approaches is emerging. Such monitoring not only can keep plants on the right side of regulators but also can help provide insights for optimizing operation of equipment.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • Combat contamination

    Consider the impact of slope, fittings and valves. Plants can lose sizable amounts of money each year because of contamination caused in process lines. Owners and contractors alike can take steps in the design and construction phase to enhance the drainability and cleanability of a system.

    Michael Bridge, Swagelok Company
  • Get full value from partial stroking

    There are two main drivers for partial stroking of valves in safety systems: the desire to extend manual test intervals to as long as possible; and to reduce the amount of redundant hardware required for higher safety integrity levels. Like most things in life, it all boils down to one thing: trying to save money.

    Paul Gruhn, ICS Triplex
  • Remember the basics of maintenance

    Despite the “buzz” about asset management systems don’t forget the “oilers”, advises Mike Spear, in this month's End Point column.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • Plants get help in boosting reliability

    More and more companies are placing greater emphasis on maintenance and seeking help from vendors to boost the effectiveness of their efforts, as some recent major investment decisions demonstrate. Many automation companies now are benefiting by building up asset management services alongside process control capabilities.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • Energy Savings Pick up Steam

    More attention to steam systems and trap monitoring provides big benefits. At most chemical plants, plant management and operators face increasing pressures to improve the energy efficiency of their processes, so they should see how they can save on steam.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • Where is wireless going?

    Increasing interest will translate into far more monitoring applications. The worldwide market for wireless technology will grow 26% annually over the next few years, forecasts the ARC Advisory Group. Vendors are responding and key concerns are being addressed.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • pH sensor stands up to tough conditions

    Design provides improved reliability in a polymer-precursor batch reactor. Sensors must respond quickly and survive a harsh environment. Poor probe reliability can make the difference between a process that makes money and one that doesn’t.

    Kyle Becker, Polychemie
  • Wireless devices may get a shake up

    Last month’s ISA Expo in Houston clearly showed how much attention wireless technology is attracting. However, concern about the reliability and life of batteries remains an issue. That’s why harvested or scavenged power is attracting interest.

    Mark Rosenzweig, editor in chief
  • Check for human errors

    You may be making an error if you don’t find time to double-check your own and other’s work. Making time to check human work can prevent costly mistakes and save time.

    Trevor A. Kletz, Loughborough University
  • Sasol plant benefits from reliability improvements

    Sasol Solvents reduced operating costs by more than $2 million dollars at it’s plants in Sasolburg, South Africa. The efforts earned the facility the 2005 HART Plant of the Year Award.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
  • Fieldbus wars continue

    As wireless Ethernet continues its aggressive growth, end users have to wonder, “Will it replace fieldbuses?” It is clear that a battle is shaping up.

    Rich Merritt, senior technical editor
  • 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
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