Educational Video on Control Valve Cavitation

Wikipedia defines cavitation as:

…the formation of vapour cavities in a liquid – i.e. small liquid-free zones (“bubbles” or “voids”) – that are the consequence of forces acting upon the liquid. It usually occurs when a liquid is subjected to rapid changes of pressure that cause the formation of cavities where the pressure is relatively low. When subjected to higher pressure, the voids implode and can generate an intense shock wave.

These shock waves can result in serious damage to control valves where these rapid changes in pressure can occur. This 5:56 YouTube video on cavitation clearly describes the phenomena, its impact on valves, and ways that it can be eliminated or significantly reduced. Continue Reading

Control Valve Condition Monitoring Connected Services

As sensors and final control elements grow ever smarter with digital diagnostics and communications paths, the need to make sense of this data to improve safety, reliability and efficiency also grows. Not only is improved analytic software required to help spot trends and abnormalities, but also experts to help provide guidance to put this information into action.

In this 5:07 video, Emerson Connected Services Valve Monitoring (Stuck Valve Scenario), Emerson Group President-Final Control, Terry Buzbee describes how suppliers such as Emerson can provide this remote expertise around technologies and applications for manufacturers and producers. Continue Reading

Automating Bioprocess Single-Use Systems

For those not in the pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing industries, if you ever visit one of these facilities you’ll be struck by the clean, shiny stainless steel vessels and piping. Given the importance of hygiene in the production of medicines, most processes include clean-in-place (CIP) and sterilize-in-place operations (SIP). The capital costs and ongoing time requirements for this stainless-steel equipment and CIP and SIP system operations is not insignificant.

Emerson's Michalle Adkins

Emerson's Bill Smizaski

In a BioPharm International article, Automating Bioprocesses, author J. Markarian interviews Emerson’s Michalle Adkins and Bill Smizaski to discuss single-use systems (SUS).

These are a trend in helping reduce capital project costs and in avoiding the ongoing time requirements of CIP and SIP operations.

When asked about the primary differences of SUS versus conventional approaches, Michalle and Bill noted that the: Continue Reading

5 Questions for Advanced Control Consultant Lou Heavner

One of the new things I want to try here on the blog is a podcast series asking many of our experts five questions. The questions will revolve around how they got started into the field that they’re in, challenges faced, spare time activities, and guidance for younger folks in pursuing a similar career.

Emerson’s Lou Heavner, whom you may recall from numerous advanced process-control related posts, shared his thoughts with me. We hope you enjoy the series over time and if you have specific requests for experts or questions to ask them, leave a comment below!

Transcript Continue Reading

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Level Switch Diagnostics for Remote Proof Testing and Instrument Health

Many of the “things” in the Industrial Internet of Things are the sensors that measure not only operating, but also safety-, reliability- and efficiency-related parameters from a manufacturing and production facility.

Emerson's Marianne Williams

In a Process Industry Informer article, Enhanced Diagnostics Help To Ensure Reliable Level Monitoring, Emerson’s Marianne Williams shares how technology advancements in vibrating fork level switches help improve operational performance.

Marianne highlights the importance of sensors in optimizing reliability practices:

…such as increased condition monitoring and analysis-based predictive maintenance activities – drive down operating costs and improve product or batch quality, health and safety, and environmental compliance.

Advanced diagnostics in these instruments are important, because if:

…potential problems can be diagnosed early, before a failure occurs, then problems can be avoided and maintenance can be scheduled during a planned period of downtime, reducing costs.

Level measurement is often a critical measurement for control and safety shutdown applications such as high- and low-level alarming, overfill prevention, and loss of fluid flow to downstream pump. Vibrating fork level switches can be effectively used in these applications. This technology often replaces traditional mechanical and float technologies: Continue Reading