Valve Safety and Mechanical Valve Interlocking

Introduction
It is essential that the processing industries take a disciplined approach to design and operating practice. Valve operating procedures can be potentially dangerous if executed incorrectly or in unsafe conditions. The scope for injury and/or damage is also significantly increased when high temperature, high pressure or a toxic/flammable product is present. While good practice begins with good design – both are inevitably hostage to the ‘human factor’. 70% of reported incidents in the oil and gas industry worldwide are attributable to human error, accounting for in excess of 90% of the financial loss to the industry.

SFC mechanical valve interlocks

SFC mechanical valve interlocks

Modern processes are often highly automated yet still require human intervention during essential maintenance procedures such as loading or unloading pig traps or the changeover of pressure relief valves. Distributed control systems (DCS) cannot effectively regulate such procedures, but mechanical key interlocking system can.

Smith Flow Control is responsible for introducing the coded-card linear-key concept in a range of modular key-operated interlocks which regulate operator execution of work procedures on any form of host process equipment. These can be used on every form of valve (including motorised and instrument valves) as well as access hatches/doors and electrical isolating switchgear.

What are key interlocks?
Mechanical key interlocks work by controlling the sequence of events in which valve process activities are conducted.

Key interlocks are dual-keyed mechanical locking devices designed as integral-fit attachments to the host equipment and operate on a ‘key transfer’ principle. This limits actions to only those that produce a safe and desired outcome – for example preventing a tanker from departing a loading/discharge station until the cargo hoses have been disconnected.

Typically key interlock systems are applied to valves, closures, switches or any form of equipment which is operated by human intervention.  The ‘OPEN’ or ‘CLOSED’ status of an interlocked valve, or the ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’ status of an interlocked switch, can only be changed by inserting a unique coded key. Inserting the key unlocks the operating mechanism (e.g. hand wheel or push-button) enabling operation of the valve or switch. Operating the unlocked equipment immediately traps the initial (i.e. inserted) key.

When this operation is complete, a secondary (previously trapped) key may be released, thereby locking the equipment in the new position. This secondary key will be coded in common with the next lock (item of equipment) in the sequence. By this simple coded-key transfer principle, a ‘mechanical logic’ system is created which denies the scope for operator error.

In addition, keys may be customized to intelligent format by electronic tagging of individual keys and managed by system software that interfaces with the mainframe DCS system.

While popular Permit to Work (PtW), Lockout/Tagout procedures provide a ‘lock-off’ capability, they do not provide any control of the sequence of operations, nor do they assure or confirm the status of the equipment to which they are fixed which can generate dangerous conditions through error or negligence. Interlocks are ideally suited for integration with PtW procedures and provide an effective front-line safety management tool that mitigates the risk of human error.

For more information please contact:
Mr Lakshmanan Venkateswaran
Smith Flow Control Sales Manager for India
Halma Trading and Services India Pvt. Ltd.
201 Hyde Park, Saki Vihar Road
Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400 072
Tel: 022 4200 0700; Fax: 022 6708 0415
E-mail : V.Lakshmanan@smithflowcontrol.com
Website : www.smithflowcontrol.com

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ChlordioX™ Plus – New Digital Instrument for Portable Testing Of Chlorine Dioxide, Free Chlorine and Chlorite

The ChlordioX™ Plus builds on Palintest’s innovative sensor technology, providing a new portable testing solution for Chlorite. The ChlordioX™ Plus is ideal for applications such as drinking water, produce washing and paper/pulp bleaching. Using the company’s patented disposable electrical sensor technology and a unique sequential methodology, the instrument offers superior analytical performance compared to DPD or Lissamine Green methods, while reducing the potential for user error.

ChlordioX™ Plus - the New Digital Instrument from Palintest for Portable Testing Of Chlorine Dioxide, Free Chlorine and Chlorite

ChlordioX™ Plus - the New Digital Instrument from Palintest for Portable Testing Of Chlorine Dioxide, Free Chlorine and Chlorite

Photo:  http://halmapr.com/palintest/pal0511chlordioxplus.jpg  (465 KB)

Palintest’s chronoamperometric method, using the ChlordioX™ Plus, quickly, accurately and precisely measures Chlorine Dioxide and Chlorite between 0.02 – 50 mg/l, and Free Chlorine between 0.02 – 10 mg/l. Results are displayed in under a minute for the Chlorine Dioxide and Free Chlorine tests, while the degassing process for determining Chlorite levels takes less than 6 minutes. The kit contains all the equipment required to start immediate testing, including degassing equipment, reagents and sensors for 100 tests of each parameter.

The ChlordioX™ Plus device is battery-powered (4xAA), lightweight (975g), and portable (170x126x116mm), making it ideal for laboratory or field testing. The instrument incorporates a backlit LCD screen and is controlled by a simple to use menu. Up to 500 readings can be stored in its on-board memory, while a waterproof USB connection enables quick downloading of results to a PC.

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Fortress Ensures Machine Safety with New Extracted Key Adaptor

Safety Interlocking company Fortress Interlocks has added its new E1 Extracted Key Adaptor to the amGard range of modular safety gate switch interlocks. The E1 has been designed to ensure that the door to hazardous machinery cannot be opened without removing the safety key, and the machinery cannot then be restarted until the key is returned.

The Fortress E1 Extracted Key Adaptor

The Fortress E1 Extracted Key Adaptor

Photo:http://halmapr.com/FOR/E1.jpg (920 KB)

Fortress has achieved this by designing a mechanism that traps the actuator in the head until the key is removed which then allows the ‘gate’ to swing over the keyhole. While the actuator remains out of the head, the gate remains over the keyhole preventing the key being returned to the lock.

E1 ensures a specific sequence of operation and can be stacked or combined with other adaptors; up to 5 key adaptors can be used in one configuration. E1 also provides a unique link to Fortress’ high profile mechanical mGard range of interlocks.

E1 works with access key and safety key adapters, amGard LOK or STOP bodies and is suitable for either hinged or sliding door applications. The modular arrangement of amGard allows customers to tailor and configure products to suit their application. amGard is a heavy duty interlocking range that provides both safety and security by controlling access to dangerous machinery and safeguarding personnel. A variety of actuators and adaptable mounting arrangements helps sustain a long life cycle and minimises downtime.

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Labsphere Sunscreen UV Transmittance Analyzer Ready for New FDA Guidelines

Hardware and software meets measurement criteria unveiled in June

Labsphere’s UV-2000S Transmittance Analyzer for sunscreens is immediately available to assist manufacturers in complying with new guidelines for the labelling of sunscreen products. Issued in June by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the new rules allow US manufacturers for the first time to label products as effective protection against skin cancer and early skin aging.

Labsphere’s UV-2000S benchtop system and software comply with newly released FDA testing criteria

Labsphere’s UV-2000S benchtop system and software comply with newly released FDA testing criteria

Photo: http://halmapr.com/labsphere/UV2000FDA.jpg (825 KB)
(Photo caption: Labsphere’s UV-2000S benchtop system and software comply with newly released FDA testing criteria)

The change follows standards already in place globally. Products must first meet stringent UVA and UVB broad spectrum measurement protocols. UVB rays are the major cause of sunburn, while UVA rays contribute not only to skin aging but to deeper damage to skin cells which could result in cancer.

The new guidelines are designed “to reduce consumer confusion,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research. Labsphere’s UV-2000S instrument is an easy-to-use and accurate solution for manufacturers to perform in vitro measurements in compliance with the new FDA labelling criteria.

Labsphere’s UV-2000S Transmittance Analyzer benchtop R&D system rapidly measures the diffuse transmittance of sunscreen samples in the ultraviolet wavelength region from 250 – 450 nm. Labsphere’s Spectralon® integrating sphere incorporates a re-optimized xenon flash lamp to provide exceptional diffuse illumination of the product sample and minimize data integration time. High performance diode array spectrometers coupled by new, advanced fibre optics are optimized at the system level for low stray light with superior wavelength stability and flash-to-flash repeatability.

UV-2000S application software includes an integrated Performance Validation Routine that allows for on-site validation and re-validation to ensure optimum instrument performance. The platform allows users to view, archive, retrieve and export data and supports evolving regional methods. A set of calibrated standards, including a wavelength standard that captures six relevant spectral bands, is included with each UV Transmittance Analyzer.

For further information please contact:
Mr Vikrant Mahajan
Applications Engineering Manager
Labsphere, Inc.
231 Shaker Street
North Sutton, NH 03260
USA
Phone: 603 927 4266 (extension 2198) ; Fax:  603 927 4694
E-mail:  vmahajan@labsphere.com
Website: www.labsphere.com

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Perma Pure’s Sample Preparation Key Step in Pollution Monitoring

GASS™ 2040 System prepares acid gas samples for analysis

Accuracy is essential to effective pollution control measurement at the plant level. The GASS 2040 Gas Analysis Sampling System from Perma Pure prepares stack gas for measurement, preserving critical analytes for more accurate results. The system prepares difficult acid gas samples for analysis by removing water, coalescable acid mists and particulate without altering the concentrations of analyte gases.

Perma Pure’s Sample Preparation Key Step in Pollution Monitoring

Perma Pure’s Sample Preparation Key Step in Pollution Monitoring

Photo: http://halmapr.com/pp/2040 Composite.jpg (560 KB)

The stack-mounted GASS 2040 removes water at the probe, enabling dry sample lines for improved accuracy and quicker response times when measuring low level water-soluble gases such as SO2, NO2 and HCl. In many applications, plants can substitute unheated Teflon® sample lines for expensive heated sample lines when using the GASS 2040.

As pollution control systems–including selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, flue-gas desulphurization (FGD), limestone or carbon injections and other scrubbers–reduce emissions, the water-soluble acid gases become harder to measure, compromising accuracy. The GASS 2040 processes samples containing as much as 50 percent water at rates of up to 20 liters per minute, removing particulates and reducing water content to dew points as low as -20°C.

The system selectively and continuously removes water in vapor phase using patented Nafion® membrane dryers. With this technology, water-soluble analyte gases such as HCl, NOX, and SO2 are protected from loss through dissolution in condensate, and a much lower dew point is achieved than with chiller/condenser technologies. A gas sample dried with Nafion® has only 10-15% of the water content of the same sample dried by a cooler. Drier samples help preserve expensive gas analyzers.

Another advantage over traditional thermoelectric coolers, the CE marked GASS 2040 operates at ambient conditions, eliminating the need for a climate controlled environment. The all stainless, NEMA 4X rated enclosure is durable and resists corrosion, allowing it to be mounted directly on the stack flange.

For more information please contact:
Mr Mahadev Hatti
Perma Pure Sales Manager for India
Halma Trading and Services India Pvt. Ltd.
201 Hyde Park, Saki Vihar Road
Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400 072
Tel: 022 4200 0700; Fax: 022 6708 0415
Mobile : 99300 29944
E-mail: mhatti@permapure.com
Website: www.permapure.com

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Ocean Optics Adds New Triggering Options to USB2000+ Spectrometer

Popular miniature spectrometer offers more spectral acquisition flexibility than ever

Ocean Optics (www.OceanOptics.com) has added triggering functions to its popular USB2000+ miniature spectrometer to provide accurate timing and synchronization between the spectrometer and other devices. Four low-jitter trigger modes and normal (free-running spectral acquisition) operating modes are now possible. Applications include pulsing a light source to occur when acquiring a spectra and synchronizing spectral acquisition to coordinate with samples moving through a process stream or sensors reaching a certain temperature level.

Triggering functions in the USB2000+ can be used to synchronize spectral acquisition with the operation of devices such as a laser

Triggering functions in the USB2000+ can be used to synchronize spectral acquisition with the operation of devices such as a laser

Photo: http://halmapr.com/oo/USB2000Trig.jpg (540 KB)
(Caption: Triggering functions in the USB2000+ can be used to synchronize spectral acquisition with the operation of devices such as a laser)

Triggering provides precise timing between devices. The USB2000+ can be triggered so that sending the spectrometer a pulse causes it to do something such as a turn off or on a light, activate a pulse in a pulsed light source or start or end spectral acquisition in the spectrometer. For example, in the USB2000+ External Triggering mode, an event outside the sampling system (such as a button push, lever activation or laser) electronically pulses the spectrometer’s trigger pin and starts acquisition of the spectra with microsecond accuracy.

The USB2000+ has an onboard programmable high-speed FPGA controller, 22-pin connector and 8 user-programmable digital I/Os. Available operating modes are Normal (spectrometer continuously acquires spectra) and the four trigger modes:

•    External Software Trigger. While the spectrometer is in free-running mode, data collected in the period up to the triggering event is transferred to software.
•    External Hardware Level Trigger. The spectrometer waits for a sharp rise in voltage on the trigger input pin, and then acquires spectra until the voltage is removed.
•    External Synchronous Trigger. Spectrometer acquires data from an external trigger event (such as a push button) until the next time the trigger is activated, at which time the spectrometer ceases spectral acquisition and begins a new acquisition. Integration time cannot be set, and is the effective period between triggers.
•    External Hardware Edge Trigger. The spectrometer waits for a sharp rise in voltage on the trigger input pin, and then acquires one spectrum. One spectrum will be acquired for each trigger unless an acquisition is already in progress.

The USB2000+ is among the most popular miniature spectrometers in the world. Its small-footprint, high-speed CCD-array design is ideal for a wide range of applications. Modular optical bench accessories (entrance apertures, order sorting filters and more) make it possible to configure the USB2000+ for hundreds of different applications.

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Elfab ensures leak-tightness is not an issue

Leading pressure relief specialist Elfab has invested in an advanced electron beam welding capability to ensure that leak-tightness is not an issue with its products.

With climate change and environmental issues becoming increasingly important to industry, it is essential for customers in sectors such as fire suppression, gas-insulated switchgear and air conditioning that the medium with which they are working does not leak into the atmosphere.

To guarantee safety in these industries, rupture discs are specified to provide a high-integrity, fail-safe pressure relief device. Elfab leads the industry in providing an electron beam welding capability that produces the highest integrity joint possible, meeting required specifications, reducing the risk of leakage problems and preventing premature failure. Elfab ensures all welded products are tested for leaks up to 10¬-8 cc/s.

Uniquely, electron beam welding does not inflict the same level of heat as other welding processes used in the pressure relief industry. This is essential for rupture discs because these products are highly temperature-sensitive. The process enables Elfab to produce bursting discs with advanced tolerances of ± 3 per cent.

Since the process can weld almost any metal, Elfab can custom design products to better suit its customers’ needs. The company has built up significant experience in design for manufacture, producing a wide range of electron beam-welded units, in a variety of dimensions and configurations, to satisfy specific customer requirements.

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Interchangeable Optical Filters Enable High Speed Multispectral Imaging Camera

Ocean Thin Film’s SpectroCam is first fully configurable MSI camera

The SpectroCam™ Multispectral Imaging (MSI) Camera is now available from Ocean Thin Films (OTF) in a new development platform that combines a scientific-grade CCD array with a precision rotating optical filter wheel to create the world’s first fully configurable MSI camera. Applications include water quality measurements, product screening, machine vision, medical imaging, surveillance and authentication.

Ocean Thin Film’s SpectroCam is first fully configurable MSI camera

Ocean Thin Film’s SpectroCam is first fully configurable MSI camera

Photo: http://halmapr.com/OTF/SpectrocamCCD.jpg (750 KB)

SpectroCam complements single-point spectroscopy by adding another dimension to spectral measurements. With a single-point spectrometer, users can analyze spectral differences from sample to sample and then, by selecting discrete filters in and around spectral areas with the most significant differences, use SpectroCam to create an image that shows vivid contrast between the samples.

At the heart of the SpectroCam is a wideband CCD that is responsive from the visible through near infrared spectrum. The system’s precision filter wheel and optics can be customized for a variety of applications. Image speed is 20 fps at full resolution and the standard F-Mount configuration accommodates a range of lens choices, focal lengths and fields of view. Each system includes a lens, eight standard interchangeable filters and software.

OTF collaborated with miniature spectroscopy leader Ocean Optics to create this suite of tools, making multispectral imaging accessible to everybody from university researchers to high volume OEM equipment makers. The interchangeable optical filters and continuously rotating filter wheel overcome many of the shortcomings that prismatic MSI systems face. With interchangeable filters, users can try many filter options to narrow in on the best contrast, greatly reducing development time and allowing users to bring products to market faster.

For more information please contact:
Bhushan Dhakras
Halma Trading and Services India Pvt. Ltd.
201 Hyde Park, Saki Vihar Road
Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400 072
Tel: 022 6708 0400, Fax: 022 6708 0415
Mobile: 99300 21866
E-mail: bhushan.dhakras@oceanthinfilms.com
Website: www.oceanthinfilms.com

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