April Technology Evening

At the April Technology Evening Gary Friend from Extech Safety Systems, presented on Cyber Security in a Modern Process Network and outlined the way in which the rapid growth of Ethernet has opened up the vulnerability of control systems, particularly when Wi-Fi is involved. With industrial plant networks being increasingly connected to the hostile IT world, and the frequency and sophistication of malware growing exponentially, industrial players must act vigilantly to protect their critical systems and investments. Whether it is a targeted attack like Stuxnet, or an accidental disruption, a single cyber incident can cost millions in lost revenue, jeopardise employee and public safety and potentially disrupt national critical infrastructure.


In May, Chris Gimson, general manager of Pyrotemp, explained why all utility gas flow meters (steam, air, carbon dioxide) are not equal. There are many flow meter types in the market that are capable of measuring these media, but the purchasing decision needs to go beyond the price or published specification: the real performance expectations, the application itself and the actual installation details may well result in a failure to perform to expectation even when there are similar multiple installation and application criteria.

Choosing the correct flow meter for the job is critical. Flow meters such as thermal, DP, Coriolis, vortex etc. are all capable and suited to measure air, natural gas, nitrogen, argon and many others. But factors such as economic, environmental, instrument performance, installation, as well as fluid property effects all need to be considered when selecting a fit for purpose instrument.

Chris shared specific application questions to be considered:

flow meter sizing, mass or volume considerations, volume vs. corrected volume selections, volume mass vs. operating conditions, flow measurement units definitions, compressor characteristics, compressed air conversion of inlet flow to outlet flow, gas quality, natural gas sizing example, thermal mass and the consequence of making the wrong meter selection.

Another topic was carbon dioxide: thermal vs. vortex, DP flow equation, differential pressure measurement, DP temperature and pressure compensation for density, the danger of ignoring DP ambient compensation, orifice plates considerations and the use of existing instruments to calculate fuel-steam efficiency.

Chris discussed real examples of failed installations and misapplications of what were considered good choices on paper. The SAIMC thanks Chris Gimson for this well