Commentary: A Process Disturbance You Can't Avoid
Winter can be a hard season on heat processing equipment as well. Lower ambient temperatures can lead to increased condensation, low flow due to increased viscosity and higher pumping costs. Richard Hartfelder, emerging markets manager for St. Louis-based Watlow, notes that improper heating outputs can significantly impact facility operations negatively, even leading to a plant shutdown. In his article, “Winterizing with Electric Process Heaters,” which begins on page 30, he compares heaters, or the lack thereof, to the smallest ring gear in a transmission: Although they may be cheap and easy to ignore, when they fail, the entire transmission fails. Hartfelder describes how electric process heaters can be used for large heat processing applications as well as for freeze protection, operating temperature maintenance and as an alternative to heat tracing.
Elsewhere in this issue, “Selecting an Air Pollution Control System” describes how modern emission control equipment offers multiple choices in technologies, temperatures, operating costs and energy efficiency. By carefully considering selection criteria, companies can be better prepared to specify and select a custom-designed air pollution control system, says Charles M. Martinson, president of CMM Group LLC, De Pere, Wis. Martinson reviews the four common types of pollution control equipment -- regenerative and recuperative thermal oxidizers, catalytic oxidizers and rotary concentrators -- and offers a list of specifications to be used as a basis for selecting the proper technology and for preparing formal proposals. Turn to page 26 to learn more.
In his September article, Jay Hudson, president of J.G. Hudson & Associates, Salisbury, N.C., described desirable design features of thermal fluid pumps. In this month’s article, “Sealed vs. Sealless Pumps for Thermal Fluid Service,” which begins on page 22, Hudson compares sealed and sealless pumps, including both magnetically coupled and canned motor pumps as they apply to thermal fluid service. Hudson notes that different designs perform better in some applications than others. He asserts that the pump owner needs to consider the fluid being pumped, the temperature, the flow and head, where the pump is to be located, and how the system is to be operated in choosing a certain design.
Finally, cold or hot, temperature sensors are a critical part of any process control scheme. But, to keep your heat processing equipment within your process specifications, you need to know what temperature the process is at now, and how far away it is from where you want it to be. With our Equipment Overview: Temperature Sensors, which begins on page 34, we provide a matrix of temperature sensor suppliers and the range of products they offer. This allows you to find suppliers that offer the type of temperature sensor you want -- located in the process or remote-reading using noncontact infrared sensing -- in an easy-to-use format.