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Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Preface

The document intends to point out standards, instruments technical terms, industrial control terms etc.
to help out beginners to study target material for earliest learning of instruments selection. Although,
these terms are considered in most of instruments, however currently, the scope of learning material is
covered as per product range of Honeywell-Field Instruments & Magnetrol.

A good instrument selection person is supposed to have knowledge of process, installation conditions,
mechanical ratings & standards, material compatibility & chemical resistant options, hazardous areas,
industrial control signal types, communication protocols, and instrument limitations as well as basic
working principal of instrument and technology used in it. Additional information on instrument
calibration and technology limitations leads to instrument service skills.

Industrial instruments are designed with advance capability e.g. self-diagnostic, alarm indication,
calibration, parameters editing etc. so that user can modify instrument functions for its adaptability to
process requirement.

Contents Categories

1. Mechanical & Chemical: Describes mechanical properties, standards, and material chemical
resistance.
2. Hazardous Areas & Safety: contains the information regarding industrial hazardous area types
and standards for instrument protection for its installation suitability in specific area.
3. Industrial Control & Communication Protocols: list of industrial control signal & protocols
usually used in instrumentation.
4. Measuring Technology/Instrument Type and hardware interface: List of instruments and
factors consideration for selection of the instrument.
5. Configuration/Calibration: Advance Knowledge for instrument services.

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Mechanical & Chemical Information


Mechanical and Chemical information helps in selection of material type, rating, compatibility with
process media (chemical resistance), process connection type and its size. Material properties have
limitations based on pressure, temperature, chemical corrosion.

Material Names: Aluminum, Stainless Steel (SS304, SS316), Carbon Steel (Zinc-plated), Hastelloy, Monel,
Tantalum Teflon, Viton, Glass, Kynar, Titanium, PTFE, PFA, Ceramic, Ryton, PVC.

Process Connection Types: Flanged, Threaded, Tri-Clamp

Standards for Process Connection and Pressure Rating:


Threading Standards Metric (e.g. M20x1.5), NPT (e.g. ½” NPT, 2” NPT), BSP Flange Standards
ANSI, ASME, JIS, DN Welded Types connections Welded Neck type flanged connection, Socket Welded.

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Hazardous Areas and Safety


What is Hazard Triangle?

A hazardous area is classified based on flammable source (gas, liquid, solid etc.) in surroundings, and
ignition temperature.

Hazardous Area Classification Standards: IEC (Zoning), North American (Class, Division, Group,
Temperature).

Standards for Protection against Hazardous Area: NEMA, ATEX, IEC, FM etc. agency approvals.

Types of Protection: Dust Proof, Weather Proof, Non-Incendive, Intrinsic Safe, Flame Proof, Explosion
Proof, etc.

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Industrial Control & Communication Protocols


There are many technical terms to be understood when it comes to instrumentation & control system.
An instrument has certain type of input and output depending upon its function. Moreover, some
instruments come with optional advance functionality of digital data transmission.

Types of Inputs: RTD, Thermocouple, Volts, milli Volts, Current mA, Digital input (relay type, solid state).

Types of Outputs: Analogue (Volts, milli Volts, Current mA, relay contact), Digital output (relay type,
solid state).

Types of Communication Protocols: HART, Digital Enhanced (DE), Foundation Fieldbus, Modbus, RS485,
RS232 etc.

Technical Terms:

Line Powered vs Loop powered, Open Control Loop, Closed control loop, 3-element loop
control, PID control.

Accuracy, zero & Span, Upper and Lower Limit, rangeability, repeatability, SFF (Safe Failure
Fraction), turn down ratio, damping time, response time, Calibration.

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Measuring Technology/Instrument Type and Hardware Interface


This section highlights Magnetrol and Honeywell Field Instruments technologies, factors, and options for
selection of instrument.

Pressure Measurement

Types of pressure are Absolute, Gauge, Differential Pressure (DP). DP can also be used for level (liquids,
slurries) and flow (gas) measurement. DP has two sides i.e. HP side and LP side. Different OEM use
different pressure sensing technology for pressure measurement e.g. piezo-resistivity, crystal resonance
etc.

Level Application: Open Tank, Closed Tank application

It may require simple DP, Flanged type or remote seal connection depending upon
application.

Working principle of DP Level measurement and its calculation.

What is importance of Specific Gravity / Density, temperature and liquid column height?

What is zero & span shifting?

What is Zero Suppression and Zero Elevation?

Why Dry leg and Wet leg are considered important factors?

Flow Application

Orifice plat is used to create differential pressure. Hence sizing of orifice plat is required
for selection of complete DP flow measurement system. A complete DP flow system
consists of DP transmitter, 5-Valve Manifold, Orifice plate, and flange set along with
other accessories. There are different designs of orifice plates but mostly used is square
edge type. Moreover, flange set has tappings on its sides. Tappings are small outlet for
connection of DP transmitter to provide process pressure.

Media type (gas, steam saturated or superheated) flow can be affected by different
physical conditions e.g. pressure, temperature, specific gravity/density, viscosity.

Parameters for selection of orifice plate sizing: Min/Operating/Max (Flow, Pressure, and
Temperature), Specific Gravity/Density, and (beta ratio or DP value). Usual practice of
beta ratio value is between 0.57 ~ 0.65.

Temperature Measurement
There are different types of temperature instruments e.g. RTD & Thermocouple based temperature
instruments, pyrometer, thermotube etc. But Honeywell product temperature instruments are based on
thermocouple and RTD based sensors.

Why different types of thermocouple; what are their types and what is output of thermocouple?

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Why 2-wire, 3-wire, and 4-wire RTD and what is its output?

How to convert temperature from RTD or thermocouple output and vice versa?

What is thermowell and its purpose?

Insertion length and dimensions are important factors in temperature assemblies.

BSP, NPT, Socket Welded, and Flanged type connections are used in temperature instruments

Flow Measurement

Usually flowmeters require approved sizing sheet from the buyer. OEM provides software to size the
flowmeter based on process data. The sizing sheets carry information regarding model series of
instrument, size, accuracy, pressure drop, and velocity affect based on process data. OEM do not
calibrate flowmeter based on process media as used by clients but it is calibrated based on equivalent
media e.g. water for liquid & air for gas measurement so called water equivalency & air equivalency.

Parameters for sizing of flowmeters are Process Media, Min/Operating/Max (Flow, Pressure, and
Temperature), Density/specific gravity, viscosity.

Flowmeters may have active or passive current output.

Flowmeters may use compensation (temperature, pressure etc.) techniques to improve accuracy. It is
usual requirement in custody transfer.

Magnetic Flowmeter: Working principle, function of electrodes, Importance of conductivity?

Why lining is important in magnetic flowmeters?

What are grounding rings and their function?

What is effect of contents of solids in the process fluid?

Coriolis Flowmeter: Working principle, function of tubes and styles?

Vortex Flowmeter: Working principle, function of vane?

Analytical Measurement

There is wide variety of analytical instrument for measurement of conductivity, pH/ORP, Dissolved
Oxygen, Oxygen, Multiple gas analyzer etc.

Working principle of conductivity, pH/ORP, Dissolved Oxygen, and Dissolved solids analyzers.

What is output of sensors (pH/ORP, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen)?

Why number of electrodes matter in conductivity?

What is cell constant in conductivity?

Why temperature compensation in analyzers?


Below picture show different variants of transmitters combination with different sensors offered by Honeywell

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Recorders and Data Acquisition

Recorders and data acquisition instruments are used for monitoring data. Standard industrial analogue
inputs are accepted by these instruments. Further alarm switching or retransmission is also possible.
They come with some additional functionality as below. Some of these functions are offered as premium
option.

 Data logging with function to store data on internal or external storage.


 Accept multiple inputs.
 Alarm/Events switching and retransmission.
 Adjustable speed for drawing output.
 Report & screen Print and web functionality, remote viewing, email, and data over networks.
 Additional programming capability e.g. math functions, counting, totalizing, batching, and fuzzy
logics etc.

Chart Recorders: Chart recorders use paper (circular or strip). Pens are used against analogue signal and
according to calibration, they draw graph output on paper while paper rotate (circular) or moves ahead
(strip).

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Paperless Recorders: They come with touch screen and advance functionality of data logging and
adaptability to digital world (web, email, networking etc.) as compared to chart recorders which lacks
these features.

Digital Controllers and Programmers

Controllers are used for indication of signal and for controlling the loop. They come in variety of P, I, D,
PID single or multiple loops. They accept and deliver standard industrial control signals. They are
categorized based on features, and dimensions etc. Some features are standard in all controllers while
others are optional and model of controller selection.

Programmers are similar to controller but with additional features like programming, batch processing
etc.

Actuators + Configuration Tools

Actuators are just like stepper motors in which angle of rotation matters. Model selection is very easy
based on basic knowledge of engineering.

Configuration Tools include calibration tools (Handheld or PC based applications with adapters).

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter
Instrument Selection Study Guide – From Beginner to Expert

Level Instruments

In process

 Instrument Selection skills are developed by good observation & caring feelings  Waseem Akhter