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Why Choose Metrix DPS? The Perfect Solution for Power Plant Upgrade

May 31, 2022 | Product News

Digital Proximity System (DPS) Provides Perfect Solution for Power Plant Upgrade

Introduction

A power company in the Midwest USA recently evaluated multiple vendor solutions for upgrade of their existing vibration instrumentation on one of their unit’s main steam turbine generators, induced draft fans and boiler feed pump trains. Having already made a substantial investment in transitioning the power plant from a coal to gas-fired boiler, and with significant life left in the unit, improved vibration monitoring capabilities were justified to ensure reliable operations.

Metrix worked closely with the end user, system integrator and their machinery protection and condition monitoring system partner to define, propose and deliver a turnkey solution. Ultimately, Metrix’s Digital Proximity System (DPS) was selected for upgrade of the existing proximity probe systems and to retrofit the boiler feed pump trains to monitor vibration, position and phase.

Challenge

Although the steam turbine generator and induced draft fans had previously been retrofitted with proximity probe systems, they had been installed for 20 years. Replacements were becoming more challenging to come by, and often carried long lead times. In the case of the boiler feed pump trains, neither the motors or pumps had existing proximity probe systems, and as a result, retrofit was necessary to achieve best practice monitoring. A variety of probe system configurations were required, including various case diameters and lengths, electrical lengths, linear ranges and in some cases, Metrix’s TightView applications.

Specific to the boiler feed pump trains, and almost anytime a machine retrofit is required for proximity probes, it was not known until the machines were disassembled exactly what probe configurations would be required. As a result, it was critical to the end user that probes systems could be acquired in a timely manner once the design for installation was complete to avoid delays to machine reassembly and plant startup.

Solution

Metrix’s DPS was an ideal solution for upgrade of the existing vibration instrumentation and retrofit of the boiler feed pump trains. With a vast number of probe configurations, all of the existing transducer systems were easily upgraded without the need for additional brackets or adaptation to existing probe mounting provisions. Furthermore, for retrofit of the boiler feed pump trains, DPS Drivers, Probes and Cables were supplied in a timely manner to meet the end user’s schedule. Finally, as DPS is configurable, it allowed for field configuration changes in the case of the boiler feed pump phase triggers which enabled DPS Drivers, originally configured for 80 mils of linear range, to be increased to 160 mils of linear range. Without this field configurability, the Drivers would have to be reordered, which would have caused delays to machine reassembly and startup.

DPS proved to be the right solution for the project, and enabled the customer to leverage readily available and state of the art vibration instrumentation within their new machinery protection and condition monitoring solution.

Benefit

Through a close working relationship with the end user, system integrator and monitoring system partner, Metrix delivered quality and flexible instrumentation on time and at a competitive price. Metrix stayed out of critical path during the unit overhaul and deployed reliable instrumentation that will be leveraged to protect and monitor the health of the end user’s machinery for years to come.



Data Acquisition Project for Pharmaceutical Company

May 25, 2022 | Company News

The Neal Systems team is hard at work prepping a data acquisition project for a pharmaceutical company that was upgrading for vaccine testing.  The customer had seven temperature chambers that needed a method for both local data acquisition as well as one central remote location.  Each chamber varied between 30-95 thermocouples. 

Together with the customer, we chose the Eurotherm / Chessell 6000 series recorder platform, coupled to the Mini-8 remote I/O platform with Ethernet Modbus communications.  The customer will be able to remotely view the data live through Eurotherm’s Bridge software, and look at the historical data (and present it to their customers) with the new Reviewer software package.   

The Chessell 6000 series recorder and Eurotherm control packages have been installed extensively throughout the world for pharmaceutical data monitoring (including 21 CFR 11 compliance and audit trail) as well as environmental chamber monitoring.



Mark Pfender Named Group Sales Leader for NSI

May 18, 2022 | Company News

Mark Pfender has moved from his role as Territory Manager to Group Sales Leader!

Mark‘s philosophy on leadership was formed and molded from his time spent operating underwater nuclear reactors with the US Navy. “We have to get the details right, we must be the product experts, and if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible. Ultimately our customers problems are our problems. I am humbled and honored to serve amongst the greatest sales engineers in the industrial automation world.”

We look forward to seeing how Mark can use his leadership to assist our team to better serve our customers.




Advantages of Cloud-Based Monitoring & Control

May 12, 2022 | Company News

Phone dialers continue to be a consistent choice for many businesses in the water and wastewater industries. However, those alarm dialer systems come with pain points that may create vulnerabilities to the overall system.

The solution? A Cattron cloud-based monitoring and control system.

Phone dialers were a great solution for many years. However, technology continues to evolve, and dialers succumb to a variety of susceptibilities and out-of-date issues, including:

  • Damaged equipment from lightning strikes
  • Marginalized phone line quality
  • Critical alarm notifications are not received when phone lines are down
  • Costly and significant fines when unaddressed critical events happen
  • Surge vulnerabilities
  • Limited service from phone line providers

Experiencing one or more of these frustrations can lead to unnecessary additional costs. In fact, the average annual phone line service costs per site for an alarm dialer is between $600-$1,200 – and that’s without any service, equipment, or replacement costs.

Monitoring and control systems for water and wastewater application need to be reliable, efficient and cost-effective. One way to reduce the chances of key pain points – surges from lightning strikes, outdated equipment, phone line quality, etc. – is to focus, instead, on a cellular- or satellite-based solution. Cattron’s SCADA cloud-based solutions are wireless with a dependable battery backup and an alarm notification if any lost communication events are detected.

Ultimately, what this means is a solution designed to:

  1. Decrease service costs. Have an average savings of $360 or more per site by eliminating phone lines and with it, annual service costs.
  2. Increase notification dependability. The modem connection for a SCADA cloud-based solution is monitored 24/7. If a communication loss is detected, personnel are notified immediately.
  3. Improve asset management. The ability to access site data, reports, and alarm history from computers and mobile devices reduce unnecessary site visits.

Plus, RemoteIQ technology helps ensure issues are caught early and not when it’s critical. Proactively troubleshoot problems from basic pump stations to the most sophisticated plants with monitoring, control, and alarm notification for small to large scale water and wastewater applications.

RemoteIQ Provides Greater Reliability and Usability

From communication loss notifications to pain point-eliminating technology, a SCADA cloud-based solution ensures you stay connected, control the system, and protect your costs from outdated technology that can incur additional repairs, updates, and service. Therefore, it makes sense to transition to a Cattron wireless cloud-based solution.


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