Until now, surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology has not been used for online flow measurement in pipes.
Burkert introduces FLOWave, a brand new DEVICE based on SAW technology that measures the flow of liquids without any parts inside the tube, eliminating many weaknesses of market-based flow meter techniques. The use of FLOWave as a multi-meter measurement instrument has other exclusive advantages, such as independence from fluid conductivity and its low weight and reduced footprint.
FLOWave is a compact flow meter for liquid fluids, consisting, initially, of a transmitter with or without a display and a sensor with clamp connection. The surface acoustic wave technology on which the device is based uses the propagation of the waves for measurement, similar to that of seismic activity. The main advantage of this patented technology is that there are absolutely no components inside the measuring tube, so the liquid is only in contact with the stainless steel tube.
In addition, there are no shrinkages or dead zones in the measuring tube. The inside of the tube can be made with the same surface quality as the rest of the piping and it is identical to any other section of right piping on the hygienic plane and cleaning and flowing conditions. There is no drop in pressure or effect of fluids on the sensor elements, nor can the fluid be disturbed by them. The tube and process fittings meet standard material and size standards. The choice of sensor is simplified, as it is mainly based on the size of the tube and the type of process connection required. The device does not require maintenance.
The transmitter and the entire sensor, including the measuring tube, meet the highest hygiene standards, making FLOWave an ideal instrument for the pharmaceutical, food, beverage and cosmetic sectors. FLOWave's compact design and low weight form a system with a lightweight overall design and facilitate installation and transportation. FLOWave is also responding to the growing demand for reduced energy consumption. In addition to measuring flow and temperature, the next step will be to develop FLOWave to measure other parameters such as mass density and flow, making it one of the few instruments in the world capable of providing such a wide range of features.
Removing many limitations and interference factors
The measuring instrument can be used without restrictions whether it is installed vertically or horizontally, and it also works with static liquids, so that measurements are available even in case of minimum flow. Disturbances due to vibrations in the facilities are not possible. The measurement is also not affected by magnetic and electrical forces. Independence from the conductivity of the liquid greatly extends the areas of application.
A new platform for industry 4.0
SAW transducers in the form of fixed components of the measuring tube are connected via a measuring circuit to a transmitter that contains both the user interface and the required output signals. The transmitter is based on Burkert's new electronic platform (EDIP), which will be used in all instruments in the future. The design is fully modular and therefore offers a high level of flexibility for the customer. The connection of electrical components is not analog, as in the past, but digital. With EDIP, Burkert is paving the way for Industry 4.0 for its products. EDIP includes many standardized multi-instrument functions and user interfaces, as well as other innovative services designed to facilitate the integration of new devices into systems.
Process integration options
FLOWave is produced entirely of stainless steel; for greater flexibility, it is proposed for its market launch in the diameters of DN15, DN25, DN40 and DN50 pipes, with tubes and fastening fittings compliant with ASME, ISO and SMS standards. The instrument can be used with or without a display screen. Offered as a separate module, the screen can be placed on the front or top of the transmitter and can also rotate in 90-degree increments.
FLOWave requires a 24 VDC power supply. The electrical connections of the FLOWave transmitter consist of two M20 and a third M12-wire press. Basically, output signals include an analog output (AO, 4... 20 mA) and a digital output (DO). A third signal can be switched between AO and DO by setting settings.
The instrument measures volumetric flow with a reading accuracy of 0.4%. The temperature measurement is included as standard with an accuracy of -1 degrees Celsius. Depending on the diameter of the tube, the rated pressure is ≤ 40 bar. The maximum allowable fluid temperature is 110 degrees Celsius. The use of FLOWave has been tested in higher fluid temperature ranges, within the time commonly required for cleaning processes in hygienic applications.
Other variants, additional E/S signals, the implementation of Fieldbus technology and extensive diagnostic functions and capabilities are in the pipeline; Burkert will offer a full range of debitmeters based on SAW technology in the medium term