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.


Signs of a Poorly Constructed Valve System

Signs of a Poorly Constructed Valve System | Flowmetrics

  • Bolts that are too long: If engineers are wasting money on excessively large bolts, they must be cutting corners somewhere.
  • Non-isolated control valves: Maintenance is always required, if there is no way to easily remove a valve then maintenance is not being done on the valve.
  • Lack of pressure gauges and connections: At some point it will be necessary to monitor the pressure at the valve. Build with future needs in mind.
  • No air vent caps: Valves that reduce pressure will buildup air pockets during operation, if this air is not vented you can bet a costly repair will be needed soon.


Click here for the full list of signs by Mark Gimson.

Hydraulic Valves Preventative Maintenance

Hydraulic Valves Preventative Maintenance | Flowmetrics

Hydraulic systems are dependent on every part within the system, any small leak or failure from one piece will bring the system to a grinding halt. The fluids used in particular systems can even harm personnel nearby or the environment in the occurrence of failure. Valves are critical to hydraulic systems as they control the flow of hydraulic fluid through the system to perform work. A preventative maintenance program should focus on valves more thoroughly than any other component.

Reactive maintenance expects to run components to failure, often valves fail first, and then enact repairs while productivity is zero and then make up for lost production time later. This process is costly and usually fraught with high tensions. A preventative maintenance schedule uses time or specific conditions to “schedule” repairs and replacements. This scheduling process can be in terms of time; i.e. replacing seals and gaskets every 2 years, or it may be based on operations; i.e. after every 5,000 cycles, or both depending on which “schedule” comes first. 

Industry data shows that performing maintenance on a scheduled basis is three to five times less expensive than the same repair being made on a reactive basis.


Click here for the full article by Mickey Heestand.

What is Good Control Design?

What is Good Control Design? | Flowmetrics

A good design to a control room will facilitate efficiency and minimize liability. The design will enhance an operator’s efforts to produce the desired results in production. Since 2000 the International Organization for Standardization has produced a set of standards, ISO 11064, for control room design. Most of these standards deal with ergonomics and layout for the room, and adherence to these standards can greatly protect a company from injury lawsuits.

ISO 11064 helps establish good design standards with measurable results to avoid control rooms like many of us have experienced. Designed control rooms, control buildings and operation camps that feature a user-driven approach, work with ISO 11064 requirements, and integrate architectural, interior design and human-factors elements optimize performance.

First and foremost in the design process focuses on safety; locating the control room outside of blast zones, pathways of heavy equipment, and insecure environments. Further efforts deal with employee access and localities.


Click here for the full article by Mary Ann Lane.

What to Know About Your Flow Computer

What to Know About Your Flow Computer | Flowmetrics

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.

Diverse Uses

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.

Precise Function

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.

If you are reading this on any other blog than Flowmetrics it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@Flow_metrics. Come and visit our blog at https://flowmetrics.com/blog/.

Flow Control Through Smart Components

Flow Control Through Smart Components | Flowmetrics

Hydraulic-power units in Colorado’s Carter Lake are being fit with smart systems to optimize the flow rate of water through the dam. Through the use of PID controllers, position feedback devices, and backup manual valves installed in parallel Carter Lake Hydroelectric maintains the flow of water through its wicket gates in turn regulating the generation of electricity from the flowing water.

The entire hydaulic system is designed for long term use with little maintenance. Redundant oil filters maintain internal hydraulic components, fluid check valves prevent counter-flow from harming sensitive pressure sensors and flow meters. 


Click here for the full article by Leah Scully.

Choose a Flow Meter That Is Right for You

Choose a Flow Meter That Is Right for You Flowmetrics

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.


If you are reading this on any other blog than Flowmetrics it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@Flow_metrics. Come and visit our blog at https://flowmetrics.com/blog/.

Metering Pumps Need Turndown for Efficiency

Metering Pumps Need Turndown for Efficiency | Flowmetrics

Water treatment plants, chemical processing facilities, and offshore platforms all seek to maximize efficiency, and in metering pumping processes leveraging the turndown capabilities vastly decreases the waste of chemicals.

Turndown is expressed as a ratio of the metering pump output. If a pump is capable of a maximum of 1,000 gallons per hour (gph) and it has a 100-to-1 turndown ratio, then it can be adjusted to a flow rate as low as 10 gph and still perform within its accuracy rating.

But a turndown ratio means little without an accuracy rating as well. For example, the example pump above with an accuracy rating of 1% max flow rate means that at a flow rate of 1 gph, the pump may be pumping +/- 10 gph, possibly 1,000% the intended amount of fluid. 

The entire purpose of a metering pump is to dispense a specified amount of fluid. Turndown is so important in that varying levels of chemicals or raw materials might be required in the moment. Being able to modulate the amount of processing chemicals will reduce the overuse during processing.


Click here for the full article from Pumps & Systems.

Digital Energy Lifelines

Digital Energy Lifelines | Flowmetrics

The digital oil field promises lower costs and improved production in times of low energy prices. While lower prices are good for consumers, energy producers are hurting and looking towards technology to save them.

Traditionally well and pipeline data has been gathered manually. Technicians, armed with wrenches and clipboards, record flow rates, adjust valves, measure tank levels, read gauges, and travel to the next site down the supply line. Each round of visits can be expensive in both money and time, as technicians must fix any malfunctions and return to relay their findings. Flow meters, level indicators, and internet-connected well sites are the expected solutions.


The digital oil field combines a number of old and new technologies into a network permitting remote operation of wells, no matter how distant and isolated their locations.


Click here for the full article from Hart Energy.