Pneumatic systems & components


Efficient pneumatic performance with multifunctional sensor

Fourth Quarter 2020 Pneumatic systems & components

SICK Automation’s recently introduced multifunctional FTMg (flow thermal meter for gases) flow sensor detects pneumatic system leakages well before pressure loss causes machine failure. It is engineered to output up to eight process parameters – flow speed, flow volume, cumulative volume, mass flow, cumulative mass, energy consumption, current pressure and temperature – and concurrently measures flow, temperature and the process pressure of non-corrosive gases while detecting leakages.

Available in three nominal pipe diameter sizes and process connections, the simultaneous measurement of flow, pressure and temperature eliminates the need for three sensors. Characterised by a light, compact and user-friendly construction, the sensor’s all-in-one design eliminates unnecessary leakage risks in pneumatic systems. The technologically advanced sensor helps reduce the operating costs of producing, supplying and distributing compressed air, leading to more efficient pneumatically operated processes.

The sensor is engineered to provide transparent consumption rates and reports them as kilowatt-hours (kWh) as part of an energy management system according to DIN EN 5001. Standard with both analog and digital outputs, FTMg meets modern day requirements on controller and cloud connectivity using IO-Link or Ethernet with web server and OPC-Unified Architecture (OPC UA). The I/O-Link interface provides the measured values efficiently and all process data can be accessed on a PC, through a mobile end device or an automation system.

True energy consumption transparency for energy management systems according to DIN EN 5000 is achieved through the dynamic calorimetric measurement principle of the sensor. It detects the smallest changes in the consumption system, making it possible to localise unexpected pressure losses. All pressure losses are visualised as either flat or steep edges on the pressure curve, which allows for direct interpretation. Reported in kWh, the measured energy loss is offset against the energy fed into the compressed air supply network, resulting in true energy consumption transparency.

Remote access to the FTMg via an integrated web server is available, which allows for remote reading and visualisation of measurement data from the previous seven days. Additionally, statistical analyses built into the flow meter facilitates setting up basic monitoring functions like detecting spikes or changes in average energy consumption, for example. An Ethernet based variant that transmits data using the OPC UA standard is also available, and enables measurement information to be used for more than condition monitoring or facility management. It can, for example, be used in production- or process-oriented Industry 4.0 applications and dashboards.

The FTMg from SICK has broken new ground with its versatile measurement and analysis technology. In summary, the SICK Automation flow thermal meter for gases enables transparent energy consumption, early leakage detection, and the interpretation and comparison of energy changes and losses. All of these benefits and system productivity improvements result in a short amortisation period for this sensor solution, which is also future-proof because of the connectivity options provided.


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