ISA publishes book that explores evolution of temperature, pressure and flow technologies

  • March 04, 2015
  • ISA
  • News

March 4, 2015 - The International Society of Automation (ISA) published a book that provides a detailed examination of past and current temperature, pressure and flow technology while proposing new, alternative units of measurement that fall in line with 21st century advances and thinking. The Tao of Measurement: A Philosophical View of Flow and Sensors, written by Jesse Yoder, Ph.D., and Richard E. Morley, describes the underlying principles of flow and measurement to reveal how evolving technologies have paved the way for modern developments in which systems and instrumentation can be integrated and measurement practices vastly improved.

“This is an important book that has the potential to make a significant impact on the world of instrumentation and process control as well as philosophy,” says Dr. Yoder, a widely recognized authority and expert on flow measurement and market research. “Unlike other books that focus on similar subject matter, this book presents an easy-to-understand and intuitive explanation of temperature, pressure and flow technology with discussions of familiar as well as previously unpublished ideas. It challenges many long-held assumptions while proposing new solutions that, if adopted, would significantly improve the measurement of time, length and area.”

The book’s opening chapters explore the principles of operation behind all the main types of temperature sensors, pressure sensors, transmitters and flowmeters, and discuss their advantages, disadvantages and applications. Each chapter includes a handy glossary of units of measurement.

The authors then turn their attention to three very familiar but vital subjects: time, length and area. They trace the origins of today’s units of measurement for these variables all the way back to Greek and Roman times, then follow their development to today’s atomic clocks and the standard meter, now defined in terms of wavelengths of light.

“This is the only book I am aware of that presents a non-technical and understandable explanation of all the main product types related to temperature, pressure and flow in a single resource,” Dr. Yoder points out. “The chapters are easy to read and provide practical knowledge that will benefit any professional in instrumentation or process control.”

He asserts that many professionals involved in flow and other areas of instrumentation are familiar with the types of products they specialize in, but are less familiar with the operating principles and applications of other types of instrumentation they encounter every day. 

“Our book also represents a fresh approach because it proposes some new ways of thinking that, if adopted, would improve our units of measurement and free them from the influence of ancient and out-of-date concepts,” Yoder emphasizes. “While technology has evolved, it has done so using concepts older than Roman chariot wheels.”

He advocates the use of modern technologies that can dramatically improve units of measurements.

“These new technologies reflect a reality of a dynamic and changing universe, one in which systems can be integrated with more effective measurement practices and more powerful sensors and tools of flow measurement. Systems and instrumentation, the yin and yang of the automation world, are finally united in a synthesis that comes from seeing both from a single perspective. These approaches have not been proposed elsewhere and they are proposed for the first time in this book.”

New perspectives on flow, time, length and area Yoder points to the chapters on flow, time, length and area as being particularly insightful.

The chapter on flow, he says, provides an authoritative evaluation of all the flow technologies (including Coriolis, ultrasonic, turbine, and many others) and their applications, along with “the paradigm case method of flowmeter selection I originally proposed. It also points out the distinction between new-technology and traditional-technology flowmeters, which I first presented to the industry in 2001 and has become standard terminology within the flowmeter industry.

“The chapter on time deserves special attention because it proposes the concept of flowtime as a way to divide time into smaller units, bringing our time-keeping units into harmony with the decimal thinking that is pervasive elsewhere in the world, especially in the metric system.”

The chapter on length, he says, reviews the development of commonly used terms for feet, yards and meters, and examines the paradoxes present in the concepts of ‘point’ and ‘line.’

“It’s essential to look at old concepts in new ways and avoid the paradoxes uncovered in order to gain a more coherent understanding of our fundamental geometric concepts,” Yoder insists.

He says the chapter on area describes some of the difficulties inherent in Euclidean geometry, which was developed around 300 B.C., and proposes a new geometry based on the round inch.

About the authors

Jesse Yoder, Ph.D., is president of Flow Research, Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts, a company he founded in 1998. He has 28 years of experience as an analyst and writer in process control. He has authored more than 180 market research studies in industrial automation and process control and has written more than 230 published journal articles on instrumentation topics. He has published in Flow Control, Processing, Pipeline & Gas Journal, InTech magazine, Control, and other instrumentation publications.

Study topics include Coriolis, magnetic, ultrasonic, vortex, thermal, differential pressure, positive displacement, and turbine flowmeters. He has authored two separate six-volume series of studies on gas flow and oil flow, and is a regular speaker at flowmeter conferences, both in the US and abroad.

Dr. Yoder studied philosophy at the University of Maryland, The Rockefeller University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he received a doctorate degree in 1984. He served as an adjunct professor of philosophy for ten years at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Lafayette College. In 1989 he co-founded the InterChange Technical Writing Conference, which he directed for six years.

He is a recognized authority and expert in the area of flow measurement and market research. As an entrepreneur, author, consultant and inventor, he has helped define the concepts used in flow measurement, and is widely respected as an innovator in this field.

Richard E. Morley, best known as the father of the programmable logic controller (PLC), is a leading visionary in the field of advanced technological developments and entrepreneur who has founded high technology companies over more than three decades.

Among his many accomplishments include the attainment of more than 20 US and foreign patents on products such as the parallel interface machine, hand-held terminal and magnetic thin film. His education in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology formed the basis for his interest and expertise in computer design, artificial intelligence, automation and futurism.

As an inventor, author, consultant and engineer, Morley has provided the research and development community with many innovations. His peers have acknowledged his contributions with numerous awards, honors and citations. Morley has been honored by several leading organization, such as Inc. magazine, the Franklin Institute, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He also has been inducted into the Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

About ISA The International Society of Automation is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 36,000 members and 350,000 customers around the world.

ISA owns, a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation, an association of non-profit organizations serving as “The Voice of Automation.” Through a wholly owned subsidiary, ISA bridges the gap between standards and their implementation with the ISA Security Compliance Institute and the ISA Wireless Compliance Institute.

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