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Featured Articles

Solids level detection – what method is best?

Questions have crossed my desk recently specific to solids level detection applications. People ask why I recommend rotary-paddle technology so often. The answer is simple, once you understand how each available technology fits into the application map.
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Should we repair or replace this boiler?

Before deciding, consider any demand load changes, and what type boiler is best
It goes without saying that steam plays a vital role in chemical and other type processing plants, and that having a reliable, cost-effective and safe boiler is essential to good operations. As a facility ages, it eventually gets to the point where it’s time to choose between upgrading the current boiler or getting a new one.
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Potatoes and other foods chilled rapidly without refrigeration

Cooling towers ensure reliability of vacuum/retort cooking system that chills tons of ingredients per hour
In the potato salad-making business, one practical way to profitably maintain and grow regional distribution is to make a whole lot of product — literally thousands of pounds per hour.
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Industrial goods maker tackles water costs with ultrafiltration system

Meets twin goals of saving money and reducing environmental impact
When a maker of industrial fastening systems located in the Southwest United States looked to improve overall operations, one of the first projects it tackled was dealing with the vast amount of water associated with its part washing and annealing processes.
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Wrecked steel mill coupling renewed for half the cost of replacement

Bore ‘replaced’ with splined-in insert — correct diameter restored, original rating maintained
When the bore on the rigid half of a high-torque steel mill coupling was badly galled during a maintenance teardown, an East Chicago, Ind., mill put the damaged part in the plant’s boneyard. However, engineers at Kop-Flex developed a clever solution that saved almost half the cost it would have taken to replace the part.
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Basic preplanning for leaks and spills

Response to small spills as important as worst-case scenarios
Because they are so common, routine leaks and spills can sometimes be missed when facilities review safety hazards. But these small “inconveniences” are a leading cause of slip-and-fall incidents.
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The motor itself can also be more energy efficient

Brushless PM motor technology more efficient over broad operating range, author says; use of less costly, readily available ferrite magnets
NEMA Premium efficiency induction motors are considered by many to be the standard for integral horsepower, general-purpose, AC induction motors. While these motors raise the bar for energy efficiency, continuing improvement is both possible and cost-effective.
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Good vibrations attained in large mixer installations

Modal analysis increases reliability and efficiency
Mixing is a vital part of production processes found in many industries, including food & beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical — to name only the largest. In many of these industries, a trend toward larger mixer installations is apparent.
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Polymers producer banks on thermoplastic pumps for waste stream handling

Effluent streams, both strongly acidic and alkaline, make demineralization and corrosion resistance a priority
Kaneka Texas Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of Kaneka Corp. of Japan, is a maker of specialty polymers and fine chemicals. For several applications involving wastewater and circulation of scrubbing liquids, the company’s Pasadena, Calif., site relies on thermoplastic pumps to ensure reliable operation under corrosive conditions.
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Innovations in continuous drum processing of pasta, rice and vegetables

Overflow water heat energy captured; mid-process quench cycle introduced prior to chilling
Amidst efforts to reduce costs while improving sustainability, one critical objective for food processors is less energy and water consumption. Implementing energy- and water-efficient practices and technologies should be a senior management priority in food manufacturing plants.
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