With more than 20 nominations, the Processing team selected 10 products that were influential and innovative in 2016. The requirements for nomination were that the solution was introduced to the market between October 2015 — the cutoff for last year’s award — and September 2016. Nominations for these awards can be submitted by manufacturers and end users. They recognize product, technology and service solutions that made contributions to the process industries within the last year.

The manufacturers recognized this year delivered solutions that help manage and navigate tough processing environments; meet changing standards; and provide monitoring, control and automation solutions for modern process facilities. These awards celebrate major innovation and incremental improvements that, at times, may be overlooked. Congratulations to our 2016 recipients.

Make sure you nominate your favorite products and services for the 2017 Breakthrough Products (brought to market between October 2016 and September 2017). The deadline for nominations is Oct. 1, 2017.

SKGF Series submersible pumps

Manufactured by BJM Pumps

The new SKGF Series submersible pumps are designed to pump clear or solids-laden liquids at temperatures up to 200°F (93°C). Suited for process industries in which sump liquids are too hot for other submersible pumps, the SKGF Series also features patent-pending RAD-AX® Dual Shredding Technology to eliminate difficult solids in high-temperature installations. The construction prevents downtime and reduces maintenance for a longer life.

Top features include:

  • RAD-AX® Dual Shredding Technology (patent pending) with radial- and axial-shredding elements
  • Hardened, 440C stainless steel (HRC 55) shredding elements
  • Controlled shredding system efficiency to alleviate potential high-surge loads to the motor
  • Large solids-sized passage through the impeller and volute, coupled to a high-torque, four-pole motor (2, 3 and 5
    horsepower) for large solid shredding
  • Oil-lubricated, double mechanical seal design with separate lip seal to protect the motor
  • Heavy-duty, high-temperature power cable and Seal Minder® cable — for early warning pump and motor protection

The SKGF Series is different because the hard metal shredding elements, impeller and cover plate materials provide maximum wear resistance for long, efficient shredding life. The hardened, cast-iron construction stands up to rough handling and the effect of abrasives.

QuattroTec Series Quaternary Diaphragm Pump

Manufactured by Almatec, PSG®, a Dover company

The electronically driven QuattroTec Series Quaternary Diaphragm Pump’s operation was modeled after the human heart, which is the perfect technology to ensure the safe, reliable and efficient transfer of shear-sensitive liquids. The fourpiston design enables gentle pumping similar to that of soft heartbeats, with each stroke created by an eccentric shaft connected to an electric motor.

This pump’s low-friction, low-shear and low-pulsation design has the added benefit of meeting the requirements that govern pump use in hygienic applications. When compared to peristaltic and lobe pump technologies, the features and benefits include:

  • Minimum particle generation
  • Low risk of product contamination
  • No effect on flow rate times
  • No risk of tube failure
  • No need for clean-in-place bypass
  • Self-priming, dry-run operation
  • No mechanical seals to maintain
  • Low power requirements through low-slip operation

An optional polypropylene pump chamber expands the QuattroTec’s operational range even further because it can be replaced as a complete unit, making it a good choice for use with products that have hard-to-meet cleaning demands and applications in which stainless steel is not desirable.

Bedrock SPS.500 Power Supply

Manufactured by Bedrock Automation

ICS power supplies are among the most failure-prone control system components, yet many users simply accept a far more frequent replacement cycle than other ICS modules. Like all ICS components, they are increasingly vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. The Bedrock SPS.500 power supply, however, is designed to last a lifetime and provide deep cybersecurity. It offers single or redundant supply, using 90- to 264-volts alternating current main voltage and 50- to 60-hertz input. The output of up to 500 watts is software configurable between 21 and 28 volts with Bedrock’s patented deep trust cybersecurity authentication and onboard intelligence for diagnostics and secure Ethernet communications.

The SPS.500’s power supply is a secure and intelligent standalone that makes the power supply a viable Industrial Internet of Things participant by providing:

  • Embedded cybersecurity protection
  • Ethernet and OPC/UA communications, enabling local or remote monitoring of power supply health
  • A cyber-secure microprocessor and onboard memory for diagnostics and software-defined functionality
  • A built-in redundancy module, which simplifies installation and increases reliability
  • Two built-in, software-configurable, Form C contact relays for operating and diagnostic status
  • One analyst commented that, until now, no one addressed this issue. This product created a new category of intelligent
    and cyber-secure control system power supplies.

DynaCHARGE PM 1 PRO

Manufactured by FilterSense

The DynaCHARGE PM 1 PRO Particulate Transmitter is a twowire, loop-powered, stack particulate emission monitor and dust collector leak detector that offers automatic zero, span and sensor measurements and internal data logging that meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for device quality assurance (QA) capabilities. Historically, processing plants have only been able to choose from line-powered devices to satisfy EPA device QA requirements. Now processing plants can choose a two-wire, loop-powered device (with HART or Wireless HART), lowering costs and improving operational intelligence while meeting and automating EPA QA requirements.

The DynaCHARGE PM 100 PRO features low-power circuitry and efficient, high-speed digital signal processing to enable true zero, span and sensor condition measurements that adhere to recognized performance standards. It also performs advanced signal processing while consuming low amounts of power to enable reliable and repeatable particulate measurement with the sensitivity (more than 1 milligram per cubic meter) of more expensive optical scatter devices yet with no optics to align or clean.

Electric Actuator Series Type EA25-250

Manufactured by GF Piping Systems

The Electric Actuator (EA) Series’ compact solid-state electronics and functionality include limit switches, optical position indicator with LED status monitoring and programmable middle position. Additional functions include the choice of internally powered or externally powered fail-safe return, error code display, three-position feedback, an internal heating element to prevent condensation and chemically resistant polypropylene housing.

Designed to operate rotary valves with a stroke of up to 359 degrees, the EA Series delivers nominal torque ranging from 10 to 100 newton meters (Nm) and peak torque ranging from 25 to 250 Nm. A backward-compatible product, the new model has the identical wiring, footprint and mounting as the previous mechanical actuator model so that customers can easily migrate to digital control with simple drop-in replacement.

While competitive electric actuators use mechanical switches for position indication, the EA25-250 uses magnetic, solid-state position sensing. An operator can gather information — such as valve position, operation status and fault status — from the status of the LED light. Troubleshooting is simplified with a seven-segment display to indicate specific faults with letters. The option of incorporating Profibus communication is new to this style of actuator, and the accessory package allows plug-and-play capability.

VTBNet

Manufactured by Machine Saver Inc.

The foundation of the VTBNet system is the vibration, temperature and bearing (VTB) sensor that combines three-axis vibration and temperature measurement into one intelligent sensor to monitor bearings, gears or other mechanical assemblies. The sensors may be standalone but are often daisy chained and networked with other MODBUS sensors. This system has been applied in the following industries: food and beverage, pipeline, power, chemical, petrochemical, manufacturing, HVAC, and original equipment manufacturing. The VTB-MachineGate communication gateway sends the digital signals, to a mobile device or PC for remote monitoring analysis. The system also can be integrated into a control system.

The VTB sensor captures user-defined “snapshots” of raw vibration dynamic signal (time waveform and spectrum) periodically or at a time of high or high-high alarm. Any given bus has 250 sensors, and the sensors require no battery maintenance and use patent-pending, self-calibration verification. The software sends text and email alerts to maintenance and reliability personnel.

Traditional sensors — such as accelerometers and vibration — are usually single axis and require wiring, necessitate external signal conditioning and offer a limited amount of data to users. The VTBNet system notifies plant personnel when the machine needs attention and provides the analyst with realtime analytical data.

Material Master Bulk Bag Material Conditioner

Manufactured by Material Transfer & Storage Inc.

Discharging bulk bags containing material that has solidified, hardened or agglomerated can be difficult, dangerous and time consuming if the proper equipment is not used. The new, patented Bulk Bag Material Conditioner system uses hydraulically actuated pivoting conditioning arms with extended travel to efficiently return even the most severely agglomerated materials to a free-flowing state. The unit accepts a wide range of bulk bag sizes.

The operator loads the bulk bag to be conditioned into the unit via forklift and activates the programmable logic controller’s automatic conditioning sequence. The system’s tubular, steel-pivoting conditioning arms penetrate deeply into the material for more effective results than traditional vertical sheet metal compression plates while the rotary lift table properly positions the bulk bag for complete material conditioning.

The large, color operator interface allows for easy access to proprietary bulk bag and material conditioning parameters, full recipe-management functions, system status information, and manual mode controls. The conditioner system features wireless remote control for convenience and efficiency, an ultra-compact footprint, and full machine guarding for operator safety.

Supplied Air Extruder Hood

Manufactured by Schenck Process

The new Supplied Air Extruder Hood (SAEH) is a key component of the Schenck Process high-feature Supplied Air Negative Airlift, which conveys extrudate from a pet food or food processing extruder to a dryer with HEPA-filtered or treated conveyed air instead of potentially contaminated air from the extruder room floor. This is important to all food and pet food producers concerned with avoiding finished product bacterial contamination after the extrusion kill step.

Additionally, an extruder discharge zone structure that provides a successful particle-tight fit of the SAEH to the cutter and extruder assemblies reduces maintenance and improves sanitary process operation. The extruder discharge structure also encloses many potential hazards, making the area around an extruder safer for operators. The new SAEH significantly reduces the possibility of allowing contaminated air, which can be harmful to pets and humans, into the process.

The trend in the pet and human food industries regarding material handling is incorporating systems with components that offer sanitary/hygienic designs and accessibility for cleaning and inspection. The SAEH meets the sanitary requirements of those industries. The internal airflow maintains laminar flow, eliminating product clumping issues, and allows for proper system balance using minimal energy, therefore gently conveying the most delicate extruded shapes and materials.

Altivar Process 900

Manufactured by Schneider Electric

The Altivar Process 900 variable-speed drive is a solution for energy-intensive applications in the oil; gas; and mining, minerals and metals industries. Built to leverage the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things, the drive helps customers realize process performance improvement, energy optimization and asset management.

With embedded intelligence, the Altivar Process 900 allows customers to make informed decisions on everything from single-drive projects to complex multidrive applications. This device allows for technical experts to review output information and provide advice to operators. Designed to stringent reliability and sustainability standards, the drive has a long operating life and provides energy optimization during production, lowering operating costs.

Altivar Process drives are different because they are connected and provide advanced operational intelligence to plant operators and process professionals while offering embedded guidance for operations and maintenance personnel. These standard features help optimize business performance by reducing commissioning time and significantly improving production uptime. Operators can also scan QR codes shown on the drive and connect directly to troubleshooting information if the need arises. Petroleum or mining engineers are able to connect to an industrial network and deliver process information to users’ fingertips.

Vortex Pivoting Chute Diverter

Manufactured by Vortex

Vortex developed the gravity-flow Pivoting Chute Diverter (PCD) for abrasive materials such as industrial sand, limestone, coal, gypsum, clinker, gravel, bauxite, whole grains and minerals. The diverter body houses an internal chute that pivots to direct the material flow. The main advantage of the PCD is that no internal seals, which must be maintained, are included. The chute addresses material abrasion and can be constructed of or lined with wear-resistant materials — such as chromium carbide, abrasion-resistant steel or ceramic.

Inspection, maintenance and repairs to the diverter may be performed from the front access panel without removing the diverter from service. The PCD is dust-tight to atmosphere, may be shifted on-the-fly, and is available in two-way and three-way configurations. The chute may be positioned to split the flow in both directions simultaneously.