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Posted: Wednesday 27th April 2011

Leading international sensor and sensing systems manufacturer, SICK (UK), has launched the new FFU in-line flow measurement sensor. Using modern ultrasonic flow measurement principles the FFU delivers accurate flow and volume measurement for conductive or non-conductive fluids.

The FFU combines a flow meter, switch and display in a single compact device, with the capability of measuring the flow of fluids with a wide range of temperatures, viscosities and densities.

With a seal-free design and no moving parts the FFU is maintenance free, ensuring it is not only a reliable but also cost-effective solution. The sensor tube is manufactured from a highly stable Polysulfone (PSU) thermoplastic material suitable for use with a wide range of chemicals.

The unit is available in four sizes, covering pipe diameters between 10mm and 25mm and flow rates up to 240 litres/min with a ±2% accuracy. The FFU is also available in an EHEDG-certified model for hygienic environments.

The FFU features a large display and intuitive menu structure, making it easy to configure. The units shown on the display are user selectable for litres/min, ml/sec or gal/hour.

For communication of data to a PLC environment, the FFU provides a 0/4 – 20mA analogue signal and a digital NPN/PNP output. The digital output can be configured for empty pipe detection, low/high flow rate indication or as a pulse output. When configured to pulse output, the FFU can simulate the electrical output of oval wheel flow sensors. This makes the FFU an ideal maintenance-free substitute for mechanical flow sensors.

Darren Pratt, UK instrumentation product specialist, SICK, commented: “While stainless steel has traditionally been the material of choice for sensing tubes, we have carried out extensive testing and the PSU material has proven to be extremely tough as well as very easy to clean in hygienic applications. The thermoplastic material is also highly resilient to mineral acids, alkailis and electrolytes.

“In addition, the ultrasound transmitters and detectors are located behind the pipe wall. This negates the potential of sensors protruding into the pipe, often the case with ultrasonic flow sensors with metal pipes, therefore removing the risk of contamination or pressure loss.”

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