In the May issue of Flow Control (page 14), we presented over 40 nominations for the 2004 Flow Control Innovation Awards. The nominees were broken out into three main categories: Measurement, Control, and Containment & Services. Each of the nominees were more than worthy, and we acknowledged as much when we asked our readers to place votes for the products they felt were the most innovative. It was a difficult choice. So before we announce the results, we’d like to offer everyone that voted for the Innovation Awards a special debt of gratitude. We very much appreciate your support, because it is your votes that have made the Innovation Awards such a huge success over the years. And this year is no exception.
So, without further ado, the following eight products are this year’s Flow Control Innovation Award winners. The winners are listed in alphabetical order with detailed product information. Look for further coverage of the Innovation Awards in the October issue of Flow Control, as we will provide case/application studies on real-world implementations of each of the winning products. For more information on the Innovation Awards program, e-mail email@example.com.
Coriolis Flow Controller
By Brooks Instrument
Brooks Instrument’s QUANTIM, now in its second generation, is a flow measurement and control device based on the Coriolis principle. The controller is packaged in a miniaturized configuration and is engineered to solve specific process challenges in industrial, biosciences, semiconductor, and other critical applications where inferred measurement methods are not adequate.
QUANTIM includes patented technology for optical sensing to detect tube motion and precision control of low-flow fluids. The controller features a modular platform that uses improved sensor tube geometries, optical sensing, and digital signal processing to support both liquids and gases. The QUANTIM can control flows as low as 1 g/hr and as high as 28,000 g/hr. It also offers improved zero stability (0.19 g/hr), a valve that is resistant to clogging, and an all-metal valve seat. The design is fully integrated, with no moving parts in the area where process liquids and gases flow.
Prior to the introduction of the second generation of the QUANTIM controller, users only had means of accurately measuring low flow for liquids. Now, thanks to improved sensor/tube geometries and optical sensing techniques, the QUANTIM controller can handle both liquids and gases at low flow. As a result, the instrument can now be inserted into a wide variety of low flow processes. This reduces the time and energy users dedicate to providing specs for numerous types of meters.
Flow Monitoring System
CiDRA’s SONARtrac noninvasive flowmeters are versatile process monitoring systems capable of providing multi-variable measurements, such as volumetric flow and entrained air, in a wide variety of fluid regimes (e.g., liquids, gases, slurries, and multiphase fluids). The meter’s sonar flow technology uses array-processing techniques that parallel those used in the sonar-processing field.
Based on patented technology, SONARtrac flowmeters are designed to improve on and compliment existing flowmeter products and address the unmet needs of major industries. Specifically, SONARtrac systems are designed for large diameter pipes in chemical, water and wastewater, and pulp and paper applications, where a pipe cannot be cut or where a process cannot be shut down, but where entrained air is a critical measurement. In addition, the meters are also penetrating those applications that are currently being served by new technology flowmeters, but where the current flowmeter is not delivering reliable measurements 100 percent of the time due to technical or physical constraints.
The SONARtrac flowmeter offers a clamp-on construction that is scalable to large pipe diameters. This means that there is no restriction to flow, no need to cut pipe, and therefore no process downtime or disruptions.
Low-Flow Chemical Flowmeter
Controlotron’s System 1020FT allows accurate measurement at very low flow rates, which are typical to the corrosive processes used for chemical feed applications. In addition, the product’s corrosive-resistant wetted material and large flow path eliminate sensor failure and maintenance. Existing technologies lack the ability to maintain their specified accuracy over the wide flow ranges common to chemical feed applications, have difficulty with the corrosive nature of many of the liquids causing premature sensor failure, and tend to clog easily due to small orifices that are designed for velocity and accuracy.
The System 1020FT offers accuracy +/-1.0 percent of rate for a 3/8” flow tube over a flow range of 1.0 GPH to 300 GPH and, for a 3/4″ flow tube, a flow range of 10.0 GPH to 1,500 GPH. In addition, the flowmeter’s unique signal transmission and detection method allows installation directly downstream of positive displacement chemical feed pumps without being adversely affected by pressure pulsations. Wetted material construction is available in CPVC, PVDF Kynar, PFA Teflon, and 316 stainless steel.
The System 1020FT offers a low total cost of ownership for chemical feed applications, as it virtually eliminates the need for regular maintenance, sensor replacement, and operational downtime for repairs. Additionally, the accuracy it offers over a wide flow range ensures accurate billing confirmation and chemical usage.
Endress+Hauser’s PROline Prowirl 72/73 flowmeters are based on the company’s patented capacitive DSC (differential switched capacitance) sensor. The DSC sensor reads only the pressure pulses caused by the vortices and stays immune to any influence from mechanical pipeline vibrations. Similar to a flag, the sensor paddle projecting into the pipe is deflected by the vortex generated at the bluff body. This changes the distance between the central electrode and the outer electrodes, and thus the capacitance of the sensing system. The device electronics count the capacitance oscillations, from which the flow rate is calculated.
PROline Prowirl meters measure saturated steam mass without the need for auxiliary equipment. In addition, a temperature sensor integrated into the sensor paddle provides in-line measurement. As there is a defined relationship between temperature and pressure, saturated steam mass can be calculated and is provided directly as an analog output value. Since auxiliary equipment isn’t required, investment costs and expenditure are significantly reduced. Further, liquids such as thermo-oils and water can be measured. Superheated steam or gases can be measured assuming a constant pressure or providing pressure as analog output from the bus side.
PROline Prowirl is designed for measuring the volume or mass flow of saturated steam and liquids. The flowmeter calculates steam mass flow using data according to the international standard IAPWS-IF97 (ASME). If the pressure is constant, the flowmeter can put out the mass flow of superheated steam or the mass and volume flow of other gases. If a Profibus-PA or Foundation Fieldbus Prowirl is used, it is possible to read the operating pressure as an input value and use it for calculation with the integrated flow computer. A two-wire instrument, PROline Prowirl also reduces the cost of cabling.
Flare & Variable Gas Flowmeter
By Fluid Components International
The new GF03 flowmeter by Fluid Components International achieves the accuracy, range, and resolution required to meet the most stringent air pollution regulations at total installed costs of up to 50 percent less than alternative technologies. It is designed specifically for flare systems and similar variable-gas applications, for regulatory emissions monitoring and reporting, continuous and event flow volume measurement, process leak detection/isolation and reduction, tributary and vent gas monitoring, loss control, material balancing, and pilot/purge gas monitoring.
A patent-pending technology, the GF03 includes a precision flow element and a flow readout/transmitter housed in a weatherproof enclosure (or optional explosion-proof rated housing). It is FM and ATEX certified for explosion-proof environments. The flow element and the transmitter can be located up to 1,000 feet (305M) apart. System power is 24 VDC or 110-130 VAC or 210-230 VAC and is user selectable. User information from the transmitter includes flow rate, totalized flow, temperature, and optional pressure. Outputs from the transmitter include two fully scalable and user assignable 4-20 mA signals, two alarm relays, RS232C serial I/O port and optional HART, Profibus, Modbus, and two-way Ethernet ports.
The GF03’s single insertion probe offers fast, simplified installation and enhanced reliability. The GF03 combines flow, temperature, and optional pressure sensing within a single insertion probe. An efficient, single-penetration, hot-tapping, ball valve isolation and calibration verification option eliminates the need for process shutdown and/or instrument removal. The product offers minimal pressure drop and only one sealed tap point, as compared to ultrasonic devices, which typically require four insertion points and sealed taps.
Krohne’s OPTIMASS Coriolis flowmeter provides wetted parts in titanium, stainless steel, and Hastelloy, offering corrosion resistance to almost any process fluid. The meter incorporates Krohne’s patented Adaptive Sensor Technology (AST), which ensures outstanding sensor accuracy, repeatability, and installation insensitivity. The technology uses dynamic elements of the measuring system to decouple the instrument from the outside. The result is an inherently balanced system under all operating conditions.
OPTIMASS has no special installation requirements. It has an extremely small footprint and features dual data redundancy. The front-end electronics, which include the A/D converter, processor, software, and sensor coefficients and settings, are permanently mounted on the tube with a direct connection to the instrument’s temperature, strain, drive, and phase shift measurements. The signals are transmitted via RS-485 to the main electronics converter, which can be mounted directly on the instrument or remotely up to 1,000 feet away with a standard four-wire cable. This new enhancement greatly improves the turndown capabilities of the instrument.
Compared to competitive meters, the OPTIMASS meter provides high accuracy with the lowest possible pressure drop, directly impacting operational costs. The product’s single straight-tube design makes it is easier for materials to flow through the meter, enabling it to withstand the harshest process conditions.
Pulsar Pulse Burst Radar
Magnetrol’s Pulsar Pulse Burst Radar level transmitter is the company’s latest generation of loop-powered, 24 VDC, liquid level transmitters. It has lower power consumption, faster response time, and is easier to use than most loop-powered radar transmitters. Based on pulse-burst radar technology together with equivalent time sampling circuitry, the offering reflects short bursts of 5.8 or 6.3 GHz microwave energy off of the liquid surface to attain a level.
A patent-pending technology, Pulsar requires no PC for application setup. It provides the ability to track level changes greater than 180 inches per minute. A universal quick-connect/disconnect system enables easy installation and removal. Energy polarization is possible without opening the vessel or turning antenna.
From a user’s perspective, the product is particularly advantageous because it comes in a compact architecture, has low power requirements, is easy to use, and supports a wide range of application types from a single transmitter.
Compact Orifice Plate
Rosemount’s 405C compact condition orifice plate technology delivers ±0.5 percent discharge coefficient accuracy with only two diameters of straight-pipe run — both upstream and downstream — of virtually any flow disturbance. The technology consists of four equally spaced orifices that reshape the flow profile as fluid passes across the primary element. Swirl induced by an upstream disturbance is eliminated and does not induce measurement error.
The 405C orifice plate significantly reduces the installation footprint associated with traditional orifice plates. Not only are consistent installations achieved, but reliability is increased by eliminating troublesome impulse lines. Reliability is further enhanced through the use of a corner-tap connection system. This design creates recirculating fluid zones that deflect particles away from the pressure taps. In addition, direct transmitter mounting is available for process temperatures up to 450 F (230 C).
The 405C provides good discharge coefficient accuracy and eliminates performance degradation due to common installation errors. Further, it reduces cost by integrating the connection hardware with the primary element and improving installation flexibility. The architecture significantly reduces the potential leak points associated with traditional orifice installation, thus helping users achieve regulatory compliance.