While thumbing through the November/December issue of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine, I came across a great article, Getting the Most from Coriolis Flowmeters in Pharmaceutical Processes, co-written by Vince Salupo of Eli Lilly and Franki Parson of Emerson Process Management’s Micro Motion division. It’s a great article for discussing the advantages and disadvantages of bent-tube vs. straight-tube meters depending on the requirements of the application. If you are already well-versed in Coriolis flow technology, this may all be too basic for you. If you’re like me and not as well-versed, the article is worth a read because it makes the complex understandable.
Coriolis meters provide mass flow and density measurements, and are available in both bent-tube and straight-tube design. The article discusses the two types of designs and their advantages specifically in Life Sciences applications. The bent-tube meters have better accuracy and turndown. The straight-tube meters offer improved drainability which is something critical for pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing processes which have clean-in-place operations to clean and sterilize the process piping between batches. The choice for of Coriolis design most suitable really is based on the application. If accuracy and repeatability are the overriding concern, the bent-tube technology is recommended. If raw material contamination within a batch or between batches is the key concern, the straight-tube flowmeters are recommended.
Another reason for the popularity of Coriolis flowmeters in Life Sciences manufacturing applications is their non-intrusiveness into the process. There are no fluids or moving parts that can cause problems on failure. Only the inside of the flow tubes touch the process.
The article further explores specific challenges found in Life Science applications like API synthesis and purification, formulation, and high purity water and what you should consider in selecting bent-tube versus straight-tube Coriolis meters for these unique applications.
I hope others considering their options in these types of applications found the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing article as clear and succinct as I did.