Cyber Security for Instruments, Electro-mechanical switches, Manufacturing, Plant Safety

Eroded pipeline, Deadly toxic gas and time running out. An application story.

Industry: Midstream
Products: Vanguard Hydrogen Sulfide Detector
Application: Temporary worksite monitoring of pipeline maintenance
Company: The upstream business of a major oil & gas producer

The customer is a major oil & gas producer with upstream business all over the world. They engage in intense exploration campaigns with a 38% success rate. This exploration and production activity is their main growth driver and they have become a world leader in exploration, with 40 finds since 2008, leading to a net increase of production. They use pipelines to move product from the wellhead to processing facilities.

A rare event happened which caused the soil around a transport pipeline to erode, exposing a section of the pipeline. This created several challenges not only to the transport of product, but extending to environmental and societal factors. This is because the pipeline was transporting product containing Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), a deadly toxic gas. The customer immediately took action to fix the issue, but in the meantime, needed to monitor around the exposed section of pipe for leaks of H2S. This was not only to protect the workers, but the nearby residents who were alarmed by the exposed pipe carrying potentially hazardous materials. As a temporary worksite in a remote location, running conduit to fixed monitors at the site would have extended the timeline to getting the situation fixed and burying the pipeline to a safe depth. By the time the detectors were installed, the problem could have been fixed.


After learning about the Vanguard WirelessHART gas detector with true wireless operation through white papers, the area’s Maintenance Measurement/Automation Coordinator immediately saw the potential to solve their problem. Given the ability to immensely shorten the time from receipt to operation of the detectors, the project to fix the exposed pipeline and ease the concerns of the nearby residents was able to move forward, and get the producer back to safe operation quickly.

The Vanguard units in action were working “quite well” performing all necessary operation and living up to the solution potential. Success rarely stays a secret and soon the potential of this unique, new solution quickly spread within the company. This led to another order for additional Vanguard detectors through the Senior Tradesman in their Maintenance Department for a separate installation.

Written by: Andrew Liptak- Gas Detection Product Manger at United Electric Controls


andrew liptak

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Electro-mechanical switches, Tradeshows, Transmitters, Uncategorized

Automation India Week 2015

Automation India Week 2015 was held at The Lalit-Mumbai hotel from October 24th through the 28th. Hosted by the International Society of Automation (ISA), District 14. The event was attended by several countries from around the globe, making it an extremely well-organized and truly international event.

Each day was full with product exhibits and presentations from various sponsoring companies including United Electric Controls (UE). From UE, Mr. Wil Chin presented a paper on Groundbreaking Technology for Safety System Migration. Directly after Wil’s talk, UE’s product exhibit was inundated with visitors eager to learn more about UE’s award-winning One Series Safety Transmitter.

Tradeshow, ISA india 3

Also attending from UE-USA was Andrew Liptak, Engineer and Rick Frauton, Sr. Product Manager. Attending from UE-India was Parimal Joshi, Regional Sales Manager and Bhavin Patel, Inside Sales and Support, hailing from Baroda in the state of Gujarat.

India pic





Electro-mechanical switches, Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Safety Relays on Transmitters, Transmitters

The One Series Safety Transmitter for Increased Plant Safety

united electric safety transmitter

The power generation market is beginning to emphasize the importance of plant safety. This was made clear to all attendees during the keynote session at the Power-Gen International Show in Orlando held in early December. Ms. Kimberly S. Greene, executive VP and COO of Atlanta-based power generation Southern Company made a passionate plea for better safety standards within plants that fall under the Southern Company umbrella, and to begin thinking about plant safety and investing in safety automation technology to provide some solutions. According to Ms. Greene, Southern Company facilities sent 300 workers home with workplace injuries in 2014.

In one case this year, a 44-year employee died on the job, causing Ms. Greene to make an emotional plea to all attendees and plant managers to move safety to the top of their priority lists. For the power generation market, plant safety has not (yet) received the same level of attention when compared to the hydrocarbon processing market. Ms. Greene’s statistics reminded us all that functional safety must be considered across many industries that include harsh and hazardous operating conditions and processes.

The One Series Safety Transmitter is a pressure and temperature monitoring transmitter-switch that provides a NAMUR NE 43 standard 4-20 mA analog output. Its programmable high-capacity solid-state safety relay output enables the fastest emergency shutdowns in the industry.

The One Series Safety Transmitter was designed with features that simplify installation, improve productivity, and eliminate nuisance trips. The instrument is password protected to prevent unwanted parameter changes; eliminating the risk of tampering. The large backlit digital display provides process variable, status, self-diagnostics and field programming information.

Some of the advantages of using UE’s safety transmitter are:

  • ​4-20 mA analog output with field scaling capability
  • ​100% programmable high-capacity safety relay for switch mode, set point & deadband
  • ​Effectively replaces a gauge, transmitter, and a switch to reduce potential leak paths
  • ​Additional discrete outputs to facilitate voting logic schemes
  • ​The industries highest safe failure fraction (SFF) of 98.8% as certified for use in SIL 2 by exida

For more information on UE’s One Series Safety Transmitter, please visit our website at or call our application engineers at +1 (617) 923-6977. You can also write us at TechSupport

Electro-mechanical switches, Plant Safety, Transmitters

Replacing Mechanical Switches in a Safety Application

Is it that time to upgrade your plant’s safety instrumentation? If your case is the typical upgrade move from mechanical switches to a transmitter, do you know specifically which type of transmitter you should be getting? What is the best means of replacing mechanical switches in a safety application?

united electric safety transmitterIt’s often necessary to replace mechanical switches because they are considered blind devices; they cannot warn you when they have become faulty, nor can they be relied on completely, as they have many moving parts. This can result in the sensor cracking, the piston sticking, or the micro-switch wearing out. Unless the switch is tested on a regular basis, there is no way to determine when problems exist. This is the main reason many facilities are moving towards transmitter upgrades.

Typical transmitters, however, can be very costly for a plant. Not only is the instrument itself expensive, but there are many hidden costs as well. A transmitter will require major input to the control system, including analog requirements, cabling, and the reprogramming of the control system to accommodate the updated continuous signals that process pressure changes. With all of this, the programming tasks become increased.

By now, you should realize that United Electric Controls places safety and quality above all else. So what would we recommend using instead? Our One Series Safety Transmitter. Since the One Series Transmitter contains a built-in switch function and has a self-diagnostic feature, programming would remain the same in the upgrade process. This way, you are saving money and time in the upgrade process without compromising an ounce of safety.united electric safety transmitter 2

We designed the One Series Safety Transmitter from the ground up with the intent to use it specifically in safety applications. In comparison, other transmitters are meant for process applications, meaning accuracy is high but not necessarily functional for safety situations. When it comes to safety, high quality, designed safety transmitters are the best option to go with.

Electro-mechanical switches, Manufacturing

Entering the Future with United Electric Controls

The bottom line in manufacturing these days is simple: innovation is key. At United Electric Controls, there is little question that quality products and constant innovation are the reasons we have stayed at the top of the industry since 1931. In order to continue to remain relevant in today’s marketplace, we are learning how to diversify the company and reposition our products to adapt to our customers’ needs.

While we have traditionally been known for our electro-mechanical switches, we continue to transition towards digital technology. Our wide range of products include general purpose, OEM, and hazardous location pressure, differential pressure, and temperate switches, electronic pressure, differential pressure, and temperature monitors and analog, SIL-certified, and HART pressure transmitters for hazardous locations.

All of our controls and sensors meet or exceed the industry’s most exacting standards thanks to our ISO-9001, US based manufacturing capabilities. United Electric Controls also takes staying environmentally sound seriously, thanks to our program of energy management, recycling, non-toxic manufacturing, and compliance with RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances).

Staying with the theme of innovation, our design team is known across the globe for coming up with cost-effective solutions that fit your specific applications perfectly. We were the first in the industry to offer electronic pressure switches, micro-switches, and self-diagnosing switches, so you know you can count on United Electric to always be on the cutting-edge.

If you make your living in the military, aerospace, or semiconductor industry (just to name a few) and you put a great deal of stock in those that embrace innovation, then United Electric Controls is a company you need to get know better. In addition, check our blog every month to learn about our latest innovations and all of our current and upcoming projects!