Articles

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  • 2006 Readers' Choice Survey

    The equipment, services and suppliers selected to make a job easier greatly contribute to on-the-job success. The Readers' Choice survey identifies the leading vendors in more than 40 categories.

    Ken Schnepf, managing editor
    08/17/2006
  • How to select control valves, Part 1

    When it comes to selecting and sizing control valves, the non-commercial chart in this article not only helps you pick the right one for the job, but also serves as a reference tool you can download.

    Béla Lipták, PE, CONTROL Columnist
    08/15/2006
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Can U.S. chemical makers still compete?

    A steady stream of statistics in recent years has pointed to deteriorating competitiveness in the U.S. chemical industry. Domestic producers face global challenges but see opportunities.

    Bill Gerards, contributing editor
    07/24/2006
  • Kayo cavitation

    Checking pump performance curves is one of the first steps in troubleshooting a centrifugal pump problem or seeing if a pump can handle new service conditions. Learn to look for more than just insufficient NPSHA, the common culprit, when investigating cavitation.

    Andrew Sloley, contributing editor
    07/17/2006
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Meet SIS “User Approval” Mandates

    No manufacturer’s claim, third-party analysis or certification report reduces the user’s responsibility for determining that a product is fit for its purpose. Make sure to properly balance analysis and testing information with field experience.

    Angela E. Summers and Susan Wiley, SIS-TECH Solutions, LP
    05/11/2006
  • Field Notes: Don't Know Much Geometry

    The cornerstones of chemical engineering are often overlooked. Teaching theory to operators is crucial to safe operations, says Dirk Williard in his monthly Field Notes column.

    Dirk Willard
    04/12/2006
  • BP tackles Texas City failings

    British Petroleum's tragic March 2005 explosion has been well-documented through the press. Read here to find out how that tragedy spurred the development of a new program addressing management issues at BP.

    Foster Finley and Karl Roberts, AlixPartners
    04/12/2006
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