Flow Sensor Ups Range, Accuracy and Reliability

Flow Sensor Ups Range, Accuracy and Reliability


Efficient operation of industrial machinery and equipment in modern materials processing and discrete manufacturing plants often depends on the accurate flow sensing and measurement of gases, liquids and slurries. The designers of controls and instrumentation systems for this industrial setting always balance cost with performance in their decision-making. That's clearly the case when the control system requires accurate and precise flow or level sensing.

Fluid Components Intl. (FCI) thinks it can help those industrial OEMs improve flow and level-sensing performance, while ensuring reliability and meeting product cost reduction goals. To meet those and other goals, the company recently introduced the 180 Series OEM flow sensors.

Designed for use in machinery with flow or level sensing requirements, the new-generation 180 Series provides switching, alarming and rate metering, and the totalizing of air, gases or liquids. "These sensors are ideal for fuel and air-feed lines, additive dispensing control, oil and lubricant circulation, pump protection circuits, cooling system controls, over/under flow limit switches and more," says Sam Kresch, OEM product line manager. The company believes the series will have wide acceptance in boiler systems, burners and industrial furnaces, chillers, air and gas compressors, blowers and dryers, and even co-gen power generators.

Constructed for use with line sizes from ¼-6 in., the sensors are well-suited for new product designs, as optional upgrades, or as replacements to existing sensors. "The sensors feature FCI's precision thermal dispersion sensing technology, which has proven itself in hundreds-of-thousands of process and industrial applications worldwide," states Kresch. "They combine wide flow and turndown ranges with high accuracy and repeatability to achieve dependable operation."

Unlike mechanical rotary, float, or orifice-plate sensors that can breakdown or clog, the 180 Series minimally invasive design features no moving parts for virtually maintenance-free reliability. FCI's thermal flow sensing element contains two thermowell-protected platinum resistance temperature detectors. One RTD is heated and the other RTD senses the gas or fluid temperature. The temperature difference between the two RTDs relates to the fluid flow rate. The technology provides a true mass flow analog output (without pressure or temperature transducers), as well as temperature, totalizing and alarm outputs. "The result is high accuracy from sensors that create virtually no pressure drop, and have no orifices to clog and no moving parts," says Eric Wible, director of engineering. "With a mean time between failure rating calculated to exceed 60,000 hours of service, the 180 Series delivers reliability and long-life that will minimize maintenance costs. Its miniature sensor design ensures fast response and high-levels of repeatability under all process conditions."

Because there is minimal pressure drop, machine builders and their customers might find opportunities to save costs and increase equipment efficiency by not having to boost line pressure to achieve needed flow rates.

The series offers more than 30 standard designs and FCI will customize the design to meet requirements for any process media, line size, installation environment, temperature, pressure, calibration or output signal. A number of the sensor designs comply with industry standards, including UL, CE, FM, ATEX, CSA and more. FCI is a registered and certified ISO 9001 manufacturer.

"We maintain our own world-class, NIST-traceable, precision flow calibration facility that provides total accuracy and performance assurance for all of our products," says Wible. "This industry-unique, extensive laboratory supports design validation testing as well as calibration of production products for virtually all gas and liquid media in pipe and tube sizes from 0.25--36 in. The actual-use media calibration of our flow sensors ensures delivered products meet their accuracy and total product operation specifications."

For more information call 800/863-8703, or browse to http://www.fluidcomponents.com.