Is your flow meter accurate?
by A D Riley, on Aug 11, 2020 4:00:07 PM
Why it’s best practise to get your flow meters calibrated by the experts
For those in the food and beverage, dairy manufacturing and wine industries, as well as anyone managing a food processing plant, accuracy of liquid flow can be a major pain point. One of our customers for example, had an electromagnetic flow meter for food and beverages that hadn't been calibrated since 2017, leading to inaccuracy of the flow. There's also the challenge of managing - and subsequently testing - multiple meters at one time.
These inaccuracies can cause actual revenue loss - flow measurement errors all add up. Water loss through a meter varies for each meter size and the quantity of water passed through the meter. The table below provides an idea of the amount of money being flushed down the drain as a result of water meters not being regularly tested and maintained.
To avoid that kind of loss, it's essential to have your meters regularly tested and calibrated.
A flow meter is a device used to measure the flow rate and / or volume of process liquids. They need to be regularly calibrated to ensure that measurements are accurate.
Flow meter calibration is the process of comparing the volume measured through the flow meter to a standard scale of measurement, then adjusting its metering to that standard. Calibration is an essential aspect of instrumentation in food and beverage, dairy manufacturing and wine industries. They require high-accuracy measurements with a negligible percentage of error.
Calibrating your flow meter needs to be done by an accredited test lab. Accreditation is granted by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ), and is the international process for assessing and recognising the technical competence and the effective quality processes of a professional service.
With its certificate of accreditation, ADR Meter Services Test Lab is unique in New Zealand. It's the only water meter that is IANZ accredited to ISO 17025 - for testing meters from 0.25 lpm to 5700 lpm. With the smallest weigh tank (100 ltr), scaled to 0.01kg, we're able to test meters with an extremely high degree of accuracy.
We are also the only facility in the country able to test meters from 15mm in diameter for domestic use, right up to 200mm for heavy industrial use.
As well as calibrating and testing meters, the ADR Water Services Test Lab offers other services, including:
- Meter reconditioning and repairing
- Meter hire
- Meter asset management
- Meter reporting
- Supply of new domestic, industrial and bulk flow meters
Having your flow meters regularly calibrated not only means dollar savings, but it also reduces the kind of errors that can adversely affect the quality of your products. A general rule is to calibrate annually, but that's not always necessary. Some flow meters only need to be calibrated once every three or four years. In other cases, calibration might be needed more frequently, even on a monthly basis. What's certain is that calibration is necessary to maintain a safe, efficient, and accurate operation.
We can help with understanding how regular calibration should be at your operation based on usage and historical performance.
If you'd like to learn more about our meter testing services, or the Water Test Lab, don't hesitate to get in touch.