Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward 

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Building Automation Systems Design and Engineering

Effective building automation systems design can offer a number of distinct advantages for building owners, occupants and facilities managers. The most common type of automation applications maintain lighting and comfortable temperature levels while reducing energy costs, but automation and controls can handle many other sophisticated tasks as well. Building control systems are only as effective as their design, however, so it's important to identify and engage a knowledgeable and competent engineering consultant early in the planning stages of the project.

The Advantages of Building Automation Technology

The power of building automation systems (BAS) is such that the technology has become almost ubiquitous today for medium-to-large commercial facilities. From an economic perspective, BAS can significantly reduce power use and the associated costs. Ecologically, building controls have been proven to decrease the environmental footprint of those companies that implement them - significantly in many cases. The frequency of replacing costly HVAC and electrical equipment is reduced as BAS curtails wear and tear and alerts you early to any potential problems. Automation systems free up key facilities personnel, allowing them to turn their attention to less mundane tasks. Finally, building occupants enjoy a more secure environment and an increased level of comfort, even while usage, costs and downtime drop. Today's BAS interfaces are easy to use. Whether you have a single building or an enterprise-level portfolio of properties, you can view status and control systems remotely, using a desktop, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone.

A Powerful Scope of Automation Services

Typically, BAS services control some or all aspects of the facility's mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. On the mechanical side, this may include boilers, chillers, air handlers, fans and heat pumps. Electrical aspects may include security systems, lighting, CCTV, fire alarms or building access. BAS can even monitor and control plumbing systems and the water resources used in the facility's central plant (chilled, hot or condensed water). Services can also be expanded to incorporate many types of specialized technology, including communications systems, servers and clean rooms.

Effective BAS Design for Achieving Desired Outcomes

Although new technology has transformed automation from the complex, difficult-to-understand behemoths of the past, today's user-friendly systems are more challenging than ever to design and plan. For any customer considering or planning a remodel or new facility construction project, a qualified BAS engineer is critical for even the earliest phases of the project. Involving your engineer in the early stages of design can greatly improve the cost of the project. This proactive approach can also cut time from the schedule and, perhaps most importantly, ensure that all aspects of the system meet your needs. Consider using the design-build approach with your engineer, which delivers the most benefit to the client while reducing the project cost and time to completion. Your BAS engineering consultant can assist with drafting construction plans and specifications and help your general contractor select and manage those vendors and subcontractors necessary to handle the installation and programming.

When selecting a mechanical, electrical or automation systems engineer, look for a professional firm that is responsive and seeks above all to understand your needs and goals. Conducting research to find the right engineer prior to launching your project will help ensure a successful building automation systems design.

Article Source:,_Ph.D.,_MSW

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Data Monitoring Systems - How SCADA Systems Help in Improving Organizational Efficiency?

The world over there has been increasing awareness about the wonders that data monitoring systems can do to improve organization efficiency. Some of the businesses which use these systems include traffic signals, mass transit systems, environmental control systems, water management systems, and electric power utilities. These systems generally speaking consist of several components such as the controls, the user interface, the software that makes up the system, the network to which it is connected and the communications equipment that is used, among others. The central core of the system monitors information or data that is generated at different points.

Typically the user-interface in data monitoring systems is extremely user-friendly. The interface is the place where the data that is processed can be viewed by a human operative. This interface generally consists of controls which allow the individuals to deal with the system. SCADA systems are among the most used of all data monitoring systems, since they incorporate some of the best technology that is available for improving efficiency and productivity in several businesses. The whole system consists of a network of computers, all of which are connected to a central command, where all the information is gathered and finally processed.

The system works by getting inputs from a variety of sensors that can be placed around a warehouse, factory or for that matter any kind of workplace. The sensors job is to gather information and then send it to a centralized computer system. A variety of industries these days use SCADA. One of the biggest advantages with the system is that they help process the data accurately and completely eliminate any chance of human error. Another reason why SCADA is assuming popularity is because the system is easy to install. The system also works efficiently with very little intervention and is even capable of changing small aspects of a procedure to aid smooth flow of the operations.

Data monitoring systems have become almost imperative to the success of a variety of businesses these days. SCADA systems for instance, with the variety of advantages that they offer can ensures improved productivity and completely eliminate the possibility of human error.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Dust Collection Systems - Things You Need to Know

Dust collection systems are used for the purpose of collecting particulate contaminants that are released during various industrial processes. These particulate contaminants could be in the form of lint, sawdust, dust, and so on. This type of dust adversely affects the environment and also affects the breathability of air, causing several health hazards to personnel working at or near the site. Thus, enterprises are, as a matter of compliance, required to invest in methods to reduce the amount of dust that is released from an industrial process.

Studies have established that continued exposure to industrial dust could cause problems such as lung infections, irritation in the eye, tuberculosis, as well as cancer in some cases. There are several liabilities associated with non-compliance, and some enterprises end up paying millions of dollars for nonconformity.

Efficient dust collection systems are ones that reduce the amount of dust in the atmosphere, and also consume less energy. This, indeed, could be regarded as a true mark of efficiency.

How can you determine an efficient dust collector?

To ensure that your dust collection operations are perfect from day one, choose a firm that specializes in the deployment and maintenance of high-end dust collectors. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists certifies certain enterprises based on their performance and track record. These certifications are clear indication of the abilities of a firm that designs industrial ventilation systems.

There are long term benefits associated with choosing reputable, certified firms. For instance, the service provider would be able to supply you with the necessary air dust collector parts and components as and when the need arises.

The next most important aspect would be energy consumption. Select firms guarantee that their dust collection systems are designed for the lowest energy consumption. This is great news for your power bills and ultimately your bottom lines.

Timely and efficient maintenance is yet another aspect that firms simply cannot afford to ignore. Often, firms charge thousands of dollars by way of maintenance charges. No matter how efficient your system is, a steep maintenance package takes away from the basic purpose of cost savings and performance efficiency. In an increasingly competitive market, enterprises cannot take the risk of going easy on these small yet important factors.

An entire dust collection system would comprise of accessories and components such as dust capture arms, vent bins, cartridge filters, duct work and so on. Each of these components needs to be high on durability and low on maintenance. Here is an overview of some of the commonly-used types of dust collection systems:

  • Combustible Dust collector-dry type and wet type
  • Dust and fume capture arms
  • Bin vent dust collectors
  • Cartridge filter dust collectors
  • Fabric filter dust collectors
  • Portable dust collectors
  • FixAir DC dust collectors
  • Personnel environment booths

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Our Commitment to Our Customers

Frontline Environmental are automation and control systems specialists with heavy "hands on" experience. Our emphasis is providing the customer with a single source for engineering and services related to automation, control systems, and communication technologies. Our commitment to the customer has been the cornerstone of our success. We consistently provide a broad range of clients with reliable services designed to bring in projects on time and on budget. We supply on-going technical support and instrumentation components and equipment required to maintain customer's facilities in the day to day operation. Our commitment means that we provide 24 hour emergency response service 365 days a year.

Periodically, we offer a free technical training workshop to our customers. The workshops are held at our office in Benicia, California. We provide one or more technical personnel from an equipment manufacturer and an environment for a concentrated education on a particular product or system. We have found that the workshops are well received, and provide a forum for both social and technical exchange.

As a further commitment to our customers, we offer 24 hour "Emergency Response"services 365 days a year, and routinely travel throughout the continental US, Alaska and Hawaii. Our field engineering experience and technical trouble-shooting expertise saves our customers valuable time and money by evaluating and eliminating improperly designed or tuned control schemes which can be the primary source of nuisance interruptions in the production or facility process operation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dust Collector Systems for Industrial Manufacturing Processes

Industrial dust collectors are designed to handle high-volume dust loads in manufacturing plants or processing facilities. The presence of dust and other particles in air can prove detrimental in more ways than one, reiterating the importance of a dust collector system. For one, it leads to several respiratory problems among workers on a site or facility. The second more grave concern is that certain types of dust are very easily combustible. So a small spark could cause a major explosion as the dust floating around in the air combust.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has laid down several mandates pertaining to proper dust collection and disposal on an industrial or manufacturing site. Industrial manufacturing processes are referred to as 'specific operations' by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Equipment configuration must be in line with rules pertaining to specific industrial operations.

What are the harmful effects of dust at a site or facility?

Numerous studies have proven that particulate matter, fumes, and dust are a hazard to the operations at an industrial facility. There are hundreds of different types of compositions of dust that can pose a very serious health hazard. These risks, if not handled in the prescribed manner, can lead to a major accident at a manufacturing facility. For instance, saw dust or fabric lint can combust in a matter of seconds. In such an environment, even the smallest open flame could cause a large accident. Overall, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the presence of a higher-than-prescribed amount of dust in the atmosphere is detrimental to both people and processes.

How does one go about installing a dust collector system?

The best way to get the job done right the first time is by enlisting the services of a professional and certified industrial ventilation systems designer. These are specialized firms that are aware of the industrial ventilation parameters laid down by OSHA. Non-compliance to these parameters would mean that the industrial ventilation system at your facility doesn't pass an OSHA inspection.

There are several firms that, in addition to designing ventilation systems, also manufacture customized dust collector systems in keeping with industry codes. And, you can also hire the services of a specialist firm for the purpose of optimizing your dust collector to enhance its performance. Other important components that form an integral part of your dust collector systems would include dust capture arms, bin vents, cartridge filters, portable dust collectors, and so on.

Finally, it is crucial to ensure that the dust collector systems at your site or facility adheres to environment-friendly standards, and that it consumes a low amount of energy. A low-energy-consumption design would translate into lower utility bills and more energy savings.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Acquire Automation to Increase Manufacturing Capability

In order for your company to do an effective job of implementing automation as a tool that you can use to improve your manufacturing operation, you will need to do some real planning to acquire an effective installment of advanced automation. You need to decide if your company has the capability to go through the process of creating an advanced automation project that brings you more profits. Do you have the expertise to do it? Can you design a plan acquire automation then execute it? You have to answer these questions positively to be able to do it.

Most of the time a company will not have the proper expertise to do the technical tasks that are required to build the plan to acquire automation then execute it. This type of task requires the skills of engineers experienced in the details necessary to acquire automation in order to do it correctly. This kind of experience can only come from having been involved in the analysis of many manufacturing operations before automation is installed. It will be very troubling for your business if you build a plan to acquire automation without the assistance of those with foresight and expertise in evaluating for automation. There are many pitfalls that can be built into an automation plan that will be manifested later during the execution of the plan. You may think that building and executing the plan for automation of your manufacturing operation will save you the expense of hiring an expert to help you. Please do not fall into this trap. In an initial meeting with an experienced automation provider you will learn certain details that you may have thought were the right way to go are not after all the best choice of paths to take.

Even before you start to evaluate the automation system that you think you want to try to implement for your manufacturing operation, there may be other obstacles to getting this task done. It is good to know before you get started what you will have to overcome to actually get an automation system in place that will create savings and increase profits. The expertise of the engineers of an automation provider can give your business the right direction to go. Having the expertise of these experienced folks will probably save you from some very expensive mistakes that you might attempt in trying to do the planning and implementing on your own.

The company culture that is in place in your organization when you are about to acquire automation may have well-defined impacts on the success of the addition. It is wise for a company to set up a plan for implementation of the automation technology with the objective of easing the major changes into the corporate culture so that success can be realized. The target objective of the addition or changing of automation technology in your company should be to increase the productivity and reduce costs of operation while improving the corporate profits.

In setting up the automation in your business, you will have input into the components that will be used to bring your business into a new age. The devices that are used should give your manufacturing well-defined direction. Not only do the robotics and automation devices included require that there be speed in their coordination, but also there needs to be control. The tasks of automation control fall to the controller. The best way for your company to get the optimum work from the automation processes is to have the proper automation control supplied by a controller that is well suited to the requirements of the operation.

One of the hardest parts of moving your manufacturing operation into the current century is the process of justifying the investment to acquire automation. If your company is like most it will require that there be well-defined economic justification for a capital expenditure for automation. Normally the process of determining the payback on capital expenses is done by calculating the payback or the net present value of the project expense. The calculation is not the hard part, but determining all the costs that will need to included sometimes is difficult. The automation provider that you choose should be able to give you some very definite answers to your questions about capital expenditures and the realistic payback on your automation investment.

Your first stage of planning for automation and robotics should be a very wide view of what your market place is like, what are your requirements for automation and robotics, and what are the broad constraints that your business would have. This is the stage that you must decide what is the competitive strategy of your business. This will have a direct impact on the type of automation that you will need in your business. Certain types of automation may not be supportive of some strategies. For instance, if your company requirement is to reduce product prices, automation targeted toward the production of custom-made products may not be compatible with this plan. It will be important for you to discuss your requirements in detail with your automation provider in the planning stage. Get the right solution to fit your needs.

Depend on your automation provider to help you to answer the increased demand in the market place. It is a given that when the demand in the market place starts to rise for any given product, your company needs to be as responsive as possible to meet the demand before their competition takes away the customers for themselves.

Article Source:,_Jr

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Friday, November 4, 2016

SCADA Software - The Ultimate Monitoring And Data Gathering Tool On The Market Today!

SCADA software is a term usually in reference to various control systems. SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) describes various computerized systems which function is: monitoring and controlling infrastructure and industrial and facility processes.SCADA software as: Industrial will pertain to refining, fabrication, production and manufacturing. Infrastructure describes private and public systems such as the treatment of water, wastewater treatment and collection, gas and oil lines, electrical power delivery, military defense sirens, and larger boarder communication systems (cable and phone are examples). Facility process pertains to buildings, ships and airports.

SCADA software has key elements. The machine-human technology is the means in which the information and data can be monitored and manipulated by a human technician. A computer system aimed at supervising and acquiring data and to send control commands. Remote units connecting various sensors and sending data. And infrastructure concerned with the communication between the supervising system and the remote units.A system which uses SCADA software coordinates in real time, but does not control in real time. In simpler terms it will manage and manipulate data in current and dynamic real time, but it won't control the process the data is used for in real time.

This is where DCS software comes into play. DCS (distributed control systems), again, in simple terms can be explained as this: This software is about gathering the data deals with process (as related to that data). DCS is usually deals with operations at one location and SCADA is used for purposes and applications covering a larger geographic area. Again, SCADA software deals with a central system watch over and handles all sites or difficult systems over vast areas. Remote units usually control all actions. As an example, the Remote Unit may control water flow through a treatment plant, but SCADA software will allow technicians to set check points for that flow. Think of it as Remote Units do the action and this software monitors the action. Various apparatus are used for the machine-human relationship. Again, this is an interface in which a human being can see and control a process which SCADA software is monitoring.

As an example, if there is a drainage system emptying water, the operator or technician can see how much water is draining, what water temperature it is at and so on. If the operator notices anything wrong, the drainage can be stopped or altered.A very important element of SCADA software deals with alarms. Since SCADA software is a monitoring system, it will see if alarm requirements are being met, and if there is potential for them not to be met. The alarm can be set by the system itself if certain elements occur or are simply not met, or by the technician or operator.

SCADA software also has a SCADA hardware element and usage. The remote units described before are able to perform tasks and their capability to do so is improving. This allows engineers to implement and design programs to be used on these remote units. Telemetry software is an element of SCADA as it allows remote gathering and reporting of data. SCADA software is now in its third phase and that is like any operating system, it is now networked. This vast and open-ended functionality makes it easier to monitor and distribute data across larger geographical areas.

This will also mean that SCADA software is accessible on the internet and able to be worked with through a variety of virtual networks. This software is a monitoring and data gathering tool used in incredibly large and complex industrial systems and infrastructure. It is a vast and complicated tool responsible for key elements of our everyday life -- from sanitized water coming out of our taps to airports transporting thousands and thousands of people daily.

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