The Benefits Of Reusing Control Logic

Posted by Matt Dougherty on February 19, 2013 @ 9:49 am

The first large project I worked on in my career taught me that reusing code isn’t just a way to get more done with less effort; it is also makes problems that have nothing to do with the code very obvious. Let me explain: The project was a new 40 million gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility in South Carolina. The commissioning of the plant went very well, and all systems checked out. A few weeks after commissioning, I was sent back to the plant because they were having a problem with their effluent pumps. Three effluent pumps were set up in a lead-lag configu... Continue Reading

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What Does Statistical Process Control Really Do? (Part 2)

Posted by John Clemons on February 14, 2013 @ 8:24 am

From my last post on this subject, you should probably think that statistical process control (SPC) is pretty cool, and pretty valuable, as long as you don’t think too much about all the math.  (Actually, the math is pretty cool as well.)  But, SPC is not for everybody and it not the cure all for everything that ails you or your manufacturing process.  So, I’d like to talk about ways to know whether or not you’re really ready for SPC. Continue Reading

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What Does Statistical Process Control Really Do? (Part 1)

Posted by John Clemons on February 12, 2013 @ 10:43 am

Statistical Process ControlYou’ve heard of SPC. Statistical process control applies statistical methods to control manufacturing processes. You can go look at all the equations yourself, and you’ll see it’s actually pretty cool math and a practical application of mathematics in manufacturing. But, what does it really do? SPC is like a lot of things, people have heard about it but few do anything with it. And, when someone actually does something with SPC it’s often a math or quality geek who’s... Continue Reading

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Having The Right Tools In Your Arsenal

Posted by Miguel Gutierrez on February 5, 2013 @ 10:38 am

Everyone Starts Out Green, But Getting A Handle On A Few Important Resources Will Move You To The Experienced Side Much Faster

Have you ever been on a project where everything went as planned? If you’re like me, the answer is no. I would like to say yes, but who would I be kidding? Issues can vary from bad wiring, incorrect instrumentation calibration, wrong equipment specified or delivered, equipment installed in the wrong place, poor documentation, communication issues, seized motors, and so on. That’s a list that doesn’t end. Devoting enough up-front time on a project will minimize surprises during commissioning, but as much as one plans and prepares for a project, there are always issues, and those issues will need to be resolved by you. Having the right tools in your arsenal will make all the difference in finding the best solution quickly. Tools are not limited to s... Continue Reading

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Making Power More Efficiently

Posted by Bruce Brandt on January 29, 2013 @ 10:37 am

It is a common practice in the electric utility industry to utilize multiple stages of shell and tube heaters to preheat feedwater going to the boiler. The challenge has always been transferring as much heat as possible from the steam inside the shell to the water in the tubes. The mechanical design of the heaters helps this by providing baffles to prevent steam from exiting the heater rather than condensing. Heaters cascade from the highest shell pressure being the last in the train to the lowest being the first. There is also one heater called a deaerator that is an open heater between the low-pressure and high-pressure closed heaters where steam mixes with feedwater and any entrained air is removed. The steam for heating feedwater comes from extraction stages of the turbine and from the drain of the next higher-pressure heater.

At first blush, this ... Continue Reading

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