Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ultrasonic Clamp-On Flowmeter with SIL 2 Rating

SIL 2 capable clamp on ultrasonic flowmeter
FLUXUS F/G70X and F/G80X series meters
Image 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 contact with the the process fluid, nor insertion in the fluid flow path. A common installation method is to clamp the ultrasonic transducer assembly onto the exterior of a process 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.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Segmented Ball Rotary Control Valve for Natural Gas Regulation

segmented ball rotary control valve for natural gas
Segmented ball valve for natural gas regulation,
shown with Digital Natural Gas Positioner
Image courtesy GE Becker
The manufacturers of valves and other fluid control components for the processing industries have continuously developed new designs and innovated existing designs to deliver better performance for targeted operating conditions. The available basic valve designs, along with their variants, create an immense catalog of potential candidates for each application.

One such design variant is the segmented ball  valve. It is a quarter turn valve, like its cousin the ball valve, but the trim is different. True to its name, the active closure structure is but a portion of what we know of as a common ball valve. Where the closure mechanism of a ball valve essentially is a solid ball with a hole drilled through it, a segmented ball valve more resembles a section of a sphere or hollowed out ball with a shaped opening in the surface. A primary distinction between the two is that a ball valve contains a passageway through the diameter of the ball that rotates around a central axis. A segmented ball valve functions somewhat more like a gate valve and has no machined pathway through the closure, only a formed surface that restricts a portion of the fluid pathway.

The closure in a ball valve can be floating or trunnion mounted. A segmented ball valve will have a trunnion style mounted closure, with rigid support on opposing points of its diameter. Ball valves, with their rotating fluid pathway resembling a short tube, are generally not the best option for flow control, being better suited for isolation applications. The segmented ball valve functions similar to a sliding gate valve, providing an increasing or decreasing shaped opening as the shaft is turned.

GE Oil & Gas, under the Becker brand name, utilizes segmented ball valves for natural gas regulation applications. There are other industrial applications where this valve type can deliver superior performance and overcome a number of otherwise challenging conditions.

The brochure included below provides more detail on the segmented ball valves targeted for natural gas operations. There are some good illustrations that detail the valve construction. Share your fluid control challenges of all types with valve specialists, leveraging your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Flexim Wins Recognition for Innovative Flow Measurement

ultrasonic flow meter
Flexim F704 Ultrasonic Flow Meter
Image courtesy Flexim Americas
Flow Control Magazine, which targets solutions for fluid movement, measurement and containment, handed out its annual Innovation Awards recently. Among those receiving honorable mention was Flexim Americas Corporation, for the Fluxus Cryo that provides noninvasive measurement of cryogenic fluids. Special design adaptations prevent ice build up on the measurement apparatus that that can plague other technologies.

Ultrasonic flow measurement offers some distinct advantages over other available methods, with high accuracy, no intrusion into the media, and no moving parts. While the award was specifically for a cryogenic application, Flexim ultrasonic flow measurement instruments are available for an extensive array of applications.

For more information, share your flow measurement requirements and challenges with process instrumentation experts, leveraging your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Magnetic Flow Meters: Principles and Applications

magnetic flow meter, magmeter, or flowmeter
Magnetic flowmeters are well suited for flow measurement
with conductive fluids.
Image courtesy Yokogawa
Fluid process control operations rely on the operator's ability to accurately determine qualities and quantities of liquid or gaseous materials. In terms of appraising and working with fluids (such as liquids, steam, and gases) the flow meter is a staple tool, with the simple goal of expressing the delivery of a subject fluid in a quantified manner. Measurement of media flow velocity can be used, along with other inputs, to determine volumetric or mass flow. The magnetic flow meter, also called a magmeter, is one of several technologies used to measure fluid flow.

In general, magnetic flow meters are sturdy, reliable devices able to withstand hazardous environments while returning accurate measurements to operators of a wide variety of processes. The magnetic flow meter has no moving parts. The operational principle of the device is powered by Faraday’s Law, a fundamental scientific principle stating that a voltage will be induced across any conductor moving at a right angle through a magnetic field, with the voltage being proportional to the velocity of the conductor. The principle allows for an inherently hard-to-measure quality of a substance to be expressed via the magmeter. In a magmeter application, the meter produces the magnetic field referred to in Faraday’s Law. The conductor is the fluid. The actual measurement of a magnetic flow meter is the induced voltage corresponding to fluid velocity. This can be used to determine volumetric flow and mass flow when combined with other measurements.

The magnetic flow meter technology is not impacted by temperature, pressure, or density of the subject fluid. It is however, necessary to fill the entire cross section of the pipe in order to derive useful volumetric flow measurements. Faraday’s Law relies on conductivity, so the fluid being measured has to be electrically conductive. Many hydrocarbons are not sufficiently conductive for a flow measurement using this method, nor are gases. On the other hand, water and aqueous solutions tend to exhibit sufficient conductivity to apply magmeter technology.

Magmeters apply Faraday’s law by using two charged magnetic coils; fluid passes through the magnetic field produced by the coils. A precise measurement of the voltage generated in the fluid will be proportional to fluid velocity. The relationship between voltage and flow is theoretically a linear expression, yet some outside factors may present barriers and complications in the interaction of the instrument with the subject fluid. These complications include a higher amount of voltage in the liquid being processed, and coupling issues between the signal circuit, power source, and/or connective leads of both an inductive and capacitive nature.

In addition to salient factors such as price, accuracy, ease of use, and the size-scale of the flow meter in relation to the fluid system, there are multiple reasons why magmeters are the unit of choice for certain applications. They are resistant to corrosion, and can provide accurate measurement of dirty fluids – making them suitable for wastewater measurement. As mentioned, there are no moving parts in a magmeter, keeping maintenance to a minimum. Power requirements are also low. Instruments are available in a wide range of configurations, sizes, and construction materials to accommodate various process installation requirements.

As with all process measurement instruments, proper selection, configuration, and installation are the real keys to a successful project. Share your flow measurement challenges of all types with a process measurement specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fluid Processes - When A Butterfly Valve Is The Best Choice

high performance butterfly valve with actuator
High performance butterfly valve with actuator
Image courtesy ABZ Valve
Industrial process control valves are available in uncountable combinations of materials, types, and configurations. An initial step of the selection procedure for a valve application should be choosing the valve type, thus narrowing the selection field to a more manageable level. Valve "types" can generally be classified by the closing mechanism of the valve.

A butterfly valve has a disc that is positioned in the fluid flow path. In the most common form of butterfly valve, the disc rotates around a central axis, the stem, through a 90 degree arc from a position parallel to the flow direction (open) to perpendicular (closed). A variety of materials are used in the valve body construction, and it is common to line the valve with another material to provide special properties accommodating particular process media.

What attributes might make a butterfly valve a beneficial selection over another valve type?
  • The closure arrangement allows for a comparatively small size and weight. This can reduce the cost, space, and support requirements for the valve assembly.
  • Generally low torque requirements for valve operation allow for manual operation, or automation with an array of electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic actuators.
  • Low pressure drop associated with the closure mechanism. The disc in the flow path is generally thin. In the fully open position, the disc presents its narrow edge to the direction of flow.
  • Quarter turn operation allows for fast valve operation.
  • Some throttling capability is provided at partially open positions.
  • Small parts count, low maintenance requirements.
What may be some reasons to consider alternate valve types?
  • Butterfly valve throttling capability is generally limited to low pressure drop applications
  • Cavitation can be a concern.
  • Some sources mention the possibility of choked flow as a concern under certain conditions.
Butterfly valves, like other valve types, have applications where they outperform. Careful consideration and consultation with a valve expert is a first step toward making a good selection. Combine your process know-how with the product application expertise of a professional sales engineer to produce the best solutions to your process control challenges.



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nitrogen Generator Animation Video - Pressure Swing Adsorption



Nitrogen is utilized throughout the industrial and commercial sectors It is incorporated as part of many compounds used to make a wide range of products. Nitrogen is also used as a cooling medium and as a means to isolate flammable or reactive compounds from oxygen.

There are several methods employed to generate or provide nitrogen, each with certain aspects making them advantageous to a certain range of applications. Convenience, reliability of supply, space, cost, energy consumption, purity, and a host of other factors can weigh on the decision for nitrogen supply.

Parker Balston, a globally recognized manufacturer of gas process equipment, employs pressure swing adsorption in some of its nitrogen generating equipment. The video illustrates the process and the brochure included below details the product offering for a wide range of applications. Nitrogen generation on site can provide an effective and economic means of providing a clean nitrogen supply for industrial operations. Share your requirements with product application specialists to see how a nitrogen generator system can benefit your operation.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

VigilantPlant Solutions Partner Program

control station for industrial process automation and control
Classic Controls - Authorized Systems Integrator
under Yokogawa VigilantPlant Solutions Partner Program
Image courtesy of Yokogawa  
Classic Controls is one of a very few Authorized Systems Integrators in the Yokogawa VigilantPlant Solutions Partner Program. Extensive and specialized capability is a core requirement of membership. Classic Controls, in addition to their provision of total solutions for process measurement, control, and automation challenges, provides special focus on the Yokogawa CENTUM VP, CENTUM CS 3000 R3, and CENTUM CS control platforms. Classic Controls has the experience, expertise, training, and resources to deliver consultation, installation, and support for these and other Yokogawa process measurement, control and automation products and systems.

Whether considering a new installation, or upgrading in-place systems, share your plans and challenges with process control and automation experts. Leverage your own experience and knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.