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Story Extras :: Postscripts & Corrections

November 1, 2010

Process Pump Control

Understanding how pumps are controlled is important for overall process control and to minimize risks during the scaleup of new processes

John Hall, Viking Pump Inc.

When automating fluid handling processes, it is critical to ensure that you are using the best type of pump for the process, and to understand how to control the type of pump you are using. The two major classes of process pumps — centrifugal and rotary positive displacement — require completely different control techniques. It is important to understand each pump type’s limitations, and when developing new processes, it is particularly important to know which types are the most controllable to minimize scaleup risks from laboratory to pilot, and ultimately, to commercial scale....

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Comments (2) for Process Pump Control
Figure 1 in the Cover Story of the November 2010 issue, Process Pump Control, depicts a centrifugal pump flow control loop with the flow measurement located downstream of the flow control valve. An important part of the pump and controls selection process is the process control design. A more typical approach would be to locate the flow measurement upstream of the flow control valve. Flow characteristics upstream of the valve are generally more conducive to flow measurement than those downstream. Though the article focuses on various aspects of process pump control, there is no discussion of the design considerations associated with the control scheme as specifically depicted in Figure 1.
Posted by David Warfield Houst on Friday, March 25, 2011 @ 01:08 PM
Author replies:

The referenced illustration showing the flowmeter downstream of the control valve was labeled “typical centrifugal pump control system,” while the reader is correct that an upstream location is “more typical.” The focus of the article was to raise awareness of key differences between centrifugal and rotary positive displacement (PD) pump control schemes and to highlight inherent advantages of rotary PD pumps for continuous processes, variable processes, and process scaleup.
Posted by John H. Hall on Friday, March 25, 2011 @ 01:08 PM

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