Flush-mount sensors detect pressure

FMC BioPolymer Corp. (Newark, DE) uses a network of transfer pipes, pumps, vessels, and other applications to produce functional excipients, such as microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), a white powder derived from purified wood pulp. MCC serves as a binder in medications and acts as a stabilizer and thickener in food products.

02/01/2003



ifm efector's PF Series flush-mountable pressure sensors measure inlet and outlet pressure across a strainer and provide a highly visible indication when the strainer becomes clogged.

FMC BioPolymer Corp. (Newark, DE) uses a network of transfer pipes, pumps, vessels, and other applications to produce functional excipients, such as microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), a white powder derived from purified wood pulp. MCC serves as a binder in medications and acts as a stabilizer and thickener in food products.

Because maintaining proper slurry pressure in the transfer pumps is vital to the process, FMC was using pressure isolators. These pipe sections containing an elastomeric bladder with a fill fluid that gauges and transmits media pressure up to the isolator's controlling instrument. After installation, however, FMC began to find that pressure from the flanges would pierce the elastomer, resulting in ''no pressure'' readings.

Jerry Daniels, FMC's electrical and instrumentation engineer, subsequently found another solution in flush-mount pressure sensors from ifm efector (Exton, PA). FMC replaced the pressure isolators with ifm efector's PF Series pressure sensors, which provide a 4-20 mA analog switched output and three-digit numeric display in a compact 316 stainless steel housing. Incorporating the same ceramic pressure sensing technology found in high-accuracy pressure transmitters, the sensor provides high burst pressure and over-pressure protection.

At less than half the cost of a typical pressure isolator, the PF sensor's ability to sit flush on the pipe makes it ideal for pharmaceutical applications. Its base is completely smooth and grooveless, preventing media from sticking and warding off contamination. During the past year, Mr. Daniels reports that ifm efector's pressure sensors have proven extremely reliable. ''It's a low-cost solution that's reliable, and it was a success from the beginning,'' he says.

-Jim Montague, news editor jmontague@reedbusiness.com

For more information, visit www.ifmefector.com





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