APM Applications & Instrumentation Ltd was approached by a manufacturer of food products to provide flow measurements on their process. In this instance, the liquid to be measured was butter oil or Ghee, delicious.
Case Study: Flow Rate of Butter
This company was looking to see the flow rates of the butter oil that was being pumped from their tanks. This is a crucial part of the process as it’s before it would go to the packaging and inspection stages. The medium is also heated up to 110 deg c. In this part of the process, there was no metering. The only flow measurements they have is on the pasteuriser side and the distribution side so nothing in the middle. This called for our services and the use of our ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeters.
APM Applications & Instrumentation Ltd went to a site with their portable KATflow 230 to perform a non-invasive flow test. Prior to arrival, we liaised with our manufacturer for the best course of action regarding the medium. As we knew the characteristics of the medium such as viscosity and the density we could have a better idea to set up a bespoke measurement on the user settings. With the help of Katronic, we also performed some sound speed tests so we had a baseline before arriving on site.
The Application That Day
The application is pumped from the pasteuriser into 2 large vats/tanks. We had 2 good sections of pipework and went with the vertical sections, as it gave us the best possible straight section to allow for as much turbulence to settle from the bends at the bottom of the pipework. We clamped onto a stainless steel pipe at 51m OD, with the dissipation of the temperature from the start of the process (important for later) due to the butter oil sitting in the tanks. The medium was around 75 deg C and we checked this with a thermometer. We then clamped the K1N transducers onto the pipe and began. Now, in this case, we wanted to give the manufacturer proof of concept as having a non-invasive flowmeter would be great for its hygienic purposes, and how minimal the maintenance the kit would be. It became clear this would be one of the best choices within their accepted accuracy range if we could.
*Top tip! it's very important when discussing any application to understand the basic requirements of your customer allowing you to pick the best solution for them and the application.*
With that in mind, we wanted to get a flow so we could see the diagnostics and get some further information. But how do you do that without butter oil is a setting on the meter? We used the water setting under 120deg c. This may seem un-helpful for anything that is not water, but it has some good baseline characteristics the flowmeter needs for it to measure. We then started to measure, we got steady flow readings in there expected range of 7t/h, steady and stable sound speed and delta t. Also good diagnostics from the gain, signal strength and noise. With all this, we knew we could measure the medium, and there was room for improvement with the new values we had from the test for a fixed unit to be installed. This can be done by entering all this newfound information with the user settings. It needed the below and we now have this.
- Kinematic Viscosity in mm²/s
- Density in kg/m³
- Medium C-speed in m/s
What Does This Mean?
We provided proof of concept
The manufacturer can have flow metering in the middle of their process, helping them be more efficient and cost-effective, or anywhere else we could improve the metering for them
We can also add RTD or PT100 temperature sensors allowing for measurement of temperature (energy usage). We mentioned the loss of energy earlier and this can help manage that by knowing what we are losing, we can add preventive measures to stop that loss and save money straight away!
This customer can add flowmeters and energy kits to any part of that process and we can then duplicate similar results and move them around at their site
Flow Meter Rental & Hire
With all this information we can provide fixed and portable units to the client and also flow meter rentals with on-site services. Needless to say, this one visit can save them time money and effort and is a simple way to enhance your food manufacturing process. We also offer a service where we can attend site within an agreed period of time, to provide verifications on the installed flow meter to check their functionality by using a portable flow meter. This allows you to keep on top of your assets and keep them performing. Also if they need a full calibration we can provide this service and rent an interim flow meter so you are never without this again.
The Ultrasonic Liquid Clamp-on flowmeter range comes with a host of inputs and outputs, like 4-20mA, Modbus, Profibus PA, Pt100 RTD and many more. We can provide solutions on pipe sizes from 6mm-6000mm and temperatures up to 300deg.
For more information look at our flowmeter collection.
Contact us for us to attend site to help your process. Some links below for some of the collection pages and services we offer.