Manufacturing firms need a constant running of the machine. Many have opted to automate the systems to run 24 hours a day without supervision. Gauging fluids that help the system run or that which make the final products is critical. You should be aware of what you use, the rate of flow, and other traits. It helps to cut losses and raise profits.
There are several types of fluid measurement tools. They all have different uses. Some people refer to them as flow switches. There may be a slight difference between flow meters and flow switches, but you can use the names conversely. Let’s look at the various classes of flow meters that you can use in manufacturing industries.
All flow meters are classified as mechanical flow meters and non-mechanical flow meters. So let’s check each of them.
Mechanical Flow Switches
These are the most common category of flow measurement tools. Many types of flow meters fall under this class; They consist of the simplest tools to use.
Mechanical flow meters have a moving part. The moving part helps in gauging the flow of fluids within a channel. But they need frequent checkups. Some types of flow switches will need to replace the moving part after a few years. They also work well with water-like fluids and gases.
Non-Mechanical Flow Switches
Non-mechanical flow meters do not have a moving part. Thus, they are more sturdy and durable. They are suitable for highly viscous and viscous fluid and dirty liquids. You can also use them with corrosive and risky fluids.
Positive Displacement Flow Meters
These are the type of flow switches that work on the fill and release principle. They fall under the mechanical flow meter class. You gauge the fluid flow by the number of times it filled and release the fluid per unit time.
There are several subtypes under PD meters. They include Gear meters, piston meters, nutating disk meters, rotary vane meters, and others. Let’s check two examples.
Nutating disk Meters
They have a movable disk within the tube. The dick is located in the measuring chamber of the flow meter—the disk rocks in a circulating path within the chamber without rotating.
Piston meters are many, and they oscillate. The fluid fills one vane, and then it moves. The other vane covers the path and waits to fill before rotating. The process continues in an oscillating manner. You gauge the fluid flow by the frequency of oscillations.
Differential Pressure Flow Meters
These meters gauge the flow rate by the differential pressure created through an orifice. The flow velocity relates directly with the square root of the differential pressure created. The flow switches have primary and secondary elements. The primary part changes kinetic energy through a pitot tube, orifice plate, flow nozzle, or venturi flow meters. The secondary element will gauge the flow and send a signal.
Pitot Tube Flow Switches
They are the most common flow measurement tools in the gas industry. First, they convert kinetic energy into potential energy. Then, they use a constriction on the tube to gauge the flow rate.
Orifice plate Flowmeters
These meters are great for natural gas gauging. However, they are affected by low flow and pressure drop. Therefore, only use them when there is sufficient pressure and flow velocity.
Venturi Flow Meters
They are simple and dependable. You can use them where you need a high turndown ratio and low-pressure drop. You gauge the fluid by reducing the cross-sectional area of the flow.
Mass Flow Meters
They are perfect at gauging fluid flow through the acceleration of the mass. The flow readings are displayed as mass moving per unit time. They are found in two categories- Coriolis flow switches and thermal dispersion meters.
These types of flow switches use vibrating tubes to gauge fluid flow. When the fluid is stagnant, the tube vibrates at a known frequency. The frequency changes as the fluid start moving. You gauge the flow by the variance in the vibration frequency.
Thermal Mass Flow Meters
These meters use heat to gauge the velocity of the fluid. They are divided into two. The first category introduces a known heat voltage at point A and measures the heat difference at point B. Thus, you get the velocity by the heat difference at the two points. The second method bring in heat at point A. Then, it gauges the voltage needed to stabilize the heat at point B. Both ways will give you a mass flow of the fluid.
Velocity Flow Meters
These meters gauge the volumetric flow of a fluid per unit time. They give the most direct flow reading that you can use raw. However, they have their limitations. They include vortex flow meters, paddlewheel meters, ultrasonic meters, and electromagnetic flow switches.
Vortex Flow Meters
These meters introduce a disruption in the flow channel. As a result, the fluids form vortices downstream of the disruption. Hence, you gauge the flow by the frequency of the vortices.
Ultrasonic Flow Meters
These meters use sound signals to gauge the flow rate of the fluid. The meter will produce a sound signal and track it downstream. It then calculates the speed at which the sound signal travels from one point to another. The average speed of the sound signals is the overall fluid flow velocity.
Electromagnetic Flow Meters
These flow switches work with magnetic and electric fields. Thus, you use them with conductive fluids. The magnets in the meter track the voltage that the fluid produces. Therefore, the amount of voltage directly relates to the fluid flow.
Turbine Flow Meter
These meters work like a turbine. They have free rotating fluid within the channel; The blades are at a right angle to the flow direction. So you gauge the flow by the frequency of the rotating blades.
Paddlewheel Flow Meters
These meters are pretty similar to the turbine flow meters. The only difference is that they have a magnet on the rotating paddle. They also produce electric pulses to show the flow rate.
Fluids measurement tools help in the smooth running of industries. You select a tool based on the needs of your firm. Another factor for selection is the cost and your fluid traits. Also, it will depend on the level of accuracy you need.