Understanding Radiation Measurement with Flow Meters

Radiation Measurement | Flowmetrics


Generally, radiation is constantly emitted for various reasons and in different ways. Even with its benefits, it can be quite dangerous. For this reason, it is critical that radiation levels be properly measured and maintained. There are a few different tools that may be used for radiation measurement, which can be helpful in many situations. Check out these facts on why radiation measurement is necessary and the different tools that can be used to help.

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How Flow Computers Work

How Flow Computers Work | Flowmetrics

A flow computer is a specialized type of computer that uses complex calculations to interpret the data from flow meters and to calculate and record the volume of a particular flowing substance at a particular point in time. Flow computers can be used for gases or liquids and are in demand across various industries. For most accurate and consistent results, flow computers should possess sophisticated programming, a user-friendly interface and damage-resistant hardware components.

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Industrial Internet of Things Improvements

Industrial Internet of Things Improvements | Flowmetrics

Sensors, actuators, and controls systems have been critical and individual to each industrial company. From the control of specific proprietary processes to monitoring the state of a piece of equipment, these systems have solved unique problems for each company. With the entrance of the industrial internet of things, or IIoT, these custom made systems will be developed to accommodate as many applications as possible into each piece. Some new insights to look forward to include;

  • Much more context to equipment states. What is the ambient temperature and humidity for each piece of equipment? What percent of maximum run speed is the equipment set at to adapt to these conditions?
  • A shift from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance. With a schedule of repairs accurate to the number of cycles, equipment can be serviced to continue operations efficiently instead of bringing broken units back online.
  • Real-time mapping of raw materials, intermediates, and personnel. A more accurate count of what materials are on hand, how quickly the process is running, and monitoring employees for safety will vastly reduce the overhead and liability of processing facilities.

Energy efficiency and sustainability gains are possible with the integration of smart machines, smart monitoring, and smart environmental controls.


Click here for the complete list and full article by Shelia Kennedy.

How Flow Meter Calibration Impacts Responsible Water Management

How Flow Meter Calibration Impacts Responsible Water Management | Flowmetrics

Flow meters are common equipment with any system designed to transport fluids or gas from a point of origin to multiple delivery points. Like any type of equipment, normal wear and tear, malfunctioning components, or even things like leaks in the lines can affect the efficiency of the meter. When the goal is to make the best use of limited resources, like in the case of the current water crisis in California, calibration provides several key benefits. Here are a few examples to keep in mind.

Identifying Disparity Between The Standard Flow and the UUT

Calibration makes it possible to identify when a system is performing at reasonable levels. This is accomplished by comparing the rate of flow during normal operation with the results of the flow during what is known as the Unit Under Test or UTT. If the system is functioning properly, there will be little variance between the two figures. When the disparity is outside an acceptable range, that could mean the meter is in need of replacement components. At the same time, it could also mean there is a flaw in the delivery system that is preventing the meter from providing the most accurate readings.

Fluctuation in the Rate of Flow

In order for the calibration to be successful, the rate of flow during the testing must be constant. If something is happening to cause the flow to change in terms of volume or pressure, there could be a problem with the meter. Those fluctuations could also indicate a breakdown elsewhere in the system. Checking the meter to ensure all components are working properly will make it easier to isolate the issue and take action to restore control of the flow.

Detecting the Presence of Dirt or Corrosion in the Meter

The disparity could also indicate that some type of residue has collected in the system and is interfering with the function of the meter. This is most likely to take place when the filtration methods used do not adequately remove contaminants as the water flows through the system. The presence of the residue will create a false reading that may seem to indicate the flow meter is malfunctioning. If the meter is in perfect working order, then checking the system for dirt or corrosion is the next step. 

Identifying the Presence of Leaks

Leakage is another issue that can cause the calibration to fail. That’s because the variance between the actual flow and the UUT are increased significantly. Checking the meter and finding no signs of deterioration will prompt a check of the lines used to convey the water. There’s a good chance that one or more leaks will be located and subsequently sealed. Once that’s done, the calibration test will return positive results. 

The waste of resources, especially when any type of shortage is occurring, is something that must be avoided at all costs. Choosing to set up a schedule for calibration and having a professional manage the task is one of the best ways to determine if the meter is doing the job and if there is a problem beyond the meter that needs to be addressed. Rest assured that the testing and equipment checking will result in efficient water management that makes it easier for businesses to function and consumers to have access to enough water to get by until the drought is over.


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GE Power Returns to Industry Roots

GE Power Returns to Industry Roots | Flowmetrics

General Electrics has been facing hardships with the oil decline and overall in general conglomerate management. Having shed GE Capital as well as its appliance business, it is refocusing on power production and energy distribution.

GE’s power division is expecting demand for higher peak generators that can produce up to 55 gigawatts of power and an upturn in the market share for H-class turbines. Overall the demand for power generators is expected to rise quite a bit, with heavy duty gas turbines the majority of those products. 


Click here for the full article by Shayan Shamim.

A Guide to Ratemeters

A Guide to Ratemeters | Flowmetrics

Measuring flow requires that you have adequate means for reading information. Ratemeters and totalizers offer a user the ability to understand exactly what is happening within the mechanisms of flow metrics. Without these handy gadgets, measurement is far more difficult. It is important not to rush through this facet of flow measurement, as you might find that there are a number of variables to consider when choosing a ratemeter and totalizer. In the following, you will read about several different kinds of ratemeters.



912-MRTThe 912-MRT, otherwise known as the MINITROL, is a ratemeter with six digits and a two level, five digit preset alarm control. There are two inputs, A and B, which can be calibrated in three different ways:

  • “A” subtract “B”
  • “A” add “B”
  • “A” and “B” as separate totalizers

Moreover, the MINITROL can handle a whopping 10,000 pulses per second. With five digits and a floating decimal, you can measure in true blue engineering units with the rate set in terms of seconds, minutes or hours. You can also toggle between the current rate and total without disrupting the count. This ratemeter is perfect for all kinds of flow measuring fun.



918-RTPIf you are searching for something a little more futuristic, you might want to look into the 918-RTP, which boasts a 2 X 16 backlit LCD display with a ratemeter and totalizer that you can preset by way of two pulse inputs. You can even connect this piece of equipment to a network for data acquisition. Like the MINITROL, the 918-RTP has two inputs (A and B), each of which can define up to 16 points of K-factors. What does this mean? Well, simply put, this allows for a greater degree of accuracy, which makes this ratemeter worthy of consideration for future purchase.




920-KRT8The 920-KRT8, known as the KEPTROL, is a serious meter allowing for 20,000 pulses per second. It is faced with a .55” screen that displays both numbers and letters. With a 16 point K-Factor this unit can give majorly accurate readings. Perhaps the most wondrous attribute of this ratemeter is its capacity to transmit data to remote totalizers, computers, programmable controllers and many other kinds of digital data storage devices. To top it all off, the KEPTROL offers you the ability to protect your information with a password. This can be useful if you are storing your equipment in a place that is accessible by other people or if the measurements belong to patented research that you want to keep away from the vying hands of competitors.

You might find that there are a lot of overlapping features, such as two programmable inputs, toggling capabilities, security features and alarms. Because of these shared features, it would be advisable to seek out an expert to help guide you through the tedious work of researching the many kinds of ratemeters. He or she can help you determine what you actually need. After all, an LCD screen might look sleek, but upon closer examination you might discover that it is actually superfluous.


Flow Control and Pressure Measurement

Flow Control and Pressure Measurement | Flowmetrics

Control operators rely on pressure readings to monitor the state of processes within the facility. Usually those employees responsible for recording the measurements read from Bourdon tube gauges and are manually entered into the data management system. Other than continual monitoring pressure readings can hint at upcoming maintenance.

Bourdon tubes gauges are a long standing tradition in pressure measurement, they are simple to install, operate, and low cost. Because of the little thought given to these gauges, they often are maltreated or neglected. Process fluids can be corrosive and pressure spikes can cause leaks or ruptures, leading to shortened lifespans for Bouron tubes. Fluid filled gauges can overcome some of the wear and tear from constant surges in pressure, but hearty taps from operators checking the gauges can cause more damage.

Upgrades do exist for Bourdon tubes, mainly in the form of wireless transmitting models, but this feature can cost up to 4 times as much per gauge. Ultimately the decision to use wireless models or traditional gauges depends on the design requirements of the system. Data from wireless gauges must be routed through a gateway connected physically to the data management system, and can only handle a specific maximum of devices through each gateway device. 


Click here for the full article by Wally Baker.

PID Controls

PID Controls | Flowmetrics

PID control stands for proportional, integral, and derivative control. This type of process management is used to maintain set parameters, and works well for temperature or motion. All three portions of this control setup manage whatever parameter you desire in different manners.

Proportional control controls how far the measured parameter is from the set parameter. In terms of temperature it will tell you how far off from ideal the process is running; i.e. +1.85 °F or -.07°F. Managing the process with proportional controls alone will work, but the systems will swing between over- and under- correcting.

Integral controls are added onto proportional controls to factor in timing into the setup. By measuring the time between measurements of the parameter the system can determine the speed at which the motion or temperature are changing; i.e. -.1 °F/second. By knowing this measurement the system can then account for this with more precision, cutting down the amount of over-correcting. Still this combination will need one final layer to appropriately maintain the parameter dynamically.

Derivative control measures the acceleration of the parameter, in effect the speed at which the speed is changing. With this level of control, the parameter changes can be dampened and returned to the set point reliably. In terms of motion parameters, with a properly installed PID control system a ball bearing can be kept from rolling off a glass plate even when pushed by people.


Click here for the full article and tuning tips by Mark Bacidore.

Water Corrosion Protection

Water Corrosion Protection | Flowmetrics

In steam producing boilers high temperatures and pressures increase the likelihood for corrosion and failure from said damage. The main culprit in this situation comes during the shutdown process, as pressure drops air enters the boiler and oxygen within the air reacts with the metal boiler causing weaknesses and pits in the metal. These small weaknesses can turn into leaks quickly requiring immediate shutdown.

To solve the problem of oxygen entering the system a nitrogen blanket can be installed. This is a system which fills the boiler system with nitrogen before dumping the pressure to eliminate air ingress, nitrogen is non-reactive in the system avoiding further pitting or corrosion. Supplying nitrogen for a blanket can come from bottled sources, liquid supplies, or through pressure swing adsorbtion.


Click here for the full article by Brad Buecker.

Tell Your PLCs from Your IPCs

Tell Your PLCs from Your IPCs | Flowmetrics

Before the personal computer, operation controllers had PLCs, programmable logic controllers, to manage what machinery was doing. Now we have PACs and IPCs to add to the mix, and the confusion over which does what and where each is best grows.

A PLC is the origin of control specific machinery, built to last through extreme environments and relaying on/off instructions to machinery based on input from sensors. The most applicable situation is amusement park rides. An operator pushes the command to execute the ride, and the PLC takes over from there. Some can be as simple as automating the order of events of one precise schedule, and some can manage variables to adapt the schedule as needed. 

PACs are programmable automation controllers, and these do much the same as PLCs but without the option of inputs. A PLC can function as a PAC, but usually the reverse is not true.

An IPC is an industrial personal computer, and these carry out much more computationally heavy tasks. One common situation that IPCs excel at is mixes of materials that vastly change properties at different ratios. 


Click here for the full article by Dan Herbert.