Live from ACHEMA: Buerkert presents brand new type of inline flowmeter


FLOWave is based on surface acoustic wave technology

Bürkert unveiled FLOWave, a new Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology based device that eliminates many weaknesses of established flowmeter principles. This technology has not previously been used for inline measurement of the flow rate in pipes, the company said.

FLOWave is a compact flowmeter for use in liquid media, consisting in an initial version of a transmitter with or without a display and a sensor with clamp process connections. The underlying SAW technology uses wave propagation for the measurement, similar to that in seismic activities.

Bürkert said a major advantage of the patented technology is that there are no components inside the measurement tube, so that only the liquid is in contact with the stainless steel tube. In addition, there are no constrictions or dead flow zones. The inside of the tube can be manufactured with the same surface quality as the rest of the piping and is identical to any other straight pipe section with respect to hygiene, cleaning and flow conditions. There is no pressure drop and no effects of fluids on sensor elements, nor can the medium be impaired by the latter. Standards for tube and process connections in material and size are observed. The sensor selection is easy as this is mainly limited to the size of the tube and the required type of process connection. The device requires no maintenance.

Both the transmitter and the entire sensor, including the measuring tube, fulfil the highest standards of hygiene, which makes FLOWave suitable for the pharmaceutical, food, beverage and cosmetic sectors. The compact design and low weight of the FLOWave allow a lean system design as well as easy installation and transport, the company said.

FLOWave also meets the growing demand for low power consumption

FLOWave also meets the growing demand for low power consumption. In addition to the measurement of flow rate and temperature the next step will be to expand the device to measure additional parameters such as density and mass flow rate.

The measuring device can be operated without restrictions when installed in horizontal and vertical position and also works with non-flowing liquids, so that even minimal flow rates can be measured. Disruptions from plant vibrations are not possible, nor do magnetic and electric forces affect the measurement. Independence from the conductivity of the liquid significantly expands the areas of application.

The SAW transducers as fixed components of the measuring tube are connected via a measurement board to a transmitter, which contains both the user interface and the necessary output signals. The transmitter is based on Bürkert’s new electronics platform (EDIP – Efficient Device Integration), which is to be used for all future devices.

FLOWave is entirely made from stainless steel and is offered for the market launch in pipe diameters DN15, DN25, DN40 and DN50 respectively with tube clamp connections in accordance with ASME, ISO and SMS.

The device measures the volumetric flow rate to a precision of 0.4% of reading. Temperature measurement is included as standard. In relation to the tube diameter the nominal pressure is ≤ 40 bar. The maximum permissible media temperature is 110°C. The ambient temperatures cover the required temperature range for hygienic applications.

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Further variants, additional I/O signals, implementation of Fieldbus technology and extended functions as well as a wide range of diagnostics capabilities are under development.

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