It is an unfortunate truth that whether through negligence or simply ignorance of proper, safe operating practices, hundreds — perhaps thousands, depending on scale — of accidents occur annually in industrial facilities. While the root causes often can be traced to faulty equipment, improper installation and maintenance, and to human error, among other reasons, the costs in terms of lost production, facility damage, injured personnel (or worse), downtime and financial losses are real.

Adding specific equipment such as leak detection can help ensure a safe, effective working environment. In his article, “Guidelines for Effective Gas Leak Detection,” Matt Thiel of Bacharach, New Kensington, Pa., describes the role of point detection, area monitoring or perimeter monitoring. Key elements of an effective leak detection plan include knowing the properties of the monitored gases, the environment you are monitoring, the appropriate coverage area of each sensor, and required sensor maintenance.

Also in this issue, Mark DiMaggio of Linde North America, Murray Hill, N.J., looks at how cryogenic technology is being used to improve quality, efficiency and productivity. Production improvements combined with a reduction in product loss yield hard and soft benefits for food processors. Whether downstream or in the freezing process, reducing losses can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on high volume processes, DiMaggio notes.

Keeping cold processes at the proper temperatures requires accurate temperature measurement and control. In “How to Reduce Warranty Costs Attributed to Temperature Sensors,” Carrie Mayer of Quality Thermistor Inc., Boise, Idaho, notes that  failed temperature sensors are among the top five drivers for warranty costs in refrigeration systems. A three-pronged approach can help refrigeration system makers avoid warranty repairs due to failed sensors.

 Other articles in this issue include a case study on aloe processing, tips on fans for equipment and space cooling, and advice about air-operated, double-diaphragm pumps.