Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Industry Veterans Name the Most Common Challenges with Process Analyzer Sampling Systems

Mon, Oct 01, 2018 @ 09:10 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Sample Systems, People

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After a combined 80 years working with sampling systems, industry experts Tony Waters and Phil Harris reflect on the problems they've seen most


In this video Tony Waters and Phil Harris discuss recurring maintenance problems, fundamental design issues, and hidden issues that hamstring customer operations. Get in touch for a collaborative, expert evaluation of your system by our team.

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Fluid system operators use grab sampling—aka spot sampling or lab sampling—to validate process conditions, check whether end products meet quality specifications, see if online analyzers are fit for use, and ensure product quality during custody transfers. It can also provide verification of environmental emissions. 

In all of these uses, capturing a representative sample is essential. But at some plants, recurring maintenance issues hamstring operations.

“Some of the installations, the customer’s been experiencing problems that require maintenance technicians to go and work on the device frequently, over and over, perhaps called out in the middle of the night or later on a weekend, because there’s been an issue with the analyzer,” says Phil Harris, an ISA Analysis Division Fellow and industry veteran who's authored numerous papers on analyzer systems, routinely presents at industry conferences and technical seminars, and brings extensive experience in nuclear energy, oil refining and alternative fuels applications.

Fundamental design issues are remarkably common, too. Those can lead to fluids being where they shouldn't be, or vice versa.

“[A design flaw] that comes to mind that we see all the time is that a line is supposed to be heated... but we find that it’s only half heated or not heated at all or the heating’s turned off," says Tony Waters, "or sometimes just the opposite: the thing is so hot that it’s causing the samples to polymerize or decompose in some way.”

Waters, who like Harris is an ISA Analysis Division Fellow, brings over 50 years of experience with process analyzers and sampling systems to his numerous training programs, which have been presented in many countries. He has also founded three companies and has worked in engineering and marketing roles for an analyzer manufacturer, end-user and a systems integrator. He periodically leads the Process Analyzer Sampling System (PASS) Course here in Edmonton.

Then there are cases of onsite pros not knowing that a process analyzer isn't doing its job—which might be the riskiest scenario.

“A process analyzer can actually look like it’s working but actually be doing nothing that’s valuable to anybody," Waters adds. "For instance, the time delay that we see on systems is quite enormous sometimes. Sometimes we’re talking about hours or even days of delay before they actually get the measurement.”

Three ways we can help you with sampling systems today


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Video: Animation Shows How to Use Swagelok's Standard Gas Panel

Tue, Sep 18, 2018 @ 11:09 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Sample Systems, Custom Solutions

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Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple to operate. This 90-second animation shows an example.



Our customers need a reliable grab sample system that can be available across multiple sites and between site locations and still support specific application needs. That's why Swagelok has developed a number of standard grab sample panel designs for use in all types of plants and facilities where fluids are being processed.

Two system types allow for capture into one of two types of containers — pressure‑containing metal cylinders as found in the Grab Sample Module (GSM) or non-pressure‑containing glass or polyethylene bottles as found in the Liquid Only Sampling Module (GSL).

Standard panel designs

Part of the value of a Swagelok grab sample solution is that you're getting a standardized offering available in just about any location. That adds tremendous value for those with multiple sites. Plus, no need to worry about adjusting your sample because of a system limitation. We get it correctly configured from the start.

Easy operation

Another part of the value is Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple to operate (that's not the case with a number of other options we've seen). For example, to operate our Standard Gas Panel:

  • Turn sample valve to VENT
  • Release the quick connect (at the top of the cylinder)
  • Connect your sample cylinder to the quick connect and close the clamp
  • Connect the hose the cylinder’s bottom
  • Open the cylinder valves and turn the sample valve to SAMPLE
  • When the cylinder is full, reverse the process (watch the animation for details)

Three ways we can help you with grab sampling today

  1. Click to schedule an assessment—Improve your sampling systems reliability with an expert, in-depth evaluation of your sampling systems, from tap to grab sample station
  2. Click to use our Grab Sample Product Selection MatrixSee a summary of common system criteria and the grab sample system recommended for each combination
  3. Click to view our Grab Sampling Systems Application Guide—Browse the available Swagelok grab sample system configurations

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Video: How Swagelok's Grab Sampling Systems Compare

Thu, Aug 23, 2018 @ 15:08 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Sample Systems, People, local expert

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Straight talk from pros, including Swagelok Field Engineer Stacey Phillips, on the difference between Swagelok Grab Sampling Systems and other options on the market.


"Every customer has a different set up in their refinery or their their area that they're working in. We have that localized capability to customize and we can go out to their site and see exactly where they're putting them. In that sense we have a little bit of an advantage."

- Stacey Phillips, Field Engineer, Swagelok Edmonton


Grab sample systems should be tailored to exactly meet your needs and simple to operate. Achieving that means having local, on-the-ground support.

Key advantages discussed in this video include:

  1. Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple and easy to operate; that's not the case with a number of other options we've seen.
  2. A lot of our competitors work through distribution networks that don't have a lot of experience with fittings and valves; here, we are fittings and valves experts and we are adding another component to them.
  3. Some of our competitors really seem to operate as parts suppliers; we think in terms of fulfilling customers' exact requirements through design optimization, customization, fabrication, assembly, and ongoing support.
  4. Our forensic capabilities are unmatched; if, for example, an analyzer cannot get the kinds of readings needed or is getting faulty readings, an operator will come and take a physical sample and bring it back to the lab to either confirm or diagnose an issue with the actual processing unit.
  5. With Swagelok, customers know they are getting a standardized offering available in just about any location, that adds tremendous value for those with multiple sites.
  6. Our customers can actually view prototypes and handle modification and tweaks to their design on-site with our engineers.

Three ways we can help you with grab sampling today


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Edmonton Valve's Travelling Grab Sample System Demo Panel

Thu, Jul 26, 2018 @ 12:07 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Fittings, Valves, Q&A, Custom Solutions, Sample Systems

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If you can’t make it to our office, we can come to you with our new Grab Sample panel*


Grab Sample Blue ll

This past June we featured our new Grab Sample System demo panel, outfitted with clear tubing components and a clear cylinder. Interested in seeing a demo for yourself, send us an email and we can make that happen!*

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There’s no better way to see how something works than to see it live in action. That’s why we have built a Grab Sample System Panel with clear components, so you can see the fluid running through it and get a better perception of how it all comes together.

“Behind the scenes” look

We first showcased this Grab Sample panel in our Swagelok booth at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary this past June.What makes this panel unique is that we used clear components (tubing and sample cylinder) and ‘Swagelok Blue’ water running through the system. This gave those watching a detailed look at how the fluid moves through the system and fills up the cylinder as the sample.

“Seeing the fluid run through the system with the clear components was really cool and it gave me an unobstructed view of how this product works,” says one customer visiting our booth. “It was also great that I was able to get a description from the Swagelok account manager on what was happening in real time and answer my questions right on the spot.”

New to this system?

If you weren’t able to make it down to see the Grab Sample demo panel during the show and maybe aren’t too sure what the system is all about, here is a breakdown of what Grab Sampling can help validate:

  • Process conditions
  • The end product meets quality specifications
  • The online analyzers are ‘fit for use’
  • Quality of product during custody transfer

We also have a great resource page that goes into more details on Grab Sample Systems, with information ranging from covering the basics to system designs, and accessories. Access that information here.

Coming to you

Getting a live demo can really showcase what our Grab Sampling Systems are all about and we have our Grab Sample System set-up in our Edmonton office to do just that.  We will provide demonstrations to you and your staff, plus answer all your questions that you may have. Can’t make into our office? No problem. We can coordinate with your account manager to visit your location with the demo panel and give you that one-on-one time at your own leisure. Just give us a call or send us an email and we will get it set-up.

If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to call one of our experienced reps for further advice. Please click here to get in touch.

*Note: Grab Sample Panel visits can only be set-up in our Sales & Services area but we would be happy to get you connected to your local Swagelok distributor - so still send us your request!

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Stay Organized with Edmonton Valve's Instrumentation Tool Kit

Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 15:06 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Sample Systems, Equipment Rentals

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The hard case and foam cutouts protect your tools and make them easy to find

tool kit

To give your tools the protection they need, we suggest using our Instrumentation tool kit. Not only does this kit have all the equipment you need housed in one place, but it keeps your tools safe, both in the travel to and from job sites, and safe from other elements in your surroundings. If you want to learn more, send us a note and we would be happy to get you started. 

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When you make an investment, it's smart to protect it. So how best to protect an investment in high-quality Swagelok tools? Buy the tools and the protection at the same time with our Instrumentation Tool Kit.

The hard plastic case from Pelican Products keeps tools safe from dirt and damage. Inside, each tool has its own cutout in the foam liner. You can tell at a glance whether everything has been returned to its proper place, and whether someone has borrowed a tool and not yet returned it. The lockable case is only about four inches thick, slim enough to slip under the seat of a truck.

Take a look inside

The Instrumentation Tool Kit has all you need to assemble the three most popular sizes of Swagelok tube fittings: 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch.

You get hand tube benders in three sizes, a deburring tool, a tube cutter, ratchet wrenches in three sizes, pre-swaging tools in three sizes, an inspection gauge, and tee wrenches in three sizes.

While you don't need any specialized tools to install Swagelok tube fittings, our tee wrenches and ratchet wrenches make the job easier and speed up the work. The pre-swaging tools allow you to prepare tubing on the bench and then take the assemblies to the field and put it all together. That can be very helpful if you are working in tight spaces, over your head or down by your feet.

To top off the deal, we include a copy of the Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual, the go-to reference for fluid system engineers, designers, and technicians. Its 11 chapters cover all you need to know about tube fittings and fitting installation, with a balance of theory and practical examples. The manual also contains tubing specification and ordering information, troubleshooting tips, pressure ratings and more.

Far too many people simply toss their tools into a big box on the back of their truck. The tools rattle around and get lost under other tools. That makes no sense. When you have the right tools for the job, the next logical step is to have the right case for the tools. Get in touch with us today and we can help you get the necessary protection for your tools.


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Edmonton Valve’s Inspection Service Can Extend the Life of Cylinders

Thu, May 31, 2018 @ 13:05 PM / by Adam Telenko posted in Custom Solutions, Value Added Services, Sample Systems

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Cylinder assemblies take a beating in the field, so give them the attention they deserve

Cylinders Maintenance

Edmonton Valve’s Cylinder Maintenance program will put your cylinders to the test with a visual inspection, assessment of threads, fittings, etc., and a full detailed report on their overall condition with recommendations for repairs and further testing if required. Contact us if you would like to set-up a discussion for your own cylinder maintenance program. 

INFO: Cylinder Maintenance


Sample cylinder assemblies can face a rough life in the field. Unlike fittings or gauges, you don't just install them and leave them alone while they do their job, possibly for years. Cylinder assemblies go through an endless series of connecting and disconnecting and valves are continuously opening and closing. Valve stems are subject to wear over time as the seals are being exposed to different fluids, range of temperatures, and pressures.

The assembly may rattle around in a truck bed while being transported around the site. There's a lot of potential for sudden damage, such as someone dropping an assembly and breaking a valve handle, or long-term damage such as threads wearing out. Extreme cold weather that we have in Alberta definitely takes its toll too.

If you don't pay close enough attention to the wear and tear, leaks may develop at the connection points. In applications where a coating such as sulfinert is required, repeated use can wear away the coating and give you less accurate readings when the contents are analyzed.

Introducing our cylinder maintenance program

Just as you'd want a trained expert to inspect your car, trust the trained experts at Edmonton Valve & Fitting to inspect your cylinder assemblies. This year we have introduced our Cylinder Maintenance Program as one of our quality assurance services.

We will visually inspect your cylinders and any related assemblies, using a micrometer on the cylinder itself to ensure that the cylinder has not been deformed and is still within tolerance to operate safely under pressure. In our experience, sample cylinders tend to last a long time, but we have seen some instances of thread damage and rust or corrosion.

We'll assess the conditions of threads, needle valves, rupture disc valves, and fittings. When we're done, we'll write up a report for you, with detailed pictures of our findings. We'll make recommendations and, if you like, make repairs and tests.

Sample cylinders and their corresponding components all have a lifespan. This service is a great way to inspect these components to ensure they fall within certain safety parameters and guidelines.

All you have to do is decide how often you'd like us to perform an inspection (every three years or so is typical). One of our associates can visit your site to begin the conversation of a suitable starting point. This service is tailored to each specific customer and what results they are looking to achieve. We are excited about this new program and teaming up even more with our customers to provide a safe and efficient work environment. 

Request more information on this service here. 


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Heading to the 2018 ISA Automation Expo? Edmonton Valve Is Too

Wed, Apr 11, 2018 @ 10:04 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Events, Tubing, Fittings, Sample Systems

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Stop at our booth on April 25 and 26 to check out Swagelok products and ask all the questions


AEC

For years Edmonton Valve has been a proud sponsor of the International Society of Automaton (ISA) Edmonton section. Come by and see us at booth #1032 to check out some of Swagelok's new offerings. 


One of North America’s largest automation events returns to Edmonton on April 25th and 26th: the ISA Automation Expo & Conference. Edmonton Valve & Fitting will be among the exhibitors at Edmonton Expo Centre. You can find us at our usual hangout booth 1032, to the far right of the first row as you enter the exhibit hall.

Lots of Swagelok to see

At our booth #1032 you can take a close look at several products, including our grab sample panels, variety of Swagelok hoses, and 60 Series Ball Valves. We even got our Custom Solutions department to make up an unique piece so make sure you stop by to see what it is!

And some of your favourite Swagelok account managers will be on-hand to ask your fluid system questions to - it's a great opportunity to get that one-on-one time. 

About AEC

The International Society of Automation Edmonton Section launched the expo back in 1980. For many years it was known as the ISA Exhibit & Conference. Aside from chance to see more than 175 exhibitors, the conference is an opportunity to network and collaborate with thousands of automation, instrumentation and control systems professionals from a diverse range of global industries including: petroleum, mining, power, water & wastewater, forestry, agriculture and more. Then there's the conference portion, featuring internationally renowned speakers and local experts.

We hope to see you there, doors open both days at 10am! And if you need more information, contact us!

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Sample Cylinder Assemblies Offer Flexibility

Wed, Feb 07, 2018 @ 08:02 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Sample Systems

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Pick the size, end connections and materials that work best for you


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Swagelok sample cylinders provide a leak-tight sample containment for your Grab Sample Systems. Download the catalogue below to find out more about our sample cylinder offerings.

Sample Cylinder Download


In a Grab Sample Panel, the key element is the sample cylinder assembly. It's the vessel that allows you to transport a fresh liquid or vapor sample from the process line, held under the same process conditions (with the exception of temperature).

So let's take a look at your options when you order Swagelok cylinder assemblies from Edmonton Valve & Fitting.

Pick the right fit

Our cylinder assemblies are available in ten standard sizes, from 150 cm3 to 3,785 cm3. The standard assembly is designed for general use, but you can also get assemblies with an optional purge bypass tube.

Rupture discs are standard, or you can get cylinder assemblies with relief valves or expansion chambers.

Inside, the cylinder can have a PTFE coating, a SilcoNert coating, or electropolishing.

You have a wide choice of fittings. Many customers prefer a quick-connect fitting rather than a threaded fitting. It eliminates any rotation of the cylinder itself, so you don't have to worry about it catching on any other components. If you already have a grab sample panel with one type of fitting, it's easy and inexpensive to make the switch.

Expertise 

Remember, we're talking about assemblies, not just the cylinder alone. When you order from Edmonton Valve & Fitting, you know that well trained experts will assemble the components properly.

Every cylinder assembly goes through a hydro test. You tell us your specifications on pressure, and we'll document how the cylinder assembly performed.

We also offer etching. It's an easy way to keep track of what's in each cylinder.

Because we make the assemblies right here in Edmonton and have a well-stocked warehouse, we can usually turn around your order in a week or so. And you have only a single part number to deal with.

We're always glad to talk about sample cylinder assemblies or any other fluid system components and services. All it takes to start the conversation is a note to us through our website or a call to 780.437.0640.


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Visit Our Booth at the Oil Sands Trade Show

Wed, Sep 06, 2017 @ 09:09 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Events, Custom Solutions, Q&A, Sample Systems

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Here's a chance to get your hands on some of our products in Fort McMurray


Swagelok Helping hand fb.jpg

Stop by booth 3317 at the 2017 Oil Sands Trade Show and Conference to see your local Swagelok associates and learn about our product offerings. You can register to attend the show for free by using code OST2K.


We'll be on hand to show off some of our Swagelok components, as well as the skills of our Custom Solutions department in creating various assemblies.

While Swagelok made its name with tube fittings, the company also makes many larger scale products for process piping, typically anything with less than a two-inch diameter. Take a look at some of our flanges and valves at our booth.

Then let us show you our grab sample modules. We've written about them before on our blog. You'll get a chance to see the various options in person, twist some handles and otherwise satisfy your curiosity.

If you don't feel like conversation, we'll have some videos to watch too.

Where to find us

You can find us in the Turnarounds & Maintenance Zone, look for booth 3317 in Hall C. Account Manager Andrew Worthington will be in the booth so you can find a knowledgeable fluid system expert any time from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 12th and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 13th.

It's one thing to look at our products online. It's another to physically put your hands on it and have a face-to-face conversation with someone who knows the product well.

So stop by, say hello, and gather some free information and expertise from your Swagelok experts. Register to attend the show for free using code OST2K.


Additional resources


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640.


 

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Keep Your Sampling Systems At Peak Performance

Thu, Jun 08, 2017 @ 14:06 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Training, Sample Systems, Events

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Our two-day Sample System Maintenance Course will cover operations and troubleshooting


SteamSystems.jpg

Teaching you to trouble shoot a variety of common sampling system issues, from the process line through sample disposal. Join this two-day course on November 14th and 15th, 2017, sign up now to attend.


Your analytical instrumentation system can't give reliable results unless you give it a reliable sample of the fluid in your process line. Assuming the sample is properly taken at the tap, it may fall victim to a host of problems:

  • Deadlegs or dead spaces that create a “static leak,” where fluid from an old sample might bleed or leak into the new sample
  • Contamination, permeation, or adsorption
  • A phase change that upsets the balance of chemicals
  • A chemical reaction

The most common cause of inappropriate response is a simple delay. If it's taking more than one minute from tap to analyzer, you may have problems.

How can you work to prevent problems and fix those that do appear? Take our two-day Sample System Maintenance Course.  We've scheduled it for November 14 and 15 at our brand new training center.

The basics and more

Leading the course this year is Swagelok expert Stephen Jacobs, owner and president of Jacobs Process Analytics Inc. Over more than 25 years he has designed, installed and maintained hundreds of analyzer and sampling systems for applications ranging from safety monitoring to closed-loop process control.

We start out by reviewing sampling basics: Why you take samples and how to take them properly.

Sampling systems come in a variety of designs, especially when you compare those designed to handle liquids and those designed to handle gas. We will look at all types of systems, the typical best practices and the typical mistakes that people make. That starts with the system design itself, making sure that it uses the proper size of tubing, proper filters and other components.

The goal is to send you back to your company with enough knowledge to walk through your systems and spot problem areas.

You'll spend time taking lecture notes, but you'll also get your hands on the equipment. We'll put students into groups and give them some problems to solve from real-life case studies. We'll explain the issue, and then it will be up to the teams to discover the cause and come up with a solution. Each group will then present its project to the rest of the class. 

Lunch too

We'll provide all the materials you need, including a workbook you can take home with you. Those who pass the course also will go home with a certificate of completion. We'll even serve you lunch on both days.

But we have a limited number of seats. That's why we're letting you know so far in advance. Mark your calendar now and sign up today.


Additional resources


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640.


 

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