When it comes to machine maintenance, digital tools promise a lot — from improving safety, meeting production targets and eliminating unplanned downtime to filling skill gaps and regulating supply-chain issues. But simply alerting users to machine malfunctions isn't enough to transform your business. To gain insight, Chemical Processing spoke with Tim Sykes, heavy industry machine health lead at Augury, a machine health solutions provider that combines advanced sensors with AI capabilities and human expertise.

Supply-chain issues, global competition and the need to deliver high-quality products are challenges facing many chemicals manufacturers today. To meet these challenges, you must keep track of inventory, improve operations, make better products and drive smart, sustainable growth. It’s a tall order but the right tools will help.

Utilizing maintenance data to make key business decisions results in improved equipment reliability, optimized costs, improved safety, and environmental impacts. However, there are many challenges due to a lack of know-how, resources, and data quality issues.

To understand and mitigate those challenges, Chemical Processing spoke with Manjish Naik, Product Manager at GE Digital.

Efficient conveying solutions that protect workers from hazardous dust, fumes and odors.

Grabbing samples of hazardous chemicals in liquid and gas states is challenging but necessary. Manufacturers rely on quality samples to ensure products specs and operators rely on this equipment to help them grab those samples. But not all sampling platforms are the same.

Solution promises to reduce sensor maintenance, improve process performance, and ensure a safe work environment in the chlor-alkali industry.

While liquid tank level is one of the basic measurements used in process plants, its importance cannot be overstated. Incorrect high level measurements can cause vessels to overflow leading to lost product, a safety hazard or an environmental problem. Incorrect low level measurements can burn out pumps and can cause problems with inventory control. 
Enter differential pressure level measurement, which infers liquid level in a vessel by measuring the pressure generated at the bottom of the vessel.

To better understand this long-standing technology, Chemical Processing spoke with Nicholas Meyer, Industry Marketing Manager, Yokogawa Corporation of America.

The use of surrogate testing is a valuable tool in ensuring that contained dust collectors are meeting several requirements including environmental, employee health and safety and production cleanliness and efficiency.

Traci Purdum, executive digital editor of Chemical Processing, spoke with David Steil, pharmaceutical market manager at Camfil Air Pollution Control, to better understand surrogate testing. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in safety and industrial hygiene. He spent more than 12 years with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as a member of its corporate environment health and safety group. David is a member of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering and the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Pardon the pun, but check valves are fairly straight forward -- they ensure flow in only one direction. In most designs, the upstream fluid force pushes a spring-loaded poppet open, allowing flow. An increase in downstream or back-pressure force drives the poppet back into the seat, stopping reverse flow. But their simplicity shouldn’t be taken for granted. Chemical Processing spoke with Brian Strait, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Check-All Valve Mfg. Co., and learned that not all check valves are created equally. 

One of the most commonly used compounds in the chemical industry is water – not only as a solvent in processing, but also as an energy carrier in the cooling or heating cycle. Monitoring water quality can predict performance and protect equipment.

 

Chemical Processing spoke with Amanda Scott, product management leader for the Sievers* product line at SUEZ --Water Technologies & Solutions, we discovered how implementing critical control points, such as total organic carbon (TOC) analyzers for monitoring closed-loop cooling water systems, can help ensure efficiency and productivity.

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