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3b Basic Instrument Symbols[1]

3b Basic Instrument Symbols[1]

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10/27/2010

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E. Osakue1
BASIC INSTRUMENT SYMBOLS
Introduction
Instruments are critical components in piping systems because they are needed to ensure smooth flow offluid and maintain desired production levels. They are used to monitor and control parameters like flow rate,pressure and temperature. They sense, transmit, indicate, record or control these parameters. An instrumentmust detect a change in a parameter like temperature, pressure or flow to be useful. This change isconverted into a signal like current or voltage that is calibrated for interpretation. Often there is the need tochange a signal from one energy form to another. For example, a current signal may have to be converted toa pressure signal or verse versa. A transducer is used for this application. Fig. 1 shows some instruments ina pipe run. Several instruments may be mounted on a pipe branch. Instruments shown include flow valves,pressure valves and gauges, thermometers, level indicators, etc.Fig. 1 Pipe run instrumentationIn instrumentation diagrams standard symbols are used. Complete industry standard for instrumentssymbols and lettering abbreviations are in the controlled document ANSI/ISA-5.1.
Common Process Variables
The common process variables are:
Analysis (A): Analyzer function
Flow (F): Volume flow rate measure
Level (L): Capacity measure
Pressure (P): Operating pressure
Temperature (T): Operating temperature
Instrument Types and Symbols
The common types of instruments in piping processes are:
Gauge (G): Measures level or value of a variable
Alarm (A): Signals (light or sound) when variable value is out of range
Indicator (I): Indicates level or value of a variable
Recorder (R): Records level or value of a variable
Controller (C): Uses variable signal level to control instrument
 
E. Osakue2
Perhaps valves are the most common type of instruments in piping systems. They are used to isolateequipment and piping devices, regulate flow, prevent backflow, regulate and relieve pressure. Popular valvesare gate, globe and control valves. Knife valves are similar to gate valves but occupy smaller space, weighless and cost less. The five process parameters of flow, level, pressure, temperature, and analysis havespecial instruments that are designed to sense and monitor them. The sensing instruments or sensors arecalled primary elements such as flow element (FE), pressure element (PE), temperature element (TE), levelelement (LE), and analyzer or analysis element (AE). Gauges measure the pressure, temperature or liquidlevel in equipment. Indicators display the level of process parameters. Recorders record the level of processparameters while controllers are used to activate other devices so as to maintain a specific level of a processparameter. Alarms produce light or sound signals when operating levels of process parameters are too highor too low. They are also activated when there is no flow or a back flow occurs. Also instrument indicators,such as pressure (PI), temperature (TI), volume flow (FI), and volume level (LI) are very vital for operatingpiping systems. They may be mounted directly on the pipe branch or on a central panel.Fig. 2a Instrument symbolsFig. 2b Instrument symbols
 
E. Osakue3
Fig. 2c Instrument symbolsProcess flow diagrams and piping drawings show instruments using symbols. Instrument symbols arecombinations of balloons, lines, letters, and numbers. Balloons are basic shapes such as circles, pentagons,etc. used to enclose the letters and numbers of instrument symbols. The circle is the most popular balloon. Asingle circle indicates a stand-alone instrument. Touching balloons mean the instruments share a commonhousing. Other shapes often modify the circle. Balloons indicate a) location, b) accessibility, c) generalcharacteristics such as shared or discrete mounting, or computerized. The American National StandardsInstitute (ANSI) and The Instrument Society of America publish the complete industry standard for instrumentsymbols and lettering abbreviations in the controlled document ANSi/ISA-S5.1 and ISO 14617-6. Fig. 3shows common balloons associated with instrument symbols.Fig. 3 Instrument and mounting

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