Process Control Safety Case Study: Fluid Catalyst Cracker Explosion

A case study of the 2018 Husky Energy refinery explosion in Superior, WI. This animated video recaps the events and circumstances leading up to an explosion starting in the Fluid Catalyst Cracker (FCC). The key factor was an eroded sliding gate valve that allowed a protective layer of reactor catalyst to leave it's containment area. This allowed air and hydrocarbon to blend, forming a combustible mixture, and setting the stage for a chain reaction of events. This video, courtesy of the Chemical Safety Board ( is an excellent educational reference and should be viewed by engineering, maintenance, and plant management personnel everywhere.

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Instrument Valves: The Difference Between a Rotating One Piece Stem and a Non-Rotating Two Piece Stem

Process instrument valves are used with devices such as pressure measurement transmitters, gauges, and switches to isolate the device from the process media for replacement, calibration, and maintenance. Instrument valves are combined together and assembled into block and bleed manifolds combing multiple valves into a single body configuration, with each valve having a separate external connection and a common internal connection.

A critical component to the instrument valve is the valve stem. The stem positions the stem point into the orifice and against the valve seat to control flow and to isolate the process.


A rotating one piece valve stem rotates and translates along its axis as it is being driven axially into the orifice. The rotational motion of a one piece stem can produce friction as the stem interacts with the seating area, which could result in galling at the seating surface. This is less of an issue in a soft seat valve or if the media provides lubrication.

A non-rotating two piece stem tip rotates independently from the stem and stops rotating as it is driven axially against the orifice sealing surface while the stem continues its rotational and axial movement.

For more information about process instrumentation valves and valve manifolds, contact Advance Instruments. Call them at (888) 388-6446 or visit their web site at

PVC Flow Meters for Water and Corrosive Applications

PVC Flow MetersPolyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer and is chemically resistant to acids, salts, bases, fats, and alcohols.

Orange Research manufactures a line of PVC flow meters and PVC switches for water and corrosive liquids applications with wetted parts of PVC and Teflon. They’re perfect for difficult environments where aluminum, stainless steel or brass is not appropriate.

Their models 2221 and 2321 variable area PVC flow meters handle flow ranges from 0-1 to 0-10 GPM. The PVC bodies handle up to 200 psi pressures. Alternatively, metal pressure bodies with PVC and Teflon wetted parts are available and can handle up to 3000 psi line pressures.

These flow meters also include dials made from durable ABS plastic and offer switches (to alert users of alarm conditions) as a standard option. Transmitters are also available upon request. Accuracy is 2% F.S. and each unit is calibrated to NIST standards.

For more information, contact Advance Instruments. Call them at (888) 388-6446 or visit their Orange Research website page here.

High Accuracy, High Speed, Muti-drop Temperature Controllers with Universal Input

The Fuji Electric PFX Series of 1/4 DIN, 1/8 DIN, and 1/16 DIN temperature controllers provide precise control with very fast response times. The controller includes universal input (RTD, thermocouple, voltage/current), outputs include relay contact, SSR drive output, current output (linear), Voltage output (linear), motorized valve control output, analog re-transmission output (voltage), analog re-transmission output (current), heater burnout alarm output, operating days alarm, and alarm/event contact output (DO).  Control modes include On/Off control, PID control, fuzzy control, 2-degrees-of-freedom PID control, open-loop supported PID2 control, self tuning, ramp soak function, heating/cooling control, and motorized valve control.

Advance Instruments is your source for all Fuji Electric instrumentation and control products in Western Maryland, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. They can be reached by calling (888) 388-6446 or by visiting their web site at

Happy Holidays from Advance Instruments

"This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!"    D.M. Dellinger

Process Control Safety Case Study: Fluid Catalyst Cracker Explosion

A case study of the 2018 Husky Energy refinery explosion in Superior, WI. This animated video recaps the events and circumstances leading...