ParrNotes Newsletter Vol.2 No.2


A Quarterly Newsletter of Parr Instrument Company | June Edition 2015 | Vol. 2 No. 2

Welcome to ParrNotes

We are happy to bring you the latest edition of ParrNotes. We are thankful to the various members of our staff who have contributed to our newsletters. The breadth of contributors brings different experiences and perspectives to share with you on Parr products. For the first time with this issue, we have incorporated help from a dealer’s perspective. We appreciate Wojciech Ostapkowicz, a Service Technician from Parr GmbH, for his contribution to the Service Tips section of this issue.

I’d like to encourage more of you to share your expertise by submitting an article for inclusion or making suggestions for topics you would feel helpful for other dealers.

I look forward to seeing many of you at ACHEMA and hearing how things are going in each of your markets.

Jim Nelson
President & Chief Operating Officer


Features and Benefits
Service Tips
Technology Update
Controller Section
Application Awareness
Parr Team Member Focus
Upcoming Events

Features and Benefits

High Pressure Window Options

Integral Round Window
Integral Round Window

Parr offers a variety of windows for our pressure vessels. When choosing windows it is helpful to know the limitations for each window style.

Our integral round windows are the highest pressure/highest temperature option. Domestically these windows can be rated 5000 psi @ 350 °C when the flexible graphite sealing design is used. Internationally, the pressure or temperature can be severely limited based on the certification needed for the vessel assembly so it is important to supply us with any certification needs when a vessel includes windows.

We offer integral oblong windows for our vessels too. These windows are typically used when a customer is interested in seeing inside the vessel to check a liquid level, for example. The oblong windows are typically rated 1900 psi @ 225 °C and are only offered with an O-ring seal.

Both fused silica and sapphire round windows are available. For these round windows, fused silica allows rating only to 3000 psi, but is significantly less costly than sapphire.

O-ring seals are most commonly requested, though their presence limits temperature rating to 225 °C or less, depending on O-ring material.

Oblong Window
Integral Oblong Window

Chemical compatibility is also an area of concern for the O-ring material chosen; therefore, it is imperative that you make the customer aware of the material offered and have them check the compatibility. This chemical compatibility concern is similar to the MOC (Material of Construction) choice for the alloy chosen for the vessel assembly itself.

We typically recommend that windows are installed in pairs. One of the windows is the viewing window while the other window lets light inside the vessel to illuminate the interior of the vessel. If a customer requests only one window, please make them aware that the vessel contents might not be visible without the second window.

We can also supply custom window bodies; however, the options come with limited pressures (<1000 psi, typically). These lower pressure windows can be added to our pressure vessels using a welded body and can often have a larger viewing area.

If you are interested in learning more about our window options please review Tech Note 227 – Windows. Alternatively, you could contact one of our knowledgeable sales representatives for a quote or more information.

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Service Tips

Misfire Condition – What to do?!

Misfire Error Message

Like most laboratory equipment, Calorimeters need care and maintenance. Dust and chemicals can damage these devices easily.

After using Parr Calorimeters for some time customers may experience a problem with misfire conditions. Often this is a problem with the sample preparation as the cotton thread may be wet or it may not be touching the sample. But sometimes it may derive from a mechanical problem.

When experiencing such a problem, there are few things that can be done to determine the source of the misfire.

The user should first check what has happened inside the bomb to produce the failure message.

Is the cotton thread still hanging on the heating wire(1) or is it gone(2)? Is the sample intact or is it partially burned(3)?

  1. If the cotton thread is still intact and is attached securely on the heating wire, there might be an electrical problem. This means there was no ignition and the sample has not been combusted.
    • The user should check the contacts on the top of the bomb head and clean them well. Also check the heating wire, screws, and electrodes for corrosion.
    • The connection cables should be checked whether they are still ok up to the ignition capacitor.
  2. If the cotton thread is gone or lying on the sample there is a problem with the oxygen supply. This means there was very little oxygen inside the bomb.
    • The user should check the connections of the oxygen supply to ensure proper connections.
    • Verify that oxygen is flowing from filling connection by using the diagnostics.
    • Check for leaks in the bomb seals.
  3. If the sample is partially burned, there was a problem with the oxygen pressure inside the bomb.
    • The user should check the setting on the pressure regulator on the oxygen tank or line. This may have been caused by a slow leak, so the seals should also be checked and replaced if leaking.

This is just a simple troubleshooting guide for the most common origins of misfire errors. Most of them can be solved easily by reconnecting the lines, installing the right parameters or just replacing the smaller parts.

If you still experience a problem with firing your sample after checking the points mentioned above feel free to contact us.

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Technology Update

Solidworks / eDrawings Viewer

eDrawings Viewer Display

Many of you have received 3-D eDrawings of our equipment to help visualize our custom designs. As part of our efforts to keep our design tools current, Parr has recently updated to the latest version of SolidWorks’ CAD software. This change has required an update for the eDrawings Viewer software as well.

Anyone wishing to view new eAssemblies (those created after March 1st, 2015) will have to upgrade to the current viewer. Details explaining the software update, hardware requirements, and instructions to download the latest eDrawings Viewer are described in our What's New in Solidworks / eDrawings Viewer 2015 document.

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Controller Section

Honeywell HC900 Update in 4871 Process Controllers

4871 Process Controller

Since its inception in 2003, the Honeywell HC900 controller has been utilized in the Parr Instrument Company 4871 Process Controller.

In the third quarter of 2014, Honeywell released a new version of the HC900 controller (updating from version 4.4 to version 6.0). The primary reason for this new release was to introduce their HC900 systems dedicated to safety applications such as burner management systems (BMS), emergency shutdown systems (ESD), fire & gas monitoring, pipeline monitoring, spill prevention, etc. for SIL-2 certification. Although Parr has not manufactured equipment used for these purposes, some changes were necessary to accommodate the new hardware.

Three hardware changes will affect all forthcoming 4871 Controllers: I/O slot racks, CPUs, and I/O scanner cards (I/O scanner cards are used only on large custom systems). Power supplies, I/O modules and terminal blocks will not change. The hardware changes will be virtually transparent to the end users of the 4871 Controllers with the exception that the RS-232 serial connection has been replaced by an RS-485 serial connection. To accommodate this change, all 4871 Controllers are now issued with a USB to RS-485 converter (Parr part number 2168E).

As with the hardware, both Honeywell Process Control Designer Software (formerly named Hybrid Control Designer) and Process Control Utilities Software (formerly named Hybrid Control Utilities) were also upgraded from version 4.4 to version 6.0. Both Process Control Designer and Process Control Utilities can be used to establish communication with the HC900 controller and modify the IP address to accommodate end user networks, create set point profiles (for ramp/soak programming) and create recipes. The Process Control Designer Software can also be used to make changes to the logic function blocks, whereas the Process Control Utilities Software can only view the logic.

With the release of the new hardware, Honeywell stopped issuing the configuration software (Hybrid Control Designer) as a bundled package with each CPU. In order to keep prices as low as possible, we have decided to include the Process Control Utilities Software with all 4871 Process Controllers. The Process Control Designer Software is available (Parr part number 2293E2) at an additional cost for the rare instance where a dealer or customer plans to modify the logic function blocks.

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Application Awareness

Accuracy and Precision

Parr’s technical staff is often asked for the accuracy ratings of the sensors and measuring devices used in our standard Reactor lines. It’s easy to get hung up on accuracy ratings, but what is commonly overlooked is the precision of the measuring devices. This article will explain accuracy and precision.

Refer to the target illustration below that shows the relation between accuracy and precision.

Accuracy is the amount a measurement can deviate from a standard or real value. In the illustration the center of the target represents the real value. The blue dots represent measurements taken that have very high accuracy as the measurements only slightly deviate from the real value.

Precision refers to the repeatability of multiple measurements relative to each other. The red dots represent measurements that are off center of the target, but multiple measurements reveal very consistent results.

In the illustration the maximum deviation (outermost ring) represents the rated accuracy. If a 3000 psig pressure transducer has a ±1% full scale accuracy rating, the measured value can have a deviation of as much as 30 psig relative to the real value with the transducer still being within its rated accuracy limits. However, the precision of the measurements can consistently be within 1 or 2 psig as long as there are no significant environmental changes. To maintain both precise and accurate measurements it is important that sensors and measuring devices are not exposed to significant environmental changes, especially changes in ambient temperature.

In research, the precision of the measurement is often more valuable than the accuracy of the measurement. For example, when testing the performance of different catalysts, often reproducing consistent temperature and/or pressure measurements is more paramount than knowing the absolute value. While some customers may seek measuring devices that have uncommonly high accuracy, these devices are typically very expensive and have limited availability. Many times the customer is quite satisfied with an explanation that, when used properly, all of Parr’s standard measuring devices are of high precision.

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Parr Team Member Focus

We have been fortunate to have three new members join our Parr Sales and Customer Service Team recently. We hope you enjoy working with them as much as we do.

Sarah Varan, Technical Sales

Sarah Varan

Sarah was born and raised in southwest Germany where she worked for BASF for four years. After coming to the United States, Sarah earned a chemical engineering degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

In October of 2014, Sarah joined Parr as part of our Technical Sales Team. What she likes most about her job is the variety in inquiries and finds it very interesting to see what our products are used for in many different industries.

Sarah also enjoys the team she gets to work with. She loves that the people at Parr don’t shy away from a challenge, and that they always take the time out of their day to offer their help, offer an opinion or provide an answer to the many questions our business generates.

Ashlee Lopez, Customer Service Representative & Desktop Publishing Operator

Ashlee Lopez

Ashlee is from Davenport, Iowa and received a B.A in Communication from the University of Northern Iowa where she graduated Cum Laude.

Ashlee has been with Parr for almost 4 years and has recently become a member of the Sales Team. She provides customer service and maintains Parr’s extensive collection of operating instruction manuals.

One of the things Ashlee enjoys most about working at Parr is the variety of projects she works on and that there is always something new to learn. The wonderful people she works with are the icing on the cake.

Kevin Lucas, Technical Sales

Kevin Lucas

Kevin resides in Davenport, Iowa which has been his hometown for all of his life. He has been with Parr since 2001.

Before his move to the Sales Team, Kevin worked as one of our highly skilled special/custom reactor assemblers. Kevin’s extensive hands-on background with our products has been very beneficial as he has been able to translate that knowledge into helping our customers troubleshoot their existing equipment and for constructing quotations for new systems.

In addition to enjoying Parr’s team environment, Kevin enjoys having contact with our customers. He appreciates the new and interesting customer requests that require thought and creativity from Parr to provide the best system to meet their requirements.

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Upcoming Events

Parr Booth Display at ACS Spring show in Denver
Parr display at the ACS Spring show in Denver

24th North American Meeting of the Catalysis Society (NAM24)
June 14 – 19, 2015
Pittsburgh, PA
Look for: Parr U.S.A.

June 15 – 19, 2015
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Look for: Parr GmbH & Parr U.S.A.

ADHOC 2015: Symposium of the Activation of Dioxygen and Homogeneous Oxidation Catalysis
June 21 – 25, 2015
Madison, Wisconsin
Look for: Parr U.S.A.

Gold 2015 World Conference
July 26 – 29, 2015
Cardiff, Wales


Look for: Parr GmbH & Scientific & Medical

Lab Africa Exhibition
August 4 – 6, 2015
Johannesburg, South Africa
Look for: Labotec

250th ACS Fall National Meeting and Exposition
August 16 – 20, 2015
Boston, MA
Look for: Parr U.S.A.

XII European Congress on Catalysis ”Catalysis: Balancing the use of fossil and renewable resources”
August 30 – September 4, 2015
Kazan (Russia)
Look for: Parr GmbH & Parr U.S.A.

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