Welcome to the November/December 2016 issue of fLowdown - a quarterly Newsletter from Titan Enterprises Ltd. written to keep you informed about the latest technological developments, applications advances and breaking news in the field of flow measurement.

If a particular feature interests you, do not hesitate to contact us or follow the link for further information. We welcome your feedback.

Trevor Forster (Managing Director)

 

Trevor's
Technical Tip

Trevor Forster is Managing Director of Titan Enterprises. His experience in fluid handling dates back to the mid 1960's when he started working on rotating seals and flowmeter design for third party clients. Trevor draws upon over 40 years of using innovative design and production techniques to produce elegant flow metering solutions for organisations around the globe.
In this issue - Trevor offers you useful technical tips on:

Engineering Apps for Mobile Devices - Part I

An app is a software program for your mobile phone. These programs range in size and complexity from a simple flashlight application to a comprehensive navigational system for plotting positions on a marine chart. Apps allow you to customize a mobile phone or tablet to your specific set of wants and needs. They are generally easy to install, and once you start using them, will become a necessary part of your mobile life.

To save you the time and trouble of searching for and finding useful Engineering Apps we have already done this for you. Part I of our informative feature on Engineering Apps is detailed below.

Scientific Calculator

HiPER scientific calculator is one of countless free scientific calculators on the app stores. We have specifically chosen this one due to its similarity to the Casio scientific calculators so many of us will be familiar with. As the images on the app store listing show, this calculator looks as near as makes no difference to an actual Casio, meaning it can be easily picked up and used by anyone familiar with a Casio scientific calculator. The pro version costs £1.92 and has some further features listed in the app store listing. Overall, this app is a perfect addition to an engineer’s phone as it allows you to carry around one device rather than a bulky calculator along with your phone. The app is available for windows and android devices.

Accessing CAD Models & Drawings

Autodesk’s free app, A360 Viewer, allows the viewing of Autocad, Inventor, Solidworks and many other CAD files on your phone or tablet. This can be useful if you quickly need to show someone a draft drawing or model without having to go back to your computer. The app syncs up to the cloud allowing easy access to your files. The base app is free. The main advantages of this app are the fact that it allows instant access to models and drawings, while also allowing cloud access to your database, which also means if any changes are made while mobile, the database will not be out of sync. A360 is also availabe as a browser based application at https://a360.autodesk.com/viewer/

The android app can be found at:

Database of Electronic Information

Ideal for the electrical engineer, ElectroDroid is a comprehensive database of various electrical rules, information, symbols, functions and many more parameters. The app istelf is quite self explanatory, meaning that there is not much to write about unfortunately. The good news is the base app is free on the Android app store, with a pro version available to remove adverts and add some extra features, costing £2.89.


Product Update

Flowmeters for Critical Applications

Titan Enterprises is a leading manufacturer of off-the-shelf meters or fully bespoke OEM flow systems for challenging applications in a broad range of sectors, including automotive, food and drink, industrial, laboratory, medical, petrochemical and pharmaceuticals. All flowmeters produced by Titan are designed and manufactured to ISO9001 and calibrated to an uncertainty of ±0.25%. We produce chemically resistant, high accuracy digital flowmeters that are not only competitively priced but are engineered to give long-term reliable performance.

For further information on flowmeters for critical applications please click below.


Product Update

Measuring Refrigerant Flow

A new high pressure version of the 900 Series turbine flowmeter is now available for measuring refrigerant flow. Adapted with steel and reinforced polymer components, to give a pressure rating of 40 Bar, the low inertia turbines of the 900 Series flowmeter are ideal for measuring the low viscosities (0.3 to 0.4 centipoises) encountered with volatile refrigerant fluids measured in the liquid form. With careful sensor selection the pressure drop through the 900 Series flowmeter has been designed to be low enough to prevent gas break-out and ensure reliable flow measurement.

For further information on the 900 series flowmeter adapted for measuring refrigerant flow please click below.

Flow Technology Spotlight

In each issue of fLowdown we review a particular flow metering technique, its benefits, shortfalls and the applications to which it is best suited.

In this issue we look at:

Thermal Flow Meters

An early example of a thermal flow meter was the hot-wire-anemometer. These were useful but delicate devices that were often used to roughly measure the air velocity in ventilation ducts.

Today modern thermal flow meters are very useful tools for measuring both large gas flows and micro-flows of liquids and gases. There are numerous thermal techniques to make these measurements, in this feature we will only cover some of them. An example of a thermal technique for metering large gas flows involves introduction of a pair of elements into the gas stream which is preferably turbulent. One element is a temperature reference and the other heated. The heat loss (or equivalent) of the second sensor is directly proportional to the mass flow of gas across the element. The only down side of these types of thermal flow measurement device is their dependency on the thermal transfer properties of the gas and therefore each meter has to be set-up for the actual gas flow. These types of practical thermal flow meters are frequently insertion devices with a low blockage ratio and therefore a low pressure drop in the system.

For measurement of small liquid flows, typical thermal flow meter systems are very different but the fundamental principles remain very similar. In such systems the measuring device is often a capillary type tube made of glass or stainless steel against which two or three elements are placed on the outside or around the tube. The illustration below shows a three element thermal flow metering system for liquids which, because energy is being injected into the system, is capable of measuring microlitre flows.

In this device the first element measures the temperature and the second element is heated by a known amount above the reference. As a result the temperature of third element is found to be directly proportional to the mass of the flowing fluid. Again the thermal characteristics of the fluid being measured are crucial as even a small change in fluid properties will change the calculated mass flow. Extremely low flows can be metered using this thermal flow method. However using this technique there is a trade-off between device robustness and response time. Thin walled glass tube walls can make these meters relatively fragile but with careful installation and handling this need not be an issue. A robust meter with a thicker metal tube will have a correspondingly slower response time but will offer a more robust product. Accuracy claims also vary a lot so care must be taken if selecting a thermal flow meter.

For further information on thermal flow measurement devices please click here.


How do I measure?

In this issue of fLowdown we discuss:

Do I know enough about my fluid?

Titan Enterprises recently supplied a set of flowmeters with appropriate electronic package to a highly regarded company to meter the oil consumption of a jet engine to an accuracy of better than ±0.5%.

The flowmeters were calibrated on the actual fluid used in the jet engine and oil manufacturer’s density charts were used to apply the corrections for temperature changes. A calibrated PT100 was incorporated into the flowmeter body to ensure accurate temperature measurement.

During testing the customer weighed the oil at the start of the run, ran the engine for a pre-determined period and weighed the remaining oil to see how much the engine had consumed. After the initial test the customer reported that the supplied meter was over 0.5% out from their mass tests. They returned the meter to the factory and we re-calibrated and attained virtually identical results to our first run. Doubting our calibration rigs we did a mass calibration on our flow rigs but this appeared to confirm that everything was calibrated correctly.

I was invited to witness a calibration run on the engine and jumped at the opportunity. I observed the calibration procedure and could see no problems with the techniques used but could not explain the offset in the answer which was repeatable but wrong. I decided to check the density correction matrix we had entered into the system in case we had made a repeated error. I had forgotten to bring the suppliers data sheets so asked for a copy from the customer. You’ve guessed it I was presented with their own density correction chart which was 0.5% offset from the manufacturers. Entering the customer’s empirically collated data the meter performed perfectly.

The moral of this rather long winded story is very simple, do you know what you are actually metering and always check that tests have used the correct start parameters!

Here is a checklist you might want to follow if you encounter a similar problem:

  • Is the fluid that you are using the correct fluid?
  • Is the data on the product sheets correct? Can the published data be verified?
  • Are the density and viscosity parameters acceptable? Both vary with temperature. Should I be measuring temperature and applying a correction?
  • Are there any suspended solids? Where is the filter in the system? The filter should always be before the flowmeter and preferably immediately before it.
  • There are a raft of other considerations you have to be sure of. Is the fluid thixotropic? Are there corrosion considerations? Does the fluid “build up” on the walls of the pipe and/or the flowmeter?

  • Problem Solved

    In this new feature we look to bring you a further example of a customer application solved by a flowmeter development by Titan Enterprises.

    In this issue of fLowdown we report on developments in conjunction with JLC International, our agent for North and South America, to enable accurate and reliable dosing of expensive mining reagents.

    Ensuring Accurate and Reliable Dosing of Expensive Mining Reagents

    Working on a complex project for Minas Buenaventura, Peru's largest publicly-traded precious metals company, local engineering company, Dynaflux S.A, sought a flowmeter that offered excellent accuracy and repeatability at low flow rates.

    The Atrato line of ultrasonic flowmeters consists of four meters operating over the flow range two millilitres / minute up to twenty litres / minute. The Atrato flowmeters were selected to enable accurate and reliable dosing of expensive mining reagents in the flotation stage of the mineral extraction process. In the past, Dynaflux S.A. had used the Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter in other smaller installations with excellent results. This positive experience led to the installation of thirty-nine units for this new and larger project.

    The rugged, clean bore construction of the Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter made it the perfect choice for a whole range of low flow applications at Minas Buenaventura. Taking advantage of proprietary embedded signal processing software developed by Titan Enterprises both viscous and non-viscous liquids can be measured precisely as a matter of routine. The low flows that the Atrato flowmeter is capable of measuring vary from laminar to turbulent, and are highly immune from changes in viscosity. With unparalleled turndown, repeatability, and linearity, the Atrato can monitor flow over a range of 250:1. Using the Atrato USB port, users can simply directly connect their laptop PC to the flowmeter and monitor the rate and total flow while also being able to alter a selection of operating parameters.

    For further information on this application and the Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter please click here


    Bulletin Board

    New Engineer Appointment

    Titan Enterprises are delighted to welcome Dom Bonello to the company. Don joins us as to enhance our activities in R&D and to lend his expertise to assisting potential and existing customers. Dom is a graduate from Oxford Brookes University (UK) and brings experience of design and motorsport engineering to our team.



    Quality Accreditation

    Following a recent independent audit - Titan Enterprises has received renewed accreditation to the ISO 9001-2008 Quality Standard for its design and manufacture of off-the-shelf flowmeters or fully bespoke OEM flow systems. All flow meters produced by Titan are designed and manufactured to ISO9001-2008 and calibrated to an uncertainty of ±0.25%.


    Humour

    While there may be many things currently happening around the world that worry you … here are a few bits of humour to make you smile !


    Einstein, Newton and Pascal are hanging out one afternoon.
    Einstein is bored, so he suggests, "Let's play hide-and-seek". I'll be it!"
    The others agree, so Einstein begins counting. "One... Two... Three..."
    Pascal runs off right away to find a place to hide.
    But Newton merely takes out a piece of chalk and draws a mid-sized square.
    He finishes and steps into the square just as Einstein shouts, "Ready or not - here I come!"
    Einstein looks up and immediately spots Newton standing right in front of him.
    He says, "I found you, Newton!"
    Newton replies, "No, you found one Newton per square metre - You found Pascal!"


    A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. She descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don't know where I am."
    The man below replied "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."
    "You must be an engineer," said the balloonist. "I am", replied the man.
    "How did you know?"
    "Well, answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip even more."
    The man below responded, "You must be in management."
    "I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
    "Well," said the man, "You don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems?!!"


    A mathematical solution:-
    Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
    Postulate 2: Time is Money.
    As every engineer knows: Power = Work / Time.
    Since: Knowledge = Power,
    then Knowledge = Work / Time,
    and Time = Money,
    then Knowledge = Work / Money.
    Solving for Money, we get: Money = Work / Knowledge.
    Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of work done.

    Click here for a printable version of Flowdown.

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    Titan Enterprises Ltd, Unit 2, 5A Cold Harbour Business Park, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4JW. UK
    Telephone: +44 (0)1935 812790   -   Fax: +44 (0)1935 812890   -   Email: sales@flowmeters.co.uk