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The Rubik's Cube Challenge

Jan. 8, 2009
Flowmeters Come in All Shapes and Sizes, and the Puzzle Solution Must Fit the Process.

Selecting a flowmeter can be a challenge — so many meter types, so many manufacturers, so many application requirements — fluid type, specific density, flow range, pipe size, electronic accessories, etc. And flowmeter type — thermal, turbine, electromagnetic, Coriolis, positive displacement, vortex, ultrasonic. But the most current critical issues in flowmeter selection are low operating costs and accuracy.

David Ivester, V.P. marketing and planning, Emerson Process Management, Rosemount Measurement says, “Rising energy costs are driving end users to seek more accurate measurement of material consumption, so we are seeing a trend toward adding additional measurement points. The focus on reducing unnecessary maintenance and improving environmental compliance has generated interest in inline meter verification and flowmeter diagnostics to provide early warning detection when conditions change. As the world’s hydrocarbon energy supply deals with more difficult extraction and processing, we are seeing more demand for exotic materials and flowmeters that can withstand higher temperatures and pressures.”

Randy Brown, marketing director, Fluid Components International, says, “Process engineers continue to demand greater flow measurement accuracy and reliability to achieve higher plant volume output at the lowest operating cost. The focus on reducing unnecessary maintenance and improving environmental compliance has generated interest in inline meter verification and flowmeter diagnostics to provide early warning detection when conditions change. ”

Patti Pool
Products Editor
[email protected]
Universal Flow Monitors
Universal variable area flowmeters are also flow switches for monitoring cooling water, circulating lubrication oil and other clean fluids. Vane and piston meters can be used when local flow indication and mechanical flow switching, with or without an optional, pot-driven 4-20 mA transmitter, are desired. The mechanical meters with switches are individually calibrated for fluids with the viscosity specified by the user.
Max Machinery
G-Series gear flowmeters for extremely viscous fluids operate at maximum flow rates of 4 L/min, 15 L/min, 45 L/min and 105 L/min, respectively, with 0.3% reading accuracy across a 100:1 flow range. All meters are calibrated with 30 cP fluid, but are compatible with fluid viscosities ranging from under 5 cP up to 100,000 cP and beyond. Stainless steel bodies operate at pressures as high as 6000 psi.
Flow Technology
Gecko flow transfer standard uses the EZ-Link portable interface box and EZ-Cal menu-driven software for online comparison calibrations with the unit under test. Designed for liquid applications, it consists of software and a USB interface box that allows the user to interface with a computer of their choice. Master flowmeters can be supplied by this company, or the user can choose virtually any meter technology they desire for a master reference meter.
Dakota Instruments
Injected-molded polysulfone, chemical resistant flowmeters have silk-screened, direct-reading dual scales available in overlapping flow ranges for water (GPM/LPM) or air (SCFM/M³/hr). An optional integral flow adjustment valve is available for panel-mounted meters. Floats are made of 316 SS, PTFE or PVC with optional Hastelloy C-276 or PVC available.
Spirax Sarco
DIVA mass or volumetric energy flowmeter measures steam flow over a wide turndown. It automatically compensates for changes in steam density, providing 4-20 mA and pulsed outputs proportional to mass or energy flow, as well as real time display of steam pressure, temperature, flow rate and total flow in both English and SI units.
FCMI magnetic inductive flowmeters measure flow rates between 0 gpm and 9.9 gpm in electrically conductive fluids. Accuracy is 2% of the measured value. They have no moving parts and can be used in water treatment, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Emerson Process Management, Micro Motion
Two-wire Coriolis flowmeter is especially suited for upgrading older loop-powered technologies in the plant with an Elite Coriolis meter without adding more power or installing new cabling. The meter delivers +0.10% liquid flow and +0.0005 g/cm³ liquid density accuracy in continuous process and mass balance applications. It has no moving parts and requires no maintenance.
V-Cone flowmeter for steam provides flow measurement in steam process lines connecting boilers with process equipment or HVAC systems. Accurate to ±0.5%, with a repeatability of ±0.1%, the meter requires only 0-3 pipe straight diameters upstream and 0-1 diameters downstream from the meter. In crowded plant environments, the V-Cone typically reduces real estate, piping material and associated support structures. 
Cox Instruments
Cox 4080 extended range fluid compensation flowmeter interface provides total flow compensation to enhance flowmeter accuracy, while extending the linear flow range. It tracks all variables to compensate for viscosity and temperature variations while developing a 200 data point curve representing the flowmeter output. Its graphical user interface provides characterization of process signals, output signals and liquid properties. 
Fluid Components International LLC (FCI)
Model ST51 mass flowmeter is designed to specifically measure biogas and all methane composition gases including natural gas. It features a thermal mass, insertion-style flow element with a flow accuracy of ±1% of reading over a range of 0.3 to 400 SFPS (0.08 to 122 MPS), and repeatability of ±0.5% of reading. The flow element is available for use in line sizes from 2 inches to 24 inches (51 mm to 610 mm) diameter.
Dwyer Instruments
Two series of turbine flowmeters convert flow rates into a linear 0 to 5 Vdc output for signal recording and data logging. Series TFP-GV have a 0-5 Vdc analog output and can be coupled with a Series FIV flow indicator for a remote flow rate and total display. Series TFP-GI models have a 0 Vdc to 5 Vdc analog output and a local 3-1/2-digit LCD flow rate indicator.
Omega Engineering
WT-2000 thermal wind tunnel, made of clear polycarbonate and PVC, measures air flow up to 1000 fpm. The included control box allows for open loop full scale operation of individual fans, groups of two fans, or all fans at a time. 
Automation Products Group
LPU-2428 loop-powered, ultrasonic level sensors perform flow, volume and totalization calculations in harsh environments. They provide a one-foot to 25-foot (0.3-mm to 7.62-mm) detection range on liquids and a one- to 10-foot (0.3- to 3.0-m) detection range in solids. They are suited for industrial and process applications where liquid volume or flow needs to be monitored and controlled. 
GF Piping Systems
Model 2552-3 insertion flow sensor permits hot-tap access to the pipe stream and can be mounted on a variety of pipe sizes from 2 inches to 102 inches Dynamic flow range is 0.15 ft/s to 33 ft/s (0.05 to 10 m/s) with repeatability of ±0.5% of reading at 25ºC. Linearity is 1% reading.
Sage Metering
Sage Prime industrial thermal mass flowmeter monitors the flow rate and consumption of existing natural gas lines in industry. The 4-20 mA output or 24 V pulsed output or Modbus RS485 RTU communications are suitable for viewing, logging or integrating the instantaneous gas flow and totalized consumption on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. 
Keithley Instruments
SignalMeister software platform now includes RF signal analysis along with RF signal generation. It has the capability of generating and analyzing both single-input and single-output (SISO) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) signals in the same environment. Users can create and analyze signals with a block diagram-based GUI. The toolkit supports wireless, MIMO protocol standards, WiMAX Wave 2 and 802.11n WLAN.
800/WATLO W2
EZ-Zone RM configurable, multi loop, temperature/process controller integrates an entire assembly of control loop functionality in a DIN-rail mounted package. It can be used as a PID temperature/process controller or an over/under limit controller, or these functions can be combined into an integrated controller. Other control functions, such as high amperage power controller output, can be integrated as well, creating a complete, integrated thermal loop controller in one package. The controller can be configured with between one and 16 modules controlling from one to 64 loops. 
Advantech, Industrial Automation Group
EKI-1351 (one-port) and EKI-1352 (two-port) 802.11b/g device servers allow most any RS232/422/485 serial device to be monitored remotely and managed and controlled wirelessly, eliminating the need for hardwired cable connections. They give OEMs and end users an easy way to add wireless capabilities to wired devices and equipment, facilitating real-time access to information locked in them. 
Banner Engineering
DX99 transmitter combines three technologies — battery-based power supply, wireless technology and intrinsically safe operation — in one housing. Typical applications include retrofit or upgrade situations, low-power situations and typical process, mobile and long distance applications. The transmitter is available in a polycarbonate or metal housing; both options are intrinsically safe and rated IP67. 
Electro-Chemical Devices
SE series steam-sterilizable electrodes and SF series fittings measure pH in sanitary liquid processes that require steam-in-place (SIP) or clean-in-place (CIP) operation. The smooth-surface fittings can be cleaned and sterilized in accordance with EHEDG (European Hygienic Equipment Design Group) criteria. They use FDA-compliant Oring seals, and feature AISI 316L stainless-steel wetted materials with a surface finish of Ra = 0.8μm (optional RA = 0.4μm) and use FDA- compliant Oring seals.   ASSET HEALTH MONITORING
Asset Health Indicators in v3.3.1 of APM software provides visibility to critical aspects of asset and strategy conditions, so users can be alerted and notified when thresholds are exceeded. Asset Health Indicators can leverage data from existing Meridium APM sources or sources interfaced to Meridium, such as enterprise asset management and condition/health monitoring systems. The package also includes SAP interfaces, web client, operator rounds and thickness monitoring. 
Yokogawa Corp. of America
ToughMeter series 270 analog panel meters are designed to operate in harsh environments and are IP66-approved. The 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch meters have an accuracy of 2% DC and 3% AC. Featured are all-metal cases and polycarbonate windows, gasket-sealed bezels, terminals and zero regulators to ensure dust and moisture protection. Either pivot-and-jewel 
Siemens Energy & Automation
SITOP wall-mount 24 Vac/10 A power supply for applications under high shock and vibration conditions, meets IEC 68-2-27 Basic Environmental Testing Procedures, Part 2; International Standard IEC 60529 Ingress Protection Rating; and MIL-STD-810F, Method 514.5, Vibration.

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