A flow meter has numerous applications for various different industries. It is a device that is used to measure the rate at which a quantity of liquid or gas moves through a pipe. It is important that flow meters provide accurate readings, especially in applications where there could be dangerous results to improper measurements. As such, they should frequently be calibrated.
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.
The Positive Displacement Flow Meter
The measurement of volumetric flow requires a relative degree of exactitude because a failure to this end could result in a breakdown in organizational decision-making. This is why a flow meter is essential for all those individuals and companies who have a vested interest in the functionality of flow rates. Of course, each situation requires unique engineering standards that adapt to the contextual constraints. The type of flow meter you choose will thus depend on a number of different factors, such as type of gas or liquid; minimum and maximum flow rates; whether the flow is continuous or not; and the maximum pressure at the location, just to name a few. It should also be stated that not every situation requires supreme accuracy. For instance, water flowing to a vineyard may only need accuracy of 5 to 10 percent, but for those applications that require a greater degree of precision, the positive displacement meter is probably the best bet, as it is the only device to directly measure exact volume. In the following, you will become acquainted with some of the applications of this nifty piece of equipment.
The Final Frontier of Flow
It might come as no surprise that one of the major users of this product is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with many other aerospace and aviation companies. As you can imagine there is a great deal of liquid and gaseous flow to track, so the applications are many. The most notable use of this product is the detection and measurement of the flow of dinitrogen tetroxide, otherwise known as rocket propellant, using the 915 BATRT Field Indicator in explosion proof housing. How else could NASA engineers accurately measure the gargantuan amount of fuel flowing into those beastly ships?
It is easy to forget about all the labor that goes into the refinement of crude oils before they are injected into a nation of vehicles. A whole slew of additives have to be pumped into this natural resource, from simple surfactants to corrosion inhibitors. Chemicals, such as these, are injected at high pressures and have to be monitored to ensure accuracy. Because these chemicals vary in viscosity and density, the flow meter must be able to handle a number of different kinds of liquids. That is where positive displacement flow meters come in. Due to the tight spaces between moving parts, this type of flow meter is able to handle the high pressure rating. Without these specially made gadgets, the world economy might literally screech to a halt.
The List Is Too Long
There are too many possible uses to run through here. The list goes on and on. The following are some of the possible applications of positive displacement flow meters:
- Hydraulic Test Stands
- Batching and Mixing
- Lubrication Oil Blending
Wherever there is need for an accurate measurement of volumetric flow, this ingenious trinket will be on call. For more information about the uses and advantages of this type of flow meter, look up a distributor online or in the phonebook. Talking to an expert can help you decide which flow meter is right for you.
Flow meters are used in many industries to measure and control the movement of gases or liquids. Accuracy is crucial in order to ensure that the manufacturing process is going smoothly. Precise measurements are key to many kinds of manufacturing, processing and transfer processes. For this reason, manufacturers look for the highest quality flow meters available on the market.
Why Regular Calibration Is a Must
However, even the most durable and sensitive meter can become imprecise and lose accuracy after prolonged use. Some common causes are regular wear and tear, exposure to moisture or corrosion due to chemicals. Flow meter function can also become disrupted due to accumulation of dirt, impact or faults in the installation process. Regular inspection and calibration of your flow meter is necessary in order to ensure consistently precise readings. To ensure that your calibration of your flow meter achieves the results you want, it is smart to follow the following best practices.
Use Accurate Testing Equipment
First of all, make sure that your testing equipment is up to standard. This means that before you can start using your standard to test your flow meter’s measurements, you must take care to test your standard against another recognized standard and document the results. This will help you maintain a high degree of accuracy when checking the precision of your flow meter’s measurements.
Test Your Testing Equipment
In addition to comparing your standard’s accuracy to that of an already known standard, make sure that its measurements are sufficiently accurate. When you are using a standard to calibrate your flow meter, your standard typically needs to be four times as accurate as the meter you are testing. In some cases, the accuracy requirement can be different based on the specific type of calibration.
Ensure Typical Environment
Now that you have checked your testing equipment, you need to make sure that the testing environment is conducive to precise results. If you want to know how your flow meter is operating on a daily basis, you should test it under conditions that are as similar as possible to its typical environment. The type of substance whose movement is measured by the meter can affect operation, so be sure to test using the same substance. Factors such as heat, density and rate of movement can also affect operation; thus, for optimal testing accuracy, these should also be similar to the regular operating environment.
When testing, it is important to keep the flow rate steady. In a typical testing scenario, you will be making a real-time comparison between the flow rate of your meter and your testing standard. Thus, variations in system flow can lead to imprecise results and suboptimal calibration.
Eliminate Variations in Heat and Volume
For best calibrating results, your testing unit will need to measure everything your flow meter regularly measures, simultaneously. This means that it is important that there not be any variations in temperature or volume during the testing process. Before beginning the calibration, check the system for leaks or other irregularities that could compromise test results.
If you find that you are unable to calibrate your flow meter successfully, it may be time for a repair or an upgrade. Flow meters can lose function when they are being used in applications where a particular type or model is not optimal. Improper installation can also lead to damage that may not be easily fixed by recalibrating. Consult your manufacturer as to the best type of flow meter for your purposes.
Turbine flow meters are a popular way of measuring liquid and natural gas flow. Also known as an axial turbine, this type of meter consists of a turbine wheel that is placed in the stream of the flow. The flow pushes the meter’s angled blades, causing the turbine to rotate. Flow rate can be determined based on the turbine’s rotation rate once it becomes steady. The rate of rotation is typically picked up by electronic coils that are connected to the meter’s housing, and then turned into readings that can be accessed by the user.
Minimal Flow Disruption
One advantage of a turbine flow meter is that it offers minimal disruption to the flow. Because the flow can continue right through the turbine, there is little pressure loss and speed can remain fairly high. For this reason, they are often preferred for purposes water distribution, fire protection and for large commercial projects, where a high rate of flow and high pressure is desirable. On the other hand, applications where flow rates are low will typically use meters that are considered more accurate but tend to impede flow rates, such as displacement meters.
Ensuring Maximal Accuracy
Turbine meter measurements can be affected severely by factors such as flow profile, temperature and flow rate and content. Strainers installed near the meter can help protect the turbine from debris that could damage it. Depending on specific conditions, users may choose to put additional protective measures in place to ensure maximally accurate and consistent flow measurements.
With today’s advancements in technology, turbine flow meter accuracy has also improved. Increased sensitivity allows for the precise measurement of even extremely low flow rates in some models. Manufacturers also continue to develop blade and rotor materials that are highly sensitive, durable and less vulnerable to drag and other factors that have traditionally decreased accuracy. Some types of turbine meters are also able to measure and record variations in flow with a high degree of precision. Another way in which flow meter makers have reduced inaccuracy is by reducing the rotor’s inertia. A high inertia would keep the rotor spinning fast even after flow had decreased, leading to inaccurate results. A low inertia lets the turbine reduce speed together with the flow.
Maintenance and Calibration
Regular inspection and calibration is essential to keeping a turbine flow meter accurate. For best results in calibration, test your meter under conditions that are as close to normal operating settings as possible, keeping the flow composition, rate and temperature substantially similar. In addition to regularly scheduled inspections, check your meter in the event that you are receiving inconsistent or unusual readings that cannot be explained by actual variations in the flow.
Malfunction may occur as a result of regular wear and tear, impact by debris, corrosion or buildup of dirt or viscosity. Problems may also happen if your meter is calibrated incorrectly or was not properly installed. While some problems can be fixed by recalibrating or performing minor repairs, others may necessitate partial or total replacement. If you are using an older turbine flow meter, be aware that recent developments have substantially improved measurement accuracy; thus, it may be wise to invest in an updated model.
Turbine flowmeters are a common component for machines used in the aviation, chemical and energy industries. Crucial for measuring the flow rate of fluids or gases, quality turbine flowmeters are necessary for determining accurate metrics, and by extension creating a quality product or carrying out an important service. Engineering innovation and design has made it possible for many well-built turbine flowmeters to enter the marketplace. While shopping around for a flowmeter, keep in mind these important features:
- Reliable digital reading – Current day products allow for easy measurement reading by possessing a digital output sensor that keeps track of the rate and amount of gas or fluid traveling through the flowmeter.
- Versatility – Ideally, your flow meter should measure both pulsating and fluctuating flow with a quick response time.
- Low rotor inertia – Lower inertia ensures better efficiency and accuracy during operation.
Plan Your Project With a Professional
Whether you need one flowmeter or several dozen, consulting with someone who is an expert in the industry can be beneficial both in terms of financial savings and product knowledge. A knowledgeable company representative can assist in determining which flowmeter product is the most economically viable and expertly designed for your needs. Simply looking at brochures with specific product specifications might not truly tell you what you need to know.
Take care to speak with someone who is open to collaboration. A representative willing to listen to the details of your project can offer input pulled from previous clients and an in-depth understanding of the flowmeter industry. In fact, major flowmeter companies often offer engineering services if there is no flowmeter on the market perfect for your project. Offering state-of-the-art design techniques and meticulous testing, these companies are able to create a product that can take your project to the next level.
Rely on a Product Warranty
Whether pre-made or custom designed, most turbine flowmeters come with a product guarantee ensuring that your part will be replaced free of charge if it breaks because of a design error. Usually valid for up to one year after your purchase, this warranty is an excellent way to ensure that your purchase is protected in case of a breakdown. Without a warranty, your company is at risk for profit loss for an event that could have been easily remedied with no loss of collateral.
Install Your Product Properly to Ensure Maximum Functionality
The best way to protect your machine from malfunctioning is ensuring that everything is installed correctly. While many have in-house employees able to complete this job, others chose to rely on professionals from the company delivering their product. In some cases an outside professional is able to install your product more precisely, especially if it is custom designed. Proper installation ensures that your flowmeter is taking accurate measurements and working correctly in conjunction with other parts of the machine
Whether you need a turbine flowmeter for an airplane or a manufacturing plant, taking the time to choose a quality product from a company just as passionate about engineering as you is the key to a successful project.
Flow meters today are designed to function with flow computers. An efficient and sophisticated piece of equipment, the flow computer is able to receive and interpret signals from digital and analog instruments such as flow meters, temperature and pressure gauges, flow control valves, samples and liquid provers. The computer makes a complete record of all data received, along with any changes to parameters.
In order to fulfill its intended function, a flow computer must be highly precise and able to monitor and record measurements in extremely small increments. Another universally necessary characteristic is durability. These devices are in use across a variety of industries, where they are frequently employed in an environment with varying temperatures and may come into contact with damaging gases or liquids. In order to ensure that measurements and records remain reliable and accurate, it is important to ascertain that your flow computer’s casing and components are designed to perform in the environment you need.
Flow computer are used in many diverse industries today in order to obtain precise measurements and analyses of products. These devices are sometimes referred to as cash registers, due to being widely used to monitor custody and transfer of substances such as natural gas and oil. Computers are also used to monitor and record steam, liquids and gases by food and drink manufacturers, water companies, plants that mine and process metals and minerals, chemical factories, pulp and paper companies and power stations.
Flow computers are used to monitor the flow of gases and liquids in many types of industries, from petrochemicals to food manufacture. In order to obtain optimal results, it is best to choose a computer that is most suited for your purposes. Today, there are many types of computers available with a wide range of attributes and options. It is important to select the one that performs the full range of measurements you need without being cluttered with unnecessary functions. For example, some flow computers also perform chemical analyses and gas density calculations. Other functions may include:
- Environmental compliance monitoring;
- Remote metering capacity;
- Heat flow equations.
Most flow computers need some additional configuration and calibration in order to perform most accurately. Look for models that are easy and intuitive to set up; an overly complicated system is more likely to cause setup errors and ultimately cause inaccurate reporting from your computer.
Maintenance and Inspection
To remain at the peak of their function, computers should be inspected regularly. Scheduled inspection and maintenance is a good way to assure that you are getting the precise measurements you need, along with a comprehensive record. If your flow computer was installed many years ago, some of its components may be obsolete and no longer available on the market; support from the manufacturer may be very limited or entirely non-existent. With new advances in digital technology being made continually, computer manufacturers are able to offer ever-increasing precision in measurement. Updated proprietary metal alloys are also available for durable and secure casing.
The flow computer is an essential part of many types of industries. Manufacturers rely on it for accurate measurement and analysis of work product. Keep your in good order with regular inspections and updates when necessary.
Not everyone has the mechanical knowledge necessary to find the variable area flow meter that they need. There are several common types that satisfy the needs of the majority of people: in-line, single flow and multi-stage flow, all with unique characteristics that make them function differently. Educate yourself on the technicalities of your problem and the flow meter that you want so that repairs and constructions can be easier.
In-Line Flow Meters
An in-line meter is a high-pressure machine installed on horizontal and vertical pipe lines. It typically measures water, oil, hydraulic fluids, acids, glycerin, naptha and cotton seed oil. It is used for residential or commercial purposes. Quality in-line meters typically resist shocks and vibrations and have alarms that can alert people when the pressure is too high or low.
Make sure to select a product with the correct gallons per minute (GPM) capability, seal, fitting and size measurements. Anything from stainless steel with a Teflon seal to aluminum with Viton is available.
Single Flow Meters
Single flow meters offer a little more sophistication than in-line models. Many have a custom scale attached that allows for direct reading of measurements. They are used in any different industries, including aerospace, military, chemical, pharmaceutical and energy, for applications such as foam production and bench testing.
Take the time to decide on a proper precision accuracy rate, flow and pressure rates and temperature requirement to eliminate unnecessary features and save money. Many of these flow meters last a good 15 to 20 years, and more efficient models are always being developed. It is worth the time to speak to a professional who can give you valuable advice and information about the latest models.
Multi-Stage Flow Meters
Multi-stage meters have pressure reduction capabilities for temperature control and an internal filter. If needed, a sensitive valve provides highly accurate readings. Since multi-stage products typically have anywhere between two and four tubes, there are many customization options available for interstage piping and valving, and end fittings.
To protect yourself against future malfunctions, search for products that have a warranty; you might find a quality product that is guaranteed up to one year. Finding the right multi-stage meter can increase your machines’ productivity and efficiency, saving you time and money. Every industry is different; purchasing the right product can have big payoffs for companies heavily dependent on mechanical liquid flow, such aviation manufacturers or laboratory facilities.
Installing Your Flow Meter
Once you purchase an appropriate model, it is time to install it on your machine. Many figure out how to do it themselves, but to ensure that your meter is functioning properly it never hurts to turn to an expert. Many companies have professionals that provide installation and calibration service that you can take advantage of to make sure your meter is tweaked precisely so you can receive optimal benefits.
With a little research, you can decide which flow meter is truly right for your needs. A reputable company that has been in business for a long time and has strict testing standards for its products is your best bet for answers if you have any questions.
When it comes to chemical processing, achieving immaculate measurements is an essential part of business. Anything less than an exact count can lead to serious consequences. At best, you might offset your inventory, and at worst, you might anger a client who is buying your product. Although accurate measurement is an important part of chemical processing, it can be difficult to find the tools necessary to accurately and efficiently gauge chemical contents. One solution that many chemical companies have employed is the use of flow meters to gauge the flow and distribution of chemical solutions.
Calibration Service Can Save You Time
In addition to flow meter technology, some providers use individual calibration services in their business. Chemical processing involves far more than just measuring quantities, though. It also entails many other processes, such as:
- Calibration: All tools used to measure and treat chemicals must be thoroughly monitored and calibrated for accuracy. This process can often be automated or simplified by some models of flow meters.
- Collection: Condensate residue is a byproduct of processing certain chemicals, and it should typically be collected and measured. This step, too, can be completed by flow meters with the necessary tools integrated.
- Processing: Many chemicals, such as crude oil, require processing before being sold or used. Processing entails removing impurities and measuring the ingredients of the chemical.
Each of these services is an essential aspect of chemical processing.
Improving Processes for Both Buyers and Sellers
The above processes are all important parts of chemical processing, but perhaps the most essential services a flow meter can provide is its ability to reduce manual effort, maximize efficiency and improve the quality of the chemicals produced. How can a single tool accomplish all this? Most flow meters integrate many tools into their interface, which is one way it can maximize efficiency. It reduces manual labor by eliminating extra work a processor may have to do, and chemicals blended or refined in it are reliable in their consistent quality. Each of these benefits aids both buyers and sellers in maximizing value.
Achieve Reliable Readings in Nearly Any Context
One of the purposes a flow meter can serve in chemical processing is used less often, perhaps, but it is no less useful. A flow meter can help you gain a reading on the flow of chemicals not currently being processed, such as chemicals housed in a separate plant or pipeline. Sometimes measuring production levels and contents in these is important for processing, and certain kinds of flow meters can offer the resources you need to collect data. These measurements can help processors better understand how chemicals work before and after processing, so that processes can be improved when necessary.
A Variety of Options That Work
One of the best things about flow meters is that fact that they may include a variety of features and functions. They are certainly one of the best choices for processing chemicals and completing every other aspect of this process that might be required. A flow meter can help you simplify your processing and improve your efficiency.
In the situation of flow control under streets there are two common practices, and one new method to maintain standard regulations; on-site metering, off-site metering, and near-site metering.
On-site metering locates the flow meter in the same manhole as the pipe(s) to be measured. If the manhole installation is classified as a confined space, calibration and maintenance may pose a problem. In this situation multiple operators, a hoist, and gas detection equipment may be mandatory and pose increased costs for maintenance. Some of the difficulties may be avoided by installing remote reading equipment, but to calibrate the flow meter the operator must enter the manhole.
To avoid traffic congestion due to maintenance off-site metering utilizes a manhole placed outside of traffic flow for reading, measuring, and calibrating the flow meter. Concerns with the off-site metering methodology is lag-time between visual observation of the flow rate and calibration of the flow meter. As distance between the measurement location and the remote calibration location increases the possibility and degree of error increases as well.
A compromise of both methodologies above is the near-site metering practice. In this situation a short manhole is located directly next to the metering manhole, yet outside of traffic. In this shorter manhole the flow meter and remote reading equipment is placed, preferably on a telescoping stand. By sealing both manholes from each other, even if the operator must enter the new manhole it is not calssified as a confined space therefore avoiding additional operators and equipment.
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