Best Practices for Flowmeter Calibration

Best Practices for Flowmeter Calibration

Best Practices for Flowmeter Calibration

Test and measurement professionals use a flowmeter in a variety of different applications.  Some common industries that require it are Aerospace, Agriculture, HVAC, Energy and Utilities, Water Management, and Pharmaceutical.

What is a Flowmeter?

A flowmeter is an instrument that is used to measure linear, nonlinear, mass, or volumetric flow rate of a liquid or a gas.

How Much Maintenance Does a Flowmeter Require?

There are several determining factors in the maintenance requirements and the life expectancy of a flowmeter.  The major factor is matching the right instrument to a particular application.  Poorly selected devices will cause problems.

Flowmeters with no moving parts will require less attention than units with moving parts.  However, eventually, all flowmeters will require maintenance.  Specifically, they will all require calibration.

Why Calibrate a Flowmeter?

Regular calibrations will assure that the flowmeter measurements are accurate.  Even the best flowmeters will fall out of calibration.  Dirt or corrosion can also affect flowmeters by the media that flows through them.  They also can be damaged by impact, variations, or by the installation.

Best Practices for Flowmeter Calibration

Standard best practices in calibration apply to flowmeter calibration as they do for all test equipment, flow calibration also has some specific best practices to keep in mind.

  • Traceable – Your standard should be traceable to a recognized standard. Traceability provides an unbroken chain of documentation that shows how the measurements it makes compare to even more accurate standards.  Traceable measurements help prove that your measurements are what the flowmeter reports.
  • Standard – The standard that you are using must be accurate enough to perform the calibration. The guiding rule is that your standard should be four times more accurate than the device under test.
  • Rate of Flow – The device under test and the calibration standard must be in a steady-state. It compares the two in real-time during calibration.
  • Measurements of Media – All media measured by the calibration standard must also be measured by the flowmeter at the same time. There can’t be any significant temperature changes, as it will affect the measurement.
  • Actual Operation – It is important to match the calibration with the flowmeter’s application. Depending on the technology you are using, the device usage will matter during calibration.

Calibration Extends Flowmeter Life

Repair and calibration services help extend the life of your flowmeter.  They can go out of tolerance. By testing them regularly by an ISO 17025 accredited lab will pinpoint any problems before the situation is unfixable.  So rather than having to get a completely new piece of equipment, you can repair or recalibrate the one you already own.

Flowmeter Calibration Experts

Look for a company that has an ISO 17025 accredited lab that can meet all the requirements of your flowmeter.  The ISO 17025 accreditation is an internationally recognizable standard. The lab’s accreditation comes from an outside independent agency.  Research their best practices and turnaround time.  The coordination and handling of your equipment is critical when your industry depends on the equipment.