Six Reasons Why Guided Wave Radar Technology is Preferred Over Differential Pressure Level Control

Differential pressure technology, long a mainstay for liquid level measurement, has lost ground to guided wave radar transmitters as the level control solution preferred by process industries.

Guided wave radar (GWR) instrumentation offers significant functionality and versatility. One of the newest and fastest evolving level control technologies, GWR has gained tremendous acceptance due to the significant advantages it offers over other level measurement devices. Not only does GWR generally outperform conventional level measurement technologies, a GWR transmitter is extremely compact and easy to install and operate. The latest generation of GWR transmitters is a formidable contender as a potential market-wide replacement to the still-entrenched differential pressure transmitter.

In fact, a recent study by Control Magazine found that guided wave radar is the top preferred technology for level measurement applications, at 56%, followed by ultrasonic, at 50%, then differential pressure, at 49%. The study also found that, while differential pressure transmitters remain the most widely used level control technology (at 25%), differential pressure usage had eroded 15% in just two years. Guided wave radar transmitters, on the other hand currently stand at 18% market share, up 7 percentage points in two years.*

Why is guided wave radar preferred over a differential pressure transmitter? Here are six reasons to consider GWR technology:


For a more complete analysis of guided wave radar and differential pressure technologies, Magnetrol® invites you to download our whitepaper Guided Wave Radar vs. Differential Pressure Transmitters for Liquid Level Measurement.

* Control Magazine, “Level Instrumentation and Tank Gauging Market Intelligence Report,” March 2013.


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Level Instrumentation for Pulp and Paper Process Applications

Welcome to our third blog installment about level instrumentation for pulp and paper process applications. As pulp and paper operations face increasing competition, as well heightened demand for conservation and carbon mitigation initiatives, facility managers are closely assessing ways to improve process efficiency. Accurate, reliable level control throughout a pulp and paper plant can be a critical source for process improvement.

In this blog article, we address the application of level instrumentation in plant-wide operations including MC pump standpipes, water storage, chemicals and additives, and lubrication and hydraulic oils.

For quick access to prior posts on the topic of pulp and paper processing efficiency, you can view our first blog, which covers chipping, pulping, washing, bleaching, stock prep, blending and papermaking processes, or visit our second post, which features turpentine and liquor recovery.

Pulp and Paper Process 3MC PUMP STANDPIPES
MP Pump StandpipeApplication: Designed to move thick fluids, MC (medium consistency) pumps are ideal for transporting pulp in a mill. Pulp is often pumped from a standpipe, a vertical feed pipe integral to the pump. Pumps with standpipes typically pump to and from washers and thickeners, O2 and CLO2 mixers, extraction towers, bleach storage towers and high-density pulp storage towers.

Challenges: It is important that the proper level of pulp be maintained in a standpipe. A level control in the standpipe does this by actuating a valve downstream of the pump. A malfunctioning level control could result in standpipe overflow, or cause a pump to operate in a no-flow condition in which it would quickly sustain damage through overheating and seal damage.

Level Technologies:
– Thermatel® Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– Eclipse® Guided Wave Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Mill Water StorageApplication: Because pulp is processed and paper is made in an aqueous vehicle that is up to 99.5% water, water management is essential for productive mill operations. Level controls monitor the storage of cold, warm and hot process water, potable water, boiler feedwater, liquor production water, process wastewater, and open effluent weirs, sumps, and stormwater basins.

Challenges: Process, reclaimed and service water storage may range from small tanks to
large bulk tanks with heights of 40 feet (12.2 meters). Controls are specified according to the size and geometry of the bulk storage vessel. Level controls in open atmosphere reservoirs must withstand punishing weather conditions. Firewater storage must conform to NFPA standards.

Level Technologies:
– Model A15 Series Displacer-Actuated Switch or Echotel® Ultrasonic Switch for point level
– ECHOTEL Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter, ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or Pulsar® Non-Contact Radar Transmitter for continuous level
– Atlas® Magnetic Level Indicator for visual indication

Chemical and Additive Storage
Application: Chemical stocks stored in mills include acids and alkalies, delignification chemicals, bleaching agents and water treatment chemicals. Chemical additives mixed into the process stream at the wet end of the paper machine include dyes and pigments, drainage aids, defoamers, slimicides, and a broad range of specialty chemicals that improve paper performance.

Challenges: Chemical solution storage and day tanks require stringent level monitoring. Though precise chemical measurement is accomplished by metering pumps, tank level controls actuate tank-filling operations and protect against overfilling. Tank size and geometry, the presence of mixing hardware, and the solution’s chemical nature are prime factors in level instrument selection.

Level Technologies:
– Model A15 Series Displacer-Actuated Switch or ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Switch for point level
– ECHOTEL Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter, ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or PULSAR Non-Contact Radar Transmitter for continuous level
– ATLAS Magnetic Level Indicator for visual indication

Lubrication and Hydraulic OilApplication: Pulp and paper mills operate many machines that require lubrication. Lubricants prevent damage caused by excessive friction and prolong component and equipment life. Oil is stored in stainless steel and carbon steel tanks. While gearboxes hold up to 50 gallons, and hydraulic reservoirs up to 200 gallons, a paper machine may contain up to 5,000 gallons of lubricant.

Challenges: Level monitoring of oil reservoirs will ensure the proper functioning of pumps, gearboxes, drives, compressors, bailing presses, materials handling equipment and paper machines. Temperature shifts in oil reservoirs affect media density that excludes some technologies, such as pressure transmitters. Because ISO cleanliness levels increase oil change frequency, controls should be easy to remove.

Level Technologies:
– ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Switch or Tuffy® II Float-Actuated Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or PULSAR Non-Contact Radar Transmitter for continuous level
– ATLAS Magnetic Level Indicator for visual indication

Pulp & Paper Process Applications

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Pulp and Paper Industry Applications for Level Measurement

Increasing competitive, regulatory, supply chain and customer demands have driven the need for process improvement in the pulp and paper industry. In our three-week blog series, Magnetrol® reviews the critical impact that level control makes in improving process efficiencies and safety for pulp and paper mills. This week, turpentine and liquor recovery processes are explored. Next week, we cover plant-wide operations including MC pump standpipes, water storage, chemicals and additives, and lubrication and hydraulic oils. You can also read our first blog article about the pulp and paper industry, which features level measurement applications from chipping to papermaking processes.

Pulp and Paper Industry TurpentineTURPENTINE RECOVERY

Application: Vapors from the digester contain turpentine and 85% of it is released during the relief cycle. Recovery of this volatile organic compound (VOC) is undertaken for environmental reasons, to lessen effluent treatment of condensate, to utilize turpentine as a fuel source, or to sell it as a by-product to chemical processors.

Challenges: Two vessels in a typical recovery system require level control of the turpentine/water interface: the decanter, or separator, and the storage tank. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) rates turpentine as a “severe fire hazard.” For this reason, the decanter is contained in a dyked area, storage tanks are sometimes located below ground, and controls must be rated explosion-proof.

Level Technologies:
- Echotel® Ultrasonic Switch or Thermatel® Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– Eclipse® Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or Pulsar® Non-Contact Radar for continuous level
– Atlas® Magnetic Level Indicator for visual indication


Application: Black liquor is the digester waste mixture of spent chemicals and lignin extracted from wood chips. When burned in a recovery boiler, black liquor produces heat for steam and also releases digester chemicals called “smelt.” Mixed with water, smelt becomes green liquor. This is treated with lime in the causticizers to produce white liquor, the digester’s cooking chemical.

Challenges: Stored in varying concentrations, liquors are corrosive solutions with high levels of organic compounds. Liquors can cause chemical burns or damage the lungs if inhaled. Level sensors contend with the chemicals’ harshness, variable density and dielectric, agitation, foaming, and media stickiness. Tank controls should activate the appropriate alarms or emergency shutdown systems.

Level Technologies:
- THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter (with single rod probe) or PULSAR Non-Contact Radar for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process Applications

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Green Harvest Food Drive

On November 13 and 14, Magnetrol® collected non-perishable items for Green Harvest Food Pantry’s Thanksgiving food drive. Over the two days, Associates collected 200 individual items and raised $450.

For the Thanksgiving holiday, MAGNETROL presented each Associate with a Thanksgiving turkey. 28 Associates donated their turkeys to Green Harvest to help their effort to provide holiday meals to the less fortunate.

Green Harvest is a non-profit, 501(c)3, food agency that serves the working poor in the cities of Aurora, Montgomery, Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield, Plano, Montgomery and Yorkville in Illinois with about a week’s worth of food once a month for 6 months. Green Harvest strives to impart dignity to the food delivery process for those suffering from hunger insecurity- those who are insecure about where their next meals are coming from.

For more information about Green Harvest, visit

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Level Controls Can Improve Pulp and Paper Processing Efficiency

The dynamic pulp and paper industry is experiencing rapid and significant change. Among the many trends that have spurred growth in pulp and paper processing is the steady rise of paper products demand in Asia, as well as the upgrading or replacing of older mills with facilities that are more efficient and sustainable. In many cases, pulp and paper processing operations have adopted aggressive conservation and carbon mitigation initiatives in support of sustainability as a core business principle.

Level measurement plays a critical role in improving efficiency throughout the pulp and paper manufacturing process. In this short series of blog articles from Magnetrol®, we will look at a variety of applications where level control instrumentation can benefit facility-wide efficiency and sustainability. In this post, we will explore level measurement applications in chipping, pulping, washing, bleaching, stock prep, blending and papermaking processes. Please follow our blog over the following two weeks, as well, when we review the benefits of level control in turpentine and liquor recovery, as well as the application of level instrumentation in plant-wide operations including MC pump standpipes, water storage, chemicals and additives, and lubrication and hydraulic oils.

Pulp & Paper Process ChippingSOURCE WATER & BAR SCREENS
As the largest industrial user of process water, pulp and paper mills are often located next to natural water sources. Bar screens are placed in intake channels or wet wells to remove debris that could damage mill equipment. When debris has accumulated, screen cleaning is accomplished with an automated rake typically actuated by a level control mounted in an upstream channel.

Challenges: Water levels of intake channels and plant wells require monitoring. Though normally a routine application, freezing weather can cause complications for level controls, especially those that actuate screen cleaning. A level control operating in frigid, outdoor conditions must be accurate and reliable despite icing conditions.

Level Technologies:
- Echotel® Ultrasonic Level Switch for point level
– ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Transmitter, Eclipse® Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or Pulsar® Through-Air Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Application: The majority of mills make pulp stock from wood chips. Mill chippers produce uniformly sized wood pieces that pass through vibrating screens to further sort for size consistency. Chips are stored in large silos and conveyed to the chip bin where they are pre-steamed prior to entering the pulp digester.

Challenges: Level switches monitoring chip levels are designed exclusively for bulk solids. Switches monitor high and low levels, actuate filling operations, and trigger alarms in the event of plugged flow or overflow conditions. Level controls must contend with dusty atmospheres, steam, vapors, and the chips’ changing angle of repose. Stable chip bin level facilitates proper pre-steaming of chips.

Level Technologies:
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter with bulk solids probe for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process PulpingPULP DIGESTER
Application: The kraft process is the most prevalent pulping method. Here, heat and chemicals (sodium hydroxide and sodium sulphide, or White Liquor) combine in a large pressurized cooker, or digester, to transform wood chips into pulp by dissolving the wood’s lignin binder. The waste lignin and spent chemicals, or Black Liquor, is routed to a recovery boiler.

Challenges: Digester level monitoring maintains operational stability, increases throughput and reduces kappa variation (the measure of lignin remaining in the pulp). Process conditions of up to +355° F (+180° C), steam, high pressure, and harsh chemicals may challenge many level sensors. Continuous level monitoring and point monitoring for overflow is a common scheme for digesters.

Level Technologies
– Thermatel® Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or PULSAR Through-Air Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Application: In batch digestion, the pulp and black liquor are mechanically conveyed or “blown” into an atmospheric blow tank upon completion of the cooking cycle. The tank is a large cylindrical vessel which functions as intermediate storage of the cooked pulp, and from which the pulp (now called “Brown Stock” due to its color) is discharged in an even flow to a washing process.

Challenges: Level control of the blow tank helps to maintain balance between the digestion and washing processes. Level controls facilitate ontime blow spacing in the digester while promoting improved product quality by maintaining consistent washer production and efficiency. The presence of a tank agitator will affect level control selection, which is typically a high level switch.

Level Technologies:
- ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Switch or THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or PULSAR Through-Air Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process WashingPULP WASHING SYSTEMS
Application: Pulp is washed at two junctures in the chemical pulping process. Brown Stock (pulp with residual lignin) is washed following the digester; and Bleached Stock is washed in the multi-stage bleaching unit. In each case, pulp moves through a series of washers and screens to remove residual chemicals and chips. Level controls usually monitor mass tanks and filtrate tanks in the washing units.

Challenges: Precise level control of the two pulp washing lines ensures a consistent supply of wash water; maintains level stability; ensures correct dilution levels for the wash line; keeps filtrate flows in balance; and will lessen the chemical load and possible problems in downstream processing units caused by unwashed pulp.

Level Technologies
THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or PULSAR Through-Air Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process BleachingCHLORINE DIOXIDE (CLO2) GENERATOR
Application: Due to health, safety and environmental concerns about dioxins and furans, the once prevalent use of elemental chlorine as a pulp bleach agent has given way to alternate technologies. Today, Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) technologies are used for about 95% of bleached pulp production. A generator produces CLO2 that is mixed with water for bleaching.

Challenges: Gaseous chlorine dioxide is conveyed to an absorber tower where it is dissolved in chilled water to yield the aqueous chlorine dioxide bleach solution. Maintaining continuous level in the generator is critical because the chemical material balance in and out of the generator is essential. Malfunctioning controls can create a “White Out” where bleach production ceases and a shutdown ensues.

Level Technologies:
– Series 75 Sealed External Cage Switch, Tuffy® II Float-Actuated Switch or ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter for continuous level
– Atlas® Magnetic Level Indicator for visual indication

Application: Pulp leaving the digester wash unit retains a dark brown color due to residual lignin content that must often be bleached out. Bleach plants whiten pulp through three to five stages of bleaching and water washing. Typically, two pairs of chlorine dioxide and caustic extraction towers are followed by pulp washing stages.

Challenges: Bleaching operations require level controls to maintain consistent levels in the bleach towers and manage pulp flow to successive stages by controlling tower outlet valves. Application challenges include variable pulp density, temperatures over +200° F (+95° C), harsh chemicals, and the need for easy cleaning of wetted parts. A point level switch ensures overfill protection.

Level Technologies:
– THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process Stock PrepPULP STOCK STORAGE
Application: Pulp stock is stored in varying densities in horizontal or vertical “chests” that are quipped with an agitator that keeps the stock in suspension. A tower is a larger vessel that provides retention time and a down/upward flow out of pulp. Because pulp can carry residual oxidants that cause corrosion of storage vessels, vessel interiors are lined with resistant materials.

Challenges: Level measurement of storage vessels is necessary to maintain a consistent supply of pulp stock to the paper machine. Pulp vessels represent a level measurement challenge due to thick and sticky media, high temperatures, steam in the vapor space, agitation, and the slightly corrosive and abrasive effects of the slurry.

Level Technologies:
- THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Transmitter or PULSAR Through-Air Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process BlendingMIXING & MACHINE CHESTS
Application: The mixing chest is a large, agitated tank used for mixing various types of pulp, fillers, and additives together in a specified formula for the paper machine. The mixed stock is fed to the machine chest where it is pumped to the headbox and dispensed evenly onto the moving wire of the papermaking machine. When the stock is de-watered and dried, the result is finished paper.

Challenges: Level controls ensure that the chests never overflow and that the level never sinks below a safe level with respect to the agitation zone. Level monitoring must contend with pulp thickness, high humidity, and specific gravity changes. As the chest discharge operation is on level control, consistent flow must be maintained to ensure continuous papermaking.

Level Technologies:
– THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or PULSAR Through-Air Radar Transmitter for continuous level

Pulp & Paper Process PaperMakingCONDENSATE RECEIVER TANKS
Application: Steam generated in the recovery boiler is used to run many parts of a mill. Liquor concentration and paper drying are the largest steam users, followed by digestion, bleaching, and chip steaming. (Steam also drives a turbine cogeneration system if a mill is so equipped). A steam condensate system in the paper machine’s dryer section collects water for reuse in the mill.

Challenges: Steam condensate from the dryer drums enters up to half a dozen receiver tanks of the condensate return system. Level controls in these tanks ensure that water is returned to the mill for reuse, diverted to storage or discharged to the sewer. When the control senses the upper level in the tank it will actuate a dump valve to remove the accumulated condensate.

Level Technologies:
– ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Switch, Series 75 Sealed External Cage Switch or THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Switch for point level
– ECLIPSE Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 MODULEVEL Displacer Transmitter for continuous level
– ATLAS Magnetic Level Indicator for visual indication

Pulp & Paper Process Applications

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Thermal Mass Flow Meter Applications

As we discussed in last week’s blog article, thermal dispersion mass flow technology is rapidly becoming a preferred method to measure the flow rate of gas for industrial process operations. Thermal mass flow meters offer an attractive alternative to older measurement technologies, because they provide a direct, accurate measurement of mass flow rate, without having to correct for temperature and pressure conditions. Additionally, because of its properties of low flow sensitivity, wide turndown and low pressure drop, thermal dispersion mass flow measurement can improve process control in a wide variety of typical and more challenging applications.

Thermal Mass Flow Meter ApplicationsTypical Applications

  • Compressed air/gas. Measurement and totalization of compressed air or gas flow is utilized for internal plant allocation and measurement of overall consumption. Can be used for detecting and identifying general location of leaks. Government estimates show that leakage can account for 20-30% of compressed air generation. Eliminating a small ¼” leak can result in cost savings up to $4000 in a year.
  • Combustion air flow. Measurement of the mass flow rate of combustion air is desirable when determining fuel-to-air mixtures for proper combustion control. Thermal mass measurement is very appropriate due to its combination of direct mass measurement, excellent low flow sensitivity, wide turndown and low pressure drops.
  • Natural gas. In-plant measurement of natural gas flows to boiler, furnaces, dryers and heaters is an ideal application for thermal mass flow measurement. Knowing the natural gas usage of individual combustion sources can help identify efficiency, leading to reduced fuel usage. The composition of natural gas may vary slightly during the year. These changes in heat transfer characteristics of the gas are minor and will not have any noticeable effect on a thermal mass flow meter’s performance.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA requires many facilities to annually report their greenhouse gas emissions from each combustion source. A thermal mass flow meter is an ideal method of determining the natural gas usage, in order to follow the EPA guidelines to calculate greenhouse gas emissions.

Difficult Applications

  • Flare lines. Thermal dispersion mass flow offers many benefits for flare lines – wide turndown, low flow detection and low pressure drop. Thermal flow measurement has successfully been used in this application. However, consideration must be given to changes in gas composition.Different gases have different thermal properties that affect convective heat transfer. Changes in gas composition will change heat transfer rates, resulting in inaccuracies in flow measurement.If used in a flare line with a consistent gas composition such as natural gas, there is no difficulty. However, if used in an application with wide variations in gas composition, especially major changes in concentration of hydrogen, the user must be aware of the considerable potential for inaccurate flow measurement. Hydrogen cools the sensor much greater than other gases; a small flow of hydrogen will appear like a much larger flow of hydrocarbon gases. In those applications with varying gas compositions, a thermal mass flow meter, such as the Thermatel® Model TA2, will provide a relative flow measurement. It can be used to provide an indication of changes and magnitude in flow rate, as well as duration of a release to the flare. Often a Model TA2 mass flow meter will be used to monitor the flow to the flare from individual production units, with a different technology flow meter measuring the main flare flow for environmental reporting or obtaining a mass balance. Provided that the flow meter is used for flow monitoring rather than flow measurement, consideration should be given to a simple calibration rather than trying to calibrate for an exact gas mixture.
  • Stacks. While thermal mass flow measurement has successfully been used for measurement of stack flow, generally multiple point array systems are utilized for large diameter stacks. Another option is to use four or more single point probes inserted from opposite sides of the stack. An external device is needed to average the flow rate.

For a complete overview of thermal mass flow technology, methodology and applications, Magnetrol® invites you to download our THERMATEL Thermal Dispersion Mass Flow Measurement Handbook.

Mass Flow Rate Handbook

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Direct Mass Flow Rate Measurement for Industrial Process Applications

There are many well-established technologies used to measure the flow rate of gas within industrial process operations. While mass flow rate is the ideal measurement for typical process applications, common measurement methods, including differential pressure, vortex shedding, and ultrasonic, among others, measure actual volumetric flow rate and not mass flow rate. Therefore, flow meters based on these technologies must correct for temperature and pressure conditions in order to provide an accurate measurement of mass flow rate.

Thermal mass flow technology, a more recent approach to gas flow measurement, does not require correction for changes in process temperature. As a result, the adoption rate for this technology is rapidly increasing. As a newer mass flow rate solution, however, many process control professionals aren’t familiar with how thermal dispersion mass flow meters work – and their advantages.

Principle of Operation

Thermal mass flow meters use temperature sensors (RTDs) located at the bottom of the probe to measure mass flow rate.

Thermal mass flow meters use temperature sensors (RTDs) located at the bottom of the probe to measure mass flow rate.

Thermal dispersion mass flow meters are primarily used in air and gas flow measurement applications. The meters consist of a transmitter and probe with temperature sensors (RTDs) located in the pins at the bottom of the probe. One sensor measures the process temperature and the other sensor is heated to a specific temperature above this. As the flow rate increases heat gets taken away from the heated sensor. Some manufacturers use a variable power operation to keep the temperature difference constant, while others keep the power constant and measure the temperature difference. The Magnetrol® Model TA2 thermal mass flow meter measures the power it takes to maintain a constant temperature difference between the sensors. This relationship between power and mass flow rate is established during calibration.

Technology Advantages
Thermal Mass Flow offers many advantages over other, more traditional, methods of measuring gas flow.

Excellent Low Flow Sensitivity. Thermal technology can measure velocities down to 10 standard feet per minute – much lower than any other flow device. The heat transfer rate is greatest at low flow rates and decreases as the flow rate increases. This makes this technology especially sensitive for low velocity measurement and high turndown requirements.

Excellent Turndown. The Model TA2 thermal mass flow transmitter offers the ability to measure low velocities as well as high flow rates. This can provide a turndown rate of 100:1 or more, depending upon the application requirements and calibration of the instrument.

Low Pressure Drop. The insertion probe has little blockage of the pipe, thereby creating very low pressure drops.

Ease of Installation. Using an insertion probe, the instrument can easily be installed in a pipe or duct. Many installations use a compression fitting or a retractable probe assembly for inserting the probe into the pipe.

Factory Calibration. Instruments are calibrated by leading manufacturers for application-specific requirements and user specifications. This allows the instrument to be installed and placed directly into service without the need for field setup, calibration or adjustment. MAGNETROL calibrates all Model TA2 thermal mass flow meters.

Low Installed Cost. No additional instrumentation is required to obtain a mass flow measurement using a thermal dispersion mass flow meter.

Mass Flow Rate Handbook

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Webinar: Optimizing Level Control to Meet New Power Generation Demands

Register Now For This Informative Webinar

The addition of non-conventional, renewable power generation to the energy mix and the ongoing development of climate change protocols are having a significant impact on the operation of conventional fossil plants. Addressing limitations in flexible operation (such as cycling, ramp rates, load following and others) attributed to critical level controls with enhanced technologies can help ensure rapid response to market demands while mitigating system stress, unit trips and the negative consequences on heat rate.

Coal Fueled Power PlanOn November 12, 2014, at 11 am ET, Magnetrol® and Orion® Instruments will be sponsoring a free webinar on “Optimizing Level Control to Meet New Generation Demands.” The webinar will be led by Donald Hite, business development manager for the Power Industry division of MAGNETROL, and will address the following topics:

  • Level control concerns (including steam drums and feed water heaters)
  • Effects on ramp rates and cycling
  • Cost of heat rate deviation
  • Eliminating instrument induced errors
  • Optimizing performance
  • Case studies

MAGNETROL is committed to using its extensive expertise in level and flow technologies to explore challenges and new opportunities in the various industries that use its products. Join us for this webinar!

Optimizing Level Control Webinar

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Magnetrol® Celebrates Facility Expansion in Zele

Magnetrol® International, Incorporated recently completed its new expanded facility in Zele, Belgium, and held the facility grand opening on Saturday, October 25. The grand opening event celebrated the growth that led to the expansion of the facility and included employees, distributers, and local leaders and dignitaries.

Magnetrol_Zele_ExpansionAround 340 people were invited to the evening, which highlighted some of the countries where MAGNETROL has physical offices. Dance performances and a buffet dinner took attendees on a journey through these countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, India, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, the United States, and, of course, Belgium. The evening also featured a ribbon cutting, as well as interviews with local dignitaries—including the Governor of East Flanders, the Mayor of Zele, and the Deputy Chief of Mission from the U.S. Embassy—and MAGNETROL leaders. On Sunday, October 26, friends and family of MAGNETROL employees had a chance to walk through the building and tour the new facilities.

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Look for Robust Liquid Level Switch Design in Mechanical Buoyancy Level Controls

Mechanical buoyancy type liquid level switches were one of the first technologies used to measure fluid levels in process industries, and the devices remain a workhorse for reliable level detection in a wide range of applications, including those in the most challenging or hazardous environments.

When considering the specification of mechanical buoyancy level control instrumentation, it’s important to recognize that the design and construction of the magnetic switch mechanism – the driving component within mechanical buoyancy liquid level switches – has significant bearing on the performance characteristics of the unit.

Liquid Level Switch Mechanism

Magnetrol®, the manufacturer of the first magnetic switch designed for liquid level detection, has spent more than 80 years perfecting mechanical buoyancy switches. The following MAGNETROL switch design features demonstrate how intelligent design impacts the quality and reliability of mechanical buoyancy liquid level control solutions:

Switch Mechanism

  • Completely isolated from the process environment to prevent magnetic interference and protect integrity of switch activation.

Magnet Design

  • Magnet placed on non-wetted side of pressure boundary to prevent magnetic particles from adhering to magnet and affecting switch action.
  • Alnico magnet material ensures stability.
  • All magnets are stable to over +1000°F (+540°C).
  • Magnets “saturated” and “knocked-down” to ensure stable charge over the lifetime of the switch.

Return Spring Design

  • Return springs heat-treated to ensure consistent properties and performance over a vast temperature range.
  • All return springs used only within their elastic range to prevent damage and distortion.
  • Each return spring designed for required reset force of micro switch.

Pivot Design

  • Pivot pins machined for precision fit and smooth rotation.
  • Designed with “play” at pivots and magnet to prevent binding.
  • Adjusting screw factory-set for optimal micro switch actuation point and over-travel on both pull-in and fall-out, to ensure reliability over changing conditions.

Switch Design

  • Mercury-free, high-temperature switches for process temperatures greater than +1000°F (+540°C).
  • Silver or gold contacts that work for standard or low current applications.
  • Standard or hermetically sealed micro switches.
  • Ceramic terminal blocks provided on highest temperature applications.
  • Lead wire insulation for all application temperatures

The design integrity of MAGNETROL switch mechanisms has allowed our level controls to provide years of safe, accurate, reliable level control – with many clocking in more than a half-century of trouble-free service. For more information about MAGNETROL liquid level switch solutions, download the Mechanical Buoyancy Switch Mechanism Design Guide.

CTA Liquid Level Switch Design

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