Arc Machines provides remote welding at reactor sites

An essential part of EDF Energy’s comprehensive safety system in its UK nuclear fleet is the high quality welding systems provided by Arc Machines Inc (AMI) for secure repairs to damaged re-heater tubes.

Following a three-year development process, from concept to design and application testing, AMI has recently supplied a bespoke Model 20 weld head with full remote deployment to plug and seal any leaking tubes on the re-heaters at EDF Energy’s Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors. The new weld head, with an M415 power supply completing the system, will be used in a repair scenario to stop leaking inlet/outlet tubes by plugging a damaged tube during a reactor shutdown.

Bespoke adaptations to the weld system include the facility to remotely drive a specially designed plug to the weld area and hold it in position during the application of a two pass weld sequence with the addition of filler wire. The weld head includes a high precision vision system that can quickly locate the pipe, monitor weld progress and enable a post-weld visual check, using a high definition camera, to determine weld acceptance.

Ensuring a safe method of sealing off a damaged pipe during a reactor shutdown is an essential part of EDF Energy’s safety case. With the integrity of the weld being so critical and the difficulty of pipe access within the re-heater structure, an automated system was the only solution and AMI’s stringent manufacturing standards, workmanship and quality of materials made it the first choice.

The M20 weld system is AMI’s latest venture in a long term relationship with EDF Energy, providing both standard and bespoke weld heads and power sources. The modified internal diameter weld head carries a 48 mm diameter plug between 8 and 12 metres from the pipe entry point, depending on the length and location of the pipe, to complete a precise locate and seal operation using AMI’s remote welding video vision system.

This patented vision system incorporates direct-view optics and colour video cameras to show both the leading and trailing sides of the weld puddle. The miniature video camera assemblies are combined with remote-controlled dual wire manipulators to allow welding in both directions and provide a clear view of weld progress as well as the facility to run non-destructive evaluation of weld and pipe integrity once the weld is complete.

EDF Energy already uses a modified AMI weld system at the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool sites and was happy to specify further AMI equipment to the engineering contractor, Doosan Babcock.

Borri unveils new single phase compact UPS

Borri has launched a new range of compact, reliable and ultra-efficient UPS systems, which when used in online double conversion mode, offer the highest possible levels of protection for organisations requiring pure, true, uninterrupted power, claims the company.

A development of Borri’s earlier B300 UPS, the B400 series carries more features but still offers the affordability and multifunctional characteristics of its predecessor, said Borri. These include sophisticated online double conversion topology, integrated smart-slot for the option of SNMP, MODBUS or relay contact interface and remote intelligent UPS management software.

The B400 UPS 1-3kVA offers greater levels of efficiency and comes with free downloads of intelligent, user-friendly monitoring and shutdown software which is suitable for the majority of software operating systems. Fitted with IEC retention clips, an emergency power off connection and an Eco mode function, it is also intended to help businesses to significantly cut energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

This latest addition to Borri’s arsenal of UPS systems for emergency power has been designed to offer ease of use and control, featuring user selectable output voltage and frequency.

With state-of-the-art design functionality and up to the minute technology, the B400 achieves optimum security and UPS reliability.

The B400 UPS’ ability to withstand large input voltage variations before transferring to battery power extends service life by eliminating unnecessary discharges, and increases overall efficiency, that, coupled with the new Eco mode function ultimately enables users to achieve superior efficiency levels.

Based on a ‘plug and play’ concept, the B400 UPS range can be delivered ready for immediate use providing true online isolated output, making the transfer to battery power seamless, said Borri.

The B400 has a powerful internal charger enabling power back-up times of up to eight hours, with a six-hour recovery time. With average UK power cuts lasting no more than minutes, the B400 is suitable for a wide range of businesses including small-to-medium-sized offices, telecoms centres and security facilities.

Rosemount transmission options extended to Modbus

Emerson Process Management has announced that the Rosemount 5300 Series Guided Wave Radar and 5400 Series non-contacting level transmitters now include the ability to communicate via the Modbus communications protocol.

The addition of Modbus enables the transmitter to emulate LevelMaster ” sometimes known as ROS or tank ” protocol. This broadens the application range for these devices even further and enables them to be retrofitted into existing Modbus and LevelMaster networks.

The new transmitters feature an integral HART to Modbus converter. This enables up to four external HART transmitters of any type to be connected, and their signals communicated via the Modbus network. The devices can be configured using Emerson’s Radar Master software, point-to-point via HART communications, or remotely by using HART Tunnelling over the Modbus network. Configuring remotely eliminates the need for technicians to climb up vessels, enhancing safety.

Rosemount 5300 and 5400 Series level transmitters are designed to withstand harsh oil and gas conditions. They are robust, accurate, reliable, and provide users with “fit and forget” real-time level and interface measurement, said Emerson.

Rockwell debuts automation packaged solutions for turbomachinery

Three new turbomachinery control (TMC) packages from Rockwell Automation incorporate standard, commercial, off-the-shelf control and visualisation technology for fast installation and troubleshooting at a lower total cost of ownership.

Solutions for one- and two-valve steam turbines, and single-stage compressors are all preconfigured with proven TMC control algorithms and offer extensive communication and diagnostic capabilities for improved uptime, said Rockwell.

“These new packaged solutions offer cost-effective, advanced technology solutions for applications that were previously considered too small to warrant the investment,” said Rick McLin, turbomachinery controls business manager.

“The solutions also feature graphical representation of machine operations via a standard human-machine interface, making configuration, startup and troubleshooting much easier for engineers and operators less familiar with TMC control.”

With better alarm-management capabilities, operators can identify specific hardware and sequencing failures to solve downtime challenges more quickly than traditional solutions. In addition, each TMC package easily integrates into existing control infrastructures for easier expansion with fewer control components, said the company.

The single-valve steam turbine governor is currently available and features a standard programmable automation controller and graphical interface to provide comprehensive diagnostics and trending capabilities.

Two additional TMC solutions are in development and will be released soon, including the single-stage compressor controller, equipped with a dynamic compressor performance map and full graphical interface with comprehensive diagnostics and trending capabilities, said Rockwell.

The governor also includes engineering tool sets to simplify and standardise design and engineering, said Rockwell. The compressor control solution is ideal for anti-surge and capacity-control applications on compressors used in the oil and gas production, transportation and refining industries, as well as fertiliser production.

The two-valve steam turbine governor solution, which also will be released soon, is equipped with all the features of the single-valve governor and adds extraction control, auxiliary PID, and generator-load-control capabilities. Both steam-turbine solutions are ideal for use on pump, fan, compressor and generator drives in the refining, petrochemical production, fertilizer, and pulp and paper industries.

Sierra expands Smart-Trak 50 series

Sierra Instruments has unveiled its Smart-Trak 50 Series Medium Flow Controller, which increases the maximum flow range of the award-winning Smart-Trak 50 Series from 50 slpm to 200 slpm.

Sierra’s new 200 slpm controller is designed for OEMs who require higher mass flow control capability and advanced performance at a price point that meets their budgetary constraints.

Matthew J. Olin, president of Sierra Instruments, said: “We developed it early last year specifically for a high volume OEM customer who has a furnace purge application that requires accurate Argon flow control.

“They’ve been using the 50 Series in their furnaces to stabilise gas mass flow and temperature. They love the measurement repeatability because it has improved their yields. Our new instrument has proven to be the perfect fit for them.”

The 50 Series builds on the core sensor, LFE and valve technology found in Sierra’s flagship Smart-Trak 100 Series, all backed by Sierra’s personalised customer support. The 50 Series has a standard accuracy of +/- 1.5% of full scale that works for nearly all common semiconductor purge and carrier gases.

A flexible and powerful direct-acting frictionless-hovering control valve sets it apart from the competition by minimising leak-by, while offering +/- 0.25% repeatability.

In contrast to the many wetted parts of CMOS and MEMS flow sensors, Sierra uses its advanced 316L stainless steel platinum-wound capillary sensor technology to deliver the highest reliability, repeatability and stable accuracy, said the firm.

Kistler introduces K-Beam MEMS Capacitive accelerometer family

Kistler, a worldwide supplier of precision sensors, systems and instrumentation for the dynamic measurement of pressure, force, torque and acceleration, has introduced its K-Beam high-sensitivity, low-noise MEMS capacitive accelerometer family.

The K-Beam family is designed to support single axis and triaxial measurement requirements within automotive, aerospace, civil engineering, OEM, R&D and in-laboratory test applications, particularly where use of an instrument-grade accelerometer for high-precision, low-frequency measurements is required.

The K-Beam family is offered in ranges from à‚±2 g to à‚±200 g and with frequency response from DC to 1000 Hz (5 per cent). Accelerometers are available in four different models of either single axis (Type 8315A) or triaxial (Type 8395A) versions and incorporate a MEMS variable capacitance sensing element, consisting of a small inertial mass and flexure element sandwiched between two parallel plates (electrodes).

As the mass deflects under acceleration, the capacitance between the sensing element and plates changes, which is then converted to a proportional voltage by the internal analogue signal conditioner.

All units offer excellent thermal stability and reliability over an operating temperature range of -65à‚°F to +250à‚°F (-55à‚°C to +125à‚°C), with 6000 g pk shock survivability.

The Type 8315A single axis version features a 1-inch (25.4 mm) footprint and is powered by a single wide range supply between +6 and +50 VDC. The six available Type 8315A models are offered with three different housing and electrical interface options (AC, TA, TB), which determine available output signal formats. The AC option features a lightweight, hard anodised aluminum housing with environmental sealing, integral ground isolation, epoxy seal and integral PVC cable, with a maximum operating temperature of +185à‚°F (+85à‚°C).

Available AC option output signal formats are bipolar at 0à‚±4V; single ended 2.5Và‚±2V; or differential 0à‚±8V. Series TA and TB options feature lightweight, welded titanium housings with choice of 4-pin, à‚¼-28 connector or integral Teflon jacketed cable, for a fully hermetic design with integral ground isolation. Temperature output is also provided, should external temperature compensation be desired. The TA and TB options have an operating temperature range of -65à‚°F to +250à‚°F (-55à‚°C to +125à‚°C).

The Type 8395A triaxial version is designed to simultaneously measure acceleration and low-frequency vibration in three mutually perpendicular axes (x, y and z), with a compact design that occupies a 0.85-inch (21.6 mm) cube footprint.

TTS designs CMS-1000 to meet plant emissions demands

Turbine Technology Services Corporation (TTS), a full-service gas turbine engineering services firm based in Orlando, Florida, has launched its CMS-1000 combustion dynamics measurement system, which monitors combustor dynamics in advanced class gas turbines.

The CMS-1000 has been designed to meet stronger emissions control demands on power plants, allowing the system to be used as either portable or permanently installed equipment in gas turbines to optimize its combustion system while taking control of plant emissions

In addition, the CMS-1000 can be integrated with Turbine Technology Services TMS-1000 Gas Turbine Control System to allow for an integrated turbine control system which incorporates combustor dynamics monitoring ” and with the inclusion of the TTS auto-tune function, the integrated system is the first of its kind offered by an aftermarket service provider.

TTS has developed the CMS-1000 to exceed OEM capabilities and enhance existing turbine instrumentation and controls such as that of ubiquitous GE gas turbines in operation in hundreds of power plants worldwide, said the firm.

Ultrafine mini videoscope puts confined spaces in the frame

The new Ultracam mini videoscope from Ultrafine Technology is a miniature video camera for inspecting areas that are difficult to access.

With a diameter of only 5.5 mm, the camera can easily be passed through narrow gaps or holes. Its angle of view is 60 degrees and illumination is provided by four white light LEDs mounted in the tip.

The Ultracam is ideal for industrial applications where video monitoring is required in extremely confined spaces, such as production lines.

The low power consumption CMOS camera plugs directly into a digital video recorder and the LEDs can be switched on or off by an in-line controller.

The videoscope can be supplied on its own or with Ultrafine’s SX1000 pocket digital video recorder, which has a 3.5 inch colour display with speakers.

Narda’s lightweight 3 kg IDA facilitates direction finding

Narda Test Solutions claims that detecting, analyzing and localising interference and signals will be easier with its IDA-3106 with SmartDF interference and direction analyser (IDA).

The device locates interference caused by you or others and identifies potential hazards. IDA can establish the direction of the source independently and display the relative bearing in a polar diagram on the basis of a horizontal scan, according to the company. The IDA calculates the position of the interference source from several bearing results automatically and displays it.

Freely available electronic maps can be recorded optionally so the source can be precisely pinpointed on a street plan, exactly as with a navigation system. Determination of the position of an interference source is based on a GPS receiver in the measuring instrument and the electronic compass in the antenna handle for determining the direction, elevation, and polarization. Extremely light antennas, which can be inserted vertically or horizontally in the handgrip, are available for different frequency ranges.

An overview of the spectral distribution can be obtained at a scan speed of 12 GHz/s. The optional Scope function allows the analysis of even pulsed signals, even the shortest duration signal being detected. It is also possible to monitor individual carrier signals for an entire day.

Real-time data can be recorded to assess the signal quality and bit error rate, for example, and uploaded to a PC for further analysis.

Narda says the IDA-3106 is ideal for field applications because of its weight of under three kilos, hot battery swap, and the user interface that can even be operated when wearing gloves.

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