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Understanding the Importance of Mass Flow Measurements in Manufacturing Facilities

Traditional flow metering devices like positive displacement meters and turbine meters use volumetric techniques, which means the displayed information is shown as either GPM (gallons per minute) or LPM (liters per minute). This type of measurement is used for a variety of applications that demand flow rates to be measured in mass units, such as emissions monitoring, chemical mixing and custody transfer. 

It can be challenging to use volumetric flow meters in these applications because the volumetric units must be converted to mass units. The reading from the flow meter must be multiplied by the media density value. Additionally, a liquid flow media’s density value changes with temperature changes. Gas media’s density changes due to both pressure and temperature. Both of these can lead to an inaccurate calculation when volumetric meters are used.

Mass flow meters solve this issue by giving the direct mass flow reading. A mass flow meter’s reading is not affected by temperature or pressure fluctuations.

The flow meter’s ability to measure and control the flow accurately is essential to improve the quality of the product manufactured as well as the efficiency of plant productions.

Flow measurements are used to determine the performance of the manufacturing process due to the laws of conservation of mass. The laws of conservation of mass state that the mass entering a system equals the mass leaving a system. Therefore, mass flow meters and transmitters are both crucial in plant operations.

Flow meters like a non-compensated turbine meters or vortex meters, ultrasonic flow meters, magnetic meters, positive displacement meters and differential pressure meters are all types of volumetric meters. These meters are combined with a flow computer and pressure and temperature measurements to measure the mass flow.

Indirect flow meters must rely on temperature and/or pressure sensors as well as flow and a computer to calculate the mass flow. Direct mass flow meters are much better than indirect ones because only one mass flow sensor is need to measure mass flow. The SmartMeasurement™ Coriolis mass flow meter, the ALCM product line or thermal mass flow meters, the ATMF product line, can successfully be used in any type of application, making it the perfect choice for all manufacturing facilities.  Please refer to SmartMeasurementTM Coriolis and thermal flow meter descriptions.