Showing posts with label measurement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label measurement. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2019

Alliance Technical Sales Celebrating 5 Year Anniversary with MCAA!

The Measurement, Control & Automation Association is the national trade association representing leading manufacturers and distributors of instrumentation, systems and software used in industrial process control and factory automation around the world. Their member companies include the leading multi-national companies together with a range of more niche-oriented providers.



Alliance Technical Sales is very please to be a participating member of such an excellent organization.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sight Flow Indicators

armored direct read flow indicator
Armored flow indicator provides direct visual reading
of process media flow.
Image courtesy Jogler, LLC
In the operation of an industrial process, there may be instances where a visual confirmation or assessment of fluid flow is useful or necessary. In those cases, a direct reading sight flow indicator is just the thing needed to fill the requirement.

The sight flow indicator is essentially a clear tube with an encasement and appropriate connections that facilitate the indicator's installation into a process piping system. It is installed in a manner that provides an operator visual access to the inside of the piping at that location. Further details about construction materials, armoring, and more will round out the product selection that best accommodates the industrial environment, the media, and the visual inspection needs.

Jogler manufactures a range of flow, level and analytical instruments for industrial use. Their sight flow indicators, with line sizes from 1/2 to 4 inches and lengths up to 60 inches, enable a process operator to get that all important look at the liquid media as is passes through the flow indicator. The presence, color and character of the media can be assessed visually through the flow indicator, delivering visual confirmation of some targeted aspect of the process.

Share your process flow and level measurement challenges with instrumentation specialists, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Interchangeable Humidity Probes Open Up Application Possibilities

humidity measurement instrumentation
The Vaisala Indigo series of humidity measurement probes
encompasses variants for a wide range of applications.
Image courtesy Vaisala
The Indigo family of smart sensors and transmitters, from Vaisala, has been expanded with some newly released humidity probes. The five new probes can be used with an Indigo host device or another using Modbus protocol. Previously available sensors measured concentrations of gaseous carbon dioxide and hydrogen peroxide. The new offering expands the Indigo functionality into humidity measurement, a mainstay of Vaisala for many years. Humidity can now be measured in:

  • Pressurized or high pressure environments, up to 100 bars, with two probe offerings covering differing pressure ranges
  • High temperature ovens and similar applications
  • High humidity applications where probe heating is required
There is also a new version available for temperature measurement. 

The Indigo family of sensors and host devices are interchangeable, and all can interface with Vaisala's Insight PC software. More information is available from the process measurement specialists at Alliance Technical Sales. Share your process measurement challenges with experts, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop the best solutions.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey (Part 1)

water quality is critical to man industrial and commercial processes
Many industrial and commercial processes rely on
specific water quality requirements
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.

The measurement of dissolved oxygen or chloride concentration requires special equipment and techniques. Share your water quality measurement requirements and challenges with fluid process specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Create a Customized On/Off Process Control Unit

In control theory, an on/off controller is a feedback controller that switches abruptly between two states. It is often used as a control method for a process which can tolerate ongoing change in the process value within a band, referred to as the hysteresis. A common example of an on/off temperature control operation is a residential thermostat. They control the temperature of your home, turning off the heating or cooling system at your comfort setting, waiting for some significant change to occur, then turning on again to eliminate that difference. The process cycles continually. Many process operations can utilize simple on/off control action to maintain suitable conditions.

sanitary temperature transmitter RTD
Temperature Transmitter
Courtesy Smart Sensors
A PLC (programmable logic controller) can be a good candidate for creating your own on/off temperature controller with specialized additional functionality that suits your process. Implementing the temperature control operation is not difficult, and the use of a PLC allows the designer to integrate other useful functions into a single piece of hardware, functions that might not be available in a commercially available process controller.

The primary input device will be a transmitter with analog output compatible with the analog input on the PLC. For this discussion, let's assume this is a temperature control application that requires heating of the process. So, a temperature transmitter will be our primary input device. The primary output device will be a heater contactor or other power control device, the input of which must be compatible with the output of the PLC. Any other switches, pilot lights, alarms, or other devices will need to also be associated with a compatible PLC I/O point. 

The logic portion of the temperature control activity is not complex. The input signal from the temperature transmitter is converted to a working value. Depending upon the numeric muscle of your PLC, this value may be a floating point number, but integer values work suitably. Here are the logic steps needed.

  • Read temperature input value
  • Is temperature greater than or equal to the setpoint? If yes, turn off output for heater and proceed to the next step. If no, go to next step.
  • Is temperature less than or equal to the value of setpoint minus a deadband value (more on deadband below)? If yes, turn on output for heater. If no, continue to other commands that provide your additional desired functions.
Here are some points to consider.
  • Use a greater than or equal to, or less than or equal to comparison to assure that all possible numeric scenarios for process temperature are handled.
  • Deadband is a value that you employ to keep your control output from chattering rapidly between the on and off state when the process value is very close to the setpoint. It can also be used, in this case, to slow down the on/off switching of the heater and reduce wear on a mechanical contactor. Keep in mind that a 16 or 32 bit number, which is what the PLC will use for internal processing of your temperature reading, may actually pass across the setpoint value rapidly, even though a digital display of temperature will appear to be relatively stable. The constantly changing values would cause rapid changes in the output if the comparison logic did not include a deadband value. The use of a deadband creates a range of process temperature where no change in the output occurs. 
  • For this particular application, with its heating action, a separate limit control is advised. The device should derive its input signal from a source other than that of the PLC and the output of the limit control should provide a positive means of de-energizing the heater.
  • Other functions easily programmed into the PLC include alarms, pilot lights to reflect heating activity, an on/off switch for the process, and other items limited only by your ingenuity.
Not every process needs PID control. This illustration focused on temperature, but the principles are the same for almost any process. A modestly powerful PLC can provide the processing power, and input devices for temperature, humidity, moisture, pH, liquid level, flow, pressure, and more are available. Share your challenges with a process measurement specialist and develop an effective customized solution for control of your process.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Intelligent Management for Process Sensors

Process analytical sensors can require scrupulous levels of attention and maintenance to continually deliver optimum performance. In some cases, overly frequent or involved maintenance is performed in order to avoid problems. Mettler Toledo, globally recognized leader in the development of process analytical sensors, developed a solution to streamline sensor maintenance and maximize reliability and performance.

The iSense software suite supports Mettler Toledo's line of intelligent sensors, monitoring and documenting sensor performance while maintaining real time indications of time to maintenance and calibration. Essentially, the iSense software provides guided sensor maintenance and continually verifies the operational health of the sensor to assure that delivered data is accurate and reliable.

There is much more to learn about how the iSense software and comprehensive offering of intelligent sensors can enhance process performance, as well as the efficiency of analytical operations. Reach out to a process analytics specialist with your analytical measurement challenges. Combining your process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise will yield an effective solution.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Technical Reference for Thermocouples and Reistance Temperature Detectors (RTD)

industrial temperature sensor transmitter with mounting flange and head
One of many industrial
temperature sensor
configurations
Smart Sensors, Inc.
Temperature measurement is probably employed in process control more than any other physical property measurement. Methodology for temperature measurement is well established, as is the industry providing instruments and devices for acquiring temperature data from almost any facet of any process. If you are even peripherally involved in process measurement and control, having a solid understanding of how thermocouples and RTDs work is a requisite to solving problems or servicing customers.

One manufacturer of a comprehensive line of thermocouple and RTD assemblies, Smart Sensors, Inc., produced a technical manual with all you need to know about temperature sensors for process measurement and control. The manual is included below for easy reference. It covers:

  • Thermocouple theory
  • RTD and thermocouple specification criteria
  • Cable specifications for both sensor types
  • Comparison of thermocouple and RTD attributes
  • Thermowell and protection tube specification and selection
  • Specifying temperature sensors for hazardous areas
  • Reference data tables for both sensor types
  • Practices for improving temperature measurement
  • Calibration
The tech manual should be on the shelf or cloud drive of anyone involved in accomplishing, interpreting, or maintaining temperature measurement. The configuration options for temperature sensor assemblies are extensive. Reach out to a product application specialist and combine your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions to temperature measurement challenges.




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Alliance Technical Sales Overview

industrial engineers consult with product specialist
Alliance Technical Sales works with customers
to develop effective solutions to process measurement
and control challenges.
Alliance Technical Sales represents and distributes for a number of process measurement and control equipment and instrument manufacturers throughout the midwest United States. A specialty of the company is in-line liquid analytical solutions, along with other related fields.

The professionals at Alliance combine world class products with real application expertise and passion to be the best at what they do. For over 15 years, the company has been helping its customers boost efficiency, safety, and effectiveness.

The company's current product offering is included below. Reach out to Alliance Technical Sales for a partner in solving your process measurement and control challenges.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Direct Insertion Gaseous Oxygen Sensor - No Sampling

insertion type gaseous oxygen sensor
Ingold 6800G insertion sensor for gaseous oxygen
Courtesy Mettler Toledo
Gas phase oxygen measurement is used industrially for process safety and the prevention of oxidation. The ability to obtain oxygen level readings in real time can be advantageous in both application classes. While numerous measurement methods are available, Ingold (Mettler Toledo) provides a rugged and robust solution in their direct insertion sensors. Some measurement systems require gas sampling or conditioning, but the Ingold sensor is inserted directly into the process to provide fast and accurate oxygen readings. Coupling the direct insertion feature with Ingold's Intelligent Sensor Management delivers fast and direct O2 measurements with minimized maintenance, no sampling or conditioning, and limited downtime.

There is more to be learned. Reach out to a product application specialist and share your O2 measurement challenges. Combine your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop the best solutions.



Monday, October 24, 2016

New Website Design for Alliance Technical Sales

home page of website for alliance technical sales
Alliance Technical Sales has a redesigned website
Alliance Technical Sales, manufacturer's representative and distributor of industrial process measurement and control equipment, has released a newly designed website which brings new functionality and easy navigation for visitors.

The newly designed site provides simple and rapid access to technical information regarding an array of process measurement and control products. Direct links to represented manufacturers is provided, as well as simple contact avenues to get visitors information quickly. The site is mobile friendly, adjusting its layout to accommodate whatever device the visitor is using and provide easily readable page views.

ATS now has an ongoing social media presence, with weekly blog posts about products and technical issues. All of the social media channels are directly accessible from the website.

Alliance Technical Sales is fully committed to providing top flight service to its customers. Visit the new website and reach out to ATS with your process measurement and control challenges.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Temperature and Humidity Transmitters for Industrial Applications

Vaisala enjoys global recognition as a premiere provider of best-in-class humidity and temperature transmitters for industrial process measurement. The video provided here gives an excellent overview of the company's HMT 330 Series with all of its variants for special applications.

Share your temperature and humidity measurement challenges with product specialists, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Humidity and Temperature Transmitters for Demanding Humidity Measurement

Vaisala Humidity sensors and transmitters for process measurement and control
HMT330 Series Humidity and Temperature Transmitters
Courtesy Vaisala
Humidity, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere or a gas, can be an important measurable attribute of an industrial process. Many are aware of the measurement of relative humidity in HVAC applications and its impact on human comfort in occupied spaces, but the measurement of water vapor in air can be a required measuring point in many other processes that pose far greater challenge.

In addition to common wall or duct mounting applications, where the instrument is easily inserted or placed into the environment to be measured, there are applications that call for special adaptations to the instrument or sensing probe.
  • High pressure
  • Vacuum
  • High temperature
  • High humidity
  • Pressurized pipelines
  • Presence of chemical contaminants
Meeting the full range of industrial process control operations requires stable measurements and the choice of multiple configurations and options to customize the instrument to the process demands. Here are some features worth considering.
  • Multiple variants to match the basic process requirement
  • Full 0 to 100% humidity measurement range up to +180°C (+356°F)
  • PT 100 RTD for accurate temperature measurement
  • Pressure tolerance up to 100 bar
  • Superior sensor accuracy and stability
  • Graphic display and keypad for local operation
  • Multilingual user interface
  • Good chemical tolerance
  • Corrosion resistant housing
  • Delivered with multi-point NIST traceable calibration certificate
  • Analog outputs, RS232/485, WLAN/LAN
  • MODBUS protocol support (RTU/TCP)
  • Long term manufacturer warranty
While not all processes may require, or benefit from, the inclusion of all the listed features and capabilities, reviewing what is available and considering which features may provide better operability in your process can be beneficial. I have included a data sheet below that illustrates the HMT330 Series of humidity and temperature transmitters from Vaisala. Share your humidity measurement challenges with a product specialist. Combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise will produce solid solutions.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Safeguarding CO2 Measurements: How Intelligent and Automatic Sensor Protection Increases Performance

Instrumentation uptime and accurate measurement values are core requirements of in-line dissolved CO2 measurement systems used in carbonated soft drink facilities, breweries and boutique beverage producers. The stability and protection of the wetted sensor along with the instrument air supply are core requirements to ensure reliable measurement data. Instrument damage, incorrect CO2 readings, and poor quality can result from an unknown or undetected failure of the sensor.

The following paper, courtesy of Mettler Toledo Ingold explains how intelligent and automatic sensor protection increases reliability, quality and performance.


For more information on CO2 measurement, contact:
Alliance Technical Sales, Inc.
312 Park Avenue Unit 145,
Clarendon Hills, 60514-0145
Phone: 630-321-9646
Fax: 630-321-9647
www.alliancets.com

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Welcome to the Alliance Technical Sales Blog

This site is intended to provide interesting and helpful information about process control systems and control instrumentation.

We will be contributing weekly posts of information regarding process analyzers, measurement & control, fundamentals of process control, and will present interesting applications.

We hope up enjoy this site and make it a habit to check back each week.