Thermogravimetric analyzers (TGAs) deliver valuable information about a material’s response to temperature. But while the information they deliver is critical, TGAs themselves tend to be bulky and difficult to use, and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. This paper explores how you can gather the same data as a TGA using an instrument which is considerably easier to use, more durable, and less expensive: the Computrac MAX 5000XL. The materials examined in this paper are certain flue gas desulfurization byproducts—gypsum, calcium sulfite hemihydrate, and calcium hydroxide—but the principles in question can apply to all manner of materials, from biofuels to pet food to landfill waste.
Download the white paper now.05/12/2015
Optical Dissolved Oxygen Measurement in Power and Boiler Applications
Over the past decade a few trends have started to gain pace within the industry, driving a change in instrumentation requirements for operations managers and plant chemists:
- Maintenance and operations budget cuts have resulted in fewer plant personnel, forcing plant staff to optimize their workload even further
- As the cost of building new power and boiler systems increase, many operators now look to plant life extensions as a solution to bridge gaps in production capacity at a lower investment premium
These trends have changed the requirements in these applications. Starting from these trends, this article analyzes the options for oxygen measurements that are precise, reliable, stable, and above all require low to zero maintenance.04/27/2015
Pneumatic conveying is an effective form of moving dry materials. However, the long lengths of conveying pipe present a challenge when it comes to addressing cleanliness and sanitation.
While the closed nature of pneumatic conveying systems protects material from outside contamination, like debris, insects, etc., it is difficult to identify and protect against internal forms of contamination, such as buildup, microbial growth, etc. A plant HACCP or sanitation plan that does not address thousands of feet of pipe and dozens of elbows is incomplete and at risk for a recall.03/24/2015
Half the battle with flow is choosing the proper equipment. Indeed, flow meter selection and specification is crucial. With the wrong choice you’ll be floundering or worse. In addition, process engineers identify “oversizing” as the number one control valve problem. In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we identify tips to improve flow including:
- How to match the flow meter to the service
- How to handle more flow
- How to properly size control valves
- How to tackle biogas flow measurement challenges
Learn more about these best flow practices. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.01/28/2015
Increasingly precise process control strategies, often linked to computer control, have accelerated the use of sophisticated on-line chemical composition analyzers in plant applications. Instruments such as gas and liquid chromatographs, ion chromatographs, laser optic instruments, atomic absorption instruments and specific ion analyzers, which were rarities in laboratories ten years ago, are now found routinely in plant settings.
While continuing miniaturization and “rugged-ization” of the electronics are making the instrumentation circuitry more tolerant of the plant environment, the level of contamination in plant samples compared to laboratory samples continues to plague the process. This white paper reviews the factors in plant operation that may affect the deliverability of acceptable samples and provides guidelines for addressing these factors.11/04/2014
In the decade before Stuxnet attacked process control systems in Iran, there were just five known supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) vulnerabilities for all control systems in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). In 2011, the year after Stuxnet, that vulnerability count jumped to more than 215. Last year, it reached 248. No surprise then that Chemical makers are increasingly focusing on protecting their process control systems from intrusion both from the inside and outside. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Protect Process Control Systems, we take a look at:
- How to better protect your control system - "Defense in depth" is crucial, and new and maturing technologies may help
- Cyber Security Challenges - learn about countermeasures to protect control systems
- Case Study: A vulnerability assessment reveals critical gaps in the security of a natural gas pipeline
- How to mitigate security risks in legacy process control systems - several steps can help protect against threats and extend the life of legacy equipment
Learn how to secure your process control systems - and your plant. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Protect Process Control Systems now.10/29/2014
Welded vessels play a key role in most processes. However, few plants now have in-depth expertise in materials selection, fabrication and design of such vessels. As a result, plant staff often make errors that can be costly as well as compromise the suitability and life of the vessel. This three-part special report provides practical pointers that can help you avoid common mistakes and get the most appropriate, durable and cost-effective vessel.
- Part 1 looks at a dozen important factors to consider in materials selection, including metal selection and appropriate use of corrosion allowances and coatings. It includes pointers gleaned from first-hand experiences that can help you avoid costly mistakes and delays.
- Part 2 provides tips on how to avoid delays and achieve savings in the fabrication process. It also covers techniques that can improve vessel reliability and thus forestall costly repairs down the road.
- Part 3 gets into design issues. It condenses the 5,000+ pages of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code into a simple guide when specifying vessels, heat exchangers and tanks. It focuses on 10 key factors.
Download your Chemical Processing special report now.10/28/2014
The debate over the virtues of DCS vs. PLC has been ongoing since these two architectures came into existence 40 years ago. For certain industries, a distributed control system (DCS) provides substantially more value as the basis for automating the plant than a programmable logic controller (PLC)-based system. As functionality differences narrow and price points align, the debate over these virtues is getting more intense and the arguments for and against each system are getting more and more murky. This white paper discusses the “Top Ten” issues to consider when evaluating a DCS vs. building your own “DIY” distributed control system using a PLC-based architecture.07/15/2014
This concise, compelling overview of best practices in purchasing and maintaining ethylene valve packages is an essential read for industry professionals. The white paper will tell you how to: 1) Select the right seats and seals; 2) Select the right coating materials; 3) Know the quality of the valves you're buying; 4) Find a trusted single resource for your valve package purchases; 5) Keep up with required maintenance.10/15/2013
Perhaps the most critical challenge facing the automation industry is that of aging control systems at or near the end of their product lifecycles. A legacy control system can suffer from technical, functional or supply obsolescence. With a well-planned and executed control system migration, however, plants can improve availability and reliability, while increasing production flexibility. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration, we take a look at: Obsolescence planning – addressing concerns and planning for a successful evolution strategy; Restoration Possibilities – how new tools and innovative methods support and breath new life into aging distributed control systems; DCS Migration; More! Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration now!08/27/2013
This expert whitepaper, sponsored by Infor, discusses market “verticalization” and its importance when selecting an Enterprise Asset Management / Computerized Maintenance Management System.08/12/2013
Oxygen measurement for safety and control is essential for process optimization in many chemical manufacturing processes. This white paper provides application details of probe-style TDL oxygen analyzers.07/15/2013
The Every Man’s Guide to OPC is an easy-to-read overview of the most popular industrial open connectivity standard - OPC. This paper introduces the main idea behind OPC, shows why OPC is different from conventional (often proprietary) communication protocols, and explains how OPC helps overcome the limitations of such native protocols. Next, the paper explains what the building blocks of OPC are (OPC Clients and OPC Servers) and how they work together to make data-sharing possible.
This guide to OPC helps readers of all technical levels quickly grasp what OPC is and how they can use it.05/22/2013
Manufacturing organizations face a critical balancing act – achieving the highest levels of efficiency, while ensuring that they are not over or under supplying the marketplace. This need to be flexible and efficient requires exceptional visibility into all of the factors that influence productivity and output. This white paper will look at the challenges manufacturing organizations face and how automation of key workforce management processes helps manufacturers not only improve efficiency, but also better manage labor spend, reduce compliance risk and improve productivity.05/14/2013
Many industrial plants use dissolved air flotation to remove fats, oils and grease, and suspended solids from wastewater. Chemical additions are often kept higher than necessary to account for variations in influent water quality that are characteristic of industrial facilities. Continuous monitor04/02/2013
Efficient transfer of weighing process data to higher level PLC, MES or ERP systems makes manufacturing processes more efficient and more transparent. But identifying and implementing the most effective system for data transfer and integration can be challenging.02/12/2013
Most chemical processors use precious-metal-bearing catalysts for facilitating and/or speeding chemical reactions. These catalysts are typically composed of platinum group metals (PGMs). After a number of process cycles the catalysts lose their efficacy and must be replaced with fresh catalysts. Spent catalysts are sent to a precious-metals refiner for recovery and refining of the valuable PGMs remaining in this material. Selecting—and working with—a precious-metals refiner is critical to ensure highest possible returns and peace of mind with regard to environmental concerns. Download and read this 22-page white paper to learn more about recovering precious metals from spent catalysts.01/28/2013
For chemical processors, changing process conditions demand quick responses in order to keep processing effective and to keep processes running properly. For processes undergoing such changes, accurate and timely measurements, such as vibration monitoring, redundant tank level measurement and steam header temperature profiling can be difficult to collect. In well-established plants it’s both very expensive and time consuming to get measurement points online using conventional wired instrumentation. Many processors are now turning to wireless devices that can supply data from numerous points that never could have been justified otherwise. In this Chemical Processing Wireless eHandbook we take a look at wireless technology solution successes:
** How installing a wireless pH analyzer for crucial insights on seal integrity provided Fuji Film with a low-cost monitoring solution for protecting a pricey pump
** How one of the world’s largest producers of chlorine, caustic soda and vinyl chloride embraced wireless technology and achieved operating economies and more efficient control of its chemical processes
Patching process control system software to remove security vulnerabilities is fraught with risk. System issues can be the result of installing a patch, but a system is also vulnerable without patching. Fortunately, virtual patching can improve the process and raise the system’s security at the same time.09/21/2012
While upgrading process control systems is vital to maintaining a plant’s performance, the migration process often brings confusion and frustration for customers. See how Honeywell keeps control systems running at the best possible performance throughout the migration process and into the future.08/29/2012