Flowmeter Measures Volume
Robert Batey, PhD, a scientist with 35 years experience in flow measurement, developed and patented the electro-magnetic device six years ago. This stand-alone unit produces a magnetic field in the pipe, which is seen as a current when the slurry passes through it. The data is transferred to a microprocessor, which outputs it as gallons per minute.
In 1998 Dr. Batey retrofitted his magnetic units with an unlicensed, low-level nuclear source to create a mass flowmeter. The nuclear source is mounted on the bottom of the pipe, while a scintillator at the top of the pipe creates a vertical signal through the flow. Based on specific gravity and absorption of the signal, the unit calculates volumetric flow, density, percent solids and specific gravity.
The mass flowmeter has the best potential for the dredging industry because dredging contractors must measure production exactly for pay purposes, said John Cahill, National sales manager of Advanced Flow Technology.
The units have been in the field long enough to have proven themselves, said Cahill. They recently removed a flowmeter that had been in use in a mining application for five years. Testing it on the company’s calibrator, they discovered that it have zero variation from the original calibration.
The company is headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, and markets internationally through manufacturer’s representatives. Units sold overseas are assembled overseas using components built in the United States, said Cahill.
Steven D. Smith is president of the company. A veteran in product development and manufacture since 1978, Smith has seen new products through development and manufacture for IBM and AT&T. He was brought on board at Advanced Flow Technology last year to establish a long term direction and growth for the company. Dr. Batey serves as vice president.