Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Radar Level Transmitters: Frequency, Beam Width, and Beam Width Calculators



Radar level transmitters provide non-contact level measurement. All radar level detectors send microwave beams, emitted from a sensor, to the surface of the liquid in a tank. The electromagnetic waves returns back to the sensor after hitting the surface of the fluid. Radar is the preferred technology for level measurement in many of today’s industrial applications. Newer high-frequency technology (80 GHz) offers advantages in certain application to older low (10 GHz) and mid-frequency (24 GHz) technologies. Selecting the best microwave frequency for your application is crucial. In as much, understanding the relationship between frequency and beam angle is very important.

In this video, Jeff Blair, Offer Manager for level products at Schneider Electric, presents the difference in beam angle at various frequencies. He also demonstrates how to use Beam Angle Calculators to determine beam width at various places in a tank or vessel.

For more information about radar level instrumentation, contact Swanson Flo. Call them at 800-288-7926 or visit their website at https://swansonflo.com.

Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Update


We at Swanson Flo Company continue to navigate the ever changing COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring and following the guidance available through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and state and regional public health authorities. We are committed to keeping the safety of our customers, business partners, and team members at the center of all our decisions and actions.

Securing our supply chain is a priority for us. We are working with all of our key suppliers on a daily basis to monitor any potential supply disruption and /or material shortages that may impact us and you. As of today, we have not recorded any specific disruptions of our upstream supply chain. Shipments to our customers are still flowing and our inventory is considerable.

Swanson Flo is:
  • Fully Operational - SwansonFlo Company remains open during normal business hours.  Our territory managers will still make in-person visits upon request. We are using all available communication techniques to continue to provide excellent customer support.
  • Continues its Technical Assistance and Support – Our customer service team is able to answer your questions and take orders via phone or email. We will not change our commitment to providing exceptional client services delivered by a team of highly qualified individuals.
  • Continues its Service Capabilities – Our highly trained service and repair experts are available via phone or in person via request.
The health and welfare of our employees and customers are of top concern. We are committed to taking the steps necessary to provide a safe work environment and to minimize any disruption of service to our valued customers. We will continue to evaluate this developing situation and we will advise you of any anticipated changes to our process. In the meantime, please contact us at (800) 288-7926 or sales@swansonflo.com.

As always, Swanson Flo greatly appreciates your business.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Instrument Weatherization Doesn't Only Mean Ice, Heat, and Cold - Don't Forget Wind!

WeatherizationWeatherization is about more than just temperature when it comes to instrumentation. One example is the effect of storms and wind on draft range transmitters used to control furnaces in process plants.

Protecting Draft Range Transmitters from Storms and Wind


Normally, you wouldn’t think about an enclosure in the furnace or boiler area on these applications because they are measuring air flow or air pressure and are not subject to freezing. Pressure measurement in furnace and boiler combustion is critical for safety, efficiency and environmental control.

It doesn’t require heavy wind to cause problems: a 5 – 7 mph wind across the ambient pressure port might cause a 0.1” pressure change, 12 – 15 mph may create a 0.8” change. When the full range is 1 – 2” that can be a 40 – 80% error reading.

Even light wind across the open port can cause 10% error.

For example - in a a draft transmitter with full scale of 1” H2O ...

  • 5 – 7 mph wind can cause up to a 10% full scale error.
  • 12 – 15 mph wind can cause up to a 75% full scale error.

The pressure range is so small, often just 1 – 2” of H2O or 2 – 4 mm of Hg, that even a light breeze might cause automated dampers to fluctuate or trigger systems to shut down. Using a differential pressure transmitter the reference measurement is vented to atmosphere, where air flowing past the open port creates pressure changes and errors in furnace, heater and boiler combustion box pressure. As part of the Safety Instrumented System these measurement errors can create nuisance maintenance and shutdowns affecting the entire unit.

O'Brien VIPAKA Solution That Works


The O'Brien VIPAK Draft Transmitter enclosure, is a field tested and proven solution addressing the common sources of draft transmitter installation error with:

  • Still Air Chamber
  • Atmospheric Equalization
  • Uniform Capsule Temperature

The O'Brien VIPAK draft range transmitter enclosure atmospherically equalizes the still air chamber for the transmitter and manifold. The pressure inside the enclosure changes at the same rate as the barometric pressure but is unaffected by wind or wind gusts.

The enclosure system also ensures that both sides of the instrument measurement capsule are at the same temperature. Since these instruments are often placed near the furnace, heater or boiler one side can be hotter than the other creating an error in measurement.

Real World Use Case


A large refinery was experiencing furnace upsets and shutdowns caused by storms and wind in the unit. They installed two O'Brien Draft Transmitter Enclosures on their most trouble prone units as a trial. After a severe storm hit and the units with the O'Brien Draft Transmitter enclosures ran with no problems they installed another 128 protection enclosures. To date there have been no more upsets or shutdowns caused by wind induced measurement errors.

O'Brien STILL AIR PORTThe STILL AIR PORT: A Critical Component


The O'Brien STILL AIR PORT is a critical component of the draft range transmitter solution. It equalizes the still air chamber for the transmitter and manifold, allowing the pressure inside the enclosure to change at the same rate as the barometric pressure and not allowing wind or wind gusts to have any affect.

For help in determining how you can protect your instrumentation from the effects of weather, contact Swanson Flo. Call them at 800-288-7926 or visit their website at https://swansonflo.com.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Swanson Flo Performance - Upstream / Midstream Oil & Gas Pipeline Services and Capabilities

Swanson Flo Performance
Swanson Flo has a long and successful history of providing innovative process control solutions  to the upstream and midstream oil & gas pipeline industry. The have a well-earned reputation for  supplying quality equipment and experienced application engineering with an unrelenting desire to not only meet, but to exceed their customer's goals.

Swanson Flo Performance supports every process control customer with region-based, full-capability service and repair. Their factory-certified technicians provide you with a complete overhaul and repair of the control valves, actuators, and instrumentation. Equipment is fully disassembled, inspected, cleaned, reassembled, calibrated, and tested to meet factory original standards. Swanson Flo Performance utilizes only factory OEM parts to repair your equipment.

 Upstream / Midstream Oil & Gas Pipeline ServicesSwanson Flo Performance Includes:

  • Commissioning - to ensure that equipment performs to expected specifications.
  • Mechanical Inspection - detailed reports on the mechanical health of your valves.
  • Valve Repair - returning the customer's valves to "like new” condition.
  • Onsite Repair - bringing resources and equipment to the customer's facilities.
  • OEM Parts - certified original manufactured parts maintaining highest standards.
  • Re-instrumentation - upgrading performance and equipment to meet ever-changing needs.
  • Site Surveys - gathering plant data for asset management.
  • Training - hands-on technical and practical training custom designed for their customers.

Swanson Flo is a multi-brand factory trained control valve repair center providing factory trained technicians and certified repairs and parts from Foxboro/Schneider Electric and Flowserve Limitorque (notably, Swanson Flo is the only FM approved Limitorque repair facility in the upper-midwest).


For more information, contact Swanson Flo by calling 800-288-7926 or visit their web site at https://swansonflo.com.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Jordan Valve Product Application Guide

Jordan Valve is a leading manufacturer of high quality and innovative pressure regulators, back pressure regulators, and temperature regulators. Their products are used in many demanding applications - very often in applications requiring more than a standard, off-the-shelf industrial product.

It's not unusual for Jordan Valve applications to require a solutions-oriented approach, where in-house engineers and application specialists work closely with the customer to solve a stubborn problem. Whether requiring a unique valve design, or needing special construction materials, Jordan Valve has both the know-how and manufacturing capabilities to meet the requirement.

This guide provides 25 real-world applications where Jordan Valve products are used.


For more information, or if you wish to discuss an application you're working on, contact Swanson Flo. Call them at 800-288-7926 or visit their web site at https://swansonflo.com.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Removal and Installation of the Feedback Mechanism of the Flowserve Logix 3800 Positioner



This video demonstrates the removal and installation of the feedback mechanism of the Flowserve Logix 3800 valve positioner.

Make sure the valve is bypassed or in a safe condition. Disconnect power to the positioner. Disconnect air supply to the positioner. Remove the take off arm and follower arm.

Note, it is recommended that when the positioner is removed from the valve, it is taken to a clean work environment for disassembly and reassembly.

Note, the procedure is the same for both intrinsically safe, or explosion-proof, positioners.

Begin by removing the three screws that attach the feedback assembly to the positioner housing. Install the replacement feedback assembly to the positioner housing.

Note, the orientation is irrelevant since the feedback mechanism has a clutch. Torque the screws to 0.9 Newton meters or 8 inch pounds. Next reconnect the positioner follow arm and take off arm to the valve.

For more information, contact Swanson Flo. Visit their web site at https://swansonflo.com, or call them at 800-288-7926.