BEKA introduce 8 variable Profibus PA Indicators

BEKA associates have introduced a new range of cost effective eight variable Profibus PA indicators with 20mm high digits and a 31 segment bargraph, models include field and panel mounting, intrinsically safe, Type n and safe area indicators.

Each indicator may be configured as a fieldbus Listener or as a Node.   When used as a Listener the indicator is not visible to the fieldbus host; may not be subject to a Node Licence Fee and is configured and controlled via the instrument’s push buttons.   As a fieldbus Node configuration is via the fieldbus host, but the indicator’s fieldbus address may be entered via the instrument’s push buttons, which may also be used to return operator acknowledgements to the host.

The intrinsically safe models have ATEX, IECEx, FM and cFM approvals; the Type n indicator has ATEX and IECEx approval permitting installation in Zone 2 without an intrinsically safe segment isolator.

For further information please visit or phone 01462 438301

Crisp work by Tetra Pak CPS

When the Australian division of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of food processing and packaging equipment systems needed bespoke machines for a well known UK crisps manufacturer it knew just who to call – Tetra Pak CPS Ltd.

The long-distance collaboration between Heat and Control Pty Ltd’s manufacturing site down under and Dorset-based Tetra Pak CPS resulted in a custom-built tempered water system with heat exchanger, pump and steam equipment on a process line for manufacturing crisps in the West Midlands.

Heat and Control had used Tetra Pak CPS for a similar order in 2003 so were confident that despite their project team being based in Australia, work on the new equipment would be delivered without a hitch.

The rapid and seamless sign-off of the first concepts sent to Australia enabled Tetra Pak CPS to run the project ahead of deadline. Tetra Pak CPS supplied the original equipment to match Heat and Control’s exact requirements and managed the complete project from initial design concepts through to delivery within 10 weeks.

Heat and Control’s Project Manager in Australia commented: “Our previous experience of Tetra Pak CPS meant that we had no hesitation in returning to them. The company was very helpful in supplying equipment with an extremely short lead time.”

Renowned for its flexibility and cost effective solutions, Tetra Pak CPS has been delivering cutting edge processing solutions for over 80 years. The company prides itself on developing bespoke systems that are robust and use only the highest quality components to ensure continual operation, reliability and efficiency.

Tetra Pak CPS has a global reputation for delivering value for money, quality service and equipment – so it is no surprise that, despite the distance, this latest collaboration turned out to be so successful.

ISA100 standard compliant: but which one?

A really interesting view from Walt Boyes, on his Sound Off! blog, poses the question we have all been wondering about: when a standard is acknowledged as having errors, and is being corrected, what does compliance with that standard imply? See the original on

ISA announced a couple of days ago that a whole group of Honeywell and Yokogawa instruments and devices had completed WCI-compliance testing and were now certified ISA100.11a devices. That’s cool.

Or is it?

Which ISA100.11a were these devices certified against?

ISA100.11a-2009, which was withdrawn from the ANSI approval process?

ISA100.11a-2010, which is being re-written with some significant changes from the 2009 model year and hasn’t been approved yet?

ISA100.12, the converged ISA100 and WirelessHART standard which an RFP is just about to go out for proposals to create specifications to produce? (If you think that sentence is convoluted, just go watch the process).

Or are they certified to a variation of the ISA100.11a standard that the WCI has ginned up amongst themselves? Remember that WCI has no direct connection to the ISA100 standard committee and is a private, not for profit, member organization (just like the HART Communication Foundation).

Who knows?

The fact is, though, that announcements like these make the ISA100.12 committee feel like the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. They certainly are not helping the cause of convergence one single bit, and they tend to make other vendors quite paranoid about the process.

Everybody who is involved in the “peace talks”– I mean, the convergence effort, would take it as a great relief if WCI and ISA stood down for a while instead of continuing to try to ram what is by all accounts a seriously flawed and unworkable standard down our throats.

I am speaking for all the end users here, and I quote Pat Schweitzer of ExxonMobil just as I did in the August cover story: “Technically there is no issue…The basic question is can the supplier community ever come together to meet the users’ expectations.”

End users want and need a single wireless field device standard. Based on results so far, IEC62591-WirelessHART is winning handily. If ISA100 doesn’t want to become irrelevant due to market forces, everybody had better up and support the ISA100.12 convergence effort.

If you are an end user, please write your favorite vendors and tell them you want a single wireless standard and you want a converged standard between WirelessHART and ISA100.

If you don’t make yourself heard now, you– and not the vendors– will pay for it in the future.

Statoil selects Emerson for automation and safety systems

Emerson Process Management is one of three suppliers chosen for a long-term frame agreement with Norway’s Statoil that positions Emerson to bid on future automation and safety systems for the international oil and gas producer.

The agreement supports Statoil’s strategy of using innovative technologies to solve the energy needs of the future, including making the most of emerging opportunities in shale gas, heavy oil, and deep-water production, as well as further development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Emerson’s integrated safety and automation system – which includes its DeltaV digital automation system and DeltaV SIS process safety system – will help Statoil maximise production, while reducing operating costs and minimising safety and environmental risks.

Statoil and Emerson recently collaborated to apply Emerson’s Smart Wireless technology on two offshore platforms. Emerson has found that wireless measurement networks offer significant cost and weight savings in such applications.

“It’s exciting to work with customers as forward-thinking as Statoil,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “We expect this new agreement to strengthen our existing relationship – and open the door to new opportunities for improved results.”

The five-year frame agreement covers process safety and automation systems, including engineering services, for new capital projects as well as upgrades to existing facilities, and includes the option to renew for two additional two-year terms. Emerson will continue to provide control valves, measurement instruments, asset management solutions, and related services to help Statoil optimise its operations.

New LNG Plant Technology

As liquefied natural gas (LNG) advances towards widespread commercial use, the prospect of producing it where it will be distributed commercially has become increasingly attractive.

An invention by the LNG research team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory has made this prospect a reality by developing a small-scale methane liquefaction plant. Small-scale liquefaction plants are advantageous because their compact size enables the production of LNG close to the location where it will be used. This proximity decreases transportation and LNG product costs for consumers.

The small-scale LNG plant could also allow localized peak-shaving to occur – balancing the availability of natural gas during high and low periods of demand. It also makes it possible for communities without access to natural gas pipelines to install local distribution systems and have them supplied with stored LNG.

The INL liquefaction technology is designed to draw natural gas from a transmission pipeline at a point where the pressure is dropped to accommodate commercial distribution. The plant is powered mainly by the energy created through this pressure drop. As the gas enters the plant, some of it is allowed to expand, and as it expands, it cools. This allows the process to use the natural gas as a coolant in the liquefaction process.

A demonstration plant installed in Sacramento also removes contaminants from the methane stream as it progresses through the plant. The stream is injected with methanol, which bonds to any water. When the temperature drops to the point where the methanol vapor becomes liquid – the water and methanol are separated out of the methane stream. During the final cooling of the LNG product, solid CO2 is formed and separated from the methane stream.

This significantly decreases the work needed in pre-cleaning the methane. It appears that the separated water/methanol mix and solid CO2 are then vaporized and returned into the original distribution line, without significantly changing the BTU of that line.

The natural gas is liquefied and moved into a storage tank where it stays until used, trucked away, or re-injected into the original distribution pipeline (if the system is used for peak shaving).

The Sacramento plant is designed to interact with the distribution line at a pressure let-down station, remove water and CO2, and liquefy 10-20% of the gas entering the plant. Other plant models are being designed to adapt to higher CO2 concentrations, nitrogen content, higher and lower pressure distribution lines, connections at non let- down points, and to liquefy a higher percentage of incoming gas.

No gas is consumed by the plant during this process. The plant requires little oversight, and future plants may require very little manual operation, if any.

A full-scale methane liquefaction plant can require hundreds of acres and cost billions of dollars. A small-scale liquefaction plant can fit into a cargo container at a cost of less than two million dollars.

The Sacramento plant was developed and designed under the terms of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Gas Company. The technology has been success- fully tested and is now available to be licensed for commercial manufacturing.

INL is a multiprogram national laboratory dedicated to supporting DOE’s missions in energy and national security, environmental quality, and science.

Baumer offer an alternative to vibrating fork level switch

With the level switch LBFS, Baumer claims to offer a cost-efficient and reliable alternative to the widely-used vibrating fork level switches. The Baumer device appears to use the RF probe principle to monitor the dielectric properties of the surrounding medium. It is designed to detect the level of viscous or dry substances as well as liquids, and can be mounted in any position in tanks or pipelines. The sensor is unaffected by flow, turbulence, bubbles, foam, and suspended solids. As the sensor head is smooth and very small, even adhesive media do not stick to it. The sensor offers a fast response time to enable fast filling processes as well as an accurate and reliable level control.

The level switch detects high and low levels in tanks and pipelines. Furthermore, it can be used for overfill protection, dry running protection of pumps. There are many fields of applications: drinking water, wastewater, filtration, HVAC, hydraulics, oil and gas, bio energy, wood pellets, flour mills, railway transportation or pump systems.

The sensor is mounted in a compact, very robust, and corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing. It can be installed and sealed easily with Teflon tape. It can be easily configured on PC via the FlexProgrammer 9701. Due to its fast response time of just 0.2 seconds, the sensor offers reliable level detection even in fast filling processes. The device can be used at a wide operation temperature range from -40 up to 115 °C.

The LBFS uses frequency sweep technology whereby a drive frequency is swept by the transmitter and becomes subject to a phase shift depending on the medium. When in contact with the medium, which has a different dielectric constant (DC) to the normal air, an electronic switch is triggered. The high sensitivity over a large sensing range from DC values of 1.5 up to more than 100 allows the level detection of all kinds of powders, granulates and liquids. Even difficult substances like polyamide granulate or paper can be detected reliably. Phase separation in oil-water mixtures is also possible by tuning out the low DC value presented by the oil.

Compared to other measuring methods like vibrating forks, conductive ultrasonic or optical sensors, this technology has further important advantages: it has no vibrating parts and is not sensitive to changes based on conductivity, temperature or pressure.

LNG future in short sea shipping

According to DNV ’s summer students, LNG could easily become the most feasible means of fuel in short sea shipping. The students ’ report was presented today in front of an audience of 200 people – including shipowners, representatives from the supply industry and Norwegian authorities.
Ten master ’s students from Norway, Sweden and Nigeria, chosen among 150 applicants, have worked on this year’s summer project assignment – “LNG in short-sea shipping ”– for the past six weeks. The scope of the project was to set up a fictitious ship owning company operating ships fuelled on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Nordic region. The students, who study technology and economics, have investigated challenges and opportunities of operating vessels on LNG. During the six weeks the students have investigated the preferable trade and ship type for LNG operations, made specification to ship design and provided a viable fuel logistics solution. They have proven this to be safe, environmentally friendly and economically profitable.
The market analysis conducted by the students showed that four oil tankers of Aframax size shipping crude oil were the most promising options when taking market attractiveness, technical feasibility, economic advantage and environmental impact into account. The most relevant ports within the trade were identified, and Primorsk, Mongstad and Teesport stood out as exporters while Rotterdam stood out as importer. While the major advantages of LNG as fuel are superior environmental performance and a lower price, the weaknesses are the immature LNG market as well as the limited distribution infrastructure. However, the students identified and presented a realistic approach to deal with these weaknesses.
Among other things the students suggested that, in order to make LNG available at a competitive price, large volumes of LNG are bought on the global market and then distributed to an onshore storage facility near Rotterdam. Bunkering of other vessels is then provided by a refuelling barge.
DNV CEO Henrik O. Madsen says “I was very impressed to see what the students presented here today. At times I have found it difficult to understand why the shipping industry has not switched to LNG – given the great commercial and environmental advantages. Today, with their presentation the students have provided ship owners with a blueprint, showing us all that it is 100% realistic to overcome the challenges with regard to LNG as fuel.”