Within industrial applications it is important to measure the behavior of liquid flows (e.g. measuring tomato paste when producing ketchup, measuring fiber flows when producing paper, and measuring drilling fluids when drilling for oil). The reason for this is simple; the liquids exhibit different properties depending on how they flow. By measuring the flow profile, the desired properties can be generated, ensuring the correct end result. In other words, the flow profile provides the information needed to adjust the flows, in order to get the desired properties. Failure to create desired flow behaviors results in defect products and/or processes.
There is a great need to be able to measure the flow profile directly in process lines, without delay. It is also a great need to measure complex flows. More than 95% of all liquid flows in industrial applications exhibit complex (so called non-Newtonian) flow behaviors. These flows are especially difficult to measure. There are currently no instruments or methods on the market able to accurately characterize the flow profile of these complex flows directly in process lines (in-line) and in real-time. This poses a great and increasing challenge in many industries.
Our overall aim is to fundamentally change the way our customers approach their quality control, from time-consuming off-line measurements in the quality control laboratory, to continuous real-time process monitoring and control directly in the production line. The vision of the company is to be the leading measurement technology supplier in the world for complex industrial liquid flows.
Flow-Viz AB will develop and market the RheoFlow/Flow-Viz system, a new ultrasound based in-line fluid characterization system, developed especially for opaque, non-Newtonian industrial fluids and suspensions. Measurements are made non-invasively through process pipes, even through high grade stainless steel pipes. The instrument delivers real-time data such as instantaneous velocity profiles and rheology of complex industrial fluids and suspensions thus for enhanced process monitoring and quality control.
Researchers at The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK), Gothenburg, Sweden and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Cape Town, South Africa, have jointly solved this problem. They have developed a method and prototype system for real-time measurement of complex liquid flows within industrial processes. The method is known as the UVP+PD method and the developed prototype system is called RheoFlow. During ten years of research, the team has improved and optimized every aspect of the method, making its capabilities and performance unique. A patent application has been filed and no similar solution exists on the market.