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Measuring Success

  • Eric Heilveil 14/02/2017

    Fall in Love with Coriolis All Over Again

    As Siemens’ SITRANS FC430 Coriolis flow sensor has been selected by Control Engineering's readership as one of the best "Process Control - Flow Meter, Process Sensors,” what’s not to love? The Siemens SITRANS FC Coriolis flow sensor delivers mass flow, volume flow, density, fraction and temperature measurement of both liquids and gases with exceptionally high accuracy and low pressure drop. It is user-friendly and easy to set up for day-to-day use.

    The SITRANS FC430, series of high-performing Coriolis flow meters, has a footprint small enough to meet your process requirements! The FC430 can stand up to the most demanding process industry conditions and continues to operate in the noisiest of environments – from hazardous chemicals to fiscal metering, custody transfer to compressed natural gas fuel dispensing. Its compact design makes installation easy even in the tightest spaces.

    Watch the SITRANS FC430 in action!

    To learn more about the SITRANS FC430, please visit

  • Justin DiNunzio 06/02/2017

    Siemens Develops an Innovative Temperature Measuring System to Improve the Service Life of Plant Equipment and Improve Product Quality

    Siemens has developed an innovative approach to temperature measurement using the speed and flexibility of fiber optic technology . The SITRANS TO500 , enables complex temperature measurements and can detect the precise position of critical temperatures, e.g. temperature measurement in tube and tube-bundle reactors at the speed of light.

    Designed to enhance the service life of plant equipment and improve product quality, the SITRANS TO500 is characterized by a large number of measuring points (up to 48 per measuring lance) and the small diameter of the sensor measuring lance. This allows plants to use a smaller protective tube in the reactor, which makes measurements more accurate. The precise determination of the temperature profile helps plants to detect critical operating points and initiate countermeasures accordingly.

    The SITRANS TO500 is the first temperature measurement device that uses fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) for its measurements. The SITRANS TO500 can evaluate 48 FBGs in each of its four channels (totaling 192 measuring points), exactly measuring the temperature changes in the smallest of spaces.

    The SITRANS TO500 is also the first device to enable FBG-based measurements in industrial environments (e.g. under harsh plant conditions and at high temperatures), making this instrument ideal for harsh and volatile conditions.

    For more information on the SITRANS TO500, please click here .
  • Jack Roushey 01/12/2016

    What is the best way to reduce water usage? 

    Water is necessary to sustain life but in many parts of the world, water is becoming increasingly scarce and difficult to obtain. As governments around the world are enacting even stricter legislation than before, the question that faces the irrigation industry remains the same: “How do you manage water consumption and waste prevention while still remaining profitable?”

    While this challenge has been at the forefront of the irrigation industry’s discussion table for some time, it’s essential to look at alternative solutions that may apply to reducing the amount of water consumption over time. Measuring your water usage might be the first step to reducing overall water consumption.

    How do you know you are using only what you need, or if you are using too much because there is a leak in your system?  

    One solution that has been proven to assist in accurate flow measurement is electromagnetic flow meters . The beauty of electromagnetic flow meter sensors, particularly battery-powered, is that they can operate if the system loses power and they can be installed without any straight runs into the pipe.  

    Next week, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) will be hosting the Irrigation Show 2016 December 5-9, 2016, in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s key points highlight:
    • The western hemisphere’s continuing drought
    • Irrigation management
    • Using sensor technology
    • Measuring landscape water use
    • Alternative water sources, and
    • Auditing soil moisture vs. catch cans

    Are you attending the Irrigation Show 2016 next week too? If so, stop by Siemens Industry’s booth, booth #1302! I’ll be there along with Scott Lee and Dave Haddon We would love to discuss this subject in more depth with you and answer any questions you may have that apply to your particular application. 

    Click here to learn more about Siemens irrigation solutions.

  • Rachael McGovern 17/11/2016

    Giving Thanks

    At this time of year, our thoughts turn to celebration and gratitude.

    Happy Thanksgiving! We would like to take this time to thank you for your readership, confidence and loyalty. We are grateful for the opportunity to share with you our explorations as we delve into new subjects and identify ways to help optimize manufacturing every day.

    We extend to you and your family our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day.

    Please let me know if there are any changes that you would like to make as well as who the author should be. Thanks!

  • Herman Coello 22/09/2016

    Discovering Sensible Solutions for Today’s Water Treatment Needs at WEFTEC

    With almost 30 workshops and over 100 technical sessions, the 2016 WEFTEC Expo is the place to be. Wait a minute, you are not going? Just visit the 2016 WEFTEC website and your mind will be changed. I mean, where else will you find experts talking about the latest trends and challenges, and companies sharing application stories where technologies and/or strategies worked – and where they didn’t WEFTEC allows you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn ways you can optimize your process while saving money at the same time.

    Trending topics these days are water conservation, water reuse and energy savings. Today, the task of finding innovative ways to manage water usage and improve sustainability goes beyond water and water treatment municipalities or water districts. The industrial sector such as refineries and the food and beverage industry for example are increasingly implementing technologies and practices for waste water treatment and water reuse in an effort to depend less on potable water supplies, and utilize this precious resource more wisely. Regardless of the sector you are in, environmental or industrial, it’s important to understand the resources and marketplace so that you can to be on your way to achieving your energy consumption goals.

    Process optimization can only go so far if energy saving strategies are not implemented. It is not news to any water treatment plant manager that the cost of operating pumps is often higher than the overall payroll. For many years, some power utilities have implemented fixed or variable energy tariffs to curtail energy usage during peak hours. In some states, the off peak hours can represent significant savings in terms of the cost per kilo-watt hours; I am talking about rates that can exceed 100%. This can translate into thousands of dollars in a matter of months, or even days depending on the size of your operation. If you want to achieve effective cost saving initiatives, you owe to yourself to come to WEFTEC and find out!

    Visit our booth and learn how the energy algorithms built into Siemens ultrasonic controllers can yield practically immediate savings. Savings will become evident by setting up strategies to run your pumps during critical times that are more in line with favorable tariff periods. You will wonder why you have not implemented such measures sooner. You will also be able to manage the high demands periods at lower cost without compromising your operation during water demand spikes.

    Below is just a sample of the ultrasonic level controller’s functionality that can help you optimize your process and minimize energy consumption.

    • Data logging
    • Volume totalization
    • Best accuracy in the industry
    • Digital communications options
    • Wet well Wall cling (fat ring) reduction
    • Advanced pump controls and modifiers
    • Energy saving algorithms “Economy Pumping”

    Come see us in booth #7039, and you’ll be glad you did! The return-in-your investment is closer than you think. We will be happy to help you be part of progressive solutions that are a must in today’s resource and energy environment.

    Have you considered an approach to balancing energy savings in your water treatment process using ultrasonic level controllers?

  • Jack Roushey 11/08/2016

    How can you maintain pure drinking water?

    Lead in drinking water has become a very visible issue over the last few months. While municipalities across America have been scrutinizing the quality of their drinking water, it should at least be some consolation that manufacturers of measurement instrumentation have taken serious steps to assure that they are not contributing to the problems that have been encountered.

    What are some of the steps that have been put into action to counteract lead consumption?

    In January of 2014, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act went into effect. This act is designed to further protect citizens from the harmful effects of lead by reducing the allowable lead content in water systems. Essentially, it revised the definition of “lead free” in section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) from “not more than 8% content to not more than 0.25% lead by weight.(1)” This basically tightens this specification up by a factor of 32!!

    How do you ensure your clean water process is lead free?

    One way to protect against harmful lead leaching into drinking water is to ensure that all wetted products are certified as “lead free.” Confirming certifications on piping, fittings and valves may be obvious, but have you considered other wetted products like the process measurement instruments used to control your clean water processes?

    Which standards certify lead-free water?

    When specifying or installing instruments like flow meters or pressure transmitters, you will want to ensure that they adhere to the lead free definition defined by SDWA. 

    What standards should you consider?

    There are two standards you will encounter that address the SDWA lead free definition:

    • NSF/ANSI Standard 372, which dictates that a product has been certified as meeting a weighted average lead content of ?0.25% when used with respect to the wetted surfaces.
    • NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G, which dictates that a product has been certified as meeting leachate requirements for all contaminants (metals and non-metals), as well as the new lead free requirements of NSF-372 (2)

    By specifying products that are certified to meet these standards, you are ensuring that your process measurement instruments adhere to the lead free definition in the SDWA.

    How can you be certain your instruments meet these standards? 

    Simple - only use process measurement instruments that are certified. There are several third-party certification bodies that work directly with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to determine and maintain current standards. The EPA’s website has a list of ANSI accredited third-party certification bodies as well as websites where you can get more information. These accredited certification bodies will typically provide lists of certified products on their websites.

    Another way to determine if your instrument is lead-free is to look for the certification mark. There are multiple certification bodies in the United States and each of these certification bodies has its own registered trademark. A matrix of trademarks can be found here: UL, for example, is accredited by ANSI to certify products to NSF standards. Next to the familiar UL certification mark, you will find “identifier text,” which will indicate lead free certification.

    Last, ask your process instrumentation experts and sales representatives. At Siemens, we take our commitment to drinking water purity very seriously. In that regard, Siemens Process Instrumentation is pleased to announce that the SITRANS P pressure transmitters have received NSF/ANSI 61 and NSF/ANSI 372 certification. The SITRANS DSIII and P300 join Siemens SITRANS F M MAG 3100, MAG5100W and MAG 8000 magnetic flow meters, which also carries NSF/ANSI 61 certification.  

    Interested to learn more? Come visit us at the 2016 WEFTEC Expo in New Orleans, LA, September 24-28, 2016. We"ll be in booth #7039 and would be happy to discuss the SDWA and viable solutions with you!

    What safe guards are you taking to ensure that your community’s drinking water is safe?

    (1), (2) Source:

  • Lonnie Barker 21/07/2016

    How can you maximize the value of your oil flow?

    As the price of oil has been so tumultuous the past few years, it’s important to maximize the value of your oil flow and ensure that you’re only paying for oil and not entrained gas. The costs associated with entrained gas can range from a nuisance to seriously costly! Easier said than done though, right?

    It may be easier than you think! One easy way to maximize the value of your oil flow is to figure out a way to remove all the excess gas out of your flow stream. In the normal course of oil production, there will always be the possibility of entrained gas in the liquid flow streams. Entrained gas in a liquid adds volume to the flow stream and since the value of the liquid is determined on that volume, any content of gas can often cause significant issues in the volume flow measurement accuracy.

    While there are alternative solutions like flow meters, these do not remove the unwanted entrained gases from the process. One solution that has recently emerged is two-phase flow gas void fraction eliminators (GVFE).

    Although the GVFE does not measure flow, it does eliminate unwanted gas volume, ensuring that you are only measuring and billing for the liquid.

    The GVFE system can be integrated into an existing pipeline, and once set-up and activated will remove unwanted gas volume to ensure that you are only measuring, paying or billing for just liquid. The GVFE removes and diverts the gas under full-flow conditions. The GVFE is able to remove gas void fractions from 0-100% at full-flow without reducing product velocity or requiring large holding tanks. 

    For more information on Two-Phase Flow Gas Void Fraction Eliminators, please click here.

  • Jonas Norinder 28/06/2016

    How do you optimize your process with smart device and process control integration?

    As we’re gearing up for the first full day of sessions at the Siemens Automation Summit in Las Vegas, NV, there’s a ton of sessions opening the conference concerning smart manufacturing, cyber security and modernizing processes.
    So how do you modernize your process and make your system more efficient?

    There are several benefits of integrating smart instrumentation devices into your control solution. “Smart instrumentation” is process instrumentation that has more advanced device and process diagnostics and can compute more data than previous versions. Simply put, smart instrumentation enables your plant to run more efficiently.

    In order to access this data and maximize your benefits as quickly and easily as possible, Siemens has created the “SITRANS Library.” The SITRANS Library is a tool that comes with pre-engineered function blocks and faceplates designed specifically for Siemens instruments including flow, level, pressure and temperature. Using SIMATIC PCS7? Not a problem! The design is consistent with any existing libraries for PCS7, which makes it easy to feel right at home.

    Using the library basically allows you to create process diagrams in your PCS7 process control system a lot faster than with the “Advanced Process Library.” The SITRANS Library also provides several advanced product-specific features that are embedded right into the faceplate.

    For example, the SITRANS Library gives direct access to the dosing functions of the SITRANS F M MAG 6000 electromagnetic flow transmitter. This means that you have direct control of the valves or pumps through the integrated dosing function as well as access to (and control of) all the measurement data through one faceplate. In regards to a SIPART PS2 valve positioner, you’re able to get direct access to all of the relevant diagnostics data, such as set-point, feedback, alarm modules and more.

    One of the best kept secrets about the SITRANS Library, however, is that it is integrated directly into PCS7. What’s not to like about a library that makes an operator more efficient and covers all of the products typically used in a processing plant?

    If you would like to see a demonstration, please visit us at the Automation Summit. We are at table 14 in Tech Café!

    To learn more about the Siemens Automation Summit, please click here.

  • Justin DiNunzio 23/06/2016

    How do you reduce water hammer by utilizing your valve positioner?

    Water hammer is a very common term in the world of water. Not only can this phenomenon happen in water treatment plants but it can also happen in just about any pumping system and even in steam systems. The effects of water hammer vary from loud banging noise to pipe vibration, pipe breakage, equipment damage and, sometimes, total system failure.

    What is water hammer and what causes it?  

    In valve applications, water hammer is the result of a valve suddenly closing in a system. The water (fluid or gas) is forced to stop and change direction suddenly. This creates a pressure surge and causes massive “wave like” forces to move back and forth through the pipeline. The quicker the valve closes, the more severe the effects will be to the pipe, valve, and system.

    There are more than a few ways that today’s marketplace deals with water hammer. Some of these include re-sizing the piping to decrease velocity, utilizing water towers and/or air vessels, installing water hammer arrestors, shortening pipe lengths, and rearranging larger piping with shorter small- run pipes to reduce velocity. Additionally, some plants will utilize a controller to ramp the valve in a slower manner. In these situations, a controller is an additional piece of equipment required to control the valve. This works in conjunction with a traditional pneumatic valve positioner since they cannot ramp on their own.

    How do you manage water hammer?

    A much more savvy way of dealing with water hammer is to address this phenomenon at its source with your valve positioner. A smart, digital valve positioner will typically give you configurability and some will be able to ramp your valve open and closed as slow or fast as you require. This means you can eliminate the controller and potentially many of the solutions that the industry uses today to deal with water hammer. You can also rely on your positioner to monitor the stroking speeds. If the positioner says the valve is stroking open in five seconds and you’re experiencing pressure surges, simply adjust the ramping parameter to the desired stroke time in seconds to slow it down. The same can be done on the down stroke when you are closing the valve. 

    In conclusion, water hammer is a common occurrence throughout many plants and the effects of it can be very expensive and time consuming. Invest your resources into a solution that will address the source of the issue. The configurability of today’s digital valve positioners is what makes them a great fit for water hammer applications. It allows plants to control the source of the issue with a device they may already be using.

    For more information, please click here.

  • Rich Chmielewski 16/06/2016

    What are the benefits of attending the Siemens Automation Summit?

    “I learned in 3 days what would have taken 3 months” – an attendee from the 2015 Automation Summit.

    Enhance your education about process automation by attending one of the largest user events in the industry. 
    This conference will be held June 27-30, 2016, at the Aria Resort, on the Las Vegas strip. Siemens automation professionals and users will learn side-by-side and explore the depth of the Siemens’ automation portfolio.

    With dozens of user presentations at the event, it’s the perfect opportunity learn best practices from your peers that you can use in your daily job. The sessions will cover multiple automation technologies including DCS, PLC, HMI, industrial networks, factory automation, motion controllers, process instrumentation, motors and drives, and even cyber security and safety.

    The Automation Summit kicks off Monday with a welcome reception and a casino-themed connect event, awarding prizes for the attendees with the most connections on the event’s mobile app. The following days will consist of the core conference events: breakout sessions, hands-on training, and the opportunity to meet with technical product experts in the Technology Café.

    You don’t want to miss the Technology Café – a one-stop-shop to see the entire scope of Siemens automation, controls, and drives portfolio and interact with Siemens experts in an open, informal setting. 

    Stop by the process automation booths in the Tech Café to learn more about the following topics:

    • Process Safety
    • Operations and engineering
    • Asset preservation and migration strategies
    • Simulation
    • Optimized process instrumentation

    We will have several process automation technical experts on-site to answer any questions you may have.

    Visit for more information on the Automation Summit. The event website has information about breakout sessions, hands-on training and a full schedule of all the summit events.