VEGAPULS 64 delivers best measuring results with 80 GHz

VEGA Grieshaber KG offers the first radar level gauge for liquids that operates at a frequency of 80 GHz. With its amazingly small antenna system, the VEGAPULS 64 is ideal for use in vessels with small process connections, such as those used in the food, pharmaceutical and biotech industry. The new sensor is also particularly suitable for use in these industries due to its hygienic materials and design.

The focusing properties of a radar measuring instrument depends on the transmission frequency and the effective antenna surface. By using a transmission frequency over three times higher (26 GHz was common until now), the antennas can be three times smaller and still achieve nearly the same signal focusing. This allows considerably smaller process fittings with an antenna size of only ¾” – a significant advantage, especially for use in small vessels.

This frequency also considerably reduces interfering signals generated at close range. This is crucial for the industry, because the antenna size and blocking distance (the dead band, i.e. the minimum distance between the antenna and the liquid surface) of radar instruments was far too large for small containers. Now, the medium can be measured with much higher accuracy, both right up to the process fitting and down to the very bottom of the container.

Another plus for this highly regulated industry: since existing process connections can be used, the new sensor can be easily installed without costly equipment modifications. Aseptic process fittings will be available at the market launch – in these, only PTFE serves as the wetted material. These process fittings meet the requirements of 3A, FDA and EHEDG.

Since radar signals pass right through viewing windows and glass containers, the sensor can also be mounted outside the container in some cases. This method, too, has become much easier thanks to the higher transmission frequency – and this solution will be especially interesting for the pharmaceutical and food industry.


The new standard in level measurement

Since its introduction about 30 years ago, radar level measurement has continued to change and improve. VEGA Australia offers two 80 GHz units which represent the cutting edge in this field.

Up until the late 1980s, manufacturers used technologies such as capacitance and ultrasonic pressure to measure the levels of liquids and solids inside vessels. However, as is the case with most old technologies, these devices have now been largely superseded.

“Radar technology now is becoming an accepted form of level measurement. Radar has completely replaced traditional methods because of advantages to the client,” John Leadbetter, managing director of VEGA Australia, told Food & Beverage Industry News.

These advantages include better hygiene, efficiency, simplicity, speed, accuracy, and more.

VEGA Australia offers two products which provide all these benefits – the Vegapuls 69 which is mainly used to measure solid materials like grains, flours, and solid mixtures; and the Vegapuls 64, which is suitable for use with liquid and paste materials, such as sauces, dairy products, blends of mixtures, and oils.

80GHz level measurement

These level sensors are the first to use a frequency of 80 GHz. This means they have a narrow beam angle of 3 degrees which provides better focus. In addition, they have an increased power range and can measure up to 120m.

According to Leadbetter, the small size of the sensors is another important factor. “The smaller size in both models allows a lower beam angle. The other thing it does is help with the cost of installation. The customer doesn’t have to go out and modify vessels to larger diameter units. In most cases, existing sockets on the vessels can be utilised for the transmitter. Installation’s a lot simpler and easier,” he said.

While the sensors are suitable for use in many industries, including energy, oil, chemical, building and elsewhere, the models used by food makers have all the necessary industry approvals.

“The Vegapuls 64 carries all the food approvals and the Vegapuls 69 carries what they call the dust approval. This is necessary because things like grain and white sugar are highly explosive,” said Leadbetter.

The importance of hygiene

Hygiene is a crucial consideration for food and beverage makers. The advantage of radar level measurement, in this context, is that the sensor used never come into contact with the material being measured.

Apart from that, operations which use the technology should simply follow normal industry procedures. “Most applications in the food industry use cleaning in place with caustics, so we’re all fully approved, we have temperature ratings and everything for that. Realistically in the food industry you’re going to have no little gaps or anything like that so it’s going to be a smooth finish,” Leadbetter said.

Connectivity and simplicity

According to Leadbetter, another advantage of the sensors is that they are Bluetooth compatible.

“With both units you have a variety of fittings so they are adaptable to the needs of specific clients. They also have built-in asset management which means that, if there has been a problem in the middle of the night, they can go back through the memory and pick out what the problem was,” he said. “Asset management’s a big part of it.”

The sensors are used with an industry standard software called Pactware which is commonly used for instrumentation. Users log into their units through a laptop (or Bluetooth via a smart phone or iPad) and they are able to set the unit up either remotely or connect to it directly.

“The major feedback we get from customers is how easy they are to program. We’ve made it a lot simpler for the customer,” said Leadbetter.

According to Leadbetter, the two units have been very well received by industry. “Three major grain companies in Australia have now standardised on the Vegapuls 69. Also, in the case of the Vegapulse 64 we have food manufacturers that have standardised on the product. This means they are very happy with the performance,” he said.

On top of that, they have proved popular. Combined, they have sold in excess of 80,000 units, across all industries, worldwide.

Leadbetter said that VEGA Australia has all the level measurement bases covered. “We’ve covered the dry and processed food with the same technology. It’s one technology to cover both sides of operations,” he said.

SMC merges its digital pressure switch range under the same design

SMC is building on the success of its ZSE20(F)/ISE20 pressure switch range which features 3-screen display, 3-step setting mode and selectable delay time function, with the ZSE20(F)#/ISE20# (A, B and C). The extended series will help operators deliver efficiencies in terms of control and time saving.

Following the success of SMC’s pressure switch last year, SMC has extended its ZSE20(F)/ISE20 digital switch range. The A, B and C variations share the original ZSE20(F)/ISE20’s display, setting, selectable delay time, as well as the lightweight and compact design. All models simplify the visual process for operators, while saving time as there are fewer push button operations to perform.

The added variations also match the terms of enclosure, output type and media of the current series:

  • A Model-> Current ZSE30(F)/ISE30A-> IP40, NPN/PNP and Analogue output
  • B Model-> Current ZSE40(F)/ISE40A-> IP65, NPN/PNP and Analogue output
  • C Model-> Current ZSE80(F)/ISE80-> IP65, NPN/PNP and Analogue output, for fluids.

Thus far, customers have been particularly impressed with the functionality of design, its ease-of-use and accuracy of information which is readily available with minimal delay. The models are compact and lightweight to deliver space savings.



Precision ST75 thermal flow meter measures chiller air flow to reduce operating costs

Building, plant and process engineers responsible for managing large HVAC and other process cooling equipment systems will find the ST75 Series Air/Gas Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) provides precise direct mass flow measurement for  accuracy, repeatability and dependability.

The energy efficiency of HVAC and other process cooling equipment systems in large commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and industrial processes relies on precision air flow metering.  The ST75 Series Air/Gas Flow Meter features an advanced solid-state thermal dispersion mass flow sensing element for years of accurate, trouble-free service measuring air flow in chiller systems and duct work.

The ST75 Flow Meter operates over a wide air flow range that also includes mixed gas environments from 0.07 to 950 NCMH, depending on line size. For variable demand cycles due to weather or production requirements, the ST75 meter is factory preset to 100:1 turndowns.

With built-in process temperature compensation for accuracy, the precision ST75 Flow Meter maintains consistent performance in high temperature climates and rugged plant environments.  It features highly dependable accuracy to ±1% of reading with ±0.5% repeatability in line sizes from 6 to 51 mm.

The ST75 Flow Meter’s precision flow element has a no-moving parts design, which employs platinum RTD sensors embedded in equal mass thermowells with its microprocessor electronics calibrated to laboratory standards for air and a wide variety of other gases.  This no-moving parts design provides extra reliability where process safety is a concern.

Ideal for crowded equipment areas in HVAC mechanical rooms or on the factory floor, the compact ST75 model comes in a choice of either inline or insertion mounting configurations and features remote mounting capabilities for hazardous plant environments.  The model ST75AV features a built-in Vortab flow conditioner where lack of pipe straight-run is a potential issue. The transmitter, which includes a full digital display, can be mounted up to 15 meters away from its thermal mass flow sensor in piping or ductwork and connected via two 0.50-inch FNPT or M conduit connections.

The ST75 Flow Meter’s fully scalable dual 4-20mA standard outputs are user assignable to flow rate and/or temperature and a 0-1kHz pulse output of total flow.  The instrument can be ordered for input power with either 18 to 36 Vdc or 85 to 265 Vac, with or without a built-in LCD digital display.

The durable ST75 Flow Meter withstands process temperatures from -18 to 121°C.  It operates at pressures up to 16.5 bar (g) with a standard t-fitting (NPT female) process connection.   With a tube process connection, the meter withstands 41 bar (g).

Offering direct-flow measurement for higher performance at a lower cost with proven thermal dispersion technology, the ST75 Flow Meter eliminates the need for additional pressure and temperature sensors, flow computers, or other devices that are required with orifice plates, Venturis, Vortex shedding, and other volumetric meters.  The ST75 meter also requires virtually no maintenance for both a low installed cost and low life-cycle cost.

The ST75 Series electronics are housed in rugged, IP67 rated enclosure with dual conduit ports in either NPT or M20 threading. The models ST75A and ST75AV include HART as well as NAMUR compliant 4-20 mA outputs and SIL compliance rating. The complete instrument carries global Ex agency approvals for Division l/Zone 1 installations

Chilled mirror hygrometer

Michell’s engineers have developed a unique, hybrid mirror to provide a fast response to changes in temperature and humidity, while also improving the drift-free accuracy of the fundamental chilled mirror technique by 25% to ±0.15°C.

The mirror is highly resistant to corrosion from acids and other contaminants, and, during rigorous testing, outlasted other mirrors based on traditional designs. Customers will be offered three choices of sensor: single and dual stage cooling, plus a dual-stage sensor which is designed specifically for use in harsh, demanding applications such as control of metallurgical processes. This harsh environment sensor is capable of operating in temperatures up to 120°C.

It’s not just the sensor that Michell’s engineers have improved: the control unit has also been re-designed with a new case design and improved firmware. The new Optidew has two formats – the Optidew 501 wall mounted unit, and the Optidew 401 bench top instrument. Both are available with a full colour touch screen HMI for easy local operation and interrogation. The Optidew 501 is also available as a transmitter, without a screen, for integration into a DCS, or an environmental monitoring system such as the adaptive Rotronic Monitoring System (RMS). Michell also offers PC-based software for data capture and graphing. The transmitter version also includes a multi-colour LED indicator which clearly displays the instruments’ status for operators to view locally.

The Optidew 501 and 401 both have two 4-20mA outputs, and offer a choice of digital communications. The wall mounted Optidew 501 has Modbus RTU over RS485 as standard, with an optional Ethernet connection and SD card slot for data logging. As a bench top unit, the Optidew 401 has a wider range of communications as standard: RS485, USB and SD card data logging. Customers can also choose to have an Ethernet connection if required.

Typical applications for the Optidew include environmental control for engine testing, climatic control in clean rooms and environmental chambers and monitoring the coating process in pharmaceutical and confectionary manufacture. The Optidew 401 is also an excellent chilled mirror reference instrument to validate humidity probes when combined with a humidity generator and calibrated to ISO 17025 standards in one of our UKAS, NVLAP, JCSS, or SGS accredited labs.

Flow meters with CEMS & CERMS capabilities

Engineers responsible for reporting stack gas emissions data to federal, state or local authorities will appreciate the optional Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) and Continuous Emissions Rate Monitoring System (CERMS) applications package available with the next-gen MT100 Series Multipoint Thermal Mass Flow Meters from Fluid Components International (FCI).

FCI’s MT100 Series Flow Meters when specified with the optional CEMS and CERMS applications package meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 40 CFR Part 60 and 40 CFR Part 75.  This package provides a 24-hour interval automated calibration drift test of low and high span points, and interference sensor check.

The MT100 meter’s optional CEMS applications package includes both an automated and on-demand self-checking of calibration drift (CD) and sensor interference.  The results of the CEMS tests are presented as a simple pass or fail message on the LCD readout.  The CEMS option also includes two relay outputs for connection to external devices, one to signal test in progress and the other to signal a fail-test mode.

FCI’s MT100 Series Air/Gas Flow Meters combine state-of-art electronics technology with application-proven precision flow sensors in a rugged package designed for the most demanding plant operating environments.  They provide temperature-compensated direct mass flow measurement of air and gases for precise, repeatable measurement with low maintenance requirements in large diameter pipes, stacks and rectangular duct installations.

In heavy industries, such as electric power generation, petrochemical refineries and others, large diameter pipes and ducts present unique challenges to achieve successful flow meter installation and performance.  Hot, moist and/or dirty gases along with lack of pipe straight-run, distorted flow profiles, low flow rates and wide turndowns rates are common performance challenges for many flow metering technologies.

FCI’s thermal mass MT100 Series air/gas Flow Meters are available with two to eight flow rate sensing points to overcome these issues. Multiple sensors are inserted at various depths within a pipe or duct and their outputs are multiplexed and averaged to produce the flow rate within the process line.

The MT100 meter’s sensors can be installed either across a mast or can be inserted at multiple points around the process line in a single plane.  In large stack applications, this means that the instrument installation can be done at a single platform location to achieve a major cost savings over other technologies such as ultrasonic meters, which require installing transducers at precise offset angles.

In hot, dirty and/or moist or corrosive stack gases, the MT100 Flow Meters also excels because there are no moving parts, orifices or glass windows to foul or clog. The instrument can measure air/gas processes operating up to 454 °C.

The MT100 Series Flow Meters can measure flow rates over a wide range from 0,07 to 305 NMPS with 100:1 turndown and with excellent accuracy of ± 0.75% of reading, ± 0.5% of full scale. They are also dual-function and can provide temperature measurement capability from -45 to 454 °C, with accuracy of ± 1,1 °C.

Ultrasonic flow sensors

Sick has introduced non-contact DOSIC ultrasonic flow sensors designed to precisely detect the flow volume of conductive and non-conductive liquids in demanding environments.

Featuring a rugged design, the new DOSIC ultrasonic flow sensors come with a measurement channel and stainless steel housing, making them ideal for measuring tasks in hygienic and highly demanding environments. Combined with a compact and hygienic design, the DOSIC ensures highly reliable flow measurement results, making the sensor suitable for a wide range of application possibilities, especially those involving restricted spaces or aggressive cleaning agents. The flow volume is determined in a non-contact manner since there is no contact between the sensor and the flow.

Key features of DOSIC ultrasonic flow sensors include two configurable digital inputs and outputs, up to two analogue outputs, and an IO-Link interface to an adaptive control unit ensuring effective monitoring; IO-Link reducing cabling and enabling complete control and monitoring of the sensor in Industry 4.0 machine environments; absence of moving parts eliminating potential contamination risks in demanding food industry environments; straight, seal-free, and self-emptying measuring tube made of high quality stainless steel (316L with Ra ≤ 0.8); and high quality stainless steel housing providing required ruggedness and resistance.

DOSIC ultrasonic flow sensors come with EHEDG certification and FDA compliance. These rugged sensors can withstand aggressive cleaning agents in CIP and SIP operations as well as temperatures up to 143 degrees Celsius in SIP processes for up to one hour.

The sensor automatically adjusts its parameters if the liquid is changed. The plug-and-measure solution eliminates the need for initial medium calibration and reduces installation and operating costs.

Air velocity and IAQ data logger

Testo introduces a new innovation for indoor air quality (IAQ) specialists with the launch of a new air velocity and IAQ data logger.

The Testo 440 air velocity and IAQ measuring instrument reduces some of the clutter associated with existing systems, enabling heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers to do more with less using a modern tool.

At the heart of the system is the simple yet intuitive Testo 440 and Testo 440 delta P measurement tool. Key features include compact size designed to fit into the pocket; ability to hold up to 7,500 readings for volume flow, K factor, pilot tube flow, heating and cooling load, mould assessment and flow turbulence; wireless connectivity allowing technicians to reduce the number of devices being used; and compliance with EN ISO 7730 and ASHRAE 55 regulatory standards.

The probe handle enables specialists to attach various components to the adapter including a 16mm vane probe head; hot wire probe head; high-precision 100mm vane probe head; 100mm vane probe head; and CO, CO2 and humidity probe heads (wired optional).

All probe heads also offer built-in temperature and humidity sensors, and can be secured to the telescope to reach air flow ducts up to one metre away, or two metres with an extension. Testo 440’s advanced design requires only the probes to be sent in for calibration, allowing the user to easily attach another sensor and continue working.

The Testo 440 air velocity and IAQ data logger set is suitable for use in commercial offices, industrial or warehouse facilities as well as laboratory cleanrooms. The measuring instrument can be connected through Bluetooth to its small, wireless printer for on-site data reports, or via USB to a computer for data transfer.

The Testo 440 comes with a variety of optional attachments including a tripod that steadies the data logger.

ST51 Syngas flow meter

Process engineers responsible for on-site plant biomass combined heat and power (CHP) systems will find the rugged and reliable ST51 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) provides continuously accurate measurement of syngas fuel flow to the CHP engine.

Biomass CHP process systems provide both heat and power in one highly efficient process. Wood chips are fed into the system similar to a regular biomass boiler, but instead of feeding it oxygen to burn the wood chips, they are heated in an environment without any oxygen to around 700°C. In this environment instead of burning the wood, the synthesis gases are extracted from it.

The syngases are a mixed composition of N2, CO, CO2, H2, CH4 and trace O2.  After extraction, the gas is run through cooling coils and ash filters to produce a clean syngas that is then used to fuel an engine connected to a generator to provide electricity. The heat produced by the engine, instead of being cooled by a radiator, is then fed into the plant’s heating system.

This is a highly efficient, low emission process for creating plant electricity, which depends on accurate, repeatable, and reliable gas flow measurement under high heat and pressure. In many regions, there are government sponsored subsidies or tax relief benefits for CHP system installations, some of which require combining the gas flow rate with a gas analyser to calculate energy value (e.g. kW/hr).

To ensure the biomass process is active and producing enough syngas to power the CHP engine (as well as to compute the correct energy value), the output flow of syngas needs to be measured accurately and with high repeatability.  FCI’s ST51 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meters are an ideal solution because of their ability to be calibrated for mixed process gases, their all-welded closed sensor design ensuring no leak path for H2 gas safety and their global Ex agency safety approvals for Zone 1/Division 1 hazardous areas with potentially explosive gases.

The ST51 flow meter is an insertion-style flow meter developed for use in pipe diameters from 63 to 610 mm.  It is specifically designed for the flow measurement of methane-based gases such as biogas, digester gas, landfill gas, natural gas, and for air, compressed air or nitrogen.

The ST51 Meter is an insertion style instrument that can be easily installed into the pipe via a 0.5 or 0.75 inch NPT compression fitting.  It features a measurement range from 0.08 MPS to 122 MPS with turndown ratio of 100:1 and with accuracy of ±1 percent reading, ±0.5 percent full scale.  Depending on the chosen configuration, they are suitable for process temperatures from 121°C to 177°C and pressures from 10 bar(g) to 34 bar(g).

Designed with a no-moving parts non-clogging thermal mass flow sensor, the ST51 Meter features precision, lithography structured platinum RTD sensors embedded in FCI’s equal mass small diameter, all metal thermowells.  Combined with microprocessor electronics and precision calibration, this meter achieves excellent accuracy with a fast response. There is virtually no maintenance required over a long-life for an exceptionally low life-cycle cost.

The ST51 Meter’s electronics are housed in a rugged IP67 rated enclosure with dual conduit ports in either NPT or M20 threading. The instrument comes standard with dual 4-20 mA outputs and a 500 Hz pulse output.

Optional features available include HART as well as a higher process temperature service range, NAMUR compliant 4-20 mA outputs and a SIL compliance rating. The transmitter/electronics can be integrally mounted with the flow element (probe) or be remote mounted to best match the installation requirements.

Combing the latest process automation technologies with local assistance

Food makers looking to improve the operational performance, reliability, and safety of their plants are right to seek out the latest innovations from around the world. But sometimes there is no substitute for local assistance.

The Rosemount range of measurement and analytical technologies had an illustrious beginning in the 1950s.

“Emerson’s Rosemount sensors were selected by NASA for the Mercury capsule and [later] installed on-board the Columbia space shuttle.” Justin Ellis, business manager, Rosemount at Emerson told Food & Beverage Industry News.

“In 1969, the 1151 pressure transmitter revolutionised industrial pressure measurement and since that time Emerson’s Rosemount technologies have continued to innovate and redefine industrial automation and measurement.”

According to Ellis, some of the most critical of these innovations have not only improved the reliability and quality of the products, but also helped improve the overall safety and efficiency of automation solutions.

In other words, the Rosemount range has an impressive pedigree. Representing the cutting edge of process automation, devices from the range find use today in the oil and gas, metals and mining, sugar, power, food and beverage, and water industries.

Local capabilities

However, as Ellis said, sometimes the latest internationally-proven technology is not all businesses are looking for.

“Something we’ve come to learn over the last 10 or so years is that organisations are really challenged these days,” he said. Western companies, in particular, are feeling the effects of globalisation and competition from low-cost offshore manufacturers.

Ellis explained that he often hears organisations say things like, “We need companies like Emerson and brands like Rosemount to be more than just products. We need greater support and we need you to help us overcome these challenges.”

Emerson has responded to this feedback by providing clients with support and local capabilities. Firstly, the company has a large service technician and service specialist network across Australia and New Zealand with technicians in almost every capital city as well as key industry areas such as Newcastle and Gladstone.

On top of that, in 2014, the company invested $1 million in building the Quick Ship and Repair centre, a manufacturing and service centre that is a small scale replication of the Rosemount global manufacturing facilities.

Located in Melbourne, the centre can manufacture brand new pressure, temperature and DP level remote seal solutions specifically for Australia and New Zealand industrial operations and deliver them in very short timeframes. This includes specific solutions for local sugar, dairy and beverage producers.

Not only can the facility manufacture new automation equipment but it can also repair, overhaul and return to original performance and specifications existing Rosemount instrumentation assets and save significant replacement costs for operations.

“A big part of building the manufacturing facility was that it meant we could help customers repair their devices,” said Ellis. “Three or four years ago, if a product was broken most companies would just rip it out, throw it away and put a new device in. Now we can, in some cases, repair instruments and automation solutions for only 30 per cent of the cost of a new unit.”


Ellis pointed out that the automation field has an aging workforce. The prevalence of the so-called “greybeards” of instrumentation combined with a reduction in government accredited instrumentation courses means that businesses often struggle to attract and retain workers with the right skills sets to suit their plant assets.

In response to this problem, Emerson collaborated with the International Association for Continuous Education and Training (IACET) to develop a range of educational programs. Professionally designed and developed to conform to the ANSI/IACET Standard for Continuing Education and Training, the programs deliver real outcomes for both students and employers.

They are intended to help businesses better operate, manage and support their industrial facilities.

“Each course combines theory and hands-on practical exercises to ensure that the learning process is consolidated through experiential learning. In addition, each student must pass an assessment phase to ensure that they meet the competency requirements of the course,” said Ellis.

“All instructors have been certified by IACET and have undergone rigorous training not just on the technical aspects of the educational program but also on the soft skills side to ensure that they can competently train and empower students to successfully develop new skills and outcomes.”

Expertise and experience

As mentioned, Emerson has an illustrious history. As a designer and manufacturer of automation equipment, the company holds significant intellectual capital.

“Our organisation has a huge amount of experience and expertise around not only the types of automation equipment available in the market place but also how these automation assets can be used to benefit operations from a reliability, operational and safety perspective,” said Ellis.

“Recently, we have started partnering with progressive companies to help map out programs that help them reduce the amount of inventory that they hold, reduce the amount of wasted emissions and energy usage or improve the safety of their facilities.”

Working at a local level with clients, Emerson representatives can conduct focus groups, or simply sit with engineers to better understand their needs and help develop outcome based solutions combining automation equipment and process expertise.

Called Operational Certainty, the program delivers industry expertise and consulting services at a local level. Combined with Emerson’s automation technologies portfolio and new Industrial IoT solutions, it can help businesses achieve top quartile performance in the areas of safety, reliability, production and energy management.

The products

Emerson’s Rosemount range of measurement and analytical technologies are used in industries ranging from mining to water. Food and beverage manufacturers across Australia and New Zealand use many products from the range including:

  • Pressure transmitters and manifolds
  • DP Level transmitters and remote seals
  • Radar level sensors
  • Vibrating fork level sensors
  • Liquid analysers and sensors
  • Gas analysers
  • Temperature solutions

Rosemount has several hygienic specific solutions, including:

  • 3051HT hygienic pressure transmitters
  • Hygienic temperature transmitters and sensors
  • Hygienic DP level remote seals & FDA approved fill fluids
  • Hygienic pH, conductivity & dissolved oxygen sensors

No-moving parts solutions for small line size flow measurement

Plant and process engineers who need accurate flow detection or measurement of air, gases, or liquids in smaller pipe sizes will find several diverse flow instrument solutions available from Fluid Components International (FCI).

Using advanced, ultra-reliable thermal dispersion flow measurement technology with no-moving parts, FCI’s ST75 Series and ST100L Air/Gas Flow Meters and FLT93L Flow Switch provide ideal solutions for use in 0.25 to 2 inch (DN6 to DN50) pipe or tubing. They excel where low flows, wide-turndowns, dirty fluids, HazEx or harsh installations are among the applications factors.

These flow instruments offer many advantages for service in a wide range of applications: plant, building or lab gas sub-metering, small inlet air/gas feed lines for boilers, gas relief valve monitoring, chemical injection, compressed air systems, cogen or CHP gas fuel measurement and control, sampling systems, and more.

Many small process line applications are difficult to measure reliably with high repeatability due to variations in temperature and pressure, and have wide flow rates.  FCI’s thermal flow meters and switches are unaffected by, or have on-board compensation for, temperature and pressure changes and, in addition to superior detection of low flow rates, provide 100:1 turndown as a standard feature.

FCI’s highly reliable, small line air/gas flow meters and aid/gas/liquid flow switches combine state-of-art electronics technology with application fluid-matched flow sensors and laboratory calibration in rugged packages designed for the most demanding plant operating environments.

Thermal flow sensor technology developed by FCI relies on the relationship between flow rate and the cooling effect.  With no moving parts and minimal invasiveness, these meters and switches provide a highly repeatable, accurate, low cost, easy-to-install solution and there’s virtually no maintenance required over a long life.

FCI’s ST75 Series Air/Gas Flow Meters are ideal for lines sizes from 6mm to 51mm.  Gas or air measurement accuracy is available up to 1% of reading, ±0.5% full scale. The ST75 Meters feature a wide 100:1 turndown and will measure from 0,01 to 950 NCMH depending on pipe size.

The meter’s electronics are housed in a rugged, IP67 rated enclosure with dual conduit ports in either NPT or M20 threading. The instrument comes standard with dual 4-20 mA outputs and a 500 Hz pulse output. The models ST75A and ST75AV include HART as well as NAMUR compliant 4-20 mA outputs and a SIL compliance rating and 2 year warranty.  Global agency approvals for Div.1/Zone 1 HazEx installations include FM, FMc, ATEX, IECEx, EAC and more.

The best-in-class ST100L Air/Gas Flow Meter is a next generation instrument that combines feature- and function- rich electronics with advanced flow sensors. It is designed in a spool piece configuration in 25-50mm tubing, schedule 40 and schedule 80 piping.  It measures air/gas flows from 0.01 to 3,140 Nm3/h with superior accuracy to ± 0.75% reading, ± 0.5% full scale; and repeatability of ± 0.5% reading.

Whether the plant’s output needs are traditional 4-20 mA analogue, frequency/pulse or advanced digital bus communications such as HART, Foundation Fieldbus, PROFIBUS, or Modbus, the ST100L is available with any of them.  Its digital bus communications also are certified and registered devices with HART and Foundation Fieldbus.

Global approvals include:  FM, FMc, ATEX, CE, CSA, IECEx, EAC, NEPSI and Inmetro.  It SIL compliant and is an all-welded design to ensure no leakage when used with volatile gases like hydrogen.

For applications lacking enough straight-run, both ST75 Series and ST100L can be supplied with Vortab flow conditioning built-in to the spool-piece flow body. Its wide selection of available process connections include male and female threaded and flanges are standard.

The FLT93L Flow Switch is a dual function, dual trip point/alarm point precision switch.  It is field settable for trip point on flow rates and temperature, and as any high or low value of either flow or temperature.

The FLT93L’s setpoint range is: 015 to 50 cc/sec for water-based liquids; 0.033 to 110 cc/sec for hydrocarbon-based liquids; and 0.6 to 20,000 cc/sec for air and gases.  Trip point accuracy is ± 0.5% reading or ± 0.04 fps [± 0.012 mps] (whichever is higher) in liquids and ± 0.5% reading or ± 0.06 mps (whichever is higher in air or gases).

The FLT93 has been designed for use and longest service life in the most rugged, harsh operating environments. It is available in both aluminium and stainless steel IP67 rated housings, carries HazEx agency approvals for FM, FMc, ATEX, IECEx, EAC, Inmetro, and NEPSI, meets CRN and European PED and is SIL 2 compliant. It is available in numerous wetted materials and process connection options, and has universal DC/AC power supply.   It carries an industry best three-year warranty.


Ensuring pH control in sugar refineries through automation

A solution from Alvi Technologies is helping sugar refining plants ensure efficient processing through proper pH control.

The sugar refining process begins with the extraction of juice from sugarcane and sugar beet. The juice is then purified by passing it through several processes in the refining plant, during which the solution is adjusted several times to achieve stabilisation, separation and dehydration.

Liming, carbonation and the addition of sulphur dioxide are the three critical stages of the entire process. For complete and efficient processing, pH control is very crucial during these three critical stages. Sugar refining involves severe process conditions such as very high pressure and temperature as well as fluctuating pH levels. When the pH is not accurately maintained, the operation runs the risk of potential losses due to a failed batch.

It’s important for the sugar refinery to select and use the correct pH sensor that is able to withstand these harsh process conditions without affecting the accuracy. The pH sensor also needs to be cleaned several times.

Alvi’s solution addresses all of these issues while measuring and controlling pH. The Ceramat WA150 sensor lock gate together with Unical 9000 automatic cleaning and calibration system allows complete automation of this difficult measuring point with maximum availability.

Modular S80-T80 liquid analysers

The family of modular S80-T80 Liquid Analysers from Electro-Chemical Devices (ECD) is designed to provide engineers and managers with the process data they need to obtain and maintain a wide range of global, regional and local quality, environmental, safety and other certifications, as well as achieve government regulatory operational compliance.

The ECD instrumentation portfolio is covered by international certifications for CSA, FM, IECEx and ATEX with various hazardous location type design approvals available.

ECD’s S80 Sensors measure pH, ORP, pION, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, conductivity or resistivity in liquid processes.  They are suitable for application in many industries including: bio-tech, chemical, food/beverage, pharmaceutical, power generation, semiconductor, water disinfection, wastewater treatment and more.

S80 Sensors feature two universal sensor designs: (1) Insertion/Submersion or (2) Valve Retractable with flared end to prevent blow out.

The standard S80 Sensors are manufactured with a rugged 0.75-inch OD 316 stainless steel body and come with varying cable lengths or an optional waterproof detachable cable assembly.

The design of the S80 Sensors recognizes the universal T80 Transmitter for automatic configuration set-up.  They can be combined into a complete plug-and-play analyser system for any of the available measurement parameters. The S80 Sensors are ready for direct in line pipe insertion, submersion, or open tank applications. The sensors contain a replaceable electrode design. Only the electrode needs to be replaced, not the complete sensor.

The T80 Universal Transmitter is a single channel device designed for the continuous measurement of multiple parameters in a general-purpose industrial environment. It communicates with any pre-calibrated S80 sensor and automatically configures the transmitter’s menus and display screens to the measured parameter. With the T80’s auto configuration capability to any of the available sensor measurements, there is no longer any need to inventory multiple instrument types.

The T80 Universal Transmitter offers membrane switch navigation, a menu structure with soft key menu choices and a 2.75-x-1.5-inch LCD display. It is available with 4-20 mA output with MODBUS RTU on 24 Vdc and 110/220 Vac instruments. The T80 also can be configured with optional HART 7 communications and an optional three alarm relay.


NMI pattern approved energy meters

NHP has release an energy meter with National Measurement Institute (NMI) pattern approval – the EM24DIN from Carlo Gavazzi.

The energy meter has been developed for compliance with the NMI M6-1 standard where any meter to be used for ‘trade’ or billing applications needs to be NMI pattern approved.

Recommended for embedded network applications involving sub billing such as multi-tenant office buildings and universities, the energy meter from NHP enables building owners and facility managers to gain greater insights into energy usage. This in turn, results in increased accuracy when it comes to billing and reporting.

Specifically designed for use in the local Australian market, the versatile three-phase energy meter can be configured for single phase and three phase applications and features on board MODBUS communications where energy data can be remotely available and accessible to energy management systems.

For added application flexibility, the energy meter can be used either as a DIN-rail mounting or a panel mounting energy meter with purpose fit accessory.

Rapid and reliable verification of milk pasteurisation

Hygiena, a leading provider of microbial detection, monitoring and identification solutions, has announced the new ZymoSnap ALP, an innovative alkaline phosphatase (ALP) testing system designed to verify pasteurisation efficiency in short shelf life dairy products within just five minutes.

The system has been specifically developed to offer reliable, definitive and repeatable results, even at low levels (25-100 mU/L), ensuring confidence in results. Featuring a convenient all-in-one design and requiring only minimal equipment, the system is simple to use without specialist knowledge or testing facilities. The system has been independently validated by Campden BRI, the recognised provider of scientific, technical and advisory services to the food, drink and allied industries.

The system has been designed for ease of use and high performance, as well as significant time and cost savings compared with conventional ALP testing methods. For many years, the industry has relied on systems that require high capital and running cost, unstable reagents and positive control leading to wastage and the need for glassware.

The system overcomes all of these challenges offering a cost-effective solution via convenient disposable devices with a long shelflife. It enables testing to be performed at limits well below the globally recognised regulatory level of 350 mU/L. Utilising Hygiena’s patented snap-valve technology, ZymoSnap ALP provides sensitive and reproducible results, while allowing users to meet their sustainability objectives by being a 100% recyclable test device. ZymoSnap ALP Positive Control Kit provides a reference point at the regulatory limit of liquid milk and validation of other dairy products.

“Manufacturers of dairy products are under constant pressure to demonstrate compliance with international safety and quality requirements. That’s why they need to regularly monitor and verify the efficiency of their pasteurisation process,” said Dr Martin Easter, Chief Scientific Officer, Hygiena.

“With this in mind, we have developed ZymoSnap ALP to enable tests to be carried out rapidly allowing for an immediate pass/fail assessment and trend analysis. It has never been easier or quicker to ensure that pasteurisation processes are operating efficiently.”

ZymoSnap ALP is compatible with Hygiena’s multifunctional EnSURE monitoring system, a high-sensitivity luminometer used to detect various indicators and bacteria such as coliform, E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae. Hygiena’s bespoke SureTrend software enables instruments to be programmed and results to be easily analysed and presented.

Ultra-rugged scanner wins Good Design award

Zebra Technologies has announced that its DS3600 series Ultra-Rugged Scanner has won an Outstanding Product Innovation award from Good Design.

Good Design Australia is an institution that celebrates design and innovation. According to Good Design, the scanner was one of the submissions that met and exceeded the criteria of the jury. The jury consisted of 35 international design experts and assessed 244 shortlisted entries from all around the world.

“[The scanner series has] beautifully detailed design with solid ergonomics and fit for purpose functionality – the designers have done a remarkable job in designing for use in harsh environments,” said a member of the jury.

“The jury commends the clever positioning of the main user interface at the top of the unit to enhance the overall functionality and ease of use of the scanner.”

The ultra-rugged 3600 scanner series offers the industry’s highest drop, tumble and sealing specifications in its class, and is the industry’s first IP67-certified scanner in its class capable of enduring complete water immersion for up to 30 minutes, according to Zebra Technologies. The scanner series can survive an eight foot drop to concrete, as well as being dustproof, sprayproof, and waterproof. It also features an IP65-sealed cradle.

The company’s researchers and designers tested a range of end-users’ hand sizes and warehouse applications to arrive at the final design. The series features design elements that are focused on ergonomics and comfort for warehouse workers who need to hold the devices for long periods of time.

Compact industrial cameras

Scitech announces the availability of a new range of compact industrial cameras designed for high speed performance and high frame rates.

Ultra compact by design, the new Ximea XiQ USB3 industrial cameras measure 26.4 x 26.4 x 21.2 mm in dimension and weigh only 27 grams. Performance-wise, the XiQ cameras are 4x times faster than GigE, 5x faster than Firewire and 10x faster than USB 2.0 for machine vision applications.

Key features include a CMOS, global shutter enabling high speed, high frame rates of 500fps at VGA and 90fps at 4Mpix (2048 x 2048) and 170fps at 2Mpix resolutions; compatibility with more than 30 Vision Libraries, Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, ARM, USB3 Vision Standard and more; and option of colour and monochrome versions.

Ximea XiQ USB3 industrial cameras are suitable for a vast range of applications including industrial, manufacturing and factory automation, robotics, food and print inspection, face recognition, automotive crash testing, and rapid process capturing in various sports.

Thermal imagers for HVAC professionals

Testo has introduced an updated line of thermal imagers designed to simplify work for HVAC professionals.

The new thermal imagers, the 865, 868, 871 and 872, are full-featured devices designed to assist users with preventative maintenance of HVAC systems through early detection of problems, as well as identification of structural defects in buildings that could compromise system performance.

Preventative maintenance of HVAC systems

HVAC technicians are tasked with identifying potential issues in heating and cooling systems before they can evolve into serious concerns. Early detection of defects or damage will not only save money on maintenance down the line, but will also ensure the system is safe for the customer.

Testo’s thermal imagers can easily detect hotspots or critical heat conditions in the system that will eventually cause problems. Hotspots usually occur in the electrical components of the HVAC system or in the engine’s shafts and bearings that drive it; identifying these hotspots quickly enables technicians to address the problem before damage is caused.

Mould growth due to the formation of condensation inside the machinery, is another common issue that can affect the performance of HVAC systems. This will not only damage the inner workings of a unit, but can also present serious health risks. Testo’s thermal imagers can calculate the surface moisture value for measuring points, allowing users to pre-emptively identify mould growth before it actually manifests itself.

Structural defects

The performance of HVAC systems can be impacted by structural defects in a building, which can potentially cause heat loss, excess humidity and lack of air tightness. Testo’s thermal imagers can help identify such defects by revealing the sources, indicating faults with thermal insulation or construction.

Even if these issues do not warrant any major repairs or construction work, the seemingly minor faults can have an impact on the energy efficiency of the building, especially affecting heating and air conditioning systems. Early detection of such problems can halt further damage in its tracks, and ensure the structure isn’t suffering from poor insulation.



Conductivity meter to measure water quality

The 703 laboratory conductivity meter from Alvi Technologies simplifies the monitoring and measurement of conductivity of water with its numerous safety functions and record printouts.

Alvi’s 703 laboratory conductivity meters are suitable for a broad range of applications requiring water quality monitoring. Key features include measurement ranges from 0.000 µS/cm to 2000 mS/cm; well-designed IP54 rated enclosure; calibrated analogue galvanically isolated recorder output; Sensoface monitoring of sensor and measuring equipment; and an RS 232 interface for the computer and printer.

Conductivity is considered a good indicator of water quality. Conductivity of water is affected by positive or negative charged ions, and has a critical influence on aquatic life since every organism has a typical tolerance range. Measuring the conductivity of water could specifically be useful for fisheries.

Salts and other substances affect the quality of water used for drinking. Conductivity readings from the meter could be one of the measures taken into consideration when testing the output of raw water that comes from different water sources to determine the treatment process.

The water from a lake, river, or tap is rarely suitable for industrial use as it contains contaminants, largely ionic, which if not removed will cause scaling and corrosion in plant equipment, particularly in heat exchangers, cooling towers, and boilers. The water needs to be treated before it reaches the equipment. The residual output of a water treatment plant is discharged into oceans or rivers or used in irrigation. Depending upon the application, the water needs to be treated accordingly. Since conductivity is a measure of the total concentration of ions, conductivity measurement is done at different stages of water treatment.


Technology for integrated measuring and dosing

Mettler Toledo has released the Easy Control Box (ECB) which connects any lab sensor and pump to make real-time measurement and controlled dosing available to non-experts.

Combining data from all sensors in a single experiment allows researchers to quickly evaluate and compare experimental results and make decisions to speed chemical process development.  Plug-and-play capabilities allow researchers to move sensors or pumps from one reactor to another within minutes – without the need for expert knowledge.

Pumps and balances connect to the ECB for automated pre-programmed gravimetric dosing.  Linking temperature with dosing control enables reagent addition to stop in dangerous exothermic situations.  Experiments can run unattended, allowing more experiments to be performed under safe conditions.

SmartConnect technology makes connections with existing analog sensors plug-and-play.  The sensor calibration and configuration data are on an integrated chip ensuring measurements are always accurate and precise applying the current sensor calibration data.

Data from any analog sensor, such as mass flow, pressure, temperature or turbidity, is captured and stored in the experiment file together with other key process parameters.  Additional sensor data leads to more knowledge about the reaction and better decisions to speed process development.

As measuring and controlling pH precisely is essential for numerous applications, the plug-and-play pH module enhances the capabilities of the ECB significantly, enabling pH measurement and control from 50 mL up to multiple litres.