Articles

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  • Waylay weight woes

    Production managers, quality control managers and maintenance engineers alike have encountered weigh cells that never worked properly. Why? Why have so many switched from a supposedly high accuracy load cell solution to old fashioned level probes or sight glasses? This article touches on the worst culprits for problems and how to avoid them.

    Ryan Titmas, product manager, Sartorius North America
    01/08/2007
  • 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
    01/08/2007
  • Distillation control and optimization, Part 3

    Control's Béla Lipták continues his series on control of distillation processes, this time focusing on managing reboiler flow, temperature, feed rate, loading and reflux for economy, stability and safety.

    Béla Lipták, PE, CONTROL Columnist
    01/05/2007
  • Know when to leave a sinking ship

    The unspoken truth about projects is that they all come to an end, according to Dirk Willard in this month's Field Notes column. The key, he says, is knowing when to leave.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
    01/03/2007
  • Chemical industry sees green

    Developments target economics, not just environmental benefits. While pollution prevention was the original goal of green chemistry, today’s efforts promise to have a substantial economic impact.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
    01/03/2007
  • Take the right first step to manage your energy costs

    Conducting an energy assessment provides a business plan for improvements and is the first step to managing energy costs, according to Chemical Processing's energy columnist Christopher Russell.

    Christopher Russell, energy columnist
    12/18/2006
  • Chemical Processing Vaaler Award 2007

    Chemical Processing is now accepting entries for its biennial Vaaler Awards. These awards honor products and services that have significantly improved the operation and economics of chemical plants. Download an a PDF document below that details eligibility requirements, award categories, entry details, winner notification and contact information.

    12/11/2006
  • Making Your Process Operator-Proof

    Senior Editor Dirk Willard discusses Shigeo Shingo's take on mistake-proofing, or Poke Yoke, if you speak Japanese. The practice suggests the following devices: eliminate — redesign, facilitate — guide, mitigate — lessen the damage caused by the error, or flag — identify the error.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
    12/05/2006
  • Wal-Mart applies clout

    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., previously committed to reduce by 5% the packaging used by its 60,000 suppliers by 2013. Now, a new initiative uses a scorecard to tackle wasteful packaging.

    Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor
    12/05/2006
  • Make jacketing your strong suit

    Small details in jacketed-pipe configuration can have a big impact, according to Chemical Processing's Contributing Editor Andrew Sloley.

    Andrew Sloley, contributing editor
    12/05/2006
  • pH measurement faces acid test

    Quest for more reliable readings prompts development of tougher and more-intelligent sensors. While pH control often plays a crucial role in processing, achieving reliable readings remains challenging at many sites. After all, pH sensors frequently serve in aggressive chemical environments.

    C. Kenna Amos, contributing editor
    12/05/2006
  • NeSSI’s success should be a lock

    The New Sampling/Sensor Initiative or NeSSI that replaces tubing, fittings and other hardware in a sampling system with miniature modular components makes sense. Enhancements now in the works should assure its success.

    Mark Rosenzweig, editor in chief
    11/29/2006
  • Tiny reactors aim for big role

    Process Intensification (PI) has promised many things but has it fulfilled its promises? When looking at reactor technology, the answer is a definite “Yes.”

    Rocky Costello, R. C. Costello & Associates, Inc.
    11/29/2006
  • Data validation: Jewel in the fieldbus crown?

    Many users and most suppliers to the industry see process availability as the big payout benefit of Foundation Fieldbus (FF) diagnostics — a good portion of it realized through data validation.

    John Rezabek, Contributing Editor
    11/09/2006
  • Consider changing the speed not the pump

    Chemical Processing's Contributing Editor Andrew Sloley advises that instead of reflexively resorting to brute force to provide enough head, adjusting the pump speed might make for a better solution.

    Andrew Sloley, contributing editor
    11/01/2006
  • Avoid trouble with slurries

    Handling slurries (a mix of solids and liquids), should be based on experience and experiments, not theory. Much of the knowledge obtained from pneumatic conveyors and fluidization systems can be used in understanding slurries.

    Thomas R. Blackwood, Healthsite Associates
    11/01/2006
  • Rethink experiment design

    The traditional approach to experimentation, often referred to as the “scientific method,” requires changing only one factor at a time (OFAT), but this method only allows one to see things one dimension at a time. By varying factors only at two levels each, but simultaneously rather than one at a time, experimenters can uncover important interactions.

    Mark J. Anderson and Patrick J. Whitcomb, Stat-Ease
    11/01/2006
  • Outsourcing innovation development

    A new development method may allow breaking away from the pack as companies continue to employ outsource facilities that offer flexibility and foster innovation.

    Chuck Kenney, Pressure Chemical Company
    10/31/2006
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