Innovating the flow meter for a better planet

Burkert Fluid Control Systems

Sunday, 01 September, 2019


Over the past two years, Bürkert has worked tirelessly to innovate the simple flow meter to deliver a product that not only does the job well, but doesn’t compromise on Bürkert’s environmental and social responsibility — better products for a better future.

Hygienic, compact and efficient

The food, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries require flow meters that not only operate with high precision, but meet strict standards and legal requirements with regard to hygiene and cleaning. Therefore, production plants need to be cleaned regularly when changing over batches or products. At the same time, the production process should be carried out as efficiently as possible.

The FLOWave Type 8098 flowmeter from Bürkert Fluid Control Systems now offers extended functions, including the extremely fast and precise detection of media changeovers. As a result, production steps can be clearly separated from each other and waste can be reduced without negatively impacting on hygiene.

Point of difference

The flow meter operates according to the patented SAW (surface acoustic waves) process, which uses surface waves to perform measurements. The primary advantage of this process is that there are no installed fittings or constrictions, which also means there are no empty spaces in the measurement tube.

Measurements are performed without any contact between the sensor elements and the medium; the liquid neither affects the sensor elements nor can the sensors contaminate the medium. This is not only hygienic, but simplifies the cleaning process.

The fact that the measuring tube is identical to every other straight tube section in the system, in fluidic terms, avoids pressure drops. Furthermore, installation is extremely straightforward thanks to the compact size and low weight of the device.

Lower energy consumption

Bürkert reports that the FLOWave flow meter consumes much less energy than Coriolis flow meters and can be mounted in any installation position. Measurements can be taken in standing liquids, in fast-flowing liquids or in liquid flows that change direction. In addition, no maintenance work is required, which can significantly reduce operating costs.

Precise and futureproof

The compact flow meter is manufactured entirely from stainless steel and measures the volume flow with an accuracy of 0.4% of the measured value. Temperature is measured simultaneously with an accuracy of 1°C. Depending on the orifice, the nominal pressure can be up to 25 bar.

The temperature range is designed to enable CIP as well as SIP cleaning processes.

In the pharmaceutical industry, FLOWave has already proven to be extremely effective in numerous applications, such as the flow measurement of costly ultrapure water, the mixing of intravenous infusions, in numerous dosing and monitoring tasks using different liquids required for production as well as in critical CIP and SIP processes, in which both flow and temperature must be monitored.

Other significant benefits

  • Increased productivity thanks to quick and precise flow measurement.
  • Rapid start-up and simple operation thanks to a high-resolution 2.4″ display with intuitive and graphic user navigation.
  • Superior ability to drain.
  • Superior ability to clean.
  • No pressure drop.
  • Extremely lightweight = easier and quicker installation.

Starting where others stop

FLOWave has been revolutionary to Bürkert since its release in 2017. By gradually introducing the technology, product benefits and potential through training and information sharing, the company has been able to build excitement in this product around the world.

As an added advantage, the product provides futureproof technology to manufacturers while allowing social and environmental responsibilities to be met. Fast detection of fluid changeovers reduces waste and costs while increasing productivity. Because of this, manufacturers are no longer tipping product ‘down the drain’, causing additional costs and negative environmental impact for waste treatment processes.

What's next?

Besides measuring volume flow and temperature, the next step in FLOWave enhancement will measure values such as density factor (for liquid detection) and acoustic transmission factor (for detecting gas bubbles). Validations are currently being conducted for food oils, yoghurt, baby food, adhesives, paints and engine oils. FLOWave is already being used with great success in watery media such as acids, lyes, condensates and, particularly, non-conductive water.

Bürkert looks forward to these enhancements being released over the next six to 12 months.

Partnership over bottom-line: a case study

L.B. Bohle in Enningerloh, Germany, engineers special-purpose machinery for the pharmaceutical industry. Its product portfolio encompasses machines and plants for the production of pharmaceutical products for processes ranging from weighing, granulating, sieving and mixing to the film coating of tablets and corresponding cleaning equipment.

L.B. Bohle came to Bürkert, looking to find a pioneering flow meter for hygienic cleaning of containers.

Absolute care is essential in pharmaceutical production — after all, people’s lives and health depend on the correct agent composition and the avoidance of contamination. With the aid of the FLOWave Type 8098 flowmeter, L.B. Bohle’s Pharma Universal Cleaning System PUR can quickly and simply satisfy these hygiene standards.

The compact size and low weight of the flow meter enable easy installation in the control cabinet. It can be installed in any desired direction, allowing the display to be adjusted for comfortable reading. During operation, the flow meter consumes much less energy than a Coriolis flow meter, for instance, which is also a much larger and heavier construction. There is also no maintenance work necessary, which significantly reduces the operating costs among users of PUR systems.

To read more about L.B. Bohle adopting the FLOWave Type 8098 flowmeter click here.

Exceeding expectations

As the product continues to be introduced into different businesses, and with the prospect of future product enhancements, Bürkert has confidence in the potential opportunities this product can have in hygienic industries.

Working alongside customers’ needs and continuing education and training on the product advantages are key influences for Bürkert to ensure it provides a strong future for FLOWave and other innovative products.

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