Choosing the Right Flow Meter for Your Installation

Choosing the Right Flow Meter for Your Installation

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You need a flow meter.  That much is clear, but how do you know that you are choosing the right product for your needs?  There are many flow meters on the market today and those can make a wide variety of claims, which can make it even more confusing to know that you are selecting the right one.  However, if you take a few moment to consider the following, you will be able to make a much more informed decision.

Expense v. Whole Life Cost By nature, we seek the least expensive alternatives for nearly every project we take on in life.  Most of us are living and operating on fixed budgets.  Therefore, the lower the price tag, the most attractive the option.  However, when looking for the right flow meter, it can be dangerous to consider the upfront expense only.  There are different turbine designs.  Some are designed with economy in mind, others are made to provide low-cost operation with longevity.  How soon will you have to replace the unit?  How likely is it that you will have to regularly pause your operation in order to inspect, repair, or calibrate the instrument?  These questions should weigh into the equation as well.  In other words, you must consider the total cost across the life of the flow meter to know much value you are getting for your investment.  Often, inexpensive is synonymous with cheap.

Type of Application Not all flow meters are made for all possible situations.  If you are using chemicals in your operation, you must be certain that the new piece of equipment will be immune to them.  Also, the viscosity of the liquid being push through the flow meter must be considered.  Flow meters may have limited sensitivities, which would immediately rule them out if you are working with a liquid of very high viscosity.

Weigh in the Technology Some of the flow meters will be more advanced than others.  Some many communicate with controls that can send immediate alerts to the operators.  Some can be used to automatically stop operation when a problem with the flow is detected.  Some can be diagnosed remotely.  It may be worth spend a larger percentage of your budget, if it means that the process will be more easily managed via high-tech capabilities.