October 17, 2017

The Right Gas Chromatograph for the Job

By Bonnie Crossland, Product Marketing Manager – Gas Chromatographs, Emerson Automation Solutions

Balancing the right level of gas chromatograph (GC) performance and cost for individual applications and locations within a plant or installation is key for many operators. Increased pressure to optimize processes is driving an increased demand for accurate and timely composition analysis for use in process control and product quality assurance. To continue to meet these demands, Emerson’s Rosemount 1500XA process gas chromatograph adds new enhancements to provide faster compositional feedback and complete, high-resolution analysis, helping operators optimize product specifications and maximize throughput.

Rosemount™ 1500XA Process Gas Chromatograph

The Rosemount™ 1500XA process gas chromatograph is designed for refining, petrochemical, power, and environmental applications where selected components in gaseous or liquid streams must be precisely monitored on a continuous basis. The recent enhancements to the 1500XA enable parallel chromatography, offering oven capacity for up to eight chromatograph valves and four detectors, two of which can be flame detectors. Depending on the application, the 1500XA can include flame ionization or flame photometric detectors for measurement of compounds in the parts-per-billion ranges, or thermal conductivity detectors (TCD) capable of handling applications with parts-per-million measurement requirements.

The 1500XA, like the entire Emerson GC family, is characterized by ease-of-use, ruggedness, and reliability. Emerson is currently the only online GC supplier to offer a lifetime warranty on chromatograph valves. The valves are rated for more than five million operations before repair, which involves simply replacing the diaphragms and can be done easily on-site.

With its numerous valves and detectors, the 1500XA can take a complex analysis application and break it down into smaller, simpler analysis blocks. These blocks are then run in parallel, reducing analysis time and providing faster, easier maintenance and troubleshooting, as well as straightforward data analysis. A complex analysis that may have previously taken 20 minutes may now only take 10 minutes, allowing quicker response to process changes. The 1500XA’s concurrent analysis can be used to reduce the time between analyses by running them at offset times. This can increase the number of analyses within a set time period.

Emerson’s MON2020 software allows the 1500XA to operate completely unattended while making analyzer configuration, maintenance, and data collection easy, either locally or remotely. With intuitive dropdown menus and fill-in-the-blank tables, even new users can quickly navigate through the software.

Since many users are looking for cost-effective and reliable GC solutions, the 1500XA with parallel chromatography and concurrent analysis capabilities more than fulfills that need. When combined with the 370XA and 700XA gas chromatographs, the 1500XA rounds out the widest single selection of gas chromatographs on the market. This makes the Emerson GC family flexible, and reduces costs for integrators and users alike. Used in a wide range of industries, the Emerson GC line allows users to get precisely the performance they require in each location and application while maintaining the same easy-to-use interfaces, the unique software capabilities, and common maintenance requirements.

If you have any questions, comment HERE. Or, to learn more about the right GC for the job, visit Emerson.com/RosemountGasAnalysis.

September 19, 2017

3 Steps to Monitoring Critical Electrical Assets – Free White Paper

By Jonathan Murray, Director of Products – IntelliSAW, Emerson Automation Solutions

I’d like to talk about a significant issue in the power industry. Electric utilities strive to improve reliability in the face of challenges such as fewer operators, aging assets and increased cycling. An electrical power critical asset (switchgear, transformers, bus ducts, etc.) failure can result in a forced power outage leading to lost production, environmental issues, personnel safety concerns, potential litigation, and repairing and/or replacing the damaged asset. All of this can result in critical risks and millions of dollars of associated costs.

The following table shows a simple view of the associated average potential revenue lost if a 500MW generator was down due to a forced outage.



To address these issues, asset maintenance is transitioning from traditional reactive and time-based activities to implementing a proactive strategy through continuous condition-based monitoring. Modern sensing technology makes it possible to continuously monitor the health of electrical power critical assets and inform plant personnel when, or even before, problems arise.

I’d like to offer you a white paper that describes the three steps for deploying condition-based monitoring on critical electrical power assets which will lead to a proactive – and eventually, predictive – maintenance strategy:

  1. Prioritize which assets should be monitored.
    Independent of the type of power plant, a typical electrical power delivery system includes assets such as generators, generator circuit breakers (GCBs), line disconnect switches, step-up and step-down transformers, segregated and non-segregated bus ducts, potential transformer cabinets, medium voltage switchgear, motors, and other equipment needed to support the transmission and distribution of power. Prioritizing which assets to monitor is key to success.
  1. Apply continuous condition-based monitoring.
    The 3 most common electrical asset failure modes include thermal breakdown, insulation breakdown, and air dielectric breakdown. Although manual inspections can be used to monitor less critical assets, continuous condition-based monitoring is the preferred alternative for assets which must be kept online at all times. Continuous condition-based monitoring systems are available with temperature, partial discharge (PD) and humidity-sensing capabilities.
  1. Analyze data and evaluate asset health.
    Once data is acquired and brought into a digital space where it can be analyzed, limits and alarms can be placed on data trends. This allows the delivery of actionable information to the maintenance and engineering team responsible for the assets.

The white paper will help you select the best monitoring and analysis approaches for your requirements. Please click HERE for your copy. And if you have any questions, please contact me at Jonathan.Murray@Emerson.com.

September 12, 2017

New Surface Sensor Innovation Achieves Accurate Process Temperature Measurement Overcoming Challenges of Traditional Methods

by Ryan Leino, Emerson Automation Solutions, Rosemount Temperature Product Manager

As you know, temperature is the most commonly measured variable in the process industry. It’s often a critical factor in determining process efficiency and product quality. There are several ways to measure temperature in the process industry and each one has challenges. I’d like to tell you about a new type of surface sensor technology that can overcome some of these issues for you.

A thermowell and temperature sensor assembly is the most frequently used method of measuring a temperature internal to a process. A thermowell is a component of a temperature measurement point that acts as a protective barrier between the temperature sensor and process. It enables insertion of the temperature sensor into the process where it might not otherwise survive the harsh conditions present. The direct sensor immersion of thermowells into the process helps provide an accurate measurement, but introduces a possible leak point, which is a significant problem.

An alternative sensing method, surface temperature measurement, alleviates many of the pains associated with a thermowell installation as it does not require direct contact with the process. Since the measurement point is external to the process being measured, there is no threat of internal conditions physically damaging it or creating potential leak points. The need for wake frequency calculations and other complex design considerations are eliminated.

Although a traditional surface temperature measurement installation addresses many of these pains and challenges, in many cases it cannot match the measurement performance of a thermowell installation. If an internal process temperature measurement is required, a surface temperature measurement is often not capable of providing an accurate or repeatable representation of an internal measurement.

There are many factors that can impact a traditional surface temperature measurement reading. This makes it difficult to use as a simple point of inference when determining the temperature of the associated internal process. However, by implementing an algorithm with an understanding of the thermal conductive properties of the temperature measurement assembly and corresponding piping or vessel, a surface temperature sensor solution can be utilized to accurately calculate internal process temperature. This unique technology works by measuring the pipe surface temperature and ambient temperature, and combining this information with an understanding of the thermal conductivity properties of the installation and process piping.

In order to understand the unique design of this surface temperature measurement capability which Emerson calls Rosemount X-well™ technology, please access this interesting white paper.

Rosemount X-well Technology offers accurate process temperature measurement without requiring any intrusions or penetrations into the process, eliminating possible leak points, and allowing quicker and easier installation, along with simplified long-term maintenance. Users do not have to design, size, or maintain thermowells. Wake frequency calculations are eliminated, as well as time spent determining material compatibility, the right insertion length, and the necessary profile.

With this innovation, users can also add temperature measurement points without having to shut down a process. It can be installed with a standard pipe clamp procedure and ordinary hand tools, and does not require a skilled contractor.

The surface measurement innovation works best in steady state applications, including the majority of pipe processes –

  • Pipeline monitoring
  • Small line size applications
  • Retrofit projects that need new points
  • Pipeline requiring frequent cleaning
  • High velocities
  • Slurries and heavy particulate fluids
  • Clean-In-Place (CIP) processes
  • High viscosity fluids
  • Harsh processes requiring exotic materials

In the following industries –

  • Oil and gas
  • Chemical
  • Refining
  • Life sciences
  • Metals and mining
  • Pulp and paper

If you have any questions, or if you’ve encountered applications where surface temperature measurement could be effective, please contact me at Ryan.Leino@emerson.com.

And don’t forget to access your free white paper.

August 24, 2017

The ABCs of pH (Part 1)

Hi – I’m Sherri Renberg from the global liquid analysis marketing group, and I’d like to thank the many liquid analysis experts who have contributed to this blog series. We hope you will enjoy these useful answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from users about pH measurement.

While some of the questions are basic, that’s why they’re valuable. pH is a measurement where it never hurts to go back to the fundamentals. We’ll cover a few questions in this blog, and more in future.

Q) What is the shelf life of a pH sensor?
) pH glass electrodes must remain hydrated which is why all manufacturers ship pH sensors with a cap saturated in a liquid solution. After being on the shelf for some time, the liquid solution inside the sensor cap can go dry, which is the primary reason sensors go bad on the shelf. It’s a good idea to re-saturate the pH sensor cap with a 4-buffer about every (6) months that the sensor remains on the shelf to extend the shelf life of the probe. The best way to determine if the sensor is functioning accurately is to see if it calibrates properly using the two-point calibration method.

Q) What is the proper way to install a pH sensor?
 Most manufacturers insert an air bubble inside their glass electrodes to allow for temperature and pressure changes. Without this, pH sensors could crack with large temperature or pressure swings. If a sensor is mounted horizontally, the air bubble inside the sensor can move to the tip of the sensor, which can cause poor readings because it can impede the transfer of hydrogen ions. Therefore, pH sensors should be mounted at least 10 degrees above horizontal to ensure correct measurement. Sensors can also be installed vertically.

Q) I have a pH loop and I’m getting a “low slope” error message. What does this mean?
 If you are getting a “low slope” error message, there are a few possible causes:
• The sensor may be coated or dirty. Try cleaning the sensor and repeating the calibration.
• The glass is dry and needs to be rehydrated before calibration. To rehydrate the sensor, soak it in pH 4 buffer solution overnight. Theoretically, a brand new sensor’s slope should be 59.16mV when the sensor is set to auto-temperature compensate to 25oC, however, a new sensor could potentially have a slope as low as 55mV/pH without causing any problems. Note that the calibration is only as good as the chemicals are fresh. Make sure there are no air bubbles on the glass and that the sensor is left in the solution long enough to stabilize the reading.
• The glass is old and may need replacing.

Q) What affects the accuracy of a pH calibration?
 The first thing to consider when trying to get an accurate pH measurement is the proper calibration of your equipment. Make sure that you take the appropriate time to calibrate your pH meter or analyzer with a quality standard buffer solution.

Room temperature, buffer temperature, and sample temperature all impact the calibration process. Try to simulate the actual environment the sensor will be operating in for the best calibration results.

As the pH sensor depends on its glass tip to make readings, the cleanliness and the quality of the glass can also impact your accuracy. Time, heat, and harsh chemicals gradually eat away at the glass surface, changing its properties and degrading the quality of the reading.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Q) What buffer calibration errors can occur when calibrating my pH sensor?
) Buffer solutions have a stated pH value at 25°C (77°F), but when that value is 7 pH or above, the actual pH of the buffer will change with temperature. The values of the buffer solution at temperatures other than 25°C (77°F) are usually listed on the bottle. The pH value at the calibration temperature should be used or else errors in the slope and zero values, calculated by the calibration, will result. An alternative is to use the “buffer recognition” feature on modern pH analyzers, which automatically corrects the buffer value used by the analyzer for the temperature.

Another type of calibration error can result from not allowing enough time for the buffer calibration to complete. If the pH sensor is not given enough time to fully respond to the buffer solution, it can cause errors, especially in the case of a warm pH sensor not being given enough time to cool down to the temperature of the buffer solution. Current pH analyzers have a “buffer stabilization” feature, which prevents the analyzer from accepting a buffer pH reading that has not reached a prescribed level of stabilization.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

This is just a start of some of the great questions users have sent us. We’ll share some more in a future blog. What kind of questions do you have about pH measurement?

August 16, 2017

Pardon Us While We Bask

Hi everyone. You know that here at Analytic Expert we focus on bringing you solutions-oriented information to solve your plant and processing problems. Today however, we’d like to pause and give you a glimpse into what your confidence in us means.

The Asian Manufacturing Awards were conceived in 2012 to recognize companies that deliver cutting-edge industrial technology solutions and services in control, instrumentation, and automation. This year, the Awards received close to 100 nominations across the 25 award categories. The nominations were assessed by a judging panel made up of ten internationally recognized experts and practitioners from a variety of industry sectors and disciplines. Their extensive industry knowledge and experience enabled them to adjudicate effectively and ensure deserving winners in each category.

Emerson has participated since 2012 and has won a number of awards in this prestigious event, but this year was the topper (so far) –

AMA AWARDS 2017 – Automation & Control Category:

  • Best Process Instrumentation Provider sixth year in the row
  • Best Industrial Wireless Provider for the fourth time
  • Best Process Control Systems Provider four years in row
  • Best Process Safety System Provider

AMA AWARDS 2017- Industry Solution Category:

  • Best Power & Energy Solutions Provider for the second time
  • Best Refinery Solutions Provider for the second year

The Awards Ceremony Gala Dinner was held July 27th at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel Singapore, Imperial Ballroom, and, as you’ll see from all our photos, a great time was had by all.

Thank you for your interaction, challenges, and confidence that make awards like these both possible and gratifying. And thank you for letting us take a moment to bask in the glory.