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Automation Technologies 3/2014

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Automation Technologies 3/2014

It’s all in the flow:

It’s all in the flow: new flowmeter technology with many benefits All flow metering systems currently available have their specific weaknesses, limiting their range of applications. Bürkert claims to have developed a flowmeter with close to no flaws. The new device called Flowave is based on the Surface Acoustic Wave technology which can be beneficial in many ways. back to current issue Today’s flowmeters on the market are based on a wide array of different technologies. Still, each and every technology available today is fraught with its specific limitations so that selecting the most suitable for a specific application is a challenge. The measuring task must be fulfilled throughout the entire life cycle of the device and the daily operative handling effort should remain within reasonable limits. Bürkert’s answer to this challenge is called Flowave: it indicates its device status at every time with a light being related to Namur NE107 definitions and does not require maintenance activities. The result: shorter downtimes resulting in remarkable lifecycle cost reductions for users. With this in mind, Bürkert set out to find a technology that would take account of all that and offer significantly more value to users. The Surface Acoustic Wave Technology (SAW) fits the bill. The flowmeter AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 3/2014

Sensors and Measurement relies on the propagation of waves for measurements, similar to those present in seismic activities. No pressure drop, no effects on the sensors SAW for inline flow measurement of liquids operates without any components or constrictions inside the measuring tube. The interior surface can be manufactured with the same surface finish applied to the rest of the pipeline. In terms of hygiene, cleaning and flow conditions, there are absolutely no differences compared to any other straight piece of pipe. There is no pressure drop and no effects of the fluid on sensor elements. No tedious selection process to come up with the best sensor variant. Maintenance is minimal if at all. Transmitter, sensor and measuring tube stand up to the highest hygienic requirements. Volume flow, temperature and density can be measured, too. Based on this data, the mass flow rate can be calculated. The new flowmeter principle would work even with stagnant liquids so that results are available even with the smallest flow volumes. It recognizes quick flow rate changes and is, thus, suitable for fast filling processes. The high excitation frequency of more than 1 MHz helps to avoid disturbances due to inherent vibration in the plant. Magnetic and electrical effects have no influence on measurements. This technology does not depend on the conductivity of the fluid, which significantly expands its scope of application. Certain effects, which may be caused in liquids due to gas bubbles or solid particles, are less pronounced when using the new technology, or can be detected with better reliability. Last but not least: SAW is the only flowmeter technology that can distinguish between laminar and turbulent flows. which comprises the user interface and generates the required output signals. The design is fully modular, which allows for a multiple use of all individual components. The connection of the electric sub-assemblies is fully digital. The manufacturer uses CANopen with extensions, which allows the design of network topologies and, thus, helps to offer customized solutions. Volker Erbe, product manager for sensors at Bürkert, recommends the SAW technology especially in those cases where, so far, low or non-conductive fluids excluded electromagnetic inductive sensors and forced users to opt for the more expensive Coriolis devices. Photographs: Teaser fotolia www.buerkert.com About Company name: Bürkert Fluid Control Systems Headquarters: Ingelfingen, Germany Turnover: €409m (2013) Employees: more than 2,500 Products: Fluid control systems, complete automation solutions and fluid systems Replacing the more expensive devices Implementing this technology leads to a compact and lightweight flowmeter. The device can be installed in any position. The SAW sensor is an integral part of the measuring tube. It is connected to a transmitter 01 Flowmeter Flowave, Type 8098, based on the new “Surface Acoustic Wave” technology (SAW) AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2014 109

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