Showing posts with label Brooks Instrument. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brooks Instrument. Show all posts

Brooks Instrument Sponsoring $2000 Engineering Scholarship

CLICK THIS LINK TO LEARN MORE

Brooks Instrument is committed to the next generation of engineers. Accordingly, they have established a $2,000 scholarship for a qualified student enrolled in an engineering program at an accredited college or university. Learn more here (https://www.brooksinstrument.com/en/about-us/scholarship).

Flow & Pressure Instrumentation for Biopharmaceuticals & Life Sciences

Flow & Pressure Instrumentation for Biopharmaceuticals & Life SciencesProducing biopharmaceuticals is one of the world’s most demanding manufacturing processes.

Brooks Instrument’s mass flow and pressure control technology helps maximize cell culture yields and control bioprocess costs. Their flow
and pressure controllers set global standards for reliability, repeatability and long-term stability.

Brooks Instrument mass flow controllers (MFCs) satisfy key biotechnology research and production requirements:
  • Tight control of DO and pH during experiments and production
  • NO unplanned downtime due to high cost of losing a batch or experiment
  • Ability to rapidly diagnose and resolve issues with bioreactors or fermentation equipment
  • Cost-effective method for adhering to regulatory requirements
  • Excellent technical support and rapid response for equipment service


Mass Flow Controllers for Precise Dosing

mass flow controller cutaway view
Mass Flow Controller - Cutaway View
Image courtesy Brooks Instrument 
There are processing applications that require very accurate flow or dosing control of added constituents. The applications are diverse, ranging from controlled gas flow to precise metering of product fluid components. The ability to accurately and reliably measure and regulate mass flow of a fluid into a process is a common task in process measurement and control.

Thermal mass flow measurement, in basic operation, infers mass flow by measuring the heat dissipation from a heated temperature sensor and comparing it to an unheated reference temperature sensor. The heat dissipation is directly proportional to the mass flow of gas or liquid.

Thermal mass flow meters are very popular for several reasons. They have no moving parts, have a fairly unobstructed flow path, are accurate over a wide range of flow rates, calculate mass flow rather than volume, measure flow in large or small piping systems, and do not need temperature or pressure compensation.

For a process control application, accuracy and real time delivery of measurement data are key factors. Advanced smart controls with a range of communications options that will interface with a variety of devices across a choice of platforms bring high levels of functionality and ease of use to an application. For gas applications, smart technology allows one device to be applied to multiple gas types and ranges without removing the flow meter from the system. Product selection is enhanced by the availability of instruments targeted at a range of applications.

Share your flow measurement and control challenges with process measurement and control specialists. Leverage your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Using Brooks Mass Flow Controllers with LabVIEW™

coriolis mass flow controller
Coriolis mass flow controller
Image courtesy Brooks Instrument
Brooks Instrument is the manufacturer of highly accurate and repeatable mass flow controllers. LabVIEW™ develops integrated software for building measurement and control systems used in laboratories, universities, and pilot manufacturing plants. The combination of Brooks MFCs and LabVIEW software provides users a great option for measurment, control, data acquisition and data storage for mass flow.

Listed below are some of the more convenient communication methods to tie Brooks MFCs and LabVIEW™ software together.

Analog Signal Interface

In many situations LabVIEW™ software users also use analog to digital
I/O cards. With analog input cards, users can run their mass flow controllers utilizing a standard 0-5 volt or 4-20 mA analog signaling via LabVIEW™. This is a time-tested, traditional approach and is recommended for applications without the availability of digital control systems.

RS485 Digital Interface

Brooks Instrument mass flow devices configured with RS485 communications (must have the ‘S’ communications option) provide RS485 digital communications via a 15-pin D connector. The RS485 digital signal is passed directly to a computer running LabVIEW™ through a serial RS485 converter. Brooks models GF40, GF80 and SLA Series mass flow controllers are available with the ‘S’ communications option.

Its valuable to note that there is also a free set of VI file for use with LabVIEW from Brooks. These can be loaded directly into the LabVIEW™ application and provide the basics required to create a LabVIEW control interface using the S-Protocol digital command structure. The VI files are available for download from the Brooks Instrument website.

Another communications alternative is using Brook’s Smart DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) software tool to create links between the LabVIEW™ application and the GF40, GF80 or SLA Series flow, control, and configuration parameters. Additionally, the user can leverage Windows applications (Excel, Word, Access) and programming languages ( C++, C#, Visual Basic) and SCADA programs from suppliers such as Allesco and Millennium Systems International. No knowledge of the mass flow device S-Protocol command structure is required. With Smart DDE, the user gets direct access to the required data fields. While not a complete turnkey option, it greatly reduces the amount of code required to communicate between LabVIEW and the mass flow controller.

DeviceNet Digital Signal Interface

Brooks models GF40, GF80 and SLA, configured for DeviceNet digital communications, can also be controlled via the LabVIEW™ application provided a National Instruments DeviceNet interface card, associated drivers, and software are used. These additional items support the development of application interfaces using LabVIEW™ software for Windows and LabVIEW™ Real-Time.

According to the National Instruments website:
National Instruments DeviceNet for Control interfaces are for applications that manage and control other DeviceNet devices on the network. These interfaces, offered in one-port versions for PCI and PXI, provide full master (scanner) functionality to DeviceNet networks. All NI DeviceNet interfaces include the NI-Industrial Communications for DeviceNet driver software, which features easy access to device data and streamlined explicit messaging. Use a real-time controller such as PXI and NI industrial controllers to create deterministic control applications with the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module.

Share your mass flow measurement and control challenges with application experts, leveraging your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise.

Sometimes the Simple Solution Is the Best

metal tube variable area flowmeter
This metal tube variable area flow meter is reliable,
accurate, and requires little maintenance
Photo courtesy Brooks Instrument
For process control and commercial or industrial applications, there are numerous methods of flow measurement from which to choose. Technologies range from very simple applications of physical principles to deployment of very specialized electronics and sensors. The available range of accuracy, response, and cost is quite broad, with a general expectation that higher cost will deliver better performance and accuracy.

Making the best instrument selection for a flow measurement application should include an assessment of what the operators really need in order to safely and effectively run the process or perform the task related to the measurement of fluid flow. Installing instrumentation with capabilities far beyond what is required is almost certainly a waste of financial resources, but may also have an unexpected impact on operators. Through the generation of data that, while accurate, does not provide any actionable information about process condition, operators can be misled, similar to the occurrence of a false or nuisance alarm. Some applications call for high accuracy, some do not. Define your informational needs and select instruments that will meet those needs.

There is a large array of applications that can be satisfied with simpler, less costly measurement technology. These devices often employ turbines or vanes to produce an indication of flow rate. Incorporated into some of the instruments is a means to visually observe the flowing liquid to verify color and clarity. Simple devices sometimes are intended only to indicate the presence of fluid flow, and whether the flow rate is high or low. Configurations are available that allow insertion into lines under pressure (hot tap) through a full port ball valve. Other variants with combinations of features and capabilities abound.

The selection range is enormous, so define your minimum needs first, then search for a compatible product. Your search can be enhanced by contacting an instrumentation specialist. Combining your process expertise with their broad product knowledge will produce effective solutions.


Quick Reference Guide for Pressure and Flow Instrumentation

Process mass flow controller
Mass Flow Controller
Courtesy Brooks Instrument
Brooks Instrument is a globally recognized manufacturer of flow and pressure instrumentation for scientific and industrial use. The company's product line ranges through:

Variable Area Flowmeters - Armored metal, glass tube and plastic for reliable measurement of liquids and gases

Mass Flow Controllers - Coriolis and thermal mass flow technology for precision fluid measurement and control

Pressure Controllers - Digital and mechanical pressure regulators and controllers deliver high precision gas control

Pressure and Vacuum Products - Pressure transducers, gauges, and capacitance manometers

Vaporization Products - Deliver controlled high purity vapor to processes from source liquid

There are many products and variants. The company developed a summary document that provides an overview of the various product types, enabling potential users to focus quickly on the instruments that will meet their requirements. The document is included below.

Share your pressure, vacuum, and flow measurement and control challenges with product application specialists, combining your process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.





Use Electronic Pressure Controllers in Your Research Process Loop to Eliminate Droop, Boost, and Hysteresis

(re-blogged with permission from Brooks Instrument)
Gas pressure control is critical in many applications like life sciences and chemical/petrochemical research where flow is an integral part of the process. Brooks Instrument electronic pressure controllers can be used as they require flow to function. Compared to using a mechanical pressure regulator, electronic pressure controllers eliminate droop, boost and hysteresis, offering stable pressure control.

There are two configurations available for pressure control – upstream and downstream. This terminology is somewhat unique to Brooks Instrument electronic pressure controllers.

Downstream vs. Upstream Pressure Control

downstream vs upstream pressure control diagram
Downstream pressure controllers maintain the pressure downstream of the device itself, increasing flow to increase the pressure and decreasing flow to decrease the pressure. For this reason, this is called direct acting. This configuration is commonly called a standard pressure regulator. A downstream pressure controller acts very similar to a typical mass flow controller because they are both direct acting.

Upstream pressure controllers maintain the pressure upstream of the device itself, increasing flow to reduce the pressure and decreasing flow to increase the pressure. For this reason, this is called reverse acting. This configuration is commonly called a back pressure regulator in the industry.

Selecting and Sizing an Electronic Pressure Controller

The following information is required to select and size a Brooks Instrument electronic pressure controller:
  • Process gas
  • Maximum flow rate being used to maintain pressure -The “sweet spot” for pressure control is between 100 SCCM and 5 SLPM.
  • Calibration pressure (maximum pressure to be controlled)
  • Reference pressure (for upstream controllers the reference pressure is the downstream pressure and for downstream controllers the reference pressure is the upstream pressure)
As long as flow is present in a process you will typically find the need for some type of pressure control. Vessel sizes up to 30 liters commonly use flow rates up to 3 SLPM during their process steps. Brooks Instrument pressure controllers are a perfect fit for these services, offering stable pressure control with no droop, boost or hysteresis, which are commonly experienced when using a mechanical pressure regulator.



Typical Bioreactor Process Using an Upstream Pressure Controller

"Bubbler Method" Liquid Level Measurement

Brooks Instrument Solid Sense II pressure transmitter for industrial use
An accurate pressure transmitter
is an integral part of  a liquid level
measurement system using the
"Bubbler Method"
Courtesy Brooks Instrument
Measuring liquid level in a tank or vessel can be accomplished in a number of ways, all of which require some arrangement of instrumentation to either infer the liquid level from the measurement of a related physical property, or directly deliver the liquid level visually using a scaled gauge arrangement. One indirect method of level measurement is often referred to as the bubbler method, so named because it employs a purging gas that continually vents from the bottom of a tube extending into a tank of liquid. Through a simple apparatus, the level of a liquid can be inferred by the amount a back pressure exerted upon the gas flowing through the tube.

Probably the greatest advantage of this method of liquid level measurement is that the liquid does not contact the sensing instrumentation. The only portion of the apparatus in contact with the liquid is a tube immersed into the tank. Basically, a purge gas flows through the immersion tube and may bubble out the immersed end of the tube, which is open to allow the contained liquid to exert a hydrostatic pressure on the purge gas. The back pressure on the gas that is exerted by the liquid contained within the tank will vary directly with the depth of the liquid. The back pressure can be correlated to a liquid level. Further calculations, which would include the tank shape, dimensions, and the liquid density can provide an indication of the volume and mass of the liquid. Here is an illustration of the setup, provided courtesy of Brooks Instrument, globally recognized leader in flow and pressure measurement and control. The illustration is from Brooks' January blog article.


diagram of bubbler method tank level measurement apparatus setup
Bubbler Method Tank Level Measurement Apparatus, showing application of some Brooks Instrument devices.
Below are data sheets detailing the components used in the system to control and measure the gas flow, and measure the back pressure on the immersion tube. There are other components needed for a complete system, but they are fairly generic in nature and easily obtainable. Contact a flow and level measurement specialist with your application challenges and work with them to produce effective solutions.



Factors For Selecting a Variable Area Flow Meter (Rotameter)

Industrial process variable area flow meters rotameters
Three of many configurations of
variable area flow meters.
Courtesy Brooks Instrument
Industrial processes have many instances where fluid product components, liquid or gaseous, are moving within pipes. Processing is about control, so it follows that an input to the control, measurement, or data logging centers of the facility will answer the question, "How much is flowing through that pipe?".

There are numerous methods employed for quantifying flow in the industrial process measurement and control field, each with particular attributes that may be considered advantageous under  certain operating conditions. All flow measurement methods are indirect, as their actual measurement is of a property that is impacted in a predictable manner by a change in the flow. Flow measurement is an essential element that, combined with other fluid attributes, is used to calculate the total mass of a fluid that has traversed the measurement point.
One time tested method of measuring flow is the variable area meter, also called a rotameter.
Operation of the variable area meter (also referred to as a VA meter) is based upon creating an equilibrium between an upward force, produced by the fluid motion, and a downward force, gravity. The device includes a tapered glass or metal tube that encases a specially shaped float, often referred to as a shaped weight. VA meters must be installed vertically, with the media flowing from the bottom upward, so that the gravitational force necessary for operation is properly aligned with the flow direction. As fluid flows upward through the specially tapered tube, it creates drag on the float contained within the tube, lifting it upward. As the float rises, the free area between the float and the tube wall increases, causing a reduction in the fluid velocity and drag force. For any given flow volume, the flow velocity within the tube will cause the weight to rise until the drag force created by the flow reaches equilibrium with the countervailing force of gravity on the float. Proper design of the tube and the float allow for direct indication of flow volume.

Some of the attributes of variable area meters include:

  • No external power or fuel required for operation
  • Must be installed vertically, with flow entering bottom
  • Meters are characterized to a specific substance, at a specific temperature
  • Operation is stable, with low pressure drop
  • Requires constant gravity for operation
  • Direct local readout of flow rate with meter or scale imprinted on tube
  • Glass tube based unit flow readings require visibility of float through the medium
  • Accuracy is comparatively low for an industrial flow measurement device
  • Generally low maintenance, simple construction, low comparative cost
Brooks Instrument, a world renowned manufacturer of flow, pressure, and level measurement instruments, has produced a concise and compact white paper that summarizes the factors to consider when specifying a VA meter, as well as how each factor impacts operation of the unit. The description is practical and easily understood. It is recommended reading for all process stakeholders to build their flow measurement knowledge.

I have included the paper below. Browse the paper. Contact the flow instrumentation specialists to discuss your application requirements and challenges. Combining your process know-how with their product application knowledge will produce a good solution.




Thermal Mass Flow Controller - Product Enhancement

Brooks Instrument SLA 5800 Thermal Mass Flow Meter
Newly Enhanced Thermal Mass Flow Meters
And Electronic Pressure Controllers
Courtesy Brooks Instrument
Brooks Instrument, world recognized leader in thermal mass flow controllers and mass flow meters, has improved upon its premier family of smart digital thermal mass flow controllers and meters. The newly enhanced SLA Series features:

Enhanced temperature stability
Upgraded electronics
Improved accuracy
Zero-drift diagnostics
High turndown ratio

Multiple communication protocol support, and more.

The video included below will show you all the latest improvements on this product line that has thousands of units in its installed base throughout many industries and applications.

Application assistance and detailed information is available from product specialists. Combine their product and application knowledge with your own process expertise to generate a positive outcome.