Sunday, May 21, 2017

Your Partner for Process Control Automation: Swanson Flo

Founded in 1960, Swanson Flo has long maintained our position as an industry leader in process automation with unmatched project success leveraging industry preferred products and services.

Our mission is to provide innovative process control solutions for engineers, managers and maintenance professionals through quality equipment and experienced application engineering. These efforts combined with excellent aftermarket service yield reduced operating costs and improved production. Visit http://www.swansonflo.com or call 800-288-7926.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ashcroft Awards Swanson Flo Coveted "Distributor of Distinction Award"

For the fourth consecutive year, pressure and temperature instrument manufacturer Ashcroft, Inc. named Swanson Flo of Plymouth Minnesota the Ashcroft "Distributor of Distinction" for 2016. This award recognizes and honors Ashcroft Distributors who deliver exceptional growth, revenue, and commitment, and stands as Ashcroft's most respected and highest honor for their Distributors.

Swanson stood out from the pack in 2016 with a 17% increase in bookings over their previous year, despite a very tough economy for industrial distribution. Swanson Flo attributes the increase to their focus on developing new business at targeted accounts, increasing the size of their sales force, and turning up new applications at existing accounts.

From left to right:  Bill Johnson, Sales Manager, Western Division;
Robbin Jensen, Insides Sales Manager; Tom Howe, Owner/CEO,
Sandy Grinvalds, Ashcroft; and Sid Sondag, Director Sales & Marketing.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Advantages of the Sliding Gate Control Valve Seat in Process Control

Sliding Gate Control Valve Seat
Sliding Gate Control Valve Seat (Jordan)
Fluid flow control in a process can present a number of challenges, large and small. In addition to selecting a properly sized control valve, your choice of trim design can contribute noticeably to overall positive performance. One candidate for fluid flow control is the sliding gate valve.

The trim of a sliding gate valve essentially consists of a fixed disc and a movable plate installed directly in the flow path. The disc and plate have precisely located and sized perforations, slots, or other openings. The valve actuation mechanism slides the plate across the face of the disc, progressively changing the alignment of the openings in the plate and fixed disc. This type of design can bring some benefits to the process and user:

  • Short stroke length provides fast response, reduces wear on packing and diaphragm, allows for a compact installed assembly
  • Straight-through flow pattern reduces turbulence, noise, erosion, valve chatter, and cavitation
  • Ease of maintenance, with fewer trim components that are easily changed
  • Self cleaning, self lapping seats

The video below provides a clear illustration of how the sliding gate valve trim works, through animation and exploded views of the valve components. Share your fluid flow control challenges with a valve specialist and combine your process expertise with their product application knowledge for an effective solution.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Continuous Non-contact Level Measurement for Process Control

LLT 100 Laser Level Transmitter
LLT 100 Laser Level
Transmitter
ABB has released the new Model LLT 100 Laser Level Transmitter, which provides continuous non-contact level measurement for process automation and inventory management across a broad range of industrial applications.

The new transmitter provides reliable level measurement of solids or liquids, even clear liquids. The laser ranging technology is packaged with features required by industrial applications. Currently, three variants include housings for general industrial applications, as well as another for high pressure and one for hygienic installation.

The video blow provides a clear overview of the benefits that accrue from selecting this technology for your next project. More information is available from application specialists, with whom you should share your requirements and challenges to develop effective solutions.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Protect Your Instrumentation with Diaphragm Seals

Flanged diaphragm seal
Flanged diaphragm seal
(Ashcroft)
Pressure measurement is a common element of industrial operations and control systems. Fluid processing can often involve media that is potentially harmful to pressure sensing devices. The media may be corrosive to the sensor material, or other media properties may impact the performance or usable life of the instrument. In process control environments, diaphragm seals play a role in protecting items like pressure sensors from damage by process fluids.

The diaphragm seal is a flexible membrane that seals across the connecting path to a sensor and isolates the sensor from the process media. System pressure crosses the barrier without inhibition, enabling accurate measurement, but the process fluid does not. Typical materials composing diaphragm seals are elastomers, with a wide variety of specific materials available to accommodate almost every application.

In the operating principle of the diaphragm seal, the sealed chamber created between the diaphragm and the instrument is filled with an appropriate fluid, allowing for the transfer of pressure from the process media to the protected sensor. The seals are attached to the process by threaded, open flange, sanitary, or other connections.  Diaphragm seals are sometimes referred to as chemical seals or gauge guards. Stainless steel, Hastelloy, Monel, Inconel, and titanium are used in high pressure environments, and some materials are known to work better when paired with certain chemicals.
Threaded diaphragm seal
Threaded diaphragm seal

Sanitary processes, such as food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals, use diaphragm seals to prevent the accumulation of process fluid in pressure ports, a possible source of contamination. If such a buildup were to occur, such as milk invading and lodging in a port on a pressure gauge, the resulting contamination compromises the quality and purity of successive batches. Extremely pure process fluids, like ultra-pure water, could be contaminated by the metal surface of a process sensor. Some pneumatic systems rely on the elimination of even the smallest pressure fluctuations, and diaphragm seals prevent those by ensuring the separation of the process materials from the sensors.

Sanitary diaphragm seal with gauge
Sanitary diaphragm
seal with pressure gauge.
Diaphragm seals are not without some application concerns, and devices are now built to address and counter many potential issues related to the use of diaphragm seals with process monitoring instruments and equipment. Products seek to eliminate any and all dead space, allow for continuous process flow, and are self-cleaning thanks to continuous flow design. Some high pressure seals come equipped with anti-clogging features, accomplished by the elimination of internal cavities while protecting gauges. Multi-purpose seals reduce temperature influence and improve instrument performance while pinpointing and diffusing areas of high stress. These pre-emptive measures result
in longer instrument life-cycles and improved performance while ensuring protection from corrosion.

There are numerous options and available diaphragm seal variants. Share your application specifics with a product specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Measurement and Control Instruments for the Power Industry

Control Instrumentation for Power Plants
Coal fired power plant.
The coal-fired power generation and combined-cycle power generation industry now demands much more of its control and instrumentation suppliers. Common areas for use are fuel systems, fermenters, gas storage, water treatment, boiler feed water, boiler drum, steam line, cooling water system, generator, condenser, gas cleaning system, flue gas desulfurization, residuals storage and stack.

The document below provides a visual guide of common applications and the instrumentation products that have proven track records in those applications.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Flowserve Valtek Valve Automation

The video below highlights several Swanson Flo automated Valtek control valves. Included in these systems are Valtek ShearStream segmented ball valves, Valtek Valdisk BX butterfly valves, Logix positioners, Valtek VR piston actuators, and StoneL Axiom valve monitors.


Swanson Flo is a premier valve and valve automation supplier located in Plymouth, MN with warehouse and fabrication facilities in Addison, IL, Indianapolis, IN and Menomonee Falls, WI.

Visit Swanson Flo at http://www.swansonflo.com or call 800-288-7926 with any valve automation project.