Alicat Whisper Mass Flow Meters Lend Precision to Fiber Optic Process

by Ryan Barner

Fiber optic cables are highly desired for their speed of transmission and are growing as an industry. However, the industrial furnaces used for glass manufacturing require stable and repeatable control of gas for melt and annealing processes.

Preforms are the layered cylinders of glass, made on lathes using chemical deposition vapor flows, burners for heating and melting glass and pressure control to retain the shape while it is being formed. While the fiber drawing process means heating the end of a glass preform, and shaping the melting end into a cone that creates a continuous stream of molten glass which descends and cools into a fiber, which must then be guided in a way that will not break or alter it, while checking the thickness and adding layers to protect it.

Both require mass flow and pressure controllers that are fast, reliable and have high turndown ratios, all while functioning in potentially high temperature environments and compatibility with corrosive fuel gasses.

Industrial furnaces utilizing fuel gases for their burners exhibit low pressures.  Alicat Whisper series mass flow controllers offer a controllable range up to 1000 SLPM.  These flow rates can be achieved with a pressure drop across the Alicat MFC of as little as 1.65 PSI on our highest flow rate Whisper series controllers. This means even if the supply pressure is low, as fuel gases typically are, it is possible to control up to a full scale flow rate of 1000 SLPM.Alicat mass flow and pressure control instruments for glass and optical fiber manufacturing.

These low pressure instruments may also be deployed in annealing ovens and lehr ovens during the finishing process.  Using Alicat MFCs allow for control in each zone of the oven with repeatability and precision even if a low supply pressure is a requirement.  Ninety-eight gases and gas mixes are pre-programmed into an Alicat MFC providing options for variability in projects and processes.

Alicat MCW-series whisper mass flow controller, shown with optional backlit color display

In preform manufacturing, fiber drawing or ribbon forming processes – stable and fast mass flow and pressure control instruments not only ensure a better end product, but with Alicat devices, achieving these results is easier with our highly customized instruments and advice from Application Engineers.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

ThermX

Industries Served
Our diverse temperature sensor product capabilities support a broad range of industries and applications. Several of our products can be applied into a variety of products or processes. Others are uniquely designed for a specific application. 

We can engineer a suitable temperature sensor into the most complex thermal heating and measurement requirement. Our technical expertise and production technologies, provide our design team with the flexibility to devise the most advanced sensing solutions, in the most practical configuration, and at the best value.

In addition to manufacturing temperature sensors, ThermX Southwest also distributes pressure, humidity, CO2 and flow sensors along with process control and data logging instrumentation. We also supply a wide variety of portable calibration equipment traceable to NIST. 
Industries served
Aerospace Pharmaceutical 
Semiconductor
Glass & Ceramics 
Metallurgical
Analytical Sciences
Material Sciences
Telecommunication
Power Generation 
Packaging Food & Beverage
Commercial Heating Medical
General Industrial 
Temperature Sensors
General Purpose Probes
High Temperature Thermocouples
Validation Thermocouples
Industrial Thermocouples
Insulated Wire Thermocouples
Thermocouple Rakes
RTD Probes
Thermistor Probes
Specialized Products
Thermocouple Wire
Calibration Services

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Acceleration-Compensated Inclinometers Now With New Interface Option

ACCELERATION-COMPENSATED INCLINOMETERS 
NOW WITH NEW INTERFACE OPTION

tiltix_aks_2

POSITAL FRABA has added a new communications interfaces for its innovative Dynamic TILTIX series – making it even easier to use these rugged instruments in mobile machinery and heavy commercial vehicles. Now available with either CANopen or SAE J1939 interfaces , these acceleration-compensated tilt sensors are able to deliver accurate measurement under the harshest operating conditions, including rapid motions, shock and vibration loadings.

  • Compensation of External Accelerations
  • Now Available with CANopen or SAE J1939
  • Clean Measurement During Dynamic Movements
  • Optional Output of Acceleration and Rate of Rotation
  • Well Protected up to IP69K
  • Compact and Robust Die-cast Housing with Integrated T-Coupler 
  • Wide Temperature Range from -40 to +85°C

Innovative Signal Processing Algorithms Reduce Signal Noise

The key to this remarkable dynamic performance is the addition of a second measurement system to the MEMS accelerometers used in conventional tilt sensors. An electromechanical gyroscope system was added to measure rate of rotational in the different axes. This eliminates the central shortcoming of conventional inclination sensors, where sudden accelerations or vibrations cause inertial loads in the accelerometers, adding noise to the output signals – and errors to the tilt angle readings. Signals from the accelerometer and gyroscope are combined by innovative algorithms to filter out the errors caused by acceleration loads so that the actual inclination is reported accurately. “What sounds so simple proved to be very time-consuming and labor-intensive in terms of practical implementation,” emphasizes Tobias Schubert, product manager responsible for POSITAL’s TILTIX inclination sensors. “We invested almost three years in the development of the algorithm alone. We worked extensively with pilot customers to assure ourselves that these instruments would work reliably under the harshest field conditions.”

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Alicat Python and Python-driven command prompt

 by Bill Nick

Setup

Alicat Python and Python-driven command prompt (Windows Powershell) drivers have been developed principally by Pat Fuller at NuMat Technologies and are available for download from github.com: https://github.com/numat/alicat

In order to run the command prompt/Powershell driver, Python will first have to be installed on the computer. The latest stable Python 3 release is the recommended version to install: https://www.python.org/downloads/

Once Python has been installed, the simplest way to install the python/command prompt drivers is to command the following in the command prompt:

If the Python PIP package manager is installed and enabled, this is a simpler method:

Command Prompt (Powershell) Usage:

A menu of possible arguments and usage information within the command prompt can be accessed by entering “alicat –help” or “alicat -h”:

To poll an Alicat that is the only one connected to your target COM port, commanding only the port name will return data from the Alicat:

To poll a device with unit ID A, your command should look like this:

and the response from either of these commands should look similar to this:

Python Usage:

This command will open a serial connection to an Alicat device on the specified port:

If the Alicat is communicating on the specified port, it will return the same dictionary as when polled via Powershell.

Using this with Windows COM port COM1, for example, would look like this:

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Universal Transducer Interface (UTI)

The Universal Transducer Interface (UTI) is a sensor-to-time signal converter, based on a self-calibrating period-modulated oscillator. Sensing elements can be directly connected to the UTI without the need for extra electronics. The output is digital and can communicate with any type of micro-controller. The UTI can operate in 16 different modes. To obtain accurate results in any of these modes, a reference element of the same kind as the sensor is required.

The UTI provides interfacing for all kind of resistive and capacitive sensors.

For convenient design-in, there is an evaluation board available. The UTI evaluation board and free down-loadable software ensure that custom applications will be up and running in no time.

Key Features

  • Accurate measurement of various sensors:
  • Capacitance values (2-300 pF, 14 bits)
  • PT100/1000 elements (14 bits 9 mK)
  • Resistive bridges (12 bits, resolution 700 nV)
  • Continues auto-calibration
  • Single power supply2.9-5.5V

Reference: click here.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com