Process and Device Diagnosis

Modern Flow Meters Also Monitor The Immediate Process Environment

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Detecting Multiphase States in The Flow

It is precisely the Coriolis and ultrasonic measuring devices of the next generation, Niemann Gøbel firmly believes, that would offer a greater bandwidth of diagnostic functionality. Improved Fourier algorithms combined with powerful signal processors can, for instance, be used to detect multiphase states in the flow. “Multiphase detection via Coriolis has already been technically possible for some years, but it came with fluctuations in the quality of detection,” explains Niemann Gøbel.

Market developments have shown that a significant improvement in the quality of detection and a quantitative analysis of measuring errors can be delivered by new algorithms in particular. “This means that efficiency in production and process management can be improved with fewer measuring devices, provided they guarantee greater accuracy and reliability,” Niemann Gøbel adds.

All the process diagnoses required by Namur have also already been implemented in the Optiflux series from Krohne, while other ones, such as the detection of media changes, have been added. “We reckon the detection of air pockets and of corrosion, abrasion and material resistance is going to become a major area of emphasis in process diagnosis,” Pinkoswki says.

With the implementation of “Smart Meter Verification” in many of Emerson’s MMI Coriolis sensors, the user automatically receives information about the status of his measuring system without losing sight of the process. “We are now offering this functionality in our magnetic inductive flow meters as a result of increasing interest,” Kramer adds.

Growth Spurt For Diagnosis

Essentially, though, users still attach too little value to the potential offered by intelligent diagnostic processes. “Process diagnosis, i.e. the detection of air pockets or solids in the medium or the detection of flow profile faults, is something that only a few customers actively do, even though it has a high potential for enabling process faults to be discovered at an early stage,” regrets Pinkowski. The device manufacturers are placing great hopes on the subject of device diagnosis making a huge leap forward with the broad implementation of NE 107.

That’s because realization across the whole market is still in its infancy, at least in the view of Endress+Hauser. A particular major problem is how to implement the available device and diagnostic parameters at controller and control system level. The standardization in the signaling of error states that is the purpose of NE 107 is spreading only slowly to field devices.

“Demand from customers for end-to-end solutions for useful process and device diagnosis remains high, as these will deliver a striking improvement to system availability,” Dietrich is convinced. That was the reason why the requirements of NE 107 have been implemented consistently in Endress+Hauser’s new two-wire device concepts for flow and fill level.

Device manufacturers are already feeling the initial effects. “While in the beginning the first diagnostic functions were an add-on offered to customers, now users are coming to ABB and telling us what they want in terms of diagnosis, and the trigger is usually a specific application,” is the experience of Giebenhain-Wagner. With its standardization of status signals and its defined categories, NE 107 has thus made a key contribution to simplifying diagnosis. The manufacturers have done their homework and implemented these requirements, so users should now utilize that potential.

* The author is a freelance journalist at PROCESS.

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