Low-cost flow meters utilise hygienic materials

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Titan Enterprises has supplied various low-cost flow meters and totalisers for applications in vending machines and cellar management.

Low-cost flow meters utilise hygienic materialsOver 25 years Titan Enterprises has supplied low-cost flow measurement sensors to the beverage vending and cellar management industry, based on custom engineering of industrial designs using hygienic engineering materials and mouldings. Trevor Forster, the Managing Director and Chief Engineer, believes in taking advantage of modern engineering plastics, which also drives down production costs. With the development of modern micro-based electronics, low-power and battery-powered units have added to the ability of Titan to meet further requirements in the industry, exemplified perhaps by the latest Titan development for bar or cellar soft drink dispensing systems, the stand-alone Metra-Sum post-mix syrup totaliser.

The Titan Metra-Sum unit uses a positive displacement flowmeter principle, often referred to as an oval gear meter, which gives good measurement accuracy even when used on viscous fluids, a wide flow rangeability, from 0.15-4 litres/min, and is unaffected by external factors such as line size, configuration, pressure and temperature. Where the Titan Metra-Sum is different, is that the meter body is moulded from food-grade polysulfone, with food-grade silicon seals and rotating elements within the meter. With an integral battery-operated six-digit totaliser, the meter has a local display that shows the volume of syrup dispensed, in litres, enabling the supplier to monitor the total syrup usage in that supply line. Like any other Titan design, the unit is available with a variety of connectors, such as plastic John Guest push-in fittings, and these Metra-Sum units are already widely used by several soft drink system suppliers to monitor the use of their equipment. Further models in the range are planned, such as units providing both flow rate and total information, and with electronic outputs for remote monitoring

Beer meter

Flows of less viscous fluids, such as beer, are measured using one of the original Titan plastic moulded flowmeters, known as the beer meter. This uses the Pelton wheel principle, a precision turbine that rotates freely in the flow, on robust sapphire bearings: within the turbine are some encapsulated ceramic magnets, and their rotation is detected externally, through the chamber wall, by a Hall effect sensor within the sensor-mounted electronics. One version has a four-digit totaliser measuring the quantity of beer dispensed, in pints or litres, up to 999.9. Used for vending and bar management, the electronics has numerous security features to indicate any attempted tampering or interruption to the power supply: resetting or zeroing of the meter can only be achieved using the programming unit held by the bar manager.

Titan beer meters are used for bar management, honesty bars in conference centres, table dispenser taps in bars in the USA and Australia, for monitoring student union bars, and even for dispensing mulled wine. Many sports venues now offer portable vending systems, and Titan beer meters are capable of vending 566ml of beer, to a 3ml tolerance, within the desired dispense time of 4.5s. The same Titan flow sensors are used in other drinks vending systems, dispensing non-alcoholic drinks and providing the flow measurement pulses that allow specified quantities to be delivered.

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