This issue offers five articles with information you can use immediately to help reduce operating costs and improve productivity.

This month,Process Heating's editorial lineup offers five articles with information you can use immediately to help reduce operating costs and improve productivity.

Solenoid valves have proven to be the most reliable and cost-effective method for controlling fuel in a range of combustion applications. In "Check Out Valves," Gerry Longinetti of ASCo., Florham Park, N.J., explains how to select a solenoid or motor-operated valve for fuel gas and oil shutoff.

Drying coatings or saturants on substrates is a common process heating application. The simple process of evaporating water or other solvent from a coating can consume large amounts of energy. The rate at which a coating is dried on a product while it is being manufactured often is the critical factor in determining how fast the manufacturing line can run; likewise, product quality often is determined by how smoothly or thoroughly a coating is dried. Therefore, any improvement in drying can reduce energy costs, increase productivity and improve product quality. In "Better Drying with Infrared," Jim Alimena of Glenro Inc., Paterson, N.J., describes four things you can do with infrared to improve your drying process.

Some of the typical applications for gas infrared emitters include drying paper, drying coatings on paper, drying heat-set ink, heating flooring products, drying and heat-setting textiles, curing coatings on carpet backs, glass annealing, paint drying and flowing and curing powder coatings. In "A Look at Gas Infrared Heaters," Thomas M. Smith, Marsden Inc., Pennsauken, N.J., and Charles E. Baukal Jr., Ph.D., P.E., John Zink Co. LLC, Tulsa, Okla., note that the mission of a gas infrared emitter, or heater, is to convert the chemical energy in a fuel gas such as natural gas to thermal radiation to perform useful work in a range of industrial operations. The process starts when the fuel gas is mixed with air and delivered to the emitter. What happens next makes the difference between excellent or poor radiant performance.

Over the years, three groups of burners -- nozzle mix, premix and radiation -- have played an important role in process heating. Each of these offers distinct differences and specific benefits. Nozzle-mix burners are not prone to flashback, have a wide range of possible air/fuel ratios and have a wide turndown capacity. Find out how these burners may improve your process in "3 Nozzle-Mixing Burners to Consider" by Al Talan of Pyronics Inc., Cleveland.

Finally, the Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies, Washington, brings you "Install Removable Insulation on Uninsulated Valves and Fittings." In it, OIT outlines the potential energy savings you can achieve using insulating valve and fitting covers.

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Linda Becker
Associate Publisher and Editor