Friday, January 16, 2015

Wireless & the process industry.

By providing a thorough exploration of wireless field devices and the challenges of using wireless devices in control, this valuable book, just released from the ISA stable, Wireless Control Foundation: Continuous and Discrete Control for the Process Industry, aims to improve wireless control planning, commissioning and troubleshooting.

“The book is ideal for those who have a solid understanding of process control and field devices, but have no experience using wireless field devices or working with control systems that support wireless control,” explains Terrence Blevins, a member of Control Magazine’s Process Automation Hall of Fame, who wrote the book along with co-authors Deji Chen, Mark Nixon and Willy Wojsznis.

While primarily targeted to control engineers responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining control systems, the book is also intended for both process engineers involved in process design and control and instrumentation technicians who troubleshoot process control, measurement and instrumentation.

To help readers quickly understand wireless control implementation for the process industry, the book includes a variety of application examples showing how wireless devices are used to address many different control requirements. Workshops at the end of each chapter test knowledge retention, and a website that supports the book provides solutions to the workshops.
Among the many valuable topics covered include:
  • Wireless control for both continuous and discrete application
  • Control using wireless measurements and valves
  • Commercially available analog and discrete wireless transmitter and throttling and on-off valves
  • PID modifications that enable control through wireless measurement
  • Valve position feedback when utilizing a wireless valve in control
  • PID modifications that can significantly reduce the number of communications from the PID to the wireless valve
  • The utilization of wireless field devices in advanced control
  • The relationship of wireless technology to ISA and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Since some readers may work with an existing distributed controls system (DCS) that is not designed to provide native support for wireless field devices, information is provided on how a wireless gateway may be integrated into these older control systems using supported serial and Ethernet interfaces. In addition, the book addresses how dynamic simulation of process and wireless field devices may be created within a DCS in order to explore and support checkout and operator training on wireless control.

DIN-Rail power supply

BEC Distribution has announced the availability of the new PULS 24V/10A DIN-Rail power supply - the CPS10. It’s raising the bar by using the latest power supply technology and sophisticated thermal design. It’s believed that this is the first time a DIN-Rail power supply of this power level, with single-phase global input and active PFC, has achieved an efficiency of 95%. This unprecedented low level of heat generation made a reduction in width by 35% from 60mm to 39mm possible.

Additionally, the CPS10 features a comprehensive range of features: full performance from -25°C to +60°C without derating; HiccupPLUS sophisticated power management to deliver 20% extra peak power and at the same time protect loads and wiring; and active input inrush current limiter for low input inrush current and a DC-OK signal to monitor the output voltage. The new remote on/off feature makes it simple and convenient to switch the power supply off, saving energy.

Weighing only 600g, the small CPS10 power supplies are exceptionally light, making them particularly suited to rugged applications needing shock and vibration resistance eg rough-terrain vehicles and wind power turbines. For the process machinery market, the products are approved according to ATEX/IECEx standards. A 12V version will follow soon.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunshade for process instrumentation!

Intertec has launched a large cube-shaped sunshade for process instrumentation. It provides plant engineers with a highly cost-effective means of shielding equipment such as electronic monitoring systems, explosion-proof junction boxes or analyser installations from solar radiation. Dubbed CubeShade, the protective cover measures 600 x 550 x 500 mm (HxWxD). This provides a massive 165 litre capacity shaded environment that make it easy to accommodate and protect large or multiple instruments, as well as simplifying maintenance access.

The new sunshade design is manufactured using an automated moulding process and offers a particularly economic solution for this common application. Most process instrument sunshades on the market are relatively small and are often targeted at single instruments or small-scale field equipment installations. If Intertec needs to provide solar protection for larger installations – such as two or three process transmitters – sunshades are usually created to suit the specific application by building up multiple layers of glass reinforced polyester (GRP) in a custom mould to achieve the necessary thickness. This manually-intensive process can increase costs significantly. And if the number of sunshades required runs into hundreds – which is common for greenfield projects – the extra costs can be high. 

Intertec's new CubeShade is constructed entirely from glass fibre reinforced sheet moulding compound (SMC). This combines chopped glass fibres, fillers, polyester resin and a catalyst in the form of a ready-to-mould composite that is ideal for low cost, high volume manufacturing. The material has similar advantages to GRP for this type of application, including a high resistance to UV and corrosion from salt and common petrochemicals, and a low thermal conductivity, which helps to prevent heat generated by solar radiation being transferred to the shaded area. It also combines excellent rigidity and mechanical strength – for protection against impact – with a very low weight.

CubeShade’s single-part design and SMC-based construction facilitates production using automated moulding techniques. As standard, the body of the sunshade is 5 mm thick but incorporates 8 mm thick reinforcing ribs around the rim and down the back of the unit. These ribs also help to channel rain and melt-water run-off. 

Unlike many instrument sunshades on the market which essentially consist of a single top shade that only protects against overhead sun, Intertec’s design incorporates structural side walls that also shade low-angle sun, as well as providing partial protection against rain, snow, wind-chill, blown dust or sand and accidental impact. 

Intertec believes CubeShade is the largest SMC instrument sunshade on the market. The design is also suitable for use with equipment such as explosio-proof junction boxes or distribution units and is likely to prove especially popular for new-build processing plant projects. 


CubeShade can be mounted on a standard two-inch pipe stand, or attached directly to walls or steel structures. It is also available in an electrically-conductive antistatic version.