Maintenance Tips for Your Moisture Analyzer Equipment

Having clean and well-maintained moisture balance equipment is crucial to the accuracy of the readings it provides. If a certain process requires the ability to precisely maintain acceptable levels of moisture using a moisture analyzer, then it is important to establish and abide by a suitable maintenance program for the equipment itself. With a good maintenance routine that is regularly observed, you are not just extending the life of the equipment, you are essentially protecting an investment.

Moisture analyzers, otherwise known as moisture balance equipment, are incredibly sensitive tools that need to be kept clean, especially if you want to maintain their accuracy in measuring moisture levels. In a lab, for instance, moisture analyzers are ideally placed in a clean, protected area away from dust and other substances that could be detrimental to the equipment and may affect their accuracy and repeatability.

However, the lab is not the only place where moisture analyzers are used. There are many applications and processes that may require the use of such instruments; and some of the places that utilize moisture analyzers may not always have a clean and safe area or ideal conditions for such a sensitive tool. That is why having a good maintenance program is still necessary.

Additionally, when conducting moisture analysis, some of the samples being tested may end up spilling from the sample plate and onto other parts of the equipment itself. And certain samples, especially liquids and fine powdery substances, can present real hazards to the performance and condition of the equipment.

Moisture Analyzer Cleaning Tips

Before you start cleaning the instrument, you need to make sure that it’s unplugged from any power source. You then have to refer to the owner’s manual as to the manufacturer’s directions for the step-by-step cleaning process. Normally, you will be required to remove accessories and parts that can be detached from the equipment and clean those parts separately. The most common removable parts are the sample dish, the sample dish holder, the dish retainer, and the draft shield, as well as the base plate in certain models.

These parts can then be cleaned individually, using soft cloth dipped in soapy water. Make sure to wring out the cloth before you start cleaning the accessories. Use mild dishwashing liquid. Never use strong cleaning solutions, unless specified by the manufacturer. You then rinse the parts with a fresh piece of cloth dipped in clean water. Dry the accessories using a clean piece of dry, soft cloth.

As for the body of the equipment, the same caution should be applied. Remove any lose dirt or substances using a soft bristle brush or a handheld vacuum cleaner. Once the lose material has been successfully removed, you can start wiping down the surface of the equipment with your soapy water. Be careful not to let the solution penetrate the interior electronics of the instrument, so you have to make sure to wring the cloth first before you start wiping.

When cleaning sensitive equipment, it is always best to consult the user’s guide and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations as to how you should clean the device.

How to Pick and Buy a Digital Flow Meter for Oil and Other Liquids

Flow meters are technological instruments used to measure the flow of liquids and gases in pipes, whether in linear or non-linear, mass or volumetric readings. The digital flow meter has many applications across different industries, from mining, to marine, water management, food processing, power and energy conservation, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, building services and construction, petrochemicals, to even the aerospace industry.

Today’s flow meters come in various forms and sizes, with many practical and highly effective features that have essentially made the instrument more accurate and reliable.

Selecting a Suitable Digital Flow Meter for Oil and Other Liquids

One of the most crucial elements you need to consider when buying either a handheld or fixed installation flow meter is the specific purpose or the application of the instrument. The installation process has to be considered as well, and whether or not you want a handheld/portable device for mobility or just a conventional flow meter that can be installed in a specific area.

There are varying reasons why one will go for the handheld and why the other will opt for the fixed installation flow meter. If you work as an HVAC specialist, for example, then you might prefer the handheld device. But, if you run a food processing business, then a fixed installation flow meter would be a more practical choice.

Here are some of the elements you need to think about, in addition to the installation process:

  • What type of fluid do you want to measure? Does it have the same consistency as slurry or does it flow like water?
  • What is the viscosity or thickness of the fluid? Is it filled with fine particles or is it clean with minimal particulates?
  • You should also consider the size of the pipe the liquid flows through, as well as the type of material the pipe is made from.
  • What kind of reading output are you interested in?
  • What type of information do you want to obtain from the instrument; flow rate, total volume, or both?
  • For wetted flow meters, you need to consider the chemical compatibility of the instrument’s parts and the liquid being measured.
  • Liquid flow rate, volume, and pressure must also be considered.

The Different Types of Flow Meters Available in the Market

By looking at those different considerations, you get an idea of how diverse the flow meter industry is, not just in the design, application, and materials used to produce the instrument, but in the technology that goes in the device as well. Here are some of the common flow meter types found in the market, regardless of whether they’re designed to measure gas, liquid, or some other substance:

  • Ultrasonic flow meters
  • Magnetic flow meters
  • Spring and piston meters
  • Paddle wheel sensors
  • Positive displacement (PD) flow meters
  • Mass gas flow meters
  • Turbine flow meters
  • Vortex flow meters
  • Variable are flow meters

When buying a suitable flow meter, you need to make sure it has all the specific requirements that you’re looking for and the features that you need for your specific needs.

Stem Cell-Grown Blood Could Revolutionize Medical Transfusions

Stem cell technology is one of the most promising discoveries in the medical field. It’s been used as a platform to develop a variety of medical applications. Nowadays, it has been successfully used to grow fresh human blood.

In response to a request from the US military, researchers from the UK and Irish Blood services have teamed together last 2007 to build a machine that could be easily dropped off from a helicopter to a battlefield to supply wounded soldiers with stem cell-derived blood. Unfortunately, their first attempt was unsuccessful.

However, refusing to abort the mission, the team decided to refocus their efforts and came up with a similar technology that enables clinics all over the world to gain access to a limitless supply of lab-grown blood. The use of blood grown from stem cells would be highly beneficial to the field of medicine. As the blood supply is guaranteed to be fresh at all times, it would remove the risks of getting any infections from a transfusion.

The team has chosen to work with induced pluripotent or embryonic stem cells, which have the capacity to differentiate into various types of cells when placed in the right culture conditions. The team has changed their protocol to focus more on red blood cells after a year from human testing.

The project is led by the medical director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service along with Joanne Mountford of the University of Glasgow. According to Mountford, they are simply executing as what nature intended since they are making blood from human cells. “It’s the same thing your body makes but we’re just doing it in a lab.” She says.

She also went further to explain the advantages of using lab-grown blood over the traditional way of obtaining blood from a human donor. Mountford and her team propose that recipients of engineered red blood cells will receive “fresher and potentially more effective blood” as compared to blood taken from a donor, which are likely 110 or more days old. The latter batch is more likely to die sooner and won’t do the recipient much good. Aside from that, the team is also making type-O blood, which means it can be transfused to all types of patients even those with the rare AB-negative blood type.

Having a limitless supply of this stem cell-grown blood will take away the hassle of segregating and rearranging the different types of blood. Simplifying the logistics of global distribution, this process allows vital blood supply to flow faster and more efficiently to whoever needs it in whichever part of the world.

However, there are also challenges in implementing the fruits of the study into actual clinical practice. According to Mountford, it is possible for her team to produce around 10 billion red blood cells per batch. However, they still have a long way to go to beat the trillion cells contained in a single bag of blood coming from an average human donor. Moreover, in order for the actual process to be effective all over the world, her team would have to figure out a way to get it done at a cost that would suit the capacities of the developing world.

A Quick Guide to Choosing a Digital Flow Meter

Flow meters are important to various industries because they help determine the amount of gas, liquid, or vapor present in a particular area. If you plan to get one for whatever purpose, you’ll have to make sure you choose the right type of digital flow meter and that the device you get is of top quality. Never make the mistake of choosing based on price alone and then trying to justify your choice with the amount of money you saved with the purchase.

In choosing a flow meter, you’ll need to take a number of factors into consideration, including the ease of calibration and maintenance, durability, accuracy of reading, the credibility/track record of the manufacturer, and the availability of spare parts. The cost of the device should only be considered once all of the other important considerations have been taken into account.

Choosing the Right Digital Flow Meter

How do you make sure that the flow meter you get is the right one? The first thing you need to do is determine whether you need the flowrate information to be totalized or continuous. You also need to decide if you will only be getting the information locally or if you need to get it remotely as well. If the information needs to be gathered remotely, you’ll have to determine whether it will be best transmitted via analog, digital, or shared means. If you go for shared transmission, you’ll have to determine the minimum required data-update frequency.

When you have all of these data on hand, can you already consider yourself ready to start shopping for a flow meter? Not quite. There is still a second phase you need to go through in order to be absolutely sure you won’t be wasting your money on the wrong device. This second phase involves evaluating the flow characteristics and properties of the process fluid as well as the piping to be used for your flow meter.

Where the process fluid is concerned, there are things like temperature, pressure, allowable pressure drop, specific gravity, viscosity, conductivity, and vapor pressure at the maximum operating temperature to consider. The manner in which all of these properties are likely to interact and/or vary also has to be determined and indicated, along with safety and toxicity information as well as detailed information on the composition of the fluid. Data on the possible presence of solids and bubbles in the process fluid, a possible tendency to coat, and its light transmission qualities should also be provided.

In the case of the piping and the area where your flow meter will be located, the following factors will have to be considered: the direction of the piping (a downward flow will have to be avoided for liquid applications), the size of the pipes, the piping material, the flange pressure rating, the area’s accessibility, upstream and downstream turns, regulators, valves, and straight-pipe run lengths.

Of course, you don’t have to make all these determinations yourself, unless you really are familiar with the process. You can hire the services of a professional engineer who can assist you not only in the planning and preparation, but even in choosing the right flow meter and in the installation process. The engineer will also be responsible for determining whether there are vibrations or magnetic fields in the area, if the area has been classified for explosion hazards, if pneumatic or electric power is available in the area, and if there are any special requirements you need to fulfill prior to installation.

The third phase in ensuring that you get the right flow meter involves determining the necessary meter range. This is done by identifying what the minimum and maximum flows to be measured are (mass or volumetric?). You then need to determine what the necessary flow measurement is. Make sure your accuracy requirements are stated at the normal, minimum, and maximum flowrates. All of these requirements are important because they help you ensure that the performance of your flow meter is acceptable through its full range.

Key Questions

As a recap of what you need to do in order to make sure the flow meter you get is the right one for your needs, here are the key questions you need to ask before you go out to shop for a flow meter:

  1. What kind of fluid are you planning to measure?
  2. Will you be doing rate measurement or totalization measurement?
  3. If you plan to measure liquid other than water, what is the viscosity of the liquid you’ll be measuring?
  4. Will a local measurement display on the flow meter be enough for your purposes or will you require an electronic signal output?
  5. What are the minimum and the maximum flow rate?
  6. What are the minimum and the maximum process pressure?
  7. What are the minimum and the maximum process temperature?
  8. Is the process fluid chemically compatible with the wetted parts of the flow meter?
  9. If what you’re planning is a process application, how big is the pipe?

The answers to these questions will make it a lot easier for you to determine which particular flow meter you should get.

Installation Cautions

It’s not enough for you to make sure you buy the right flow meter; you should also make sure it is installed properly so that it functions exactly as it should. For one thing, you have to make sure that a flow meter used for liquid service remains full of liquid while it is installed because any amount of gas or vapor in it can change its geometry and negatively affect the meter’s accuracy. For flow meters to be used in gas/vapor service, the opposite is true: it has to remain full of gas/vapor because the presence of moisture or liquid can alter its geometry.

Note as well that any disturbance such as control valves and pipe elbows can also affect reading accuracy, so it is best to place them downstream, so the disturbance in the flow will not be reflected by the flow meter measurement.

Top Free Live Stream Video Apps for iOS and Android Devices

There’s a whole crop of lightweight live stream apps for mobile devices. These apps are specifically designed to broadcast video in real-time using only your smartphone or tablet. They don’t require camera add-ons – the camera on your device is sufficient enough; and they don’t need special microphones, just the built-in microphone on your smartphone.

If you want to try out these apps on your smartphone and perhaps stream real-time video over the Internet and share it with your friends, here are several free live stream video apps that are designed for the iOS and Android platforms.

  1. Periscope is a new live mobile video app recently acquired by Twitter early this year. It’s free to download in the iTunes apps store. The app is relatively easier to use than most live stream video applications available in the market. It offers public or private live stream options, as well as the ability to record your streams to be broadcast at a later time.
  1. Meerkat is a free app for iOS devices that was released earlier this year. It allows users to transmit live video on Twitter. It basically allows you to create a special video channel that your followers can interact with via tweets. This app, however, only broadcasts on Twitter.
  1. Bambuser is a relatively older live video app that’s been around for quite some time. It gained significant attention back in 2011 and 2012, during the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and neighboring countries, when protestors used the app to broadcast live video of the street protests. Bambuser is available for free on the Play Store and iTunes Apps Store.
  1. Stre.am is also a live stream video app for smartphones. It allows users to transmit live video from their mobile devices as well as view other people’s live streams. This free app is available for iOS and Android users.

With these apps, you can literally broadcast your videos live for hundreds, if not thousands of people. As the Stre.am’s motto goes, “Stre.am life as it happens.”