Measuring instrument supplier WIKA launched a tailored electrical thermometer for applications in the crude oil, natural gas and petrochemicals industries in polar climates.
WIKA Instruments sales GM Ralf Hesse states that the electrical thermometer can function in ambient temperatures down to –60 ºC. He tells Engineering News that the thermometer – officially launched last month – was initially developed because of market demand.
“The company was approached by clients operating in extreme environments to develop a product that performed just as well and with as little maintenance as thermometers used in more forgiving environments.”
Hesse highlights that WIKA Instruments is continually looking to increase its product and service portfolio, which will enable the company to offer a broad range of solutions to its client base. He says expanding the company’s portfolio enables it to offset any fluctuations in economic environments.
The company spent the past two years developing a thermometer that is strong enough to operate in extreme ambient conditions and for use in some of the toughest industries, such as the chemicals processing and petrochemicals industries, without requiring any additional maintenance.
The development process incorporated stringent testing in controlled environments and at polar test sites, which subsequently resulted in a thermometer suitable for use in extreme cold that does not differ in external appearance or accuracy, from thermometers used for standard ambient temperatures of up to –40 ºC, Hesse explains.
He adds, however, that these thermometers are individual solutions made of application-specific and cold-resistant components. “The thermometers provide a reliable solution for low temperatures, not only at the measuring point but also for the complete assembly.”
In a polar environment, regular maintenance by staff on outdoor equipment is “difficult and hazardous”, he says, adding that these thermometers significantly reduce maintenance requirements and as a result the associated risks of performing additional maintenance.
“Each ready-to-use thermometer and its components are tested in line with the requirements at a test temperature of –70 ºC, for thermal shock resistance in accordance with IEC 60079-0 and for IP protection in accordance with IEC 60529.”
Hesse further states that clients can also expect to receive an impact-resistant test with the assembled thermometer, which also has a 12-month warranty for faulty materials or manufacturing defect from date of delivery.
Accuracy, Durability and Safety
Hesse states that the chemicals and petrochemicals industries make extremely high demands on all instruments used in their production processes, which requires that instrument suppliers, such as WIKA Instruments, focus heavily on the accuracy, durability and safety of the instruments they supply to these industries.
He further notes that the company subjects all its instruments to strict international guidelines, such as the Pressure Equipment Directive and Atmospheres Explosibles directive, to ensure the safety and durability of the products used.
“Electronic, mechatronic and mechanical measuring instruments for pressure, temperature and level are used for general applications, as well as in potentially explosive areas, and must operate as satisfactorily in aggressive environments as in nonaggressive environments.”
Hesse states that WIKA Instruments apply sound engineering practices for the long service life of all the equipment it manufactures. This enhances instrument accuracy and industry safety. Unscheduled downtime and efficiency losses that carry substantial costs for safety-critical industries are significantly mitigated by the company’s ensuring the quality of its offerings, he adds.
This results in more consistent product quality, more efficient use of resources and significant capital savings for producers. “WIKA Instruments products are known for their quality and longevity; they consistently outperform similar products. The benefit is not only in the product but also in the after-sales service, technical support and know-how.”
He mentions that being able to supply the correct product, manufactured to the appropriate standard for any location, is a critical component to the company offering.
Hesse adds that WIKA achieves long-term security of supply through a global production network. The company boasts subsidiaries in more than 43 countries and is active in 75 countries. The company holds 15 production sites globally, and South Africa is one such a site. He reiterates that this results in speedy service for WIKA clients globally.