HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

A Broken Gauge Could Blow Up a Plant

NO RATINGS
1 saves
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It could blow up a plant
Charles Murray   10/17/2013 6:14:31 PM
I believe the 25% figure. As much as we at Design News write about modern, networked, electronics technology, we often forget that not every plant is so up to date. Sometimes, if there's no reason to replace something, it gets old, and when it gets old, it often breaks.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Network those things
Rob Spiegel   10/17/2013 11:35:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point Naperlou. A simple electronic signal -- setting off an alarm on the control side -- when the measurement goes into its red would seem enough, especially if it's backed up by scheduled visual checks to make sure the gauge is working.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It could blow up a plant
Rob Spiegel   10/17/2013 11:52:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, GTOlover, it's hard to replace a gauge under high pressure -- or, if the gauge is way below the water -- as in the BP spill. I can see the potential human error that happens then the engineer looks at two gauges and one reads that everything is OK. The difficulty of dealing with a problem may lead the engineer to assume -- wrongly -- that the gauge showing building pressure is the broken gauge. If the author of the book on the BP spill is correct, that judgment cost lives.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No surprise.
Rob Spiegel   10/17/2013 11:58:30 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Ann, you have to take the source of this data into consideration. But even if it's half of the 25%, it's significant. Wika also listed a handful of recent plant explosions and speculated they were caused by failed gaugues. Since it's just speculation, I left it out of the story. But it does make you think.

Car-Nut
User Rank
Iron
WIKA
Car-Nut   10/18/2013 8:59:41 AM
NO RATINGS
As the Logistics manager for WIKA U.S., I must say it's nice to see an article about our organization. Thanks DN.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It could blow up a plant
Rob Spiegel   10/18/2013 11:08:56 AM
NO RATINGS
That's right, Chuck. Gauges are usually mechanical, and thus they break. When they break, they don't stop anything. All you lose is your ability to monitor what is happening out of sight. But that could be critical.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: WIKA
Rob Spiegel   10/18/2013 11:24:26 AM
NO RATINGS
You're welcome, Car-Nut. This is an interesting subject, a weak spot at plants, and a dangerous weak spot at that.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: No surprise.
Larry M   10/18/2013 12:09:01 PM
NO RATINGS
At the large manufacturing company where I have worked for 45 years, we have always had instrument calbration labs. Every piece of equipment has a sticker indicating when calibration is next due. Employees are not permitted to use equipment beyond the calibration due date or equipment which has bypassed the calibration lab.

Simply applying this process to gauges (and fitting a shut-off valve in series with each gauge) would solve this problem.

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Re: WIKA
bob from maine   10/18/2013 12:19:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob; One issue about gauges is they are usually direct plumbed into whatever they are monitoring. Thus a broken gauge replacement requires shutting down that entire line and exposing the contents to contamination from outside or vice versa. Putting gauges on shut-offs that permit removal without leaks and making all gauges moveable such that the 'normal' is always in the same orientation. For most processes, gauges are 'trendicators' more than an accurate readout. The percentage of defective gauges is not surprising but what may be surprising is the number of gauges that no longer serve any purpose. 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: WIKA
Rob Spiegel   10/18/2013 12:25:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Bob from Maine, I suppose one approach to this is to replace the gauge during scheduled downtime. That would mean some gauges would be inoperative during the wait for downtime, but that may be the most efficiently way to deal with this problem.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
For decades there have been rumors that Microsoft essentially copied DRI's CP/M operating system and sold it to IBM as MS-DOS. In just a few days, all will be revealed.
A San Francisco startup called Otto came out of stealth mode recently and released a dramatic video demonstrating its successful test of a technology for self-driving trucks.
Researchers have found a way to use graphene to cheaply and easily turn dirty water into drinking water.
We shared our list, now Design News readers tell us which artificial intelligence movies they watch again and again.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service