Why flow measurement is important
Fluid flow measurement technology is designed to improve productivity and provide crucial information for manufacturing processes. Selecting the most appropriate flow meter is an important step in maximising the efficiency and productivity of the production process.
While the market is awash with devices designed to deliver various flow measurement techniques, many of these have limitations. The need to improve this situation led Bürkert to harness Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology to provide an innovative solution that meets the stringent hygiene requirements of the Food & Beverage and Pharmaceutical industries.
Flow measurement techniques for Food and Beverage
The foremost asset of FLOWave is the internal surface of the tube, where there is no direct contact of any sensor components with the fluid. Furthermore, it can be manufactured to the same surface finish as the rest of the pipeline. That means that, in terms of hygiene, cleaning and flow conditions, there is no difference to any other piece of straight pipe. The non-contact nature of the design brings the hygiene benefits that are seen in high specification flow meters, without the additional cost premium.
Food and Beverage production invariably involves liquids of varying purity and often includes entrained bubbles or solids, which may predetermine the type of flow meter to be used on a particular line. However, this may restrict the number of products that can be manufactured on one line. The use of FLOWave technology is designed to remove these restrictions and improve the versatility of the production line while maintaining high levels of precision and hygiene.
In addition, the compact design of the FLOWave range simplifies the installation process with inlet and outlet sections that are a lot shorter in installation length than Coriolis flow meters. These characteristics provide a significant space saving benefit. While the revolutionary design also delivers significant weight savings compared to traditional fluid flow meter types, which further simplifies the installation and removes the need for additional pipe supports.
Which flow sensor for pharmaceuticals?
Flow measurement is used throughout the production of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), with a requirement to deliver high accuracy, cleanability and reliability. When deciding which flow sensor for pharmaceuticals applications, Coriolis devices are often the preferred choice. However, considerable cost savings can be made by switching to FLOWave, without compromising the specifications of the pharmaceutical production lines.
Above and beyond the aforementioned benefits of FLOWave’s cutting edge design, this flow meter can also be installed in horizontal and vertical applications without affecting performance. When producing or using clean water used for drug production, or for intravenous injection, flow measurement cannot be achieved by magmeters alone because of the low conductivity of very pure water. However, FLOWave has no such problem when metering ultra-pure media used widely in medical care, anaesthesia, cardiology, intravenous infusion, kidney dialysis and other areas of medicine requiring metering.
The Pharmaceutical sector is a highly demanding market when it comes to the specification of instrumentation, making the high accuracy of the SAW flow meter ideally suited. Typical applications include the metering of costly purified water use; mixing intravenous infusions; fluids for dosing systems and monitoring of medicine production; and many flow and temperature monitoring applications for critical CIP and SIP processes – both in manufacturing and in medical care delivery situations.
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