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Flow Measurement

Ideal for Automated Assembly Lines and End-To-End Packaging Machinery

| Editor: Ahlam Rais

The proper measurement of compressed air flow lines with the FS10i Switch/Monitor can provide valuable information to the equipment’s control system in order to optimise the air flow and reduce operating energy costs.
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The proper measurement of compressed air flow lines with the FS10i Switch/Monitor can provide valuable information to the equipment’s control system in order to optimise the air flow and reduce operating energy costs. (Source: FCI)

Machinery manufacturers and plant engineers relying on the pneumatic control of automated assembly lines and end-to-end packaging equipment can reduce their operational compressed air energy costs significantly with the highly repeatable and dependable FS10i Flow Switch Monitor from Fluid Components International (FCI).

Many types of automated assembly lines and packaging machinery frequently use compressed air to perform embedded processes in a wide range of industries. Manufacturers and users of this type of machinery recognise that the production of compressed air is a significant contributor to their equipment’s operating costs.

The proper measurement of compressed air flow lines with the FS10i Switch/Monitor can provide valuable information to the equipment’s control system in order to optimise the air flow and reduce operating energy costs. It performs excellent air leak detection monitoring and alarming, which can occur due to failures of process piping, tubing or compressor seals, opines the company.

The dual function Flow Switch/Monitor from FCI is ideal for trending the rate of air flow with its 4-20 mA flow monitoring output and includes a relay output for low flow trip point detection, adds the firm. The trip point and flow range are easily user set in the field by technicians under actual operating conditions using simple, tactile feedback buttons. By simply simulating a high and low flow while in the calibration mode, the FS10i will range the 4-20mA output signal over that span and provide reliable indication of flow.

The company’s advanced Air Flow Switch/Monitor operates over a wide flow range from 0.25 FPS to 400 SFPS (0,076 MPS to 122 MPS). Repeatability is ±0.5% of reading. It is designed for simple insertion into threaded tees in 0.5-inch (13 mm) or larger diameter pipe.

According to the firm, the dependable FS10i is fast responding (under four seconds) and highly repeatable to both increasing and decreasing changes in flow rate. This capability provides engineers with the ability to adjust compressed air levels to variable production line demand.

The Switch/Monitor features a top/front mounted 10-LED array. It provides both a visual indication to plant technicians that the trip point has been exceeded (LED flashes on/off) and of relative flow rate (10 per cent increments) across the flow range.

The Flow Switch/Monitor provides best-in-class features for long-life with no routine maintenance in manufacturing plant environments, claims the company. Its wetted parts are 316L stainless steel with the flow sensor’s thermowells constructed of highly corrosion resistant Hastelloy C-22. It operates in measured air temperatures up to 250°F/121°C and at pressures up to 2000 psi (138 bar). The electronics are contained in a stainless steel body and protected aluminum end cap which carries IP65/66/67 protection ratings.

To ensure best performance and installation ease, the Switch/Monitor is available in a choice of three flow element lengths (insertion depth) and process connections: a 2 inch (50 mm) length with a 0.25 inch NPT (M); or a 6 inch (150 mm) length, variable depth, with 0.5 inch NPT (M) compression fitting, with either a Teflon or metal ferrule.

The firm explains that designed for reliability and dependable measurement, the FS10i Flow/Switch Monitor is the only instrument of its type and in its price range to carry a SIL 2 compliance rating. It has no moving parts to clog or foul and requires no routine maintenance, which saves time and expense over any mechanical-technology based flow switch.

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