Flow meters are constantly utilized to ensure the proper function of various industrial machines. Its function is to measure the rate at which fluids or gases flow through it. Too much or too little flow could result in malfunction of a machine, so it is important that the flow meter present a proper reading. For this reason, it is generally critical that flow meters be regularly calibrated to ensure that the readings they provide are accurate. There are some standard practices regarding calibrating your flow meter that should be applied, but here are five best practices that you should keep in mind to make sure that your flow meter works at its optimum capacity.
1. Calibration Standard
Generally, if the standard that is used to calibrate a flow meter is not accurate, it will not provide a proper calibration. Therefore, it must be more accurate than the unit that it is measuring. The general rule of thumb is that the calibration standard should be four times more accurate than the flow meter that is being tested. However, it should be noted that this could change depending upon the specific requirements of the calibration that is being performed.
Traceability is an important form of documentation that helps to measure the standard by which the flow meter is being calibrated. The standard that you use should be traceable to a standard that is recognized across the board. By doing this, it helps to verify that the calibration system being used is actually capable of properly calibrating your flow meter.
3. Rate of Flow
Generally, it is key that the rate of flow between the calibrator and the flow meter is consistent. Considering that the calibration reading is determined in real time from the flow that it receives from the flow meter, it must be constant in order for the reading to be sound.
4. Consistent Measuring
Along with evaluating the calibration method, the flow meter should be examined as well to ensure that there are no significant issues with the machinery that could alter the measurement. Those assessing the product should watch for fluctuating levels or temperature changes in the flow meter itself.
When performing the calibration, it should be completed in the same conditions in which the flow meter will actually operate. There are certain factors that affect the way in which a flow meter will operate, including the following:
- Heat content of liquid or gas measured
If the calibration does not account for these factors, it may not provide a proper reading. Usually, the best way to ensure that all factors are considered is to measure the flow meter while it is operating in its regular capacity.
The aforementioned tips are just five of the best practices for calibrating your flow meter. There are a few other things that usually should be accounted for as well. To ensure that your calibration is completed properly, it can be beneficial to have it completed by a calibration professional. Not only can this provide a proper calibration, but it may also help to ensure the continued functioning of your flow meter.