Instrumentation and process automation specialist Endress+Hauser is developing a new-generation change for its Proline flow-measurement solution platform. “The launch started three years ago and will continue for the next two years,” says Endress+Hauser product manager Frans van den Berg.
Proline incorporates all modern flow-measuring technologies to optimise plant uptime, fulfilling the company’s motto of ‘providing the right flowmeter for an application’.
He tells Engineering News that process monitoring is becoming more demanding and that the need for improved product quality is growing progressively. Therefore, Endress+Hauser has been persistent in its attempts to provide industry-specific flow-measurement solutions that will be effective for future technology requirements.
The new-generation Proline flowmeter was conceptualised on a standardised device concept. This means that it still ensures time and cost savings and maximises safety over the entire life cycle of a plant.
Van den Berg explains that the user-friendly Proline range ensures that the products can be integrated seamlessly into a plant’s asset management system. That, in turn, provides reliable information for optimising production and business processes.
Van den Berg adds that Endress+Hauser is industry-focused, resulting in the company producing instruments for specific industries.
He explains that, while the principles of the products remain traditional, product models and names change frequently with monthly developments and upgrades.
Proline’s products are fit for purpose and priced accordingly, Van den Berg says, adding that Endress+Hauser strives to offer the correct product at the correct price and to not “over-engineer”.
Endress+Hauser’s Proline products are extensively supplied to the food industry in Europe. The company also has agreements with packaging companies, breweries, soft drink and beverage companies, dairy plants and pharmaceuticals companies globally and locally.
Further, statistics supplied by Endress+Hauser indicate that they are ranked number one among competitors in Europe’s food industry, which is why the company has secured global agreements in the food and packaging industry.
Van den Berg adds that Proline is a competitive range, as Endress+Hauser performs a vast amount of product testing at its research centres, compared with the product testing by other competitors.
He also highlights that Endress+Hauser works closely with universities, research institutes and organisations around the world, including the Food and Drug Administration and the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group.
While Endress+Hauser does have a service department that sets up the software for all products, the company commissions contractors to install its products, owing to the mechanical work required. However, the company can also send a technician who sets up the software on site. Endress+Hauser service teams provide start-up support and traceable on-site calibration.Pressure Loss Concerns Meanwhile, Endress+Hauser advises on the impact of pressure loss in industrial processes and highlights the importance of identifying pressure loss in a system.
“Pressure loss occurs when frictional forces, caused by the resistance to flow, act on a fluid as it flows through the pipe. The pressure loss in a pipe depends on the flow velocity, pipe length, pipe diameter and a friction factor based on the roughness of the pipe, and whether the flow is turbulent or laminar, also known as the Reynolds Number of the flow,” explains Endress+Hauser food and beverage industry manager Natlee Chetty.
It is extremely important to calculate pressure loss correctly, as the system pressure might otherwise be too low to maintain the flow in the system and because insufficient pressure may also cause dissolved gases to degas. High pressure loss in a process also means more energy is needed to pump or move the product from one point to another, and, as a result, high pressure loss translates to wasted energy in a system.
During the design phase it is crucial that the pressure loss be calculated. Programs for calculating pressure loss are also available as a free download from the Internet, says Chetty.
Endress+Hauser has an innovative software tool, called Applicator, that can be used to calculate the fluid velocity, pressure loss, differential pressure as well as other variables that play an important role in the selection of a flowmeter.
“The company follows a very technical approach regarding the selection of flow meters in an application. Our qualified experts are well trained in selecting the best technology for the application,” she explains, adding that the pressure loss can vary considerably within each measuring principle.
Chetty further notes that the correct sizing and selection will optimise the system pressure loss. If only limited pumping capacity is available, the better choice would invariably be a nonintrusive meter, as there are no parts inside the measuring tube to reduce pressure loss.
The alternatives are meters with only frictional head loss, such as ultrasonic or electromagnetic meters. Constraints on the maximum allowable pressure loss have to be determined before selection starts. Often, problems arise during commissioning because meter repeatability or rangeability is not as expected. In some liquid applications, for example, with high vapour pressure hydrocarbons, excessive pressure loss may cause cavitation. This may result in large errors and poor repeatability and, in severe cases, erosion and damage of the meter over longer periods.
Modern instrumentation includes numerous sophisticated measuring principles, which can become complicated. However, Endress+Hauser prides itself on being “the people for process automation” and imparts its expertise in the training and development of its customers.
“Endress+Hauser has identified the gaps for training in the industry and is conducting formal and informal training,” says Van den Berg.Chetty adds: “We believe in knowledge and do our best to educate both our staff and customers, to equip them with the necessary skills required to perform their duties to the best of their ability. We also have regular technology events that are free of charge, like our popular Wazzup seminars.”