Introduction to Industrial Flowmeters

Magnetic flowmeter
(courtesy of Badger Meter)
Flowmeters measure the rate or quantity of moving fluids, in most cases liquid or gas, in an open channel or closed conduit. There are two basic flow measuring systems: those which produce volumetric flow measurements and those delivering a weight or mass based measurement. These two systems, required in many industries such as power, chemical, and water, can be integrated into existing or new installations. For successful integration, the flow measurement systems can be installed in one of several methods, depending upon the technology employed by the instrument. For inline installation, fittings that create upstream and downstream connections that allow for flowmeter installation as an integral part of the piping system. Another configuration, direct insertion, will have a probe or assembly that extends into the piping cross section. There are also non-contact instruments that clamp on the exterior surface of the piping add gather measurements through the pipe wall without any contact with the flowing media.
Turbine flowmeter
Turbine flowmeter
(courtesy of Badger Meter)

Because they are needed for a variety of uses and industries, there are multiple types of flowmeters classified generally into four main groups: mechanical, inferential, electrical, and other.

Quantity meters, more commonly known as positive displacement meters, mass flowmeters, and fixed restriction variable head type flowmeters all fall beneath the mechanical category. Fixed restriction variable head type flowmeters use different sensors and tubes, such as orifice plates, flow nozzles, and venturi and pitot tubes.
Variable area flowmeter
(courtesy of ABB)

Inferential flowmeters include turbine and target flowmeters, as well as variable area flowmeters also known as rotameters.

Laser doppler anemometers, ultrasonic flowmeters, and electromagnetic flowmeters are all electrical-type flowmeters.

TECO Flowmeter and Process Instrument Remanufacturing

As the world’s largest remanufacturer of flowmeters and process instruments, TECO has the experience, trained technicians, and facilities to remanufacture your equipment to meet or exceed all OEM specifications and performance standards.

TECO also has a "No Hassle Guarantee". Just send in your item, no form needed, no RMA required, and they'll respond in 48 hours. | 800-528-8997

An Introduction to Industrial Valve Actuators

Industrial Valve Actuators
Industrial Valves and Valve Actuators
Valves are essential to industries which constitute the backbone of the modern world. The prevalence of valves in engineering, mechanics, and science demands that each individual valve performs to a certain standard. Just as the valve itself is a key component of a larger system, the valve actuator is as important to the valve as the valve is to the industry in which it functions. Actuators are powered mechanisms that position valves between open and closed states; the actuators are controllable either by manual control or as part of an automated control loop, where the actuator responds to a remote control signal. Depending on the valve and actuator combination, valves of different types can be closed, fully open, or somewhere in-between. Current actuation technology allows for remote indication of valve position, as well as other diagnostic and operational information. Regardless of its source of power, be it electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, or another, all actuators produce either linear or rotary motion under the command of a control source.

Thanks to actuators, multiple valves can be controlled in a process system in a coordinated fashion; imagine if, in a large industrial environment, engineers had to physically adjust every valve via a hand wheel or lever! While that manual arrangement may create jobs, it is, unfortunately, completely impractical from a logistical and economic perspective. Actuators enable automation to be applied to valve operation.

Pneumatic actuators utilize air pressure as the motive force which changes the position of a valve. Pressurized-liquid reliant devices are known as hydraulic actuators. Electric actuators, either motor driven or solenoid operated, rely on electric power to drive the valve trim into position. With controllers constantly monitoring a process, evaluating inputs, changes in valve position can be remotely controlled to provide the needed response to maintain the desired process condition.

Manual operation and regulation of valves is becoming less prevalent as automation continues to gain traction throughout every industry. Valve actuators serve as the interface between the control intelligence and the physical movement of the valve. The timeliness and automation advantages of the valve actuators also serve as an immense help in risk mitigation, where, as long as the system is functioning correctly, critical calamities in either environmental conditions or to a facility can be pre-empted and quickly prevented. Generally speaking, manual actuators rely on hand operation of levers, gears, or wheels, but valves which are frequently changed (or which exist in remote areas) benefit from an automatic actuator with an external power source for a myriad of practical reasons, most pressingly being located in an area mostly impractical for manual operation or complicated by hazardous conditions.

Thanks to their versatility and stratified uses, actuators serve as industrial keystones to, arguably, one of the most important control elements of industries around the world. Just as industries are the backbones of societies, valves are key building blocks to industrial processes, with actuators as an invaluable device ensuring both safe and precise operation.

Thompson Equipment (TECO) specifies, designs, and fabricates complete valve automation solutions for a wide variety of industries. Contact TECO for your next valve automation requirement.

Basics and Practice of Applying ABB Rotameters (Variable Area Flowmeters)

ABB Variable Area flowmeters
Diagram of rotameter
(courtesy of ABB)
For decades variable Area flowmeters have become established in industrial measure- ment technology with an economical, mature measurement principle. The large variety of instrument designs, their repeatability and independence from supply power require- ments for local indication provide a suitable solution in almost every flow metering ap- plication for liquids, gases and steam.

The ABB-Program includes, a line of metal meter tube flowmeters particularly suited for high pressure and temperature applications, for aggressive and opaque fluids and for steam metering. Also offered is a line of glass meter tube flowmeters (the solution for extremely low pressure conditions) including float designs for viscous fluids or high flowrates in the smaller sizes. The purge flowmeters in both lines are available with a differential pressure regulator to maintain a constant flowrate even when there are pressure variations. The smallest flow ranges required in laboratory applications and high flowrates in industrial applications can be satisfied with ABB instruments.

This new “Handbook for Variable Area Flowmeters“ is a practical guide for the user with selection criteria for real applications (see Check List/Parameter Questionnaire), correction factors, Accuracy Classes, corrosion resistance tables and much more. A separate flyer with actual pictures demonstrate the application versatility.

Answers are provided to frequently asked questions about this measurement principle (see Page 20) and we have incorporated a preferential quick ship program for the most popular instrument versions.

We hope that this Handbook provides you with a practical selection guide; naturally our sales team is always ready to provide you with any personal assistance you may require.

For more information on any ABB variable area flow meter (rotameter), visit TECO at or call (504) 833-6381.