Emerson’s Women In STEM

Here on this blog we celebrate the Emerson experts from around the world. And with the celebration of International Women’s Day this Sunday, I wanted to pay tribute to the women we’ve featured here on Emerson Automation Experts.

Encouraging people to study in the areas of science, technology, engineering & math (STEM) is a major cause for Emerson in order to inspire the next generation of great problem solvers.

In a focus to encourage more females to pursue careers in the STEM fields, Emerson has very active Women in STEM chapters globally. One example is the Houston area Women in STEM chapter. This chapter has more than 280 members in multiple offices. I caught up with Sue Ooi, Elena Carillo and Jan Bendfelt who are active as leaders in the Houston chapter. They shared with me that membership is not limited to women or people in STEM-based roles, but rather those with a passion for encouraging career growth and inspiring students. Continue Reading

Accurately Measuring Slurry Flow Rates

In an earlier post, Accurately Measuring Flow in Slurry Applications, I recapped a Flow Control magazine article by Emerson’s Laura Chemler.

In this newly released, 3-minute YouTube video, Emerson’s Magnetic Flow Meter for Slurry Applications Provides Improved Signal Quality & Diagnostics, Laura explains how this Rosemount Slurry Magnetic Flow Meter works and why this mag meter is an ideal solution in pulp and paper, mining and oil & gas fracking applications.

Laura notes that noisy signals are all too common in slurry flow measurements. The solids and the flow could be anything from pulp stock to rocks and it wreaks havoc on stable signals. These solid particulates can cause flow uncertainty because the signal will jump all around and you can’t be sure what exactly your flow rate is, rather only a range. Continue Reading

Process Diagnostics for Oil and Gas Separators

Smart instrumentation has been around for decades. Most of us understand the value of the diagnostics they provide to make sure these devices are operating properly and providing accurate data to the control system.

With advances in operational analytics, these smart instruments and the applications they feed can now help identify problems in the process early in order to maintain optimum performance levels. I caught up with Emerson’s Drew Baker in the Permian Basin Service Center to share some onshore oil & gas production examples with me.

Oil & Gas Horizontal SeparatorThe diagnostics in modern flowmeters, such as Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis meters, can identify problems in the separation process of oil, gas, produced water, and basic sediment coming from the production wells. For processes with horizontal separators, the density and drive gain diagnostics provided by a Coriolis meter can indicate that the separation process suffers from poor level control.

Changes in the density and drive gain indicate problems are developing. Sharp increases in both indicate the presence of liquid in the gas outlet and the potential for lost production. If density drops and drive gain increases indicates the presence of oil in the produced water.

Problems with the level control or dump valves may cause entrained gas or oil mixing in the separator’s water leg. Based on the early indications provided by these diagnostics, technicians can check for proper valve sizing and/or level control adjustments to resolve the issue before production levels are affected. Continue Reading

Tips for Accurate DP Level Measurements

Differential pressure (DP) for liquid level measurement works by measuring the hydrostatic head pressure at the bottom of the vessel and the specific gravity of the liquid. The height of the liquid in inches is the pressure of the liquid column in inches of water divided by the specific gravity of the liquid.

I share this as background for a Processing magazine article, Better ways to use differential pressure for liquid level measurement, by Emerson’s Nicole Meidl. In it, she shares some practical tips to improve the performance of the measurements and reduce the efforts in maintenance.

Nicole opens describing good applications for DP level measurements.

If the liquid and its characteristics are well understood, including the effects of temperature, the level measurement will have the same degree of precision as the pressure instrument.

Another consideration is if the tank is at atmospheric pressure or not.

If the instrument measuring level is reading against atmosphere, the interior pressure of the system adds to the pressure of the liquid and can change the calculated level reading drastically because it is reading the pressure of the liquid plus the system pressure.

For tanks with non-atmospheric pressures, DP measurement is needed. Nicole notes several ways to implement DP measurement. The first is to: Continue Reading

Digital Tools for Digital Transformation Initiatives

The talk of digital transformation is widely happening across the manufacturing and production sectors. While companies are taking strides in their journey to improve overall business performance, these initiatives are still mostly in the early stages.

In a Hydrocarbon Processing article, Digital: How digital tools improve access to device information, Emerson’s Adam Thompson highlights some ways that companies are advancing their digital transformation initiatives.

With the growing shortage of skilled workers as more retirements occur, Adam notes:

Having a plan and the right tools becomes essential; specifically, when it is necessary to maintain critical processes with fewer resources. Digital tools can be the crucial component that make the difference, particularly if they are easy to implement and use.

He shares an example of how field technicians can improve productivity. Continue Reading