The performance of a flowmeter can change considerably according to the fluid your process runs in. This industrial case study describes how altering the calibration procedure allowed a customer to use a Process Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter outside its normal speed of sound window.

Titan Enterprises has been working in the flow measurement industry for over 30 years and prides itself in always offering technical solutions where a standard product may not be right for the customer application.

Recently just such a situation occurred. A long-term customer was using a Process Atrato ultrasonic time-of-flight flowmeter to measure fluids within an industrial process. However, the customer noticed issues with the reliability of flow measurements after their process had been operating for an extended period of time.

They voiced their concerns and sent performance data back to our technical team who set about to work to investigate what was occurring. A Process Atrato was modified to enable acoustic mapping of the ultrasonic meter by the customer in situ and on further investigation with this data and the process variables, the issue became apparent.

The Process Atrato can reliably measure fluids that transmit ultrasonic sound waves at ±30% of the speed of sound in water at 20oC. But if a fluid has more significantly differing acoustic characteristics, the acoustic operational window can be missed by the sensors. In the case being investigated the organic process fluid being measured was within the ±30% of our water speed of sound window at 20oC. But as the customer process continued, the fluid warmed depressing the speed of sound considerably until the signal could no longer be measured reliably.

Once this ‘warming effect’ was discovered the technical team resolved the issue by recalibrating the measurement window specifically for this application. In this application the recalibration could still be done utilising a water-based reference to produce repeatable flow results thereby ensuring the customer process could continue as normal.

If the fluid speed of sound in your process is expected to be significantly different to that of water, this type of performance window attunement can be done at the factory prior to shipping for the Process Atrato, which is a factory only configurable device.

Customers who wish for more functionality with their installed meters can utilise the Standard Atrato with its PC based user interface software. Within the software there is the option to manually move the measurement window to ensure you always measure at the optimal point of signal.

If you want to learn more about the Process Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter – click here.