Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Flow-Tech Intro Video

We have a new introductory video for Flow-Tech's YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Setting Up RS485 Communication Networks for Multiple Brooks Mass Flow Controllers


Brooks Instrument is a well known manufacturer of mass flow controllers & meters, variable area flow meters (rotameters), pressure & vacuum products, and vaporization products. Their products are found worldwide and in many industrial and R&D applications.  Many times multiple Brooks instruments are used on the same piece of equipment of control loop. Fo installation where multiple MFC's, pressure controllers, or meters are used, Brooks offers supplemental software and hardware to easily network the devices together. The following post provides instruction on setting up a RS485 communication network of Brooks devices.

The three main components required are:

  • The Brooks controller (MFC, pressure controller, etc ..)
  • Brooks Smart Interface software
  • Brooks Model 0260 power supply and converter


For networks with fewer than 10 Brooks devices:

For this part of the discussion, we'll call a small network one with 10 or fewer Brooks controllers. Setting up this type of network is easy - simply daisy-chain the devices and connect to the Model 0260. Then, connect the 0260 via USB to your computer or laptop. Example below:



For networks with 10 to 30 Brooks devices:

For a larger network of 10 devices or greater, the Brook 0260 powered converter should also be selected for best performance results. The 0260 power supply/converter from Brooks Instrument along with the Smart interface software can control up to 30 devices. Both of these products will communicate with any Brooks Instrument MFC or electronic pressure controller with the RS485 Smart Protocol, such as the GF40, GF80 and SLA5800 Series. Other than the 0260 power supply, the only piece of hardware required to set up the network is a multi-drop cable. The images below show different ways to set-up a network with more than 10 devices.

The Brooks Smart Interface software and hardware will work independently. For users that have their own software tools, the 0260 hardware can be used as a power source and signal converter. Additionally, the Brooks Smart Interface software can be used in conjunction with hardware already in place.

For more information on any Brooks Instrument product in Maryland or Virginia, contact:

Flow-Tech, Inc.
www.flowtechonline.com

Maryland Headquarters
10940 Beaver Dam Rd
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Ph: 410-666-3200

Central VA Office
10993 Richardson Rd#13
Ashland, VA 23005
Ph: 804-752-3450

Monday, June 13, 2016

Choose Insertion Mass Flowmeters for Wastewater Activated Sludge Process

Insertion Mass Flowmeters for Wastewater
Insertion Mass Flowmeters in Wastewater Treatment
In wastewater treatment facilities, a variety of biological and chemical processes are employed to remove organic pollutants from water to ensure its reusability. One very common process is referred to as “the activated sludge method”. This process biologically treats the wastewater through the use of natural micro-organisms combined with the wastewater in large aeration basins.

The activated sludge method requires the pumping of compressed air into the aeration basins where a diffuser system ensures the air is distributed evenly for optimum treatment. Tiny micro-organisms in the aeration basins decompose biologically degradable organics in the wastewater. These micro-organisms rely on the aeration system to provide air for survival, but also by controlling the proper amount of air, the micro-organisms can thrive and optimally consume the organics in the wastewater. After a period of time, a flocculate forms with the non-biodegradable solids settling to the bottom of the basin.

Large amounts of compressed air is used to ensure the activated sludge method treats the water effectively before it can be moved along to the next stages, namely the clarifying basins, filtering, disinfection and other treatment processes. A very important step in this process is the accurate control of air released into the aeration basins. This is essential because, as stated above, the air flow controls the growth of micro-organisms that treat the wastewater.
Insertion Mass Flow Meter
Insertion Mass Flow Meter
(courtesy of FCI)

Flowmeters are typically installed in the aeration system piping to measure the amount of air flow and the flowmeters’ analog or digital outputs run to the wastewater treatment plant’s control system.

A highly accurate and reliable flowmeter is critical because the one of the largest energy costs in a wastewater facility is the air compressor operation. Energy management and efficiency continue to drive plant maintenance, and the compressed air system is a prime system component where considerable savings can be found. A well designed air flow metering, controlling, and reporting system for the aeration process is an excellent way to achieve measurable efficiency gains and provide a significant reduction in energy costs.

When choosing a flow meter, here are the important criteria to consider:
  • Flow Sensor Technology
  • Range and Accuracy
  • Operating Environment
  • Ease of Installation
  • Maintenance and Life
An excellent choice for these applications are insertion mass flowmeters. They provide an accurate, easy to install, no moving parts mass flow meter solution commonly used for compressed air and nitrogen flow. Their proven thermal dispersion technology provides direct mass flow measurement that results in higher performance at a lower cost than orifice plates, DP, Vortex shedding and other thermal devices. When combined with microprocessor electronics and precision calibration, they achieve excellent accuracy, fast response and virtually maintenance free operation.

For more information, contact:

Flow-Tech, Inc.
www.flowtechonline.com

Maryland Headquarters
10940 Beaver Dam Rd
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Ph: 410-666-3200

Central VA Office
10993 Richardson Rd#13
Ashland, VA 23005
Ph: 804-752-3450