A Tale of Two Plants: The Versatility of Coriolis Flow Meters

by | Mar 15, 2016 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation | 0 comments

ChemicalNot all meters are created equal, and not every design is ideal for every process. Even Coriolis meters, while applicable to a wide variety of processes and functions, have specifications that require careful matching of specific meter types to particular applications.

Of course, one of the benefits of the strategically designed Coriolis flow meters is the ability for Emerson’s Micro Motion to create individual technologies that are customized for each different purpose.

While Micro Motion flow meters are known for highly accurate mass flow measurement, their flexibility, robustness, multivariable capabilities, and reliability even in difficult operating environments make them an ideal solution for many different types of applications. Here are some success stories about two very different applications that benefited from unique Coriolis flow solutions. One was for a very challenging, high value product with high viscosity, low pressure and entrained gas requiring very high accuracy. The other was for measurement of air with debris in the line where high accuracy wasn’t as important as reliable, consistent, repeatable measurement without maintenance requirements.

Unilever and Silicon Feedstock

Upon starting production on a new investment in an automatic silicone mixer line for shampoo products, Unilever discovered that its current flow meters were unable to measure the flow of feedstock, as they were not equipped for the entrained gas and requirements of operating at a vacuum of -700 mbarg.

These issues increased production time, operating costs, health and safety risks, as well as waste from excess silicone in barrels. Unilever was unable to operate at the standard it needed to, nor were they able to meet their own high quality expectations.

The Solution:
Seeing Unilever’s unique needs, the Micro Motion ELITE® Coriolis flow meters were implemented into the plant processes. Low-frequency flow sensors would increase flow accuracy even with two-phase flow, and multivariable digital (MVD) technology could improve the accuracy and stability of the Coriolis signals from the flow sensor. Enhanced signal processing and sensor stability ensured accurate measurement despite entrained gas conditions.

This new flow meter delivered instant results including:

• Assured quality of final product, and enhanced health and safety
• Reduced operating costs by 17%
• Saved 10-15% in production time
• Reduced raw material waste by 1-2%
• Reduced energy usage
• Minimized risk of spills and environmental issues

The Micro Motion ELITE Coriolis flow meter was such a success that Unilever began installing them at several other plants, maintaining accuracy when measuring a variety of products.

South Texas Petrochemical Company

One ethylene plant, run by a petrochemical company in south Texas, used multiple olefins furnaces with rotameters to measure decoking air feed. The main challenges were keeping the tubes from coking up too quickly, preventing furnace tube rupture, and minimizing downtime when de-coking the unit.

The Solution
After looking at their specific requirements, the company worked with Micro Motion to replace each rotameter with our R-Series meters with 1700 transmitters. This maintenance-free option provided more accuracy with reliable flow reading.

Increased production and decreased maintenance resulted in a cumulative savings of $476,160 per year. This plant-wide replacement paid for itself within six months, as annual savings added up to more than twice the installation cost.

Micro Motion flowmeters are the streamlined, innovative answer to a variety of measurement problems. While far too many production facilities spend excessive time and energy and resources on trying to make outdated technology work, Micro Motion Coriolis flow meters provide the transparency and accuracy answer to measurement that every operation needs to excel in the modern world.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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