5 Signs Your Flow Control Equipment Needs An Upgrade?

Flow Control Equipment | Flowmetrics

All good things come to an end and flow control systems are no exception to this rule. Most equipment in the flow measuring industry are supplied along with an estimation of the products estimated lifetime. Sometimes this is also supplemented by a technician to account for specific factors that can effect it, due to the intended application of the device during the installation process. These guidelines should be treated as what they are, though, and that is a guide. With regular maintenance being the most competent method of assessing the condition of the equipment, you will be able to identify the tell-tale signs that will indicate all is not well, enabling you to take the correct form of action. Below we identify five common signs that are effective signals in letting you that your flow control equipment is due for an upgrade.


1. Changing Times

The most common need to change or upgrade flow control equipment is brought about with a change in the system that it’s monitoring. This can involve either a new or extended operation within the business or a simple change to the layout of the existing equipment.

As such, any change in practice by the business should factor the systems new needs and circumstance into the planning and budgetary stages of the implementation. This will account for equipment becoming redundant and in need of an upgrade, but also potentially provide an alternative use for the old equipment at another point in the system, assuming that it’s still in good working order of course.

Factors that can have a knock-on effect with monitoring equipment can range from new piping networks which alter the fluid dynamics, different compositions of the fluids contents which therefore exerts different properties that fall outside of the equipment’s operational parameters, or environmental conditions such as increased humidity or increased vibrations in the monitoring area that alters the performance of the control equipment.


2. Incompatible New Systems

A change in physical operations is not the only revision that can trigger the need for additional upgrades. Changes to the computer systems in a business can also play a large part in out-dating old technologies and control systems too can be vulnerable to this.

As the central point of control, flow monitoring equipment can be viewed as the nervous system within an operation. If the networking ability is compromised between either the components of the flow control equipment or to the central processing hub, then this too will require remedial action.  

One advantage within this area is that partial upgrades are a more common solution and also much cheaper and easier to execute. With software upgrades being offered free of charge by many manufacturers for their equipment and patches, in both hard and software, available to bridge communication issues, upgrading computer programs to accommodate new protocols can be a much more straight-forward task. This will still require a trained engineer to implement the changes ensuring there is no faults or bugs which could disrupt the system, but it can also be quickly remedied resulting in less downtime for the business operation.


3. Historic Maintenance and Performance Records

One of the main parts of a maintenance schedule is recording all information discovered and corrected during the service. This might seem to many on the outside as an unnecessary complication which is yet another sign of overreaching bureaucracy, but these records are particularly useful in identifying patterns.  

Certainly within larger companies, the maintenance tasks, both scheduled and ad-hoc, will be completed by different technicians and so the written record of events provides a clear and detailed communication of the equipment’s actual performance. Through analyzing these records it becomes easy to find re-occurring problems being experienced and a reduction in equipment reliability shown through an increasing number of services.

The performance logs, meanwhile, can point towards the system’s overall efficiency over time. This can be used to highlight a deterioration in the equipment’s functional ability which can be more than the sum of its part, meaning that the flow control equipment is becoming compromised beyond the nurture of re-calibration and maintenance.


4. Who Watches the Watchmen?

Whilst historic data provides one avenue, real-time information should also be used to check the accuracy levels being produced by flow control equipment. Through the use of secondary equipment to validate the data being generated from the control system, you provide a safety net and a greater overall level of reliability within the operation.

Portable and clamp-on devices can verify that measurements are correct and within operating parameters, working robustly as intended. More importantly, cross-checking these results can also ensure the equipment is producing accurate information at each point of this parameter range.

When a piece of monitoring equipment begins to fade in reliability, one of the first aspects of its performance to be affected is the range at which it effectively operates. This can, therefore, be used as an early warning that the equipment is reaching the end of its life-cycle or is in need of an overhaul to restore it to maximum operating efficiency.


5. Financially Beneficial

The most central aspect of any business is always the sustained level of profitability being achieved. This can lead to decisions being made that are irrelevant to the condition of existing flow control equipment if a more financially viable alternative is possible.

Not only is the cost of increased maintenance likely to tip a decision, but an increase in the price of spare parts or specialist technical support from third-party companies can also be a major factor to consider, especially if this is brought about because a piece of equipment is outdated and becoming obsolete, as the problem is only likely to intensify.

Another financial factor is the rise of new technology and equipment entering the market. A new solution may become available which offers the business greater savings in running costs. It could, therefore, prove beneficial for the company to replace and upgrade this equipment despite an initial economic outlay and a potentially unavoidable period of operational downtime if the rewards of doing so prove to be favorable in the long-term.


4 Ways to Measure Mass Flow in Laboratory Conditions

Mass Flow | Flowmetrics

Mass flow as opposed to volume flow is a pivotal factor in capturing the full potential from a system, due to the degree of control that it provides the engineer.

While the accuracy of flowmetering devices in laboratory environments needs to be as precise as possible, because of the often delicate procedures that they monitor, this is further complicated by the low flowrate with which they’re measuring across the system.  

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An Introduction to Tools for a Propane Transfer

Propane Transfer | Flowmetrics

Propane is a commonly used fuel that is vital to many operations and industries. Typically, propane is stored in tanks designed specifically for the purpose of holding the fuel in its liquid state. Whenever a particular tank is low, you are often left with two choices: you can purchase a new, full tank or have an existing tank refilled. If you choose the former, all you need to do is make the purchase. If you decide on the latter course, then various propane transfer tools are required.

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Problems With Measuring Flow Rates In The Food Industry

Food Industry | Flowmetrics

Technology has played a significant part in the evolution of kitchen appliances.

The food industry has seen substantial development in recent years, incorporating new technologies to provide higher production rates at lower costs, which have made businesses more financially competitive. With the United States food processing industry generating $750bn in 2015, this represents a sizeable market and a figure that will continue to rise due to increasing demand.  

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The Role of Control Systems In The Gas And Oil Industries

Oil and Gas Control Systems | Flowmetrics

Control is an essential element in the industries which operate within the surveillance for, and extraction of fossil fuels.  

As technologies advance, we are offered an increasing armory in ways to solve engineering problems and create more accurate and efficient processes at the same time. But with more extreme demands being placed on equipment in the gas and oil industries and an increasing need for durability and reliability, support equipment in these industrial control systems becomes more pivotal to ensuring the smooth-running of these procedures.

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Must-Have Features of a Liquid Batch Controller

Liquid Batch Controller | Flowmetrics

Although batch controllers may be used for gases and aggregates, this article will concentrate on a liquid batch controller. Batch controllers are used for dispensing liquids accurately. The amount of liquid varies from small amounts of fluids to the capacity of a whole truck load. They tend to be quite compact electronic devices, being relatively easy to show the required information in a small amount of display space.

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Nitrogen Gas: A Critical Material Flowing through Our Daily Lives

Nitrogen Gas | Flowmetrics

Nitrogen gas is a widely used material involved in operations across an array of industries within the United States and beyond. Often, its use in industry requires a level of precision, requiring that the associated input or output of gas be measured accurately to meet the operational need. One of the easiest methods for measuring the flow of nitrogen gas accurately is with an RF pickup. To help you understand how nitrogen gas is used on a daily basis and why an RF pickup is the best choice for these operations, here is an overview of the element’s properties, uses in industry, and unique measurement requirements.

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Turbine Operations: From Basic Concepts to Flow Controls

Turbine | Flowmetrics

A turbine is a mechanical device that generates electrical energy by harnessing the flow of a fluid. Every turbine features at least one moving part associated with the rotor assembly. These assemblies are comprised of a primary shaft or drum that has blades attached around the curve. As fluid moves across the blades, the rotor assembly begins to rotate, and that motion is ultimately converted into electricity.

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