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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Wireless wins wider role

    Wireless is poised for a big breakthrough in plant operations because of its ease of use, safety and potential for energy savings.

    C. Kenna Amos, contributing editor
    03/14/2006
  • Hard lessons worth sharing

    Editor-in-Chief Mark Rosenzweig writes that the causes of two incidents should get attention from other processors.

    Mark Rosenzweig
    01/24/2006
  • Distillation control and optimization, Part 1

    Control columnist Bela Liptak describes the distillation process and PID-based controls, reviews optimization strategies, and shows how advanced controls can cut operating costs of distillation.

    Béla Lipták, PE, Control Columnist
    01/11/2006
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