A recently introduced multifunctional Flow Thermal Meter for gases (FTMg) flow sensor detects pneumatic system leakages before pressure loss causes machine failure. It is engineered to output up to eight process parameters including flow speed, flow volume, cumulative volume, mass flow, cumulative mass, energy consumption, current pressure and temperature, and concurrently measures flow, temperature and the process pressure of non-corrosive gases while detecting leakages.
SICK Automation’s FTMg is available in three nominal pipe diameter sizes and process connections, with the simultaneous measurement of flow, pressure and temperature eliminating the need for three different sensors. The company outlines that its sensor is characterised by a light, compact and user-friendly construction and that its all-in-one design eliminates unnecessary leakage risks in pneumatic systems. It is also designed to help reduce the operating costs of producing, supplying and distributing compressed air, leading to more efficient pneumatically operated processes.
The sensor is engineered to provide transparent consumption rates, reporting them in kilowatt-hours as part of an energy management system according to DIN EN 5001. Standard with both analogue and digital outputs, the FTMg is said to meet modern-day requirements on controller and cloud connectivity using IO-Link or ethernet with Web server and OPC-Unified architecture. The I/O-Link interface provides the measured values efficiently and all process data can be accessed on a personal computer, through a mobile device or an automation system.
True energy consumption transparency for energy management systems according to DIN EN 5000 is achieved through the dynamic calorimetric measurement principle of the sensor, explains the company. It detects the smallest changes in the consumption system making it possible to localise unexpected pressure losses. All pressure losses are visualised as either flat or steep edges on the pressure curve, which allows for direct interpretation. Reported in kWh, the measured energy loss is offset against the energy fed into the compressed air supply network, aimed at providing true energy consumption transparency.
Remote access to the FTMg is available by means of an integrated Web server, which allows for remote reading and visualisation of measurement data from the previous seven days. In addition, statistical analyses built in to the flow meter facilitate setting up of basic monitoring functions such as detecting spikes or changes in average energy consumption. An ethernet-based variant that transmits data using OPC UA standard is also available, and enables measurement information to be used for more than condition monitoring or facility management. It can, for example be used in production- or process-oriented Industry 4.0 applications and dashboards.
SICK Automation summarises the main features of its FTMg as enabling transparent energy consumption, early leakage detection and the interpretation and comparison of energy changes and losses, by means of versatile measurement and analysis technology.