Flow Control is pleased to introduce its 2014 Innovation Award winners. Nine innovative technologies are honored this year for their novel features and contributions to the process of fluid movement, measurement and/or containment. Award nominees were featured in the June issue of Flow Control, followed by open voting on this website through Aug. 1.
Here we highlight the innovative qualities of this year’s winners along with select voter comments. Flow Control will feature case studies/application notes on each 2014 Innovation Award winner in the October 2014 issue to give you a feel for how the victors are being leveraged to the benefit of real-world applications.
2014 Innovation Award Winners: Canalta | Emerson Process Management – Micro Motion | Endress+Hauser | FLEXIM | Fox Thermal Instruments | Kurz Instruments | SVF Flow Controls | Veris | Wilden Pump & Engineering
Canalta’s Contour FCH Flow Conditioner Housing brings the ease, safety, and practicality of inspecting and changing an orifice plate to the flow conditioner.
The Contour FCH provides a convenient flow conditioning plate carrier and standards-compliant housing (depending on options and jurisdictions) to replace problematic flange or pin mountings. Critical flow conditioner alignment and positioning are maintained despite debris impact, and specially designed flow conditioner plates prevent bypass leakage. Inspections of the flow conditioning plate are easily performed without breaking apart the flow line, saving time and cost.
Both single- and dual-chamber configurations are available, incorporating a body-integral flange to reduce weight, footprint, and cost. A selection of flow conditioner geometries are being produced for use in the Contour FCH, including Zanker, Contour K5, and other popular, non-proprietary designs.
What Voters Said:
“The Canalta FCH Flow Conditioner helped us achieve good flow measurement accuracy with only five pipe diameters of upstream pipe run.”
“The inspections of flow conditioning plate are easily performed without breaking apart the flow line; different from traditional inspecting and cleaning flow conditioners, which would typically require us to shut down the compressor, depressurize, and cut into the flow line. Saves time and cost.”
Emerson Process Management’s Micro Motion ELITE CMFS sensor platform is designed to deliver precise measurement to smaller line sizes (pipelines less than 2” or DN50). The new sensor platform expands the ELITE family of flowmeters and features a compact, lightweight, and fully drainable design, optimized for measurement performance in the most critical and demanding applications.
ELITE CMFS platform offers a significant improvement over the previous ELITE CMF platform by providing optimal performance with supreme stability and sensitivity. The new, robust meter design provides accurate measurements even in challenging fluid conditions, such as changing densities, pressures, temperatures, or viscosities. Some of the major specification improvements include the addition of new meter sizes for optimal sizing and lowest pressure drop, best-in-class gas accuracy of +/-0.25 percent, and improved rangeability with 30-to-1 turndown from nominal flowrate.
ELITE meters provide an ideal flow measurement platform for reliable, repeatable measurement in transient two-phase flow conditions.
Application capabilities include chemical injection measurement, inventory receiving and control, and chemical recovery and regeneration process optimization.
What Voters Said:
“Micro Motion ELITE CMFS sensor platform delivers precise measurement to smaller line sizes. The new sensor platform expands the ELITE family of flowmeters, whose functionality, line size breadth, accuracy, and flexibility make them ideal for a wide range of real-world applications.”
“The new ELITE series combines high performance with manufacturing optimization. Together with the Smart Meter Verification software, the physical condition of the meter can be checked, offering high confidence in the measurement.”
Utilizing the time-of-flight principle, Endress+Hauser’s Micropilot FMR5x family of radar level instruments guarantees safe and precise measurements of liquids and bulk solids in the chemical, oil & gas, life science, foods, and primaries industries—from the standard product for basic applications to high-performance versions used in challenging conditions involving high pressure or high temperature.
The Micropilot FMR5x was developed according to IEC 61508 and can be used in homogeneous redundancy up to SIL3. The device uses continuous self-monitoring to check its functionality. If an error occurs, the instrument changes to the safety-oriented output. The recurring check (proof test) can be done without removing the transmitter from the process.
Another advantage is the HistoROM data management concept. Apart from the continuous backup of all relevant data, it enables users to exchange main electronics quickly and easily without additional tools.
With the Micropilot, Endress+Hauser has developed an even more intelligent and reliable signal analysis of the echo signal curve—Multi-Echo Tracking. All of the echo signals are marked and tracked, not only the level signal. Thanks to the new analysis, the level signal is also acquired if it is partly covered by baffles like heating coils or agitators in tanks—guaranteeing safe and precise measurements anytime.
What Voters Said:
“The HistoROM feature enables the user to save time repairing a defective instrument.”
“The proof-testing feature is great in maintaining the safety and reliability of the measuring point without requiring the instrument to be removed from service. A great time-saver and cost-saver!”
FLEXIM’s PIOX S Mass Flow Measuring System is composed of a transmitter and a pair of clamp-on transducers, and it precisely determines the sonic velocity and flowrate of the medium flowing inside a pipe based upon the ultrasonic transit-time measured between the two transducers. The clamp-on transducers are mounted on the outer surface of the pipe. Since the transducers are not in contact with the medium, the system is ideally suited for the measurement of chemically aggressive, corrosive, abrasive, or ultra-pure media.
Besides measuring the mass flowrates, PIOX S can be used to determine the concentration of high-purity sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, nitric acid, or even ammonia gas used in chemical and fertilizer plants. Worries about the transducers chemical compatibility, contamination, and sealing are a thing of the past.
With the clamp-on technology, retrofitting of existing installations is very easy and can be done without cutting into the pipe and without any process interruption.
PIOX S is a particularly good fit for acid plants where not only is the mass flow of particular concern, but so too is the concentration of the acid. The PIOX S mass flowmeter can provide both of these measurements. Other advantages are easy installation and maintenance requiring no process stop and no corrosion.
What Voters Said:
“Besides measuring the mass flowrates, PIOX S can be used to determine the concentration of high-purity sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, nitric acid, or even ammonia gas used in chemical and fertilizer plants.”
"Accurate, compact and lightweight flowmeter that can be installed, operated and maintained without contact with the flow stream, thereby eliminating many problems associated with installation, operation and maintenance of flowmeters."
Of the many new design features of Fox Thermal Instruments’ Model FT2A Thermal Mass Flowmeter, accommodating multiple communication options on board the meter is the most groundbreaking. Most flowmeter manufacturers that offer communication options for their meters must house this feature separately or create a meter model specifically for a communication type, but the FT2A allows this to be housed inside the meter itself.
By having the capability to house more than one type of communication protocol in the meter, the FT2A is among the most versatile meters available on the market. The user is able to easily select or deselect options for the meter so that it conforms to the needs of the application specifically without any unnecessary features adding extra expenses. There’s no need to scan the specs of a list of meters to find the appropriate options—The FT2A is configured to the requirements of the application.
The Model FT2A was designed to be a rugged instrument for a variety of gas and building automation applications. In addition to the agency approvals and innovative features listed above, the FT2A offers these outstanding operating characteristics: Direct mass measurement of gases without the need for pressure and temperature compensation; exceptional accuracy at high and low velocities and upset conditions (+/-1% of reading, +/- 0.2% of full scale); easy installation with insertion and inline meter types available; a no-moving-parts design that increases the reliability of the device; virtually no pressure drop (<0.2 PSI); and NIST-traceable factory calibration.
What Voters Said:
“The Fox FT2A is a great way to get mass flowrate with a very wide turndown ratio; perfect for vent gas applications. MCD Bidirectional Mass Flow and Pressure Controller is something I’ve never seen offered before.”
“Fox Thermal Instruments’ FT2A meter is an extremely versatile instrument. It provides very accurate measurement for just about all of my gas metering requirements. I think they are great! Easy to use and great customer service to boot!”
Kurz Instruments’ 454FTB-WGF Thermal Mass Flowmeter is designed specifically for highly responsive measurements in wet condensing gas flows found in digester, landfills, and wet-stack environments.
The Kurz 454FTB-WGF flowmeter is not a standard thermal flowmeter, as it is designed specifically to perform consistently under the daily and seasonal temperature changes commonly associated with wet gas environments.
By maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio and a 300 C sensor overheat, the WGF employs a phenomenon known as the Leidenfrost Effect, in which liquid water is suspended from a hot surface by an insulating layer of gas. Mist particles vaporize when impacting the super-heated sensor. With larger droplets, the leading edge of the droplet vaporizes to steam, which diverts the remaining water around and away from the heated sensor.
The high overheat of Kurz WGF thermal mass flowmeter makes it a truly unique flow measurement device among standard thermal mass products. The low overheat (less than 50 C) of standard thermal mass flowmeters makes them incapable of accurately reading the dry gas flow within a wet gas environment. Meanwhile, the unique design of the WGF allows it to accurately monitor the dry gas component in a wet gas flow regardless of changing condensation levels.
What Voters Said:
“I love how the wet gas feature of the Kurz 454 opens a wider variety of critical flow applications that were previously ineligible.”
“The ability to measure gas flow in a wet environment without worrying about the condensing moisture content of the gas is a particularly innovative feature.”
SVF Flow Controls’ NEXUS-LP/LPX Integrated Solenoid Valve & Limit Switch are designed for automated valve packages to integrate input and feedback connections into a single enclosure with a single conduit/electrical connection. The design is weather-proof and is a good fit for hazardous-area environments.
Pneumatically actuated, quarter-turn valves require a pilot valve to deliver the supply air pressure and position signaling (using micro switches) to provide an indication of valve position. Most of the available devices perform this function with two independent devices (a solenoid valve and a limit switch box). Each must be mounted and wired individually to complete the process connections. With the Nexus-LP/-LPX, these functions are integrated into a single unit, reducing installation time and cost and simplifying calibration.
What Voters Said:
"The simplicity of the NEXUS has proven to be an excellent and strategic decision to improve overall installed cost."
Veris’s AFS-GR Series Accelabar incorporates special high-pressure connections and fittings that contain pressures exceeding any ANSI flange rating. An integral high-pressure thermowell is built into the meter body to measure temperature. The meter can measure volumetric or mass flow, with accuracy of 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent with 0.1 percent repeatability. No straight-run is required (straight-run is integral to meter). Solid bar stock construction replaces castings for pressure containment.
What Voters Said:
“It provides high-pressure capabilities and short meter run for critical applications.”
“Simplified implementation of flow measuring in existing piping as no straight-run is required. Still provides the same excellent accuracy as typical meter.”
Wilden Pump & Engineering’s Pro-Flo SHIFT line of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps represents a significant breakthrough in energy efficiency within the AODD pump category. Thanks to its revolutionary design, the patent-pending Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS allows Wilden AODD pumps to achieve up to a 60 percent savings in air consumption when compared to competitive AODD pump technologies, while providing more product yield per standard cubic foot per minute (SCFM) of air consumption.
While the Wilden Pro-Flo SHIFT dramatically improves energy efficiency, it also costs 50 percent less than an electronically actuated ADS. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is also submersible and features plug-and-play operation (no “learning” period). Its robust design makes the Pro-Flo SHIFT a good fit for use in harsh operating environments and includes ATEX compliance for use in potentially explosive operating atmospheres. The Pro-Flo SHIFT has fewer operating parts, which equates to less downtime and simple maintenance. With no electronics, its design is well suited for the harsh environments typically found in a wide range of industrial applications.
Currently, the Wilden Pro-Flo SHIFT is available in 38 mm (1-1/2”), 51 mm (2”), and 76 mm (3”) sizes, and features maximum discharge pressures to 8.6 bar (125 psig), maximum flows to 1060 L/min (280 gpm) and maximum solid-handling size to 13 mm (1/2”). The Pro-Flo SHIFT is available with maximum suction lifts to 7.2 m (23.8’) dry and 9.6 m (30.6’) wet.
What Voters Said:
“The Pro-Flo shift system is extremely simple and creates large air efficiencies without a drastic change in price from the previous air distribution system.”
“Energy efficiency is the most important part of our operations, and this pump really does what the manufacturer says."