Flow metering technology is always getting better. Manufacturers are always finding ways to improve their products, making them more precise and easier to monitor. Review these considerations when choosing a mass flow controller as you design your application. Each flow meter application is unique, and the selection of a mass flow controller shouldn’t be based on price alone.
Know the Process
Before selecting a controller, know exactly what kind of job you need it to perform. You must understand the entire process and where the controller fits into it. No matter how big or small the application is, you must have a firm grasp on the entire process, the other parts, and the end user. A mass flow controller is a small component with an important function, so make sure you see the big picture.
What Media Is Being Measured
The media being measured might be the most important thing to consider when choosing a mass flow controller. Temperature, pressure, conductivity, and viscosity can affect the flow, so be aware of the characteristics of what is being controlled. Different gases and liquids behave in different ways and will flow at different rates as a result. To keep the flow consistent upstream and downstream, being able to predict the behavior of the media will help you select a controller.
Know the Accuracy Requirements
In some applications, the flow doesn’t have to be as precise as in others. The amount of control and its preciseness is important in medical applications. When making anesthesia machines or respirators, the accuracy is the difference between life and death. Technicians need to set the desired level, walk away, and know that it’s going to be precise and consistent.
Meter Location and Installation
The proper location and installation of the mass flow controller is important for providing accurate measurements and control. Even the most technically advanced meter will give false information if it’s installed incorrectly. The most common reason for incorrect measurement is improper installation. That happens during the design stage when the designer tries to force a controller into a tight spot or somewhere it doesn’t fit.