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SmartMeasurement™ is a leading provider of flow measurement solutions, with over 40 years of experience in the design and application of various flow meter technologies.

Flow Meter Page Alsonic


ALSONIC series flowmeters employ both transit time and Doppler ultrasonic flow measurement techniques to allow for non-invasive clamp-on and inline installation in liquid flow measurement applications.

ALMAG Magnetic Flow meters


SmartMeasurement's ALMAG electromagnetic flowmeters provide the best value for accurate, maintenance-free flow rate measurement for conductive liquids such as water.

Flow Meter Page Coriolis Family


The ALCM series Coriolis meters provide high accuracy mass flow measurement and the ability to simultaneously measure media density, temperature, % concentration, volumetric flow and mass flow.

Flow Meter Page Pd


Smartmeasurement's ALPD positive displacement flowmeters are the ideal choice for applications involving high viscosity liquids or with limited straight pipe runs available.

ALVT Vortex Flow meters


ALVT series vortex meters are able measure all three phases of fluid media - liquid, gas, and steam. These meters are ideal for high temperature applications such as steam flow measurement. 

Flowmeter Page ATMF


ATMF series thermal mass flowmeters offer excellent accuracy for compressed gas flow measurement and provide direct mass flow readings that are unaffected by variances in pressure and temperature.

ALTM Turbine Flow metersr


The ALTM series of turbine meters from SmartMeasurement provides users with a time-proven, reliable low-cost flow measurement method for clean, low viscosity liquids and gasses.

ALDP Differential Pressure Flow meters


ALDP series flowmeters consist of a primary flow element combined with a differential pressure transmitter. These meters may be deployed for liquid, gas, or steam applications.  

ALVA Variable Area Flow Meters


The ALVAMT from SmartMeasurement is a metal tube rotameter that may be installed horizontally or vertically. This meter provides a low-cost mechanical solution that does not require a power source.

Flowmeter Energy Meters


SmartMeasurement's™ Energy/BTU meters employ a liquid flowmeter combined with two RTD temperature sensors for measuring supply and return temperatures in order to calculate energy usage.

Flowmeter Page Mass Flow Meters


SmartMeasurement™ offers a comprehensive array of solutions for liquid, gas, and steam mass flow measurement applications. Products offered include vortex, thermal, and Coriolis meters.

Flowmeter Page Open Channel


Smartmeasurement™ offers area-velocity meters for open channel flow measurement employing both Doppler and transit time ultrasonic flow measurement technologies.

Overview of Flow Measurement

Flowmeters measure the quantity of a fluid passing through a pipe or channel in any state such as liquid, gas or steam. The flowmeter is calibrated for a specific set of conditions and cannot measure two states simultaneously. Older technology flowmeters, such as turbine meters or positive displacement meters, typically consist of a primary mechanical device such as a rotating turbine or set of gears, a transducer to convert the mechanical action into an electrical signal, and a transmitter to process and send the signal to a receiving device such as a computer or PLC. In recent years, the use of primary devices has been surpassed by flowmeter designs that are purely electronic, consisting only of transducers and transmitters. In this type of design transducer or sensor detects the fluid velocity and sends a raw signal to an imbedded microprocessor integral to the flowmeter which manipulates the signal into various meaningful outputs.

There are many, many techniques and technologies for measuring flow and often times it can be very difficult to determine which technology is best suited to to a given application.  Some flow meters measure volumetric flow rate, others velocity or mass flow rate, and some infer volumetric flow based on differential pressure, area or force. As such, each different technology may be affected in different ways, or not be affected at all by factors such as media density, viscosity, temperature, pressure, or conductivity.

Most flow meters measure speed, or fluid velocity, and use the correctional area in a pipe or channel to determine volumetric flow via the equation Q (volumetric flow) =V(velocity) X A (correctional area). Examples of flowmeters that measure velocity include magnetic, ultrasonic, turbine, and vortex.

Other meters, such as Coriolis and thermal flow meters measure mass flow directly, while only positive displacement flowmeters directly measure volumetric flow.  Finally, there are inferential flowmeters that do not measure volume, velocity or mass, but rather measure flow by inferring its value from other measured parameters such as differential pressure across a known obstruction, force measured against a target placed in the flow profile, or variable area flowmeters which relate linear displacement of a float with known mass and geometry to the measured flow rate.  

Many newer technology flowmeters feature integrated flow computers to compensate for variances in actual process conditions such as pressure, temperature, viscosity and density in real time. Other new technologies such as Coriolis or thermal dispersion are capable of measuring mass flow directly which means that they are unaffected by changes in pressure, temperature and viscosity and do not require the real-time compensation.

SmartmeasurementTM offers a comprehensive portfolio of all flow technologies to address whatever operating conditions your specific application entails. This website provides a resource to explain the theory of operation for each and the tools to help identify the ideal meter for your situation. 

How to Choose a Flow Meter

Evaluation of any flow meter for a given application must consider the following:

1. Reliability 

A) Does the sensing element contain moving parts which require periodic maintenance?
B) Does the meter contain analog transducers that may drift over time?

2. Matching your Application Parameters with a Flow Technology 

Are the meter’s application parameters such as pipe size, flow rates, pressure, temperature, etc. suitable for a particular flow technology? Please see technologies and process limits downloads – in metric or U.S. units. Flow Technologies and Process Limits MetricDownload Metric Download2Download U.S.

  • 3. Accuracy
  • Is the meter accuracy stated in percent of full-scale or percentage of reading?
  1.   i) High accuracy: 0.1% for liquid, 0.5% for gas/steam
  2.   ii) Standard accuracy: 0.5% for liquid, 1.5%  for gas/steam
  3.   iii) Economical accuracy: >1% for liquid, >2% for gas/steam
  4.   iv) What is the rangeability or turndown? Turndown ratio is a measure of the instrument’s rangeability and is defined as the full-scale calibrated flow rate divided by the lowest flow rate that the instrument is capable of measuring.  A flow meter that is capable of measuring flow rates ranging from 10 to 100 GPM would have a turndown ratio of 10, or 10:1.  A higher turndown ratio generally corresponds to a higher quality, more accurate instrument.


Since most flow meters that sense velocity are sensitive to turbulence, they must be installed at a specific point within the process pipeline that contains a length of straight, rigid pipe that is long enough to ensure laminar flow so that the meter is able to provide stable, accurate readings.  In the flowmeter industry, this is referred to as a straight-run requirement.  The following chart illustrates the maximum and minimum runs of straight pipe required for each of the flow measurement technologies. Straight Run RequirementsDownload 

5. Price Range

Flow meters are available with a wide variety of capabilities and price points.  Selecting a flowmeter for any given application is a process of balancing the application requirements and needs with the amount of money budgeted for instrumentation.  The following chart provides typical pricing for various flow measurement technologies broken down by industry/application. Estimated Cost of Various Flow TechnologiesDownload

6. Best Fit Flow Technology

Best fit flow technology based on fluid media: liquids, gases, and steam can each be measured with several different flow technologies.  Once the selection has been narrowed down based on the media phase, other application-specific factors related to the media such as chemical compatibility with the meter’s wetted parts, the media viscosity, and the media density must be taken into account. Flow Technologies and Their LimitationsDownload

7. Old Technology Versus New Flow Technologies.

Some flow technologies, such as positive displacement, turbine, differential pressure, have been around for at least a hundred years and have been proven to be reliable.  However, these technologies also have mechanical parts that are subject to wear-and-tear that can increase maintenance and overall cost of ownership.  Other new technologies such as ultrasonic may have higher initial costs, but are much easier to install and do not have any mechanical parts to wear out.  As a result, these instruments have an overall lower cost of ownership over the lifetime of the instrument.  When selecting a flowmeter, cost of installation and overall cost of ownership should be evaluated along with the initial purchase price.  Please see. Yearly Cost Savings of Using Advanced Flow TechnologiesDownload

8. Installation Conditions to Avoid

Any given flow measurement technology will have certain conditions that need to be avoided.  These conditions could include things like excessive vibration, high suspended solids count, insufficient straight pipe runs, or other factors.  Consult one of SmartMeasurement’s application engineers if there are concerns about a meter’s suitability in a specific environment or application.


Configuring a Flow Meter

In each SmartMeasurement product data sheet, the top of page four is reserved for customers to input their process conditions for evaluation.  The following information MUST be evaluated in order to choose the best flow meter for your application.  After an ideal flow measurement technology is identified using the table below, the information at the top of page 4 of the corresponding data sheet needs to be completed in order to narrow the selection down to a specific model code. This information typically consists of:

1. The Name and Phase of the Fluid Media 

A) Liquid – all flow meters can measure liquids except thermal
B) Gas – Thermal, vortex, Differential Pressure, Coriolis and some ultrasonic
C) Steam – Vortex and Differential Pressure

2. The Pipe Diameter or Channel Size

3. Operating Conditions

A) Flow rate (maximum to minimum)
B) Gas – Pressure (maximum to minimum)
C) Temperature (maximum to minimum)

SmartMeasurement’s application engineers can help to determine the best technology for your application and put together a specific model code.

Please go to:

Technology Gas Flow Liquid Flow Steam Flow Line Size Temperature Pressure Viscosity Accuracy Considerations
Coriolis Flow Meters

Not available at SmartMeasurement

0~18K kg/min 0~40K lb/min

Cannot Measure

15mm~200mm ½~8

-50 ~ +200 °C -58F ~392 °F

420 bar 6920 psi

< 30 cP

±0.15% of Reading

Avoid vibration

Differential Pressure Flow Meters

Unlimited flow

Unlimited flow

Unlimited flow

15-3K mm

196 to 850 °C
-312 to 1562 °F

420 bar 69200 psi

< 30 cP

± 0.2% and ± 0.5% of Reading

Must include DP transmitter
Magnetic Flow Meters

Cannot Measure

0 ~ ± 12 m/s
2 ~ ± 2360 f/m

Cannot Measure

6 ~ 2K mm
¼" ~ 80"

180 °C
356 °F

350 bar
5076 psi

< 30 cP

±0.5% of Reading

Conductive fluids ONLY
Displacement Flow Meters

Not available at SmartMeasurement

0~ 27K LPM
0 ~ 7133 GPM

Cannot Measure

6 ~ 400 mm

0 ~ +250 °C
0 ~ +482 °F

1600 bar
23206 psi

5 ~ 1,000K cSt

±0.1% of Reading

Liquids must be clean
Thermal Flow Meters

0 ~ 200 m/s
0-40K f/m

Cannot Measure

Cannot Measure

6.3 ~ 1K mm
¼" ~ 40"

0 ~ +450 °C
0 ~ +852 °F

40 bar
580 psi

Cannot Measure

±1% of Reading
± 0.5% FS

Gases must be clean
Turbine Flow Meters

Not available at SmartMeasurement

0 ~ 25K LPM
0 ~ 6604 GPM

Cannot Measure

15 ~ 250 mm
½" ~ 10"

-275 ~ +350 °C
-463 ~ +662 °F

4000 bar
5801 psi

0 ~ 60 cSt

±0.15% of Reading

Liquids must be clean
Ultrasonic Flow Meters

Not available at SmartMeasurement

0 ~ ± 32 m/s
2~ ± 6300 f/m

Not available at SmartMeasurement


20 ~ +300 °C
-4 ~ +572 °F


< 30 cP

±0.5% of Reading

< 30% solids -TT unlimited DPL
Variable Area Flow Meters

0 ~ 4K SCMH
0 ~ 2354 SCFM

0 ~ 3,333 LPM
0~881 GPM

Cannot Measure

6 ~ 200 mm
¼" ~ 8"

-80 ~ +200 °C
-112 ~ +392 °F

40 bar
580 psi

< 300 cP

± 1% of Reading
Liquids must be clean
Vortex Flow Meters

3~180K SCMH
1.8~106K SCFM

0 ~ ± 12 m/s
2~ ± 2360 f/m

6.4 to 267K Kg/Hr
14~588K Lb/Hr

½" ~ 24"
15 ~ 700 mm

-20 ~ +350 °C
-4 ~ +662 °F

40 bar
580 psi

< 30 cP

± 1% of Reading
Steam mass flow available

Please see The Best Flow Technologies For Each Fluid State Best Fluid Technologies for Each Fluid StateDownload

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