Technology Saves Me from My Lazy Self
In the middle of prepping this issue for print, my laptop’s hard drive failed. I remember the first time I ever experienced a hard drive failure. It was 1996, and the computer in question was the Apple Power Macintosh 6100 I used to produce the early issues of Process Heating. There is nothing like the first time you see the Sad Mac and your files are not backed up. Our former publisher still alludes to the sound she heard coming from my office that day as one of the 10 scariest she’s ever heard.
The second time I experienced a hard drive failure, it was on my personal iMac in 2007. Apparently, I hadn't learned my lesson well enough the first time. Though I had some of my music and photos backed up on CDs and DVDs, like a lot of us, I was well intentioned but lazy. I lost everything I had failed to backup.
Not long after my first crash in the mid-90s, BNP put into place company-wide backup technology. (The timing was coincidental but comforting nonetheless.) Throughout the years, the software and hardware used for backups has changed. There was that ugly period when they thought to rely on Zip disks (back in the days before the click-of-death was well known). Some backed up data effectively became lost when the technology used to store the data (think tape drives) became inaccessible. In large part, however, any equipment failure these days simply means a few days or more inconvenience as a new drive is prepped, the backed up data is restored and the new drive is personalized in all the little ways each of us has. (I like all of my desktop app icons on the right, for instance. Why does Windows insist on plopping them on the left?) With the advent of cloud computing, a plethora of technologies exist to secure your data. Lucky for me, I can still be well intentioned and lazy yet not lose a thing.
Did you know the equipment equivalent of a ready backup exists for process heating equipment as well? In “Temperature Control Solutions Improve Operational Efficiencies and Reduce Downtime,” Stan Tyrrell of Aggreko North America explains how temporary process heating and cooling equipment can serve processors. Temporary equipment can deliver when additional capacity is needed, during plant shutdowns and turnarounds, and following catastrophic equipment failure. While it may not be quite as easy as plugging in a backup drive to a laptop, with some preparation, it can provide the same restorative effect.
Elsewhere in this issue, John Schramm of Thermon Group Holdings Inc. explores the applications for self-regulating heat tracing cable. Often used for freeze protection for metallic and nonmetallic pipes, vessels, tanks and equipment during cold weather months, self-regulating heat tracing also serves well to maintain process fluid temperatures and ensure proper fluid viscosity control.
In “4 Ways to Maximize Your Steam Boiler’s Cycles of Concentration,” Gregoire Poirier Richer of GE Water & Process Technologies offers strategies to improve steam boiler efficiency and reduce fuel costs. Maximizing the cycles of concentration, he notes, can bring significant improvements in terms of economies of water, chemistry and fuel.
While water is the best heat transfer fluid out there, its limited temperature range means that other fluids must be used in high temperature applications. Glycol/water, mineral oil and silicone heat transfer fluids each work effectively in specific temperature ranges. Kevin Coscia of Dynalene Inc. explores “TEG: A High Temperature Heat Transfer Fluid Alternative.”
Industrial laundry facilities wash up to 3,000 pounds of material in continuous batch tunnel washers. Governmental regulations in many countries dictate the wash time-temperature profile to ensure that any bacteria contained within the soils present on the material are dealt with. In “Using a Datalogger to Improve Industrial Laundry Sanitation,” Bradley Pickard of Mesa Labs explains how a noncontact temperature datalogger and housing were tailored to provide process data verification of the wash water time-temperature profile.
Finally, in “Spring Maintenance To-Do: Coil Cleaning,” Tim Robb of Goodway Technologies explains how coil-cleaning systems can ensure the good performance process heat exchangers, chillers and other equipment.