Clamp-on for quick best value solutions

Trying to get a grip on the water, energy flows or process flows within process and water industry systems can be a daunting task. What’s flowing where? How do we control or monitor that? Are the questions to be answered and starting with a clean sheet would be great but in practice we’re faced with old systems, limited drawings and a confusing and tangled mess to sort out.

And when we think we’ve established the circuit or area to be investigated how are we going to measure what’s going on? Well the conventional solution is to install in-line meters but we’re not sure we want to invest in the considerable cost of installing a fixed or permanent solution or face the disruption associated with draining down systems, cutting pipes and so on… Ideally we need a quick solution, which is cost-effective and involves minimal disruption i.e. a best value solution.

The answer is clamp-on ultrasonic flow and energy meters, which are available as portable instruments for temporary investigations or fixed meters for longer term measurement and monitoring, as a direct alternative to conventional in-line meters. Clamp-on ultrasonic metering is a best value, minimum disruption solution for retrofit in existing systems and processes with no drain-down or cutting of pipe-work, delivering a quick lower cost installation. And the ongoing benefits include dry servicing with minimum down time and interruption of services. So if you need to find out what’s flowing where quickly or with minimum disruption and cost this is the tool for the job, which is easy to install and integrate with existing control and automation systems.

Examples include:

Industry specialist utilises Portable Transit Time Flow Meter to aid energy saving in healthcare industry

Buckingham-based Triple Red specialises in laboratory equipment and is a major supplier of equipment and servicing for water purification in the laboratory and healthcare sector. They were contacted by a blue chip pharmaceutical company for help and advice on an ongoing energy saving project. The company’s technical personnel had identified the need to replace a 22kW pump on a pure water distribution system that operated continuously. Ron Griffiths, Triple Red’s Project Manager made a site visit and formulated a plan to remove the pump and replace it with an inverter-driven, 5.5kW pump. However, it was vital to ensure that the new pump achieved the required flow rate but the existing system was fitted with five stainless steel loops and no means of measuring the flow of water through the pipes.

Jeremy Allen, Technical Manager selected the Micronics Portaflow 220 for the task. The unit simply clamps onto the pipe without any need to cut into the pipe and therefore the time to verify flow rates around the system were minimal and the potential disruption to the running of a very busy research facility was minimal. Jeremy was pleased with his selection: “I attended the site with an engineer to test and validate the Portaflow 220 and found it simple and straightforward to use with a good, menu-driven setup. I was impressed with the product design and build and am sure that it will prove to be a useful addition to other instrumentation we use out in the field.”

Portable Doppler Flow Meter measures flow rate in Personal and Homecare factory

A Micronics PF D550 Doppler Flow Meter fulfilled a vital requirement in a major manufacturing unit in Bradford. The shampoos and conditioners manufactured in this Personal and Home Care business unit start their life in concentrate form and need to be diluted with water from a 70% concentration down to a 27% concentration. If the dilution is wrong a whole batch can be spoilt which may be as much as 10 tons, leading to severe disruption to the plant and loss of revenue. Therefore the flow rate of the water needs to be precisely measured.

The PF D550 is used to monitor and balance flow, or to troubleshoot flow problems in full pipes. It is ideal to evaluate performance of in-line flow meters and can be installed, calibrated and started-up in minutes. It is particularly useful in projects where a permanent flowmeter is not required or to temporarily replace installed flow transmitters. It simply clamps onto the outside of a pipe avoiding any production disruption and because the sensor is mounted on the outside of the pipe, there is no contact with the moving fluid. The ultrasonic sensor straps onto the outside of pipes and measures flow in any pipe that conducts ultrasound. The PF D550 ultrasonic sensor injects high frequency sound through the pipe wall to measure the flowing liquid. Gas bubbles or solids suspended in the liquid reflect the ultrasonic signal back to the sensor.

Fixed clamp-on flow-meters measure chemical flow rates whilst avoiding contamination risk

Four Micronics U3000’s were used by Norfolk-based Diamond Controls, to help an agricultural chemicals manufacturer measure the flow rates on specific chemicals before being mixed together. Omex Agriculture, manufacture complex liquid formulations for use in many industries, ranging from agriculture to energy. Robert Perry, Omex’s Production Manager was looking for a solution to avoid the risk of contamination. He contacted Paul Davis of Diamond Controls, who recommended the U3000 as it provides accurate, non-invasive, flow measurement from outside the pipe so there is no need to cut into pipe-work. The Ultraflo’s easy to follow menu and simple set up makes the calculation of liquid flow effortless and reliable.

These are just a few examples of clamp-on metering solutions in action and the potential for wider use in the process and water industries is significant.

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