Sensors & transducers In addition to the digital display, the valve also

has an acoustic and visual alert signal. The alarm indicates critical situations such as a low fill level or a limited gas flow caused by a bend in the hose. This gives patients greater safety when monitoring the cylinder themselves. This new and innovative gas cylinder system is

called LIV IQ (Linde Integrated Valve) and has become very well established on the market. The major advantage of this system lies in the self- monitoring aspect and the better mobile oxygen supply, for example when transporting a patient. Furthermore, it helps nursing staff tremendously as they spend less time taking readings as they know down to the exact minute how much longer the oxygen will last with the current settings.

NetworkiNg of digital oxygeN cyliNders

cylinders with the aim of simplifying hospital logistics. The project definition was to develop a digital valve which is compatible with the existing, durable oxygen cylinders. Linde found its way to KELLER via an official call for projects.

New level of competeNce thaNks to complex startiNg poiNt

KELLER is Europe’s leading manufacturer of isolated pressure transducers and transmitters. Its many years of experience in providing customised solutions and its relish for new challenges made the company an ideal partner for Linde. KELLER has been developing fill level measurements with specifically designed sensors for all manner of difficult environments for many years now. With the project for Linde Healthcare, however, KELLER took the deliberate decision to take on this new challenge in order to further develop its internal infrastructure and process operations for products in the medical industry. Aside from making it compatible with the

existing cylinder, no modifications to the structure of the new digital valve were permitted. In addition, the sensors must also meet the high purity standards required for medical oxygen applications. In order to meet these standards, KELLER had to develop a completely new sensor which was fully tailored to the specified environment. The sensor needs to be able to measure pressure ranges of up to 300 bars and must be manufactured in a sterile room.

from aNalogue to digital

In order to meet these strictly defined specifications, the project team tested out a variety of designs and prototypes until they found the perfect combination. The recently developed pressure transmitter is extremely robust, reduced to the bare essentials and is made with materials

Instrumentation Monthly April 2019

that tolerate oxygen particularly well. With these qualities, the PA-5 sensor by KELLER excels with its very compact structure and is now becoming the centrepiece of Linde’s digital oxygen cylinders. The analogue sensor built into the valve

measures the pressure of the gaseous oxygen in the cylinder and sends this information to the electronics behind the display via a plug connection. The patient can access the following prepared data at any time using clear icons.

The optimisation of medical gas supplies will go a step further in the future. There are plans for an IoT (Internet of Things) process for the LIV IQ. The valve’s digital data will then be integrated into an internal hospital network via radio and prepared in a customer-friendly way. Nursing staff can access all digital, acoustic and visual display information from any workstation within the hospital across a network. Once again, this vastly reduces the additional effort of checking each oxygen cylinder in situ. This step towards the Internet of Things is

currently being developed by Linde Healthcare. With this planned solution, the next generation of the LIV IQ will revolutionise how oxygen cylinders are managed in hospitals. “When you break new technological ground as

Linde has done with the LIV IQ, it is very reassuring to have the best experts on your team. When it comes to pressure measurement technology, there was no doubt that KELLER met these requirements admirably. What is important in our case is not only that our suppliers have the necessary technical expertise, but also that they are prepared to offer individual solutions. Last but not least, only top production quality is good enough when it comes to medical applications. In KELLER we have found a partner who emphatically supports us in this endeavour,” comments Bernd Rieker, global expert, Medical Devices, Linde Healthcare. “Thanks to the close cooperation with Linde,

KELLER was able to gain valuable knowledge about the market requirements for medical oxygen in the product development and launch phases. This is how, for instance, the quality of the working environment in specific production departments at KELLER was boosted to a new level. In return, Linde was able to benefit from KELLER’s extensive experience in the fields of pressure sensor measuring and sensor data analysis and compensation. With the pressure sensors that are currently being developed, the joint path into the future of intelligent oxygen cylinders is being paved,” adds Michael Mack,, product manager, KELLER.


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