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Why Measuring Flow is a Difficult Task: Flowmeter Technologies

By David W. Spitzer and Walt Boyes

E-Zine September 2014

Click here to read "Introduction"
Click here to read "Physical Properties"

There are over 10 broad flowmeter technologies from which to select a flowmeter for a given application. Within each broad technology are a number of related technologies, each of which are manufactured by a number of companies. If one assumes that each of 10 broad technologies contains five related technologies, each of which has five suppliers, there are approximately 250 possible flowmeters from which to select. Recent flowmeter studies performed by the authors indicate that there are over 20 suppliers of Coriolis mass flowmeters, over 40 suppliers of vortex shedding and other fluidic flowmeters and over 60 suppliers of magnetic flowmeters. These three technologies alone would account for about half of the estimated 250 suppliers. The implication is that there are many more flowmeter suppliers. Further, when the individual flowmeter models are considered, the number of potential flowmeters from which to select is well into the thousands.

Notwithstanding the large number of available flowmeters, even selecting from among the broad flowmeter technologies can be a challenge. Different technologies react to different operating conditions and flows differently. Determining which flowmeter technology is most immune to the actual process conditions in a given application can be overwhelming, and is often beyond the skill of a technician.

Click here to read "Calibration Complexity"

From Flow Control (August 2002)

ISSN 1538-5280

Spitzer and Boyes, LLC
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