At the production site of a multinational healthcare diagnostic test manufacturer, Bürkert’s FLOWave has been installed to measure the flow of ultrapure water
A recent expansion project at a healthcare diagnostic test manufacturing facility has included a repeat order for Bürkert's FLOWave flowmeter, which has provided four years of service since the initial installation.
When dealing with ultrapure water, the choices for a precision flowmeter can be limited. The main reason is that this liquid has very low conductivity, which rules out mag-flow meters, and until recently, there was only one viable option for a flowmeter.
Using surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology, Bürkert has developed a flowmeter where none of the components are in direct contact with fluid, causing no restriction to flow. The internal surface of the tube can be manufactured to the same surface finish as the rest of the pipeline, meaning in hygiene, cleaning and flow conditions, there is no difference to any other piece of straight pipe in the process.
The device also solves issues associated with some high-end flowmeters, such as system vibration in the plant, magnetic and electrical effects as well as the conductivity of the liquid - none of these factors have any effect on the accuracy or reliability of the flow measurements.
One of the early adoptions of the flowmeter in a pharmaceutical setting was in the healthcare diagnostics manufacturing plant, where it was used to measure ultrapure water volumes being used by a set of laboratories. The project included the installation of two flowmeters as part of a process build.
The pandemic has led to increased demand for laboratory diagnostic products and the decision to install a second production line that will manufacture a key component used in Covid diagnostic testing. Part of this project was awarded to KJB Water & Process Engineering, which has been responsible for the overall design of the ultrapure water system.
Dr Corby Lee, Technical Consultant at KJB Water & Process Engineering, put together the supporting evidence, with support from Bürkert, to show the FLOWave would meet all the required specifications and be more cost effective. This demonstrated that the innovative solution could provide the required data in a hygienic setting without the drawbacks associated with more traditional instruments.
Dr Lee said: “Now, having selected the Bürkert product for flow measurement four years previous, the latest project to install a second production line will include two more FLOWave components. Since the initial project, the customer has had no issues with the performance of the flowmeters and we were confident this latest installation would offer the same reliability.
“In terms of installation, the process is significantly less complicated when using a FLOWave device as it can be mounted in any orientation and its compact design makes it easy to integrate into the overall design of the plant. Furthermore, the connectivity makes the control integration very easy and with Bürkert’s support we were able to meet the tight delivery deadlines that were set for this project.”