Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from BCE

Everyone at BCE (Belilove) would like to wish all of our customers, vendors, suppliers, families and friends a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!

We look forward to serving our customers and working alongside our partners and employees for our mutual success and growth.

The BCE Team

Electric Heating Elements in Life Science and Analytical Instruments

Life science and analytical instrumentation are designed to determine the identity and structure of inorganic and organic liquids and gases, and then detect, separate and analyze their individual compounds.

These processes require the application of heat to the sample. Very specialized heating elements are normally required to achieve the temperatures (300 deg. C to 500 deg. C) to achieve breakdown of the samples into base components. Since sample sizes are normally very small, the heating elements must also be small, react quickly, and be easy to control.

Typical applications for these heaters are mass spectrometers (MS), high performance liquid chromatographs (HPLC), other gas chromatography (GC), flow instrumentation, toxic gas analyzers, and laboratory culture instruments.

BCE is a leading designer and fabricator of high performance, highly accurate, fast responding heating elements for life science and analytical instruments.

PID Control Process Loop Control Explained

PID Loop
PID Loop
PID control stands for proportional, integral and derivative and is a very common control mode used in process control and manufacturing. PID is used in process loops such as pressure control, temperature control, flow and level control. It is also used in robotics, as shown here.

A better description, from Wikipedia, is the continuous calculation from "an error value as the difference between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint. The controller attempts to minimize the error over time by adjustment of a control variable, such as the position of a control valve, a damper, or the power supplied to a heating element, to a new value determined by a weighted sum".

The video below provides a detailed explanation into how PID control works.

Key Components for Industrial Tank Venting and Flame Arresting

Pilot-Operated Emergency Pressure Relief Valve
Pilot-Operated Emergency
Pressure Relief Valve
(Courtesy of Groth Corporation)

Pressure/Vacuum Relief Valves are protection devices typically mounted on a nozzle opening on the top of a fixed roof atmospheric storage tank. Their primary purpose is to protect a tank against rupture or implosion by allowing the tank to breathe, or vent, when pressure changes in the tank due to normal operations.

Pilot Operated Relief Valves serve the same primary purpose as pressure/vacuum relief valves, but with better performance characteristics than weight or spring loaded valves. Lower leakage and better flow performance make a pilot operated valve the solution when the focus is product conservation, expanded tank working band, and reduced fugitive emissions. A pilot operated relief valve provides the maximum available leakage control technology as specified in the Clean Air Act of 1990.

Emergency Relief Valves protect tanks against excessive pressure caused by external fire exposure or flashes within the tank. Emergency relief valves provide higher flow capacity than standard pressure/vacuum relief valves.

Deflagration Flame Arresters are fire safety devices used to protect stored or process media from deflagrations. A deflagration flame arrester can be used on the top of a tank or as an in-line safety device where combustible gases are transported through low pressure pipe lines.

Detonation Flame Arresters provide flame protection in cases where the ignition source pipe lengths are greater than what can be protected with a deflagration arrester.

Blanket Gas Regulators can provide both pressure and fire protection for storage tanks by supplying a blanketing gas which maintains a constant positive pressure in the vapor space of a storage tank. In addition to preventing outside air and moisture from entering the storage vessel, a blanket gas regulator reduces the evaporation of the stored product to a negligible amount, resulting in product conservation and greatly reduced emissions.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Applying Thin Film Coatings Used in Medical Devices: White Paper

Courtesy of Brooks Instrument
Society has benefited tremendously from the development and utilization of mechanical devices which are implanted inside the body and are used to replace bones and joints, increase blood flow, and even measure blood chemistry. To further enhance the performance of these devices, the application of thin films to the external surfaces is an ongoing research and development interest at many companies.
Engineers have a choice of a variety of technologies to apply these liquid coatings to these often complex surfaces ranging from vacuum technology to direct liquid application. The decision on what technology to use is a function of the liquid precursor used, the mechanism of coating formation and the geometry of the object to be coated. A critical quality and process control criterion is the consistency of the coating on the surface. Fluid delivery technology can play an important part in maintaining coating consistency. Pumps and liquid flow controllers are technologies being used today. For vapor coating processes, liquid vaporization technology is a critical link in the fluid delivery system. New flow and vaporization technology is available that can be applied to fluid delivery to improve the application of medical device coatings.

Why Coating

The human body has defense mechanisms that normally treat foreign objects as a threat. This is great when the foreign body is a bacteria or a virus, but in relation to medical devices, this response can affect their performance. Certain metals and plastics have surface properties that make them somewhat compatible in the body. In many applications, these materials don’t have the proper physical properties to make them useful for a specific function. Other materials might be better from a mechanical standpoint, but are more irritating to the body. Coatings are also used to extend the useful life of the device in the body. Here are just some of the uses of medical coatings.
  • To reduce friction of the medical device in the body to improve the placement of the device and also minimize irritation and inflammation 
  • To reduce the formation of scar tissue surrounding implanted devices 
  • To encourage the growth of tissues to help the healing process 
  • To reduce the chance of infection related to the implanted device 
  • To “hide” the device from the body’s self defense mechanism 
  • To measure body chemistry in real time
  • The coatings applied to the surface can be as simple as a thin metal coating or as complex as polymer coating interlaced with precise pores that time-release drugs. 
Coating Challenges and Solutions

Applying a coating to a device that is placed in the body is a very critical process. The potential detrimental affects of the coating must be thoroughly investigated prior to official approval for market introduction. Here are some of the many challenges facing an engineer when designing techniques for coating medical device structures.
  • Complex substrate geometry 
  • Even coating over the complete surface 
  • Consistent thickness and mass of coating across a production lot 
  • Eliminating bridging across web structures 
  • Coating adhesion and eliminating post implant particle generation 
  • Applying high molecular weight active drug molecules 
  • Creating porous films that allow time release of drugs
See the entire white paper here:

AMETEK THERMOX 5th Generation THERMOX Combustion Gas Analyzer

The reliable identification of low combustion oxygen in a fired heater or boiler has always been critical to the effectiveness of the Burner Management System for proper control and safety.

Low emission burners and aggressive firing control points to achieve increased efficiency and emission reductions have driven the industry to tighter control measures. But tighter control measures also hold a greater potential for combustion events. Reducing the risk of a combustion event has become a priority and has led to the implementation of Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). This additional layer of safety is added to the Basic Process Control System.

The WDG-V has been designed to provide an additional layer of safety with the measurement of excess O2, Combustibles and Methane and by using these measurements to ensure the safe operation of the Burner Management System.

WDG analyzers are based on a zirconium oxide cell that provides a reliable and cost-effective solution for measuring excess oxygen in flue gas as well as CO and methane levels. Information from the Gas Analyzer allows operators to obtain the highest fuel efficiency, while lowering emissions for NOx, CO and CO2. The zirconium oxide cell responds to the difference between the concentration of oxygen in the flue gas versus an air reference. To assure complete combustion, the flue gas should contain several percent oxygen. The optimum excess oxygen concentration is dependent on the fuel type (natural gas, hydrocarbon liquids and coal).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Continental Disc and Groth Corporation Choose BCE

CDC rupture disc
Continental Disc Rupture Disc

A little shameless self promotion ... BCE is very pleased to announce that Continental Disc Corporation and Groth Corporation have appointed BCE (Belilove Company-Engineers) as their northern California representative.

Groth tank vent
Groth Pressure Relief Valve
Continental Disc Corporation is a leading manufacturer of rupture disc devices for a variety of process industries, including chemical, petrochemical, petroleum refining, pharmaceutical, beverage, food, dairy, aerospace, gases, electronics and other markets worldwide.

Groth Corporation is a global leader in manufacturing pressure/vacuum relief valves, deflagration and detonation flame arresters, blanket gas regulators, and other low pressure relief products. Groth pressure relief products have been protecting refineries, chemical processing plants, and facilities with atmospheric storage tanks for more than 50 years.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Intrinsic Safety for Hazardous Areas Explained

Intrinsic Safety Barriers are devices that limit power delivered from a safe area into a hazardous area. The possibility of an explosion is prevented, not merely contained (by a housing or a conduit). The total energy is maintained within safe limits, not electrical energy (voltage and current), eliminating an ignition from excessive heat. The use of an intrinsically safe design offer many cost and safety advantages.
  • Easy access to components - no time spent opening/closing explosion proof enclosures.
  • Safety assured due to low voltage system.
  • Use of standard wiring, cable runs, and light gauge cable.
  • Calibration and maintenance the same as if in a general purpose area.
  • No special hazardous area procedures for opening enclosures, area gas testing, or shut-down process.
  • Simple use of plug-in modules.
The document below provides an excellent explanation into Intrinsic Safety and goes far more in to the background, concepts, principles, and devices used in this approach to safety in hazardous areas.

For more information, contact:
P.O. Box 55936
21060 Corsair Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: (510) 274-1990
Fax: (510) 274-1999