Pressure Gauge Accessories:
Insurance for Productivity

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Savvy manufacturers in all industries know that in order to maintain their competitive edge they need to control plant shutdowns, service interruptions, personnel safety, and equipment failures. Catastrophic events, such as the Macondo Prospect oil rig explosion and the Bhopal Union Carbide accident, painfully demonstrate the worst case scenarios when machinery fails. Most plants will never face events of this scale, but when everything’s at stake, even the little things matter. Pressure gauges may not be top of mind but a broken or damaged gauge can lead to loss of containment, fire, explosion, and hefty clean-up costs, all of which hurt profitability. Therefore, preventing pressure gauge failure is of critical importance. The simplest solution is the proper use and installation of pressure gauge accessories.

Why Pressure Gauges Fail
Many times there is no known reason or no data available regarding the failure of a gauge, but there are seven known factors that cause pressure gauges to fail:

  • Excessive mechanical vibration
  • Pulsation or rhythmical vibrations that alternately increase and decrease
  • Temperatures that exceed the prescribed tolerances
  • Spikes in maximum pressure that exceed the norm
  • Corrosion by media that gradually erodes metal parts
  • Clogging of the gauge with foreign matter
  • Mishandling by installing the wrong gauge or improper installation

While smart companies recognize that they can’t prevent every gauge from failing, they can add the appropriate pressure gauge accessories to optimize the performance of their instruments.

Five Solutions to the Rescue

Depending on the process, five pressure gauge accessories can help reduce the risk of failure, extend the life of the gauge, and maximize equipment performance.
needle valve can isolate the pressure gauge from the measured fluid or can help dampen pressure pulsation.
mini-siphon protects gauges from harmful steam, vapors and liquids. The high temperature steam condenses in the siphon, which prevents the steam from damaging the more sensitive parts within the gauge. Some mini-siphons offer an inner chamber to reduce pressure surges.
An overpressure protector protects gauges from excessive or damaging spikes in pressure in reactors or boilers when spikes and surges exceed the rated capacity of the instrument.
Pressure pulsation can be deflected through the use of a snubber, which dampens oscillations to simplify reading of pressure. Needle valves also ensure the pressure gauge is isolated from the pressure medium and potentially damaging pulsation.

Thermowells provide protection for mechanical and electrical thermometers deployed in process streams, and help mitigate harmful corrosion, abrasion, temperature, pressure and turbulence. Whether protecting from extreme hot or cold temperatures or high pressure conditions, thermowells shield the thermometer from external conditions.

Small Measures Produce Large Returns

Taking the preventative step of ensuring that your gauges are appropriately protected helps ensure optimal gauge performance, which means that critical production stays on schedule.

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