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While this book cannot guarantee the above results, the content should provide an automation engineer with a proven path to career and technical success. Ebook Tips For A Successful Automation Career currently available at caubracderfama.ml for review only, if you need complete ebook Tips For A. Successful. Greg McMillan along with Hunter Vegas have written Tips for a Successful Automation Career.
A quick investigation showed I had failed to consider the fact that if too much water was drained off, pure ammonia would go through the meter. Ammonia has extremely low conductivity, and at that point, the meter could not function and read zero. Since then, I always ask for the conductivity of the fluid during normal AND upset conditions!
Similar to the vortex meter, a magmeter can be an excellent choice for a large variety of applications, but it too has limitations. Understanding these limitations can help avoid a misapplication of this technology.
When a conductor moves through a magnetic field, it generates a voltage. The higher the velocity of the conductor with the magnetic field strength held constant , the higher the voltage generated.
A magmeter uses this phenomenon to measure flow. In this case, the fluid is the conductor, and it flows through a non-conductive line sized tube that has a magnetic field passing from top to bottom. The meter has a pair of small electrodes one on either side of the tube , which detect the resulting voltage and calculate a fluid velocity.
The velocity times the cross sectional area of the meter provides a volumetric flow rate. Some meters include an additional electrode at the top and bottom of the tube to detect whether or not the pipe is full. A half full pipe will read high because the calculation assumes that the pipe is full.
Therefore, the meter can be used to measure strong acids and caustics. Even if the electrodes must be made of an exotic metal platinum, tantalum, etc. It can also work well for viscous fluids. Two to three diameters upstream and downstream are usually all that is required. Older models required a separate source of VAC power.
The 2-wire devices are cheaper to install.
Most require at least 5 micromho, though some units can measure below that. If the fluid temperature is high, be sure to specify a remote mounted transmitter. These rings complete the circuit that allows the voltage to be generated. Recognize that these rings will also touch the fluid and should utilize the proper material of construction.
If these electrodes are exposed to air they will generate a non-conductive oxide coating which will keep the meter from operating immediately. Once they are again exposed to the acid, it will burn the coating off but this can take some time and the meter may not function at all during this time.
It can calculate a mass flow based on an assumed density but if the fluid density changes, the reading will be in error. Beware of gravity flow measurements when using a magmeter. Unless the meter is properly located, partially empty pipe conditions will occur, and the meter may be inaccurate. Always ask about the upset conditions that the meter might see. As mentioned previously, steam- outs can irreparably damage the meter and very low conductivity conditions can prevent the meter from reading at all.
Many magmeters employ a combination of AC and DC excitation on the coils to provide a means of detecting and compensating for coating of the sensing electrodes. While this may not make them impervious to coating conditions, it will allow the meter to continue to operate longer before a cleanout is required.
A magmeter is an excellent choice for measuring the flow rate of a conductive liquid with reasonable accuracy. This meter is also well suited for measuring the flow rate of viscous liquids, acids, caustics, and slurries.
It is even possible to measure the differential pressure across the inside and outside of an elbow to determine flow rate. Such meters are often used for custody transfer applications. The pressure drop can be measured to calculate flow. Note that the turndown of these meters can also be quite limited. This section will try to briefly provide the strengths and weaknesses of the offerings and alert you to the possible pitfalls of using this type of meter.
The differential pressure can be generated in a number of ways. If a fluid is forced to pass through a restricted area. An orifice plate is the most common. Works in gas. Flow nozzles. The DP meter is one of the oldest means of flow measurement. Because the overall energy must remain the same. A well designed orifice installation can be extremely accurate. I only have space to hit the highlights and suggest that you pick up any of several books on the subject if you want to know more about this type of meter.
There have been whole books written about differential pressure DP flow devices orifices. Just like every other flowmeter. Pitot tubes. At a high level. Averaging pitot arrays can accurately measure gas flow in odd shaped ducts with minimal meter runs. A segmented wedge meter can be combined with capillary seals to provide flow measurement of viscous.
If a high turndown is required. The pressure drop rises quickly as the flow increases. Few processes exist that cannot be handled by at least one version of the DP flowmeter. This same arrangement can also handle some solids entrainment. The slightest bit of erosion on an orifice plate or pitot tube nozzle can have an enormous impact on accuracy. Impulse lines are also prone to plugging in many applications. Each type of differential pressure flowmeter has a variety of pros and cons but the sheer number of types provides many options to the engineer.
The permanent pressure drop of most orifice plates is about two-thirds of the measured differential pressure. The square relationship between differential pressure and flow greatly limits the turndown of most DP meters.
Orifice type meters have been around for a long time and have been extremely well studied. Orifice meters do NOT have a low flow cutoff like vortex meters. Integral flow orifices can measure extremely low flow rates.
Because the DP transmitter is usually well removed from the process. In addition. The length of the meter run.
Note that these distances depend upon the particular type of DP meter used. The impulse lines on liquid and steam meters usually require freeze protection. Like a vortex meter. Vortex meters have been gradually replacing orifice type meters.
Such a run must usually be at least 25 diameters upstream and 10 diameters downstream. If these conditions can vary. DP meters are sensitive to installation. Hundreds of constants and factors now exist.
DP flowmeters can be used in a wide range of temperatures and pressures. The energy cost can be significant over the life of the meter. A capillary seal consists of the seal itself which is a flexible diaphragm. Specifying a capillary seal assembly is a perfect example of this. Choosing the correct capillary seals for a particular transmitter installation seems like a minor thing. Here is a brief list of items that can cause an engineer serious problems: This may require coiling up the unused length of capillary on one side.
If one leg is longer or one seal is bigger. Many an engineer has failed to grasp this and has gone through several meters until they got one that worked. If the seals are the same size and the capillaries are the same length.
Smaller diameter tubing has reduced volume and tends to cause less zero shift. To master engineering design. Differential pressure transmitters will often. How to Specify a Capillary Seal Assembly automation. Capillary seals are used to isolate a pressure or differential pressure transmitter from the process by transferring pressure from the process to a remote mounted transmitter.
This can be a big problem if the seal fluid has a high viscosity. Smaller diaphragm seals have less volume and tend to have reduced temperature-related zero shift problems.
Picking the right combination of features to suit the application can be challenging. Some processes are prone to plugging of the impulse line.
An engineer is constantly balancing one criterion against another. There will often be several factors to consider.
When pressure is applied to the seal. The problem is that all hydraulic fluids expand with temperature. In this scenario. Because this arrangement has a large seal on only one side. Some hydraulic fluids are designed to handle vacuum. Here is a quick list of things to consider: When faced with specifying this type of meter.
If this happens. There may not be a fluid available that will suit your application. Many a pipefitter has pulled them out of the box and bolted them up without the proper gaskets and spacers.
These meters are NOT cheap and the specifying engineer can ill afford a couple of iterations to get it right. If your process could encounter high vacuums at high temperatures.
A higher range transmitter can be used. Never use a single seal. A common scenario is trying to measure the differential pressure across a distillation column. Be extremely careful to select knowledgeable technicians to install capillary seals. Most transmitters will only allow a zero shift of four to five times the maximum range. Trade-offs abound. Check with the plant to make sure this is not a concern. If the process temperature fluctuates.
Vacuum lowers the boiling point of the fluid and if the hydraulic fluid boils.
A failure to achieve that understanding can place the entire project in jeopardy. Either way you are well ahead by raising the question. Many project teams find it useful to map out the process on a large wipe board in the project team area during the discussions.
Clean outs. Either the team does not understand the process nearly as well as they think they door the original program was in error.
The folly of this approach was usually not discovered until late in the project possibly during start-up. Armed with this knowledge you can not only design the system correctly. Then take the time to talk through the process with the plant engineers and operations staff. If you are the project leader. If the process documentation is sparse or not updated. Be sure to inquire about the normal process flow and any non-routine cleanout.
This thorough understanding of the process is absolutely critical to project success. Watch Out: In many systems. Even if the job is a control system retrofit with no significant software changes. When asked the operators will often say. This tip seems obvious. Process understanding is a crucial first step in any automation project. They can also be the most difficult to program due to various interactions and undocumented operations. There really are none.
Before beginning any major project. As a student in high school. A ninth grade teacher hammered me for this. I realized this same approach is just as critical to any kind of software development. This method can eventually work.
Many a project team has failed to do this and has blown the entire labor budget trying to patch and cobble something together only to ultimately step back. I struggled when writing papers. Once the design is complete.
I had a lot to say. Resist the urge to just sit down and bang out code. Save the team a lot of wasted effort. He preached the concept of first creating an outline to assemble the main concepts in a meaningful and logical way. If you first outline the major components and think through how the parts will interact.
When faced with a major creative endeavor. This applies to any major undertaking such as writing a paper. You will save yourself hours of wasted effort. Tnis is Tip This concept applies to any major project but is especially true for software development. Take the time to lay out a design and get the underlying structure right before you begin. This is a lesson I never forgot. One portion of the design can be completed and released for detailed software development while the other areas are being designed and outlined.
Keeping everything straight can be difficult. If the programmers are allowed to begin in advance with no direction. This same documentation can be used for testing and checkout purposes at the end of the project and provided to the customer for future reference. Due to tight schedules. Start with a high level outline to list the concepts and the order of presentation.
This same advice is invaluable for writing a paper or creating a presentation. This is a common failure area of large projects. When multiple people or vendors are part of project. Concurrent engineering is possible if it is done correctly. Once a detailed outline has been created. For instance. Here is a sample of some of the messaging an operator should see: If the system is on hold for 10 minutes. Nothing frustrates an operator more than working on a control system that provides vague.
Operators want to know what is going on. Tell the operator what is going on! If a phase goes to hold. Take the time to do messaging right.
This is one of those tips that you cannot appreciate until you have worked on a control system that did NOT have adequate messaging programmed in it.
If a programmer is not a good speller. Two lines are usually necessary because many batch processes have multiple operations occurring simultaneously and providing two message areas avoids overlap.
Imagine running a complex or dangerous process and not having any feedback to tell you what is happening or if anything is happening at all!
101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career
Or perhaps just as bad. The extra effort to do this is minimal. See Appearance Matters Tip The messaging can be displayed in a two line message bar at the bottom of the screen that is used for active phase messaging and for operator questions and responses.
Creating detailed messaging is easy once the phase templates have been configured to include it.
If the messages are generic or non-existent. The various phases write to these variables so that the operator gets used to seeing phase related messaging in the same place.
These message bars can be placed on several graphics as appropriate. A trick to making messaging easy is to create one or two operator message variables that appear in the message lines on the bottom of the page. Messaging can make or break a control system. Operations will be calling Engineering all night long looking for help to identify problems and get the process running again.
If the information is detailed and useful. downloading high-quality instrumentation does NOT mean that the downloader has to get fleeced and pay list price. The competition keeps both of them honest.
Spend the extra money and download a brand that the plant knows and trusts. Always have at least two major vendors qualified for each type and brand of instrumentation. Also consider the synergy and free time for creativity from standardization afforded by sole sourcing.
To keep the price down. Some instrument brands stand so far above the others that it simply is not worth investigating another vendor. Automation engineers are under a lot of pressure to keep the price down.
Be sure you have investigated and confirmed there is a significant design. Some instruments are cheap for a reason. Please note that this tip is NOT suggesting that cheaper equipment does not deserve a chance. Short term.
Sometimes a vendor discovers a better technology or a cheaper method of manufacturing that DOES produce an instrument that is lower in cost and is just as good or better.
How many times has an engineer been asked. Do not skimp on instrumentation. Automation is expensive. download good quality equipment and it will last for years. downloading of the untested units for a large project is just asking for trouble. If the system will double in size. This concept is particularly true when running fiber optic cable.
If the project budget is so tight that larger cables or spare capacity cannot be installed. Install slightly bigger field junction boxes and cable trays so that more cables can be added later. Running a cable with less than 12 fibers is pointless. Occasionally an automation project involves a machine or a process that is so mature that future expansion is unlikely. Even if the spare capacity was not included in the original budget. If the spare capacity is included in the original project estimates.
This is not a common occurrence. The labor to run a 6 fiber. Plants adore spare capacity because it allows the execution of process improvement projects at a much reduced cost. During system design. Oversize conduits. Always ask about future expansion plans during the design phase of an automation project. Install spare wire capacity whenever possible. In the long run. Over my career I cannot think of a single time when I regretted running spare cables or oversizing field junction boxes.
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The incremental download cost of a 36 pair cable over a 24 pair cable is practically negligible when compared with the labor cost of running either cable.
By knowing how the ultimate system might appear. A common rule of thumb for most systems is to add at least 25 percent spare capacity to the original design. Depending upon the future plans of the plant. If the cabinet incorporates these features.
In an attempt to add fuses. Between this installation and several others like it. A single fault in the field can take out all the points on a card and might take out the entire cabinet. The increased cost of using individual fuses will be quickly recovered by the reduced time to troubleshoot and resolve field wiring problems.
Build this into your standard cabinet designs and be sure to specify it in your third-party skid package specifications.
The technicians cannot even SEE the lower terminals. If any of the 50 shorted. Almost none of these cards use indicating fuses and some of them require the entire card to be removed in order to replace one fuse!
The blown fuse light is difficult to miss. Such a disconnect provides an easy means for the technicians to take series current measurements or connect their handheld communicators. One or two instances of bringing production back on line within minutes rather than hours or days will easily pay for the initial installation.
With the advent of computers. I worked in a large continuous process plant that had alarms coming in constantly. The panelboard operator had silenced two high alarms. One piece of information that IS useful. Alarm management has become all the rage lately. Even though the tank had redundant level transmitters and we had one of the more alert panelboard operators on shift. There were only so many points available. Addressing this expansive topic in a few pages is not possible. Add conditional logic that generates a common alarm when a piece of equipment trips rather than generating 10 or 15 alarms that essentially indicate the same condition.
Many operators use the alarm list to determine what tripped the equipment. If the first out information can be indicated on a graphic. Enable alarms on instruments that matter and on process nonconformances that the operator can do something about.
When faced with a constant stream of annunciation. Generate an alarm report to Maintenance.
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If a process is running out of spec but not in a critical range. Automatically disable alarms on out-of-service equipment. An engineer has several ways to address this problem. We had a case where a process flow was accidently diverted to the wrong tank. At one time. The proliferation of instrumentation busses has provided access to a plethora of information. Having alarms for the sake of having alarms only ensures that ALL alarms will be ignored—even the ones that matter.
When configuring new systems. Many control systems default to having all the alarms enabled. Doing this can dramatically reduce the total alarm count without requiring much effort.
In this way. This method provided increased alarming when a loop was in manual but did not generate alarms on a point in automatic unless it deviated too far from setpoint. High and low alarms were not enabled unless the controller was in manual. An occasional review of the most active alarms will allow the plant to identify these points and modify the programming to reduce their frequency or address their cause.
One solution to this problem is to allow operators the ability to suppress alarms. One plant only enabled setpoint alarms when a controller was in automatic. Such alarms annunciate when the process variable is beyond the allowable range around the current setpoint. Some plants do not allow the operators to suppress alarms because they are concerned that critical alarms will be turned off and never restored.
On a new system. Alarm management is a never ending effort. The panel equipment may start overheating because a larger power supply was specified. Failure to evaluate even one item can have serious or even catastrophic consequences. Looking at spec sheets might be the very definition of boredom. In the normal course of a job. Details matter—take the time to chase them. Engineering is by definition a detail-oriented profession. I noticed this and was able to pursue a different path early in the design process.
I realized that channels 1 through 4 and channels 5 through 8 shared a common ground on the card. Everything matters. If you copy that design and modify it without understanding what went into the original design decisions. I was working on a large automation retrofit project of a chemical plant that had numerous thermocouples scattered throughout the structures. Wire size. Automation is particularly challenging because the engineering skill set is so diverse.
The field of automation demands extreme attention to detail. If you are not a detail person. A vendor suggested a particular thermocouple card that I had never used.
There was an odd footnote about channel-to- channel isolation that caught my eye. If I happened to get thermocouples from two different columns on the same group of channels. Many large engineering firms send a spec sheet with a smattering of process information to the vendors and let them generate the instrument specifications. Young engineers are notorious for working fast but missing details.
This practice invites disaster. One of the best ways to address this problem is to pick up a highlighter and learn how to color the lines as you work. Checklists such as those found at the end of this book can also be an invaluable way to make sure everything has been considered and evaluated.
Vendors often plug information into sizing software and generate impressive specifications and calculations. If this is not a natural tendency. If you are doing an instrument takeoff. In short. If you are checking drawings. Always cross check vendor sizing calculations for instrumentation.
Successful automation engineers HAVE to be detail-oriented.
The vendor cannot possibly know the process details or the abnormal conditions that the instrument might encounter. After an engineering team leader has worked with a team for any length of time. It is always worth running a rough cross check on their sizing and then reading through the entire specification to make sure the materials of construction are as required for the application.
What happens if the operator presses the wrong button? What happens if no button is pressed at all? If power is lost. Anticipating every failure is difficult. Automation engineers love to create gloriously complex solutions. Operators are forever using the equipment in ways that were never intended and if the software is not designed to handle it. Gravity always works at least on planet Earth.
Complicated systems find new and interesting ways to fail. Despite what their name might imply. Having dual feeds can allow a control panel to continue operating despite the failure.
Whenever possible go for the simplest. I have also worked in a chemical plant that encountered FIVE simultaneous failures. Sometimes it takes a multivariable predictive control model to do that. During testing try hitting the wrong buttons and try to force the program to step through the sequence in a different way to see what happens. With so many computers and gadgets available.
Simple systems work reliably. While this will drive the programmers crazy. As an automation engineer. Equipment breaks. Anticipate it. Software design is particularly tricky because there are so many paths that the logic can traverse.
This large user base offers a lot of potential sales leads for brands. In a traditional retail setting, the consumer comes into the store, makes a download, and leaves. Little insight is provided as to why they make the download. With mobile commerce, brands can connect with these consumers from the moment of discovery all the way through download, giving the brand access to valuable signals of download intent.
Rapid expansion: Mobile commerce allows brands to avoid market saturation issues by changing their slant and focus to differentiate themselves from competitors. As new markets open and are discovered they provide extensive sales opportunities to brands. Scalability: Through mobile commerce, brands are better able to scale everything from inventory to marketing. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.
Will the nozzle neck be too long, interfering with the horn antenna? Little insight is provided as to why they make the download.
Every day new processes, new technologies, new instruments, and new control techniques invade the market, and an automation engineer must constantly strive to stay abreast of the latest offerings or face becoming obsolete. For turbine meters, do the upstream and downstream straight run lengths meet the ASME guideline for 0.
A single fault in the field can take out all the points on a card and might take out the entire cabinet. These valves CAN be used in throttling applications, but certain limitations can greatly impact their performance. Do not be one of them.
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