Application for Mass flow measurements for those over 18 years old!


When thinking of alcoholic products that are produced in Britain, a fine malt Whiskey may spring to mind or perhaps beer brewed in one of the numerous breweries that can be found dotted around the country. How many people however, would immediately think of Vodka?

English_VodkaWell, nestled in the Herefordshire countryside, the family run Chase distillery (entry only to over 18 year olds!) thinks a lot about Vodka, in fact it produces the award winning Chase Vodka which is the World’s first super premium English potato Vodka.

The entire process from seed to bottle takes place on the Chase estate ensuring that a close eye can be kept on all stages from growing the potatoes to distilling and bottling. It was at the distilling stage that Chase was looking for a flowmeter that was capable of measuring the flow rate of fermented potato mash. After careful consideration, they decided on Krohne’s OPTIMASS 1300 Coriolis mass flowmeter.

The fermentation process is started with the mashing of potatoes and the addition of a brewer’s yeast. After about a week, the fermented potato mash is distilled four times in a bespoke copper batch pot and then twice more in a rectification column. It is here that the OPTIMASS 1300 is installed in a vertical pipe run feeding the distillation column. The density of the medium going through the meter can vary from 0.95 to 1.1kg/litre and flows at a rate of 2000 l/hr with pressure of 1BarG at a temperature of 30C.

Krohne_VodkaWith the available space being limited, Chase required a meter that had a small installation envelope, but could still measure accurately and was capable of being CIP cleaned at 65C. The OPTIMASS 1300 has a dual straight tube design which makes it ideal for use in hygienic applications as there are no crevices or bends for bacteria to gather and the meter can be easily drained and cleaned. Due to the hygienic nature of the application the OPTIMASS 1300 was supplied with hygienic fittings and also has all of the necessary hygienic industry approvals.

Prior to installing the OPTIMASS 1300, Chase used a manual method to monitor the flow of fermented potato mash into the distillation column, however they were looking for a mass flow meter to automate the process. The OPTIMASS 1300 has enabled Chase to monitor the feedstock to finished product ratio accurately and since installation it has also reduced production time by highlighting an underperforming feed pump that was increasing the mash charging time which in turn lengthened the production time.

Tim Nolan, engineering manager at Chase is very pleased with the performance of the OPTIMASS 1300, “Installing the KROHNE meter has meant that we can automate the process and ultimately reduce production time.  It also allows us increased flexibility as we can install the meter on other parts of the process to verify efficiency,” he continues, “KROHNE have supplied us with a meter that complies to our hygienic requirements and has proved to be very reliable.”

Initially, the OPTIMASS 1300 will be used with a local display, however in the future it is planned to interface the meter with the PLC using mA outputs to measure volumetric flow, density and temperature.


Ultra sonic flowmeters & contamination


Scientific investigations prove adverse effects from contamination in reflecting ultrasonic flowmeters are a myth

Ultrasonic flowmeters for custody-transfer measurement of natural gas are prone to contamination. There have been continuous allegations that ultrasonic flowmeters with soiled reflectors will measure inaccurately due to the contamination on the reflectors. Up to today, there have been no test results that will disprove this allegation.

Exhaustive investigations at the EON Ruhrgas high-pressure gas testing facility in Lintorf (D) on possible effects of contamination on ultrasonic flowmeters (USFM) have irrefutably shown that the accuracy is not affected by the reflection principle. Indeed, the investigations substantiate a significant advantage of reflection technology; actually compared to direct path measurement the level of contamination can be recognised from the reflection properties of the acoustic signal.

Figure 1: Reflectors, left clean, centre slightly roughened, right considerably roughened

Part of the tests included the effect of roughness of the reflector surface. For this reflectors were made with medium and high roughness (see figure 1) and built into test meters.

ALTOSONIC V12 ultrasonic flowmeter for custody-transfer of natural gas

The roughness simulates contamination within the meter. Specifically only the roughness of the reflector surface was changed without changing the inside surface of the meter, in order to exclude any further effects apart from those of the reflector.  The reflected ultrasonic signal was seen to have changes in its amplitude only – not in its shape. The amplitude loss is compensated in Krohne’s ALTOSONIC V12 by an automatic gain control (AGC). For the roughest surface the maxim gain was only 6 dB.

The increase in automatic gain is seen by defining the state on commissioning (the state under clean conditions) as the specified state and comparing it with the actual state after contamination. This reveals the advantages of the reflection principle: the design of non-reflecting USFM’s makes it impossible for them to detect such small quantities of contamination or corrosion inside the meter.

Figure 2: Conditions - clean or contaminated - have no effect on the accuracy

Figure 2 shows the accuracy before and after the “contamination”. There was no adverse effect.

The results shown here are only a part of the comprehensive results that are to be published at the 2010 Flomeko Conference in Taiwan (13/15 October 2010). Further results include the effect of bottom fouling, roughness in the entire meter, as well as roughness in the inlet run.

Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instruments.

Not a question of taste – Position of valves in flowmeters!


  • Position of control valve in gas flowmeters crucial
  • With the “valve at the outlet” version, the loss in pressure caused does not affect measurement
  • The position of the control valve in flowmeters can be crucial when measuring gas flow, regardless of whether the valves are built into the device or separate. If a valve is used to reduce the flow at the inlet of the measuring device, the pressure in the measuring tube behind the valve is reduced. Because gases are compressible, this change in operating pressure results in a significant measurement error.

    Krohne DK 800 flowmeter featuring built-in control valve at the inlet or outlet

    For example, a pressure reduction from 5 to 4 bars of absolute pressure in the measuring tube of a variable area flowmeter results in a measurement error of almost 12 %. Therefore, more or less gas flows unnoticed through the device than is displayed. However, when the valve is positioned at the outlet, the drop in pressure does not occur until after the measuring tube and thus does not affect measurement.

    For this reason, KROHNE offers the “control valve at the outlet” version for its DK series. The DK series consists of a range of low volume flowmeters with glass or metal cones used in many different applications ranging from inlet pipes to gas chromatography and gas inertisation measurements in chemistry to the measurement of gases used for anaesthesia in hospitals.

    In some instances, the control valve can be in front of the measuring device, for example when a gas is measured against a constant pressure (e.g. atmospheric pressure). In this case, the measuring device is not calibrated based on the primary pressure but instead based on the constant output pressure prevailing in the measuring tube. The position of the valve is not crucial when measuring liquids, as the compressibility of liquids is negligible even at high pressures.

    Celebrating 25 years of partnership


    Andy Muschamp of KROHNE (right) congratulates Derek Wharton of DWN (left) on 25 years successful partnership.

    When it comes to celebrating anniversaries, 25 years is normally associated with Silver. However, in service terms, Silver is perceived as second best and in this case, DWN Instrumentation Ltd have provided nothing short of Gold service to their partners across Ireland according to a release received today.

    DWN have offices in both Dublin and Cork and have been successfully distributing a broad cross section of KROHNE flow and level instruments for the past 25 years, mainly to the pharmaceutical, dairy and brewing sectors.

    Derek Wharton and Eddie Nolan are directors of DWN and they are both thrilled by the relationship that has developed between their company and KROHNE. Derek commented; “whilst we recognise that it is a great achievement, the relationship has been successful because we selected the best manufacturing partner.” Eddie added, “KROHNE are undoubtedly experts in the field of instrumentation and have always managed to meet the exacting demands of our customers.”

    KROHNE’s sales manager, Andy Muschamp, responsible for Ireland added, “We have become world class through our R&D capabilities; we developed the world’s first commercially available, single straight tube Coriolis mass flowmeter, an award winning technology. Our production facilities are modern purpose built units incorporating the latest ‘just in time’ and linear manufacturing process. Of course, it’s not all about having the best products; we also have a fully integrated customer service team, which is backed up with service, repair and calibration services. Combining our outstanding products and services with DWN’s distribution, service and commissioning capabilities is a perfect partnership, ensuring that we reach our target market and more importantly sell our products. DWN have done a great job over the last 25 years and we look forward to building the relationship further over the next 25 years!”

    KROHNE has enjoyed its success in Ireland by servicing the various markets with its level and flow measurement products such as TDR and FMCW radar level meters and Coriolis, electromagnetic, ultrasonic and variable area flowmeters. KROHNE has a reputation as one of the few manufacturers with such a wide and comprehensive product portfolio, offering a one-stop-shop to industries as widespread as oil and gas, water, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, mining and shipping.

    KROHNE and DWN are also expanding their business due to the growing demand from the Oil and Gas sectors in Ireland by supplying the latest custody transfer metering systems, leveraging the wealth of knowledge and experience KROHNE has in this sector.

    PACT again!


    Roadshow tours Germany
    PACTware live training: breaking down the the barriers of proprietary configuration tools

    Last year the PactWare Roadshow visited Ireland and was a great success. The Read-out account was entitled Fota opportunity, an appalling pun on the venue on Cork’s famous Fota Island.

    The PACTware wall in Cork 2008

    The famous PACTware Wall

    After last years success, the 2009 PACTware Roadshow again travelled to German centres of process automation. It offered a unique opportunity to draw together customers of different industries to share ideas and best practices that will help improve their business performance. Participants were trained in the fundamentals of this new and advanced configuration tool for field devices and network components.

    They learnt how PACTware and the related FDT/DTM technology provide access to device intelligence and how PACTware brings increased openness in field device configuration management. In three workshops being repeated twice in parallel, the attendees were trained how Pactware and the DTMs increased the customer’s benefits during commissioning, operation and maintenance of a plant.

    There was an impressive interest at the stopovers in Hamburg, Halle, Frankfurt and Marl with customers accross that region and several company representatives. The keen interest made this Pactware roadshow one of the most successful ever.

    PACTware is an advanced configuration tool based on FDT technology, managing field devices and standardizing the data exchange communication interface between field devices and systems. Established as an open system, PACTware is vendor independent and allows any device to be accessed through any proto-col. PACTware as an FDT frame application is indeed a truly open system that allows integration of expert applications from different field device vendors.

    The PACTware Consortium is an international non-profit association comprised of the world’s leading companies in field and network instrumentation. The roadshow event was prepared by some key companies of the PACTware Consortium: Bopp & Reuther, CodeWrights, ICS, ifak system, Invensys, KROHNE, Pepperl+Fuchs, Samson, Trebing & Himstedt, Turck and VEGA. As part of the roadshow event, the organizing companies presented their DTM based instruments and Pactware on table tops.

    In several workshops, a live-operation multi-vendor demo wall featured numerous application examples, showing first-hand how commis-sioning, operation and maintenance can be considerably facilitated and speeded up using only one single tool for all communication and field devices via HART, PROFIBUS and Foundation Fieldbus protocol. Several discussions made clear that PACTware is assessed as being on the right track breaking down the the barriers of proprietary configuration tools and delivering the true value of devices