Ashcroft products distributed in southern Africa by Protea Automation Solutions

July 2006 News

Ashcroft's southern African representative, Protea Automation Solutions' (PAS) Field Instrumentation Division, is a broad-based supplier of industrial field instrumentation that provides solutions for a host of process applications.

A combination of world-leading brands and a highly skilled team of professionals ensure that its customers have access to a comprehensive range of quality products. Ashcroft instruments have represented accuracy, quality and reliability in pressure and temperature measurements for over 150 years. The broad line of pressure and temperature gauges and switches is complemented by a full line of pressure transducers and test equipment. Along with more traditional technology, the manufacturer also uses patented mechanical innovations such as Plus, PowerFlex and FlutterGuard movement technology to combat process vibration.

"The relatively new line of digital test gauges offers a total error band specification unmatched in digital or analog gauge products," comments Protea Automation Solutions' (PAS) national sales manager, Jerry Smits. "Whether analog or electronic, we believe that Ashcroft is the manufacturer that provides the reliability our process and general industrial customers require.

Precision digital test gauges offer an accuracy of ±0,05% over the total band
Precision digital test gauges offer an accuracy of ±0,05% over the total band

"With products to suit a wide variety of applications, Ashcroft pressure gauges, temperature instruments, pressure and temperature switches, transducers and transmitters are specified and trusted around the world for the most demanding requirements," continues Smits. "Ashcroft's products find application in industries as varied as chemical processing, oil refineries, power plants, pharmaceutical, food, and industrial equipment. We are confident that the brand has earned a reputation as the industry standard for performance and reliability."

Pressure gauges

Ashcroft manufactures both analog and digital pressure gauges. These products are offered in a wide selection of dial sizes, case styles and wetted parts materials for use in a variety of industrial applications.

Smits says: "We recommend that the user considers the following features of Ashcroft's product range before selecting a pressure gauge:

* Bourdon tube pressure gauges are available in a wide selection of housing and socket materials.

* Gauges are available from 2,5 kPa through to 690 MPa.

* All gauge cases are designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and are supplied in either stainless steel, black epoxy-coated aluminium or phenolic coating.

* Most products in the range are available with an optional built-in throttle plug to help protect against pressure surges or spikes.

* All general service type Ashcroft industrial gauges are supplied standard with a 1% ASME grade 1A accuracy (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). For a higher degree of accuracy, process gauges are available with a 0,5% ASME grade 2 A accuracy.

* Dial sizes range from 63 to 216 mm, thereby matching space requirements with optimum gauge readability.

* Connections available include 1/4 NPT, 1/2 NPT, BSP, JIS and SAE.

* Depending on the application, gauges are either stem, surface or flush mounted."


A comprehensive range of thermometers and accessories are available for various applications.

Bimetal thermometers are supplied in a variety of case styles and temperature ranges. The industrial bimetal thermometer is backed by a limited five year warranty. Each thermometer is manufactured to a standard accuracy of 1% of span.

Gas-actuated thermometers are available with direct and remote mount case styles. Accuracy is within 1% of span.

"Ashcroft's digital thermometers are compact, solid state temperature measurement and display devices," explains Smits. "The products can be panel mounted using either optional mounting flanges that will fit standard 2" and 2´" diameter panel openings, or with a U-clamp bracket in a standard 2" opening.

"RTD thermometers are switchable between Fahrenheit and Celsius and ranges vary between -100 to +500°C.

"Of course, thermowells should be used on any application where the stem of the bimetal thermometer may be exposed to pressure, corrosive fluids or high velocity," says Smits. "Additionally, the use of a thermowell permits instrument interchange or calibration check without disturbing or closing down the process."

Diaphragm seals

With over 30 000 possible permutations, Ashcroft's range of diaphragm seals promises to meet a wide variety of applications and installation requirements. Features include:

* Diaphragm seals can mount directly to the process by means of a female NPT thread.

* ASME B16.5 flanges may also be specified by the user.

* Seal types available are capsule, welded, bonded and clamped.

* Diaphragm seals are normally furnished with a nickel/chrome plated carbon steel top housing, however, 316 stainless steel is offered as an option.

* A standard fill/bleed connection allows the seal and instrument to be evacuated and filled.

As the diaphragm is in direct contact with the process, selecting the proper diaphragm is important. Lower housings are available in a variety of materials to fit the requirements of each application. The standard clamping rings are made of black epoxy painted carbon steel while stainless steel is an available option.

A full-service, custom-engineered diaphragm seals program is available for the unique solutions that are sometimes required.

"With expertise in pressure and temperature measurement and instrument isolation, Protea and Ashcroft engineers welcome the challenges difficult applications present," says Smits. "Unusual seals with special connections, made with particular materials and distinctive configurations are made-to-order for specific application requirements. And, as a manufacturer of both instruments and diaphragm seals, any standard combination of Ashcroft products and seals can be ordered, assembled and shipped directly from the factory."

Pressure and temperature switches

Pressure and temperature switches are offered in a wide assortment of switch elements, wetted materials and enclosures.

Pressure transducers and transmitters

These pressure transducers and transmitters are offered in a wide assortment of pressure ranges and other specifications.

Smits concludes: "Protea Automation Solutions focuses on adding value to its customers by resolving problems, providing technical advice, and showing customers more efficient ways to achieve their production goals. Often these problems are solved by the installation or configuration of instrumentation."

Protea Automation Solutions is the authorised distributor of Ashcroft products in southern Africa.

For more information contact Jerry Smits, Protea Automation Solutions, 011 719 5792,,

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