Is your Flow meter delivering its best?
Read on to discover how to extract the most from it!
From Guest Blogger, Edward Simpson of company RS Calibration
Any instrument deteriorates over time. It is a given that to extract the most from it, regular inspection, instrument calibration or an upgrade is mandatory to ensure that the instrument keeps on delivering its best. A flow meter is also one such equipment which is used for diverse applications in numerous fields from agriculture to aerospace. To ensure that such critical equipment consistently delivers its best, it’s important to know the indicators which help you determine whether it’s time for an upgrade or a new purchase.
The parameters listed below can help you decide whether it’s the right time to upgrade your flow meter or not:
♦ If there is a new development or extension in the current operations within the business, or even a small change in the layout of the existing arrangement of the equipment.
♦ Introduction of new piping networks which can alter the fluid dynamics and various compositions of the fluid contents are some of the factors which can affect the monitoring equipment.
♦ Any alterations in the computer systems of your business can give rise to the possibility of the obsolete technologies and control systems becoming vulnerable to it. The flow control equipment is the nervous system of an operation and can be affected in such situations and hence needs to be upgraded.
♦ Historic records help identify patterns in the maintenance of the equipment, recurring problems, frequency of services etc. This data can be used to accurately gauge the need for an upgrade.
♦ Real-time data is equally important and is utilised to keep a check on the accuracy levels of the flow control equipment and helps decide the correct time for an upgrade in this system.
♦ If the flow meter system requires expensive maintenance frequently or its parts are becoming increasingly costly or you need to shelve out a lot of money to hire a technical specialist, it’s time to upgrade the system.
♦ Partial upgrades are also cost-effective and easy to implement. A trained engineer should be hired to implement any type of partial or full upgrades in the flow control system to ensure that there are no glitches in the system. Similarly, for flow meter calibration, it’s advisable to hire calibration experts of an accredited calibration lab.
Selecting a New Flow Meter
In case there is a need for new equipment, keep in mind the following factors before buying a new flow meter:
- Model – There are various models of flow meter available today which fulfil different applications and purposes. A simple profiling of material which is to be measured can help you understand the material’s behaviour when flowing through a pipe. This can help you narrow down on the model of the flow meter. If you are unsure about how to follow this procedure, seek the services of a professional.
- Objective – The type of liquid or gas to be measured, the turndown ratio, required temperatures and whether it will be operated manually or automatically are some of the parameters which can help you zero down on the objective of buying the flow meter.
- Material Compatibility – It’s extremely important to take into account the materials which are to be measured with the help of the flow meter. The model you choose should be compatible with the materials it is supposed to measure. Check each material individually against a reputable chemical compatibility table. Also check your choice of the model with the manufacturer of the fluid to avoid any compatibility issues or problems.
- Cost – A cheaper device may be tempting, but it can cost you more in the long run than the price you pay while buying. First, consider the quality, durability and the performance of the device. If it meets your requirements perfectly, even a slightly expensive flow meter will prove to be cost-effective in the long term.
- Fitting – You also need to consider the fitting or the installation of the flow meter. Keep in mind the exact location of where it is to be installed as this parameter can highly affect the device’s efficiency and accuracy. Is it likely to be affected by any obstructions in the pipelines such as bends, valves or joints? These aspects can hinder the flow of the materials to be measured hence consider them before making the purchase.
Choose a flow meter which suits the needs of your business. Also, keep in mind that the flow meter should be upgraded and calibrated as required at the right time for optimal outcome. Such simple steps can help boost the efficiency of your operations.
Author Bio: Edward Simpson works for RS Calibration Services and has a knack for finding faults in machines and does not rest until they are rectified to perfection. He lives in Pleasanton, CA and loves to write about how machines work and about the importance of proper care and calibration of equipment. When he’s not working or writing, he loves to run to stay fit.