Cermax makes the grade

Dewpoint instruments manufactured by Michell Instruments have been supplied to engineers working at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine.

Two Cermax portable dewpointmeters have been supplied via Michell Instruments’ Russian distributors, Regular Co. One of the Cermax instruments will be used to monitor and log the dewpoint (moisture content) of instrument air, with a dewpoint of -60°C. The other instrument is to be used to monitor argon with a dewpoint of -80°C. The argon is to be used for welding and the moisture content is critical to achieve the extremely high standard of welding required in the reconstruction of a nuclear power station.


The portable dewpointmeters will be used by engineers working at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine
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After the explosion at one of Chernobyl’s nuclear reactors in April 1986, the policy of the authorities was to source all equipment from local (Ukrainian or Russian) equipment suppliers. However the required specification and quality of the Cermax cannot be matched by local companies so special dispensation was given to Regular Co which allowed it to quote Cermax as part of the tender process, in which it was duly successful.

The Cermax utilises the Michell Instruments Ceramic Sensor to provide accurate and stable measurement of moisture of most commonly used gases. Features include data logging, pressure compensation and fast response. For hazardous areas and explosive gases the Cermax IS is available, which is ATEX, FM and CSA certified.

Forensic team

EA Technology is expanding the scope of investigating electrical assets failures to owners and operators outside the power industry.

The power engineering company has extended its service to meet growing demand for forensic investigations into failures in MV and HV equipment. Such failures are often sudden and catastrophic, resulting in production losses, damage and injury to personnel.

“Lessons learnt from these investigations will reduce the occurrence of expensive and dangerous failures and ultimately lead to an increase in the safety and reliability of assets,” said Anne McIntosh of EA Technology.

EA’s investigation team recently identified why a large number of contactor switches newly fitted in one of Europe’s largest paper mills failed, and investigated a catastrophic power failure in Bermuda.

Reaching new lows

Thermo Electron Corporation has unveiled the Orion ionplus 2111LL Low Level Sodium Monitor used to monitor the sodium ion content of steam and other pure water circuits within the power industry.

As efficiency reductions and equipment failures attributable to corrosion and deposition cost the power industry billions of dollars each year, Thermo Electron has developed a next-generation sodium monitor that reaches the lowest levels of sodium ion detection available on the market. The Orion ionplus 2111LL helps reduce costs by maintaining a balance in water and steam chemistries through continuous monitoring of chemical species such as sodium that are linked to the corrosion process.

The heart of the Orion ionplus 2111LL utilizes the patented ROSS Ultra Sodium Electrode technology.

Geomagic launches purpose-built solution

At Power-Gen International, Geomagic demonstrated Geomagic Blade, the first software extension developed specifically for turbine blade inspection. Geomagic Blade is purpose-built to satisfy the need for greater ease of use, speed and quality in all areas of turbine blade inspection.

Geomagic Blade extends Geomagic Qualify computer-aided inspection (CAI) software to provide special features that have been tested and verified by leading turbomachinery companies such as GE Power Systems, Honeywell, Howmet, PCC Airfoils LLC, Pratt & Whitney, Solar Turbines, Siemens and others. Geomagic Qualify automatically processes scan data from a physical part, enabling instant graphical comparisons between CAD models and as-built parts. It is used for first-article inspection, tool validation, wear analysis, object alignment, GD&T, and reporting.

Geomagic worked in cooperation with leading companies in the aerospace, turbine and power generation industries to develop functionality that makes it easier and faster to inspect and analyze turbine blades.

In testing conducted with leading turbine blade manufacturers, Geomagic Blade has proven superior to traditional inspection in three important ways:

  • Generating reproducible test results based on 3D models derived from millions of points, which increases test confidence and complements traditional CMM analysis
  • Increasing inspection and analysis speed by collecting data with non-contact scanners and processing it with patented technology from Geomagic Qualify
  • Providing easy access to dedicated functions that test critical turbine blade attributes and automatically generate numerical and graphical reports of results.

Alignment with no strings attached

Fixturlaser Turbine, a new system designed to measure the alignment of diaphragms in turbines and compressors is now available from SKF. The Fixturlaser Turbine system works on conventional principles, but replaces the wire and sound micrometer devices traditionally used with a laser beam and detector unit, making it less susceptible to the effects of vibration.

The system uses a laser transmitter positioned at one end of the turbine and a detector unit with an integral inclinometer, which probes the surface of each diaphragm, taking three readings on each. Results are compiled by a computerised display unit that performs a straightness measurement in two axes. The same method can then be used ‘live’ to adjust the position of a misaligned diaphragm.


The Fixturelaser Turbine system offers several advantages over traditional wire methods, such as greater access to machinery and greater accuracy
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This laser system offers numerous advantages over the wire method. For instance, greater access to the machine means that parts can be easily replaced without the need to remove the measuring equipment. Greater accuracy can be achieved using a repeatability test to set the best sampling filter and the detector has a resolution of 0.001 mm.

Vibrations from local mechanical sources do not affect the readings, so there is no need to shut down nearby machinery to achieve the desired accuracy and resolution. The system only needs to be set up once during an entire outage and guides the user through the whole measurement sequence.