Showing posts with label process measurement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label process measurement. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Little History

26 GHz radar level measurement transmitter
Pulsar® R86 Radar Level Transmitter
One of Magnetrol's recent innovations.
Some companies, through hard work, innovation, and good fortune, manage to stand the test of time and thrive for decades in a competitive environment. The manufacture of process measurement and control equipment and devices is an arena where standing still in the market is not a viable business strategy. Magnetrol has been helping process operators measure and control fluid level and flow for decades. The company recently posted an article on their own blog outlining a little of the company history as illustrated through product innovations. We include an excerpt from the blog below and encourage readers to share their fluid level and flow challenges with application specialists. Leveraging your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

This year marks the 85th anniversary of the founding of Magnetrol®. Since its very beginning, MAGNETROL has been a company focused on level and flow measurement innovation, designing cost-effective, cutting-edge solutions for its customers. In honor of 85 years of success, here’s a look back on some MAGNETROL highlights over the years. 
The Beginning
The history of MAGNETROL dates to 1932 as a Chicago-based manufacturer of boiler systems. The first MAGNETROL level control was born when the founding company, Schaub Systems Service, needed a controller for its boiler systems. Our innovative device was the first of its kind to accurately and safely detect the motion of liquid in boilers and feedwater systems. Soon the MAGNETROL name became synonymous with rock-solid, reliable mechanical buoyancy controls.

Mechanical buoyancy isn’t the only area where MAGNETROL has been a force for innovation. Our devices have changed the radar landscape as well. In 1998, we introduced the Eclipse® Model 705 as the first loop-powered guided wave radar (GWR) transmitter for industrial liquid level applications. The unprecedented reliability and accuracy of the ECLIPSE 705 set a new standard for radar devices.Innovation in Radar
We didn’t stop there, continuing to develop radar technology and adapt it to the needs of our customers. In 1999, MAGNETROL released the first ECLIPSE high-temperature/high-pressure probe, rated to 750 °F (400 °C). We developed an overfill-capable coaxial probe in 2000. And in 2001, we became the first company to incorporate GWR technology into a patented magnetic level indicator chamber, offering true redundant measurement.
In addition to these new developments in GWR, MAGNETROL created many pulse burst and non-contact radar devices for use in challenging process applications. We also secured our core capabilities in electronic technologies, including RF capacitance and ultrasonic.
 Looking Toward the Future
Most recently, MAGNETROL released the Pulsar® Model R86, a groundbreaking new 26GHz non-contact radar featuring a smaller wavelength for smaller antennas and improved 1mm resolution.
We continue to raise the bar for level and flow measurement. Whatever the future of industrial technology, MAGNETROL will be in the thick of it, developing the products that bring customers accuracy, reliability and peace of mind. We are a team of innovators—and innovators are always moving forward.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Corrosion Resistant Flow Meter



There are numerous flow measurement technologies available for application in process measurement. Each technology is represented by a broad array of product variants, each with a set of attributes making it suitable for certain applications.

ICON Process Controls specializes in corrosion resistant industrial fluid handling and process control equipment, offering the most complete line of all plastic instrumentation products supported by the largest inventory in North America. Applications for their corrosion resistant instruments include Municipal and Industrial Water & Wastewater Treatment, Bulk Chemicals, Steel Processing, Metal Finishing, Chemical Dosing Skids, Food & Beverage.

Share your process measurement and control requirements with instrumentation specialists. Combine your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise for effective solutions.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ultrasonic Clamp-On Flowmeter with SIL 2 Rating

clamp on ultrasonic flowmeter with control unit SIL 2 rating
FLUXUS F/G70X and F/G80X series meters
Courtesy Flexim
Measuring the flow quantity of gases and liquids is a common industrial processing task. There are numerous technologies available for measuring fluid flow, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks for any particular application. Some of the technologies and methods have been in use for a very long time, with recent enhancements provided by electronics or smart sensor designs.

Ultrasonic flow measurement devices employ a comparatively recent technology to measure gaseous or liquid flow. Whether the transit time differential or Doppler method is utilized, ultrasonic flow meters have a distinctive characteristic in that they can be deployed in a form factor that does not require insertion into the fluid. A common installation method is to clamp the ultrasonic transducer assembly onto the exterior of a pipe. This makes the technology attractive for applications that involve adding a flow measurement point to an existing piping system.

Flexim, a globally recognized leader in ultrasonic flow measurement, offers a number of permanent and portable units for measuring liquid and gaseous flow rates. Some of their instruments have been certified as SIL 2 capable, along with a host of other third party certifications. The product range includes simple and accurate instruments designed for general industrial use, and extends to multi-beam units intended for applications, such as custody transfer of fluids, that require the highest accuracy and overall performance levels.

Share your flow measurement challenges and requirements with instrumentation specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

M.S. Jacobs & Associates - Equipment Engineers

aerial view wastewater treatment plant settling ponds
Wastewater treatment is one of the many industrial sectors
served by M.S. Jacobs
M.S. Jacobs and Associates has been a leading manufacturer's representative and distributor of industrial instrumentation and controls since 1945. Expanding from its original focus on the steel industry, MS Jacobs services and supplies products in all major industrial markets, including power generation, chemical processing, pulp and paper, oil and gas production, water and wastewater treatment, and nuclear power generation.

The company's longevity and dedication to the industrial market has resulted in a broad offering of superior quality products for flow, level, pressure, and temperature measurement, as well as filtration products and valves. Everyone at MS Jacobs takes pride in the company's ability to solve tough applications and provide exceptional customer service with a team of trained outside sales engineers and inside customer service representatives.

MS Jacobs' Pittsburgh service center provides instrument calibration and repair for MSJ's complete line of products, as well as those of other manufacturers. The company carries factory authorization for repair of numerous manufacturers' industrial process instrumentation products. The service center also provides custom assembly of instruments and other gear to meet customer requirements. Completed assemblies are tested and certified prior to shipment.

Reach out to MS Jacobs & Associates for the products and services that move your process instrumentation and control projects toward a successful completion.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In-Line Thermal Flow Meters

in-line thermal dispersion flow meters
In-line thermal dispersion flow meters
Thermal Instrument Company
Thermal dispersion mass flow meters provide an accurate means of mass flow measurement with no moving parts and little or no encroachment on the media flow path. There are a number of different configurations to be found among various manufacturers, but all function in basically the same manner.

Two sensors are exposed to the heat transferring effect of the flowing media. When the media composition is known, the mass flow can be calculated using the meter reading and the pipe cross sectional area. One of the flow meter sensors is heated, the other is allowed to follow the media temperature as a reference. The heat dispersion from the heated sensor is measured and used to calculate mass flow.

Some positive attributes of thermal dispersion flow meters:

  • In-line and insertion configurations available to accommodate very small to large pipe sizes
  • Rugged Construction – Stainless Steel with available protective coatings and other specialty metals
  • No moving parts
  • Measure liquid or gas in general, sanitary, and ultra pure applications
  • Measurement not adversely impacted by changes in pressure or temperature
  • Wide range of process connections 
  • In-line versions provide unobstructed flow path
  • Wide turndown suitable for extended flow range
  • Back up sensors for extended life
  • Sensors do not contact process media
  • Flow and total flow measured
  • 4-20 mA output interfaces easily with other instruments and equipment
Share all your process measurement challenges and requirements with product application specialists, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Video Demonstration of Transit Time Difference Method of Flow Measurement

portable ultrasonic flow meter Flexim
Portable Ultrasonic Flow Meter
Flexim
The measure of flow is a pervasive task in fluid process control. There are several differing technologies employed for measuring fluid flow, each with its own set of performance and application attributes that might make it the advantageous choice for a particular operation.

Ultrasonic flow measurement uses several methods for determining the average velocity of a fluid. One of those methods employs the difference in the transit times of ultrasonic pulses travelling with the flow direction and against the flow direction. The flow velocity of the media will offset the transit times between the flow and counterflow measurements. The measured difference in transit times can be used to determine average flow velocity and, with additional processing, mass flow.

Ultrasonic flow meters are accurate and provide repeatable results, making them suitable for custody transfer operations, as well as many other process control applications. Little maintenance is required and the units have no moving parts. Measurement instruments are available with in-line or clamp-on mounting, providing a high level of installation and application flexibility.

The short video below provides a clear explanation of how transit time difference measurement works. Share your flow measurement challenges and requirements with a product application expert, combining your process knowledge with their product expertise to develop effective solutions.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Accurate Measurement of Very Low Flow Rates Is Key to Compressed Air System Energy Savings

Ultrasonic flowmeter for low flow rates and compressed air
The Flexus G704 CA is specially configured for
measuring flow in compressed air systems
Courtesy Flexim
Operators of plants where compressed air is utilized as an energy source are well aware of the cost associated with continuous delivery of this useful medium. Large or multiple compressors consume considerable amounts of electric power maintaining system pressure and flow requirements. With extensive piping and countless fittings, there are many potential points of leakage. Scheduling of various production operations can vary the demand for compressed air significantly. Getting control of your compressed air system and reducing operating cost is a noble goal. One of the primary tools needed to manage energy costs will be accurate and reliable flow measurement equipment. Here are some characteristics of flow measurement instrumentation that should prove advantageous:

  • Non-invasive measurement from the outer pipe wall that does not add potential leak sources or pressure drop.
  • Availability in fixed or portable configuration.
  • Highly accurate, with paired temperature compensated traceable calibrated transducers
  • Installed without disturbance to piping.
  • Bidirectional measurement
  • Rugged instrument design suitable for any kind of industrial environment
portable ultrasonic compressed air flow measurement instrument
Portable version of specialized ultrasonic flow
measurement instrument for compressed air

Ultrasonic flow measurement technology can provide all of these characteristics, providing
information that enables the operator to make fact based decisions about system design, management, and maintenance. Learn more about how ultrasonic flow meters specifically configured for compressed air system application can help you start reducing your operating cost and developing a higher level of control over your compressed air system. Share your process challenges with a product specialist and work together to build the best solution.




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Selecting Single-ended vs. Differential Voltage Measurement for Process Measurement - Part 2 of 2

programmable logic controller with input and output devices for process control
Selecting the proper signal conditioning equipment
is essential to maintaining process operation
This second part of a two part series of white papers provides discussion of the differences in function of differential and single-ended voltage measurement for industrial process measurement and control. Part One focused primarily on single-ended voltage measurement, how it differs from differential, and in what application context it can be best applied. This white paper, provided below, delves into differential voltage measurement and how it may be advantageous, even necessary, in a range of application scenarios.

The papers are produced by Acromag, Inc., a globally recognized manufacturer of signal conditioning equipment. Information about Acromag's extensive product offering is available from M.S. Jacobs & Associates, as well as technical details and application assistance.



Selecting Single-ended vs. Differential Voltage Measurement for Process Measurement - Part 1 of 2

DIN rail mounted process measurement signal conditioning module
Acromag manufactures an extensive array
of signal conditioning modules
Process control requires process measurement. The industry provides a enormous array of measuring devices for almost every conceivable process parameter. Selecting the right signal conditioner that will convert a current process state into a signal to be transmitted to and utilized by a controller can be challenging. One area of confusion centers around whether to use differential or single-ended voltage measurement.

Acromag, Inc., a globally recognized manufacturer of signal conditioning equipment for industrial process measurement and control, has provided a white paper that helps sort out reasons behind a beneficial selection of single-ended or differential voltage measurement devices. Explanation of how each functions and tips on selection criteria for an application are also provided. The technicality of the language is at a level that is comprehensible to most, but retains that exciting engineering edge for the purists among us. The first part of two (Part Two), provided below, focuses mostly on single-ended measurement. Part two covers differential.

Top flight assistance with your process measurement and control application challenges is available from M.S. Jacobs & Associates.



Monday, April 4, 2016

Get To Know MS Jacobs & Associates for Industrial Process Control Instruments and Equipment

Electric power generation plant
MS Jacobs serves the electric power generation industry,
as well as chemical, oil and gas, water and wastewater
M.S. Jacobs and Associates has been a leading manufacturer's representative and distributor of industrial instrumentation and controls since 1945.  Expanding from its original focus on the steel industry, MS Jacobs services and supplies products in all major industrial markets, including power generation, chemical processing, pulp and paper, oil and gas production, water and wastewater treatment, and nuclear power generation.

The company's longevity and dedication to the industrial market has resulted in a broad offering of superior quality products for flow, level, pressure, and temperature measurement, as well as filtration products and valves. Everyone at MS Jacobs takes pride in the company's ability to solve tough applications and provide exceptional customer service with a team of trained outside sales engineers and inside customer service representatives.

MS Jacobs' Pittsburgh service center provides instrument calibration and repair for MSJ's complete line of products, as well as those of other manufacturers. The company carries factory authorization for repair of numerous manufacturers' industrial process instrumentation products. The service center also provides custom assembly of instruments and other gear to meet customer requirements. Completed assemblies are tested and certified prior to shipment.

Reach out to MS Jacobs & Associates for the products and services that move your process instrumentation and control projects toward a successful completion.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Non-Invasive Measurement of Extremely Low Flow Rates




Industrial process measurement and control operations present a continuous stream of challenges to designers, engineers, operators, and equipment manufacturers. The innumerable combinations of environmental, safety, financial, and other concerns have lead to a wide variety of instruments, equipment, and techniques for meeting specific process requirements. A critical element of many industrial processes is the measurement of liquid flow. Matching the best available flow measurement technology or product to an application calls for through knowledge of the process, the medium being measured, and the strengths and limitations of a proposed measurement device. The most current product and application information is available from specialists in flow measurement.

The video illustrates how a special adaptation of ultrasonic flow measurement technology is utilized to measure extremely low flow rates. Specific product information is also included, showing the advantages and specific application ranges of this specialty product from Flexim Americas.


Monday, March 7, 2016

New Product: Non-Contact Radar Level Transmitter

non-contact radar level transmitter for industrial process measurement and control
Model R96
Non-Contact Radar Level Transmitter
Courtesy Magnetrol
A new entry into the non-contact radar level measurement transmitter arena has been released by Magnetrol, a well known manufacturer of level and flow measurement instrumentation for the industrial process control field. The new Model R96 Non-Contact Radar Level Transmitter is intended primarily for applications where continuous fluid level measurement is required.

The company sums up the technical capabilities with their description of the product...

"Virtually unaffected by the presence of vapors or air movement within a vessel’s free space, the two-wire, loop-powered, 6 GHz Radar transmitter measures a wide variety of liquid media in process conditions ranging from calm product surfaces and water-based media to turbulent surfaces and aggressive hydrocarbon media."

The Model R96 level transmitter offers features that combine to deliver a state-of-art instrument for accurate continuous level measurement. A product brochure is included below. Contact application specialists to formulate the right product configuration for your level measurement challenge, or to get more detailed information.



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Process and Equipment Monitoring Using Telemetry

high voltage transformers in electrical substation
Continuous monitoring of remotely located
equipment yields a wide range of benefits
Industrial operations and processes are populated with unimaginable variations of equipment and applications, each with specific operating sequences intended to produce a specific outcome. By their scale and nature, most have the capacity to substantially impact the success of the organization. As stakeholders in the operation of industrial processes and equipment, we have an interest in monitoring their performance for any number of reasons.

  • Financial - The investment in plant and equipment is financially significant to a company of any size. An operator benefits from monitoring process inputs and outputs. Scrutinizing the operating status of process equipment and intermediate process conditions provides valuable information that can be used to minimize negative events of many types.
  • Maintenance - Keeping a real time watch over operating characteristics of machinery can present opportunities to head off trouble before it happens. There are many warning signs that can precede equipment failure, and taking prompt remedial action requires issuance of real time warnings.
  • Safety - Industrial operations of all types tend to exhibit levels of hazard to personnel or environment ranging from minor to potentially catastrophic. The rigorous procedures employed to maintain operation within prescribed limits are enabled through the use of information about process conditions.
  • Regulatory - There can be jurisdictional requirements to monitor and report certain process characteristics. An ability to conduct the needed action from afar, without having to station personnel at a remote location, has some real benefit.
This list is not intended to be complete or definitive. There are countless ways that process operators can use real time data to enhance all facets of their operation. A challenge arises when the process or operation extends over a large area, perhaps beyond the boundaries of the primary facility. That's where telemetry serves as the means to deliver needed information to a decision making location.
Modern requirements for "knowing what is happening" increase the need for telemetry in industrial operations. 
Telemetry is getting the information you need from a remote or inaccessible location and delivering it to where it can be used for decision making. 
With the wide array of hardware offered by process measurement and control equipment suppliers, implementing the data collection and transmission has become a fairly straight forward task. Simply put, here is what you need to accomplish.

  • Measure or detect the information needed. You know how to do this. Sensors, counters, or other regularly available process measuring equipment is what is needed here.
  • Convert the measurement into a transmissible form. This will likely be accomplished by the transmission gear. The measurement devices you use should provide an output signal that is compatible with the input requirements of the selected transmission equipment.
  • Transmit the information to the receiving station (the decision making point). The device and equipment manufacturers do most of the hard work of accomplishing this task. Generally, regardless of the transmission method, the extent of the work needed to put transmission into operation involves powering up the equipment and assigning addresses or channels to identify the source of the signal.
  • Receive the signal and convert it to a form readable by the decision making portion of the system. Again, the telemetry equipment manufacturers handle the details in the design of their equipment. Implementation consists of similar steps to those of the transmission equipment.
It is recommended that the transmission method be selected first. It must accommodate any challenges presented by the distance to be covered and any obstacles that may impact the delivery of the signal to its destination. Coordinate the measuring device output signal selection with the transmission device input requirements. The receiving equipment must be capable of producing an output signal that is readable by whatever decision making or recording equipment is used.

Below is a case study illustrating how a user derived a signal from a utility plant to provide data on local power consumption.You will see how they selected and employed equipment to accomplish the four tasks outlined above.

The applications are only limited by your imagination and ingenuity. Instead of wondering about what is happening at remote locations, operators can now easily measure and deliver useful operating information across almost any distance. Share your challenges with process control specialists and develop the solutions you need.



Monday, December 21, 2015

Process Measurement and Control: When To Use a Diaphragm Seal

Industrial diaphragm seal for pressure measurement instrument
Diaphragm seal for pressure measurement device
Courtesy Wika
Process measurement sensors are not indestructible. Not even the most rugged device is fully immune to the chemical nature of process media or the kinetic impact associated with fluid composition and movement. Balancing degrees of protection, usually to increase the useful life of the device, with sensor response and accuracy is a frequent challenge in the process measurement and control field. 

Industrial processes commonly are associated with corrosive or toxic fluids, often at extreme pressure or temperature and containing various levels of solids. Any of these traits can pose substantial risk to process performance and uptime. Operations that process fluids will employ pressure measurement devices to monitor process performance and maintain system safety levels. There are many instances where characteristics of the process and its media are not compatible with pressure measurement devices. Here are some potentially problematic scenarios for pressure measurement instruments: 
  • Corrosive media that will prematurely deteriorate the pressure sensing element. 
  • Viscous or fibrous media, also those that may crystallize or polymerize, posing a risk of clogging channels, tubes, and orifices of pressure measurement devices. 
  • Media temperature that is beyond the rated range for the pressure measurement device has a potential to damage the instrument or cause error in the pressure reading. 
  • A measuring point that is remotely located from where a technician may need to observe the reading. Also conceivable, the pressure measurement device needs to be located away from other potentially damaging environmental conditions. 
  • The process requirements dictate specific hygienic requirements that are cause for the measurement device to be isolated from the medium. 
  • Toxic or otherwise hazardous media that must be contained. 
  • Excursions of system pressure may exceed the acceptable range of the instrument, potentially damaging the device. 
industrial process threaded diaphragm seal
Threaded diaphragm seal
Courtesy Wika
A solution which can provide protection from the items listed above, while still maintaining instrument response and accuracy is a diaphragm seal. Seals are placed between the pressure measurement device and the process media. The space between the diaphragm, which is flexible, and the sensor is filled with a fluid that will hydraulically transfer the pressure condition on the process side of the diaphragm to the sensor. The diaphragm serves as a physical barrier between the potentially damaging media and the instrument. Diaphragm seals are available in a wide variety of configurations to accommodate any media type or connection requirement.

Seal selection involves specifying the connections and form factor to properly mate the diaphragm with the instrument and the process, then selecting the diaphragm material that will be compatible with the media. The best way to achieve a positive solution is to share your requirements with a qualified assembler. They can help select the right diaphragm seal and mate it up with a pressure gauge, providing a complete assembly that is ready to be installed in your process.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Innovations In RTD Signal Conditioning - One Manufacturer's Compilation

Industrial process measurement and control RTD signal conditioner
RTD Signal Conditioning Units
Courtesy Acromag
Temperature measurement may be one of the oldest components of process control and laboratory research. The measurement of temperature has progressed through a variety of methodologies, some of which are still in use today. Modern industrial process control relies heavily on the use of RTDs (resistance temperature detector) for their accuracy and stability.

Some of us have used RTDs in our process designs for many years, maybe without recognizing the innovations that have come about in the signal conditioning portion of our installations. One manufacturer of industrial signal conditioning equipment, Acromag, has compiled the ten most significant recent advances in RTD signal conditioning. I have included their white paper below.

Browse the paper, as it is brief and informative. You will likely see a few improvements of which you were unaware. Share your temperature measurement and signal conditioning challenges with an application specialist. Combining your process experience with their product application expertise will produce positive solutions.



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ethernet I/O Modules Provide Connectivity Advantages

Industrial Ethernet Input and Output Modules on DIN Rail
Industrial Ethernet I/O Modules
Courtesy Acromag
Industrial process control relies on the accurate and timely delivery of process measurements and data to the point of control and decision making. As technology affords more opportunities to measure and transmit process variables, the demand for incorporating the additional information in the control and decision making process expands. The frequency at which data can flow from a process has also increased dramatically, and there is often significant value derived from rapid sampling. Transmitting the voluminous measurement data to the point of control can be accomplished using three basic methods:

  • Point to point wiring from each measurement device to the control point.
  • Wireless linkup from measurement location to controller.
  • Wired network connection between measurement and control devices.
Each of these connection topologies has particular attributes which may better suit a particular application.  For a wired network scheme, Acromag has designed a line of I/O modules that make installation and configuration a smooth operation. Helpful features include:
  • Power wiring options that allow back connected bus power or top mounted screw terminals. You can even provide primary and backup power sources to the two connections.
  • Front facing screw terminals for connections make status checking of inputs a simple operation with your digital volt meter.
  • Modules are rail mounted and can be placed immediately adjacent to one another for high density installation.
  • Modules have a built in webpage for display of operational information. Configuration is accomplished using a front mounted USB port.
  • Operable in temperatures -40 to +70 deg. Celsius.
  • Two Ethernet ports on each unit allow modules to be daisy chained, reducing or negating need for local hubs.
  • Acromag's Priority Channel Technology assures that data update frequencies are maintained, regardless of other network traffic.
The short video below provides additional detail on the useful features of the Acromag line of industrial Ethernet I/O modules. Watch the video. Share your process measurement and control connectivity challenges with a sales engineer specializing in industrial Ethernet I/O. Combine your process knowledge with the state of the art product knowledge of a product specialist for the best solutions.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rotameters For Flow Measurement - Selecting the Right One

Industrial rotameter flow meters
Industrial Rotameter Flow Meters
Courtesy King Instrument
Applied extensively in industrial process measurement and control, a rotameter is an instrument that uses a float of given density to establish, for any measurable flow rate, an equilibrium position within the fluid stream where the force of the flowing fluid equals the force of gravity. Let's break that down a little. A rotameter has a tapered tube with a float inside. As the measured fluid flows upward through the tube, it pushes the float upward along the length of the tube. As the float rises in the tube, the cross sectional area of the tube increases and more fluid can bypass around the float. At some point, the upward force of the fluid flow acting on the float will balance with the downward force of gravity. The position of the float along the length of the tube correlates with a certain flow rate when certain properties of the fluid are known. Flow rate scale graduations on the tube can be read by the operator.

Rotameters are very specific to each flow measurement application. It's important that you know your fluid properties, ambient conditions, connection and readability specifications. 

Start with these selection parameters:

  • Desired flow rate range
  • Fluid specific gravity
  • Ambient temperature
  • Operating and maximum pressure
  • Line size
  • Connection type
  • Connection orientation
  • With or without a valve
  • Material requirements to accommodate fluid
  • Scale units of measure. Smallest scale divisions needed.
For each application, it's advisable to work closely with a sales engineer to gather all the needed information and coordinate the product selection process.

Here are some things to consider for potential rotameter applications:


  • Simple design and operation provide a modest cost solution.
  • No external power is required for operation. Inherent fluid properties and gravity are used to measure flow rate.
  • Clear glass used for the measuring tube is highly resistant to thermal shock and corrosion.
  • Instrument orientation must be vertical, with fluid flowing upward.
  • Scale graduations are accurate for a given substance at a given temperature, making the devices application specific.
  • Operation of the rotameter may be impacted by changes in the viscosity of the fluid. Consult with a product and application specialist to explore your application.
  • Direct flow indication provides resolution that may not be as good as some other flow measurement methods.
  • Visual reading of the scale is subject to uncertainty due to float oscillation, parallax, and location on the scale.
  • Make sure the fluid turbidity, or another fluid characteristic will not obscure the visibility of the float.

Consult with a product specialist about your flow measurement application. A combination of your process knowledge and their product expertise will produce the best solution.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Application Suitability of Ultrasonic Flowmeters

Ultrasonic Liquid Flow Meter
Ultrasonic Liquid Flow Measurement System
Courtesy Flexim America
Industrial process control frequently requires the accurate measurement of fluid flow. There are several widely applied methods for measuring flow, each having particular advantages which may apply to a specific application.

Ultrasonic flow meters measure flow indirectly by calculating transit time of a sound wave through, or reflecting from, a flowing fluid. The velocity of the fluid has an impact on the transit time, from which a flow rate can be calculated. Attributes of ultrasonic flow measurement that may determine suitability for a particular application include:

  • Transducers can be clamped on exterior pipe surface where measurement is needed.
  • Non intrusive measurement technology prevents contact between media and measuring elements.
  • No significant pressure drop associated with measuring device installation.
  • Reduced leak potential.
  • No moving parts.
  • Comparatively higher cost than some other technologies.
  • Fluid characteristics must be well known for proper application.
  • Pipe cross section must be completely filled by media to acquire accurate flow measurement.
Learn more about this process measurement and control technology in the product detail sheet below. Consult with a product application specialist for more detailed product information and tips on how to best apply ultrasonic flow meters to your process.




Thursday, October 29, 2015

Avoid Process Downtime With Five Device Protection Considerations

Industrial Process Instruments
Industrial Process Instruments
Industrial process control is everywhere. Sometimes it is dangerous or complex. In other cases it may be relatively mundane. In all industrial processes, though, maintaining operation is key. Stakeholders rely on the process output and look to the designers, engineers, and operators to deliver, in many cases, uninterrupted performance. The world is a place of many uncertainties, some of which can impact your process in undesirable ways. While it's not practical to design or build to accommodate every possible adverse event, application of experience and good judgement in a few areas may significantly shorten the list of things that can negatively impact your process.

Process control is achieved through the measurement of various conditions and application of regulated adjustments to the process inputs to deliver a desired output. Process variable measurement serves as the input to the control system. In the industrial sphere, it is common to see devices used for the measurement and transmission of temperature, pressure, flow, mass, level, and electrical parameters like voltage, current, capacitance and more. Regardless of what is being measured, there are three common characteristics:

  • Device - A combination of a sensor and a translator that together detect some physical condition of the process and produce an output signal that can be correlated to the process condition. 
  • Location - The device will have a location that is dictated by the process construction and arrangement. Device locations have a tendency to be inflexible.
  • Signal transmission path - Unless the control element is integral to, or adjacent to, the measurement device, there will be some path over which the measurement signal must travel to reach an associated control element. 

Looking at these three elements for each measurement point, consider the five risk categories below in evaluating what you can do to safeguard your process measurement instrumentation. It's advisable to open a conversation with an experienced application specialist and freely discuss your concerns. Gathering additional input from various experienced sources will help you determine how extensive your protective measures should be to deliver a balance between cost and the probability of certain adverse events.

  • Local Weather: There is local weather data available for almost every place on the planet. Take the time to procure reliable data and examine the distribution of temperature, humidity, precipitation, and wind conditions throughout all seasons. Clearly, if portions of the process are located outdoors, extreme local weather conditions will need to be accommodated. Even if your process is located indoors, local weather information is important if the process is to operate continuously. Consider whether an indoor process must continue to operate, even if the building HVAC system fails and indoor conditions begin to be impacted by outdoor conditions. Also, depending upon the design of the building climate control system, changing outdoor conditions can have a noticeable and possibly significant impact on the indoor air conditions.
  • Process Generated Conditions: There may be specific aspects of your process that produce occurrences of vibration, pressure spike, electrical interference, or a host of other aberrations that may affect the proper operation of measurement devices. Know your process....really know it. Protect instrument sensors from potentially damaging transients and other process conditions that can be reasonably expected to occur. Device location relative to sources of electrical interference, elevated temperature, vibration, shock, and other transient conditions should be considered.
  • Security: Your design goal should be to achieve a very high level of certainty that the signals generated by the measurement devices are uninterrupted and reflect the actual process conditions. There are two cases I always consider for security. The first is cyber, which applies in the case of a process measurement device network connection. Necessary steps should be taken to thwart an attempt to breach the network and detect unusual conditions that might indicate an invader's attempt to manipulate the process. My second case is related to device access by those without proper knowledge, training, or permission. Protection from these threats will likely involve a combination of physical barriers and procedures.
  • Physical Contact: Industrial settings are, well, industrial. Large, heavy, irregular, unwieldy, and sharp things can sometimes be moved through areas occupied by process measurement gear. Technicians with carts, tools, and materials frequently pass through process areas to do their work. Protecting equipment and instruments from damaging contact pays dividends for the life of the installation. Consider, in your design and layout, the proximity of instruments to areas of traffic. If applicable, also consider areas overhead. The level of protection will need to be balanced with the need for access by qualified individuals for service, maintenance, calibration, and observation, as applicable.
  • Moisture: Electronics are a mainstay of modern measurement instrumentation. Clearly, liquid moisture must be kept from contact with electronic circuits. Vaporous moisture will find a path to the internals of your electronic devices. This vapor, which is present in considerable levels in almost every indoor and outdoor environment, can condense when the right conditions are present. It is imperative that enclosures, conduit, boxes, fittings must be provided with barriers to moisture entry and/or a reliable means to automatically discharge accumulated liquid moisture before damage occurs.
There is much to think about in the realm of device protection. Balancing the costs of protection, the impact of protective measures on the ability to service and operate the process, and the risk involved with process failure or shutdown requires the application of technical expertise, experience, and sound practical judgement. Draw information and opinion from multiple sources, including sales engineers. Combine their product application knowledge with your process expertise to make good decisions.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thermal Mass Flow Meters - Mature Technology With Modern Application

Thermal mass flow meters
Configurations of Thermal Mass Flow Meters
Courtesy Thermal Instrument Co.
Thermal mass flow measurement technology has been used in industrial process measurement and control applications for many years. The technology measures the amount of heat required to maintain a sensor at a constant reference temperature, offsetting the cooling effect of the fluid flow over the sensor. The technology is well suited for installations requiring the measurement of low pressure gases where the fluid components are known and remain constant. Thermal mass flow measurement is also employed effectively in a number of other scenarios.


Potential advantages of thermal mass flow technology for industrial process measurement and control:

  • Provides true mass flow reading using a single instrument
  • Not significantly affected by fluid pressure or temperature
  • Moderate comparative cost
  • No moving parts
  • Minimal restriction of flow introduced by sensor

Typical applications for thermal mass flow meters:

  • Landfill gas outflow measurement
  • Compressed air systems
  • Gas distribution in semi-conductor manufacturing
  • Beverage carbonation
  • Tablet coating and compression in pharmaceutical industry
  • Flare gas measurement in oil and gas industry
  • Natural gas flow to boilers, furnaces, and other consuming equipment
Thermal mass flow sensors have attributes making them very suitable for a family of applications. Like all measurement technologies, there are also areas of caution in their application. Any measurement technology must be properly applied in order to obtain reliable results. Talk to a sales engineer about your flow measurement ideas and applications. Combining your process expertise with the knowledge of a product application specialist will produce good results.