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Using the latest technologies can help reduce production costs and increase productivity, but it can also raise one or two new problems that in turn require new technological developments to solve them.
Take, for example, high efficiency diesel engines. Contamination from the ingress of water is often more problematic in diesel engines than in petrol engines.
The subsequent corrosion can cause serious damage to the injection pump and injectors. Diesel engines require fine fuel filters and water traps to alert operators when there is too much water in the trap, so that it can be drained before the engine is damaged. This is a particular issue for high efficiency engines, especially modern ones, where moisture in the form of condensation is a common problem.
The good thing about problems is that they generate solutions that can be applied not only to the problem in question but beyond.
For example, the problems of early level measurement - once limited to tools such as the sight glass, which were somewhat vulnerable to failure, especially in the presence of hazardous process materials – have been addressed by some significantly more advanced components based on a variety of principles.
One is the conductivity sensor, which detects the level of water in fuel and lubricating oil. Gems Sensors & Controls’recent contribution to the development of conductivity sensing is the WIF-1250, a no-moving-parts solution for use in high efficiency diesel engines, as well as diesel fuel storage tanks and compressor crank cases.
The WIF-1250 contains integral, high-temperature-rated electronics that generate an alternating voltage to a probe tip. The presence of water completes the circuit, which, in turn, changes the condition of the transistor output. The output options of the sensor can be used to actuate relays, indicator lights or LEDs, as well as to interface with CMOS/TTL logic, PLCs or microprocessors.
Historically, the presence of water in fuel would have more likely been discovered after some damage had been done, whereas the Gems solution cuts the inefficiency in high efficiency engines.