Power Industry Boiler Water Level Measurement Techniques

The March 2017 Inst Measurement and Control Technical Seminar evening will be hosted by Doosan Babcock in Manor Royal, Crawley, on Tuesday 21st March 2017.

This will be a tri-company, collaborative event, presented by Doosan Babcock, and also featuring contributions from Vega and TC-Fluid Control. It is aimed at providing attendees with a useful insight into industrial measurement application challenges in order to further their professional development knowledge.

Drum Level Control

The first presentation by Doosan Babcock will discuss Drum level measurement using DP Measurement and Hydrastep Measurement techniques.

Power station Steam Drum Level measurement is required for drum level control, Burner Management System (BMS) protection and Code compliance. Drum level is both a critical and difficult measurement to make. At steady state conditions, considerable turbulence in the drum can cause the level to fluctuate. A changing rate of water inflow and steam outflow adds to the potential for measurement error. The DP Measurement technique uses the difference in pressure between a head of water in an external reference column and the level in the drum. The density of water and steam vary appreciably with pressure, so the differential pressure obtained at any given level will vary as boiler pressure changes.

The Hydrastep technique detects the conductivity variation between the steam and the water. The electrode principle is an efficient system for measuring drum water levels.

Microwave Technology

Vega will explain how microwave technology can tackle a wide variety of applications associated with steam boilers. Non-contact or guided wave techniques have the ability to measure reliably, even with fluctuating temperatures up to 450C combined with pressures of up to 400 bar. Measurement is virtually unaffected by pressure and temperature changes. Top mounting makes installation and maintenance easy. In many cases microwave transmitters provide an alternative to legacy equipment for both solids and liquids. SIL qualification and boiler approval now enables microwave technology to  be used directly on steam boilers, with special modifications to compensate for saturated steam effects.

Visual/Glass and Boiler Steam Glass level gauges

untitledVisual/Glass and Boiler Steam Glass level gauges are a requirement on steam boilers for visual verification of the level control system, and will be discussed by TC-Fluid Control. Magnetic level gauges have many applications on and around the boiler, providing visual level indication whilst minimising potential leak paths, and can be used as an alternative to one of the glass level gauges on the boiler drum. Simple, robust technology provides a highly visible indication of process level at pressures of up to 400 bar and temperatures up to 450C.

Postscript: Wessex IMC Section meeting

Vega Controls will also give a talk to the IMC Wessex Section meeting on 15th March about the technology behind their 80GHz radar liquid level measurement systems. The talk will include live demonstrations, and takes place at the Forest Lodge Hotel, at Lyndhurst. A video is available that shows their new sensor.

 

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Training on Profibus, Profinet and IO-Link in Industrial Automation

A highly informative training day will address the key practical issues arising from the use of these digital communications technologies in automated manufacturing applications. The event is free of charge, and will be held from 0900 to 1530 on 29th March in Manchester, UK. On 30th March there will be a similar FOC event for users in the Process and Hybrid industries.

With particular emphasis on Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, the event will cover the use of Profibus, Profinet and IO-Link in key application areas such as utilities, pharmaceutical, packaging, printing, electrical and electronics assembly, robotics, automotive engineering, mechanical handling and logistics, control systems and energy management, from system design and safety considerations through to maintenance and fault-finding.

Supported by demonstrations of actual tools used in configuration and maintenance, the seminar will be of great value to Designers, Production/System Engineers, Instrument Technicians/Engineers and C&I Engineers involved in design, operation and maintenance of modern automated factories and process plant.

The presentations include:

Introduction of Exhibitor stands and Profibus & Profinet Update, by Mark Freeman: Profibus DP – Successful Commissioning and Maintenance, by Dave Tomlin: EMC and Equipotential Bonding in Profibus and Profinet networks, and EN503102016, by Peter Thomas: PROFIsafe as a tool for Safety in Automation and Control Networks,by Peter Brown; Designing a Profinet system, by Andy Verwer: Profibus system engineering and monitoring, by Andy Verwer: Profinet for IoT, IIoT and Industry 4.0, by Derek Lane: The Features and Benefits of IO-Link, by Russell Smith.

Coffee breaks and lunch will be provided, for delegates also to visit the Exhibition of relevant equipment.

This seminar is ably presented by network specialists from member companies of PI UK, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to support of advanced manufacturing technologies for the benefit of UK industry. Attendance is free of charge to pre-registered delegates from the user community, i.e. companies that own, operate, design, build or maintain automated plant. The event will provide delegates with an excellent networking opportunity and the ability to speak to the varied experts from the PI UK membership.

For more information please contact PI UK, or send an email enquiry. Online registration is now open.

For companies in the Process & Hybrid Industries …

Companies involved in the Process Industries may be interested to attend another of the PI UK events, to be held in Manchester the following day, March 30th. Entitled Practical Aspects of Profibus and Profinet in Process, the event specifically addresses the key issues involved in the use of advanced network communications in Process and Hybrid Industry applications.

More information on this event is available here, or send an email enquiry.

Wonderware demo in Telford UK

Industrial IT software solutions provider, Wonderware UK, a division of SolutionsPT, is to host a two day event at which it will exclusively reveal the next generation of Wonderware industrial automation software, including updates to its HMI and SCADA offerings.

For 30 years, Wonderware has led the way with the world’s most innovative industrial software. On Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th November at the International Centre in Telford, UK, SolutionsPT will unveil ‘what’s next’ from Wonderware, showcasing the new software it believes will set the bar in industrial automation.

As well as allowing delegates an exclusive first look at Wonderware’s groundbreaking new SCADA release, the conference will also reveal the latest ‘Software as a Service’ offerings and will unveil the ways in which manufacturers can take a pragmatic approach to the Industrial Internet of Things with networking, data collection and cyber security solutions. The conference will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the exclusive software distribution partnership between SolutionsPT and Wonderware in the UK and Ireland.

Conference timetable

The first day of the event will feature presentations from international keynote speakers, including a product representative from Schneider Electric, and Marc Van Herreweghe, Associate Vice President at the International Data Corporation (IDC), who will provide an industry expert perspective on the future of industrial automation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to listen to presentations from experts on topics including line performance, cloud solutions, disaster resilience and cyber security.

The conference’s Expo area will feature demonstrations of the next generation Wonderware software in action, as well as demonstrations by a number of the SolutionsPT partners, including ACP, Citect and Stratus Technologies. Other partners confirmed to appear at the Expo are ecom instruments, MDT Software, Ocean Data and WIN-911.

On the second day, SolutionsPT will host multiple training workshops, giving guests the opportunity to get hands-on with a variety of systems, including Wonderware Line Performance Suite, Next Generation HMI/SCADA, Wonderware Online and ACP ThinManager, which have all been designed to help build smart and connected industrial environments.

Hosted by SolutionsPT

Sue Roche, General Manager at SolutionsPT, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be able to unveil the next stage of Wonderware software, and demonstrate how the ‘factory of the future’ can become a reality.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAgMAAAAJDE0N2FlYzEwLTMwMzUtNDVkOS04MzgyLWM4MWIzMGRlMTJhNQ“Delegates will be able to experience the next generation of industrial automation and get a first look at cutting-edge software solutions that are making connected, future-proof manufacturing environments a reality. We’re also looking forward to raising a glass to the long-standing relationship between SolutionsPT and Wonderware, and preparing for many more successful years to come.”

The event runs from 9:15am until 5:30pm and includes an evening gala dinner. Overnight accommodation is also available. Those interested in attending should register here:

http://wonderware.co.uk/events-webinars/next-generation-conference

Food & Pharmaceutical Futures

‘Food & Pharmaceutical Futures’ was the title of an ISA Symposium held in Cork, Ireland in March 2016, the first ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Symposium to be held outside North America. Eoin O’Riain reported on the event, which was a major success, in his magazine Read-out.net, and also on-line: his webpage reference is bit.ly/1odd6cZ

Most of his report is re-presented here, as follows:

From the time it was first mooted for Ireland in 2015 the planning for the 3rd ISA Food & Pharmaceutical Symposium was embraced with enthusiasm by the local Ireland Section. This was in Philadelphia early in 2015  and since then the ISA’s Food & Pharma Division under the able directorship of Canadian Andre Michel has ploughed forward, overcoming setbacks and the not inconsiderable distances between North America and the capital of Munster. Chair of the symposium and former Ireland Section President, Dave O’Brien directed a strong committee charged with ensuring that this – the first such international symposium organised by the ISA outside North America – would be a resounding success.

And it was.

Venues were assessed, speakers recruited and the various minutiae associated with organising an international event were discussed, duties assigned and problems solved over many late night transatlantic telephone conferences. Using the experience of the ISA staff in North Carolina and the many years of experience in organising table-top events and conferences in Ireland by the Ireland Section a very creditable event was staged at the Rochestown Park Hotel. With some justification the Symposium Chair could state before the event started “We have assembled a truly outstanding program this year, featuring some of the world’s most accomplished experts in serialization, process optimization, cyber security and alarm management to name a few. These experts will speak on the vital issues affecting food and drug manufacturers and distributors. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this event to Ireland for its first time outside of the United States!”

Indeed upwards of 200 registrands agreed with this view and attended the two day event: a turnout that nearly doubled the attendance at last year’s event in Philadelphia USA. Plus it was noticeable that the bulk of the delegates stayed right up to the completion of the final sessions.

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Technology and Innovation for 2020 Global Demands

Two fluent keynote speakersPaul McKenzie, Senior Vice President, Global Biologics Manufacturing & Technical Operations at Biogen (who addressed “Driving Change Thru Innovation & Standards”) and Dr Peter Martin, VP and Edison Master, Schneider Electric Company (Innovation and a Future Perspective on Automation and Control) may be said to have set the tone. The event was also graced with the presence of ISA International President for 2016 Mr Jim Keaveney.

The technical programme featured 40 presentations, delivered by 33 experts in their fields: a few of the session highlights were as follows:

Serialization

The important subject of serialization which affects all level of the pharmaceutical business especially in view of deadlines in the USA and the EU. From an overview of the need and the technology to a deep dive into the user requirements, this session provided the latest information on the world requirements and helping provide the solution needed in each facility. Speakers, as in most sessions, were drawn from standard, vendor and user organisations as well as state enforcement agencies.

Track & Trace

In the parallel Food thread of the symposium the rôle of track and trace technologies were examined. Product safety, output quality, variability and uniqueness of customer requirements manufacturers are facing increasing demands on the traceability of raw materials, real-time status of manufactured goods and tracking genealogy of products throughout the value chain from single line to the multiple sites of global manufacturers. The evolution of data systems and technologies being offered means greater benefits for Industry and presenters Vision ID and Crest will show these solutions and the advantage of modernization.

116Both conference threads came together for much of the event mirroring the similarity of many of the technologies and requirements of each sector.

Digitalization

Digitalization in industry shows what bringing the worlds of automation and digitalization together provides true and advanced paperless manufacturing with more complex devices and interconnected data systems. This is an enabler to integrated operations within industry. Using MES as a core concept to create a Digital Plant and optimized solutions with data driven services was explained. And a practical example of a plant was discussed showing the journey to paperless manufacturing and a real pharmaceutical strategy of integrating automated and manual operations.

Cybersecurity

Of course this is one of the key topics in automation in this day and age. Without implementing the proper preventative measures, an industrial cyber-attack can contribute to equipment failure, production loss or regulatory violations, with possible negative impacts on the environment or public welfare. Incidents of attacks on these critical network infrastructure and control systems highlight vulnerabilities in the essential infrastructure of society, such as the smart grid, which may become more of a focus for cybercriminals in the future. As well as threats from external sources steps ought to be taken to protect control and automation systems from internal threats which can cripple a company for days or months. This session highlighted the nature of these threats, how systems and infrastructure can be protected, and methods to minimize attacks on businesses.

Automation Challenges for a Greenfield Biotech Facility

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Networking in the coffee break

These were outlined in this session in the pharmaceutical thread. Recent advances in biotechnology are helping prepare for society’s most pressing challenges. As a result, the biotech industry has seen extensive growth and considerable investment over the last number of years. Automation of Biotech plants has become increasingly important and is seen as a key differentiator for modern biotech facilities. Repeatable, data rich and reliable operations are an expectation in bringing products to market faster, monitor and predict performance and ensure right first time delivery. This session provided the most topical trends in automation of biotech facilities and demonstrated how current best practices make the difference and deliver greater value to businesses.

Process Optimization and Rationalization

Meanwhile in the Food & Beverage thread incremental automation improvement keeps competitiveness strong. Corporate control system standardization leads to constant demand for increases in production and quality.

Industry 4.0 (Digital Factory: Automate to Survive)

The fourth industrial revolution is happening! This session asked how Global Industry and Ireland are positioned. What did this mean to Manufacturer’s and Industry as a whole? The use of data-driven technologies, the Internet of things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems all integrate intelligently in a modern manufacturing facility. Enterprise Ireland and the IDA headlined this topic along with the ICMR (Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research) and vendors Rockwell and Siemens.

OEE and Automation Life-cycle

Worldwide today many of the over 60 Billion Euro spend in installed control systems are reaching the end of their useful life. However, some of these controls, operational since the 80’s and 90’s, invested significantly in developing their intellectual property and much of what was good then is still good now. Of course some aspects still need to evolve with the times. This requires funding, time and talent. For quite some time now there has been a skilled automation shortage at many companies leading organizations to outsourcing, partnerships and collaboration with SME’s to help manage the institutional knowledge of their installed control systems.

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Further networking

With corporate leadership sensitive to return to shareholders, plant renovation approval hurdle rates are usually high when it comes to refreshing these control systems. In many manufacturing facilities, engineers and production managers have been asked to cut costs and yet still advance productivity. To solve this dilemma, many world class facilities continue to focus on driving improvements through the use of automation and information technology. Some are finding that using existing assets in conjunction with focused enhancement efforts can take advantage of both worlds. Here we were shown great examples of where innovation and such experiences are helping to create real value for automation modernization.

Alarm management

And of course no matter how sophisticated systems are Alarms are always require and necessary. DCSs, SCADA systems, PLCs, or Safety Systems use alarms. Ineffective alarm management systems are contributing factors to many major process accidents and so this was an important session to end the symposium.

The social aspect of this event was not forgotten, and following a wine reception there was an evening of networking, with music, at the end of the first day.

Training Courses

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Eric Cosman in full flow

On the Wednesday, although the symposium itself was finished there were two formal all day training courses.

  1. Introduction to Industrial Automation Security and the ANSI/ISA-62443 Standards (IC32C – Leader Eric Cosman, OIT Concepts ).
  2. Introduction to the Management of Alarm Systems (IC39C – Leader Nick Sands, DuP0nt).

These, and other, ISA courses are regularly held in North America and the Ireland Section occasionally arranges for them in Ireland.

In Summary

Andre Michel, ISA FPID Director, and President of Efficient Plant Inc, summed up the impressions left by this first such ISA conference outside North America: “This was truly an internationally focused event because it tackled the significant issues and trends in automation affecting the food and pharmaceutical industries on a global scale.”

All in all the Ireland Section and its members may feel very proud in looking back on a very well organised and informative event which in an email from one of the attendees, “Thank you all, It was the best symposium I attended in the last 10 years!”

A new three phase flowmeter

A fascinating technology development now released by Krohne is a new approach to oil, gas and water multi-phase flow measurement. Actually launched last November, maybe because everyone said “What?” the Krohne Academy guys have now come up with an on-line e-learning course – to introduce their M-Phase 5000 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance flowmeter. The name refers to the technology, not to anything remotely nasty like nuclear sources, X-rays or radioactive isotopes – there is nothing like that. In fact there is nothing untoward in the flow tube at all, it is a straight tube with an unobstructed bore, available in sizes from 4 inches down to 2 inches, with an operating turndown of 60:1.

Krohne M5000 2

I first met Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) when fresh out of University, but had not heard of it even then: it was used to make a Magnetometer, to measure the Earth’s magnetic field. Basically you wrap a coil round a bottle of water, to create a strong magnetic field, which lines up all the spins of the hydrogen atoms (the protons). The coil current is then interrupted, and as the protons try to realign themselves with the Earth’s ambient magnetic field, they precess round the direction of this field at a frequency determined by the strength of the field. The weak rotating AC magnetic field from this precession can be measured by a detector coil.

How it works

The NMR principle was discovered in the early 1900s, and as the Krohne introduction says, two Nobel prizes were awarded for research into the topic in 2003, in relation to the soft tissue medical imaging techniques used in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners. Krohne have worked on developing the technique for three phase flow measurement for 10 years, in co-operation with Shell Research and NAM of Rotterdam, a joint Shell/Exxon company. For the last four years this has involved field trials of the first versions, both in labs and in test installations.

kROHNE ACAD 2

 

The final flowmeter can be seen on tinyurl.com/Ptalk-NMR, a 90 second video from Krohne. Horizontally mounted, the meter is about 12 feet long, and contains a glass-reinforced epoxy flow tube within a stainless housing. The first section has three separate magnetising zones, which can be driven separately, and this has the only moving part of the whole meter, a motor to arrange the different modes (this is outside the flow tube). Then the next section is the area where RF pulses are applied to the 3-phase fluid, which can be across the whole pipe or can interrogate horizontal layers across the pipe. This section also has the detectors, which measure the magnetic field transmitted by the protons at the ‘Larmor’ precession frequency, and the amplitude and decay of these signals following various different imposed magnetic field patterns. These different measurements (frequency, amplitude and decay rate) enable the computation of the flow of each of the three phases. Any sand or gravel flow is recorded as gas. At the exit of the flowmeter a separate tapping allows pressure and temperature to be monitored, which is the further data normally required in well test and production allocation applications.

The technique has been previously described in detail at the North Sea Flow Measurement Workshops, for example in 2013.

Operating parameters

The meter uses around 180 Watts of power, but is approved for installation in Zone 1 areas, with all the electronics and power/data connections in flameproof boxes. The fluid temperature can be up to 93°C, and the pressure should be 8 bar minimum for gas measurement duty, 224 bar max. There are no special installation pipe bend restrictions. The flow range is typically 2.5 to 150 m³/hr, and measurement accuracy 3-5% of measured value, after the meter has been set up on site to establish the characteristics of the oil being monitored, using a full pipe static test. The at-line conditions data output can be fed to a flow computer to give totalisation of all three phases, and PVT conversion to refer volumes back to standard conditions.

The Krohne M-Phase 5000 is launched and available for production well metering now, and the Krohne Academy training course is even giving out certificates to confirm you understand the meter operation, once you have done the e-learning training course! Find it on www.academy-online.krohne.com – I passed the test, and have a certificate!

© Nick Denbow, Processingtalk.info

@Processingtalk

49% of UK Engineers want to change jobs in 2016

This is the conclusion of “Investors in People”, the UK organisation that tries to promote better ‘People Management’ in industry. A OnePoll survey of 2000 individuals employed in the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors organised at the end of November found that 25% of employees are currently ‘Quite or Extremely Unhappy’ in their jobs. One in five of the respondents were already actively job hunting. Investors in People consider that 49% of engineers will be looking to move jobs in 2016, as the UK economy improves.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People said: “Small things can make a big difference. Feeling valued, understanding their role in the organisation and how they can grow with an organisation are all big concerns for UK workers.  Saying thank you, involving employees in decisions and giving them responsibility over their work are basic ways to make staff happier, and more likely to stay. Employers also win, with a more committed workforce, higher retention and a clearer view of the future.”

Investors in People have produced a new report “Job Exodus Trends in 2016”, which is available from their website. It shows that one in 5 workers in the engineering and manufacturing sectors are complaining the lack of career progression (21%), a similar number (22%) say they don’t feel valued as a member of staff and nearly a quarter are unhappy with their levels of pay (23%), prompting a potential mass exodus.

The survey tested the respondents’ attitude by asking them to choose between two scenarios – a 3% pay-rise, in line with recent UK increases, or a different non-remuneration benefit:

  • Over a third (36%) said they would prefer a more flexible approach to working hours than a 3% pay-rise;
  • Nearly a third (32%) said they would rather have a clear career progression route;
  • A similar number (29%) would rather their employer invested in their training and development more.

When asked what their employer could do to increase their happiness in their current role,

  • One in 11 (9%) just wanted to be told ‘thank you’ more often;
  • One in 9 (11%) simply wanted more clarity on what their career progression options were.

Without addressing some of these problems, many employers run the risk of losing their valuable, skilled staff, as the economy improves in 2016, concludes Investors in People. See www.investorsinpeople.com/jobexodus2016.

GE event: Improving Profitability with Big Data

In January, GE will launch a new Roadshow at three European centres: London, Paris and Milan. The event title is “Predict for Profit”- the GE Intelligent Platforms business will present their most advanced solutions to allow customers to transform the industrial internet information into reality, to gain valuable insights from the internet “Big Data” available from their processes and machines.

Big Data sets with no apparent value for the enterprise can be transformed into real Insights and information that customers can catch at the right time, and when the correct information is needed for decision makers.

The Industrial Internet is a key part of the GE strategy: it satisfies the need to combine machines, data, insights and people together in a connected infrastructure, a network that can be accessed by all operators regardless of the geographical position of devices and plants.

Every “intelligent” machine generates data that can be captured with the right devices and applications: these data can be represented through metrics along a time gap. The correct analysis and understanding of these data allow operators and managers to anticipate faults before they happen, and to plan the corrective action needed in advance.

The main benefit of predictive analysis is overall cost reduction, – or even cost avoidance – and profit increase, thanks to scheduled maintenance and leaner and more optimized operations.

‘Predict for Profit’ is an unmissable event for users that want to learn real application stories of companies that gained competitive advantage from the quantifiable production, profits and asset management improvements available using GE Solutions. It will be specific for professionals that want to know how to leverage the Big Data asset that each enterprise already owns.

Key insights are often hidden in the data storage, and can be extracted only with specific, user friendly and easy-to-implement Solutions. During these Roadshows, GE will show how to do this, and make Solutions Experts available from different geographical regions to show how it is possible to generate a real technology revolution in the industry.

The Roadshows will take half a day, finishing with a lunch, and will take place in: London on January 27th, Paris on January 28th, and Milan on January 29th. Apply for a place to attend at one of these events via:

http://www.ge-ip.com/ge-predict-profits