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Archive for the 'Industry Insights' Category

More of Your Questions Answered

Posted on July 12, 2019

We've updated our frequently asked questions with nine new entries.  Feel free to check out the new FAQs here.

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CDC Storage Temp Change

Posted on July 20, 2016

Shared by Madge tech, the CDC has changed the storage temperature for vaccines. The lower end of the range was increased from 35°F to 36°F, and prefers that the indication be displayed in °F.  The Madge tech article shares:  "The.CDC does stress, however, that all digital data loggers (DDLs) used for vaccine temperature monitoring should have their Fahrenheit temperature range and alarms reprogrammed to reflect the shift."  

That sounds like an important point.

 CDC Tool Kit

Here is the entire CDC Tool Kit Document - it's actually fascinating..


It may not seem that 1°F change will matter, but if the CDC is concerned enough to make a 1°F change in the recommendation, it would seem prudent that the sensor supports this level of system performance.  Burns Engineering agrees that the data loggers and readout devices be programmed appropriately as well as calibrated periodically.


The data confidence is only as good as the measurement provided.  The Engineers at Burns strongly recommends that the sensors in the system be verified periodically to ensure consistent performance and confidence in the recorded data.  Here is a Technical Paper regarding RTD Periodic Verification and a second paper with a few insights on Installation to Reduce Errors.  


If the CDC is concerned about 1°F, your confidence needs to be based on 0.25°F.  This is achievable with wise sensor selection, installation techniques, and verification methods.



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Internet of Things - IoT

Posted on April 5, 2016

Internet - Connected to Life

IoT, IIoT, etc.; a fascinating revolution in the world of industrial data accessibility and knowledge. 


An explosion of 'bandwagon riders' are integrating nearly every device, system and communication method with nearly every byte of available information. 

Knowledge - immediate knowledge - is power and confidence.  Or is it?? 


Certainly this IoT tidal-wave will enable access to more information than ever before so assessments, analysis and decisions can be implemented immediately with the results delivered to your smart phone for instant feedback.  This is truly amazing! 


Lots of Data

You may have heard the same phrase that I recall from my days of old when card stacks were used to program computers, (yep, that was a long time ago)

"Garbage in - Garbage out"

The Burns mantra related to this transformational trend, IoT, is "Confidence in - Confidence out".  The team at Burns Engineering is truly energized by the IoT juggernaut that is happening in the world.   We are humbled and ecstatic about our critical contribution to IoT.  All the data in the world, and the process industry can generate A LOT of data, is only as valuable as the level of confidence in the sources of the ‘Data’. 


It has always been core to the Burns Mission [To ensure temperature measurement confidence] as well as our Vision  [Make a difference through Temperature Measurement Expertise] to provide the most appropriate sensor and guidance on installation to achieve a measurement that truly represents the actual process being measured. (Available Technical Papers)  Burns Engineering is  ready for the IoT, IIoT, PIoT (personal), xIoT (TBD), and every other variant.  We promise to stay committed to ensuring that the temperature data provided through our sensors is data the IoT oriented process engineers can take confident action on and trust the results.


Here are a couple of articles recently in the swirl that provide an interesting look at the IoT phenomenon.

Post by Control Global | Post by Accredent |Posted by SensorsMag (security) | IoT World Event


Jump on and enjoy the confidence and the swirl.

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Temperature Matters in Brewing Success

Posted on November 3, 2014

Our friends at Steel Toe Brewing shared with us how temperature measurement in thier process helps in their brewing success.  Learn all about it.

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CE Authorized for use in the EU - Series A

Posted on September 11, 2013

a01.jpgThe Burns Engineering Series A RTDs have been self certified as complying with the European Parliament Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).  Consequently the CE mark has been applied to the Burns Engineering Series A product for compliance to directive 2011/65/EU.  No other "New Approach" directives were found to apply.


The Series A products have been self certified for European Parliament Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety.


The CE mark applies to All the Series A models


See the Series A catalog for product details.


See the Series A Instruction Manual.



European Parliament Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).


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Measuring the Actual Process Temperature

Posted on August 27, 2013

True - Any sensor will measure temperature.


False - The measurement always represents the process actual temperature.


We have proven time after time that the sensor selection and the interface of the sensor with the process will turn a measurement into a confident measurement.  Which would you like?


Recent tests on stem conduction, specifically at very cold temperatures, reinforced our commitment to discussing the installation with our customers.


Don't be fooled by the specifications as they are typically only to compare sensor designs based on tests in the laboratory according to ASTM or IEC.  Be aware that these standards define stem conduction differently.




What really matters??  The details of the installation.  Various solution options exist to ensure confidence in the measurement at the temperatures you are concerned about....   even when the target immersion is a challenge.


Contact Burns Application Engineering:  info(at) or leave a comment / question.  We'd love to discuss your situation!!

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E. Coli - A Curse and a Blessing!?!

Posted on August 20, 2013

Here is an article about how E. Coli is used in Biotech research and development. bpr_20.gif E. Coli in DNA Cloning Also Read about "Clean E. Coli" - a modified version that does not cause a response in humans.lucigen-logo.jpgcleancoli.png CleanColi™ info from Lucigen® Fascinating! The Food industry works hard to eliminate E. Coli and the BioTech industry embraces E. Coli.

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Food Safety - Temperature matters!

Posted on August 15, 2013

The food industry is challenged with bacteria that evolves as fast as the processes to manage them.  Listeria and Salmonella, the 2 big challenges, not to mention E. Coli, are changing and becoming more heat and chemical resistant.



The result is biofilms that grow quickly and are tougher to eradicate.  The treatment approaches gaining ground are enzyme based chemical that breakdown the biofilm and help expose the bacteria so that the cleaners and sanitizers can work their magic.  The belief is that sanitization is about 95% effective.  It is good that the human intestinal system can deal with that possibility of 5%.


The food industry works hard to keep their facilities and systems clean - from the loading dock to the processing equipment.


We have learned that the cleaners and sanitizers work best within a temperature range specified by the manufacturers.  Enzymes are most effective between 120°F and 150°F.  The sterilization process typically involves steam at ~~ 250°F.  Sterilization is more costly to perform, although with accurate temperature monitoring to insure saturation, it is the only process that is 100% effective.


Thank you to the Food Processors for their diligence and dedication to these important processes and cleaning regiments - we as consumers truly appreciate your efforts...

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Autoclave Temperature Measurement

Posted on July 29, 2013


The Autoclave processing environment can present an interesting set of challenges.

  • Is the drain measurement representative of the load?
  • Is the load uniformly heated?
  • How many wall penetrations are required to insure proper processing?
  • Large chambers required to sanitize large items create sensor cables routed in may places.

From Autoclave as small as those used in a dental office or hospital, to systems large enough to laminate airplane wings, the challenges present themselves in many ways.  The team at Burns have frequent conversations about the issues as they related to the measurement need with multiple autoclave users.


See earlier post about the Autoclave load measurement challenges.


Each of these systems present unique challenges including access into the chamber, confined or complex maintenance access, and measurement at the point of highest interest; on the actual item(s) being processed.


We have responded to these concerns with several products designed for this exact environment.  The SA series of Autoclave instruments are water tight, durable and built for the demands of multiple Autoclave systems.  See the entire Autoclave family.

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Engineers Week - Celebrate Awesome!

Posted on February 20, 2013

eweek-2013.pngIt's Engineers Week!  How are you recognizing the Engineers in your life?

Visit the Official eWeek site  - View National eWeek presentation

The Engineers at Burns are serving Temperature Measurements across the globe in processes from BioPharma to Cocoa bean roasting.  It is the reason we focus on the measurement, and design, create and discover new and effective measurement products.  We know that when we participate in these processes, the success our customers realize comes back to us as safe food for our families, effective medications, safe tires, luscious chocolate, and affordable energy for our homes.  It's just that important. 


Personally - Burns provides sensors and measurement insights to the company that produces the drug for Multiple Sclerosis, and since I have a family member with MS it is crittcal that we do a very good job helping this company do their best - it's personal!


Recognize the Engineers in your life for their contribution to your health, comfort and simple pleasures. 


Happy Engineers Week!  If you are an Engineer reading this - Thank You for all you do for me and all the people in your life!

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RTD Performance - Periodic Verification?

Posted on November 14, 2012

YES!   It can be as easy as measuring the resistance in a container of ice water. (you don't need a Triple Point of Water Cell.)ice-bath-a.JPG We have discovered too many times that sensors are installed in systems that experience a combination of temperature cycling, over temp excursions, vibration, high flow rates and /or just left unattended for years.  In many cases this is not a concern based on the requirements of the measurement.  Although, if these influences exists and the expectation is to be confident that the measurement represents the actual process media temperature, periodic verification can ensure that confidence. tech-papers.jpg This paper titled:  Developing a Periodic Performance Verification Program  for Platinum Resistance Thermometers, will help you understand the importance, and provide some guidance on how to establish a verification approach that is right for your application. Visit the Burns Website Technical Papers page - register/sign-in to access ALL the papers.  This set of papers provides an in-depth study of the source of error,  the cost of measurement error, and how to manage the multiple influences on the measurement. Our Mission is Your Measurement! We believe that any sensor will provide a measurement, although if the influences that exist in the application are not managed or planned for, that measurement may not represent the actual process temperature. If you would like to discuss your application to ensure measurement confidence in your operation - call or send a note.  Here is our contact information.

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National Engineers Week

Posted on February 20, 2012

eweek2.jpgBurns is proud of the Engineering work that we do to support our customers success! eweek3.jpg


Give an Engineer in your life a pat on the back for their contribution to a better, safer and cleaner world.eweek1.jpg


As part of National Engineers Week there are several event taking place around the country - World.  Here are a few links...





ASME eWeek events


2012 eWeek Video


Engineers Week Foundation

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Test and released an article on how NIST is making strides in research that "...would then redefine the Kelvin...".  This is advancement in the understanding temperature at an atomic level.  nist.jpg


NIST is striving for measurement uncertainties of 5ppm or less., (that is 0.000005 degrees)   "...a level of precision that would help update crucial underpinnings of science, including the definition of the Kelvin, the international unit of temperature. "


 Read the article..  Amazing!


Burns may not have this device available on our website for a long time, but the research is fascinating and, well, you never know.....


Check it out and let us know what you think about the work at NIST.

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Engineers Week; Feb. 20-26

Posted on February 18, 2011

eweek_logo_2011.jpgGeeky, strange, detailed, or rigid?  Whatever you think, true or un-true, Engineers do change the world.  From NASA to Disney to Burns, Engineers help make things better and enjoyable for everyone.  Here are the  Engineers Week activities in Minnesota.eweek-anniversary.png


Celebrating 60 years, here are the activities at a National Level .


Grab this POSTER to celebrate with your favorite Engineers!


What are you doing for eWeek?  Share by leaving a comment.

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Mercury in Glass - a thing of the past.

Posted on February 16, 2011

nist.jpgRead this important message from NIST:


No more Calibration of Mercury Thermometers (MiG).


 In the big picture, this is necessary to help build momentum to STOP the use of these devices.  There are a lot of reasons they are in place, but the Mercury risk to the environment is too great.


FYI - Burns can help provide an RTD based instrument to replace the MiG.


Send a note to, we'll help you find a better solution.

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RTDology-Improving Existing Measurements

Posted on February 15, 2011

rtdology_mast.jpgNO Cost consultation for improving existing temperature measurements.  The session is TODAY, Wed., Feb 16 at Noon central time.


Join the session:  Register here!


Can't particapate in the session?  Send a note to: and we'll let you know when the session will be offered again.

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Interesting device; Cool-Tel

Posted on September 30, 2010

This interesting device - Cool-Tel - was shared on the Linked-In Temperature Measurement group.  Just had to share it with everyone else...   cool-tel.pngWatch the fun video, check out the FAQ's and grab the User Guide.  ...another fascinating temperature instrument - this one from the UK.

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Temperature and RH in Mirco Device

Posted on September 22, 2010

Tiny Temp & RHThought this was fascinating.  Temperature and Relative Humidity in a 3mm by 3mm package, from Sensirion.  See the product highlight on and visit Sensirion website for more info.


Temperature accuracy is over a narrow range, but 0.3°C is pretty good if that is your range of concern.

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Corrosive Environment? Measurement Solved!

Posted on September 8, 2010

ALL Burns Application NotesThere are those applications where it seems like the solution is going to be expensive and difficult to solve.


Warning! Corrosive


Measuring the temperature of a corrosive media could be an example.  Unless...  Here is a quick and cost effective idea.  See Application note  A100823.

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ASME-BPE Code Week

Posted on September 2, 2010

ASME BPE Code Week page October 11 - 14 Raleigh North Carolina - check out the educational line up and the BPE meeting activities;  Code Week Schedule.


ASME-BPE logoThe BPE committees will be in full swing driving toward the 2012 release of the BPE standard.  Several of the BPE committee participants are presenting in Raleigh - in conjunction with Code Week....Read a couple of the workshop Abstracts.


Marc Pelletier on Single use systems


David Marks on BioBurden Control

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Chilling concept from biocision.

Posted on September 1, 2010

Burns provides various sensors to monitor temperature-sensitive biologics, vaccines, and multitudes of other BioPharma substances.  Discovered in an article posted on Biotechdaily biotechdaily logo- an interesting device developed by BioCision that provides controlled freezing or thawing profiles and maintains constant temperature of vials and cryotubes.  Check out the Video-Mid pageCheck out the "cool" and funky video-Click on the coolcell video- mid-page..


Another innovation in temperature measurement and control in support of the critically important BioTech processes.

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BEnews- what’s it all about?

Posted on September 1, 2010


Welcome to BEnews!

BEnews offers insights and info about the Process Industries; Biotech, Food & Beverage, Energy, Chemical, to name a few.  Our focus is on temperature measurement throughout the various processes as well as other temperature related topics of intrigue.  The page will also share Burns Engineering activities, discoveries and innovations.rss-symbol.png


Click the RSS feed button and stay informed.


Read the ABOUT page for more background on BEnews.


Go ahead, scroll down, select a category or date and see the types of info available on BEnews....  Enjoy!

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ISPE, Chapters across the Globe.

Posted on September 1, 2010



ISPE; the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (See about page) has local Chapters around the globe (Chapter list).


bioreactor RTDIn October Burns will be participating in the Product Show in Foxboro Mass. - an annual event for the Boston ISPE Chapter.  This event located in the Clubhouse of Gillette Stadium (great timing for the kick-off of football season) involves over 270 exhibitors and more than 1800 Pharma professionals.  Take a look at the agenda...

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Burns & ISA

Posted on August 20, 2010

Check out our listing in the ISA Directory.  Burns Listing  Click and scroll down a bit.


Learn more about ISA - click the logo below.

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Underwater RTD - ECO relevent

Posted on August 16, 2010

It's not too often you can say you proud to have something laying on the bottom of the lake or river - but we are.  The Burns Underwater RTD is helping several companies, that release water ("clean" water) back into the environment, monitor the effluent temperature.


Recently I discovered a BLOG posting ( where there was a debate of the importance of monitoring this process.  Check it out: Boulder's wastewater too hot for new Colorado rules - Boulder Daily Camera


It just seems to make sense to pay attention to the influence on the eco system.


What do you think?

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ASME-BPE in Exciting Montreal

Posted on June 16, 2010

The committee members are in Montreal CA writing, voting, discussing and planning; all driving toward the release of the 2012 BPE standard.  This will be the first time that a section on Process Instrumentation (PI) will be included.


Burns, in professional collaboration with good folks from Weed (Ultra), Anderson Instruments, Burkert and Rosemount, have been diligently working on the Temperature Sensor portion of the PI section of the standard.  We all appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the 2012 BPE Standard.


Montreal is a buzz with activity.  Not only are the BPE meetings in session, but also the ASME Bioprocess Seminars and Exhibition and a city wide music event, "Les Franco Folies De Montreal"The Folies in Montreal


6 band shells, a different local group every hour, great music - all in French! and huge crowds.View from my Hotel window


Exciting times in Montreal.  Also toss in the MANIC excitement of the World Cup and this place is hopping.

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World Accreditation Day!

Posted on June 7, 2010

Lab Code 200607-0Burns Engineering is proud to be an Accredited Calibration Lab.  On June 9th Burns will join approximately 35000 other accredited labs in celebrating their role in facilitation of World Trade.


ILAC, International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation was formalized in 2001 to provide "significant technical underpinning to international trade". accday_thumb12.jpg


Here is "the full story" about World Accreditation Day.  Read this article: "Why use an accredited Lab" as well as "The benefits of using an Accred. Lab".


Print a copy of the World Accreditation Day flyer to add to your celebration, or just hang it in you office in support of the DAY recognizing the importance of accurate measurement on International Commerce.


Share you thoughts on this important cooperation - comment below.

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May 20th, World Metrology Day

Posted on May 20, 2010

nist1.jpgWorld Metrology Day was established to recognize the importance of consistency of measurement around the world to support global commerce.  Here is what NIST is doing to celebrate and recognized the day.


Other information about this important day, click here.


The overall effort of metrology influences everyone every day.  How have you been helped by the effort to ensure global measurement consistency?  Comment below.


Looking for the May Calendar Challenge? Click here.

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3-A SSI Annual Meeting

Posted on May 12, 2010



The 3-A organization is meeting in Milwaukee Wisconsin.   The meetings and educational programs strive to document best practices and guidelines for the Dairy Industry as well as overall Food and Beverage related processes.


Burns will be there - participating in the P3-A and 3-A SSI Educational programs and the Work Group 7 discussions.


Take a look at the agenda for Work group 7 which addresses Instruments and Connections.




Curious about the 3-A Sanitary Standards organization?  Check out the 3-A web site.


Watch for updates during the sessions on BEnews or follow me on Twitter at BECJB.

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RTDology: RTD Accuracy I

Posted on May 6, 2010

The Study of TemperatureRegister NOW -- for the first session on RTD Accuracy.  Bill Bergquist, Burns Sr. Applications Engineer will kick off the complex, yet critical topic of RTD Accuracy with a discussion about the terminology and an overview of the error sources.


Don't miss this important start to the entire series.


Visit the RTDology page and sign up now for all 3 sessions - get them on your calendar and bring all the questions you have ever pondered regarding RTD accuracy.

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We asked our selves, "How do the sensors we provide help care for the earth?" Go Mother Nature


Save energy:  Every degree in temperature saved through better accuracy can save 437,824,800 BTUs of energy annually. (Which equates to about $8,980 in electrical usage)  See the analysis.


We monitor natural gas pipelines with an array of sensors to help identify leaks-early-to reduce gas loss and wasted energy in pumping.


We monitor cooling water discharge into rivers and lakes to ensure minimal environmental effects.  See the Application Note  Clean-clear water for the Walleyes


We are currently working on a sensor to monitor the temperature of Solar panels mounted on roof tops.


Burns sensors monitor Thermal Oxidizers at Ethanol plants to help reduce VOC emissions. See the Application Note


little green frog


We provided sensors to a foundry to control the exhaust stack fan speed based on the stack temperature - saving energy.


We have place digital indicators in locations in the field at various processing plants to provide a local indication and help maintenance workers improve control of the systems. See the Application Note


We have RTDs supporting 134A refrigerant production as a replacement for Freon 12,   Reducing Ozone depletion.Wind and Air


Wow!  Proud to know we are caring for the environment especially today; Earth Day!


How are you helping?  Leave a comment.

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Designed-in Flexibility

Posted on April 2, 2010

Another Burns Application Note!  A100317


This one is all about designing for flexibility to support the application variations that make an off-the-shelf sensor fall short of serving the customers real-world needs.


That is our mission; Provide the measurement that meets the need, not just a sensor!


There are several others....  Click this logo and Check them out!


Burns Application Notes Page


Do you have a challenging application?  Leave a comment and tell us about it - We'll get on it!

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app-note-title.pngWeather proof and extreme temperatures; An industrial RTD and a creative installation approach.


Check out this Application note.




It's nearly a daily experience at Burns.  Send us your temperature measurement challenge.  The team loves that stuff!�

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National Engineers Week; (Eweek)

Posted on February 12, 2010

Mothers Day, Valentines Day, Presidents Day... eweek.jpg Finally Engineers Week, Feb. 14 to 20.  Seems fair to me.


Celebrations are taking place around the country and on Technical campuses everywhere.  ASME is offering it's members free electronic Eweek - eCards.  I've sent a few.  If you're an ASME member, share the love with your engineering friends.  Not an ASME member?  Then call your engineering friends and wish them a Happy Engineers Week.


Do something technical!  The engineers at Burns will be whooping it up, running tests, designing Sanitary RTDs, performing Accredited calibrations, sorting thru reams of data and all that fun engineering sort of stuff.


What are you doing for Engineers Week?  Comment below and share!

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ASME-BPE; Fascinating and Passionate.

Posted on February 9, 2010

In late January, the Committees developing the BPE Standard met in Puerto Rico working toward a publishing date in 2012.  That may seem like a long time, but given the publishing schedule, and the work identified to be complete, it's actually a bit scary.


The group continues to be passionate about this important guidance.  The 2012 version will be re-structured to make it more user friendly.  Moving portions of the content into other sections, for example, the information about sterility and clean-ability of instruments will move to the section on Process Instrumentation.  Similarly the info regarding clean seals will move to the Seals section.  The passion shows up when the team member, (all volunteers) that have spent years developing the entire section on sterility and clean-ability (SD, Sanitary Design) struggles to be comfortable with the relocation of this content.  They want to be sure that the same love and care is provided to this important information.  It's like sending your child off to college.  A combination of relief and anxiety.


The teams continue between gatherings to work on the development of the standard.  The next meeting is scheduled for June in Montreal.


I have the honor of leading the Task Group developing the Temperature Instrument part of the PI section (Process Instrumentation).  I appreciate the assistance of my colleagues from other Temperature Sensor manufacturers as well as the BioPharma product / process representatives.



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Interesting Applications

Posted on January 28, 2010

The Applications Engineers at Burns have all the fun.  They have daily conversations with folks around the world about fascinating temperature measurement challenges.  This Application Note is just another example.


See all our Application notes - Great lunchtime reading.


Thanks.  See anything interesting from your point of view?  Leave a comment.



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Always Curious - Temperature in Industry!

Posted on January 13, 2010

How deep does the interest in temperature measurement in the industry run at Burns Engineering?  So deep that Jan, Burns' Customer Service Representative, went on a tour of a Power Plant with her family.  Here is what she observed at the Coal Fired Power Plant.


I recently had a chance to tour a power plant and observe how coal is converted into energy to heat our homes, businesses etc.coal-electric-plant-2.png  To me the most interesting part of my tour was watching the coal cars being emptied.  The trains come in from Wyoming or Montana with 105 to 117 cars loaded with coal. Each car holds up to 120 tons. The cars are automatically pulled thru the plant and each car is completely turned over and emptied onto a conveyer where the coal is crushed to fine dust for burning. The long line of cars continue to move slowly thru the plant and each one is emptied one after the other.  As the coal is crushed, water is continuously sprayed over it to keep it compacted.  The plant burns coal at a rate of 30,000 tons every day; about 3 trainloads, or about 9 million tons a year. 


I was able to stand on the roof and look over the 4500 acres the plant is on.electric-plant-3.png   There is a 88 acre coal storage pile with a 40 to 45 day supply of crushed coal piled high for burning.  I saw the main control room, the boilers and the large equipment used to move piles of coal out in the yard.  There are 3 boilers, each more than 200 feet tall, that use about 3,335,000 gallons of water an hour to produce steam.  All 3 boilers combined,  burn more than 1300 tons of coal per hour.   This is quite an engineering marvel and if you ever get a chance to go thru a power plant I highly recommend.


Jan,  Burns Customer Service.

Thanks for sharing your story Jan!


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RTDology - Offers Answers!

Posted on January 7, 2010

rtdology.jpgThe next RTDology session is scheduled for January 14th.  Curious?  Visit the RTDology page.  Just want to register? Do it.  It will be worth it.


This session will be an highly interactive question and answer session with attendee participation, covering a variety of topics from common temperature measurement concerns to a few subtle but potentially very influential issues.  Join the session, share your questions, listen to the conversation and gain some insight that will make you a Temperature Measurement Expert in your organization.


Register NOW!


If you have a topic you would like Bill to cover in a future session, visit the RTDology page and near the bottom, select "VOTE"  or the "Share..." button and describe briefly how we can help.



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Create your Happy New Year!

Posted on December 29, 2009
The years, they pass, their unwavering rate
The pace of time, unchanging
Weeks and months, just moments in life
The future edges closer
Look back, you'll see, the flash of time
What was, constantly fading
The view of next, what's yet to come
So close yet out of reach Is what, what is? or what could be?
What was, ours only to recall
Can? Will? Is? Yes? A question or reality?
The Future, not set, possibilities await
let happen or make it so?
It is our choice to let, or cause
Believe and Choose to create.

The new year is an opportunity to create the future that you see yourself being a part of.


Happy New Year.  Make it a great, joyous, prosporous and exciting reality.

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RTDology- Oct. 21st; Join us!

Posted on October 18, 2009


Mark your calendar!  RTDology™; Selection and Application, is scheduled for Oct. 21st at 1:00 PM, central time!


Register NOW!


Bill Bergquist and Jeff Wigen will be walking through the key decisions, options and important trade-offs that need to be considered when selecting an RTD.    There are always a few twists, surprises and A-ha's in this process.


Also visit the RTDology page and see what's next and again, Mark your Calendar!


Hope you'll join us.rtdology1.jpg


Not on our email list?  Join the conversation.



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RTDology - The next sessions

Posted on October 1, 2009

RTDology from Burns


It's Back...  RTDology™ from the Temperature Measurement Experts at Burns Engineering.  Check out what's on the schedule for the next three sessions.


Don't miss the opportunty.  Bill Bergquist (Presenter) and Jeff Wigen (Moderator) are excited to have you participate. The study of Temp measurement



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NIST: Critical measurement on a Nano scale

Posted on September 23, 2009

How small is small? ISA - InTech In an article posted by ISA - InTech, from an interview with scientists from NIST, they use terms such as tiny, micro and nano.  The team at NIST is working on  temperature-sensitive fluorescent dyes to measure and monitor the critical temperature in Microfluidic systems used in medical diagnostics and DNA forensics.


Fascinating in a BIG way.  Check it out.

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nistfullbanner2.pngNIST engineers D. Ripple an G. Strouse offer their thoughts on alternatives to Liquid in Glass (LiG) Thermometers.   The abstract refers to the increase in automation and the desire to eliminate mercury as driving a lot of thoughtful consideration as to options.  Originally published in 2005 in the jai_new.jpgJournal of ASTM International, the issues still exists and we hear that there are still a lot of LiG devices still in use.


Are you still using LiG devices?   Contact a Burns Temperature Measurement Expert at  We'd love to discuss the alternatives to LiG.  Or visit the Burns site, browse around and if you don't see what you had in mind, click the black button "Help me find the right solution".  We'll be in touch shortly.



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NCSLI, visit the Burns booth #601

Posted on July 27, 2009

The Burns booth at NCSL - Flexible and creative, just like our custom designs and approach to solving temperature measurement challenges.ncsli2009-booth-1.JPG If your in San Antonio at NCSLI, stop by and ask some really difficult questions to Bill and Jeff.   They're all ready for you.  If you can't be at the show, Send a tweet via twitter to Jeff on @TempTalk, or leave a comment here.


Let's play stump the Temperature Expert.



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RTD Vs Thermocouple - a BIG hit.

Posted on July 9, 2009

rtdology.jpgThe RTDology Web session "RTD Vs Thermocouple; What's the right choice?" presented by Temperature Measurement Expert Bill Bergquist was a BIG hit.  The attendance was beyond our expectations, the questions were great and everyone stayed until the end.


Let's do it again!!!  Tell us what topics would be valuable to you and your processes by visiting the Burns RTDology web page and click the VOTE NOW button.





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RTD Vs Thermocouple?!?!?

Posted on July 7, 2009

Wednesday, July 8th at 1:00 PM central time....    If you have ever wondered how to choose between an RTD and a Thermocouple for a temperature measurement in your process, you need to join us.


Visit the Burns RTDology page and see how.!


But contact us soon, because we need to stop the registration process at 11:00 AM central time.  The response has been great so we have opened the registrations to UNLIMITED.


RTD Vs TC has been the most frequent search question bringing folks to the Burns web site, so we decided to help clear up the confusion.


The Burns Temperature Measurement Expert, Bill Bergquist will share an hour of info and Q&A opportunity on this mystical question.


Then, Book Mark the RTDology page and watch for the next Web sessions.  Also give us your thoughts on topics - click the "VOTE NOW" button.


Join us on the Web!

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RTDology! Study, Practice AND Share!

Posted on June 19, 2009


R·T·D·ol·o·gyTM;  [ahr-tee-dee-ol-uh-jee]




The study of temperature measurement.  The practice of expertise in the area of resistance temperature detectors and other temperature measurement technology.  RTDologistTM.  Expert in the operation, design, application, selection, accuracy and customization of temperature measurement sensors.  Generally focused on learning and sharing in the field of temperature measurement and associated instruments of high accuracy and reliability.

Interested in the difference between RTD's and Thermocouples?  Wondering about which to choose for your temp measurement needs.  Meet Bill Bergquist on-line:  For more info and to sign up for the WEB session visit the RTDology page.


What other topics would be valuable?  Give us your ideas.


See you on the Web.



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Get an Expert with your Sensor!

Posted on June 17, 2009

Burns has been talking up the value of the Temperature Measurement Expert for nearly 50 years....  I discovered that there are others that see the value as well.  Ray Peacock, aka Mr. Pyrometer posted in his "Measurement blog" an article titled "Get an Expert with your sensor"  Take a look,  we couldn't agree more.


Thanks Mr. Peacock.   (Mr. Pyrometer)  Follow Him on Twitterpicture_5.pngbecjb.jpg


Follow Temp Talk on Twitter.  Follow me (Chuck-BECJB) on Twitter.

Burns, The Temperature Measurement Experts!  For resources available from Burns to help you make the right product choice, effectively install the sensor, and understand the resulting measurement accuracy, check out the following links:


Burns Technical papers


Burns Application notes


Article in Process Heating


Need anything else from the Burns Temp. Experts, let us know.  Leave a comment!



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International Accreditation Day!

Posted on June 9, 2009

It may not be as well known as Mothers Day or Independence Day, but today is International Accreditation Day.  June 9th, 2009 was jointly established by 2 international Accreditation organizations to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.iad_09_icon.jpg


Burns is proud to be a member of the family of accredited laboratories, providing confidence to those we serve in their temperature dependant processes.  Burns has been NVLAP Accredited (lab code 200706-0) since Oct. 2006.


Have you work with other accredited organizations?  Do you see any difference?  We hope so, but would appreciate your perspective.


Happy International Accreditation Day!



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We are proud to be serving the people of the world...  Sounds a bit lofty, but it's true.  san-fam.jpgBurns has been contacted to supply temperature sensors to support the production of the vaccine for the H1N1 flu.   reuters.gifAccording to Reuters, posted:  Thu May 28, 2009, several companies are working on the vaccine:

"AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit owns the reverse genetics method, which it has licensed to a number of companies approved to sell flu shots in the United States including Sanofi-Aventis SA, Novartis AG and GlaxoSmithKline Plc."

We are thrilled to be working with many of these companies in their very important work. 


Helping to keep the world healthy, one degree at a time....


Remember...  wash your hands frequently.



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Down Time?  Delays?  Long lead times?  Interested in how to avoid hearing these phrases regarding your temperature calibration needs?logo.jpg


Burns now offers "Calibration on your schedule, not ours".  Our new Lab-to-Lab Calibration Service allows you to schedule the calibration of your Secondary Standard Reference Thermometer, or System, and reduce the down time to as little as 3 days.  Here's how it works.


Just think, Ship your SSPRT sensor on a Monday afternoon, and have it back in your lab on Friday morning.  That's only 3 days out of your lab.




It's the same NVLAP accredited (lab code 200706-0) Calibration you know and trust, on a schedule that honors your needs.


Choose from various calibration temperature ranges.


Fill out the information form for your sensor or system and email the form to, and we'll contact you to discuss your schedule needs.


Simple, quick, dependable and best of all during this introductory phase, at the same affordable price.


BE in control of your calibration needs, contact us and we'll help.



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NIST honors the cost of change

Posted on May 19, 2009

astm_logo_home.gifJim Burns and Matt Zenner are attending the ASTM committee meeting; E20 for Temperature Measurement  in beautiful Vancouver BC.  Two packed days of discussions on temperature measurement.  It doesn't get any better than that!


At the last meeting in mid November, Dean Ripple of NIST gave an update on the International Temperature Scale of 1990, ITS-90.


Dean said that although the temperature scale has generally been updated every 20 years they are looking at extending ITS-90 another 10 years.  When NIST considered the cost to the industry for the upgrade to equipment and automated calibration systems vs. the benefits that could be realized from the improvement in the temperature scale, they felt it was more practical to wait.


This is a very respectful and real world decision.  We should all be proud of this type of thinking.  ITS-2020?  Mark your calendar to budget for the update within the next 5 to 10 years.   We'll see what the word is in Vancouver.


Here is a little excerpt about Temperature Scales from a Burns Training Document.



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The Customer Service folks at Burns get contacted about the most interesting temperature applications.  Today, Judy talked to a customer about a sensor in the shark tank at one of the premier wild life Zoos in the USA.  The concern was that the sensor monitoring the shark tank may be out of tolerance and could cause the sharks to die.   Sharks have several internal sensor that monitor the temperature and pressure of their surroundings.  The Zoo is concerned that out of control temperature changes could be devastating.


We don't want that to happen.


Burns;  serving the process industry and the Shark habitat.


Chuck (Thanks Judy)�

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7.1 degrees, the sweet spot.

Posted on March 25, 2009

In this spring season the Maple trees provide us with a great example of the importance of temperature through the process of producing Maple syrup. 


From Ohio State University, the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual, bulletin # 856 explains the relationship between the sugar concentration and the boiling point of Maple syrup.  The target concentration is 66% which happens to boil at exactly 7.1F above the boiling point of pure water (at the altitude where the process is taking place.)  I didn't realize the precision involved with boiling sap into syrup.


Thanks to Bill B. at Burns for discovering this sweet example of how temperature plays a role in product quality, even if the process is taking place in your back yard.  For more info on Maple Syrup, visit this Wikipedia page.


As you know, It's all about the temperature!



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BE blog? Temp Talk Twitter?

Posted on March 14, 2009

cynthia.jpgWhy does Burns Engineering have a BLOG?  What is Burns doing on Twitter?  As Temperature measurement experts, why spend time in the realm of WEB 2.0 / Social Media?    Here's why!!!!  Click to this interview with Jim Burns and he'll explain everything.  SmallcompanyBigimage  See Part 1 & 2 listed in the left sidebar.


Thanks Cynthia Trevino...



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Temperature Calibration Confidence

Posted on February 24, 2009

When it comes to the uncertainty associated with temperature calibration, be certain about the reported uncertainties.


It is important to understand what is included in the reported uncertainty values and the basis upon which the calibration lab operates as the data can have an important influence in your process measurement accuracy and confidence.




NIST traceable:  This is the minimum temperature calibration lab capability.  The statement "NIST Traceable"  indicates there is an unbroken chain of comparisons to stated standards, from the lab instrumentation to NIST.  Calibration performance reported this way is only required to include the uncertainty of the calibration equipment and process.  It does not require the inclusion of the uncertainty (short term behavior) attributed to the sensor being calibrated.


ISO 17025:  This ISO standard titled:  General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, like many ISO systems focuses on the quality system related to the calibration function.  A Calibration Lab that states compliance with  ISO 17025 insures traceability to the primary standard as well as broader system confidence as it addresses practices beyond the specific process related to calibration.  ISO 17025 also addresses the management of the process and lab including training, document control, contract review and management oversight.  The other very important difference is the inclusive analysis of the calibration uncertainty.  ISO 17025 requires labs to include the sensor being calibrated as a component of the stated uncertainty.






Accredited:  There are a few organizations that issue accredited status of metrology labs.  The organizations such as NVLAP and A2LA monitor and audit the labs practices and performance in accordance with ISO 17025.  Burns, (lab code: 200706-0) selected NVLAP, established by NIST in 1976 as the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program.  The NVLAP accreditation requirements are described in  NIST Handbook 150.  NVLAP also includes the general requirements of ANSI/NCSL Z540.  Uncertainties reported are inclusive of the sensor being calibrated, and validated through proficiency testing.


Here is a short paper on Understanding Calibration Uncertainties as reported by Burns Engineering.


Know your Calibration Lab!  It's important.  Comment above about your experience with Cal lab qualifications.



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SIP: Steam Sterilization

Posted on February 3, 2009

Steam Sterilization;  highly effective yet complicates  the design of the various components and instruments necessary to monitor and control the process.


bpe.jpgThe ASME-BPE committees have spent 1000's of hours developing guidelines and recommendations to ensure effective Steam Sterilization (SIP) of Bio-Process Equipment.


logo-3-a.jpgThe 3A standard mainly used in the dairy industry states that sterilization should be able to reduce bacteria or other bio-contaminants by 99.99999%!


If a steam environment isn't challenging enough for the various seals and instruments, the addition of a vacuum cycle to ensure penetration of the steam truly compounds the challenge.  This Autoclave style  forces the equipment to breath-in (or hyperventilate) the steam.  BPE requires 100 hours of steam processing to insure all components reach the sterilization temperature.


Tough process.  What are your success or horror stories regarding Steam?  Click the comment button and share.



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ASME-BPE; a few notes…

Posted on January 29, 2009

Returning from Puerto Rico to another week of below zero temps in Minnesota.  Welcome home?!?


The three days of committee meetings were actually extremely effective.  As always, a lot of passionate people offering great insights and wisdom for the purpose to provide effective and valuable standards for the Pharmaceutical process industry.conf-room-view.JPG


This is a view from the conference room.  A bit of a distraction but the conversation was compelling so staying focused was easy.


I had an interesting conversation about the validation process.  From an instrument perspective the idea is to consider validation of alternate instruments from a Form, Fit and Function analysis, rather than requiring an entire system validation effort.  This could have some traction, but plenty of work and justification needs to be pursued.  Maybe next meeting.


I also had the opportunity to lead various discussions on the topic of temperature measurement instruments, creating a definition as well as what guidance would best serve the Pharma industry.  As part of the sub committee on Process Instrumentation, of which I am now an official member, I am leading the Task group to draft the section on Temperature Measurement Instruments.  The Process Instrumentation section is scheduled for inclusion in the 2012 version of the BPE standard.  The pressure's on because the temperature section is intended to set the format and structure for all other instrument sections.  Exciting stuff.


Over the next several months the Task Group which includes new friends from Anderson Instruments, Weed Instruments and Genentech, will collaborate via email in preparation for the next meeting; October in Boston.


I am honored by the opportunity!



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As Temperature Measurement Experts we are not only passionate about sharing what we know, but also learning and stretching our creativity in solving temperature measurement challenges.  Here is a link to our article in Process Heating on temperature measurement tip.  Click here:  Burns article in Process Heating Magazine on-line.


What do you think?  Leave a comment by clicking on the comment button above.


We'd love to hear from you!



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You may BE a winner; Survey says…

Posted on December 17, 2008

Congratulations to our BEblast Survey Winners!


Thanks to everyone who responded to our Nov. 4th survey! The winners, selected at random in a blind drawing, are:


- R. Baugh


- M. Vandervelde


- S. Burgess


Congrats! To claim your $50 Visa Gift Card, just send me an email at from the address you referenced in the survey and I'll be in touch.


As heard from you! The survey says ...


We had a great response and heard from plant managers, instrument engineers, directors of quality - even some of our representatives and distributors. They work mainly in the key industries Burns serves: Life Sciences, Energy and Food & Beverage. Thanks again to all who shared their opinions.


So what did you have to say? Here's a summary:besurveyq4.PNG


Most valuable temp-measurement info? 61% said App Notes and Product Specs (we'll keep them coming!)


What would help you get the big promo at work? That mostly had to do with ways to save money with effective temperature measurement, creative application approaches, newest tech advancements - and one person wanted to get hired by Burns! (we'll see what we can do.)


What industry events are you planning to attend? Most common shows were ISA, ISPE, NCSLI. Many were still undecided at this time. (so far, Burns is committed to INTERPHEX Puerto Rico and New York, NCSLI and maybe an energy show and a food & beverage show: email me if you know of good ones!)


And how are folks interacting with our BEblasts?


- 87% open our BEblasts (36% Always and 51% Sometimes)


- 66% click-through to other articles or links (11% Always and 55% Sometimes)


- 59% visit our BEsite once a month (thanks!)


- 86% HAVE NOT visited the BEblog! (ouch!)


But hey, thanks for visiting the BEblog today! Like our survey, this is the place to keep the conversation going. So hit the COMMENT button now and leave a thought or two about what would make you visit the BEblog once in a while.


Thanks again for your time on the survey and for being such great customers and business partners. Together, we're one amazing group of temperature measurement experts!


Talk soon, Chuck

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Burns Engineering looking GREEN

Posted on July 18, 2008

Along with our Spring loaded RTD's, spring has definitely busted out and summer is in full swing.  The smell of fresh cut grass,  sun glasses, shade, all the wonders mother nature has to offer.  Sprinkle in a storm or 2 and some humidity and there's no doubt summer in Minnesota has arived.


Back in the throws of spring, the Fun Committee at Burns thought we should bring a little GREEN inside.  So given a small cup, a handful of dirt and a pinch of seeds, a little contest began to see who could care for and grow the biggest plant......Needless to say the results are varied.plant-1.pngplant-4.pngplant-5a.jpg


The winner were crowned at our summer picnic today.  I'll announce the winners next week....  May the greenest thumb win!




By the way, we are also breathing a little more life into our internal recycling program to promote awareness and better recycling throughout the organization.  More on that and other environmentally conscious efforts in a future post.


What creative activities is your organization doing to serve Mother Earth?  Click the Comment button above and share...





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RTDs in small packages…

Posted on July 11, 2008

The best things come in small packages.  I've heard that phrase many times.  Recently the engineering team at Burns has been working on a stealth project to evaluate material and process approaches for the purpose of; mini, tiny, micro and just little RTD's.  We code named the project SLIM and gave it a mascot....slim.jpg




We discovered some interesting materials and process options, and broke a few assumptions and perceived constraints.  Then, in the design mode, applied these ideas and created a few new RTD's for various applications throughout the BioPharma, Food & Beverage, PetroChem and Ethanol industries.  These little RTD's play a role in Bearing temperature monitoring, product transit condition monitoring and various surface sensing and tight locations where addition temperature profile and awareness is important to the process.




The team had a blast think beyond the rules, historical approaches and known materials.  In true "achieve, change and improve" mode, we are doing it again.


What paradigms have you busted through recently?  Click the comment button and tell us a bit about your recent  A-ha's.



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Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo; Photos

Posted on June 26, 2008

The Burns team snapped a few photos at the FEW Expo...few-expo-logo.jpg


What the talk is all about... the-controversy.png


Our friends from Yokogawa.yokogawa-team-2.jpg


Some great guys at


Did you grab a bobber at the BURNS booth?bobbers.png


Proof that there is more to producing Ethanol than, Fuel, Feed.


Many of the organizations at the FEW event offered various perspectives regarding some of the controversy in the industry.fagen-logo.jpg


Fagen Inc. had this sign in their booth...kernels-of-truth.jpg


An interesting and informative Expo....


What were your observations or questions about Ethanol?  Click the comment button and share...



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Home from the FEW event?


Interested in what's happening in the Ethanol Industry?


Have a few thoughts about Ethanol and want to be in conversation?


Here are three places to engage...








>  Burns BEblog...  we'll stay connected from the temperature measurement perspective. Also check out the Ethanol page.


Sponsored by Ethanol Producer Magazine, Jessica Sobolik Managing Editor






>  The FEW Blog.


Talking Stalk Blog, with Tom Bryan...


Stay in touch and share your experience and wisdom about the Ethanol Industry, critical temperature measurement and all the challenges we face in the world of energy consumption and sources...



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More than a FEW at the FEW Expo

Posted on June 17, 2008

Ethanol and it's expansive support industry at the FEW Event have rushed the gates at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.   They are talking everything from filter bag systems, mixers, bacteria issues, biodiesel, fermentation and thermal oxidizers....   The conversation even dipped into the area of CIP (Clean in Place), posing the question, "Should the Ethanol fermentation process move toward the sanitary guidelines similar to the food and beverage industry?"  This was driven by the co-product "Distillers Grain" entering into the food stream through the animal feed.


The Expo opened Monday evening, breaking the ice with a Grand Opening and massive social in the expo arena.  The spirit in the room was an interesting mix of excitement, passion and commitment to all the good aspects and value of Ethanol as a clean and renewable fuel energy source.  That doesn't mean that there aren't questions and concerns about the interdependency with the other uses of corn, and the economic complexities as the ethanol industry grows....  It sounds like these folks are aware of all of this, and are committed to being good stewards of the resources they consume and at the same time looking for additional Sugar & starch sources to balance the demand for corn.  One alternate fermentation product being discussed is ALGAE!  Now that's being creative!


More later from on the Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo and the passionate folks in attendance.


What are your thoughts and concerns about Ethanol...  Click the comment button above and tell us your thoughts.



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MCAA 2008; Powerful Conversation

Posted on May 20, 2008

The MCAA 2008 Industry Forum mcaa.jpgwrapped today with an exciting and powerful exchange between the Members and representatives from 6 product approval agencies;  FM, TUV, CSA, UL, Intertek, MET.


The members of MCAA were open, honest and frank with the testing lab representatives, directly sharing their experience, frustrations and disappointments with the level of service and perceived value.


What I observed was a large group of very passionate members of industry exchanging points of view with equally passionate representatives from the testing and approval labs.


In the end, there was a list of recommendations, a commitment to improvement and a better understanding of the needs and challenges for all involved.


Burns Engineering believes that through conversation an amazing level of understanding and be achieved.  That understanding can lead to improved relationships between organizations as was created by the conversation at the 2008 forum.  That conversation has also lead to a high level of problem solving and creative product development to support those we serve.


It was a great experience.  Thank you MCAA for taking the bold step to facilitate the conversation, and Congratulation to both the MCAA members and the 6 agency representatives for your strength and commitment to a better future together.


Have you seen the power of this level of conversation?  We would love to hear about it.



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Burns PRT goes swimming…

Posted on April 21, 2008

Originally design in 1975, the Burns Engineering Underwater PRT has found itself serving many submerged needs in industries from Power generation to Paper processing; helping to protect the delicate aquatic environment.




In Minnesota it's all about the Walleye...


The Burns Underwater PRT spends so much time underwater it's beginning to grow gills


In my search, DNR within every state in the US has regulation and guidelines for Industrial water discharge temperature to insure protection of the lakes, rivers and streams.




We all have a responsibility to care for our world.  This is one way Burns Engineering supports a Greener Globe!


What can we do to help you protect the environment?



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PRT? RTD? Cool Technology

Posted on April 15, 2008

The Engineering folks at Burns are always looking for interesting temperature measurements and devices.  Well here are a few of our latest finds.  These are not typical PRT's or RTD's.  They are unique and highly custom applications of classic technology and cutting edge brilliance.

Temperature PillPill - One time use!

If you have a fever or are planning a climb of Mt Everest you may find this device of interest.  The ultimate Sanitary RTD.


Remember, it's for single use only..


From Nova, Jan 2006; the Thermal Radio Pill was presented as part of the article on understanding the health issues during high altitude climbs.




This next device called a Shot Noise Thermometer  presented by Yale in 2006 is nearly Quantum Physics based technology.  This idea relates noise, not audible noise but electrical noise, to temperature.  The intention is to develop this device into an operating primary standard for temperature down to 0.01 Kelvin.  Calibration of this device is certainly a metrology challenge, covering multiple measurement techniques and requiring sub-millikelvin combined uncertainties.


Quantum Structure


In the area of Quantum Mechanics, is Nanotechnology.   The International Nanotechnology Business directory shows some Nano-Pictures.  Take a look!  Then come back and see what Nanoway Cryoelectronics , a company in Finland is working on.  Nanoway is launching a test program for their CBT  (Coulomb Blockade thermometer) sensor chip.  This Nano based device operates in the near absolute zero range.


We just thought these were fascinating and wanted to share.


Have you seen any interesting temperature measurement devices lately?


Click on the comment button above to share some of your discoveries!





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Intech Insights & The Feds

Posted on April 7, 2008

Greg Hale from Intech, on his blog "Talk to Me" shares a bit about MEP(Manufacturing Extension Partnership), a subsidiary of NIST.






Looks like collaboration and a desire to serve.  Hard to argue with that!


If you have any experience engaging with the MEP organization, the folks at Burns would love to hear about it.  Click the comment button above and share.



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Serious work at INTERPHEX08 - really!

Posted on March 28, 2008

...There's a saying that goes something like this...


"Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously."


PIA & FDAmonkey2.JPG


It appears the PIA agent at Interphex2008 believes that also...


The work at Interphex is certainly important, but the P.I.A agent found that at ROVISYS, a leading provider of process automation solutions, they take their work seriously, yet are willing to have a little fun as well.



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Been Served? Get your summons now!

Posted on March 27, 2008

The PIA agent at Interphex is serving people;  Serving them each a summons.


piasummons.pngBut it's OK...  If you weren't able to travel to Philadelphia for the event, click here to visit our PIArelief web page and BE relieved – from hassles with the PIA, the FDA, CFR, GMP, CAPA ... you name it!


Also, check out the Interphex blog:  PharmTeck Talk  to see what else is happening.



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Interphex Blog; follow the action!

Posted on March 27, 2008

Whether your at the Interphex '08 event or just curious about what's happening....




Michelle Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief of, welcomes folks to the PharmTech Blog.  The awesome thing is, it's happening live and ongoing directly from Interphex'08.


Join the conversation HERE or on the PharmTech Intephex Blog....



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Is the PIA on your case?

Posted on March 26, 2008

When it comes to biopharma manufacturing processes, we know you've got a lot to deal with, like the P.I.A., for instance. (NOTE: The P.I.A. – Process Investigation Association – is in no way related to the FDA, they're just meaner!)




So for all you folks at INTERPHEX '08, beware of being served a summons by our very own P.I.A. agent. When you receive your summons, relax and be sure to visit us Burns Engineering at Booth #458 for relief.


We have trained personnel from Burns Engineering standing by; experts in how temperature plays a role in your biopharma process. They are ready to assist you with solutions and relief, not only from the P.I.A., but from the FDA, CFR, GMP, CAPA, P3-A, ASME-BPE Standards and SIP/CIP system validation and certification issues!


So who knows? With all the temperature-measurement solutions he can lead you to, our P.I.A. agent at INTERPHEX '08 could turn out to be your best friend!


(Stay tuned for more reports coming from the show floor of INTERPHEX '08 over the next few days.)



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Burns Engineering-find us at Interphex

Posted on March 24, 2008

 Find Burns or anyone else at Interphex...interphex_logo1.jpg Enter "458" next to"GO" to find Burns Engineering.


Or scroll down the exhibitors list, select company, enter the booth number next to "GO".


Enjoy your visit.  Watch out for the P.I.A agent! You might get served!



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Interphex 2008 - See you there!

Posted on March 20, 2008

  "...accelerating regulated products for patient care globally."interphex_logo.jpg


Profound statement from Interphex.  We'll be there.


Get "Served" by the PIA Rep., then get relief from the Burns team!

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Burns Engineering Sr. Metrology Engineer, John Zwak, has been very busy testing products and ideas, as well as authoring papers on various subjects in the realm of temperature measurement and all the nuances and challenges involved to help you BE confident.

johnzwak2.png John's early RTD experience was with a premier Aerospace temperature products company. This experience positions him very well to bridge the rigorous with the practical; the technology with the application; and the desire to learn with the desire to share.


John's recent technical papers have covered topics such as; PRT Error Sources; Part 1:  Interchangeability & Part 2:  Insulation Resistance and Part 3: Stability.


In his paper regarding As Found Calibration Data, John helps interpret this valuable information as part of the SSPRT calibration after an in service period.  He's also working on a paper describing the use of an Ice Bath to approximate the Triple Point of Water.  This wonderful example of Johns' practical approach to complex issues, was briefly introduced in a previous post titled Calibration; Creativity & Confidence.  This paper has been included in the technical program at the NCSL International Conference in August.


conference2008-square-1.gifThis isn't the first paper presented to an Industry-wide audience. John co-authored and presented an introductory article called: "Zero Tolerance" for ISA / InTech, May 2005.


As co-author, John's paper on Measuring Temperature in Small Diameter Lines, after being presented at the 2002 International Temperature Symposium, was recognized by the ISPE organization, winning The Roger F. Sherwood Article of the Year award in 2005.


When John isn't authoring, performing uncertainty analyses or reviewing calibration data, he's creating custom RTD designs for various challenging applications. John and his new friend Matt, introduced in an earlier post, are constantly collaborating on new customized designs.


And just in case you're wondering, John is not all work and no play. He's also a family man. John and his wife have three children ranging from age seven to 18 years. John's family are also big Disney fans and enjoy spending time with the Mouse.


John’s friend Mickey




Walt Disney is known for quotes like; "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" and "If you can dream it, you can do it".   Interestingly , John and Walt think alike in the area of problem solving and technical creativity. Walt Disney uses the title "Imagineers" for the most creative folks. We often think of John that way.


John and his friends at Burns are on a mission to deeply engage in the world of temperature measurement and share what we learn with those we serve.


So watch for more technical papers available on the Burns Web Site.


And if there's something specific you'd like to hear more from John about a la temperature, click the comment button above or just email him at  He'd love to chat!





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ISA blogs about Technical Collaboration

Posted on February 19, 2008

isaintech.pngHey, another Blogger in the Industrial world talking about technology and business, and how things work and at times should work!  InTech Editor Greg Hale, authors a blog called "Talk to Me". (Click on "Talk to Me" to read Greg's blog or click the title below for his Feb 5th post.)


Mr. Greg Hale, InTech Editor; ISA


In his post,  Collaboration Breeds Success, several thing resonated with me regarding the future of technical organizations. He references Margaret Walker, Vice President of engineering solutions at Dow Chemical. Walker states:  "Success is all about collaboration. Success is all about working together." She also says: "It takes a lot of people to make things happen."


This is certainly true globally given the complexity and diversity, yet critically true here at home as well.


Greg's article also states, "If you listen to the ARC Advisory Group the future is all about communities joining together to solve issues."


So the question that is rattling around my brain is: "What are we doing domestically to improve our success globally?" and "Are we building communities with easy access points such that collaboration is facilitated?


Burns Engineering agrees with Mr. Hale, Ms. Walker and the ARC Advisory group, and we thank them for their insights.


So, what works for you? How can Burns engage in deep, fervent, problem solving collaboration that works for you? Click the comment button above. We'd love to hear from you!



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Bearing Down on Bearing Temperature

Posted on February 13, 2008

In a past life (ok, "job position") I was responsible for a large wind-tunnel facility that included two 150 hp motors and multiple shaft bearings. To complicate the maintenance issues, the motors drove large fans that pushed air heated to 400°F, so the stress and temperature of the bearings were a significant concern.


I wasn't the only one with this concern.


machinerylubelogo.pngHere is an interesting article:  Eugene Matzan, "Detecting Premature Bearing Failure". Machinery Lubrication Magazine. May 2007. This is a good overview of the importance of monitoring bearing health.


mrotodaylogo.pngIn the article  "Bearing it all" provided by:  Power Transmission Distributors Association, June/July 2004 issue of MRO Today magazine. Copyright 2004, They deal with the "Too Hot To Touch" question and put the temperature in perspective.


mvclogo2.pngJust to give an international flavor, Machinery Vibration Consultants, Ltd from England, present an article titled:   "PREVENTING THRUST BEARING FAILURES", copyright 2006. Again, the discussion here is about temperature monitoring to prevent failures...


Burns Engineering's family of bearing temperature monitoring sensors provide an effective method of Bearing health monitoring. They can be customized to meet a variety of installation approaches and carry the Burns quality you can depend on.


Have a bearing health-monitoring story to share? Click the comment button above and share it! It's been a few years (ok, several years) since my days at the wind-tunnel facility, so I could sure benefit from an update about bearing maintenance issues!



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Electricity free - Temperature control

Posted on January 31, 2008

Monitoring and controlling temperature is very important in a lot of process applications.  During the storage and transportation, knowing with confidence that the proper temperatures were maintained creates an additional level of importance.


Burns Engineering gets excited about these challenges, and we're obviously not the only ones...


Aaron Thermal, is a start-up company that is doing some very interesting work in the area of Phase Change materials.  They apply this technological concept to provide temperature control without electricity.  I thought this was a very interesting idea.  Designing, selecting and customizing phase change materials to achieve temperature control for various temperature ranges, used for transportation and storage and saves energy.  The materials are also non-toxic and non-polluting.  Seems like a win for the environment on several fronts.


I don't think the idea is going to replace the use of freezer and cryogenic RTD's during transportation and storage in the Biopharma or Food & Beverage industries as sometimes a record of the actual temperature is necessary for safety and verification.  BUT... these phase change materials could help reduce energy costs and simplify the control process.


I just thought it was interesting, and the Aaron Thermal site includes links to interesting info regarding best storage temps.  Check out the links for Wine and Fruit and Veggies...


Have you seen temperature related technologies that are unique and interesting?  Click on COMMENT above and share your discoveries...



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3-A and BPE - BE in conversation?

Posted on January 16, 2008

ASME-BPE (BioProcess Equipment) committees meet Jan. 21 - 24 in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The 3A organization, known as 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc., meets in May of each year.


These organizations are quite different, yet use much the same language to describe their objectives.


The question is:


What relationship between the organizations would best serve the industries?


It seems that both organizations are concerned about providing guidelines in the areas of sterility, sanitary, clean-ability, hygienic equipment, product safety and cross-product burden.   A review of the topics of interest from the 3A , 2007 Annul Meeting, indicates a few examples of the language and topics that are of interest to both BPE and 3A.


3A includes pharmaceutical products in the  3A mission statement and BPE addresses personal care products within it's mission, indicating broad and holistic areas of concern.


Burns Engineering designs Sanitary products to meet the guidelines of both organizations.  The Burns' Sanitary RTDs are designed to meet the 3A-74 specification for use in the Food and Beverage industry for milk and dairy processes.  The Sanitary products also incorporate the materials, surface finishes, sanitary flange designs as guided by the BPE-2005 standard.  The Burns Engineering Sanitary Wells  and Non-Intrusive RTDs, incorporate the same design criteria for use in both industries as well as the CIP and SIP processes, insuring a drainable design and NO flow restrictions.


The design expectations are similar and in many ways overlapping, such that the Burns' Sanitary RTDs are applicable across the industries of Biopharma, Food and Beverage, and Semiconductor.


If the product design is able to cross industries, can the conversation cross industries?


What do you think?  Should there be closer collaboration?


Click the comment button above and tell us what you think!



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Brilliance at ASTM Committee E20

Posted on December 27, 2007

John Zwak, Sr. Metrology Engineer and Jim Burns, President participated in the ASTM Committee sessions in November.  John is the Secretary for Committee E20 on Temperature Measurement, and Jim is the Chairman for Subcommittee E20.04.01 on Thermocouple testing where John is also the Secretary.


This is not only an opportunity to bring Burns' 47 years of experience to the conversation but to learn a lot from the many other brilliant folks in attendance.


Speaking of brilliant!  As part of the E20 meeting, Greg Strouse from NIST offered a presentation on an amazing technology as a potential replacement for a Standard Platinum Resistance Thermometer, SPRT.


The technology, "Sapphire Whispering Gallery", has been around for years.  Classic applications leverage the phenomenon of total internal reflection of energy waves, for the development of Oscillators to meet the demands for precision signal generation and processing.    In these applications, the device is generally temperature compensated to reduce temp effects.  This Review of SWG-mode Oscillators  gives a pretty technical, but interesting overview of the technology.


Mr. Strouse and his friends at NIST are exploring a concept that leverages the predictable temperature sensitivity of the Sapphire Whispering Gallery Thermometer, (SWGT) to accurately measure temperature with uncertainties of < 10mK.


Awesome stuff!  We here at Burns will be watch how this technology develops.   Check back with us to see what additional insights are revealed by the great work at NIST.


Post a comment!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this interesting SWGT idea.



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