How to Choose a Flow Meter

Introduction to Types of Flowmeter

The flow meter is used to measure flow from fluids (liquid with liquid flowmeter), sludge with a sludge flow meter, or gas with gas flow meter), both in high temperature or low temperature. In choosing a type of flow meter, the fluid condition and flowmeter function should be compatible.

Before choosing the type of flow meter, we need to know that the characteristic of there is a wide range of fluids that can be measured with flow meter, such as corrosive fluids with high acid level characteristic is more compatible with flowmeter made from material like PVC /nonmetal.

Based on the conducted analysis, the biggest mistake done by someone who wants to purchase flow meter and another instrument equipment is not fully understanding the product and even cannot describe the specification of the desired flow meter. Another cause is the flow meter distributor which basically just want to sell their stock of flow meter as fast as possible. Because of this, if the wrong decision is made when choosing, can cost greatly and make flowmeter accuracy not reached, no additional benefits, high maintenance cost, and short service life.

There are many types of flow meter that are used in industry, such as electromagnetic flowmeter, ultrasonic flow meter,  coriolis mass flow meter, etc. And based on its applications, flow meter divided into water meter, fuel meter, solar meter, flow meter air, mud, flange, seawater, etc. Based on its installation flow meters are divided into the clamp on, flow meter portable, flow meter inline, flow meter insertion dan open channel flow meter.

Choosing the type of flow meter

Before purchasing flowmeter, its better to just understand its function to measure the flow of fluids, but also understand its service life, budget, installation cost, maintenance cost, and how optimal the flow meter you are going to purchase.

The many models and types of flow meter manufactured by various manufacturer must be a critical point for engineers to be able to get a rough picture based of the desired application, which compatible with its purpose and usefulness of flow meter installation, which suited with means and position of flow meter installation method, this can help choose flow meter with long service life and low maintenance costs .

For fluids with high temperature, special material is used. Same principles applied to fluids with high-density level, types of flow meter need to be adjusted. For fluids applied to food ingredients or drugs which demand pipe and flowmeter material with food-grade more or less similar to stainless steel SUS 316L, because it is better suited. For corrosive environment such as at sea, body and flange flow meter might be more suited if made using stainless steel material.

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Determining types of flow meter

Thorough understanding of fluid characteristic and benefit, also how Flowmeter works and functions of flow meter itself, is needed. There are various variables need to be considered when CHOOSING FLOW METER when determining the type of flow meter and model of flowmeter suited our desired application. These variables for choosing flow meter are:

  • Type of Fluid that will be measured using flow meter : gas, water, chemical, oil, liquid gas, sludge, etc
  • Measurement is done by flow meter only for flow or the total amount of fluid flown or both
  • The viscosity of the fluid, cleanliness/dirtiness of the fluid (muddy, dusty, or clean) flown to flow meters
  • Purpose of Flowmeter : as a measurement tool for flow, total volume, control, switch;  sending an electric signal as control or data to a computer or handphone via message.
  • Whether the display is needed or not flowmeter or electronic signal output or electrical output.
  • Amount (max dan min) from Flow rate, working Pressure, Temperature of the fluid measured using flow meter
  • Whether a waterproof system is needed or not flow meter or if the area is flammable or explosive or normal
  • Chemical or food usage, the acid level of fluid, whether food grade is needed or not for flow meter material, which often used in pharmaceutical, food, or drinks industry.
  • Size of the pipe where flow meter is going to be installed, including means of installment, using flange or fitting or screw connection system
  • flow meter installation system: Vertical or horizontal
  • Another information that is needed to choose a type of flow meter because basically flow meter can be made/ordered tailored to the buyer (custom)
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