Flow meters/controllers with Ethernet interfaces

Bronkhorst High-Tech has announced the availability of EtherNet/IP and Modbus-TCP interface options for it mass flow meters and controllers, as well as their digital pressure controllers. Like the previously developed EtherCAT and Profinet communication protocols, EtherNet/IP and Modbus-TCP interfaces are based on Ethernet communication. Therefore, they can be applied with standard Ethernet cabling and support an unlimited number of nodes.

EtherNet/IP (Ethernet Industrial Protocol) is designed for use in industrial environments and time-critical applications. EtherNet/IP, first presented by the ODVA (Open Device Vendor Association) in the year 2000, is an open communication protocol that adapts CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) to the standard Ethernet.

The Modbus-TCP protocol is 100% Ethernet-compatible and is used for data exchange between I/O controllers and I/O devices (slaves / field devices). It adapts the widely used Modbus protocol to TCP/IP with Ethernet as the common medium. Modbus-TCP is a master/slave (or client/server) system in which Bronkhorst instruments can only be implemented as slave devices.

Bronkhorst has many years of experience with fieldbus communication. With its “multi-bus” concept, the company offers customers a choice of nine fieldbus interface options. The  range of digital metering and control devices is applied in many different markets, e.g. the food and beverage and chemical industries, gas and fluid analysis equipment, glass and tool coating processes, testing fuel cells for the automotive industry and in machinery used to produce electronic chips, LED lights and solar cells.

Mass flow meters for industrial processes and plant air/gas measurement applications

With the addition of the Modbus communication protocol to its new ST80 series, recently enhanced ST51A/ST75A series, and ST100 series and multipoint MT100 series, Fluid Components International (FCI) now provides the industry’s broadest selection of Modbus compatible thermal mass air/gas meters.

For Modbus-based measurement and control systems, with air or gas flow rate components, FCI can now provide an optimal, highest value flow meter solution matched to the application. FCI thermal mass flow meters with Modbus I/O are available for line sizes from 6 mm to the largest of stacks and ducts, and every size in-between.  They are designed to measure the flow of air and more than 200 different gases, including inert and hydrocarbon-based, in both pure and mixed compositions.

Thermal mass air/gas flow meters are direct mass flow measuring, have no moving parts to foul or clog, and require no routine maintenance that achieve lowest installed cost and superior service life.

READ MORE: FCI T80/ST80L mass flow meters

FCI’s family of Modbus compatible thermal flow meters range from small, compact models to high feature, high performance, high accuracy models. Models are available that carry global agency approvals for Ex installations, both Div.1/Zone1 and Div.2/Zone 2 types.  Four of the series’ carry independently evaluated SIL compliance (IEC 61508) ratings for use in safety instrumented system applications.

All FCI thermal flow meters are available in a vast choice of process connections to ensure compatibility with virtually any piping and installation criteria. The instruments are inherently dual function and can provide flow and temperature measurement, as well as totalized flow, outputs over the Modbus connection.

The Modbus option for all five FCI model series flow meters meets the EIA/TIA-485 standard. Transmission is via RTU or ASCII with standard MS (16 bit), standard LS (16 bit) or Daniel extensions (32 bit).  They’re ideal for use with PLCs, large SCADA systems or DCS systems.

In addition to Modbus, FCI’s thermal air/gas flow meters also provide 4-20 mA, analogue outputs, pulse outputs, and/or other digital bus communications of HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus-PA and Profibus-DP.

Lowering the life cycle costs of flow measurement

When process engineers specify ST Series flow meters from Fluid Components International (FCI) with the retractable packing gland option, maintenance engineers breathe a sigh of relief knowing that if these virtually maintenance free instruments ever require a simple wipe down cleaning that their process line doesn’t need to be interrupted, bypassed temporarily or completely shut down.

The thermal dispersion ST50, ST80 and ST100 series air/gas flow meers feature simple insertion-style designs with FCI’s optional easy-maintenance packing gland kit.  They provide both ease of installation, requiring a single tap point into the process line, and the convenience of retracting their flow sensing elements from the line.

Unlike their cousins inline or spool piece meters, insertion-style meters can be installed rapidly or retracted quickly through a single tap point in the pipe.

In comparison, installing a large spool piece meter requires shutting down the line, bringing in a crew to chop the pipe, slide in the spool piece meter (sometimes with a crane), weld the pipe back together and re-pressurize the line. Spool piece meter maintenance requires repeating the same cumbersome, expensive process just to access the flow sensor.

When it comes to maintaining insertion style meters such as FCI’s ST Series, the sensor assembly is simply retracted from the pipeline through a ball valve/packing gland. When retracted, the ball valve is closed.  There’s no crew, no special work permits or compromising of the plant’s production quota due to maintenance.

The FCI Retractable Packaging Gland Kit for the ST series flow meters comes in low or medium pressure configurations. The low-pressure kit is suitable for lines pressurised up to 3,5 bar (g).  The medium pressure configuration is designed for lines pressurised up to 34 bar (g).  They are available with a choice of graphite or Teflon packing material and one threaded or flanged process connection. The Teflon packing material is required when the process media is ozone, chlorine or bromine.

ST50 Series Meter
This device is a compact, low-cost solution for accurate, repeatable flow rate measurement of air, compressed air or nitrogen. This dependable thermal dispersion insertion-style flow meter has no moving parts and is available in probe lengths for installation into pipe diameters from 63 mm to 610 mm. It is easily connected into the pipe via a 0.5 inch or 0.75 inch NPT compression fitting.

ST80 Series Meter
This is a high-performance, rugged thermal dispersion technology air/gas flow meter for line sizes 51 mm and up that combines ultra-reliable, feature-rich electronics with application-matched flow sensors to provide a truly superior solution for industrial processes and plant applications. It combines these features with a robust, rugged transmitter enclosure and industry’s broadest selection of process connections to provide longest service life and ease-of-installation in your installation’s pipe or duct.

ST100 Series Meter
The ST100 Series Flow Meter is an innovative, thermal dispersion air/gas flow meter for line sizes from 25 to 1524 mm that combines feature- and function- rich electronics with advanced flow sensors for a state-of-the-science flow metering solution. Its intelligent transmitter is unsurpassed in meeting current and future need for outputs, process information and communications. Outputs available include 4-20 mA analogue, frequency/pulse, or digital bus communications such as HART, Foundation fieldbus, PROFIBUS, or Modbus.

Precision ST75 thermal flow meter measures chiller air flow to reduce operating costs

Building, plant and process engineers responsible for managing large HVAC and other process cooling equipment systems will find the ST75 Series Air/Gas Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) provides precise direct mass flow measurement for  accuracy, repeatability and dependability.

The energy efficiency of HVAC and other process cooling equipment systems in large commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and industrial processes relies on precision air flow metering.  The ST75 Series Air/Gas Flow Meter features an advanced solid-state thermal dispersion mass flow sensing element for years of accurate, trouble-free service measuring air flow in chiller systems and duct work.

The ST75 Flow Meter operates over a wide air flow range that also includes mixed gas environments from 0.07 to 950 NCMH, depending on line size. For variable demand cycles due to weather or production requirements, the ST75 meter is factory preset to 100:1 turndowns.

With built-in process temperature compensation for accuracy, the precision ST75 Flow Meter maintains consistent performance in high temperature climates and rugged plant environments.  It features highly dependable accuracy to ±1% of reading with ±0.5% repeatability in line sizes from 6 to 51 mm.

The ST75 Flow Meter’s precision flow element has a no-moving parts design, which employs platinum RTD sensors embedded in equal mass thermowells with its microprocessor electronics calibrated to laboratory standards for air and a wide variety of other gases.  This no-moving parts design provides extra reliability where process safety is a concern.

Ideal for crowded equipment areas in HVAC mechanical rooms or on the factory floor, the compact ST75 model comes in a choice of either inline or insertion mounting configurations and features remote mounting capabilities for hazardous plant environments.  The model ST75AV features a built-in Vortab flow conditioner where lack of pipe straight-run is a potential issue. The transmitter, which includes a full digital display, can be mounted up to 15 meters away from its thermal mass flow sensor in piping or ductwork and connected via two 0.50-inch FNPT or M conduit connections.

The ST75 Flow Meter’s fully scalable dual 4-20mA standard outputs are user assignable to flow rate and/or temperature and a 0-1kHz pulse output of total flow.  The instrument can be ordered for input power with either 18 to 36 Vdc or 85 to 265 Vac, with or without a built-in LCD digital display.

The durable ST75 Flow Meter withstands process temperatures from -18 to 121°C.  It operates at pressures up to 16.5 bar (g) with a standard t-fitting (NPT female) process connection.   With a tube process connection, the meter withstands 41 bar (g).

Offering direct-flow measurement for higher performance at a lower cost with proven thermal dispersion technology, the ST75 Flow Meter eliminates the need for additional pressure and temperature sensors, flow computers, or other devices that are required with orifice plates, Venturis, Vortex shedding, and other volumetric meters.  The ST75 meter also requires virtually no maintenance for both a low installed cost and low life-cycle cost.

The ST75 Series electronics are housed in rugged, IP67 rated enclosure with dual conduit ports in either NPT or M20 threading. The models ST75A and ST75AV include HART as well as NAMUR compliant 4-20 mA outputs and SIL compliance rating. The complete instrument carries global Ex agency approvals for Division l/Zone 1 installations

Flow meters with CEMS & CERMS capabilities

Engineers responsible for reporting stack gas emissions data to federal, state or local authorities will appreciate the optional Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) and Continuous Emissions Rate Monitoring System (CERMS) applications package available with the next-gen MT100 Series Multipoint Thermal Mass Flow Meters from Fluid Components International (FCI).

FCI’s MT100 Series Flow Meters when specified with the optional CEMS and CERMS applications package meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 40 CFR Part 60 and 40 CFR Part 75.  This package provides a 24-hour interval automated calibration drift test of low and high span points, and interference sensor check.

The MT100 meter’s optional CEMS applications package includes both an automated and on-demand self-checking of calibration drift (CD) and sensor interference.  The results of the CEMS tests are presented as a simple pass or fail message on the LCD readout.  The CEMS option also includes two relay outputs for connection to external devices, one to signal test in progress and the other to signal a fail-test mode.

FCI’s MT100 Series Air/Gas Flow Meters combine state-of-art electronics technology with application-proven precision flow sensors in a rugged package designed for the most demanding plant operating environments.  They provide temperature-compensated direct mass flow measurement of air and gases for precise, repeatable measurement with low maintenance requirements in large diameter pipes, stacks and rectangular duct installations.

In heavy industries, such as electric power generation, petrochemical refineries and others, large diameter pipes and ducts present unique challenges to achieve successful flow meter installation and performance.  Hot, moist and/or dirty gases along with lack of pipe straight-run, distorted flow profiles, low flow rates and wide turndowns rates are common performance challenges for many flow metering technologies.

FCI’s thermal mass MT100 Series air/gas Flow Meters are available with two to eight flow rate sensing points to overcome these issues. Multiple sensors are inserted at various depths within a pipe or duct and their outputs are multiplexed and averaged to produce the flow rate within the process line.

The MT100 meter’s sensors can be installed either across a mast or can be inserted at multiple points around the process line in a single plane.  In large stack applications, this means that the instrument installation can be done at a single platform location to achieve a major cost savings over other technologies such as ultrasonic meters, which require installing transducers at precise offset angles.

In hot, dirty and/or moist or corrosive stack gases, the MT100 Flow Meters also excels because there are no moving parts, orifices or glass windows to foul or clog. The instrument can measure air/gas processes operating up to 454 °C.

The MT100 Series Flow Meters can measure flow rates over a wide range from 0,07 to 305 NMPS with 100:1 turndown and with excellent accuracy of ± 0.75% of reading, ± 0.5% of full scale. They are also dual-function and can provide temperature measurement capability from -45 to 454 °C, with accuracy of ± 1,1 °C.