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September 15, 2008

ISA 2008 Show Preview

Over 400 exhibitors will be featured at the ISA Expo 2008, North America’s largest automation and control exhibition

Matthew Phelan, with Gerald Ondrey

On October 14 – 16, Houston’s Reliant Center again plays host to the annual expo of the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA; Research Triangle Park, N.C.). Over 400 exhibitors will be featured at the ISA Expo 2008, North America’s largest automation and control exhibition, alongside instructor-led training sessions and other popular returning events: the ISA’s Certification Quiz & Conquer, which allows ISA Certification Automation Professionals (CAPs) and Certified Control Systems Technicians (CCSTs) to showcase their knowledge competitively; YAPFEST 2008, an exhibition for young automation professionals; and seven individual technology exchanges covering, respectively, security, wireless and networking, process automation, safety, environmental and quality control, and enterprise integration.

Long a highlight of the ISA Expo, this year’s daily keynote addresses are particularly noteworthy. Drawing on his decade-long Smart Dust research, U.C. Berkeley’s Kris Peter (Berkeley, Calif.) kick starts the series with a speech on the evolution of wireless sensor networking. Initiated with the goal of demonstrating that a comprehensive sensor and communication unit could be fabricated to fit within a single cubic millimeter, the Smart Dust project promises to be a game-changing technology. Historical in perspective, Peter’s talk will begin with the pioneering Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) research he conducted for the U.S. military charting key milestones up to and including today’s first wave of industry-standard, wireless-sensor products. On Wednesday, David J. Nagel of George Washington University (Washington D.C.) will give a presentation on instrumentation for low energy nuclear reactions, discussing the need for multiple, sophisticated sensors and automated control for the recently vindicated science of cold fusion. On the final day of the Expo, John Lienhard — national public radio host and M.D. Anderson Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering and history at the University of Houston (Houston, Tex.) — will present a deep history of feedback control or "How we learned to think negatively in 300 BC."

More information on ISA Expo 2008 is available at Below is a sampling of the products and services that will be on display.

Control and Distribute Gases when Cleanliness is of Prime Importance

A new series of modular panels designed for use with ultra-high purity instrumentation or process gas-control systems is now available. The Series 53 and Series 54 are designed to provide final pressure control in gas distribution systems. The panels can be configured with one to four regulators mounted on modular 308 stainless-steel panels. Users can select from five different delivery pressures for each regulator station, from 0 – 15 up to 0 – 500 psig. — Booth 2356 — Concoa, Virginia Beach, Va.

This Family of Gear-Type Flowmeters Now has Four Members

Two new flowmeters have been added to the G Series, the G004 and G015. The flowmeters operate at maximum florates of 4 and 15 L/min respectively, with an accuracy of ±0.3% of reading across a 200-to-1 flow range. The G Series include a newly developed version of the firm’s high-resolution, linearized transmitter, which uses RoHS compliant and CE-certified circuitry to deliver high accuracy over the meter’s wide range of flow. — Booth 1548 — Max Machinery Inc., Healdsburg, Calif.

The Launch of a New, High-Performance Dew-Point Transmitter

Easidew TX I.S. Dew Point Transmitter features a two-wire, 4 – 20 mA loop power for dew point or PPMV (parts-per-million by volume) moisture content, programmable for Farenheit or Celcius, and up to 3,000 ppm. The device operates over a temperature range of – 150 to 70°C and pressures up to 5,800 psi. The accuracy of better than ±1.8°F is achieved against an NIST-traceable Michell chilled-mirror standard. — Booth 2624 — Michell Instruments Inc., STS Sensors, Danbury, Conn.

Bluetooth is Standard on these Control-Valve Actuators

CVA actuators provide extremely precise control-valve operation with repeatability and resolution performance at less than 0.1% of full scale. In addition, they include, as a standard feature, wireless Bluetooth communication technology that can be used for quick and easy actuator setup and adjustment. All actuators incorporate a data logger, which provides an extensive record of such operational and maintenance-related data as valve torque profiles and relevant statistical information. The actuators are available in linear and quarter-turn actions. — Booth 1900 — Rotork Process Controls, Rochester, N.Y.

A Chip-Based GC for Fast, Accurate Gas Detection

The C2V-200 fast micro GC (gas chromatograph) is a hand-held sized, simple-to-use gas analyzer. The unit operates with easily exchangeable column cartridges, has a low gas consumption and now features temperature programming with fast ramping. The chip-based micro GC uses an integrated micro thermal conductivity detector. Typical separations are completed within 20 s with a detection limit of 1 ppm. — Booth 2408 — Concept to Volume (C2V), Enschede, Netherlands

This Diverter Valve has Advanced-Design Features

Available in full or standard port, the new 364 Series Diverter valve offers such features as "live-loaded" stem packing, ISO 5211 direct-mount actuation and a variety of seat options. Made to full ANSI class 600 dimensions, this Inline valve handles a wide range of service conditions, says the manufacturer. A number of options are available, such as a variety of end connections, jacketing for heating or cooling, and bottom porting. — Booth 2009 — Inline Industries, Baldwin Park, Calif.

When Space is Limited, Consider this Gas Detector

The G450 Multi-gas Detector (photo) is said to offer exceptional confined space performance. The compact units incorporate one to four sensors, and have interchangeable battery packs for up to 25 hours continuous operation. The highly water-resistant housing has IP 67 protection, and the device operates in diffusion or sample-draw mode via a motorized pump. The monitors provide protection from combustible gases and vapors, oxygen hazards and toxic gases. — Booth 1855 — GfG Instrumentation, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Users can Configure this Purge/Pressurization System Themselves

The 6000 Series Purge Pressurization System is the latest addition to the Bebco family of purge/pressurization systems. The system is user-configurable to satisfy particular applications, and can be used with enclosures up to 250 ft3 of volume. It is also certified to all applicable updated standards for both gas and dust hazardous atmospheres; is IECEx, cULus and ATEX-directive certified; and complies with IEC 61508 SIL-2 (safety integrity level). The 6000 is a complete purging system that contains the controller and pneumatic, electrical I/O and programming interface housed in a durable type 4X, IP66-rated enclosure. — Booth 2142 — Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc. Twinsburg, Ohio

This Unit Monitors Several Different Gases with Remote Sampling

The GasAlertMax XT is a multi-detector for H2S, CO, O2 and combustible gases. Remote sampling in confined spaces is simplified with the unit’s non-intrusive integrated sampling pump and SmartSample diaphragm pump technology. With one-button operation and flexible user options, the device provides ease of use with simple compliance to industry safety standards. — Booth 1742 — BW Technologies by Honeywell, Arlington, Tex.

Length-and-Speed Measurement Device Becomes Enhanced

The LaserSpeed 4000-3 non-contact length-and-speed measurement gauge uses laser Doppler velocimetry to accurately measure the length and speed of any moving product or surface to an accuracy of ±0.05%, or better. The new LS4000-3 adds Ethernet communication and configurable I/O, which makes it even easier to integrate LS4000-3 into any control or monitoring system. The LaserSpeed Series of measurement gauges were designed to be drop-in replacements for any type of mechanical tachometer. They have proven to provide a typical return on investment of less than two months. Savings are achieved through increased accuracy, reduced scrap, less product give-away and other benefits. — Booth 1770 — Beta LaserMike, Dayton, Ohio

This Smart Gas Transmitter Makes its Debut at ISA Expo

This firm is launching XNX, a universal gas transmitter with multi-digital communications options, and compatibility with its full range of toxic and flammable gas-sensing technologies, including catalytic bead, electrochemical and infrared. The XNX combines a universal platform transmitter with standard 4 – 20-mA wiring and HART protocol plus optional Fieldbus or Modbus outputs or up to three relays. — Booth 1628 — Honeywell Analytics, Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill.

Hazardous Areas are not a Problem for this Process MS

The Max300 IGZ Process Mass Spectrometer (MS; photo) has received ATEX approval for installations in Zone 1 areas, and will meet the requirements of European pharmaceutical and petrochemical producers. The system is also available in general-purpose, hazardous-area and CSA-certified versions. These seventh-generation high-performance inline quadrupole mass spectrometers provide realtime gas analysis. Typical applications include: pharmaceutical solvent drying; fermentation control; ethylene, ethylene oxide, ambient air monitoring; and ammonia process control. — Booth 1932 — Extrel CMS, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Improve Process Control with this Laser-Based Gas Analyzer

By accurately and instantly pinpointing the presence of moisture, HCl, H2S and other impurities, the tunable diode laser (TDL) based gas analyzer (photo) provides significant benefits, including: the prevention of foreshortened lifespan of costly catalysts; enhanced assurance of product quality; reduced turnaround recovery times; and avoidance of unscheduled shutdowns. For H2S analysis, the analyzer can be used, for example, for measuring sour gas headed for processing and sweetened gas coming. Because it is faster than conventional techniques, the TDL-based device can improve process control by letting operators know how much processing is needed. — Booth 2248 — SpectraSensors, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

A Remote Mounted Flowmeter for Hazardous or Hard-to-Reach Areas

The new ST50 Remote Mount flowmeter features a highly intelligent, no moving parts, thermal mass-flow sensor design, and measures air flow from 1 to 125 standard ft/s, N2 from 1 to 150 ft/s and compressed air from 4 to 400 ft/s. Accuracy is ±1% of reading, ±0.5% of full scale and repeatability of ±0.5% of reading. The transmitter can be mounted up to 50 ft from its sensor, making the device especially suitable for equipment-crowded or hazardous plant areas where explosive, flammable or toxic gases may be present near the transmitter’s electronics. — Booth 2601 — Fluid Components International (FCI), LLC, San Marcos, Calif.

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