Posts Tagged ‘Flow Instrumentation’

ABB to showcase latest technologies for water at IWEX 2015

March 18, 2015


We are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at IWEX at the NEC in Birmingham on 21st – 23rd April 2015. On stand (G26), we’ll be demonstrating how our products can help water companies to take a holistic approach to optimizing their network efficiency. Therefore we’ll be showcasing how we can help to boost efficiency across all areas, from reduced energy consumption through to enhanced data collection.

A fully automated interactive panel will show how our latest equipment can be integrated to provide customers with complete solutions for monitoring and controlling water supplies. The panel will feature a selection of instruments, variable speed drives, electric motors and control equipment.

The stand will also feature examples of our latest technologies for water and wastewater processes.

Products on display will include the AquaMaster 3 with WITS (Water Industry Telemetry Standard) DNP3 based open protocol. Based on tried and tested network technology, WITS DNP3 enables communication between different types of data acquisition and control equipment.

The AquaMaster 3 will be joined by Katronic’s range of KATflow ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeters. Featuring an intuitive menu, instrument setup wizard and the innovative Audible Sensor Positioning Assistant, the KATflow range makes the use of clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters easier than ever before.

Also on display is the latest range of WIMES compliant low voltage electric motors. The motors were designed specifically to meet the UK’s Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specification. (WIMES 3.03 issue 6), created by The Pump Centre in conjuction with end users, consultants, contractors and manufactuturers, including ABB.

Alongside it is ABB’S SynRM (Synchronous Reluctance Motor) and drive package for the water industry. The package offers the benefits of a premium motor control alongside the highest levels of motor performance, giving ultimate efficiency and reliability to optimise pump system cost of ownership.

For more information, email or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘IWEX 2015’. Alternatively, please visit ABB’s water industry portal at


ABB to share its flow measurement expertise at forthcoming factory open day

March 13, 2015

We are delighted to announce that ABB Measurement & Analytics will be holding an open day at its Stonehouse factory on the 25th March to share its expertise on flow measurement and calibration.

The free to attend event is open to anyone involved in the specification, operation and maintenance of flowmetering equipment and will cover a variety of areas relating to flow measurement and calibration.

Starting at 9:30am, the day will begin with a session hosted by Flow Calibration Consultant, Dr. Bryan Franklin, who will present the three main flow calibration methods including Comparison, Volumetric and Gravimetric. He will also explain the advantages and associated issues of each technique, advising on the best technique to use for specific requirements.

Getting the best from your flow measurement will describe how to achieve optimum performance and reduced measurement uncertainty through correct flowmeter selection and installation. ABB’s Flow Design and Development Manager, Dr. Ray Keech, will also be on hand to discuss the key factors to consider and will reveal how the integrity and accuracy of a flowmeter can be further enhanced by carrying out in-situ verification.

These sessions will be followed by a tour of the Stonehouse flowmeter manufacturing facility and
ABB’s UKAS accredited flow calibration rig, the largest of its kind in Europe.

After lunch, ABB’s Service Manager, Joe Fudge, will outline the requirements of EN ISO 60534-2-3 and will explain the reasons for wet testing valves.

The final session, will see ABB’s Flow Product Specialist, David Bowers present the key features and advantages of the latest process flow technologies. The presentation will also cover ABB’s new generation flowmeters, including the FCB300 CoriolisMaster, SwirlMaster and VortexMaster, which offers enhanced flow calculation capability for integral mass and energy computation.

To register your interest in the free event, please email or call 01785 285939,
ref. ‘Flow measurement open day’.

ABB extends CoriolisMaster family with new compact flowmeters

October 20, 2014


We are delighted to reveal that we have expanded our CoriolisMaster flowmeter family with the addition of two new compact models with RS485 Modbus communications.

Aimed at OEM machine builders, the FCB and hygienic FCH 130 and 150 series coriolis mass flow meters are ideal for filling applications across a range of industries.

With their integral mount design and zero upstream or downstream piping requirements, the meters are ideal for use in confined locations, requiring just a fraction of the space required by volumetric methods.

A major feature of the FCB and FCH 130 and 150 meters is their low pressure drop. Featuring a revised inner tube design, the meters offer up to a 90 percent lower pressure drop than other devices, helping to save up to 25 percent on pump energy costs. By offering a wide measurement span, just one meter can be used in applications where two meters might previously have been needed, reducing the need for spares and cutting the costs involved in installation.

The inclusion of RS485Modbus enables the FCB and FCH 130 and 150 to be directly integrated with a range of third party control, supervision and recording devices.

Two digital outputs offer a choice of pulse, frequency or binary output, which can be used together or individually to handle separate functions, such as opening or closing valves or setting and resetting totalisers. Operating at 115k Baud, the outputs offer a fast response, making them suitable for small dosing applications and filling applications requiring high precision.

Cost of ownership is reduced by on-board diagnostics, which provide a continuous online check of the sensor and transmitter. Any faults are automatically recorded and time stamped, together with details about the fault itself and the time it lasted. All error messages are displayed in clear text, enabling any problems to be quickly identified and resolved.

A trending analysis function also enables the performance of the meters to be monitored over time.
By highlighting when the meter is exceeding its calibration range, this function can help to minimise the time and disruption associated with maintenance by ensuring that the meter is only removed when necessary.

As well as checking the calibration, this software can also be used to configure the meter for batch filling processes. Extra performance can be achieved with the FCB and FCH150 versions, which include integrated FillMass and Densimass concentration functions. Suited to filling processes lasting three seconds or longer, the FillMass function ensures accurate filling. The valve is triggered by a digital output and is closed once the preset filling quantity is achieved. The filling quantity is given via a totaliser which can be easily configured and controlled by the device’s Modbus interface.

The Densimass concentration function allows the transmitter to calculate the concentration of a mixture based on the measured density and temperature using a set of pre-set concentration matrices.

In addition, users can also enter two of their own defined matrices containing up to 100 values.
Both the FCH 130 and 150 are EHEDG and FDA certified enabling them to be used in food and beverage and pharmaceutical applications.

For more information, email or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘CoriolisMaster FCB/FCH’.

The true cost of low cost

February 8, 2010

Neil Webster,  General Manager at ABB UK instrumentation, questions the longterm value of bargain manufacturing equipment

Everyone loves a bargain, especially when money is tight. Despite the encouraging upturn in the manufacturing sector, the recovery is still fragile at best and there is still the pressure on to control costs as tightly as possible.

So no one could really blame manufacturing companies for responding with a bit of bargain hunting. Even so, we’ve all experienced the flipside of bagging a bargain at one time or another, which is that you get what you pay for. And this is as true for hard-pressed companies as it is for the rest of us.

The trouble is that the hunt for a bargain too often focuses exclusively on the upfront cost of new kit and that can be an expensive mistake in the long run.

Saving the pounds

First there’s the equipment itself. Suppliers work hard to include all the latest innovations and features in their top-of-the-range equipment. Standardised hardware platforms can cut down on the requirement to stock spares, for example, while self-diagnostics can help optimise maintenance programmes. Of course, that’s all in addition to the fact that better quality instrumentation can boost performance in core areas such as improved process control, more precise chemical dosing or improved energy efficiency, to name but a few.

But the differences don’t end with the quality of the actual equipment. Suppliers who are being screwed to the wall over pricing are far less likely to throw in additional service and support. Whether you find yourself on the end of a premium-price technical helpline, or simply find that you have to wait longer for an engineer to come and fix a problem, there will ultimately be a price to pay.

Before you all start muttering that “he would say that, wouldn’t he”, I admit it’s in my best interest as a supplier to promote sensible equipment pricing. But the point is that reputable suppliers deliver a lot more to the industry than cheap equipment. We’ve all become used to including innovation, technical know-how and service support as part of the deal, and it’s these added benefits that will be eroded if it comes to an all-out price war.

Moreover, firms that invest during times of recession are often those that are best geared for success when recovery comes. With encouraging signs of growing demand now upon us, companies should surely start preparing themselves to capitalise on this recovery by investing in technologies that are proven to bring improved levels of efficiency, rather than relying on existing plant resources.   

Tough times mean that purchasing departments may feel that they can’t afford to do anything other than look for the cheapest unit cost. The irony is that taking that approach, rather than looking to the future and investing in the latest innovations, may well leave them paying a much higher price in the end.

More innovation, less leaks

January 26, 2010

Tony Hoyle, Flow Products Manager, ABB Limited, asks if UK companies are sufficiently geared up to handle water leakages.

The UK general public are a fickle lot. When it comes to water leakage, they are usually only interested either during heatwaves or when it comes to likely increases in their water bills.

It’s encouraging then to notice the spate of messages posted by water companies on Twitter (I confess to being an avid user) thanking customers for their vigilance in reporting leaking water mains brought on by the cold weather.

On a deeper level, though, it does beg the question of whether UK companies are still sufficiently geared up to handle water leakage – in particular when it comes to spotting and rectify the early telltale signs of impending leaks.

This is not to knock the huge progress that has already been made in leakage management in the UK in recent years. Thames Water, Severn Trent and Yorkshire Water are all just some of the examples of water companies that have undertaken massive programmes of mains improvement, with a dramatic reduction in leakage as a result. However, even with this investment, many leakage management programmes still tend to focus on resolving leaks that are likely to cause immediate problems, due to the need to conserve costs and balance manpower resources across other activities.

Though leakage can never be totally eliminated, it is still possible for it to be more tightly controlled.

What is needed is greater innovation, involving not just the application of new technology, but also looking outside the water industry to identify best practices used in other industries to meet the same or similar challenges.

One example of where this is already happening is Project Neptune, a joint partnership between Yorkshire Water, United Utilities, ABB, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and seven UK universities. Represented by the trident of Neptune, the Roman god of water, the project has set itself a three-pronged goal of improving the monitoring, control and optimisation of water supplies.

Working together, the project partners have developed an automated leakage management system which combines up-to-the-minute pipeline data with artificial intelligence to continually monitor network performance.

Its success has already been proven in 16 DMAs throughout the Yorkshire Water catchment, with leaks now able to be spotted and repaired at a much earlier stage. The immediate benefits include the ability to better allocate repair teams and minimise disruption caused by repair works.

The longer terms benefits of this will include better control of water supply and improved energy efficiency through the reduced need for production and treatment of replacement supplies.

With press attention already focusing on the likelihood of water companies missing their leakage targets due to the recent cold weather, it’s probably only a matter of time before public attention focuses on whether water companies are doing all they possibly can to efficiently manage the nation’s supplies.

Greater innovation is just one way for us to ensure that we are.

AMP – let’s have some common sense

January 12, 2010

Tony Hoyle, Flow Products Manager, ABB Limited, looks at AMP and suggests a how the AMP process could be run more effectively.


According to a quote I read recently; “common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.” 

When it comes to AMP, the UK Government is sadly scoring in the ‘must try harder’ region of the common sense spectrum.

Even to the lay person, shutting down an entire industry every five years makes little sense. In the time between the peak spending of AMP periods, skilled labour is lost to other sectors and equipment suppliers wind down their operations. When the new AMP period kicks in and spending starts to increase again, the result is always the same – it becomes that little bit harder and more costly to find the right workers and equipment.

The logic of continuing this approach at a time of economic recession is even harder to fathom.

So for the benefit of the common-sense challenged, here are some suggestions for how the AMP process should be run.

1. Staggering

Firstly, why not give water companies their own five year timeframes?

Staggering AMP periods would create a situation where some companies are peaking when others are slowing down, giving constant employment for skilled workers within the industry.

Given that many of the more prepared water companies had their draft plans ready months before AMP 4 even ended, this approach shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.

2. Restore Scotland’s AMP timetable

As an extension to the above, why not restore Scotland’s AMP equivalent spending timetable so that it’s once again out of phase with those of England and Wales?

Though it was undoubtedly done for all the right reasons, the decision to align Scotland’s spending periods with the rest of the UK has actually made things worse.

Previously, Scottish projects offered gainful employment for out of work contractors and suppliers when the English and Welsh AMP periods went quiet. Why not return to this position at least?

3. How about some financial stimulation?

Earlier this year, the Government promised to inject extra investment into the UK’s infrastructure projects to help stimulate economic activity.

Despite delivering proven benefits for other sectors, most notably the UK car industry, nothing so far has materialised for the water industry. In fact, Ofwat has again over-ruled the requests from water operators for more money and called on them to cut their water prices.

Which begs the question of where the money for investment is meant to come from. Unless money is injected into the industry, the danger is that water companies will ultimately move to protect their shareholders, cutting new projects and storing up potential obstacles for the future or paying less attention to leakage and the wasted water and energy associated.

My suggestion would be that water companies should be given financial incentives to get projects started early, or at the very least, allowed to get at their AMP funding at special low interest rates if done during 2010 before the traditional peaks of mid AMP (2011 and 2012) period.

4. Benefit from competitive labour

Whenever an AMP period peak finishes, it becomes steadily more costly to retain skilled workers, who are understandably lured away by the promise of work in other sectors.

Either staggering AMP periods perhaps north and south or giving water companies early and assisted access to their AMP funding could help overcome this problem, creating an environment where work was ongoing and smooth rather than being subject to the peaks and troughs of AMP spending.

 Listen to the water industry!

Much of the above is what the water industry has been saying for years. Yet the message still doesn’t seem to be getting through.

It boils down to this. There is another way to approach AMP – the question is whether the Government is interested in taking it and helping the UK economy now. Before it’s too late.

Top Tips for selecting Flowmeters

December 17, 2009

Tony Hoyle, Flow Products Manager, ABB Limited, gives his top tips for selecting the best all round flow system for an application.

 1.    Don’t choose on cost alone

When it comes to selecting a flowmeter, cheapest doesn’t mean best! Though the cheapest might save money upfront, it may potentially cause problems later down the line. 

Ultimately, the most cost-effective installation will be the one where the supplier can offer good technical back-up, independently traceable test facilities, a long and established track record and a reputation for high-reliability products based on sound research and development.

2. Know your flow

A key thing to remember when selecting a flowmeter is that every liquid or gas behaves differently when flowing through the pipeline.

Profiling the flow of a liquid or gas through the pipeline can help to select which flowmeter is most able to cope with the conditions of the application.

 The flow profile of a fluid varies according to whether it is Newtonian or non-Newtonian. Newtonian fluids include homogenised or skimmed milk, water, sugar solutions and some mineral oils. They tend to ‘stick’ to the pipe walls, resulting in the liquid moving more slowly at the sides of the pipe than in the middle.

Non-Newtonian fluids, such as paints, shampoos and yoghurt are harder to predict. The flow of these fluids varies as viscosity changes either with time or due to a change in resistance caused by the collision of two different velocities as the fluid sticks to the pipe walls.

To select the best flowmeter, it’s useful to calculate the Reynolds number of the application. This figure is the ratio of momentum against viscosity and can be calculated by using the minimum and maximum fluid flow and viscosity figures of the application. Once you’ve worked out the Reynolds values, they can then be matched against a flowmeter’s Reynolds range to help pick the one that is best able to meet the demands of the application. 

 3.    Opt for the widest turndown

Turndown is the ratio of the maximum and minimum flow rates a flowmeter can measure within its specified accuracy range. The turndown of a flowmeter is important because it is virtually impossible to know in advance the exact range of flows to be measured. Selecting a flowmeter that offers the widest possible turndown ensures that it can cover all anticipated flow variations.

4.    Pay attention to installation

When selecting a flowmeter, think about where and how the device will be installed, as this can affect both accuracy and efficiency.

Obstructions in the pipeline such as joints, bends or valves in close proximity to the meter can all cause distortions in flow profile, affecting flowmeter accuracy and repeatability. To ensure best results, flowmeters should be installed in locations where there are several straight-lengths of unobstructed pipeline both upstream and downstream of the meter.

5. Pick the flowmeter that offers the best accuracy for the application

It’s important to find out which types of flowmeters are most suited to the application.

6. Complying with the law

Customer and regulatory standards have seen a move towards sustainable and ‘greener’ technologies with certified and approved technologies becoming legislative criteria.

The introduction of MCerts/ EPR is a significant extension of this. The latest step in the legislation is the obligation for all industrial and water treatment companies with a requirement in their EPR permit /consent for discharging effluent to a watercourse or the sea to self-monitor their effluent flows.

Introduced as part of a move to improve the measurement and control of discharge and waste levels from both water utility and industrial companies, the self-monitoring obligation requires operators to comply with the Environment Agency’s MCerts certification scheme.

Under this scheme, companies should be able to demonstrate that they are using the Best Available Technique (BAT) to protect the environment. Where the self-monitoring of effluent flow is concerned, operators are subject to a ±8% uncertainty target for the measurement of total daily volume of effluent discharged. This covers not just the equipment used, but also other factors such as correct fitting and the training of relevant personnel to ensure that an installation is correctly set up, operated and maintained. 

In practice this means that, if there are instruments or systems using a particular technology that have passed all the necessary tests and received an MCerts compliance certificate, operators must use them for new and refurbished installations.

Failure to comply can be construed as a failure of a basic duty of care, potentially leading to fines or even imprisonment in serious circumstances, so it pays to keep up to date.

 7. Ensuring continued accuracy

To ensure your installed flowmeters are continuing to deliver optimum measurements, it is advisable to periodically check their accuracy throughout their service life where possible.

ABB offers a range of in-situ verification services for its electromagnetic flowmeters aimed at ensuring their continued accuracy throughout their lifecycle.

8. Use the same supplier for all your flowmetering equipment

A flowmeter is often only as good as the equipment that sits alongside it. Although there are many suppliers offering ancillary flow equipment, the best way to ensure a completely matched system where all components are fully compatible is to specify everything from a single reputable supplier.

9. Helping you to make the right choice

ABB has a wealth of information to help you choose the best flowmeter for your process. The Flowmeter Selection Wallchart provides an informative explanation of the different flow measurements products available and their suitability for certain processes and environments.

ABB has also launched a series of podcast tutorials, covering all of the key flowmetering technologies, explaining how they work and how to choose the right instrument for a particular application.