Test and measurement professionals use flowmeters 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 used to measure the 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 a flowmeter’s maintenance requirements and life expectancy. The primary factor is matching the right instrument to the particular application. Poorly selected devices will cause problems.
Flowmeters with no moving parts 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 ensure that the flowmeter measurements are accurate. However, even the best flowmeters will fall out of calibration. Flowmeters can also be affected by dirt or corrosion by the media that flows through them. They also can be damaged by impact, variations, or installation.
Best Practices for Calibrating Flowmeters
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 objective criteria.
- Traceable measurements help prove that your measurements are what the flowmeter reports.
- Standard – Your standard 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 steady. The two are compared in real-time during calibration.
- Measurements of Media: All media measured by the calibration standard must also be measured by the flowmeter simultaneously.
- There can’t be any significant temperature changes, as it will affect the measurement.
- Actual Operation – Matching the calibration with the flowmeter’s application is essential. Depending on your technology, the device used will matter when it is being calibrated.
Calibration Extends Flowmeter Life
Repair and calibration services help extend the life of your flowmeter. They can go out of tolerance, and testing them regularly by an ISO 17025 accredited lab will pinpoint any problems before the situation is unfixable.
So rather than getting a completely new piece of equipment, you can repair or recalibrate the one you already own.
Look for a company with an ISO 17025-accredited lab that can meet all the requirements of your flowmeter. The ISO 17025 accreditation is an internationally recognized standard, and the lab is certified by an outside independent agency.
Research their best practices and turnaround time. The coordination and handling of your equipment are critical when your industry depends on the equipment.