Have You Heard What’s New In Industrial Ultrasound

Have you heard what’s new in industrial ultrasound?

Oct. 24, 2023
Sheila Kennedy says exposing the inaudible is a sound approach to maintenance and process optimization.

Ultrasound technologies are proliferating in more and different applications. Whether detecting early signs of equipment failure or asset flaws, or refining measurement accuracy or cleaning effectiveness, ultrasound solutions are becoming increasingly indispensable.

Focused tools

Ultrasonic sensors and transducers serve many purposes. An example is MassaSonic Gizmo, a wireless level measurement sensor from Massa Products Corp. Current models connect via Wi-Fi networks and cellular capabilities will be rolling out in the near future. A long-range (LoRa) radio communication version is next.

The future of electroacoustics is to think of the technology differently, suggests President/CEO & CIO Dawn Stancavish at Massa Products Corp. “What you see with off-the-shelf products is only one small example of how the technology is able to be applied. Sensors that harness sound are able to be designed across the frequency spectrum, and different designs can be created to operate in different applications with the specific sensing requirements in mind.”

To reduce compressed air consumption, the new Model 9207 Ultrasonic Leak Detector (ULD) from EXAIR can detect leaks up to 20 feet away. The handheld device converts the ultrasonic signature produced by compressed air leaks to an audible frequency, alerting the user via a tone emitted to included earbuds, and displaying an LED light confirming the leak location. Sensitivity adjustments and attachments help to filter out background noise.

“Quickly and easily detecting leaks is a critical step in compressed air system maintenance and auditing,” observes Lee Evans, special projects engineer at EXAIR. The ULD readout is simple and straightforward, and the device is easy to use and tough enough for industrial plants, he adds.

The Krautkrämer USM 100 Pro from Waygate Technologies, a Baker Hughes business, is a recent upgrade to the company’s flagship portable ultrasonic flaw detector. The Pro edition is “the first portable conventional flaw detector in the industry that can perform B/C scans, which allow operators to visualize larger amounts of data and identify multiple defects in an object, in a single, comprehensive image,” says Appu Gopakumar, senior product manager for UT devices at Waygate Technologies.

In addition, its new app allows operators to create more detailed inspection reports and enhance the traceability of inspection data by adding contextual information like pictures of the inspected part, its geolocation, part annotations, and comments. “These features not only save time during inspections and the creation of reports but provide a more detailed view of the asset condition and its inspection history,” Gopakumar explains.

The new FSZ S-Flow from Fuji Electric is an integral ultrasonic flowmeter designed to measure the flow rate of liquids in small pipes, from 8A to 32A in size. It is clamped onto existing pipes inside machines while the fluid is still flowing. No grease, pipe modifications, or sensor distance adjustments are required, and signal cable wiring is eliminated because the detector and flow transmitter are integrated into a single structure.

Compatible with a wide variety of pipe materials and fluids, the FSZ S-Flow measures flow rates using the transit-time measuring method, which eliminates dead zones, and shows the results in an LED display. An optional temperature detector is available for simultaneous flow and temperature measurement.

Broader solutions

Ultrasound technology is also found in multifunctional systems. The recently “reimagined” Ultraprobe 15,000 condition monitoring system from UE Systems analyzes plant equipment such as bearings, steam traps, and electrical systems for conditions such as degradation, leaks, and lubrication needs. The handheld all-in-one ultrasonic instrument facilitates condition inspection, data collection, and analysis.

Blair Fraser, VP of global business development at UE Systems, says of this release: “Our most advanced processor and next-generation camera meet Wi-Fi technology, transforming data collection and onboard analysis. After more than 10 years, it was time to redefine this instrument.”

LubeMatrix from IndustrialMatrix is an autonomous condition-based monitoring and lubrication solution for bearings. Ultrasound sensors measure decibel levels in real time to trend bearing health. Detected issues generate alerts and are analyzed in cloud-based software, where a Lube Logic algorithm determines when and how much lubricant is needed. The lubricant is dispensed accordingly via an automated lubrication system.

Because the IIoT technology monitors friction levels within rotating machinery and seamlessly interfaces with an integrated autoluber, it “empowers the machinery to initiate self-repairs in response to its real-time condition assessment through ultrasound,” explains Steven Pamensky, founder and CEO of IndustrialMatrix. “In essence, LubeMatrix enables a self-sustaining maintenance cycle for these machines, optimizing their performance and longevity through condition-based lubrication.”

Ultrasonic washing and rinsing are among the capabilities of the Ransohoff RBS Modular System from Cleaning Technologies Group, a parts washer system for high-volume applications. Ultrasonic cleaning uses high-frequency sound waves to agitate the liquid, forming cavitation or bubbles that scrub surface contaminants off immersed, challenging parts. A complete system may include wash, rinse, ultrasonic wash, ultrasonic rinse, heated blow off, and vacuum drying. The automated immersion cleaning system can be expanded as needed.

About the Author

Sheila Kennedy | CMRP

Sheila Kennedy, CMRP, is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics. She established Additive Communications in 2003 to serve software, technology, and service providers in industries such as manufacturing and utilities, and became a contributing editor and Technology Toolbox columnist for Plant Services in 2004. Prior to Additive Communications, she had 11 years of experience implementing industrial information systems. Kennedy earned her B.S. at Purdue University and her MBA at the University of Phoenix. She can be reached at [email protected] or www.linkedin.com/in/kennedysheila.

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