Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Safety Relays on Transmitters, Tradeshows, Transmitters

Safety: An ounce of prevention is worth……a life!

As Junes comes to a close we are reminded that it is National Safety Month . As we get bombarded with daily reminders to wear sunscreen by the pool and cheesy posters with cheesier sayings, keep in mind the meaning behind them is vitally important. As an active participant on our company’s safety committee, it can be easy to turn a safety project into a long term, high investment project that will be as safe as possible. But it can often come at the expense of a simpler solution that can start making your front line worker safer NOW rather than tomorrow.

national safety month

As safety professionals, advisors, or just leaders of people, we are responsible for those that are exposed to hazards on the front lines doing the work. It is our responsibility to make sure that we find sensing solutions that not only protect, but can be implemented quickly and easily to ensure protection now.

But here lies the dichotomy; whatever the sensing solution is, it can’t be cheap and create the chance to supply false security.

These issues create contradictions. We need inexpensive but not cheap, sophisticated but not complicated, fast and easy to install but not to cause any adverse effect in the production environment. We attempt to optimize current solutions by multiple factors and the result is typically a well-balanced, mediocre, piece of junk. When real safety problems occur, we need step changes in technology that take away the balancing act of specs and open up new ways to keep people safe.

Enter wireless communication. We have been proving in use with our dependence on cellular phones for over a decade with increasing reliability. We are replacing wired home phone lines with cellphones, airplane boarding passes with e-tickets on our cellphones, and even doing our banking over our cellphones. Industrial wireless communications are more robust and reliable than they have ever been and are ready for the mainstream of industrial market sensing applications.

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The cost savings of wireless are readily apparent: less wiring, less money. What is sometimes lost is the ease and speed of installation. This is where wireless can offer a step change in safety. Need additional points to monitor, no problem. Need to move a point to a more ideal location, no problem. It is now easier and faster than ever to get monitoring installed that will start to protect your people now.

As a vendor, allowing the limitations of old technology and “it’s always been done this way” to become excuses against creating better ways to bring value to the customers will be detrimental as new technology and services emerge. It’s on us to not only adapt new technology but to embrace it as the path forward. Further we must be instrumental in creating the data to prove performance and reliability.

So as we wrap up  June and make jokes about the cliché posters, remember to look to find innovative solutions that will help to you protect your people now. Accidents won’t wait for you, so why wait on implementing safety? Start searching for solutions that will help you keep your people safer NOW.

If it happens to involve industrial wireless, feel free to explore ueonline.com to learn more.

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

Email: aliptak@ueonline.com

andrew liptak

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 www.ueonlone.com or call our application engineers at +1 (617) 923-6977. You can also write us at TechSupport @ueonline.com.

Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Safety Relays on Transmitters, Transmitters

Diagnostics that Reach Beyond their Normal Boundaries

As a company known for our pressure and temperature switches, transmitters and sensors for safety, alarm and shutdown applications; we’re constantly evaluating our customers’ needs. Our range of product offerings, including the One Series Safety Transmitters, are engineered to meet and exceed industry standards.

It all started with our One Series electronic switch product line, originally introduced in the late 1990s. During focus group interviews with our customers, it was determined that these products must include self-diagnostic capability, helping to avoid the “blind switch issue” inherent in mechanical switches (which we also manufacture). In a blind switch intended for safety, customers were concerned about reliability. “How do I know if will work when I need it to?”

The blind switch issue was a major consideration when designing our One Series Safety Transmitter because when a product is “blind,” it has no self-diagnostic capability, requiring preventative maintenance to determine if it is still functional Additionally, the reduction in the number of maintenance workers leaves fewer instrument and control technicians to perform this vital maintenance, a concern for plant managers. Plant upgrade strategies now specify self-diagnostic (smart) instrumentation, such as our One Series Safety Transmitter.One Series Safety Transmitter Display

 

At United Electric Controls, we go beyond the traditional boundaries of self-diagnostic instrumentation. For example, typical smart instruments can determine if there are errors in the software, if the sensor cable is disconnected and if there is a functioning keypad to set parameters. The One Series IAWTM self-diagnostics take this concept much further and evaluate the sensor to see if it is open, shorted and still capable of sensing temperature and pressure, is there a button stuck on the keypad and the validity of the signal that is telling the switch to open. This is all important so there is reasonable assurance that the product is functioning correctly and safely.

The One Series IAWTM self-diagnostic feature also considers external influences on the operation of the product, evaluating the power that the instrument is being given, loop power or DC power supply. The One Series monitors the power supply to make sure the power is clean, and there are no spikes, drooping, or noise from radio frequencies, etc. This is all done to make sure the power source is reliable.

The One Series can also detect if the sensor is clogged and unable to read pressure. The One Series has an advanced feature called Plug Port Detection to determine if the sensor is clogged and then can report the condition as detailed below. Another external diagnostic feature involves the ability to monitor the Safety Relay Output from an external perspective. For example, if the instruction to open the SRO is given by the microcontroller, IAWTM can determine if the SRO actually opened. Line fault detection is also included to detect open and shorted wiring connections to the final element (load).When IAWTM detects a fault, three actions are taken:

  1. The process variable and IAW indicator is replaced by a message on the display, informing the I&C technician of the fault type.
  2. The NAMUR NE 43 standard 4-20 mA output will change from indicating the process variable to the fault indicating current of 3.6 mA, providing remote indication to the control system that a fault has occurred.
  3. The Safety Relay Output (SRO), SRO Status and IAW outputs will fail safe (open) within 100 milliseconds of the detected fault, initiating an emergency shutdown.

Consider the One Series family of pressure and temperature monitors for your safety, alarm and shutdown applications. Click here for more details.

Plant Safety, Safety Relays on Transmitters, Transmitters

The One Series Safety Transmitter: Safety You Can Rely On

When it comes to plant safety, SIS designers want simplicity, versatility, and the very best equipment available. We believe that in this way our One Series Safety Transmitter provides all that. Its unique design gives the extra peace of mind that the product will perform its intended function when required, providing for greater safety and reliability at all times.

What makes the One Series Safety Transmitter so one-of-a-kind? One way is through the use of discrete outputs, a rather unique feature in a safety transmitter. In addition to the 4-20 mA analog output, discrete outputs provide another way to remotely monitor the health status and set point status using a logic solver, facilitating voting logic SIS designs. A programmable safety relay output (SRO) is also included, capable of switching a high voltage/high current load directly. When connected to the final element, the need for a separate logic solver is eliminated.

Why is voting logic so important? People in this industry of course want the plant to be safe, but are also concerned with the nuisance trip factor. A safety system in its simplest form includes one transmitter, one logic solver, and one final element—this is called a simplex system. What this means is that if the transmitter decides the pressure is too high, the decision to alarm is up to that transmitter alone. In the event of a failure, there is no backup; you are relying on that instrument to make the right decision.

This is often countered by using two transmitters, known as a redundancy system, requiring both transmitters to be in agreement before an alarm is sounded.

This is where our One Series Safety Transmitter is truly unique. By providing discrete status outputs and the SRO from the transmitter, plus a 4-20 mA NAMUR standard output, the SIS designer has more versatility on how the system will react to a process upset. Our exclusive I Am Working™ output, which is the self-diagnostic status of the product, is normally closed and indicates that everything is working properly in the transmitter. With this extra assurance, it is possible to eliminate the need for a second transmitter.

The Safety Output Relay (SRO) status will remain closed when not at the set point, and opens when the set point is reached.

For example, if the pressure is trending upwards but hasn’t reached the set point yet, and the I Am Working ™ output is still closed, you have assurance that the Safety Transmitter is indeed working. The decision may be to sound an alarm only, rather than shutting down the plant unnecessarily. The One Series Safety Transmitter provides the ability to distinguish between alarm and shutdown conditions to avoid nuisance trips.

We understand that in the end, the most important thing is safety. United Electric Controls’ safety, alarm, and shutdown expertise has allowed us to provide the most versatile Safety Transmitter certified for use in SIL 2 applications and is capable of SIL 3 with redundancy.