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Integration for Efficiency

New Coriolis Transmitters from Siemens Make System Integration Easier

04.04.2007 | Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Siflow FC070 contributes to improving plant efficiency in several ways. (Pictures: Siemens)
Siflow FC070 contributes to improving plant efficiency in several ways. (Pictures: Siemens)

In the fast-moving world of process automation, Siemens is known as a leader in system integration with its Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) products and Simatic control systems. Now the company has developed flow measurement solutions that are as simple to integrate.

The new Siflow FC070 Coriolis mass flow transmitter is a leading instrument of its kind with the self-configuration and communication functionality needed for quick and complete integration into all Simatic automation systems. As a result, this flow transmitter is one of the easiest ever to size, install, parameterize, and commission in a Simatic system. It opens up new opportunities to decrease overall cost of ownership and improve the competitive edge of Simatic-based process plants in terms of safety, reliability, quality, and efficiency.

Apart from meeting obligatory requirements such as Ex approval for hazardous areas, the product also offers other important safety capabilities through its close integration with Simatic systems. The two technologies share a single user interface and uniform software user panels, facilitated through Simatic Manager, PCS7 or PDM. The risk of programming or operator error is therefore vastly reduced, as users remain familiar with the system even for components that are accessed only rarely.

Once trained in one aspect of the system, users require minimal or no training to learn how to use other components, such as new instrumentation. The result is more efficient training of personnel, combined with uniform and systematic troubleshooting throughout the value chain.

The common technology platform provided by Siemens Simatic provides well reliability and speed of information processing for applications ranging from simple to complex. To support this, all flow-related parameters from the Siflow transmitter are updated in real time at 30 Hz. This makes the transmitter ideal for rapid-response applications such as high-speed batching and critical process control.

Reliability and quality

The Coriolis measurement principle ensures that the Siflow is insensitive to process variations such as pressure, density, electrical conductivity, and viscosity. The instrument has a high dynamic range and is practically insensitive to external noise, thanks to the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) Coriolis algorithm developed by Siemens. With no moving parts, the transmitter is virtually maintenance-free.

Siemens Coriolis sensors ensures maximum accuracy and repeatability by measuring mass flow directly, not as a derived parameter. Regardless of the medium, the transmitter measures mass flowrate to an accuracy of ±0.1 percent and a repeatability of ±0.05 percent. With its ability to measure density and temperature as well mass flowrate, this transmitter can also reduce the number of instruments needed on a plant.

Mass flowrate, temperature, and density measured by this equipment are all backed up by in-house calibration that meets and frequently exceeds ISO and EN standards, and measured data are always fully traceable.

In asset management the Siflow transducer is a useful tool, thanks to embedded intelligence providing predictive diagnostics. Comprehensive error logs can easily be retrieved, with helpful descriptions of problems and likely remedies that simplify daily operation and troubleshooting.

The easy-to-use self-test feature helps users identify and solve process problems. An example is the intelligent zero-point feature, where current data (both values and standard deviations) are compared with “fingerprint” data stored in the transmitter’s proprietary Sensorprom memory. The Sensorprom data are directly traceable to the Siemens Coriolis calibration database, so users can easily check the accuracy of the zeroing procedure.

Lower cost of ownership

The Siflow FC070 is not only a good performer in terms of safety, reliability, and quality control issues; it also helps to reduce total cost of plant ownership.

The Sensorprom memory unit, for instance, contains all the data relating to the individual sensor: calibration and factory settings, system and user settings. When a defective transmitter is replaced, plugging the Sensorprom into the new unit replicates all the settings of the old one, so measurements can resume instantly, with no re-programming and no downtime.

The Sensorprom concept is particularly useful during startup and commissioning, especially for first-time users who are not experts in flow measurement. The transmitter is automatically programmed with factory set-up data which is uploaded from the Sensorprom during initial power up. No prior programming experience is therefore required to get the meter up and running so that the complete automation system can be tested.

The Simatic Manager and PDM user interfaces make daily operation and maintenance straightforward. Field experience during product development has shown considerable savings in time and resources from installation and commissioning, through daily operation, to maintenance and diagnostics.

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