Refine your measurement processes and cut your costs

In today’s competitive climate, department managers within manufacturing facilities are under increasing pressure to cut costs and increase efficiencies, here’s our simple guide to how refining your measurement processes can positively impact your bottom line.



Start by measuring

A ­flow meter will quantify the amount of liquid, gas or steam passing through a process pipe work system. If the information provided by the flow meter is recorded it can be analysed. Once the data is analysed we can start to better understand the process and then identify actions that can be taken to optimise it.

                                    “Optimisation of a process will ultimately lead to a reduction in overall operating costs” 

In order to have confidence in the recorded flow data it is imperative that the flow meter used to provide the information is fit for purpose, accurate, repeatable and reliable.

Right flow meter, first time

With many different types of fl­ow meter technologies available in today’s marketplace, great care should be taken to ensure that the right fl­ow meter is specified for the application.

                                     “Flow measurement inaccuracies will inevitably falsify any flow data collected”

Prior to flowmeter selection it is vital that all known application variables such as temperature, pressure and ­flow meter installation criteria are considered. By doing so most potential measurement issues can be avoided before installation takes place.

The most important consideration faced when specifying a ­flow meter is being able to determine the required operational range of the meter. In many cases the diameter of an existing pipe doesn’t dictate the size of the ­flowmeter.

Know your flow

Depending on the application, clues to typical ­flow rates within a piped system can be found detailed on a pump, compressor, boiler or even an existing ­flow meter.

In the case of liquid ­flow systems a portable device such as an Ultrasonic clamp-on ­flow meter can be used to carry out system ­flow rate checks. One of the major benefits of this device is that it installs quickly and easily on the outside of the pipe.

Water and gas flow meters (utility meters) are relatively simple low cost devices. The majority of these meter types have a visible mechanical counter. The counter provides an incremental total of water or gas used by the site. In many cases these meter readings can prove invaluable when trying to establish process costs.

One difficulty arises when departmental costing is required as the only real way to determine costs between departments is to install sub or secondary flow meters.

                                       “In order to identify cost savings the costs must first be identified and quantified”

Energy saving flow meters

Electricity is an expensive energy commodity therefore it makes good financial sense to ensure that the air generated by a compressor is well contained and controlled so that any loses are kept to an absolute minimum.

A typical compressed air system that has not been installed properly and well maintained is likely to have a leak rate equal to 20% of the total compressed air produced.

Installation of fl­ow meters in a compressed air system can highlight leaks and monitor/record the total amount of air usage over any given period of time. This ­flow data will prove invaluable for any factory manager carrying out an energy cost audit.

Improving your process

Even in this age of technological evolution many manufacturing processes still use basic manual methods in their day to day operations. A good example of this is the bread making process.

In some smaller bakeries operatives still use a bucket or a measuring jug to add the required amount of water to the ­flour/dry mix.

Whilst there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this method it is relatively easy to understand that by installing a simple ­flow meter the act of adding the water to the mix could simplify the process and also make the process more accurate.

Smarter flow metering

Most modern electronic flowmeters come fitted with a transmitter providing a multitude of outputs suitable for monitoring and controlling flow in any process.

By providing quick and easy access to fl­ow data users are able to make faster informed decisions in terms of their process costs and controls.

In their simplest form ‘Smart’ ­flow meter readings will soon become easily accessible via WiFi or Bluetooth to a tablet or a smart phone.


To arrange a visit to see how installing accurate flowmeters can refine your processes and save you money call us on 01422 829920 or email