(an interview with Sara Ibrahim, editor IEN Europe)
Titan Enterprises is constantly upgrading its ultrasonic flow meter range, a technology that has many advantages, from no pressure drop to powerful electronics. The company aims to expand its ultrasonic range to reach lower flows, and higher pressure, and is currently working on the development of domestic water meters for both metering and leak detection. Let’s discover more with Trevor Foster, Managing Director of Titan Enterprises.
IEN EUROPE: TITAN OFFERS A GROWING RANGE OF ULTRASONIC FLOWMETERS, WHAT ADVANTAGES DO THESE PRODUCTS OFFER?
T. Foster: There are a lot of advantages to ultrasonic flow meters. They are non-invasive and our products also have a clear, uncontorted flow path. This means that the fluid can flow freely and that no pressure drop is induced by the metering element assuming that the tube sizing is matched correctly. Being electronic, they are inherently reliable with no mechanical components to wear out. Because of this they hold their calibration extremely well and have a long operational life reducing the flow meter’s lifetime cost. Due to the modern quality electronic components and Titan’s unique design and construction, our ultrasonic flowmeters typically have a large turndown (ratio of high to low flow) and excellent performance. Because we use PTFE derivatives in some of our models construction – our ultrasonic flow meters are suitable for most liquids. We are aiming to continually expand our ultrasonic range into operating at lower flows, higher pressure and being available at lower cost when incorporated into OEM units.
IEN EUROPE: WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES OF METERING THE FLOW OF LIQUIDS AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES?
T. Foster: Quite simply – electronics and mechanical strength when using polymers in the flow meter construction. Our metal constructed oval gear flow meters operate as standard up to 150°C and we have made custom units for use up to 200°C. Standard electronic components used in flow meters are typically rated at below 100°C with some usable up to 140°C so any electronic circuit board has to be protected from higher temperatures. At the fluid level, knowing the thermal characteristics of your fluid is vitally important. Trying to measure something accurately that is approaching some fluidic change of state will always be difficult, for example near the fluids temperature/vapour pressure.
IEN EUROPE: WHAT DO SMALL TO MEDIUM SIZED FLOW METERING COMPANIES (SUCH AS TITAN ENTERPRISES) HAVE TO OFFER AGAINST LARGER MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES IN YOUR EXPERIENCE?
T. Foster: There are quite a few smaller flow metering companies and the reason we stay in business is flexibility, nimbleness and innovation. We do not try to compete with the larger multinational companies who do a great job with standard products for run-of-the-mill applications. If however you need a flow meter which is not quite standard from them their structure is unlikely to permit simple variations. At Titan, we can alter our production line much easier and produce slightly differing specifications or custom badged items with relative ease. Leveraging this flexible operating structure, custom items for moderate OEM product runs can be initiated quickly and at a relatively low cost. We also have a long track record of reacting faster to marker forces and bringing innovative new products to the market rapidly.
IEN EUROPE: WHAT NEW INNOVATIONS HAVE TITAN ENTERPRISES RECENTLY BROUGHT TO MARKET?
T. Foster: We are constantly upgrading and expanding our ultrasonic flow meter range. Recently we made improvements to our best-selling Atrato ultrasonic flow meter. This involved updating the electronics but more importantly developing and proving a powerful new algorithm for the flow induced phase shift. These innovations are already included as standard in our Atrato and Metraflow units and in the next few weeks also the Process Atrato. Innovation in our recently launched Metraflow ultrasonic flow meter centres around its plain PFA flow tube which has no contortions unlike most ultrasonic flow meters on the market. The advantageous technological advances in the Metraflow are covered by one of our patents and are also subject to a second patent that is in application. The Metraflow is not only capable of metering low flows but can also handle everything from ultra-pure water and solvents through to the nastiest alkalis and acids.
IEN EUROPE: TITAN ENTERPRISES IS EXPANDING ITS TEAM. WHAT SKILLS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TODAY?
T. Foster: We have recently expanded our engineering and software capabilities and will be looking to further our engineering staff later this year to help with the ever-expanding OEM requirements and product innovations. Obviously further support staff will be required as well. These are very exciting times for our growing company.
IEN EUROPE: DO YOU HAVE ANY EXCLUSIVE NEWS YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH IEN EUROPE’S READERS?
T. Foster: We are actively involved with the development of domestic water meters for both metering and, using our unique algorithms and high turndown ratios, leak detection. The basic concept behind this domestic water leak detection product is covered by a recently granted EU patent as well as an established one in the USA. The meters low flow detection capabilities can be used to inform a homeowner of a tiny drip and the algorithms associated with the package can even determine which appliance is being used to help the house holder with their water consumption monitoring. Further water supply companies can use other features within the system to help identify problems within the water distribution network to within a few houses which is a great time and money saver.
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