As an electric heating element ages, its resistance also changes. Many high technology and extreme temperature applications employ exotic and expensive elements. Where the value of the products or materials being heated is high, the failure of a heater or heating element has a financial impact resulting from either reduced quality or scrapped materials. By measuring the current drawn by the element using an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer the resistance of the element can be determined and compared against a known ageing characteristic. When the element reaches a predetermined state it can be replaced prior to failure i.e. predictive maintenance. NK Technologies’ Current Transducers are used in conjunction with intelligent PLC systems when high power SCRs (also known as thyristors) or triacs are installed.
KB Category Archives: Oil & Gas
Vacuum pumps are used in a variety of applications in the semiconductor industry, heat treatment, plastics and packaging industries. By adding an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer over the lead feeding a vacuum pump, it can easily be determined when all the air has been removed from a vessel or envelope. The analog output can signal the vacuum or equipment controller that it is time for the next step in the process. In the case of an automated packaging machine, a drop in current will signal that the package is ready for sealing.
An NK Technologies’ Ground Fault Sensor installed on a submersible pump motor provides an easy to install replacement or addition to moisture sensors housed in the motor casing. Unlike moisture sensors that have to be wired back to the motor control center, the GF sensor is installed in the motor control center. By detecting the ground fault current resulting from moisture ingress or other potentially dangerous condition remedial action can be taken prior to catastrophic failure. Either the pump can be replaced at the next convenient time or switched off and a back-up pump started.
NK Technologies’ Current Transducers are used to monitor motor current and therefore motor load. The output from the transducer may be fed to an analog or digital indicator or a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for more sophisticated monitoring and control.
NK Technologies’ Power Transducers provide load monitoring in more critical applications where the addition of voltage measurement and the determination of the phase relationship between current and voltage (power factor) provides more control.
NK Technologies’ Ground Fault Sensors keep the pumps safe by measuring ground leakage currents as low as 5mA. This also provides an alternative to moisture sensors used with submersible pump motors.
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Pump Jam & Suction Loss
Moisture Ingress on a Submersible Pump Motor
Pumps can become jammed due to foreign matter and cause damage to both the pump and the motor before thermal overloads are tripped. Additionally a blockage in the suction line of the pump can cause the pump to run dry, overheat and break a seal.
By simply installing an NK Technologies’ self-powered Current Operated Switch in one leg of the motor overload (pump jam), underload (suction loss) or underload & overload can be detected quickly before damage occurs.
The auxiliary contacts in a motor starter are commonly used to indicate when the motor is running. However, auxiliary contacts only indicate the position of the contactor, not the actual load status. If a downstream disconnect is open (for example, for maintenance) or the contact fails (either sticks or dirt build-up) there can be serious consequences.
At a large fish farm, failed aerator pumps resulted in massive stock losses. Because the auxiliary contacts remained closed when the pump failed, the alarm was never activated, the back-up pumps were not switched on and the fish suffocated due to lack of oxygen. Now NK Technologies’ Current Operated Switches have been installed to provide an alarm signal and a signal to automatically switch over to the back-up aerator pumps.
Normal linear AC induction motors have a current characteristic that increases with load. Thus a measurement of current is proportional to the motor load. NK Technologies’ True RMS Current Transducers are designed to work in conjunction with variable frequency drives (VFD) and measure the current in the leg of the motor.
At an engine block manufacturing facility NK Technologies’ Current Transducers provide the input to a PLC used to position the rotating wire brushes in order to clean away burrs and debris after machining. As the current, and thus the load, changes so the brushes are positioned for optimal clean-up. Similarly Power Transducers are used to control the position of wheel wash brushes in a carwash. Power measurement provides a more linear relationship for motors and other loads with non-linear current characteristics. Current Operated Switches are used to co-ordinate operations between conveyor, washing and drying systems.