Blogging team for Dan's Tips, the education and tech tips blog for Lesman Instrument Company

Homepage: http://danstips.wordpress.com

How far does playback go on a Honeywell paperless recorder?

The two most common questions I get about paperless recorders are:

  • How far back in time can I scroll back or playback the chart?
  • How many days/weeks/months of data does the recorder save?

What people don’t realize is that the answers to these questions vary according to how the recorder’s memory is allocated.

To help you understand how the recorder’s memory works, let me explain how data is viewed and saved on a paperless recorder.

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Understanding Level Readings & the Truth about Level Measurement Instruments

In order to understand level readings, you must first comprehend how the instrument works. Three of the most common level-measuring techniques involve using a displacer, float, or differential pressure instrument.

Here’s the catch.

While each of these instruments can be used to report a level reading, none of them actually measure level.

I know what you’re thinking…

If none of these instruments measure level, how do we end up with a level reading? Read the rest of this entry »

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Is it time to switch switches?

Eight problems with outdated, electromechanical switches and eight solutions that will come with a digital upgrade to your plant.

Operational VisibilityUE Electric Safety Transmitter

The Problem: Unless tested on a regular basis, there is no way to determine when a problem exists. With mechanical switches, the only way to diagnose a problem is to remove the switch, leaving the control or safety function

Solution: Newer digital switches have an LCD screen that shows local process variable measurements and integrated internal diagnostics directly on the screen. You can easily monitor the health of the device at a glance, without having to remove the switch from operation.


The Problem: Mechanical switches require careful adjustments for reaching desired setpoints. Additionally, once these adjustments are made, settings

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Automatic Overfill Prevention System- Learning from the CAPECO incident

We all know tank farms play a crucial role in any terminal or refinery, yet they are among the most neglected areas of automation in most facilities.

Improperly managed tank farms present a number of hazards for employees, physical assets, and the environment. Tank farms, storage areas, and loading/unloading sites all require continual monitoring of critical process parameters.

Many tank farm accidents have been traced to ineffective use of technology leading to loss of level control and eventually, overfill.  Overfill in a hazardous environment has taken lives and leaves widespread damage to the surrounding community.

CAEPCO Incident

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board issued their investigation report regarding the CAPECO petroleum terminal facility explosion in 2009, pinpointing “inadequate management of gasoline storage tank overfill hazards”.

Safe tank farm management is becoming increasingly more challenging: Off-site piping grows more complex and operator workload becomes more demanding. At the same time, we are seeing a continuing drive for higher efficiency across the industry.

Honeywell has just released a whitepaper on implementing overfill prevention systems. Download the white paper here: http://hwll.co/spta

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Where do I find firmware and software updates for Honeywell paperless recorders?

A customer contacted me earlier today after reading another blog post about running Honeywell TrendManager software on a Windows 7 computer. She was looking for a copy of the latest software compatible with her recorders and operating system. But because Honeywell is a large company with several different divisions and websites, it can sometimes be difficult for customers to find the downloads they need.

So here’s the quick fix:

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Making a Siemens clamp-on flowmeter setup record easy to read

Everyone agrees that it’s good practice to keep a record of configurations and setups for any field instrument. I’m constantly recommending it to our customers for their transmitters, controllers, recorders, and other complex configurable devices.

Siemens clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters even have a system in place to make this process easy. By connecting the meter to a PC through the RS-232 serial port, you can use a terminal program and the SITE command to fetch a data file that holds all the instrument’s configuration data.

The terminal program can also be used — with a set of instructions specific to the flowmeter — for viewing real-time operational data, performing device setup, uploading logger data, or uploading configurations known as SITE setups.

Recently, I was called to visit a plant and look at a misbehaving flowmeter. From previous discussions with the operator, I knew he’d saved SITE setup files for every flowmeter installed in the plant.

I asked if the customer would e-mail me the setup file before my visit, so I could check out how the flowmeter was set up. My request was met with a chuckle and “Well, if you really think it’s worth it…”

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How to pick a setpoint profile program on a Honeywell UDC3500 controller

Honeywell UDC3500 universal digital controllerYou’ve heard this phrase before: “It’s simple. But nobody said it would be easy.”

And this is exactly one of those cases.

The Honeywell UDC3500 digital controller can support up to four setpoint programs, the ramp/soak profiles used in batch control operations. But after configuring all four profiles, I was stuck on how to select the one I wanted the controller to use.

There’s no “Program Select” button on the keypad. So I was mystified on how I was going to select my setpoint profile program #3.

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