Articles & Case Studies

Level measuring unit offers chameleonic flexibility for major steel producer

Posted: Wednesday 1st October 2008

Instrumentation systems supplied by leading level measuring specialists Hycontrol are playing small yet vital roles in two quite separate applications at Corus’s tube plant in Corby, demonstrating the versatility of the company’s MINIFLEX-LR level measuring instrument.

In the galvanizing plant, one MINIFLEX is wearing its ‘pump control hat’, whilst at the upgraded water treatment plant at nearby Weldon Ponds, two MINIFLEX units wearing their ‘flow measuring hats’ are keeping permanent records of the amount of waste water discharged from the plant.

The versatile MINIFLEX-LR, which in fact offers four instruments in one, boasts a range of features normally associated with units costing over twice as much and can be configured for standard level measuring, open channel flow measurement, pump control and differential control.

To ensure acidic water pumped from plant sumps is neutralised in a large washing bath, lime is added via a large vat. It is then processed via a rotating coated drum to filter out metallic particles before discharge to waste via the water treatment plant. A consistent one metre water level must be maintained within the bath and the MINIFLEX achieves this by providing a proportional output to the in-flow pump, together with a relay output to control the water valve. The compact temperature compensated ultrasonic transducer hangs conveniently out of the way below the raised walkway and Hycontrol’s proprietary Proven Ultrasonic Level Signal Extraction technology or PULSE, ensures there are no unwanted or spurious echoes. Utilizing a unique window technology, the MINIFLEX recognises and then ignores signals from obstacles such as stirrers, cross beams, fill pipes or ladders.

It is essential for Corus to maintain permanent records for the newly upgraded water analysing plant relating to how much water is actually sent to waste, together with details on PH levels and other water quality parameters. To ensure optimum system integration Hycontrol were chosen to supply and install the complete instrumentation package, which in addition to the MINIFLEX units, includes a 32 channel chart recorder for recording these essential parameters on site. The recorder, with its 12.1” TFT touch screen, provides a clear display of all the measured parameters locally at Weldon Ponds and up to 32 instruments can be connected to this universal monitoring device.

The chart recorder also transmits this same data across a LAN to another area within the plant one and a half miles away. The collective information allows Corus engineers to monitor and control discharges from the plant.

For flow applications, BS3680 flume and weir configurations are provided in the MINIFLEX software as standard, together with ten Parshall flume configurations. Instantaneous flow, total flow or head can be displayed at the touch of a button, whilst if required both flow and totalised flow can be displayed at the same time.

The MINIFLEX units are configured to measure daily and monthly flow rates over the open weirs, sending data to the chart recorder. Additional information from PH and conductivity sensors is also recorded.

Corus is very pleased with the installations and as their spokesperson concludes: “Both applications presented their own very specific requirements but the flexibility of the MINIFLEX provided optimum solutions in each case. Hycontrol took responsibility for the supply and installation of the complete instrumentation systems ensuring we have full integration and connectivity.”

Tel: 01527 406800

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