Hazardous Area Antennas Now Carry NEMA 4X Rating

hazardous area antenna for industrial wireless communications
The CTX and CTM antennas for industrial wireless
communications now carry a NEMA 4X rating
Analynk is well known in the industrial wireless communications field for its hazardous area antennas. Recently, certification was received as RoHS compliant. Analynk has now achieved a NEMA 4X rating for the CTM and CTX hazardous area explosion proof antennas, further expanding the range of applications and solidifying the product's reputation for high performance and ruggedness.

Data sheets for both the CTM and CTX series antennas are provided below, but sharing your industrial wireless communications challenges with the experts at Analynk Wireless is always the best path to an effective solution.



Modern Protection From Lightning Damage to Electrical Equipment

Equipment damage from lightning is estimated to cause $5+ billion dollars of equipment damage in the USA annually; This in spite of grounding and various surge suppression systems. Existing protection is focused on presenting convenient conductive paths to coax the sky's energy away from, or around, facilities and equipment. However, existing technologies cannot protect from L-GPR (Lightning Ground Potential Rise) which is estimated to be responsible for >80% of all lightning damage. This literally is lightning surge “entering” you system through ground!

LightningShield™ manufactured by Alokin Industries employs a patented technology that PREDICTS an impending lightning event, then isolates equipment from the damaging L-GPR PRIOR to and during the lightning event. For full protection: Grounding, Surge Suppression and L-GPR protection are all required. The video below of the LightningShield™ demonstrates how the technology works.

This is why we say, LightningShield™ is

LIGHTNINGSHIELD™PROTECTION FROM THE GROUND UP™

Analynk is a distributor for LightningShield™, providing application support and system configuration for each customer's specific system needs. More details, including case studies, IEEE white papers are available by contacting Analynk Wireless.


Analynk Adds New Distributor in California

company logos for Analynk Wireless and RealTech Controls
Analynk has added a new industrial distributor in California
Analynk Wireless manufactures a comprehensive line of wireless receivers, transmitters, and accessories that enable process operators to establish signal connections across the room, across the plant, and across the globe. The company recently added to their roster of authorized distributors to improve customer contact and support in California.

RealTech Controls, LLC is headquartered in Los Angeles and describes their company as follows:
RealTech Controls, LLC is a leading supplier of High Quality, Reliable Industrial Instrumentation and Control Equipment. 
Our products include: Wireless & Signal Conditioning Transmitters, Intrinsically Safe Devices, Water Treatment Analyzers / Controllers and Dosing Pumps, and Communication Converters.
We offer complimentary, professional advice and consultation, with over 20 years of Industry experience to specify and customize the correct product for your application.
Our industries of specialty are the Oil and Gas, Power, Water and Waste Water, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage, Cement and Process Automation.
Share your wireless connectivity challenges with industrial wireless experts. Combining your process knowledge with their expertise with produce effective solutions. Here, you can learn more about the Analynk product line.

Industrial Wireless as Mainstream Connection Method For Process Measurement

industrial process control wireless transmitter and receiver
Establishing wireless connections for process control operations
is simple, effective, and inexpensive
Wireless connections to process instrumentation has evolved to a point where it is uncomplicated and inexpensive. Many facilities rely on wireless connections, either via a network (wifi) or point to point communications. The benefits of wireless are well known to those already among users of the technology.
  • Safety: Wireless connections can reduce personnel exposure to hazardous environments or situations that previously required human intervention or a manual gauge or instrument reading.
  • Easy Scale-up: Adding points on a network is generally a simple incremental process.
  • Operational Advantage: When deployed to replace manual instrument or gauge readings, real time data for diagnostics and efficiency measurements are now available. Information that is more accurate, timely, and consistent will produce better results.
  • Installation Savings: Installation of wireless connected assets has been reported to be up to 10 times less expensive than wired installation. The reduced space and planning for cables and conduit can make what were once complex and time consuming operations much quicker and easier.
  • Mobility: Wireless technology allows for real time connections to mobile platforms. Whether within a plant, on the road, or on the high seas, there are wireless products that can make the connection.
  • Distance: Don't just think WiFi, think radio, think satellite, think cellular. Connections can be established across very long distances using standard products from the industry.
  • Conversion of Legacy Devices: Many existing in-place devices can have their wired connections replaced with a wireless version. This accommodates a staged transition from wired to wireless in facility.
The transmission is accomplished in either the 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz band, delivering adequate range and power for most facility-wide applications. Obstructions can be overcome with the use of a strategically located repeater. Properly planned and configured, there are few limits to the distance a wireless connection can span.

Point to point wireless connections between, for example, a temperature transmitter and a recorder are easy to create. Most process sensors have very small power requirements, as do the Analynk transmission units. Power, if line voltage is not available at the location, can be provided by batteries, or combination of battery and photovoltaic. The 4-20 mA signal from the temperature transmitter serves as the input signal to the wireless transmitter. The analog signal is converted to a digital value and encrypted prior to transmission. A receiver at the recorder decrypts the digital signal and converts it back to a 4-20 mA analog output that serves as the input signal to the recorder. Wireless transmitter and receiver must be set to the same channel, but otherwise, the equipment handles all the work. If you can find your way around a smart phone, you can make a wireless point to point process connection.

There are likely many applications going unfulfilled because the cost or feasibility of making a wired connection is holding the project back. Reconsider the project using industrial wireless technology and you may find that the project becomes an attractive prospect.

Analynk Wireless designs and manufactures wireless communication equipment and systems for use in commercial and industrial settings. Share your connectivity challenges with the experts at Analynk, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their wireless communications expertise to develop an effective solution.

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey Part 3

electric power plant
Water quality is of great concern to electric power generating
operations, as well as other industrial operations
What we know as “water” can consist of many non-H2O components in addition to pure water. This three part series has touched on some of the constituents of water that are of interest to various industrial processors. The first installment reviewed dissolved oxygen and chloride. The second article covered sulfates, sodium, and ammonia. 

To conclude the three part series on water quality analysis in process control related industrial applications we examine silica, another element which in sufficient quantities can become a confounding variable in water for industrial use. In natural settings, silica, or silicon dioxide, is a plentiful compound. Its presence in water provides a basis for some corrosion-inhibiting products, as well as conditioners and detergents. Problems arise, however, when high concentrates of silica complicate industrial processes which are not designed to accommodate elevated levels. Specifically, silica is capable of disrupting processes related to boilers and turbines. In environments involving high temperature, elevated pressure, or both, silica can form crystalline deposits on machinery surfaces. This inhibits the operation of turbines and also interferes with heat transfer. These deposits can result in many complications, ranging through process disruption, decreased efficiency, and resources being expended for repairs.

The silica content in water used in potentially affected processes needs to be sufficiently low in order to maintain rated function and performance. Silica analyzers provide continuous measurement and monitoring of silica levels. The analyzers detect and allow mitigation of silica in the initial stages of raw material acquisition or introduction to prevent undue disruption of the process. Additionally, a technique called power steam quality monitoring allows for the aforementioned turbine-specific inhibition – related to silica conglomerates reducing efficacy and physical movement – to be curtailed without much issue. The feedwater filtration couples with a low maintenance requirement, resulting in reduced downtime of analytic sequences and a bit of increased peace of mind for the technical operator.

While silica and the other compounds mentioned in this series are naturally occurring, the support systems in place to expertly control the quality of water is the most basic requirement for harvesting one of the earth’s most precious resources for use. As a matter of fact, the identification and control of compounds in water – both entering the industrial process and exiting the industrial process – demonstrates key tenets of process control fundamentals: precision, accuracy, durability, and technological excellence paired with ingenuity to create the best outcome not just one time, but each time.

Analynk Wireless manufactures wireless connectivity solutions for industrial applications and process control. Making cable free connections among process control equipment and instruments, across the room, across the property, across the globe.

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey (Part 2)

industrial process water
Water is a big part of countless industrial operations, either as
an input, part of processing, or a waste product.
It would be difficult to understate the role and importance of water in industrial processing, even our own biological existence. In the first installment of this series, the roles of dissolved oxygen and chlorides were covered.

Continuing the examination of water quality monitoring in municipal and industrial processes, another key variable which requires monitoring for industrial water use is sulfate. Sulfate is a combination of sulfur and oxygen, salts of sulfuric acid. Similarly to chlorides, they can impact water utilization processes due to their capability for corrosion. The power generation industry is particularly attuned to the role of sulfates in their steam cycle, as should be any boiler operator. Minerals can concentrate in steam drums and accelerate corrosion. Thanks to advancements in monitoring technology, instruments are available which monitor for both chlorides (covered in the previous installment in this series) and sulfates with minimal supervision needed by the operator, ensuring accurate detection of constituent levels outside of an acceptable range. Ionic separation technologies precisely appraise the amount of sulfate ions in the stream, allowing for continuous evaluation and for corrective action to be taken early-on, avoiding expensive repairs and downtime. 

Another substance worthy of measurement and monitoring in process water is sodium. Pure water production equipment, specifically cation exchange units, can be performance monitored with an online sodium analyzer. Output from the cation bed containing sodium, an indication of deteriorating performance, can be diverted and the bed regenerated. Steam production and power generation operations also benefit from sodium monitoring in an effort to combat corrosion in turbines, steam tubes, and other components. Sodium analyzers are very sensitive, able to detect trace levels. 

Ammonia is comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen and, while colorless, carries a distinct odor. Industries such as agriculture utilize ammonia for fertilizing purposes, and many other specializations, including food processing, chemical synthesis, and metal finishing, utilize ammonia for their procedural and product-oriented needs. An essential understanding of ammonia, however, includes the fact that the chemical is deadly to many forms of aquatic life. Removing ammonia from industrial wastewater is a processing burden of many industries due to the environmental toxicity. 

Methods for removing ammonia from wastewater include a biological treatment method called ‘conventional activated sludge’, aeration, sequencing batch reactor, and ion exchange. Several methods exist for in-line or sample based measurement of ammonia concentration in water. Each has particular procedures, dependencies, and limitations which must be considered for each application in order to put the most useful measurement method into operation. 

As water is an essential part of almost every facet of human endeavor and the environment in which we all dwell, the study and application of related analytics is an important component of many water based processes. The variety of compounds which can be considered contaminants or harmful elements when dissolved or contained in water presents multiple challenges for engineers and process operators.

Analynk Wireless manufactures wireless connectivity solutions for industrial applications and process control. Making cable free connections among process control equipment and instruments, across the room, across the property, across the globe.

Water Quality - Constituents That Impact Industrial Operations (Part 1)

aerial view of sewage treatment plant
Sewage treatment plants are only one of many applications
where water quality is a concern.
Of all the raw materials available for human consumption – aside from the air we breathe – the most vital component of life on earth is water. In addition to the global need for humans to drink water in order to survive, the use of water is essential in a myriad of industries relating to process control. Whether the goal is the production or monitoring of pure water for industrial use, or the processing of wastewater, the ability to measure the presence and level of certain chemical constituents of water is necessary for success.

In order to use water properly, industrial professionals combine state of the art analyzers with technical expertise to evaluate water quality for use or disposal. Two essential values of process control are ensuring elements of a control system are accurate and secure, and, furthermore, that they are accurate and secure for each product every time. By properly vetting water in industry, engineers and other personnel in fields such as pharmaceuticals, chemical, food & beverage, brewing, power, and microelectronics are able to maintain standards of production excellence and conform with regulatory requirements related to water quality.

The amount of dissolved oxygen present in water can correlate with the degree of movement at an air-water interface, also being impacted by pressure, temperature, and salinity. Excessive or deficient dissolved oxygen levels in industrial process waters may have an impact on process performance or end product quality. Likely, the most common application for dissolved oxygen measurement is in the evaluation of wastewater for biological oxygen demand. The primary function of dissolved oxygen in wastewater is to enable and enhance the oxidation of organic material by aerobic bacteria, a necessary step in treatment.

To measure dissolved oxygen, specialized sensors and companion instruments are employed that require careful maintenance and trained technical operators. The level of measurement precision varies depending on the industry employing the technology, with numerous applications also being found in the food & beverage and pharmaceutical industries. In-line continuous measurement is used in wastewater processing to determine if the dissolved oxygen remains in a range that supports the bacteria necessary for biodegradation.

Chloride concentration in wastewater is strictly regulated. Industrial and commercial operation effluent can be regulated with respect to allowable chloride content. While commonly found in both streams and wastewater, chlorides, in large amounts, can present challenges to water utilization or processing facilities. Chloride levels impact corrosion, conductivity, and taste (for industries in which such a variable is paramount). In a process system, having an essential component marred due to elevated quantities of a substance could reverberate into any end-product being manufactured. Chloride analyzers, some of which can also detect and monitor other water characteristics, serve as important tools for water consuming facilities to meet regulatory standards for effluent discharge or internal quality standards for recycling.

There are other constituents of what we refer to as “water” that are subject to measurement and monitoring for a range of institutional, industrial, and municipal applications. Those will be explored in the next part of this article series.

Analynk Wireless manufactures wireless connectivity solutions for industrial applications and process control. Making cable free connections among process control equipment and instruments, across the room, across the property, across the globe.



Continuous Liquid Level Measurement Technologies Used in Industry

crude oil storage tanks
Process measurement connectivity with wireless technology
is suitable for almost any application 
Although continuous level measurement technologies have the ability to quantify applications for bulk solids, slurries, and granular materials, this article will focus on level measurement technologies applied to liquid level measurement utilized in process control. A distinction should be made between continuous level measurement and point level measurement. Point level measurement acts like a switch, changing state when a single level condition is achieved. Called “transmitters,” continuous liquid level measurement devices employ technologies ranging from hydrostatics to magnetostriction, providing uninterrupted signals that indicate the level of liquid in a vessel, tank, or other container.

Hydrostatic devices focus on the equilibrium of dynamic and static liquids. There are three main types of hydrostatic transmitters: 1) displacer, 2) bubbler, and 3) differential pressure.

The displacer transmitters utilize a float placed within the liquid container. With its buoyancy characterized to the liquid and the application, the float, a connecting stem, and a range spring or similar counterbalance represents the liquid level in terms of the movement of the displacer (float). The displacement, or movement, of the assembly is converted into an electric signal for use by the monitoring and control system.

Bubbler transmitters are used for processing vessels that operate at atmospheric pressure. This method introduces a purge gas or an inert gas, e.g. air or dry nitrogen, into a tube extending into the liquid vessel. Precise measurement of the pressure exerted on the gas in the dip tube by the liquid in the tank is used to determine the height of the liquid.

Differential pressure (DP) transmitters rely directly on, in a basic explanation, the pressure difference between the bottom and top of the container. Precise pressure measurement is used to determine the height of the liquid in the tank. One of the most advantageous aspects of DP transmitters is that they can be used in pressurized containers.

Other examples of level transmitter technologies which are not hydrostatic devices include magnetostrictive, capacitance, ultrasonic, laser, and radar.

In magnetostrictive level transmitters the measuring device, a float, has a magnet that creates a magnetic field around a wire enclosed in a tube. Electrical pulses sent down the wire by the transmitter head produce a torsional wave related to the position of the float, which moves with changes in liquid surface level. The transit time of the torsion wave back to the sensing head is measured and the depth of the liquid, as indicated by the float position, can be determined.

Capacitance transmitters are best applied to liquids that have high dielectric constants. Essentially, changes in the capacitance of the sensor / tank / liquid assembly will vary proportionately with the liquid level. The change in capacitance is measured and converted to an appropriate electrical signal.

Ultrasonic level transmitters emit ultrasonic energy from the top of the vessel toward the liquid. The emissions are reflected by the liquid surface and them time required for the signal to return to the source is used to determine the distance to the liquid surface.

Laser level transmitters operate similarly to an ultrasonic level transmitter. However, instead of using ultrasound signals, they use pulses of light.

Radar level transmitters involve microwaves emitting downward from the top of the container to the liquid’s surface. The measured time for receipt of a return sign reflecting off the liquid surface enables calculation of the distance from the sensor to the liquid surface.

The precise measurement of transmit time for a wave or pulse of energy is employed in several of the technologies, the measurement of pressure in others. Each technology has a set of attributes making it an advantageous selection for a particular range of applications.

Analynk Wireless provides connectivity solutions enabling the wireless transmission of measurement data across the room, across the property, across the globe. Share your process measurement and control connectivity challenges with the experts at Analynk for a solution that is simple to implement and cost effective.

Wireless Communications Deliver Real Time Process Data From Remote Operating Sites

communications satellite orbiting the earth
No distance is too near or far for industrial wireless
communications
Oil is where you find it, with many prospecting and production sites located where the communication options taken for granted in developed areas do not exist. Oil is big and serious business, with tremendous sums of money at risk on the prospect of reaping even greater returns. Every business operation, though, is of great importance to the stakeholders. Countless operations in little known industries and endeavors are located beyond the boundaries of modern communications infrastructure. 
If you want a data connection, bring your own.
Remote operating sites, whether for oil extraction or other purposes, will often be automated. Some decision making system or individual is responsible for the safe and effective operation of the remote site, or has a use or need for real time data being gathered at the remote site. Radio transmission is a viable, maybe the best, option for delivering real time data from a remote site to a central office.
  • Transmission options for 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, cellular, and satellite systems are readily available.
  • Equipment operates on low voltage, low power. Suitable for solar or other remote site power source.
  • No special instrumentation needed. Radio transmitting and receiving equipment interfaces directly with analog signals from common industrial process transmitters.
  • No "across the land" cabling needed.
  • Equipment can be configured to resist extreme environmental conditions.
Analynk manufactures transmission and receiving equipment that builds the bridge between remote sites and the home office. From elemental componentry to integrated, ready to run systems, Analynk specializes in wireless communications for industrial process control. Contact us with your wireless challenges. Whether an expansive multipoint, or a single point application, the specialists at Analynk can combine standard or customized products into a practical solution for every application.

One Transmitter, One Receiver, Multiple Process Signals

Multiple input output module connects to single receiver or transmitter
A16000 Multiple I/O Module
Analynk
Radio frequency (RF) communications can enable the establishment or cost effective, quick, process signal connections across very small or very large distances. A misconception arises, from time to time, that it is necessary to have a dedicated transmitter and receiver for each process signal. Analynk has a solution that provides for delivery of up to sixteen process signals over a single transmission path.

Wireless transmission of process control signals is steadily increasing in prevalence throughout commercial, institutional and industrial settings. The ease of implementation, with no long cable runs to plan, layout, install, protect, and maintain, allows wireless installations to fulfill application niches that may have been considered impractical in the past.

Analynk provides hardware that easily allows the transmission and reception of up to 16 I/O points using a single transmitter and receiver. The A16000 Expansion Module can be configured with up to four internal cards that accommodate various types of input and output signals. The process is similar to setting up the I/O on a PLC. Connect the process signals to the A16000, and the A16000 to one of Analynk's transmitter or receiver devices. Setup is straight forward and allows the installation to be operable in minimal time.

Share your wireless communications and signal transmission challenges with the experts at Analynk and get recommendations on how to best implement workable solutions.


Automation and Grain Processing

grain storage silos
Grain processing benefits from automation and industrial wireless
The grain industry serves as an example of industrial process control, where standards are maintained at a constant rate for product delivery. Automation in grain processing provides both safety and efficiency by supporting the product delivery process. Historically, the grain production process has been hazardous, with industry workers subject to harsh conditions and potential risks associated with the grain, such as flammable grain dust. The transition from manual labor to automation has become the industry’s essential shift, with automation now a staple in harvesting, milling, and handling grain. The developers of automation components seek to mitigate production ineffectiveness and inventory miscalculations. Solids level transmitters, responsible for continuously monitoring the amount of grain in potentially hazardous environments, are a reliable replacement for employees at a silo’s peak.

Thanks to developments in technology, the implementation of sustainable automation does not need to come at the expense of company profit. A sole driver needs to control automation operations when dealing with grain handling, meaning that the number of employees put at risk via that stage in the process is substantially reduced. In order to keep track of inventory, automated management tracks not only the levels of grain inside silos but also where materials are located throughout the production facility. Grain sensors allow for the constant communication of how much grain is being moved through grain elevators and terminals. Instrumentation measures level, weight, and flow of solid grain while maintaining process protection.

Grain terminals allow for grain to be unloaded into hoppers, and then conveyors transfer those hoppers to the elevators. Cleaning drying, and blending machinery all employ automation, reducing the risks presented to employees. Truck and rail load-outs need to be close to target levels, because overloading or under-loading transport results in product loss. Preventing the loss of time and physical resources is a key element of automation. Radar transmitters cut through dust in silos to deliver reliable information back to the process operators. Ultrasonic instrumentation matches with point level technology to indicate when grain levels are high or low.

The handling and blending of raw materials can be monitored by solid flowmeters, with high accuracy still applicable in more compact spaces. A similar solid flowmeter ensures the accuracy of the flow rate and weight of solids measured in bulk, and can also be used in tandem with flow and weigh feeders to keep each individual load of grain consistently accurate. The applications of automation throughout the grain production process have evolved into a reliable means of reducing employee risk while ensuring accuracy and increasing throughput.

Grain operations cover large areas. A reliable, flexible, and cost saving way to establish the needed process control connections throughout the facility is via industrial wireless. Connections between measurement instruments and control units can be created across very long distances without the need to install conduit and cabling. Connections can be created quickly and reliably, with flexibility to increase throughput as more stations or sensors are needed. Equipment is suitable for general or hazardous locations. Contact an industrial wireless communications expert for help in developing connections on your project.





Diaphragm Seals Protect Industrial Pressure Gauges and Transmitters

industrial pressure gauge with diaphragm seal installed
Industrial pressure gauge with diaphragm seal installed
Courtesy Wika
Pressure measurement is a common element of industrial operations and control systems. Fluid processing can often involve media that is potentially harmful to pressure sensing devices. The media may be corrosive to the sensor material, or other media properties may impact the performance or usable life of the instrument. In process control environments, diaphragm seals play a role in protecting items like pressure sensors from damage by process fluids. The diaphragm seal is a flexible membrane that seals across the connecting path to a sensor and isolates the sensor from the process media. System pressure crosses the barrier without inhibition, enabling accurate measurement, but the process fluid does not. Typical materials composing diaphragm seals are elastomers, with a wide variety of specific materials available to accommodate almost every application.

In the operating principle of the diaphragm seal, the sealed chamber created between the diaphragm and the instrument is filled with an appropriate fluid, allowing for the transfer of pressure from the process media to the protected sensor. The seals are attached to the process by threaded, open flange, sanitary, or other connections. Diaphragm seals are sometimes referred to as chemical seals or gauge guards. Stainless steel, Hastelloy, Monel, Inconel, and titanium are used in high pressure environments, and some materials are known to work better when paired with certain chemicals.

Sanitary processes, such as food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals, use diaphragm seals to prevent the accumulation of process fluid in pressure ports, a possible source of contamination. If such a buildup were to occur, such as milk invading and lodging in a port on a pressure gauge, the resulting contamination compromises the quality and purity of successive batches. Extremely pure process fluids, like ultra-pure water, could be contaminated by the metal surface of a process sensor. Some pneumatic systems rely on the elimination of even the smallest pressure fluctuations, and diaphragm seals prevent those by ensuring the separation of the process materials from the sensors.

Diaphragm seals are not without some application concerns, and devices are now built to address and counter many potential issues related to the use of diaphragm seals with process monitoring instruments and equipment. Products seek to eliminate any and all dead space, allow for continuous process flow, and are self-cleaning thanks to continuous flow design. Some high pressure seals come equipped with anti-clogging features, accomplished by the elimination of internal cavities while protecting gauges. Multi-purpose seals reduce temperature influence and improve instrument performance while pinpointing and diffusing areas of high stress. These pre-emptive measures result in longer instrument life-cycles and improved performance while ensuring protection from corrosion.

There are numerous options and available diaphragm seal variants. Share your application specifics with a product specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution. Analynk Wireless manufactures industrial wireless communications equipment and process transmitters.

Tachometer Transmitter for Industrial Process Measurement and Control

industrial motor pump assembly
Tachometer transmitters deliver rotational speed signals
Analynk Wireless, in addition to producing their line of products for establishing wireless connections among industrial process measurement and control devices, manufactures an extensive array of wired products. The wired products are useful in establishing similar connections between sensors and the devices or instruments that will utilize their output signals. The transmitters are available with a wide array of input and output combinations, as well as several enclosure options. Enclosures can be customized to meet specific installation challenges.

The tachometer transmitter will convert the pulse signal from a tachometer into a linear signal representing rotational speed. There are many applications where a frequency output from a tachometer or other sensor needs conversion to a 4-20 mA or other common signal for use by a monitoring instrument. Analynk provides transmitters to easily convert almost any sensor signal to a linear voltage or current output. A data sheet is included below that provides more detail about one of the many transmitters available from Analynk.

Share your connectivity challenges with the process signal transmission experts at Analynk. Effective solutions come through consultation and cooperation.


Antennas In Industrial Wireless

explosion proof antenna for industrial wireless communications in hazardous areas
Explosion proof antenna for industrial wireless
communications in hazardous locations
Analynk Wireless
Wireless field instrumentation has played a growing role in the process control industry since its introduction. Digital instrumentation has become the industry standard thanks to advantages in communicability, durability, cost effectiveness, and integration. WirelessHART maintains, and even exceeds, the operating efficiency of wired systems without sacrificing security. Other protocols for industrial communications also operate in the process control space, each providing an operable solution for wireless connectivity. All utilize a common signal path that is worth understanding, if you are involved in process measurement and control…radio

Communicating information over long distances through open space is achieved by radio systems using electromagnetic fields. The common radio wave comprises oscillating electric and magnetic fields to generate electromagnetic radiation. The three most common antenna designs are the half-wave dipole antenna, the quarter-wave whip antenna, and the five element yagi antenna. The dipole and whip antennas are engineered to adeptly receive electromagnetic waves from all directions perpendicularly aligned with their axes. The yagi antenna, on the other hand, boasts director and reflector elements to increase its directionality. Thanks to this directionality, the yagi is best applicable in radar and point-to-point communications. The dipole and whip, also known as omnidirectional antennas, are better in situations where equal sensitivity is required in multiple directions instead of a pinpoint system.

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems find uses for both yagi and dipole antennas. The dimensions of particular antennas are directly related to signal wavelength because radio antennas work at maximum efficiency when in conditions of electrical resonance. The actual size of the antenna allows for a certain electrical resonance frequency. Low frequency antennas are larger, and higher frequency antennas are smaller. A quarter-wave whip antenna designed as part of a 900 MHz transceiver application, in industry, would be around 8.3 centimeters. The same antenna design for an AM radio broadcast transmission operating at 550 KHz would be around 136 meters. These antenna parameters are specific to both the conditions the antenna operates under and the related frequency being measured.

Industrially designed yagi antennas are built to preserve the reliability of wireless monitoring, even in harsh environments. Oil and gas companies, water districts and progressive utilities can monitor Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) from a centralized location. The major challenge facing radio wireless monitoring today is the maximization of uptime in difficult environments. The challenge is being addressed by the development of antennas which can pair with National Electrical Manufacturers Association RTU enclosures. Protecting against dust and rain, wind, splashing water, and hose-directed water are some of the ways product developers are responding to industry reported client concerns. Additionally, industrial environments can present hazards that require the use of specially enclosed antennas to eliminate the potential for ignition of flammable atmosphere. Similarly, dipole antenna manufacturers are adapting to challenging environments by designing antennas specific to the application needs of industry customers.

Analynk Wireless provides solutions for establishing wireless connections in industrial settings. You can learn more about the company at their website.

Install Aruba AP-324 Wireless Access Point in Hazardous Area


wireless access point enclosure for hazardous location
Analynk AP619 wireless access point enclosure
Analynk Wireless expands its already extensive line of wireless access point enclosures for hazardous industrial locations. The recent addition is the model AP619, specially equipped to house the Aruba AP-324 dual band access point.

Analynk access point enclosures accommodate specific wireless access points from a range of manufacturers, facilitating easy installation. Every model includes UL listed explosion proof antennas, a mounting bracket custom tailored for the access point equipment, and RF cables to make the antenna connections. Enclosures have penetrations located to match up with the specified access point. Models are included to house a range of units from Symbol, Cisco, Meru, Aruba, HP, and Motorola, with more models added regularly to accommodate additional wireless access points.

 Analynk Wireless specializes in industrial wireless communications. Your wireless communication challenges are welcome at Analynk, so make contact and share your requirements. Combining your process expertise with Analynk's product specialization will produce an effective solution.

The datasheet for the new model is provided below. You can see all the models and their companion access points on the Analynk site.


Video From Analynk Wireless



Analynk Wireless manufactures equipment used to establish wireless connections among process measurement and control devices. Receivers, transmitters,repeaters, antennas, and other devices can be used to easily establish connections between standard industrial process control instrumentation. Single and multiple point installations can be accommodated. Analynk also provides wireless access point enclosures and antennas for hazardous locations.

Analynk gear enables customers to create wireless connections across the room, across the street, and across the globe. Share your wireless connection ideas and challenges with the experts at Analynk. The combination of your process knowledge and their wireless communication expertise will lead to an effective solution.

Wireless Transmitters In Process Measurement and Control

power plant with wireless process control
Opportunities for cost effective wireless process control
connections are everywhere
In process control, different devices produce signals which represent flow, temperature, pressure, and other measurable elements of the control process. In order to travel from the measurement point to the point of decision, also known as the controller, systems have traditionally relied on wires. More recently, wireless networks used in industry have evolved, especially since point-to-point systems were introduced to process environments. The standard operating procedure today is known as the Wireless HART™ protocol, which features the same hallmarks of control and diagnostics featured in wired systems without an accompanying wire.

Wireless devices and wired devices can cohabitate the same network. The installation costs of wireless networks is vastly lower than wired networks due to the fact wireless networks need much less hardware. Wireless networks are also more efficient than their wired peers in regards to auxiliary measurements, involving measurement of substances at several points. Adding robustness to wireless, self-organizing networks is easy, because when new wireless components are introduced to a network, they can link to the existing network without needing to be reconfigured manually. Gateways can accommodate between 50 and 100 devices, allowing a very elastic range for expansion.

In a coal fired plant, plant operators walk a tightrope in monitoring multiple elements of the process. They calibrate limestone feed rates in conjunction with desulfurization systems, using target values determined experientially. The difficult process environment results from elevated slurry temperatures, and the associated pH sensors can only last for so long under such conditions. Thanks to the expandability of wireless transmitters, the incremental cost is reduced thanks to the flexibility of installation of new measurement loops. In regards to maintenance, the status of wireless devices are consistently transmitted alongside the process variables. Fewer manual checks are needed, and preventative measures are infrequent compared to wired networks. The minimization of overtime and staff instruction correlates with a maintenance of precise process control.

Time Synchronized Mesh Protocol (TSMP) ensures perfect timing for individual transmissions, which lets every transmitter’s radio and processor ‘rest’ between either sending or receiving a transmission. To compensate for the lack of a physical wire, in terms of security, wireless networks are equipped with a combination of authentication, encryption, verification, and key management. The amalgamation of those fail-safes makes for the security of wireless networks equal to that of a wired system. The multilayered approach, anchored by gateway key-management, presents a defense sequence. Thanks to the advancements in modern field networking technology, interference due to noise from other networks has been minimized to the point of being a rare concern. Even with the rarity, fail-safes are included in Wireless HART™.

All security functions are handled by the network autonomously, meaning manual configuration is unnecessary. In addition to process control environments, power plants will typically use two simultaneous wireless networks. Transmitters allow both safety showers and eyewash stations to trigger an alarm at the point of control when activated. Thanks to reduced cost, and their ease of applicability in environments challenging to wired systems, along with their developed performance and security, wireless instrumentation is altering process control environment monitoring for the better.

Analynk Wireless specializes in making wireless connections among process measurement and control equipment in the industrial arena.

Standalone Process Temperature Controllers

industrial control panel
The regulation of temperature is a common operation throughout many facets of modern life. Environmental control in commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings, even residential spaces, uses the regulation of temperature as the primary measure of successful operation. There are also countless applications for the control of temperature found throughout manufacturing, processing, and research. Everywhere that temperature needs to be regulated, a device or method is needed that will control the delivery of a heating or cooling means.

For industrial process applications, the temperature control function is found in two basic forms. It can reside as an operational feature within a programmable logic controller or other centralized process control device or system. Another form is a standalone process temperature controller, with self-contained input, output, processing, and user interface. Depending upon the needs of the application, one may have an advantage over the other. The evolution of both forms, integrated and standalone, has resulted in each offering consistently greater levels of functionality.

There are two basic means of temperature control, regardless of the actual device used. Open loop control delivers a predetermined amount of output action without regard to the process condition. Its simplicity makes open loop control economical. Best applications for this type of control action are processes that are well understood and that can tolerate a potentially wide variation in temperature. A change in the process condition will not be detected, or responded to, by open loop control. The second temperature control method, and the one most employed for industrial process control, is closed loop.

Closed loop control relies on an input that represents the process condition, an algorithm or internal mechanical means to produce an output action related to the process condition, and some type of output device that delivers the output action. Closed loop controllers require less process knowledge on the part of the operator than open loop to regulate temperature. The controllers rely on the internal processing and comparison of input (process temperature) to a setpoint value. The difference between the two is the deviation or error.  Generally, a greater error will produce a greater change in the output of the controller, delivering more heating or cooling to the process and driving the process temperature toward the setpoint.

A standalone temperature controller can fulfill multiple functions. In addition to controlling the target process temperature, controllers can be configured with data logging, alarm outputs, programmed changes to setpoints, auxiliary outputs for on/off functions, and a detailed HMI to provide data entry or a display of the process condition. Locating the controller near the process can be useful when technicians or operators need to monitor the process or effect a change in the controller setpoint. Local controllers can be connected via wired or wireless communications to other monitoring and control devices. Wireless communications are easily accomplished using Analynk's transmitters and receivers to cover distances from inches to miles.

The current product offering for standalone closed loop temperature controllers ranges from very simple on/off regulators to highly developed products with multiple inputs and outputs, as well as many auxiliary functions and communications. The range of product features almost assures a unit is available for every application. Evaluating the staggering range of products available and producing a good match between process requirements and product capabilities can be facilitated by reaching out to a process control products specialist. Combine your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solution options.



Analynk's Newest Wireless Access Point Enclosure for Hazardous Areas

hazardous area wireless access point enclosure
New Model AP-621
Hazardous Area Wireless
Access Point Enclosure
Analynk Wireless has added again to its line of wireless access point enclosures for hazardous industrial locations. The access point enclosures are specifically targeted and designed to house specific wireless access points from a range of manufacturers, facilitating easy installation. Every model is provided with UL listed explosion proof antennas, a mounting bracket designed for the access point equipment, and RF cables to make the antenna connections. Enclosures have penetrations specifically located to accommodate the specified access point. Models are included to house a range of units from Symbol, Cisco, Meru, Aruba, HP, and Motorola, with more models added regularly to accommodate additional wireless access points.

The most recent addition is the model AP621 which accomodates  the Aruba AP-214 dual band access point. Analynk Wireless specializes in industrial wireless communications. Your wireless communication challenges are welcome at Analynk, so make contact and share your requirements. Combining your process expertise with Analynk's product specialization will produce an effective solution.

The datasheet for the new model is provided below. You can see all the models and their companion access points on the Analynk site.


Severe Service Valves

steel industrial piping and valves
Careful matching of process valves to intended use
results in better and longer service
Industrial process control applications can be associated with some very stringent and challenging performance requirements for the physical equipment and components that are part of the process chain. In fluid based operations, the control and shutoff valves can be a significant impact point of extreme fluid conditions, requiring careful design and selection consideration to assure proper performance and safety levels are predictably maintained.

Industrial valves that are intended for application at the extremes are generally referred to as severe service valves. While there are plenty of published and accepted standards for industrial valves, one does not exist to precisely define a severe service valve. There is, however, some movement toward the development of severe service standards in some industry segments.

So, how do you know when to focus valve selection activities on severe service valves, as opposed to general purpose valves? There are a number of basic criteria that might point you in that direction:
  • Very extreme media or environmental temperature
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid and extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • High number of mechanical operations
  • Thermal cycling
Certainly, any of these criteria might be found in an application serviceable by a general purpose valve, but their presence should be an indicator that a closer assessment of the fluid conditions and commensurate valve requirements is in order. The key element for a process stakeholder is to recognize when conditions are in evidence that might overrun the capabilities of a general purpose valve, leading to premature failure in control performance or catastrophic failure that produces an unsafe condition. Once the possibility of a severe service condition is identified, a careful analysis of the possible operating conditions will reveal the performance requirements for the valve.

There are numerous manufacturers of severe service valves, each seeming to concentrate on a particular niche. You can always get more information, or discuss your special requirements, with a valve specialist. They have access to technical resources that can help with selecting the right valve configuration to meet your severe service applications.

Analynk Wireless designs and manufactures equipment that establishes wireless connections among process measurement and control devices.

Wireless Temperature Monitoring System Assures Safety in Firefighter Training Facility

firefighting training building burn building
Firefighters training at a burn building
Courtesy Fire Facilities
Fire Facilities designs and manufactures live firefighting training towers and buildings, referred to as burn buildings. Firefighters train in these structures honing their personal skills and developing team strategies for combating fires under live burn conditions. The training, because of the live fire in the structure, can be dangerous. Procedures and equipment are in place to minimize the risk posed to the training professionals.

Analynk Wireless designed and manufactures part of the safety and monitoring system for the Fire Facilities training structures. The system is suitable for worldwide use, as are the training structures. Sixteen temperature monitoring locations are established in the structure and monitored using the pyrometer developed by Analynk. The monitoring station provides alarm notification if the temperature in any of the monitored zones exceeds the level at which trainees can safely enter the area.
  • Monitor up to 16 channels of thermocouple input
  • Local temperature display on touchscreen HMI
  • Audible and flashing local alarm, plus relay contacts for connection of external devices
  • WiFi connection to smart phone or tablet for remote viewing of all operating information
  • Data logging of each channel to USB drive
  • Cloud connection for view access from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Email and text alerts
  • Monitoring station has NEMA 4 rating and is suitable for installation and operation in environments to -40 degrees
The Fire Facilities Pyrometer is another example of Analynk's capabilities in designing and building engineered products for specific applications. Share your process control product development challenges with the experienced professionals at Analynk, combining your concept with their design and engineering expertise to develop top flight product solutions.
pyrometer fire facilities

Case Study From CSB - Industrial Plant Heat Exchanger Failure

Shell and tube heat exchangers at industrial plant
Shell and tube heat exchangers at industrial plant
Industrial accidents, whether minor or catastrophic, can serve as sources of learning when analyzed and studied. Operators, owners, and technicians involved with industrial chemical operations have a degree of moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to conduct work in a reasonably and predictably safe manner without endangering personnel, property, or the environment. Part of a diligent safety culture should include reviewing industrial accidents at other facilities. There is much to learn from these unfortunate events, even when they happen in an industry that may seem somewhat removed from our own.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, or CSB, is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. Below, find one of their video reenactments and analysis of an explosion that occurred at a Louisiana chemical processing plant in 2013. A portion of the reenactment shows how a few seemingly innocuous oversights can combine with other unrecognized conditions that result in a major conflagration.

Check out the video and sharpen your sense of awareness for potential trouble spots in your own operation.

Industrial Wireless Communications Using a Single Transmitter and Multiple Receivers

water treatment plant
Water treatment plant
In planning a wireless installation for connecting process measurement instruments and equipment to monitoring and control stations, keep in mind that it is not necessary to maintain a one-to-one relationship among receivers and transmitters. A transmitter broadcasts the process signal on a designated channel. All the receiving devices set to that channel will receive the 256 bit encrypted signal. Each can decrypt the signal and convert the value to a common industrial analog signal for use as needed. The key takeaway is to recognize that once the process signal is transmitted, you have the ability to receive and use the signal anywhere within range of the transmitter. Effective range can extend from a few feet to several miles.

The beneficial applications for industrial wireless are limited only by your imagination and ingenuity. Share your ideas and challenges with the industrial wireless experts at Analynk, combining your own process knowledge with their application expertise to develop an effective solution.
wireless industrial communications with multiple receivers and one transmitter

Wireless Communications For Process Control

The incidence of wireless connections between process measurement devices and their monitoring and control stations has been expanding for years, with costs receding and performance increasing. Designers, engineers, and operators of industrial processes and facilities continue to find new applications and create continuous wireless connections to devices and equipment that were previously isolated by distance or other barriers. They are also saving cost, promoting flexibility, and reducing "clutter" in facilities by eliminating cables, conduits, and junction boxes previously used to transmit measurement signals between instruments and control or recording gear.

Analynk Wireless builds the wireless transmission and receiving equipment needed to establish connections among your process measurement and control equipment and instruments. Transmitters, receivers, and repeaters that are rugged and uncomplicated in their application. Share your wireless connectivity challenges with the experts at Analynk, combining your process knowledge with their technical expertise to develop an effective solution.


New Wireless Access Point Enclosure For Hazardous Areas

hazardous area wireless access point enclosure
New Model AP622 Access Point Enclosure
Analynk manufactures enclosures for industrial wireless access points, facilitating their installation in hazardous locations. Each access point enclosure is specifically targeted and designed to provide easy installation of specific wireless access points from a range of manufacturers. Every model is provided with UL listed explosion proof antennas, a mounting bracket designed for the target access point, and RF cables to make the antenna connections. Enclosures have penetrations specifically located to accommodate the target access point.The current offering accommodates a range of units from Symbol, Cisco, Meru, Aruba, HP, and Motorola, with more models added regularly to accommodate additional wireless access points.

The newly added AP622 is designed for the Aruba AP-304 dual band access point. Analynk Wireless specializes in industrial wireless communications. Your wireless communication challenges are welcome at Analynk, so make contact and share your application requirements. Combining your process expertise with Analynk's product specialization will produce an effective solution.

The datasheet for the new model is provided below. You can see all the models and their companion access points on the Analynk site.


Preventing Cavitation in Process Control Valves

cutaway view industrial control valve special trim reduces cavitation
Special valve trim can help prevent
cavitation
Courtesy Flowserve - Kammer
Cavitation in process control valves results from a rapid drop in pressure as liquid passes through the valve. The condition results in the formation of vapor spaces or bubbles within the valve cavity. When the bubbles move downstream into a larger cross-sectional area, velocity decreases and liquid pressure increases. The higher pressure now surrounding the bubbles causes them to implode, producing shockwaves which propagate through the liquid. These shockwaves can cause metal fatigue and excessive wear on the internals of the valve. The collapsing bubbles also make a discernible sound with accompanying vibration. The cumulative effects of cavitation can cause rapid deterioration of valve internals, resulting in reduced control function, frequent need for service, or premature failure.

There are ways to mitigate cavitation. Some involve changes in the process, others, incorporating a properly designed and selected valve with trim that reduces or prevents the conditions that cause cavitation. The paper below is authored by Flowserve, a globally recognized manufacturer of process control valves under several brand names, and provides an in depth examination of the causes of cavitation, then continues with explanation of how their specialty valves are designed to overcome the conditions that promote it. At Analynk Wireless, we are not in the valve business, but recognize many of our customers operate fluid processes and would find the knowledge useful. There are detailed illustrations showing specific valve trim features that impede cavitation.

Analynk Wireless manufactures a comprehensive line of wireless receivers, transmitters, and accessories that enable process operators to establish signal connections across the room, across the plant, and across the globe.



Cooling Towers: Operating Principles and Systems

Industrial process cooling tower on building rooftop
Cooling towers are found in a wide range of sizes
and configurations
The huge, perfectly shaped cylindrical towers stand tall amidst a landscape, with vapor billowing from their spherical, open tops into the blue sky. Such an image usually provokes a thought related to nuclear power or a mysterious energy inaccessible to the millions of people who drive by power plants every day. In reality, cooling towers – the hyperboloid structures most often associated with the aforementioned nuclear power plants – are essential, process oriented tools that serve as the final step in removing heat from a process or facility. The cooling towers at power plants serve as both an adjuster of a control variable essential to the process and also as a fascinating component of the process behind power creation. The importance and applicability of cooling towers is extensive, making them fundamentally useful for industrial operations in power generation, oil refining, petrochemical plants, commercial/industrial HVAC, and process cooling.

In principle, a cooling tower involves the movement of water through a series of different parts or sections to eventually result in the reduction of its heat content and temperature. Water heated by the process operation is pumped through pipes to reach the tower, and then gets sprayed through nozzles or other distribution means onto the ‘fill’ of the tower, reducing the flow of water to appropriate levels; this maximizes the amount of surface area for contact between water and air. Electric motor driven fans pull air into the tower, and when the air meets the water, a percentage of the water evaporates, carrying heat from the water to the air and resulting in the water being cooled. The cooled water then gets transferred back to the process-related equipment, and absorbs heat again, allowing for the cycle to repeat. The process and associated dispersion of heat allows for the cooling tower to be classified as a heat rejection device, resulting in waste heat being rejected to the atmosphere. Towers depend on either evaporation to remove the process heat (open loop) or solely on air (closed loop), without evaporation, to reduce the water temperature.

Thanks to their range of applications, cooling towers vary in size from the monolithic structures utilized by power plants to small rooftop units. Removing the heat from the water used in cooling systems allows for the recycling of the heat transfer fluid back to the process or equipment that is generating heat. This cycle of heat transfer enables heat generating processes to remain stable and secure. The cooling provided by an evaporative tower allows for the amount of supply water to be vastly lower than the amount which would be otherwise needed. No matter whether the cooling tower is small or large, the components of the tower must function as an integrated system to ensure both excellent performance and longevity of use. Additionally, understanding elements which drive performance - variable flow capability, potential HVAC ‘free cooling’, the splash type fill versus film type fill, drift eliminators, nozzles, fans, and driveshaft characteristics - is essential to the success of the cooling tower and its use in both industrial and commercial settings.

So, the next time an imposing tower cracks the horizon underneath a pillar of drifting vapor, imagine all the components inside working together in a beautifully aligned system towards a common industrial goal. Such is the ingenuity of technology.

Analynk Wireless manufactures wireless communications equipment that can be used to establish radio connections between remote located cooling tower monitoring equipment and central control stations. Fan motor current, air or fluid flow and temperature characteristics, and outdoor air conditions are just some of the cooling tower performance parameters that can be monitored.

Attaining Close Temperature Control of Flowing Process Liquids

explosion proof temperature transmitter
Selection and placement of temperature sensors is a
critical element of achieving close temperature control.
Temperature control is a common operation in the industrial arena. Its application can range across solids, liquids, and gases. The dynamics of a particular operation will influence the selection of instruments and equipment to meet the project requirements. In addition to general performance requirements, safety should always be a consideration in the design of a temperature control system involving enough energy to damage the system or create a hazardous condition.

Let's narrow the application range to non-flammable flowing fluids that require elevated temperatures. In the interest of clarity, this illustration is presented without any complicating factors that may be encountered in actual practice. Much of what is presented here, however, will apply universally to other scenarios.
What are the considerations for specifying the right equipment?

KNOW YOUR FLOW


First and foremost, you must have complete understanding of certain characteristics of the fluid.
  • Specific Heat - The amount of heat input required to increase the temperature of a mass unit of the media by one degree.
  • Minimum Inlet Temperature - The lowest media temperature entering the process and requiring heating to a setpoint. Use the worst (coldest) case anticipated.
  • Mass Flow Rate - An element in the calculation for total heat requirement. If the flow rate will vary, use the maximum anticipated flow.Maximum Required Outlet Temperature - Used with minimum inlet temperature in the calculation of the maximum heat input required.


MATCH SYSTEM COMPONENT PERFORMANCE WITH APPLICATION


Heat Source - If temperature control with little deviation from a setpoint is your goal, electric heat will likely be your heating source of choice. It responds quickly to changes in a control signal and the output can be adjusted in very small increments to achieve a close balance between process heat requirement and actual heat input.

Sensor - Sensor selection is critical to attaining close temperature control. There are many factors to consider, well beyond the scope of this article, but the ability of the sensor to rapidly detect small changes in media temperature is a key element of a successful project. Attention should be given to the sensor containment, or sheath, the mass of the materials surrounding the sensor that are part of the assembly, along with the accuracy of the sensor.

Sensor Location - The location of the temperature sensor will be a key factor in control system performance. The sensing element should be placed where it will be exposed to the genuine process condition, avoiding effects of recently heated fluid that may have not completely mixed with the balance of the media. Locate too close to the heater and there may be anomalies caused by the heater. A sensor installed too distant from the heater may respond too slowly. Remember that the heating assembly, in whatever form it may take, is a source of disturbance to the process. It is important to detect the impact of the disturbance as early and accurately as possible.

Controller - The controller should provide an output that is compatible with the heater power controller and have the capability to provide a continuously varying signal or one that can be very rapidly cycled. There are many other features that can be incorporated into the controller for alarms, display, and other useful functions. These have little bearing on the actual control of the process, but can provide useful information to the operator.

Power Controller - A great advantage of electric heaters is their compatibility with very rapid cycling or other adjustments to their input power. A power controller that varies the total power to the heater in very small increments will allow for fine tuning the heat input to the process.

Performance Monitoring - Depending upon the critical nature of the heating activity to overall process performance, it may be useful to monitor not only the media temperature, but aspects of heater or controller performance that indicate the devices are working. Knowing something is not working sooner, rather than later, is generally beneficial. Controllers usually have some sort of sensor failure notification built in. Heater operation can be monitored my measurement of the circuit current.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS


Any industrial heater assembly is capable of producing surface temperatures hot enough to cause trouble. Monitoring process and heater performance and operation, providing backup safety controls, is necessary to reduce the probability of damage or catastrophe.

High Fluid Temperature - An independent sensor can monitor process fluid temperature, with instrumentation providing an alert and limit controllers taking action if unexpected limits are reached.

Heater Temperature - Monitoring the heater sheath temperature can provide warning of a number of failure conditions, such as low fluid flow, no fluid present, or power controller failure. A proper response activity should be automatically executed when unsafe or unanticipated conditions occur.

Media Present - There are a number of ways to directly or indirectly determine whether media is present. The media, whether gaseous or liquid, is necessary to maintain an operational connection between the heater assembly and the sensor.

Flow Present - Whether gaseous or liquid media, flow is necessary to keep most industrial heaters from burning out. Understand the limitations and operating requirements of the heating assembly employed and make sure those conditions are maintained.

Heater Immersion - Heaters intended for immersion in liquid may have watt density ratings that will produce excessive or damaging element temperatures if operated in air. Strategic location of a temperature sensor may be sufficient to detect whether a portion of the heater assembly is operating in air. An automatic protective response should be provided in the control scheme for this condition.

Each of the items mentioned above is due careful consideration for an industrial fluid heating application. Your particular process will present its own set of specific temperature sensing challenges with respect to performance and safety. Share your requirements with temperature measurement and control experts, combining your process knowledge with their expertise to develop safe and effective solutions.