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Single-use, Gamma-sterilizable Flowmeters for Bio-pharmaceutical and Bio-processing Applications
The SumoFlo® CPFM-8100-Series of Single-Use Flow Meters from Malema Sensors® is a family of advanced flow meters based on the Coriolis principle fabricated exclusively from USP Class VI-certified PEEK (Polyether ether ketone) polymeric material
Improve Safety of Hydrogen Service using Malema™ M-VF Excess Flow Valves

Malema™ M-VF Series Adjustable Excess Flow Valves for Hydrogen Service

M-VF

Hydrogen is a hazardous fluid. Gaseous hydrogen is flammable over a wide concentration range, is easy to ignite, and is nearly invisible while burning. The gas is odorless and colorless, and can cause asphyxiation or unconsciousness if released into an enclosed space. Any rupture or leak in hydrogen transfer lines has to be arrested, avoiding catastrophic accidents. Installing Malema™ M-VF series Velocity Fuses in these transfer lines would prevent such accidents, saving valuable human lives and property.

Figure 1: Typical Flame Ionization Detector

Typical Flame Ionization Detector
  • A. Sample inlet
  • B. Oven
  • C. Hydrogen gas inlet
  • D. Oxidizer inlet
  • E. Positive bias voltage
  • F. Flame
  • G. Collector plates
  • H. Signal out
  • J. Exhaust port

Application: Hydrogen carrier lines in refineries and petrochemical plants

All refineries and various petrochemical and chemical plants use process gas analyzers such as gas chromatographs and TOC analyzers. Hydrogen is used as a carrier gas in gas chromatography and in various analytical instruments, most commonly as a fuel component of combustion gases for Flame Ionization (FID) and Flame Photometric (FPD) detectors. Spark discharge analyzers and total hydrocarbon measurements also use hydrogen mixtures. Using hydrogen as a carrier gas speeds up the process of analyzing the component.

Hydrogen is supplied via tubes from a bank of cylinders and a back up generator system to the analyzer cabin/room located inside the plant where analysis is done. Hydrogen used for this purpose is of very high purity (99.99999% pure).

The Malema™ M-VF series adjustable velocity fuse is a safety device used in tubes and pipe lines carrying hazardous and expensive fluids. A rupture or leak in the fluid path downstream of the safety valve increases the velocity of the fluid beyond a predetermined set level, causing the fuse to shut off flow through the line. 

Many gas analyzer and analyzer system manufacturers use Malema™ M-VF series valves in their systems. References can be produced on request.

© 2016 Malema Engineering Corporation. All rights reserved.

Malema, the Malema logo, Malema Sensors, and Malema Engineering Corporation are trademarks of Malema Engineering Corporation.

Malema supplies this publication for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, this publication is not intended to make performance claims or process recommendations. Malema does not warrant, guarantee, or assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability, or usefulness of any information, product, or process described herein. We reserve the right to modify or improve the designs or specifications of our products at any time without notice. For actual product information and recommendations, please contact your local Malema representative.

Preventing Cross Contamination with MIID

CMP Slurry and DI Water cross contamination events were disrupting operations and depressing yields at a major, multi-national semiconductor manufacturer. On a reoccurring but sporadic basis, the customer discovered CMP slurry contaminating its DI water systems or their CMP slurries supplies were inexplicably diluted. On some occasions, DI water was delivered to the platen when slurry had been requested. On other occasions, slurry was delivered when DI water was requested. Malema Sensors™ was approached for a very low flow, bi-directional flow switch that could detect and provide a warning that these events were occurring.

Malema™ Interconnect Interlock Device (MIID-1000)

Malema™ Interconnect Interlock Device (MIID-1000) U.S.Patent 8,997,789

Challenges


Malema™ investigated and determined that the underlying problem was an intermittent by-pass leak in a three-way diverting valve that developed during certain operating conditions of the polishing tool. The three-way valve was not damaged by these events, but wafers were lost and yield was reduced.


The problem was believed to be unexpected back-flows or internal by-pass leaks through the cross connection point in the CMP polishers. Upon inspection of the three-way valve at the cross connection point, no obvious defects were observed. Clearly, the by-pass leaks resulted from operational conditions beyond the capability of the three-way valve. Various sensors – including pH, conductivity, low-flow directional & bi-directional flow switches, and flow meters – were explored in an attempt to detect these back-flows and by-pass leaks as they were occurring. While it was found possible to detect these cross contaminating back-flows and by-pass leaks, the damage was already done by the time the events were reported.


A solution was needed that prevented these by-pass or reverse flow leakages from ever occurring.


The Malema™ Interconnect Interlock Device (MIID) solves these problems.

The MIID Solution 

Malema Sensors™ proposed a double containment system based on the Double Block & Bleed (DB&B) arrangement used in fuel gas distribution systems. For over one hundred years, fuel gas delivery systems have needed to provide absolute shut-off of gas flow past an isolation point so that workers could service downstream facilities in a safe manner. The solution developed was the Double Block & Bleed piping arrangement (Figure 1). This clever piping arrangement anticipates leaking valves, and yet provides absolutely positive shut-off. It can be relied upon in every situation. Malema started with this DB&B philosophy and added features required to manage CMP slurries. The result is the Malema™ Interconnect Interlock Device (MIID) (Figure 2).

Figure 1 - Classic DB&B

Figure 1 - Classic DB&B


By providing true double containment between the two liquid supplies, internal by-pass leaks and associated back flows are completely eliminated. In addition to eliminating undesired back flow events, the MIID also provides a warning signal when valves in the system begin developing by-pass leaks. From Malema™ lab testing we know that even when all the valves in a MIID are forced to leak there is still no opportunity for a by-pass leak to propagate material downstream to the POU or back upstream to the attached supply systems.

Figure 2 - MIID-1000 P&ID

Figure 2 - MIID-1000 P&ID


Prototypes of the MIID were built, installed and the cross contamination events stopped. On April 7, 2015, Malema Engineering Corporation was awarded U.S. Patent 8,997,789 for the Malema™ Interconnect Interlock Device (MIID) By-Pass Leak Detection and Prevention system.


Malema™ provides three-MIID retrofit kits including all the materials required to upgrade Reflexion® polishing tools. Using these kits, skilled and experienced installation teams have completed polishing tool upgrades in as little as two hours. A preprogrammed, tiny PLC in a watertight enclosure (Figure 3) ensures a simple upgrade.

Figure 3 – MIID PLC and Enclosure

Figure 3 – MIID PLC and Enclosure

The MIID upgrade is completely transparent to the host tool controller. No adjustment to the host tool software is required. Existing plumbing and pneumatic signals are repurposed to manage MIID functions. Electrical connections between the MIIDs and the PLC are fully connectorized using plug & play Turck® PicoFast® connectors. If desired, the leak warning signal generated by the MIID PLC can be attached to existing user input channels on the host polishing tool.

Results

This customer buys new polishing tools and replaces the OEM supplied three-way valve with MIIDs prior to commencing operations. For over five years, MIIDs have been POR for several technology nodes.


Due to confidentiality concerns ROI is difficult to calculate, but the loss of wafers from this cause has been eliminated and in most operations only a few wafers saved more than covers the cost of a MIID upgrade.

 

© 2016 Malema Engineering Corporation. All rights reserved.

Malema, the Malema logo, Malema Sensors, and Malema Engineering Corporation are trademarks of Malema Engineering Corporation.

Reflexion is a registered trademark of Applied Materials, Inc, Turck is a registered trademark of Turck Inc, and PicoFast is a registered trademark of Hans Turck GmbH and Co. KG. Applied Materials, Inc, Turck Inc, and Hans Turck GmbH and Co. KG are not affiliated with Malema Engineering Corporation.

Malema supplies this publication for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, this publication is not intended to make performance claims or process recommendations. Malema does not warrant, guarantee, or assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability, or usefulness of any information, product, or process described herein. We reserve the right to modify or improve the designs or specifications of our products at any time without notice. For actual product information and recommendations, please contact your local Malema representative.

The Holy Grail in Coriolis Flowmeters

For decades in high-purity industries such as pharma, semiconductors and specialty chemical manufacturing, the Holy Grail has been a Coriolis flowmeter that meets USP Class VI for use in ultra-pure measurement applications. Traditional Coriolis flowmeters, with their measurement tubes made from metal alloys, simply cannot meet the requirements of these applications. And for years, the conventional wisdom was that a Coriolis flowmeter with an all-polymer measuring tube was simply not practical.

Malema Sensors appears to have changed that. According to Dan Malani, Malema's CEO, the introduction of the CPFM 8800 High-Purity Coriolis flowmeter is a step change in flow measurement for the high-purity flow applications in pharma and semiconductors. "Existing Coriolis flowmeters are unable to serve a large number of applications simply because they contaminate a process fluid with metallic ions," Malani says. "Such applications include many semiconductor fabrication processes, bio-pharmaceutical processes and numerous applications involving aggressive liquids that corrode metals. Many processes inherently contain bubbles and existing flowmeters (including those that operate on the Coriolis principle) simply can't measure liquids under such two-phase flow conditions."

Malani goes on, "We wanted to develop a new kind of Coriolis flowmeter fabricated from PFA (perfluoro alkoxyalkane copolymer), as well as other plastics, to provide a breakthrough solution overcoming such limitations of traditional Coriolis flowmeters."

Alan Young, Malema CTO (and a founder and vice president of R&D at Exac Corp.), is the design lead for the CPFM 8800. "The design of an all-plastic Coriolis flowmeter was considerably more challenging than designing one from metal," he says. "Our patent-pending flow sensor and its methods of manufacture do not employ any tubing, metal or plastic liners, and required the development of a solid, one-piece structure using several new manufacturing technologies in order to fabricate a complete flow sensor. All wetted components are fabricated from PFA."

Young continues, "The sensor design, while scalable to larger flow rates, allows measurement of mass flow rates as low as 5 grams per minute. Sensor flow paths are currently U-shaped, but sensors with different flow paths are under development. The unique design of the supporting electronics preferentially locks on to the sensor's operating frequency and, unlike conventional Coriolis flowmeters, measures the sensor's Coriolis response continuously."

Young also noted that the CPFM 8800 measures two-phase flow with gas volumetric void fractions as great as 30%.

The CPFM 8800 is supplied in two versions, with four maximum measurement ranges, from 5-1500 g/min to 60-5000 g/min, and varying zero offset stability from 0.06 g/min to 7.0 g/min, depending on the model and flow range. The pressure drop at maximum flow range is quoted at 10 psi of water at 1 cP. Accuracy quoted is ± (1% of reading + 3 g/min), which compares favorably with other Coriolis flowmeters. Operating temperature is 15°C to 40°C, and maximum operating pressure is 80 psig. A 3/8-in. tube connection is supplied as standard. Consult the factory for non-standard temperature, pressure and connection designs.

The wetted material of the flow tube is DuPont Teflon PFA 450 HP and meets USP Class VI for purity.

The flowmeter is supplied with both a 4-20 mADC analog output and digital I/O. The current loop drives 500 Ω maximum load. The digital I/O can be configured as a frequency output (highest accuracy analog output) or as straight digital I/O. The frequency output is 0-10 KHz proportional to flow rate. Tests of the CPFM 8800 as a mass flow controller are currently ongoing at customer sites.

Operator parameter configuration is through a USB interface with a PC or laptop. The transmitter may be mounted up to 30 meters maximum cable distance to the sensor. The CPFM is available in unrated general-purpose enclosures. with IP-rated enclosures forthcoming.