Articles

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  • 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
  • Engineers should talk up the profession

    A recent poll provides an industrial perspective and points up its troubling implications. As many universities are discovering, science and technology aren’t as popular as they once were. It's your job to spread the word, however small.

    Mike Spear, editor at large, Hertfordshire, U.K.
    05/26/2006
  • Separation Technology: Draw Insights on Distillation

    Residue curve mapping is a powerful tool to better understand the design and operation of distillation columns. This article describes how to use residue curve maps to check the feasibility of separation of homogeneous mixtures and for developing the conceptual design of towers.

    Raymond E. Rooks, The Dow Chemical Co.
    05/15/2006
  • 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
  • Why do you need performance supervision?

    One way to unlock control system secrets is to implement PSS, a smart performance reporting system that can dramatically help save time, money, and prevent problems with your processes.

    05/11/2006
  • Praxair wins 2nd annual Plant Innovation Award

    Chemical Processing's Plant Innovation Award recognizes ordinary engineers for solving difficult technical problems with creativity and dogged determination. Praxair's Geismar plant gains this year's honor for optimizing the performance of reforming units.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
    04/25/2006
  • Develop an air-tight defense

    Chemical processors face significant challenges in controlling fugitive emissions. The emissions escape from valves, compressors, pumps, piping components, etc. It is a difficult task, but necessary to avoid penalties and other liability.

    Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor
    04/24/2006
  • Choose the right temperature sensor

    There’s no simple solution to achieving accurate temperature measurement. It’s a combination of knowing the inherent accuracy of particular sensor types, and how environmental factors can create further measurement uncertainty and the sensor calibration techniques available to reduce this uncertainty.

    Cal Swanson, Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co.
    04/24/2006
  • Questions about gloves link to work safety

    The proper hand protection plays a tremendous role in keeping plant workers safe. This article answers questions often posed by workers and managers about hand protection products, their applications and limitations.

    Nelson Schlatter, Ansell
    04/20/2006
  • Mind Mixer Mechanical Design

    While most mixers can provide a long service life — for instance, some are still operating after more than 30 years — mechanical problems can shorten life or even break parts. In this article, learn about all the mechanical problems that may befall your mixing equipment.

    David S. Dickey, MixTech, Inc.
    04/18/2006
  • Find the real cause of pump gas up

    Simply blaming high feed temperature for inadequate suction isn’t enough when diagnosing pump problems. Read this article to get a laundry list of causes for pump gas up.

    Andrew Sloley, contributing editor
    04/17/2006
  • Field Notes: Don't Know Much Geometry

    The cornerstones of chemical engineering are often overlooked. Teaching theory to operators is crucial to safe operations.

    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
  • PIP Tenth Annual Conference

    PIP’s 10th Annual Conference “New Tools – New Realities” will be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 in Houston, Texas. The one-day conference will include presentations, a demonstration from key industry leaders, several workshops, and award activities to recognize contributions from PIP Member Companies’ participants.

    Process Industry Practices
    04/07/2006
  • Flexible Pipe Couplings

    Pipe strain can cause premature failure of pumps. This can frequently be absorbed by a flexible pipe coupling... but only if that pipe coupling is properly installed. Merely putting it into the line without any support, will not achieve any significant relief from the pipe strain. In order to protect the pump against the pipe strain, it must be anchored.

    Ross Mackay
    04/04/2006
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