Posts Tagged ‘measurement’

Profibus health check now available from ABB Measurement & Analytics Service

October 5, 2015

Pbus hcheck

A Profibus health check carried out by ABB is now available to industrial plants keen to operate their plants efficiently and maximise their up time.

The evolution from the days of 4 to 20 mA output communications to intelligent Fieldbus analysers may mean more diagnostic data is transmitted, but in order to ensure the data is reliable a new type of engineer with Profibus certification is required. Not only is this training expensive, but the engineer must have capabilities across all slave devices such as instruments, motors and drives to effectively analyse the performance of the Profibus network and the speed of its communications between the instruments and the master, the Gateway operating system.

Furthermore, purchasing test equipment is costly where many plants may have a limited budget.

ABB’s current knowledge and experience of instrumentation is well placed to bridge the gap between plant instrument engineers and system engineers, so that all plant or process measurement data is available. As part of the service, a comprehensive report including a list of devices on the network, signal waveforms, recommendations and findings, will be generated to confirm the Profibus network’s current performance. Testing equipment is provided by ABB too, so that plants need not purchase it to be used once and left in storage.

One example of the benefits of this service can be found at Imperial College London’s carbon capture plant where ABB Service Engineer Paul Bick connected a Profibus analyser to the plant’s communication system. The results revealed that the optimum speed for performance was 1500kb/second rather than its previous speed of 500kb/second, and increasing the speed to the new limit immediately produced a significant increase in response time from the instruments.

The Profibus health check also includes a review of the installation method. The Profibus Installation Guideline document refers to maximum cable lengths and cable segregation. During his service at Imperial College Paul Bick established that the cables were too short. The university quickly removed the risk of issues with reflections, data corruptions and interferences, by following his advice to extend them.

As standard, service highlights also include rectifying faulty instruments so that both the network and instruments perform to specification.

It is recommended that a plant carries out a Profibus health check whenever issues have been experienced as the reliability and health of the communications network is fundamental to any plant’s performance.

Dave Head, Service Product Manager for ABB Measurement & Analytics explains, “This service provides peace of mind by ensuring customers’ Profibus networks are optimised for best performance. ABB’s Profibus certified engineers fill the gap between the instrument engineers and system engineers which are currently lacking in most operations. This provides value to customers as ABB can offer support across the measurement network.”

For more information about ABB’s Profibus health check, call 0870 600 6122 or email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com ref. “Profibus”.

Who says there’s no innovation in water?

May 20, 2015

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Whole Government reports have been devoted to the subject of innovation in the UK water industry. The general gist is that, despite all of the money and effort that has gone into upgrading the UK’s water infrastructure since the industry was privatised 25 years ago, much more needs to be done to encourage the uptake of new technologies that could help to improve overall operational efficiency.

This situation looks to change with the introduction of TOTEX (TOTal EXpenditure). With its focus on total life expenditure and holistic network performance, TOTEX looks set to provide a fertile environment for innovation, as companies evolve to develop their understanding of their existing asset base. In particular, TOTEX replaces the previous CAPEX/OPEX focus on ‘outputs’ with an ‘outcome’-led approach, which places a much greater emphasis on achieving and demonstrating asset and network effectiveness.

Whilst embracing innovation may well have been lacking amongst water operators, the supply chain at least appears to be ahead of the game. This was particularly apparent at the recent IWEX exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, where suppliers of technology, expertise and water-related services presented their latest offerings.

Taking ABB’s exhibition stand as a starting point, visitors were shown the latest examples of the latest instruments, analysers, drives and motors for potable and wastewater applications. Several of these represent cutting edge developments. Our AquaMaster 3 flowmeter for example, is the first in the world to combine integrated flow and pressure measurement in a single device. It is also the first to feature WITS DNP3 technology, which allows operators to gain, via GPRS communications, unprecedented access to a range of performance data, including diagnostic data on the status of the meter itself.

We also had the first in our range of digital optical sensors, which use the latest advances in optical measurement technology to deliver stable and accurate measurement whilst maintaining calibration without drift.

Both of these instruments are good examples of the type of equipment that can be used to deliver the big data from a network that can be turned into information and used as the basis for operational decision-making in a TOTEX environment.

Energy and maintenance form another crucial part of the TOTEX equation, with savings in either area making an obvious contribution to reducing overall lifetime costs. Again, ABB’s stand provided examples of some of the latest thinking in this area, including our SynRM (synchronous reluctance motor) and drive package for the water industry. Offering good partial load efficiency performance for all pumping applications, the package combines the benefits of a premium motor control with the highest levels of motor performance, giving ultimate efficiency and reliability to optimise pump system cost of ownership.

ABB’s stand was just one of dozens representing the latest developments in technology, spanning all aspects of the potable and wastewater treatment cycles.

In short, the innovation to help water companies transform their network performance is definitely out there. The challenge now is to move beyond a short term cost focus, which has too often led to the selection of the cheapest cost rather than the best value solutions, and work with suppliers to see what they can really offer.

If you’d like to find out more about how measurement instrumentation can be used to help you meet your TOTEX targets, why not request a copy of our new white paper ‘The role of performance data in optimising assets under TOTEX’. For a copy, email: moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘TOTEX’.

ABB launches new flow calibration and valve testing guides

April 26, 2015

ABB’s Measurement and Analytics business has launched two new guides covering its services for flow calibration and valve testing. Available on request from abb.service@gb.abb.com, the guides explain how ABB’s flow calibration facilities at its Stone house and Workington factories can be used to help check the accuracy of flowmeters and control valves.

For flow calibration, the facilities enable a wide variety of flowmeter types to be calibrated to the leading international standards. All calibrations are carried out to ISO9000, with the option of a UKAS accredited calibration where the certificate carries the ILAC and UKAS Calibration Laboratory 0255 logo.

The flow calibration guide explains how the facilities can be used to calibrate meter sizes from 1mm to 2.4 metres at accuracies down to ±0.1%. It also covers the range of calibration techniques available, including gravimetric, volumetric or comparison methods, describing each technique and explaining how to choose the right method.

The valve testing guide covers ABB’s ability to test control valves from 25mm up to six metres and weighing up to 10 tonnes in accordance with the EN ISO 60534-2-3 standard for control valve testing.

The guide outlines the testing process and discusses the benefits of ABB’s service, which enables valve users to ensure that their valves have been tested for their specific requirements. Both services are offered via ABB’s Measurement & Analytics Products Service team and are part of a wider service capability spanning ABB’s entire portfolio of instruments and analysers.

The vital role performed by flowmeters, control valves or any form of instrument or analyser means that it is worth investing the money, time and effort in ensuring that devices are properly serviced throughout their lifetime, from installation and commissioning through to upgrade or replacement.

Our flowmeter calibration and valve testing services are just two examples of our wider service offering, which can help our customers to enjoy continued accuracy and high performance from their equipment throughout its operational life.

To request a copy of the guides, or for more information about ABB’s instrument and analyser service offering, please email abb.service@gb.abb.com or call 03339 997 996, ref. ‘Guides’.

ABB to share its flow measurement expertise at forthcoming factory open day

March 13, 2015

We are delighted to announce that ABB Measurement & Analytics will be holding an open day at its Stonehouse factory on the 25th March to share its expertise on flow measurement and calibration.

The free to attend event is open to anyone involved in the specification, operation and maintenance of flowmetering equipment and will cover a variety of areas relating to flow measurement and calibration.

Starting at 9:30am, the day will begin with a session hosted by Flow Calibration Consultant, Dr. Bryan Franklin, who will present the three main flow calibration methods including Comparison, Volumetric and Gravimetric. He will also explain the advantages and associated issues of each technique, advising on the best technique to use for specific requirements.

Getting the best from your flow measurement will describe how to achieve optimum performance and reduced measurement uncertainty through correct flowmeter selection and installation. ABB’s Flow Design and Development Manager, Dr. Ray Keech, will also be on hand to discuss the key factors to consider and will reveal how the integrity and accuracy of a flowmeter can be further enhanced by carrying out in-situ verification.

These sessions will be followed by a tour of the Stonehouse flowmeter manufacturing facility and
ABB’s UKAS accredited flow calibration rig, the largest of its kind in Europe.

After lunch, ABB’s Service Manager, Joe Fudge, will outline the requirements of EN ISO 60534-2-3 and will explain the reasons for wet testing valves.

The final session, will see ABB’s Flow Product Specialist, David Bowers present the key features and advantages of the latest process flow technologies. The presentation will also cover ABB’s new generation flowmeters, including the FCB300 CoriolisMaster, SwirlMaster and VortexMaster, which offers enhanced flow calculation capability for integral mass and energy computation.

To register your interest in the free event, please email training@gb.abb.com or call 01785 285939,
ref. ‘Flow measurement open day’.

ABB appoints new channel partner to expand offering into the Irish process market

January 14, 2015

We are delighted to announce that ABB UK Measurement and Analytics is partnering with Hanley Measurement and Control to offer our expanding portfolio of products into the Irish process market.

Underlining our commitment to increasing our presence in the Irish process market, the partnership will see the company act as the official sales agent for our growing range of measurement and control products for improving process performance and efficiency for applications in the pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage and other related industries.

Utilising a well-known and respected partner such as Hanley will allow our customers in Ireland to get full access to support and service going forward into 2015 and beyond.

Products available through Hanley will include ABB’s full range of process flowmeters, devices and systems for the measurement of temperature and pressure, plus liquid, gas and air emissions, as well as valve actuators, positioners, recorders and controllers.

The appointment of Hanley Measurement and Controls further expands our network of Instrumentation Alliance Partners in the UK and Ireland, which includes specialist suppliers of instrumentation products, services and expertise serving the water, power, process and oil and gas markets.

For more information about ABB’s Instrumentation Alliance Partners, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122.

Why it totally pays to pick electromagnetic

December 16, 2014

The arrival of AMP6 signals a change in many areas for both water companies and the supply chain.

As well as the potential end of the AMP cycle’s ‘boom and bust’ behaviour, another major change is underway, with Ofwat encouraging companies to move away from capital expenditure on new plant and infrastructure and instead focus on total life costs and getting more out of their existing assets.

Called TOTEX, this shift in emphasis will see a move towards companies focusing more on joined-up investment and on improving the performance of installed infrastructure rather than building new plant.

The approach includes a particular focus on the role of data in helping companies to maintain their networks more effectively and identify potential problems before they occur.

Of course, data is only as good as the device used to gather it. If the accuracy of the device itself is lacking, then the resulting data will be of questionable value when it comes to setting strategies to improve performance.
When it comes to the devices for measuring and monitoring flow around water distribution networks, various flowmetering options have traditionally been available to water companies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Orifice plates may present an inexpensive solution, but their accuracy relies on the opening having been machined to the right size. Although they may offer reasonable accuracy at first, wearing of the orifice edges caused by particles within the flow can steadily erode measurement performance. This technology works by creating a pressure drop across the plate of which a minimum of 40% is non-recoverable. These losses inevitably lead to increased pumping costs.

Frequently specified where purchase cost is an issue, mechanical meters can quickly prove to be false economy. Wear and tear on their moving parts can reduce accuracy within weeks of installation, resulting in over or under registration of flows.

A higher costing option, the ultrasonic flowmeter, uses ultrasonic beams to assess the velocity of the fluid, which can then be used to derive a flow measurement. Although they offer the benefits of a clamp-on device, these meters can be severely affected by changes in speed, and are difficult to set up, especially where high accuracy is required.

In comparison, electromagnetic flowmeters offer a number of advantages that can quickly add up to savings that outweigh their higher initial purchase price. Firstly, there are no moving parts which need routine maintenance. Their buriable design also means the overall cost of the system is reduced as there is no need to build chambers or install ancillary equipment such as isolating valves.

Then there’s the matter of accuracy. Electromagnetic flowmeters offer typical accuracies of ±0.5% of rate throughout their operational life, as well as superb reliability from being unaffected by the wear and tear that can affect other meter types.

Recent technological developments extend their benefits even further. ABB’s AquaMaster 3, for example, includes GSM-SMS radio technology, enabling up-to-date information to be remotely collected from anywhere around the world and eliminating the costs associated with manual collection. Their ability to draw energy from either solar or wind also opens up a raft of new installation location possibilities.

When each method for leakage prevention is compared to the other, it soon becomes clear that the electromagnetic flowmeter is the best choice.

Not only that, but as listed technologies within the Government’s Water Technology List, ABB’s WaterMaster and AquaMaster flowmeters are eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances which allow for offset of 100% of cost against corporation tax, not just on the cost of the purchase but also any costs relating to installation.

Taken together, these factors present a compelling case for using electromagnetic meters in a TOTEX-focused strategy.

For more about why it pays to pick electromagnetic flowmeters, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref ‘Water Technology List’.

New application guides from ABB to boost power plant efficiency

April 2, 2014

The vast quantities of water used to produce steam in power generation applications mean that achieving well-balanced water chemistry is vital. To do so, optimum positioning of analytical instruments at key points throughout the water and steam cycle and water treatment plant at modern power stations is essential. This will in turn significantly improve plant efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Our new series of application guides, produced as part of the launch of the latest products in our Navigator analyser range, reveal how operators can optimise boiler chemistry and steam quality in power generation applications through the control of the parameters affecting steam generation efficiency.

Titled ‘Optimising power plant performance through silica monitoring’, the first of our four guides in the series, each of which focuses on a different parameter, reveals how careful monitoring of boiler conditions is essential to prevent corrosion and build-up of scale, protect the plant and ensure it remains in good working order.

Silica is a major culprit behind the build-up of hard and dense scale inside the boilers and turbines of power generation plants. Silica forms a dense porcelain-like scaling that cannot be removed even with acid. Silica scaling also has a very low thermal conductivity which means that even a 0.5mm build-up can reduce thermal transfer by 28%, reducing efficiency, leading to hot spots and eventual rupturing, resulting in plant failure.

However, the guide also reveals how our Navigator 600 Silica analyser, which helps cut the costs and maintenance associated with silica, can effectively control build-up through effective monitoring at multiple points around the steam generation and distribution cycle.

The second of the four guides in the series, ‘Improving dissolved oxygen control through online monitoring’, outlines how accurate measurement of dissolved oxygen is essential for efficient, cost effective, operation of boiler plant with minimum downtime.

The presence of even small quantities of dissolved oxygen in boiler water can severely impair a boiler’s operation, causing corrosion of its vital components and significantly reducing its working life. As such, the guide contains an easy-to-follow illustration, highlighting how an effective monitoring system should measure dissolved oxygen with an analyser at key points prior to the boiler.

Techniques for further reducing dissolved oxygen levels are covered in the guide, ‘Reducing dissolved oxygen through hydrazine dosing’. Even after deaeration, it is still necessary to administer some form of post treatment in order to achieve further reductions in dissolved oxygen levels.

The guide details how this can be done successfully by dosing the boiler feedwater with hydrazine. As a powerful reducing agent, hydrazine reduces oxygen to form nitrogen and water, which can help to further reduce dissolved oxygen levels to concentrations. Therefore, continuous monitoring of hydrazine throughout the feedwater loop can help to achieve the most effective ratio of hydrazine to dissolved oxygen.

The final guide in the series, ‘Controlling sodium concentrations through on-line analysis’, explains how the impact of sodium on power plant performance, one of the most important parameters to measure in power plant applications, can be minimised through accurate and reliable sodium monitoring.

If you would like to get hold of a copy of any of our new application guides, simply email: moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com, providing details of which in the series are of interest.

Alternatively, for more information on our Navigator range of water analysers, check out the following video which details how the range can help optimise plant efficiency: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U92gwQS5HfU

ABB achieves MCERTS for pH measurement

March 14, 2014

We are delighted to have achieved MCERTS certification for our AX400 pH measurement system, which forms part of our commitment to providing users with the best available techniques for their environmental monitoring requirements.

Tested in a field trial conducted over a period of 9 months on an effluent discharge at Pembroke Power Station, the AX400, coupled with our 7650, 7651, 7660 pH sensors, successfully demonstrated its suitability for use in treated wastewater, untreated wastewater and receiving water applications.

The achievement of MCERTS certification means that our AX400 pH measurement systems can be used in applications such as the power industry and potable water treatment.

The measurement of pH and Redox (ORP) in high purity water applications in power plants requires a number of essential elements to achieve accurate and stable readings. These include a stainless steel flowcell to minimize static effects and a reservoir-fed reference junction that overcomes KCI depletion and blockage to ensure a stable junction potential and simple reference junction replacement for low-cost maintenance.

The 7660 system has been proven to meet all these requirements by providing accurate measurement in samples below 20 μS/cm. This is especially ideal in boiler chemistry control applications, which require close control of pH levels. For applications up to 100 μS/cm the 7651 with polypropylene flowcell and the 7653 with a reservoir-fed reference electrode option provide an economical option.

For potable water treatment applications, accurate and stable pH measurement is required for optimum control at the coagulation stage of the process to minimize coagulation costs and treated water quality.

Measuring pH in coagulation processes can be particularly difficult, due to the high level of suspended solids and significant precipitation that can block the reference junction.

To overcome this problem, an ideal pH system should include an optional flowing reference junction that overcomes KCI depletion and blockage. Other features should also include simple reference junction replacement to enable low-cost maintenance in samples that contain high levels of particulates, and the availability of a low resistance glass electrode option to provide fast response in low temperature applications.

The 7600 Series meets all these requirements. The 7651, with polypropylene flowcell and the 7653, with a reservoir-fed reference electrode are an ideal low-cost option that can be readily replaced and installed. Both systems are highly-suited throughout the potable water treatment process.

For more information, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘MCERTS pH’.

ABB level transmitter helps Robinson Bros keep the lid on explosive chemical

August 7, 2013

Thanks to our AT100 magnetostrictive level transmitter, Midlands-based manufacturer of speciality chemicals, Robinson Brothers, are now able to meet strict safety standards regarding the storage of highly reactive carbon disulphide (CS2).

CS2 is so reactive that it has to be stored under a layer of water to prevent it from igniting, and the level of the interface between the water and CS2 requires constant monitoring. Therefore it is essential that any associated measurement devices is safety-critical.

Level measurement was previously achieved using a very simple magnetic float-based device that provided a local indication of the level but didn’t link in to any wider control system. However, an ongoing programme of improvements at the plant called for updated state-of-the-art innovative solution fully enabled for the latest communications.

This [float] principle of measurement had given many years of faultless service in what is a demanding application. In simple terms, magnetostrictive systems can be thought of as a “float on a stick”. The “stick” is actually a sensing tube wrapped around a wire that receives regular electrical pulses. Each current pulse interacts with the magnetic field created by the magnetic float to produce a torsional stress wave in the wire. This stress wave travels at a fixed speed along the wire to a patented piezo-magnetic sensing element in the transmitter assembly. The transmitter measures how long it takes for the wave to reach the sensor, which indicates how far away the float sits as it moves up and down the sensing tube in step with the liquid interface.

As CS2 is so volatile and prone to ignition, it’s one of the few chemicals that requires instrumentation to be certified to the most extreme, ATEX Exd IIC T6, protection standard. It can also be used in safety instrumented systems to meet the tough SIL1 performance ratings.

Thanks to official ABB WirelessHart distributor, instrumentation specialist ICA Services’ partnership with ourselves, ICA was able to recommend our AT100 magnetostrictive level transmitter, which meets both these criteria, providing process signals which output to both our local and site monitoring systems and meeting our own internal requirement of SIL1-capable instrumentation. As such, Robinson Brothers has purchased four additional AT100 transmitters for use on its other CS2 process systems.

AT100 transmitters provide continuous level indication, and transmission of an analog and/or digital signal for monitoring or control. The unique design boosts the resolution of the device to more than 100 times greater than a conventional reed switch-type device.

For more information, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com ref. ‘magnetostrictive level’ or visit www.abb.co.uk/measurement. Alternatively, for more about ICA Services and Robinsons Brothers, please visit www.icaservices.co.uk or www.robinsonbrothers.co.uk.