Posted at Tuesday, 07 June, 2022

Introducing the new wave of water flow meters

Paul Skade
By Chris Dixon
Head of Sales, Flow Control

I joined ERIKS in 1986 as a Sales trainee at our Grimsby Service Centre and have over 32 years of Distribution and Engineering experience.

Having worked in...

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The Covid pandemic has had major effects on the pharmaceutical industry. One of the more positive has been growth in demand for laboratory diagnostic products. At the same time, the sector has increasingly been looking to adopt new technology to improve efficiency and productivity, to reduce costs and simplify installation. All these factors came together in the recent major expansion of production at a healthcare diagnostics manufacturing plant. 

Introducing the new wave of water flow meters

The customer was already an early adopter of the relatively new and innovative Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology for the measurement of flow. Despite recent developments in more traditional solutions, SAW still leads the market, with several important advantages over other instruments which use different methods to measure flow. Like many of the applications within pharmaceutical manufacturing, water flow measurement has to meet stringent specifications for hygiene and accuracy. An additional complication for this customer’s application – monitoring ultrapure water – is the very low conductivity of the fluid, making mag-flow meters unsuitable for the job. This had severely limited the available choice of suitable precision flowmeters, until Bürkert developed a versatile new option meeting all the sector’s requirements.

Going with the flow

Incorporated by Bürkert into the FLOWave flowmeter, SAW technology enables the flow of ultrapure water to be measured without any of the flowmeter’s components coming into direct contact with the liquid. This means there is no restriction to the flow as a result of taking its measurement.

The technology also allows the internal surface of the flowmeter tube to be manufactured to the same surface finish as the rest of the pipeline – so its level of hygiene, ease of cleaning and flow conditions match every other piece of straight pipe within the process.

In addition, while some high-end flowmeters cause issues such as system vibration, and unwanted magnetic and electrical effects, the Bürkert FLOWave with SAW technology eliminates all these factors, to ensure the flow measurements are highly accurate and reliable.

 

 

Laboratory tested and proven

After 4 years of successfully using the FLOWave to measure ultrapure water volumes for their laboratories, when the need arose to expand production the customer naturally turned to Bürkert.

The installation of a new production line manufacturing a key component used in Covid diagnostic testing meant more ultrapure water flow metering capacity was required. As always in the pharmaceutical sector, hygiene and accuracy were crucial requirements.

In the new installation, the ultrapure water is supplied by a ring main. The customer needs to measure the ultrapure water volumes as part of the new process, to ensure there is sufficient volume for manufacturing purposes.

Technical consultation with a dedicated water and process engineering company demonstrated that the innovative FLOWave solution will provide all the data the customer requires, in a hygienic setting, without any of the drawbacks associated with more traditional instruments.

Two FLOWaves have now been installed as part of the new production line: one on the supply leg and one on the return leg of the ring main. Calculating the difference in the flows at each point allows the ultrapure water production system to match the process’s demands.

 

Compact size, connectivity and control

Quicker and easier installation are two of the factors which helped to make the FLOWave an attractive choice for the customer.

The device can be mounted in any orientation, and because of its compact design it was easy to integrate into the plant’s overall design. Its connectivity also made control integration simple, saving more time and making it easy for this customer to meet their tight deadline for commissioning the new line.

The customer has operated their first two Bürkert FLOWave flowmeters for four years without any issues. The two new installations are sure to prove just as reliable, accurate and cost-effective.

In fact, their Surface Acoustic Wave technology successfully turns the tide on the problems traditional flowmeter technology can face. And ERIKS Flow Control know-how means that, however challenging the application or complex the issue, our engineers are never out of their depth.

For more information on Flow Control solutions and to get in touch with one of our ERIKS Pumps Specialists or Valve/Flow Control Engineers, please contact your local ERIKS Service Centre, who will be happy to discuss your options.

 

#ERIKS #LetsMakeIndustryWorkBetter #WaterFlow #Innovation #FlowControl

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