Emerson shows off their latest instruments

The Emerson European Exchange User Meeting in Brussels in April 2016 presented their approach to large automation projects, ‘Project Certainty’, as the main thrust of the conference and press event associated with the meeting. This approach will be reported separately: this view of the instrumentation developments on show was the topic of my column about this event, published in the SA I&C Journal in June 2016. The story is shown below.

The Emerson European Exchange

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Maybe half the audience for the first Emerson presentations

The Emerson ‘Global User’s Exchange’, for their customers and potential customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa, was held in Brussels in April. As with all the leading Automation, Control and Instrumentation suppliers in the world, Emerson Process Management has developed this style of single company Expo, because it is difficult to present their whole product range and capability in any commercial, third party exhibition: there would not be enough space. Indeed even in their own dedicated display hall, not all their product capability was on show.

The same is true of the presentations and keynote speeches. The Emerson business is so big, based on large automation projects, that these have to be the main focus of the management comments. The fascinating detailed product and technology developments in temperature, analytical or corrosion instrumentation also on show, did not get top billing, but they were there, in the background.

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I have to declare that I need to understand a product or technology to become enthusiastic about it, and in general I have found instrumentation easier to understand than automation software. Emerson has always put an emphasis on instrumentation, and invested in this by developing or acquiring innovative new techniques and companies in the area – moreso than most of the other majors. Then by adding their own knowledge power, they add interfaces and capability, such as HART and Wireless communications, manufacturing technology, housings and mods for industry-wide approvals. So I am an Emerson fan. But because technology grows, it does become harder to understand the way these instruments actually work! For me, a visit to the Emerson Expo is like opening a treasure chest, filled with ideas and enthusiastic people available to explain their latest kit.

Wireless interfaces link everything

The Emerson dedication to WirelessHART communications with all instrumentation, as a standard option, opens up the possibility of adding modern technology sensors into existing plant and processes without the major hassles of adding new cables.

Emerson 12-3-1550855bRosemount temperature sensors have had a wireless capability from ‘Day 1’ of the wireless era: and various companies made such wireless sensors capable of being clamped or strapped to the outside surface of a pipe, to make them totally non-intrusive, and easily re-positioned. The Rosemount engineers have gone one step further, recognizing the measurement errors possible with an external sensor affected by the environment. They have developed X-well technology, available with a clamp for pipe ODs between 0.5” and 48”, which incorporates a layer of thermal insulation 13mm thick and covering a 12” length of the pipe (this is not shown in the picture). All this helps to bring the temperature sensor measurement closer to the actual pipe contents temperature, but in addition the electronics senses the ambient temperature, and uses a thermal conductivity algorithm to make a further correction, before transmitting the data over the wireless link.

WirelessPressureGaugeSimilarly, Rosemount lateral thinking has applied wireless technology and piezo-resistive pressure measurement to the pressure gauge. This modern design of an ancient instrument replaces the original Bourdon tube measurement element with a modern sensor capsule, which uses the battery power to drive a needle around a 270 degree scale on a 4.5” indicator. Then the WirelessHART connection transmits the actual process pressure to a central monitoring system. This new indicator gauge is much safer than the old design – with two layers of process isolation from the gauge body it can withstand a 150x overpressure, and is much less affected by plant vibration.

Emissions Monitoring

One of the most advanced product ranges demonstrated in Brussels came from Cascade Technologies, of Stirling in Scotland, which was acquired for Rosemount Analytical at the end of 2014. Cascade have developed some clever laser based systems for gas analysis, for example for Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEM) systems, which allows them to measure for multiple gas types simultaneously. In the words of one of the experts they effectively have up to 9 lasers operating at different frequencies in one analyser, enabling monitoring for a similar number of gas concentrations. Similar systems have been used to monitor up to a total of 20 gases simultaneously. Their enthusiastic engineers were saying that following the Emerson involvement in the company they would be launching four new products this year – in fact the next one of these was reported on here, in a ProcessingTalk.info review, last month!

Enardo_950_w-bracketAnother essential, but older, safety and emissions monitoring product range has been updated by the addition of an Emerson WirelessHART data link. In 2013, Emerson acquired Enardo, a Tulsa-based manufacturer of mechanically operated pressure and vacuum relief valves, which are used to protect storage tanks for oil/gas, petrochemical and pharma plants – Enardo is now part of the Fisher Regulators business. These valves relieve the tank vapour pressure when the tank is filled, or the temperature rises, or allow air to enter as the tank is emptied, preventing any pressure damage to the tank walls. But safety concerns and modern emission regulations require the valve actions to be monitored: and with no existing wiring installed to transmit such signals, the WirelessHART systems provide a simple solution.

Corrosion monitoring

It was way back in 2009 when Emerson acquired Roxar of Norway, who then specialised in systems for monitoring offshore wells and oil pipelines. The technology involved in the Roxar sensors has developed a long way: they don’t just use ultrasonic detectors to measure the sound of sand and grit hitting the pipe walls! The ER corrosion sensors use a probe with a thin, exposed electrical conductor embedded in an insulator, inserted in the pipe wall. Corrosion of this element changes the resistance of the conducting path, which is monitored. Various designs are available, to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor. LPR probes are Linear Polarisation Resistance probes, which are electrochemical, so require the presence of a conductive liquid, like water, to function. The current response achieved when a small (10-20mV) known polarisation is applied between the electrodes exposed to the liquid, gives the corrosion rate, using electrochemical theory. These Roxar sensors with their CorrLog electronics are now available with WirelessHART communications, making them much easier to apply to any pipework area that is considered at risk from corrosion – and for modern plants using different sources and compositions of feedstock, the corrosion rates can vary significantly from one batch to the next.

(c) Processingtalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

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Emerson Enardo relief valves get WirelessHART communications

Emerson acquired Enardo, a manufacturer of pressure and vacuum relief valves based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in late 2013. This week saw the launch of a new wireless enabled version of the Enardo pressure and vacuum relief and safety valve used on storage tanks in the oil and gas, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.

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By adding the Smart Wireless monitoring system operating over the Emerson WirelessHART network, the safety valves, normally located on the top of large storage tanks, can easily signal to operators in the control room that they have been triggered to either relieve a pressure or vacuum condition. Such situations can arise as a result of changes in temperature, liquid level, or both, and relief valves are essential to prevent tank over or under-pressure conditions that could lead to structural failure. Enardo pipe-away, vent-to-atmosphere, in-line and end-of-line relief valves are typically installed on storage tanks to control evaporation and fugitive emission losses that result from flammable and hazardous petroleum vapour-producing products. Knowledge of the actuation of such a safety valve enables an immediate response, where needed, to prevent problems which can be related to safety, emissions, and the quality of a tank’s content.

Steve Attri, product manager at Emerson for the Enardo valves, commented: “Until now, PVRVs have remained un-monitored, with none of the feedback loops commonly seen in other pressure control devices. As the tank’s primary pressure control device, this wirelessly-monitored solution can be invaluable.”

Enardo manufactures tank and terminal safety equipment, including hatches, vent, pressure and vacuum relief valves and flame arrestors used in the oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical and other industries. Enardo in-line and stack vent valves have been the oilfield industry standard for more than 80 years.

Prior to the acquisition by Emerson, Enardo had sales of $65m a year, and employed 140 people. It now operates within the Regulator Technologies business, previously known as Fisher Regulators, within Emerson Process Management.

© Nick Denbow ProcessingTalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

New ISA100 and WirelessHART dual gateway

Nivis, a company that specialises in secure, open standard wireless sensing and control networks, has announced the release of the Nivis WirelessHART Gateway, a totally misnamed router for wireless sensor networks of any type: whether WirelessHART or ISA100.11a protocol based. Nivis call it a reliable and secure wireless communication gateway for real world industrial plant applications. Then they get round to mentioning that it is actually an innovative dual protocol solution for low-cost field device communication, based on both the WirelessHART and ISA100.11a standards. The communication stacks and hardware will simultaneously support both protocols and the network wirelessly integrates both types of devices.  As a result, Nivis users can retain complete flexibility to choose whichever wireless sensor style they want to use, and add to their networks as products evolve in the future.  The Nivis Gateway is available now.

The Nivis WirelessHART Gateway (but they don’t mean that really) is quoted to be an integral component in the creation of any wireless network, facilitating communication between host applications and field devices in the network. The Gateway has been successfully tested for interoperability with several WirelessHART adaptors, and other sensors from leading suppliers including Emerson, MACTek and STG. The Gateway is available in two models.

1) VersaRouter 910 (VR910), an all inclusive, fully-brandable, hazardous location certified gateway complete with enclosure.

2) VersaRouter 810 (VR810), a fully integratable and intrinsically safe certified module that is designed to be integrated into custom enclosures as an OEM module.

The VR910 and VR810 employ the Coldfire V4e MCF5485 processor @200MHz and with 64MB of RAM. Both offer Modbus TCP support and come with Nivis Management and Control System (MCS) that allows customers to manage their wireless networks securely and easily. Both products have passed HAZLOC certifications (i.e., ATEX Zone 2, C1D2, etc.) and EMC certifications (i.e., FCC, ETSI, etc.). A complete list of certifications is available upon request.

“The release of the Nivis WirelessHART gateway solidifies our position as an industry leader in secure wireless sensing and control technology,” said Trae Harrison, VP of Sales and Marketing. “The addition of the WirelessHART Gateway to the Nivis product line enables customers to utilize either ISA100.11a or WirelessHART using the same platform.”

Nivis claim to be the world leader in secure, open standard wireless sensing and control networks. Established in 1998, Nivis focuses on research and development of mesh networks and applications supporting mesh networks. From a history in custom engineering to a concentration in commercial and industrial products, Nivis has more than 500 man years of experience in research, development, and implementation of Smart Grid and industrial wireless technology.  Nivis is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with additional offices in Chattanooga, Bucharest and Cluj, Romania. For more information visit http://www.nivis.com.