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Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, IEEE

Issue 4 • Date Dec. 2004

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 28
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  • An overview of intelligent control systems in cement plants: shop floor to boardroom

    Page(s): 20 - 25
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2068 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work has attempted to give a brief overview of the power and benefits of intelligent integrated management systems. ICSs monitor and cover the whole factory from shop floor to boardroom, giving all plant personnel appropriate information and control. The power of the ICS is the ability to recognize and consolidate a whole variety of various process, operational, and management and governmental factors that allow the decision makers in plants to make better or optimal decisions with regard to their production, profitability, and whatever other goals that are important to them. Some of the benefits to ICS are better-informed staff, improved operational control, and better decision making, all of which affect the bottom line of the business to some degree. This includes higher throughput, consistent quality, less down time, and other benefits, such as better training and fast detection of problems, which are not easy to qualify or quantify. In general, the end user cannot operate as efficiently without such systems. View full abstract»

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  • Automated calibration aids smooth turnover of new plants

    Page(s): 26 - 29
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3047 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Accurate documentation of instrument calibration saves time and money in the completion of construction projects. There are thousands of newly arrived instruments that must be checked and calibrated and then documented prior to installation in new plants. Such an extended effort was not necessary at the recently completed Front Range Power Station, a 480-MVV combined cycle power plant constructed by The Industrial Company (TIC) near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Instead, one technician printed out calibration certificates in an orderly fashion for more than 60 turnover packages. Ultimately, more than 1,200 HART (highway addressable remote transducer) and conventional devices were documented, and not a single calibration document was subsequently questioned or returned. Even better, no additional costs were incurred for recalibrating the instruments or reworking the documentation, providing an estimated savings of up to US$50,000 in avoided costs. These savings - and the accurate documentation that made them possible - were accomplished through the use of a software tool, the AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager software created by Emerson Process Management. This package was originally designed to help end users reduce instrument startup and maintenance costs by accessing diagnostic information from smart field instruments. The database that functions as an integral part of this predictive maintenance technology is also suitable for use by instrument technicians, making instrument calibration easier by saving them time before and after the actual testing and calibration. Furthermore, a record is automatically generated every time an instrument is calibrated or a configuration parameter is changed. Loaded into a PC in a control room or maintenance shop, this software communicates with smart field instruments on the control network, capturing diagnostic information generated by those devices. The massive amount of data obtained in this way is integrated into a single database, organized, processed, and presented on the PC monitor for use by engineers and technicians to streamline and simplify their work. View full abstract»

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  • New products

    Page(s): 76 - 81
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • TC news - Profiling our technical committees

    Page(s): 12 - 16
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  • The certainty of uncertainty in real-time systems

    Page(s): 44 - 50
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1474 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Identifying and managing uncertainty is an essential part of the engineering of complex systems. But when dealing with real-time systems, special forms of uncertainty provide even greater challenges. Why should this be? The short answer is that real-time systems must add the assurance of temporal correctness to the already difficult task of sensor interface and device control. But the problem is really more complicated than that. In this article, the author examines the nature of uncertainty in real-time systems. While looking briefly at some traditional mathematical models of uncertainty, emphasis on this article is on the identification of uncertainty through telltale behaviors and "code smells." Then, techniques for managing, mitigating, or eliminating the uncertainty will be given. View full abstract»

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  • To win or not to win

    Page(s): 88
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  • Electro-Optical Instrumentation (Sensing and Measuring with Lasers) [Book Review]

    Page(s): 75
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Conference news and reviews

    Page(s): 19
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  • Advertising Index

    Page(s): 87
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  • One summer at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center

    Page(s): 60 - 64
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1321 KB)  

    The test stands at SSC are enormous structures, each with several hundred - even thousands - of sensors. With such a high sensor count and variety it is incredibly difficult to do anything useful with the influx of data in real time beyond recording it for future examination. However, it would be ideal if the test controller could not only view all of the data in an intuitive and information rich environment but also have the complementary sensor data fused together to provide more robust information. Enter the integrated intelligent health management system (IIHMS). The IIHMS is a collection of smart sensors, each aware of the local process they are measuring, controlled by an expert system with a global view of the entire system. The long-range goal is to develop an expert system to provide the test controller with a fully immersed environment in which to monitor the condition of every system component and receive advice on anomalies and proper courses of action. The IIHMS is now termed intelligent system health management (ISHM). Dave was assigned the hardware design of a smart temperature sensor that would form the foundation layer of the IIHMS; Don was responsible for the firmware that would add the intelligence to Dave's hardware by enabling it to monitor the health (i.e., quality) of the sensor and the quality of measurements in real time; Jon was left the task of designing the link between the smart sensor and the expert system. This work discusses the summer experience of the authors at SSC. View full abstract»

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  • Mission-critical and safety-critical development

    Page(s): 52 - 59
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    The concern in mission-critical and safety-critical systems is that you develop them thoughtfully and carefully. They need traceable evidence for every detail. Like a good journalist, you and your team must establish the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" in everything you do. Development of mission- and safety-critical systems requires a temporal progression, regardless of the development model. Generally, there are five phases to development. These are: concept; planning and scheduling; design and development; controlled release; commercial release. Another issue in mission- and safety-critical system is people. People make processes work or not work. Good, disciplined people can struggle, even under wretched conditions, and produce good results. Add reasonable processes, and these same people can produce great results. Unfortunately, outstanding processes cannot rescue a project from unruly and undisciplined people. View full abstract»

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  • Detecting motor bearing faults

    Page(s): 30 - 50
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1671 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Three-phase induction motors are the workhorses of industry because of their widespread use. They are used extensively for heating, cooling, refrigeration, pumping, conveyors, and similar applications. They offer users simple, rugged construction, easy maintenance, and cost-effective pricing. These factors have promoted standardization and development of a manufacturing infrastructure that has led to a vast installed base of motors; more than 90% of all motors used in industry worldwide are ac induction motors. Causes of motor failures are bearing faults, insulation faults, and rotor faults. Early detection of bearing faults allows replacement of the bearings, rather than replacement of the motor. The same type of bearing defects that plague such larger machines as 100 hp are mirrored in lower hp machines which has the same type of bearings. Even though the replacement of defective bearings is the cheapest fix among the three causes of failure, it is the most difficult one to detect. Motors that are in continuous use cannot be stopped for analysis. We have developed a circuit monitor for these motors. Incipient bearing failures are detectable by the presence of characteristic machine vibration frequencies associated with the various modes of bearing failure. We will show that circuit monitors that we developed can detect these frequencies using wavelet packet decomposition and a radial basis neural network. This device monitors an induction motor's current and defines a bearing failure. View full abstract»

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  • Notes on the dynamic behavior of hysteretic devices

    Page(s): 65 - 70
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2103 KB)  

    A large class of sensors has nonlinear input-output characteristics; the task of addressing their dynamic behavior is very interesting. These sensors include magnetic field sensors (fluxgate sensors), SQUID devices, ferroelectric sensors, and mechanical sensors made of piezoelectric materials. Over the past few years there has been increasing interest in the sensing properties of ferroelectric devices based on piezoelectric, dielectric, and conduction phenomena. The principal types of sensors are infrared sensors, pressure sensors, force and motion sensors, flow sensors, hydrophones, ultrasonic transducers for medical imaging, and material testing and temperature sensors. Several application fields are automotive, aerospace, communications, and environmental monitoring. Nonvolatile random access memories are another field of application. A conceptual understanding of switching dynamics for these devices is of scientific and technological interest and requires experiments to observe their static and dynamic behavior and to develop suitable models. In the field of measurement devices, for example, the design of sensors and actuators requires the use of efficient models. This emphasizes the need for both models and user friendly experimental setup allowing for the characterization of such classes of devices. Following sections describe the behavior of a ferroelectric device and an innovative analytical model aimed to predict its dynamics. View full abstract»

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  • Measuring energy - rules of thumb

    Page(s): 63 - 64
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    In engineering, accurate measurement is a way of life - that is if you want to remain employed. But there are many times when estimations based on rules of thumb are extremely efficient and can be quite accurate. Most adults have had experience with common blue-tip kitchen matches somewhere in their childhood. Some of these experiences got us into trouble, but that's another story. So we as engineers have an experience-based feel for the amount of heat released when we strike up one of these (now hard to find) matches. But do you have a feel for a British thermal unit (BTU)? Probably not. Oh, you can do the math, but as a quick estimate, how many BTUs of thermal energy are released when you burn a single blue-tip match? Or how many joules of energy are released when you jam that first match back into the box? You have a feel for the heat through past experience, but can you relate that to the measure? Another easy thumb applies to the preferred standard international (SI) energy unit, the joule (J). One J is equal to 1 W delivered over 1 s, about the amount of energy required to raise Newton's apple back up to a height of 1 m. One thousand Js is equal to 1 BTU, or put another way, 1 kj is equal to one match, and 1 MJ is the energy released from that match you jammed into the matchbox during your youth. In theory, that box of matches could boil your 1/2 1 pot dry, but in real world appliances, it will take the energy equivalent of one box to make an eight-cup pot of coffee within a reasonable amount of time. Be careful when transitioning from theory to practice. Summarizing these thumbs: 1 J = 1 W for 1 s is the energy required to raise an apple 1 m; 1,000 J = 1 BTU = one wooden match; 1 MJ = one box of wooden matches or one, eight-cup pot of coffee (in the real world). View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine - Front cover

    Page(s): c1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine - Table of contents

    Page(s): 2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • The IEEE Member Digital Library - IEEE Marketing

    Page(s): 11
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Embedded Systems Conference - San Francisco - Mar. 6-10, 2005

    Page(s): 15
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference - The 22nd Renewal 2005 - Call for Papers

    Page(s): 17
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE I&M Society Technical Committee Listing

    Page(s): 18
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • New dissertations

    Page(s): 71 - 73
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    Freely Available from IEEE

Aims & Scope

IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine contains applications-oriented and tutorial articles on topics in the broadly based areas of instrumentation system design and measurement techniques.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Prof. Wendy Van Moer

wendy.w.vanmoer@ieee.org
IandMMagazineEIC@ieee.org