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How to keep condensation from affecting Siemens ultrasonic level sensors

Recently, a customer noticed that the Siemens ultrasonic level measurement system he had installed in a storage bin showed a signficant amount of moisture buildup. At extreme temperature changes (like we’ve seen a lot latele here in the Midwest), there’d be moisture buildup on the Echomax ultrasonic transducer, sometimes so severely, they’d have problems from signal loss.

How could they fix it? One quick trip to the local big-box or auto supply store provided a Siemens-supported solution.

 

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Comparing Honeywell smart transmitters

Honeywell ST800 Smartline TransmitterHoneywell’s new SmartLine ST700 and ST800 pressure transmitter lines are replacing the existing ST3000 100 and 900 series.

If you’re using ST3000 100 series transmitters, you’ll be looking at the ST800 for future units.  If you’re using the ST3000 900 series, the ST700 will be your better fit.

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Why doesn’t my LR560 radar’s analog output match the displayed level value?

Siemens SITRANS LR560 radar level transmitterA customer who had had lots of experience with Milltronics and Siemens ultrasonics was installing his first SITRANS LR560 radar level transmitter.  They had worked with it in the shop beforehand, going through most of the settings.  They even tested it by setting it up to shoot against a file cabinet and used a tape measure the check the indicated distance value.

Everything checked out OK in the shop.

When they installed the transmitter on the top of the bin, they changed the transmitter’s sensor mode parameter from the distance mode they used in the shop for testing to level mode.  After aiming, the level value shown in the local display was dead nuts on, but the 4-20mA signal going back to the control room was way off.

The bin was a third full. The 4-20mA showed it about double that.  Not only that, the 4-20 was going in the wrong direction.  The bin was emptying and the HMI reported an increasing level value.  Someone realized that an inverse-acting output was typical of a distance value, so they reconfigured the sensor mode to distanceThat got the 4-20mA much closer to a distance value, but it was still not exactly what it should be, and besides, the goal was to read level, not distance, in the control room.  What was going on?

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Honeywell TrendManager Suite software is Windows 7 compliant

TrendManager Suite is Windows software for Honeywell’s Trendview paperless recorders, which includes the licensed TrendManager Pro (TMP) and Trendserver Pro (TSP) software and the freeware Trendviewer.

The latest release, version 6.1.38.0, has revisions to the installer that makes the version Windows 7 compliant.   Earlier versions had issues trying to run under Windows 7.   For download and installation details, read further. 
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The Impact of Background Echoes on Ultrasonic Level Measurement

Photography is a pretty good way to illustrate the importance of background.

Look at the two photographs here. In one, the background is minimal, and focuses your eye on the subject matter. In the other, the background seriously detracts from the subject. Where should you be focusing? What’s most important?

Non-intrusive background makes focus point clear

Hard to discerne the difference between the action and all the stuff happening in the background

 

But unlike photography, where a good background helps you focus on the subject, in the world of non-contact ultrasonic level measurement, even a “good” background has a negative influence.  Background never contributes to a level reading, it only detracts. But Siemens has a built-in function to “cure” for the influence of backgrounds in their level devices. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flame detection failures in industrial applications

“My UV flame detector worked last week, and now it keeps shutting down the system, even though the flame is there.  I ran diagnostics, and it’s not the detector. Can you help?”

When an instrument or technology works, it’s frustrating when all of a sudden, it stops… especially when it causes your burner or boiler process to stop unexpectedly and without reason. What’s the cause?  Is it the flame detector? The control? Wiring? A valve or switch in the fuel train? Or might it be caused by the flame?

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