Whether you require a flow meter that offers mass or volumetric flow measurements, produces high vs. low flow ranges, or a product that can also regulate and control flow ranges, finding the right flow meter manufacturer who can consistently serve your needs can be a challenging task.
Complete and detailed research is a necessity when selecting your next flow meter purchase, especially when it affects the operational efficiency and/or performance in your organization. For instance, the accuracy of a flow meter could be the make or break difference between measuring a flow sample at the desired fill line and overfilling resulting in costly waste. And the reliability and durability of your flow product extends far beyond the initial purchase.
Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for from a flow meter or just getting started, here are our top considerations to help ease your search:
Determine Your Needs and Desired Application
Flow meters can be used for a multitude of applications, so it’s important to go into your search with a general idea of the application you require and the factors or conditions that can affect it.
A few key details to answer before you start your search are:
- What liquid or gas samples will you be measuring? Are they chemically corrosive?
- What is the sample’s viscosity (for liquid-based samples)?
- At what temperature will your liquid or gas samples need to be measured in?
- How much pressure will you need to measure flow rates?
And if you don’t know what you’re looking for, there’s a professional for that. Reach out to a flow meter manufacturer or distributor by phone or email to see what they would recommend. If a manufacturer can’t provide a product that suits your needs, they’ll typically know another company in the industry that can help.
Performance and Reliability are Key
Two key benefits that people should look for in their flow meters are performance and reliability. Here at McMillan, we are often asked, “what is the lifespan of the product and how reliable will it be throughout its lifetime?” Because of this, it is critical to find a flow meter that will perform as desired with repeatable and reliable results. When evaluating performance consider the following:
- Do you need a product that can measure high or low flow rates?
- What is the construction of flow meter (steel, aluminum, etc.)?
- Is the product field serviceable?
Keep in mind that the type of sample going through your flow meter (viscosity, corrosive chemicals, etc.) and the environmental conditions (extremely hot or cold temperatures, moisture, etc.) can affect the accuracy and performance of your flow meter. Compare your flow meter options with these constraints in mind, as not all flow meters are designed for all flow samples.
Consider the Accuracy of Flow Meters
One of the many benefits of an accurate flow meter is that it is an investment that will quickly pay for itself. Consider a perfume company that is using a flow meter to measure how much perfume goes into each bottle. If that flow meter is inaccurate, it is almost a guarantee that some bottles of perfume will be under or overfilled. If a standard large size bottle of perfume is 100 ml and say you sell 100 bottles a day at $20 per bottle of perfume, with 1ml inaccuracy per bottle that could cost you $7,300 a year!
Even the smallest inaccuracies can make a significant impact on your organization’s bottom line, so it’s important to know that your flow meter’s output is an accurate reading.
A main component of accuracy in flow products is repeatability. If you start to notice inconsistent readings, your flow meter may not be properly calibrated. Recalibration is recommended every twelve months for most flow meters.
Please note: all of McMillan’s products are accompanied by a calibration certificate that ensure your meter reading is going to be an accurate measurement of your samples.
Depending on your flow measurement needs, there are a wide range of price points to consider. If receiving readings from a digital/analog display or regulating flow ranges are not a necessity for your application, a flow switch may be a better cost-effective option.
Most importantly, remember the value that your flow meter will provide, even months or years after you purchase it. A well-made, durable flow meter that requires less maintenance over its lifetime will have less overall costs than a flow meter that is on the lower end in price as it will require more regular maintenance and replacements.
These important considerations will help make your flow meter search easier and quicker. At McMillan, we strive for excellent customer service and our team is made up of experts that are available to answer even your trickiest questions. Contact us about your flow meter needs today.