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One Series Safety Transmitter Named 2015 Engineers’ Choice Award Winner

Engineers Choice Awards Reception
Left to Right: Rick Frauton, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Wil Chin, VP of Marketing, and Dave Wilbur, Principal Engineer, United Electric Controls accepting the 2015 Engineers’ Choice Award.

We have a winner! United Electric Controls’ One Series Safety Transmitter has been officially recognized as Control Engineering’s 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner. The team proudly received the award on Monday, March 23rd, and was highlighted in a special reception in Chicago. The One Series Safety Transmitter was selected as the winner in the Safety – Process Safety, Intrinsic Safety category.

The Engineers’ Choice Awards featured 26 winners this year, along with 27 honorable mentions. After having been narrowed down from a pool of 94 finalists, United Electric Controls is delighted to have come out on top in our category. We are especially humbled to know the winners were chosen by Control Engineering’s subscribers. These people use our technology every day, and to have them vote for our product is truly gratifying.

As for the winning design itself, the One Series Safety Transmitter provides a NAMUR NE 43 standard 4-20 mA analog output for pressure and temperature monitoring. Its programmable high-capacity solid-state safety relay output (SRO) enables the fastest emergency shutdowns in the industry, allowing a shutdown to occur in less than 100 msec. The SRO is capable of directly switching the final element, eliminating the need for a safety PLC.

Oil and Gas Safety Product
Award Winning One Series Safety Transmitter

The One Series Safety Transmitter was designed for functional safety applications using the latest available version of the IEC 61508-2010, offering safety designers and other end-users greater confidence in their hardware. All features of this product have our customers in mind – including easy installation, improved productivity, and password protection to prevent tampering. The One Series Safety Transmitter also has a high safe failure fraction (SFF) of 98.8%, which is currently the highest of any transmitter certified for use in SIL 2 safety systems as a single element (HFT=0).

To learn more about this award-winning product line, please visit our website or call our application engineers at +1 (617) 923-6977. We would be more than happy to answer any questions and discuss your application needs.

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, Tradeshows, Transmitters

Creating Products that Resonate

One Series Safety TransmitterAt United Electric Controls, we’re continuously focused on providing high quality products that resonate with the various industries that we serve. Through market research with different customer groups, we’ve been able to focus on defining the problems that our customers face when trying to make their processes safe and their plants run smoothly.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with functional safety engineers and managers at major chemical companies and plants in order to learn more about our target market. We then worked with the information that we learned to focus on their problems and not our proposed product features. Our team appeared as consultants and not sales people, allowing these people to open up while we obtained the maximum and untainted amount of “problem” data. We learned a lot about how to define our One Series Safety Transmitter (ST, aka safety sensor, One ST) to help with the following challenges:

  1. Nuisance trips – will the ST shut down my plant unnecessarily? Can I get an alarm ahead of an emergency shutdown (ESD)? Can I create an intelligent system that knows the difference between a dangerous versus abnormal situation and help me avoid nuisance trips?
  2. Response time – will the ST react fast enough? My applications require a fast-acting sensing device for positive displacement pumps. My safety system must react in 500 milliseconds to an abnormal situation and make the proper decision – ESD or alarm only. Which is warranted? The automated safety system must decide, not an operator that may have had a bad day!
  3. Security – will the ST make us vulnerable to cyber-attack? The safety sensor must be password protected, tamper resistant and protect me from losing my password.
  4. Flexibility – is the ST a transmitter? A switch? Both? I want to use the One ST in voting logic schemes. Can you provide features that enable that?
  5. Design – does the ST provide everything I need to design a safe yet flexible safety instrumented system (SIS)? Is it certified for use in SIL 2 applications? The product must be certified by a third-party agency. We chose exida for our certification. They are worldwide leaders in SIS certifications per the standard IEC 61508.

We then created a product definition based on these customers’ problems:

  • It must be a transmitter with standard 4-20 mA output
  • It must be certified for use in SIL 2 safety systems, capable of SIL 3 with redundancy
  • It must include and communicate self-diagnostics information with auxiliary outputs for safety PLC voting schemes
  • It must include a fast high-capacity programmable safety relay

Ultimately, we used this information and our knowledge of the industries that we serve to create a product that would resonate with functional safety engineers that are working specifically on safety instrumented systems:

Some standout features of our One Series Safety Transmitter:

  • 2-wire loop powered 24 VDC NAMUR standard 4 – 20 mA output
  • Certified by exida for use in SIL 2 functional safety systems; capable of SIL 3 with redundancy

*             Industry’s highest Safe Failure Fraction at 98.8%

*             Discrete outputs, including diagnostics and set point status, which facilitate voting logic schemes

*             Hi-capacity programmable safety relay capable of controlling the final element directly

*             Capable of replacing a switch + gauge + transmitter (replace 3 instruments with one)

*             These are the resonators

To learn more about how we create and design our wide range of products that resonate, be sure to visit us at the Power-Gen International Exhibition in Orlando, Florida from December 9-11 at booth 534 at the Orange County Convention Center. We’ll be showcasing the One Series Safety Transmitter and visitors will have the opportunity to speak with our application engineers.

 

Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Transmitters

Safety in the Oil and Gas Industry

There are currently hundreds of thousands of workers employed in the oil and gas industry performing a variety of different industrial processes to drill, extract, and service wells. According to the United States Department of Labor, a successful drilling operation requires specialized equipment and a trained and knowledgeable staff. Those employed in the oil and gas industry are subject to chemical exposure, explosions, fires, and other accidents that could negatively impact their lives. To make sure employees are properly protected, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration created a set of standards that must be met by employers.

As a company, we are always interested in new products, services, and regulations that will better protect those involved in the oil and gas industry. We offer a number of different products that are appropriate for use in conventional and unconventional oil and gas play, whether onshore or offshore. Our products can be used in upstream, midstream, and downstream operations.

One of our newest products is the One Series Safety Transmitter. It gives plant safety teams a simple and efficient way to manage performance and is the first SIL 2-certified transmitter designed specifically for safety system applications. For SIS applications and use in hazardous industries such as oil and gas, chemical, One Series Safety Transmitterand petrochemical, the transmitter provides a standard 4-20 mA output and high-level safety switching capability.

 

We also offer pressure and temperature switches and transmitters that are specifically designed to protect oil and gas assets in challenging upstream applications and complicated environments. For example, our 12 Series pressure switches and TX200 Series pressure transmitters are used within offshore safety shutdown panels to shut-in valves and monitor pressures associated with Surface Safety Valves (SSV), Sub-Surface Safety Valves (SSSV), Emergency Shutdown (ESD), and Fire Shut Down (FSD) functions.

According to a report from the International Energy Agency, world energy demand will grow at a rate of 1.2 percent a year for the next quarter century, with half of that growth coming from coal, gas, and oil. This substantial demand for fossil fuels requires newer and efficient technologies to meet consumers’ needs. Our products play an important role in meeting our country’s energy requirements by allowing maximum throughput of product while maintaining safe operational parameters.

Check out our full list of oil and gas safety products
designed to limit your company’s risks.

Cyber Security for Instruments, Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Transmitters

The One Series UUC Feature: Keeping your Safety Secure

Most great ideas or inventions don’t reach perfection overnight; Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and everything from the light bulb to the iPhone has seen improvements and innovations.

Oftentimes, improvements are made through trial and error—other times they come from customer feedback and changing needs. At United Electric Controls, we strive to make the best products of their kind, and often changes and improvements come from those who use them every day: our customers.One Series Safety Transmitter

This was the case for our One Series Safety Transmitter, a unique, groundbreaking product that goes beyond all other safety sensors, solving many of the problems related to the design, operation, maintenance, and modernization of a Safety Instrumented System (SIS).

The One Series Safety Transmitter was carefully designed to meet the requirements outlined in IEC 61508 and simplify SIS design. When first introduced, previous versions of the One Series didn’t include a passcode feature. While it was extremely easy to program and use, the One Series relied on a 2-minute timeout to safeguard critical settings. Many of our customers found the need for additional security in the form of a passcode. When we asked our customers how they managed their passcodes for safekeeping and quick access, a common practice they described was to record the number on the wall next to the instrument, negating the purpose. There certainly must be a better way…

We listened to our customers’ needs and answered accordingly, creating a feature that allows users to get into programming mode after inputting a four-digit passcode. We also designed the One Series Safety Transmitter so that if a user doesn’t know how to save the settings, there is a two minute timeout. Close, but not there yet.

We then found that issues would arise if users lost or forgot their passcode. Thus, the Unique Unlock Code (UUC) feature was created. With the UUC, customers visit a website, which asks specific questions. They must enter their unique Kanban number—similar to a serial number—and the UUC feature performs a mathematical operation delivering a unique four-digit code, which will only unlock their particular instrument; the UUC will always and only work on that one unit. As long as the device is in a secure area, this technology ensures their transmitter is as secure as it is safe.

After all, you can’t have safety without security, and with all of the features of the One Series Safety Transmitter, you have both.

Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Transmitters

Introducing the Groundbreaking One Series Safety Transmitter

At United Electric, we have a proud history dating all the way back to 1931. How does a company remain so successful for such a long time?

Some of the ways are through our uncompromising commitment to quality, our focus on innovation, and our efficient operations that span the globe. Another way is through our continuous focus on growth and technology—specifically on adding new products to our line that meet customers’ demands and change the industry for the better.

In that vein, we’re very excited to officially introduce and offer our new One Series Safety Transmitter, a groundbreaking product that will truly be a game-changer, and will further solidify our role as world leaders in safety, alarm, and shutdown applications.

The One Series is a unique product that goes beyond all other safety transmitters, designed to solve problems related to the design, operation, maintenance, and modernization of a Safety Instrumented System (SIS).

The One Series Safety Transmitter is a universal multi-function device that allows the user to choose how to operate the product, either as a simple transmitter, a switch to control the final element directly via the Safety Relay Output (SRO), or to use the discrete outputs for voting logic systems. Through the SRO, alarms and emergency shutdowns occur directly through the instrument, saving time when it’s most crucial. In fact, the response time is less than 100 milliseconds.

Other features include a built-in Safety PLC function, discrete 24 VDC outputs, and an extremely reliable high Risk Reduction Factor (RRF). It’s also secure—an exceptionally critical factor—as it is not available with HART, which has proven to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The product comes standard with a 4-20 mA output along with the SRO, and it fits perfectly with newer safety systems as a 2-wire loop powered transmitter, or with older legacy safety systems that require switch control to a plc or final element.

Fully certified by exida for use in functional safety applications, including SIL 2 and SIL 3 (when redundancy is included), this is simply the easiest, most effective way to ensure safety and immediate response.

Want to learn more about how this revolutionary new product can work for you? Visit our website, and feel free to contact us any time with questions.