From nearly 30 nominations received, Processing is proud to present the 10 winners of the 2017 Breakthrough Products Awards. The awards recognize influential and innovative product and technology solutions that made contributions to the process industries within the past year.
The manufacturers recognized this year developed novel solutions that help manage and navigate tough processing environments, meet changing standards, and provide monitoring, control and automation for modern process facilities. These awards celebrate major innovations as well as incremental improvements that increase efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line. Congratulations to the 2017 winners!
Emerson Automation Solutions
Emerson Automation Solutions’ Plantweb Insight software “apps” are a breakthrough in the way engineers monitor and diagnose equipment problems. With WirelessHART instrumentation and Plantweb Insight software, engineers can quickly install wireless instruments on equipment such as pumps, steam traps and heat exchangers; send the data to a PC; process the data with a dedicated software app; and see results on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Each app has built-in analytics for a specific type of equipment. Apps are available for pumps, steam traps, heat exchangers and pressure relief valves, with more to be released soon. Plantweb Insight does not require any connection to the plant’s existing control system. However, it can make its data available to the control system or acquire data from the control system or historian if desired. Plantweb Insight allows a plant to monitor equipment with an easy-to-install, inexpensive system that does not interfere with the control system.
Installing wired instrumentation can be an expensive process, especially in hazardous areas or where additional cable, conduit, marshalling cabinets and I/O cards may be needed. Wireless avoids these problems. Plants no longer need to acquire or develop software to process the data. Plantweb Insight solutions can be installed and running in a matter of a few days at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions.
MT100 Series Multipoint Thermal Mass Flow Meter
FCI-Fluid Components International
FCI’s MT100 Series sets the new standard in the process industries for air/gas flow measurement in large diameter pipes, stacks and rectangular duct applications. The MT100 utilizes a multipoint thermal flow sensor array combined with state-of-theart electronics and plant-ruggedized packaging to achieve a new best-in-class distinction. The result is a highly accurate, repeatable, reliable and low-maintenance flowmeter solution for direct mass flow measurement of air and gases within larger diameter pipe and duct installations. The MT100 overcomes the challenges of flow measurement in large diameter pipes and ducts by multiplexing up to eight sensing points inserted within the pipe/ duct, suitable for flow rates down to 0.25 SFPS (0.07 NMPS) and with turndowns of 100-to-1. The sensors have no moving parts, orifice holes or site windows to clog or foul and can be installed in single plane, achieving significant savings in maintenance and installation costs. The flow elements can be mounted up to 1,000 feet (300 meters) from the transmitter electronics, are lightweight enough to be installed without added mechanical support and can operate in fluid temperatures up to 454°C (850°F).
Valve Stem Extensions
Flo-Tite Valves & Controls
Flo-Tite’s Stem Extensions are designed to provide safer operation of valves for process control plant operations. By providing much-needed additional space between valves and valve automation components, the stem extension protects these components from dangerous temperature media that may be present in the pipeline. Prior to the introduction of Flo-Tite’s standard valve extensions, plant operators had to customize costly variations of similar devices with time-consuming “engineered” mounting configurations. The standard Flo-Tite heavy-duty stem extensions are made of rugged construction investment cast stainless steel. They are easily installed on any valve and come standard with a heat dissipation port for increased safety. They are also easily insulated, have a visual indication port and come with lockable handles. All stem extension metal parts are CF8 type 304 stainless standard. Lastly, encapsulated stem couplers and set screws are provided for added “no play” connections. Available in ¼- to 4-inch tall designs, the Flo-Tite stem extensions have solved a potentially serious problem for plant operators and process control engineers.
The Flo-Tite stem extension is strong enough to support the weight of someone standing on it and impervious to accidental hits. The stem extensions also offer cost savings by coming standard with a locking device option.
Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor
With the Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor, part of the Fluke Condition Monitoring system, maintenance managers can now collect a more comprehensive variety of key-indicator data — thermal imaging, voltage, current, temperature and power — on critical equipment to build a real-time picture of an asset’s condition. With the right mix of data all in one place, managers can implement planned maintenance and decrease the frequency of preventive rounds.
Fluke Condition Monitoring is a cloud-based software platform in combination with rugged electrical, temperature and power quality monitoring sensors to support condition-based maintenance programs.
The Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor is the first thermal imaging condition monitoring sensor to visualize thermal patterns on multiple assets. Alarms can be set to notify the user when the center-point temperature exceeds preset parameters. The sensor communicates directly with the Fluke Connect Cloud for continuous streaming of thermal images, enabling maintenance managers to detect problems by visually inspecting sequential thermal images remotely. The compact sensor can be placed in areas that are dangerous or difficult to reach, reducing the risk to technicians. Images and measurements can be viewed on handheld devices or computers allowing anytime access to key data to conduct smarter evaluations. The sensor can operate in high-performance mode to capture the most accurate images over an 11- to 14-hour period or in energy-saving mode to capture sequential images for up to three days. The AC power adapter can also be used for longer-term continuous monitoring.
Fox Model FT4A Thermal Gas Mass Flow Meter
Fox Thermal Instruments Inc.
The FT4A from Fox Thermal Instruments Inc. can be used at processing plants, industrial sites, wastewater facilities and oil and gas well sites to measure flare gas, vent gas, digester gas, natural gas, air or many other complex mixed gas compositions. The benefit of using the FT4A is that the meter can be adjusted to measure new gas compositions at any time. The operator can enter the gas mixture percentages into the meter’s Gas-SelectX feature without having to return the meter to the factory for recalibration. The FT4A can maintain a high level of accuracy regardless of the gas composition that it is measuring.
The second-generation Fox DDC-Sensor is a state-of-theart sensor technology introduced for the new FT4A. The direct digitally controlled sensor allows for more speed and programmability of a meter and has been updated with elongated sensor elements that are welded at the end. This unique design eliminates the sensor element vibration, which can lead to metal fatigue and failure.
The Gas-SelectX gas selection menu has been expanded to three menus: Pure, Mix and O&G Mix. Pure has 11 pure gases found in common industrial gas flowmeter applications. The Mix has 10 gases commonly mixed for industrial or biogas applications. The O&G Mix has 12 gases commonly found in oil and gas applications. The concentration of gases available in any gas mix menu can be combined in 0.1 percent increments in the field, and the meter’s flow calibration, density and gross heating value are automatically adjusted for the entered gas mix.
TBH Series True Union Industrial Ball Valve
Hayward Flow Control
The TBH Series from Hayward features a low-maintenance design with its new patent-pending System2 Sealing Technology that utilizes the upstream seat as a backup to the downstream seat and enhances the sealing of the downstream seat. This ensures longer life cycle and performance of the valve versus conventional floating seat design.
The TBH includes an integral lockout feature that secures to the body of the valve as standard for enhanced safety and security. Each valve features a built-in lockout plate allowing up to four different keyed locks for increased protection.
An industry-first for thermoplastic ball valves, the TBH features an “actuator-ready” design with ISO 5211 mounting pattern standard on all sizes. This allows for direct mount of actuators onto the valve without any special kits or brackets as required with all other plastic ball valves. This also reduces the amount of space and weight required for the actuated valve.
It reduces product maintenance and downtime as it requires no adjustment of the seats while in service as with standard plastic ball valves. No special tools or additional parts are required. It allows up to four different keyed locks versus two with other valves.
Inpro/Seal VB45-S Bearing Isolator
Inpro/Seal’s VB45-S Bearing Isolator provides permanent bearing protection to rotating equipment with premium protection against contamination ingress and lubrication loss. The VB45-S utilizes Inpro/Seal’s patented XX interface coupled with an enlarged contamination chamber to achieve an IP66 rating, the standard for premium ingress protection against both harmful dust particulates and powerful water jets from all directions, making it one of the best performing bearing isolators available. For superior protection against lubrication loss, the VB45-S utilizes an enlarged D-Groove to capture oil and return it back to the bearing housing or a grease band to block grease from traveling down the shaft and escaping from the bearing housing. The VB45-S employs a compact design with only a 0.625-inch overall (axial) length, making it the shortest IP66-rated bearing isolator available.
The VB45-S is the only design that is rated IP66 and provides premium ingress protection and superior lubrication retention in a compact 0.625-inch overall length.
Altivar Process 680 Low Harmonic Process Drive System
Schneider Electric‘s Altivar 680 active front-end drive (AFE) provides plant operators and process professionals with advanced operational intelligence by combining energy monitoring, pump controls and preventive maintenance. Its native connectivity helps users plug into the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), providing advanced operational intelligence. It is the first low-harmonic drive with three-level architecture and features a three-level input switching stage, reducing common mode voltage while improving performance and efficiency. Ideal for water/wastewater applications, the Altivar 680’s internal application functions, such as antijam, multipump control and asset protection via pipe fill, make it a versatile, reliable solution for the pumping industry. In addition, the Altivar 680 can mitigate harmonics while performing efficiently at various speeds and features a compact design.
The Altivar 680 provides users with flexibility and efficiency. It revolutionizes harmonic mitigation with its industry-leading, innovative reduced harmonic technology (RHT), resulting in better efficiency, reduced equipment cost and fewer points of electrical failure. The Altivar 680 reaches a total distortion factor THD(i) of around 2 percent.
With embedded digital services and Ethernet, it enables business optimization through improved life cycle asset management and optimized energy consumption. The Altivar 680 features proprietary motor control algorithms to achieve optimal performance and scalability to match the application speed, size and protection requirements.
EZ-Set Pump Chamber Replacing System
Quattroflow, part of PSG, a Dover company
Over the past several years, the incorporation of single-use technologies has become more and more popular thanks to the growing development of biologically derived drugs. To maximize the commercial window of these drugs, manufacturers must overcome speed-to-market challenges. The Quattroflow EZ-Set Pump Chamber Replacing System is a new technology that has the capability to help optimize the product-development timeline. With the system, users can replace a single-use pump chamber in 30 seconds or less without the use of special tools or torque wrenches. In addition, the comfortable handgrip design of the Quattroflow EZ-Set makes replacing the pump chamber simple, and users can do it even while wearing rubber gloves. It is quick, it is easy and it is safe.
By allowing users to replace a single-use pump chamber by hand and by eliminating the need for tools, the EZ-Set reduces downtime between batches and provides a quick, easy and trouble-free installation of single-use pump chambers. Replacing a single-use pump chamber with a competitive replacing system is more complex, increasing downtime between batches and creating more work for the end user. Additionally, the EZ-Set is retrofittable on existing drives, making upgrades quick and easy.
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Watson-Marlow‘s Quantum sets the new standard for high-pressure feed pumps in SU tangential flow filtration (TFF), virus filtration (VF) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Quantum represents a step-change in pump technology for bioprocessing by enabling higher downstream process yields throughout the pressure range, delivering virtually pulse-free linear flow, lowest shear and easy validation aligned with Biophorum Operations Group (BPOG) guidelines. Quantum successfully combines application-specific pump capabilities with single-use fluid path components such as the ReNu SU Technology cartridge, the popular BioPure range of barbs, clamps, gaskets and high-pressure braided hose. For the first time, this integrated approach allows a considerable reduction in cost and time of pump validation prior to being specified into single-use systems (SUS). ReNu SU Technology cartridges are fully manufactured in ISO Class 7 clean rooms and are suitable for gamma irradiation at up to 50 kGy.
Quantum outperforms other pumps by delivering higher accuracy with flow linearity independent of back-pressure, removing the need for flowmeters and load cells. Flow linearity is achieved across the 43.5 psi SU processing pressure range up to 20 liters/minute, with trace pulsation of ±1.74 psi, which is far lower than other pumps. This virtually pulse-free performance enables constant pressure, thus maximizing process efficiency and yield.