Product review: ALTImass TypeU
For many years, I was the go-to guy for info on a flow meter in Brazil, helping sales reps sell it and customers understand it. I used to present the technology and features in seminars throughout the country. Seminars can give you great insights on knowledge levels in the industry. Of course, regular visits to different segments is another way to check that.
In most of these seminars and visits, I could see a lack of knowledge about basic concepts behind flow meters, such as how they work, what data they provide, and so on. We here at Visaya want to make complex concepts easy to digest and bring readers to another level, where users don’t get stuck on the digital stuff because they know exactly how to handle it, you know?
Enough thinking! Time for reviewing! Yes, a new vendor again. Everyone knows the big players on the market, but many smaller companies offer good quality too. I want to show different brands and perspectives to you.
The gang from OVAL has the ALTImass Type U for us to review. Let’s see all the features available, both the points where they need to improve and the robust items. Have a read and draw your conclusions!^
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
Whatcha got there?
The ALTImass Type U gives a good first impression, but it looks a lot like another model we recently reviewed, the CamCor CT Series from Cameron. If someone out there knows more about this eerie similarity, then drop me a comment, because I’m certainly curious.
Anyway, an immediate plus jumps to the fore – a huge LCD screen (128 x 64 dots), with a choice of white or orange for backlight. Better yet, it has the push buttons out on display, so you can set up without opening up. The simple navigation could take less time if it had more buttons, though. You only have Select and Enter here. But the green and red LCDs will let you know if the meter’s working correctly. Did you just get a weird sense of deja vu? Just me? Huh.
As a four-wire device, you can power up from 85 to 264 volts in alternating current or from 20 to 30 in direct current. Moving on to integration, we have good options here – HART over analog, Modbus RTU, Foundation Fieldbus (FF) and PROFIBUS PA (PB). One of these should fit perfectly in your system. Or you could use an analog output, such as pulse, status, or frequency. Your choice!
What can it do?
OVAL’s meter will deliver the same level of information as other brands – mass and volume flow, density, temperature, totalization, and so on. Nothing new here, right? It also delivers nice ranges for sensor sizes and wetted materials, so check the datasheet for your requirements.
Let’s talk about liquid flow accuracy. The CA003 to CA150 models have an accuracy of +-0.1 percent, and CA15H to CA250, the high-temperature version, have an accuracy of +-0.1 percent with zero stability error. Then you get +-0.2 percent for models CA00A, CA001, and the high-pressure service model. Gas accuracy falls somewhere around 0.5 percent with zero stability error.
Now, if Coriolis flow meters are good at anything, they’re good at density measurement. The CA003 to CA150 models bring an accuracy of +-0.0005 grams per milliliter (g/mL), and models CA00A, CA001, and the high-temperature version have +-0.003 g/mL. Finally, the high-pressure model has +-0.004 g/mL. Too many numbers to remember? Wish I could tell you the documentation will help, but I had trouble finding those values. Too complicated.
Last point here is the wetted material. The ALTImass TypeU has stainless steel 316L, Alloy C, and 316L + Alloy C. Remember to check what kind of material will resist contact with your product and extend the lifetime of the sensor.
Why should I care?
This device has a really large flow measurement range, from 0 to 2.8 million kilograms per hour divided among 16 models. You should find the right size for your application in all that.
It also has a pretty flexible temperature range. The standard sensor can work between -200 and 200 degrees Celsius, the high-temperature option works from -40 to 350, and the low from -200 to 50. Not bad, right? The flange rating dictates the pressure range here, so make sure you check that too.
Last but not least, you can implement this flow meter in harsh and hazardous areas. The ALTImass brings a tidy list of approvals for most of those installations.
You can consider the ALTImass TypeU an option for a simple application. No fancy features here, just the basic requirements for general-purpose work. If you have general-purpose work for it to do, then scale it out for the real performance in your process and decide whether it’ll work for you.