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Process instrumentation

Process automation is an important factor in many branches of industry, with process instruments forming the foundation for numerous processes. You can find an overview of the most important measurement procedures and measuring instruments within the Process Instrumentation category here.

Detailed information on processes for the measurement of pressure, flow rate, level, and temperature can be found in the Automation24 knowledge corner.

Process instrumentation process variables

Process instrumentation includes measurement, monitoring and control instruments for process variables, such as pressure, flow rate, level, temperature, and liquid analysis. Core tasks include the measurement and control of properties and quantities relating to the aforementioned process variables. Fluids (liquids, gases, vapours) and granulated and powdered solids can be measured.

Areas of application and measuring processes in process instrumentation

Process instrumentation products are used primarily within industries in which process automation plays an important role. This includes:

  • Food & beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Agriculture
  • Chemicals
  • Oil & gas
  • Mining & metal
  • Water & wastewater
  • Chemical pulp & paper
  • Aquaculture

Safety and quality assurance using pressure measurement technology

The most frequently used processes in industry include pressure measurement. Pressure measurement is important in order to ensure safety and quality in various industrial processes. To this end, there are a series of different pressure measuring devices available.

Gauge pressure transmitters measure pressure in relation to the atmospheric pressure and are used for the pressure monitoring and control, e.g. of hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Differential pressure transmitters measure the pressure difference between two points and are used in level, flow rate, and differential pressure measurement, alongside other areas of application.

Hydrostatic pressure transmitters are used for level measurement, whereby the pressure of the liquid column is measured by the sensor.

Further information on the various pressure measurement processes can be found on the Pressure measurement: principles information page.

Flow control and consumption monitoring thanks to precise flow measurement technology.

Another important measuring process is flow measurement.

Within the process industry, the flow rate of liquids and gases is the most commonly measured variable. Other areas of application include flow control and consumption monitoring.

Volumetric flow meters provide very accurate flow measurements, but can only be used in conductive liquids.

For non-conductive media, ultrasonic flow meters offer a good alternative. They are suitable for use with pipes with large diameters, as they are installed on the pipe wall, from outside. Thermal mass flow meters are used with liquids and gases.

The same applies for turbine flow meters and paddlewheel flow meters, which impress on account of their many possible fields of use.

Due to their high temperature resistance, Vortex flow meters are frequently used for vapour flow measurement.

Variable area flow meters, also known as Rotameters, are ideal for simple and economical flow monitoring, on account of their low purchase cost.

More information on measurement principles is available on the Flow measurement: principles information page.

Continuous level measurement and limit detection

Level measurement has direct effects on the operation and profitability of a plant, as the measurement is used for safety, quality, monitoring, and control purposes. There are two different types of measurement: limit measurement and continuous level measurement. In the case of limit detection, level switches detect whether the fill level has reached a certain value. This enables the early detection of overflowing or dry running. If the level is to be continuously measured within a range from 0 to 100%, we refer to continuous level measurement.

There are various level switches available for limit detection: capacitive level switches, vibrating level switches, conductive level switches, rotary paddle switches and level float switches.

Level gauges for continuous level measurement are available in the following variants: radar level transmitters, ultrasonic level transmitters, laser sensors and capacitive level transmitters.

Detailed information can be found on the Level measurement: principles information page.

Temperature and humidity measurement: quality assurance of end products

Temperature and humidity measurement is a key variable within the process industry. The right temperature can affect the viscosity, aggregate status or flavour of an end product, and is as such crucial with regard to quality and safety.

One option for measuring temperature are thermocouples, which are frequently installed in industrial thermometers. Advantages of thermocouples include their affordable purchase cost and broad temperature range. Another option are Pt100/Pt1000 resistance thermometers, also known as RTDs (resistance temperature detectors). RTDs measure more accurately than thermocouples and can be combined with a temperature transmitter. Temperature transmitters convert the resistance signal into an analogue signal. In addition to this, DIN rail and head transmitters or compact thermometers can be used.

Detailed information on the various thermometers is available on the temperature measurement: principles information page.

Humidity measurement is vital, as air humidity affects the function of machines and systems. Using hygrometers, air quality in a room can be measured, including the CO2 concentration, humidity, and temperature.


Analytical devices for process analytics

Process analytics include a wide range of analytical devices. These can be used to measure different variables. This includes pH sensors to determine water quality. They are frequently used within the chemicals industry, in power stations, or in treatment plants.

Conductivity sensors can measure the conductivity and concentration of various media and contribute to quality assurance. They are frequently used in the food industry, as part of cleaning processes.

Dissolved oxygen sensors enable the special analysis of dissolved oxygen in water or wastewater and are used in sewage treatment plants, waterworks, and industry.

Redox sensors are used to determine the levels of disinfectants and impurities, for instance in swimming pools or within the water and wastewater industry.

Here, analytical transmitters facilitate the transmission of measurement values.

In order to support the process instrumentation measurement procedure, there are a host of applications for process control and monitoring.

This includes data managers / data loggers, process indicators, temperature and process controllers and surge protection devices. System components such as HART communication and Modbus communication components, assist with data transmission.

A large selection of process instruments from top brands at Automation24

Within the Process Instrumentation category, Automation24 offers a wide range of top brands. Endress+Hauser is a leading global supplier of measuring devices for industrial process technology. The product range consists of complete process solutions for flow, level, pressure, and temperature measurements. Devices for analytical measurements and for measurement value processing are also offered. The range impresses with comprehensive measurement principles using modern electronics, which are suitable for various media and applications. One highlight are the individually configurable products. The Automation24 Configurator thus enables a tailored solution for your applications.

Innovative measurement technology manufacturer VEGA has specialised in level, limit, and pressure measurement principles. This includes contactless radar level transmitters offering optimal measurement accuracy, as well as versatile control units with displays. The products impress on account of their user-friendly and intuitive device settings which can be adjusted via Bluetooth, thus enabling simple installation.

The globally active family-owned company WIKA also offers individually configurable products. Using the Configurator, precise pressure transmitters can be configured and ordered to suit various process conditions. Pressure measurement ranges, outputs, process connections, and other technical features can be individually adjusted during the order process. Other popular products from WIKA include pressure gauges, bimetal thermometers, and resistance thermometers.

The manufacturer ifm is a reliable supplier of fluid measurement technology, which is used in the food industry and in machine tools. Innovative fluid sensors have been developed for the measurement of pressure, levels, temperature, flow rate, and conductivity. There are designs that have been developed specifically to meet requirements in hygienic applications. The integrated IO-Link technology enables quick commissioning and simple installation.

NOVUS Automation is a specialist in temperature controllers and data loggers in the field of process instrumentation. The product range covers a broad selection of products: there are comprehensive solutions for temperature control and process control. What's more, flexible and reliable measurement data displays and loggers can be purchased, as well as temperature signal conditioners of various types, to suit your application.

The GHM Group brings together strong manufacturers of measuring & regulation technology under one roof. This includes the brand Honsberg, whose products measure and monitor flow rates and levels in process plants and machines. The portfolio of products from Martens includes reliable industrial electronics such as temperature controllers. Portable handheld instruments for different measurement values and requirements are available from the Greisinger brand.

Temperature measurement technology manufacturer INOR, which is part of Krohne Messtechnik, offers universal temperature transmitters, such as Din-rail and head transmitters. Transmitter configuration can be conveniently performed via your smartphone, thanks to the integrated NFC interface. For demanding applications, there are Ex-approvals and HART interfaces.

With Georg Fischer, also known as +GF+, the portfolio includes a globally active expert in measurement technology and piping systems. +GF+ stands for ultra-precise and affordable flow sensors with variable area flow meters.

Other products include non-invasive flow measurement using ultrasonic flow meters. Another point of focus are durable and lightweight electromagnetic flow meters made of plastic.

The manufacturer Staal Instruments is an expert in the field of highly accurate level and volume measurement. The products impress on account of their ability to remotely monitor processes. The cloud-based radar level transmitters can contactlessly detect and wirelessly transmit the levels of liquids and bulk goods in containers and bodies of water, for example. This makes them particularly well-suited for remote locations or mobile applications. The StaalCloud offers remote access. To this end you can choose between flexible data tariffs depending on your consumption.

Take advantage of automated processes and simplified quality control, with process instrumentation products. Conveniently order measurement instruments from Automation24's comprehensive portfolio online now, at unbeatable prices.

If you have any questions regarding the products, the Automation24 technical support team would be delighted to provide further assistance. Contact us now!