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Preventable Mistakes with Vortex Flow Meters


Sep 22, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Vortex flow meter technology is an ideal technology for many applications particularly saturated and supersaturated steam, volumetric water applications as well as flow energy management (natural gas, compressed air, steam, water) in facilities and large campuses. In some of these applications, vortex installations can be tricky and take flow expertise for the most successful installations. Kam Bansal, […]

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How Does a Thermal Flow Meter Work?


Aug 31, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

An insertion-type (immersible) thermal flow meter works by measuring the total mass flow rate of air/gas flowing through a pipe or duct. In a thermal flow meter’s simplest working configuration, gas flows past a heated velocity sensor and a temperature sensor. Instrument electronics work to maintain a constant temperature differential of 50 degrees Celsius between the actual gas temperature and the […]

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VIDEO: Mass Flow Meters for Power Plant Applications


Aug 14, 2017
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Generating electricity in a natural gas power plant is a complex process due to the multiple steps involved with the different types of fluids being used and optimized. Dr. John Olin, Founder of Sierra Instruments, explains how thermal mass flow meters, vortex flow meters, and ultrasonic flow meters can improve the flow energy management in power plant applications in this latest video […]

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Now Measure All Flow Energy In Your Facility — One Solution — Three Metering Technologies


Jul 01, 2017
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Facilities managers at large facilities often have the challenging task of managing all the flow energy in their facility with the mandate from upper management to save money on energy costs. To accomplish this goal, it’s critical to get accurate flow measurement data of the flow energy in your facility such as: natural gas, compressed air, steam, chilled […]

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Making Ultrasonic Liquid Flow Meter Installation Easier


Jun 26, 2017
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Ultrasonic transit-time flow meter technology is becoming one of the most adopted technologies for accurate liquid and energy/BTU measurement. Although a major benefit of the technology is that it is non-invasive and can be clamped to the outside of the pipe, an inherent challenge with ultrasonic clamp on liquid flow meters is finding the best […]

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How to Supercharge the SmartTrak Mass Flow Controller with Compod


Jun 12, 2017
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Streamline, simplify and save time and money by plugging the innovative Compod upgrade into the face of any SmartTrak 100 mass flow meter or controller. SmartTrak is not only a true multi-gas digital mass flow controller, it can control your process too. If you need more functionality to control a positive shutoff valve, have a pulse output, or […]

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Introducing Our New InnovaSonic 207i Ultrasonic Liquid Flow Meter


May 15, 2017
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

For Liquid Flow Metering, Optimized for Thermal Energy/ BTU Sierra is proud to announce the new InnovaSonic 207i ultrasonic liquid flow meter with thermal energy/BTU capability.  Designed, built and calibrated by Sierra in Monterey, California for non-intrusive liquid flow metering, and optimized for thermal energy/BTU measurement, the 207i transit-time ultrasonic flow meter is the ideal turnkey solution for […]

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Flow Tip Video: Learn Why Ease-of-Use is Critical for Flow Meter Selection


Apr 17, 2017
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Many times scientists and researchers spend more time setting up equipment and instrumentation for their experiments than conducting actual experiments to gather important data. This holds true for flow meters and controllers to measure and control gases to experiments. Some flow meters are very cumbersome with no display, can only measure one gas, low value for price, and limited application flexibility.  And if you need application […]

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[Minute Flow Tip Video] Mass Flow Versus Volumetric Flow Technology


Mar 28, 2017
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager
Written By:
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager

When engineers and systems integrators need to measure gas flow rate in an industrial process or scientific research, there are many types of technologies to choose from.  This makes selecting the right gas flow meter a challenge. In addition to technology, engineers must consider many other parameters: price for value, cost of ownership, size of footprint, application flexibility, calibration method, accuracy […]

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Overcoming Natural Gas Sampling Challenges in Oil & Gas Applications


Mar 03, 2017
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

It is a fact that in order to comply with various government rules and regulations, oil and gas companies have to continually take natural gas samples to prove the gas composition and amount of gas flowing in their oil fields. The challenge comes in trying to actually take an adequate gas sample representative of the […]

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Sierra’s Biggest Stories from 2016


Jan 09, 2017
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

2017 is here and this year will bring many new exciting developments at Sierra, but before launching completely into the new year, let’s take a look back at our top stories of 2016. New at Sierra in 2016 We’re always looking for new ways to communicate and interact with our customers and industry. Find out about three […]

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Flare Gas Measurement Innovation: Retain Flow Metering Accuracy Even if Gas Composition Changes


Dec 12, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

It’s a fact oil wells almost always produce natural gas along with the petroleum. Nine times out of ten, the excess gas (typically hydrocarbons) is flared off or simply vented as-is during upset conditions in the process. The environmental impacts of “flaring” this excess gas into our atmosphere has resulted in government regulations like 40 CFR […]

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Direct Mass Flow or Volumetric: The Thermal Flow Meter Technology Advantage!


Nov 18, 2016
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

In today’s world where everyone is watching the bottom line, you need high performance, cost-effective instrumentation—and capillary thermal mass flow meters and controllers have been proven to meet this criteria in a wide range of process applications. Thermal mass flow technology is an industry standard for mass flow control of gases because it measures flow directly, […]

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The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of Mass Flow Controllers


Oct 31, 2016
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Did you ever wish your mass flow controller could do it all? You’re not alone. End users ranging from machine builders to laboratory researchers are often faced with the challenge of needing flow measurement and control equipment for a wide variety of applications. Many customers call the SmartTrak 100 mass flow controller the “Swiss Army knife” of MFC’s.  […]

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Sensor Probe Insertion/Retractor Simplifies Installation of Steam Flow Meters in Hot Tapping Applications


Oct 26, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Accurately measuring fluid flows like steam in large ducts or pipes is a challenging application. Large ducts and pipes often have swirl or turbulent flow which makes accurate flow measurement difficult. Not to mention, installation of steam flow meters can be extremely challenging since in many cases you will need to shut off the steam flow to install […]

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The First Vortex Flow Meter with Apps Wins Innovation Award!


Oct 06, 2016
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Thank you to the readers of industry publication, Flow Control Magazine, who voted for Sierra’s InnovaMass 240i/241i iSeries multivariable and volumetric vortex flow meters in Flow Control’s 2016 Innovation Awards. Sierra was awarded an honorable mention. Sierra’s tradition and spirit of innovation spanning over 40 years drives everything we do, we are happy that the readers of Flow Control […]

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Primary Standard Gas Flow Calibration—The Only Guarantee of Accuracy


Sep 19, 2016
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager
Written By:
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager

At Sierra, we have a saying: “An instrument’s accuracy is only as good as its calibration.” The accuracy of your mass flow controller (MFC) is essential in assuring the efficiency, performance, and quality of your flow meter. In many cases, if your instrumentation is not calibrated, then a decline in performance is possible due to sensor drift from the factory […]

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How to Attain Precise CO2 Injection in the Carbonated Beverage Production Process


Sep 06, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Looking for the perfectly carbonated beverage? Is your CO2 injection process leaving your drinks flat? Industrial mass flow controllers offer the perfect solution for controlling the exact CO2 injection into beverages to create the perfect foam for the beer industry or carbonation for popular soft drinks. It is pivotal that carbonated beverage manufacturers have the […]

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Gas Mass Flow Control: Why Thermal Mass Flow Technology is Recommended for Best Accuracy


Aug 26, 2016
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

It’s no secret. Price, but perhaps more importantly, performance, drive every new product acquisition you make. How important is measurement accuracy and control to your lab experiment or industrial process? It’s critical. If your flow readings are off or the flow is not controlled with precise accuracy your research is compromised, product quality suffers, and […]

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Reducing Costs of Steam Flow Measurement


Aug 19, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Traditionally, steam flow has been measured with a differential pressure device. This is typically an orifice plate. However, such devices are inherently volumetric flow measurements. As we have discussed in previous blog posts, changes in pressure and temperature will change the mass flow rate of steam. Even a “small” change of 10% in steam pressure […]

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How to Achieve Precise Air-Fuel Ratio Control in Burner Control Applications


Aug 12, 2016
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

Mass flow control is all around us. One common application for industrial mass flow control is air-fuel ratio control of burners in industrial heating processes for manufacturing and other industries. For burner control in manufacturing, precise mass flow control of the air-fuel ratio to the burner keeps melt temperatures constant which produces quality products including […]

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Minute Flow Tip! Don’t Settle for “Good Enough”


Jul 15, 2016
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

There are so many options for mass flow controllers out there that are “good enough.” Why compromise when making an investment in a mass flow instrument? Discover the Swiss Army Knife of mass flow controllers in this Minute Flow Tip. The capillary thermal technology used in every SmartTrak mass flow controller measures flow directly, at […]

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InnovaMass iSeries Vortex Mass Flow Meter Nominated for Flow Control Innovation Award!


Jul 07, 2016
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Sierra has a tradition of innovation spanning over 40 years and this spirit of innovation continues to drive our engineers each day!  We are delighted that Flow Control has noticed. Each year, Flow Control, a flow measurement industry magazine, selects fluid handling products they feel are worthy of being called the “Innovation of the Year” and […]

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New Video: Master Your Mass Flow Control Challenges


Jun 22, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

For over 40 years, Sierra has pioneered the development of precision gas mass flow controllers. Today, our high-performance SmartTrak lineup, with over 100,000 successful installations, proves we’ve never let up. For Lab Researchers and Systems Integrators/OEMs, SmartTrak is often called the Swiss Army Knife of gas mass flow controllers. Find out why in our new video. The SmartTrak Advantage: A […]

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Tuning Your Boiler for EPA Boiler MACT Compliance


May 12, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

The EPA’s Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) regulations are heating up. Boiler MACT is an EPA rule to limit hazardous air pollutants (HAP) from commercial and industrial boilers and process heaters. Originally published in 2011 as a mandate driven by the Clean Air Act,  the rules are Area Source Boiler MACT 40 CFR 63, subpart JJJJJJ for smaller […]

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Providing Precision Flow Control Solutions for Critical Biomolecular Research


Apr 29, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

When scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (CBS) in the United Kingdom needed instrumentation to control the flow of gases in their research, they turned to Litre Meter, a UK distributor for Sierra Instruments, and the SmartTrak 100 series mass flow meters and controllers. The working relationship between Litre Meter and the […]

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Minute Flow Tip Video: Steam Measurement in Large Pipes—Hot Tapping


Mar 31, 2016
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Learn more about the product featured in this video:  InnovaMass 241i Insertion Vortex Flow Meter Need more information on measuring steam? Learn more about maximizing steam productivity and reducing the overall cost of ownership for additional energy savings when measuring steam. A new “Minute Flow Tip” will be posted to our YouTube channel every month. […]

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New Video Series Highlights One-Minute Flow Measurement Tips


Mar 30, 2016
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

At Sierra, we get very excited about flow measurement and control as you can imagine, and sometimes we want to spread the information we have quickly without a whole lot of fuss. That’s the spirit behind our brand new video series called “Minute Flow Tips.”  In just a minute or so we will discuss a […]

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For Vortex Flow Meters, Accuracy Matters in Steam Energy Flow Measurement


Mar 13, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The heat is on. Most facilities managers are in the hot seat to account for all of the flow energy, going in and out of their facility which is no easy task. This mandate is no different for steam flow measurement. Vortex flow meters continue to be the industry standard for accurate steam flow measurement. […]

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How to Reduce Methane Emissions with Thermal Mass Flow Meters


Feb 11, 2016
Glen, Account & Market Manager
Written By:
Glen, Account & Market Manager

The flare gas discussion is heating up again. According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. oil production is at an all-time high, and so are the harmful methane emissions from leaks, flaring and venting. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has proposed to update 30-year-old regulations in order to reduce the excess release of natural […]

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Delivering an Award-Winning Engine Test Facility


Feb 05, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Across Sierra’s two divisions, Flow Measurement and Automotive Test, striving for the ultimate in accurate and repeatable measurement and control is the name of the game.  We have focused a lot on trying to publish useful and informative Flow Measurement and Control blogs. After all, that makes sense as the blog is called “Let’s Talk Flow.” I wanted […]

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Simple Ways You Can Be More Energy Efficient


Jan 24, 2016
Charlotte Chapman, Sr. Graphic Designer
Written By:
Charlotte Chapman, Sr. Graphic Designer

It’s the little things that matter when it comes to energy efficiency. Turning off a light or switching off a fan may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, the energy savings can be substantial. In effort to remind our employees of the part they can play in saving our resources, […]

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Flow Meter Focus: Sierra’s Biggest Stories from 2015


Jan 04, 2016
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Can you believe it’s 2016? At Sierra, 2015 was a busy year of launches with our new website, vortex mass flow meter product line, and employee development with Sierra University. Every step of the way we were inspired to bring our products and customer experience to the next level. One of the areas of our website we […]

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Sierra Website: Wide Selection, 1-Day Lead Times, Flow Meter Configurator


Dec 16, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Find it in 2-Clicks When designing our new website, the mantra of our software engineers, designers, and marketing team was “put the customer first” and allow any type of customer to research, specify, or configure any flow meter in just two clicks. Check out www.sierrainstruments.com With over 15 user tests, multiple interviews and a deep dive into our […]

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It Has Apps! Our New Vortex Flow Meter Empowers You


Dec 10, 2015
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Sierra’s next generation InnovaMass “iSeries” features a new hyper-fast microprocessor, robust software apps, and an automated state-of-the-art manufacturing and flow calibration facility to assure the highest level of quality and delivery. It Has Apps! The InnovaMass iSeries features flow management apps driven by our new Raptor II OS that will empower your process and save you time and money. ValidCal […]

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Giving Back: Sharing Sierra Work Experience with College Students


Dec 04, 2015
Charlotte Chapman, Sr. Graphic Designer
Written By:
Charlotte Chapman, Sr. Graphic Designer

In November, I had the privilege of being a guest speaker on a panel at the ProSeminar Class offered at California State University Monterey Bay’s School of Computing taught by Dr. Eric Tao. He was one of my former professors and my first employer as a professional graphic designer. We presented in front of about […]

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Giving Back: Holiday Food Drive


Nov 23, 2015
Charlotte Chapman, Sr. Graphic Designer
Written By:
Charlotte Chapman, Sr. Graphic Designer

Fall is in the air.  It’s that time of the year when the days grow shorter and the weather transitions from summer to winter, the air taking on that crisp cold chill that seeps into your bones. Fall is a time of change, of reflection on the past year, and planning for the future. It’s […]

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Watch Video: Sierra’s NEW Website Simplifies Finding the Right Flow Meter


Nov 20, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Let’s face it, finding the right flow meter for your application can often be a daunting task. Which product best suits my application? Which flow meter version will give me the best price vs. value to meet my needs? How can I get my meter quickly? Who can help specify flow meters for my facility? These […]

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Happy Halloween!


Oct 31, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

The New Vortex iSeries has Arrived!


Oct 28, 2015
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

InnovaMass. Reinvented. I am proud to announce on behalf of our entire development team, our completely re-designed, next generation InnovaMass 240i and 241i vortex volumetric flow and multivariable mass flow meter product line. Learn more… The all new iSeries InnovaMass 240i inline and 241i insertion vortex flow meters are manufactured at our brand new assembly and calibration facility in […]

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Perfect Beer Foam with Modern Flow Meters


Oct 23, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We talk a lot about the use of flow meters in flare gas, waste water and sub-metering applications, but Sierra’s innovative flow meters are utilized by a wide variety of industries. You’ll find our flow measurement and control devices orbiting the earth, assisting with the creation of oceanic atmospheres in research facilities and even improving […]

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4 Ways to Make Flow Calibration Easy for You


Oct 16, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Our flow experts here at Sierra are committed to ensuring your flow meter is accurately calibrated and returned quickly so downtime is kept to a minimum. Sierra’s latest flow meter service and calibration brochure, “Precision Delivered”, details that level of commitment, showcasing four key components of our approach to flow calibration service. Assuring your flow […]

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Thermal Mass Flow Meters Offer Oil & Gas Companies Lowest Cost of Ownership


Aug 28, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that oil prices have hit a rock bottom $40 a barrel, the lowest since 2009. How does this affect the oil companies? Well, the consumer gets the benefit of the low pump price which does loosen discretionary spending, but the oil & gas companies are hurting-spending less money on capital investment […]

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Engineering Spotlight: Meet John!


Aug 14, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Our talented team of engineers is at the heart of all our flow innovations and solutions here at Sierra. From design to production to finished product, our engineers oversee the creation and implementation of equipment designed to help you measure flow more accurately for consistent results. So what makes our engineers tick? Most had an […]

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Putting People First – Sierra University


Aug 03, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

School’s out for the summer! Congratulations to the forty (40) Sierra employees that have completed their first course at Sierra University.  As you might have read in our previous blog post on Sierra University, the training program is about taking teamwork and personal development to the next level – putting people first. “We believe that giving […]

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Vote for Sierra!


Jul 27, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

qMix Gas Mixing Software Nominated for Flow Control’s 2015 Innovation Award! Sierra Instruments’ talented team of engineers has done it again, with yet another innovative solution to save you time and money. Sierra’s qMix gas mixing software has been nominated for Flow Control’s 2015 Innovation Awards. For the first time ever, you can use Sierra’s QuadraTherm […]

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Sierra’s Auto Test Division Is Growing with Lansing Facility Expansion


Jul 07, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We’re revving our engines and expanding to support our growing automotive test division. Sierra-CP has been providing the automotive industry with reliable engine and vehicle testing hardware and software solutions with precision accuracy for over 30 years. As demand for these high-quality products and services increases, we are expanding to provide better service and support […]

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Get Our New Full Line Flow Meter Product Catalog / Selection Guide


Jun 30, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Find the Right Meter for Your Application—Instantly Let’s face it, specifying the best flow instrumentation for your application can be a daunting task. That’s why we created a new Full Line Flow Product Catalog with all Sierra’s products, key specifications, and application benefits in one, easy-to-use brochure. Quickly specify the right flow meter for your […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Sub-Metering Natural Gas


Jun 29, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of using thermal flow meters to sub-meter natural gas in large facilities. So much so, that we’ve decided to create one post that can be your go-to resource for finding information on the topic. Here you’ll find links to easily digestible content like infographics and SlideShare presentations, […]

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ACHEMA Show, Frankfurt, Germany: See qMix Gas Mixing Demo


Jun 15, 2015
Maurtis, Managing Director, Sierra Europe
Written By:
Maurtis, Managing Director, Sierra Europe

As the leading trade show for chemical engineering and the process industry, ACHEMA attracts the top manufacturers from around the world to showcase their innovative products and services. Sierra will once again exhibit at the Frankfurt, Germany, June 15-19. Location: Be sure to visit Sierra booth E2 in Hall 11.0 for a live demonstration of […]

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For the First Time, Field-Adjust For Gas Composition Changes, Retain Accuracy, Save Time and Money


Jun 05, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

For the first time, customers can adjust their gas composition in the field on thermal flow meters to solve EPA reporting challenges. When gas composition changes, typical thermal meters must be sent back to the factory to be re-calibrated in order to maintain required accuracy levels.  All of this is a costly, time consuming endevour. Imagine the time […]

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Sierra’s New Precision Control Valves Offer Customers Proven Solution


Jun 01, 2015
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

What took us so long! Since the ’80s Sierra has been a leader in designing and manufacturing electromagnetic control valves used in our flagship SmartTrak mass flow controllers and legacy 800 series. The catch is that in the past customers had to buy the mass flow controller to capitalize on our precision control valve. Now, after 30 years […]

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Monterey Bay Beach Cleanup on Earth Day


May 14, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Sierra corporate headquarters is just three miles from the Monterey Bay.  Our connection the natural beauty of the area in which we live and raise our children is deep.  Sierra’s mission is to create precision measurement and control products to aid sustainability and we educate our employees on sustainability. Because of this initiative, we’re committed to clean energy […]

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Sierra University: Taking Teamwork to the Next Level


May 12, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Sierra is committed to the continuing education of its nearly 200 employees spread across the globe. That’s why we recently launched Sierra University, an internal training program that focuses on teaching relevant information about quality and effective business communication, along with specific job training. Continuing education is important to every workplace, but perhaps even more so […]

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If gas composition changes, field-adjust to maintain flow meter accuracy?


Apr 13, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Changes in gas composition cut into productivity in the field, exactly when you need accuracy in flow meter measurement the most. But what if you could retain that precision, even when those changes occur? Now you can do just that with qMix Software.  If your gas composition changes over time, you can now quickly field-adjust the QuadraTherm […]

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Engineering Spotlight: Meet Morgan!


Mar 20, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

This week, we continue our 2015 spotlight on engineers, focusing on the people behind the innovation that Sierra delivers on a regular basis. In our last post, I introduced you to Director of Engineering Kam Bansal, an integral part of our talented team of engineers. Sierra’s innovative approach to solving flow measurement problems can be […]

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Why Dry Sensor Design Is Key for Stability, Accuracy and In-Situ Validation


Mar 01, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Designing a stable sensor that will last over the lifetime of your thermal mass flow meter is the holy grail in thermal mass flow meter design.  The truth is that most flow meter manufacturers use a “wet” sensor design, filled with epoxies and cements.  As conditions in your application change, the sensor is heated and cooled over time, expanding […]

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Engineering Spotlight: Meet Director of Engineering Kam Bansal


Feb 15, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Step inside our Engineering Department through our Engineering spotlight series. In our last post, I introduced you to Manufacturing Engineer Max Waterstone, the first of our talented team of engineers to be featured in our Engineering Spotlight. Sierra’s innovative approach to solving flow measurement problems can be traced back to founder Dr. John G. Olin, who […]

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Engineering Spotlight: Meet Manufacturing Engineer Max Waterstone


Jan 30, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Innovative engineering is the lifeblood of Sierra Instruments and has been since Dr. John G. Olin founded the company in 1973. Our team of engineers work together to continuously improve the products you use every day to ensure the accuracy that you’ve come to expect from Sierra flow meters and controllers. We’ve created an atmosphere […]

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Sierra’s Top 10 Posts from 2014: What a Year for Flow Meters!


Jan 17, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

2104 was quite a year! Thanks to all our loyal customers for giving us inspiration for this year’s “Let’s Talk Flow” blog topics. Our vision is to write about topics that matter to you and make a difference in your job in handling flow metering application challenges.  Over our 40 years in business, we have learned a lot […]

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Season’s Greetings From Team Sierra


Dec 22, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

The holiday season is in full swing and we, at Sierra, just wanted to take time out to thank you for the opportunity to work with you in 2014.  We know you have many options for flow instrumentation to meet your application needs and we are honored that you trust Sierra provide solutions for your […]

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Precision in Formula 1 Testing


Nov 22, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Not many of our flow meter customers know we have been active in the automotive test industry since the early 1990s. Like Sierra’s Flowmeter Division, our Automotive Test Division is passionate about precision measurement and control. There is a lot of flow measurement needed in automotive testing, but Sierra’s capabilities in this area spread well […]

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Take Charge of Your Facility’s Water Usage…


Oct 27, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Water is a precious resource! Now, more than ever, businesses and facilities must take charge of their water usage to help with water conservation and lower water bills. Water conservation begins with knowing exactly how much water you are using in your process or facility. When you know how much water you are using, you can adjust […]

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Methods & Pitfalls of In-Situ Calibration Validation of Thermal Flowmeters


Oct 07, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Driven by the need to meet quality standards like ISO 9001, reliability engineers for mid-to-large-sized facilities and campuses know the time consuming reality of assuring their flow meters are properly maintained and “in cal”. A unique and highly marketed benefit of Thermal Mass Flow Meter technology is “in-situ” or “in place” flow meter calibration.  This certainly sounds like […]

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Why Sierra Engineers Love What They Do #BeAnEngineer


Oct 02, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Our engineers love what they do here at Sierra. Innovation, problem-solving, quality, accuracy—they all go into the design of our flow meter instrumentation. From facilities management and process control & manufacturing, to life sciences & health and co-generation, Sierra’s engineers create flow meter solutions for a wide variety of industries, improving productivity and solving problems. […]

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Ultra-High Pressure 5000 psig (345 barg) Gas Mass Flow Control…No Easy Task!


Sep 22, 2014
Max Waterstone, Engineer
Written By:
Max Waterstone, Engineer

Overall, Sierra wants better accuracy and control of high pressure gas mass flows across industry in general, leading to better efficiency, and vastly reducing gas losses to save time and money for our customers.  But, how is it possible to accurately measure and control gas mass flow rates at pressures up to 5000 psig (345 barg)? This is […]

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The Truth About In-Situ Calibration Validation of Thermal Flowmeters


Sep 10, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In-situ calibration validation is one of the great benefits of thermal mass flow technology. This video reviews in-situ calibration validation and details how thermal sensor stability is the only way a calibration validation is actually valid! Get the truth about in-situ calibration so you can make informed decisions. Watch the video now! For a more detailed […]

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The Secret to Slashing Your Facility’s Natural Gas Bills


Aug 26, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Psst. We’ve got a secret. One that could save you money. How much, you ask? Thousands. That’s right. You could be saving thousands on your facility’s natural gas bill. Traditional diaphragm flow meters used for natural gas measurement can’t account for changes in gas composition, resulting in a utility bill that can be less than […]

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4 Keys to Great Portable Ultrasonic Flow Metering


Aug 18, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The liquid measurement market is an extremely large market with many varied measurement requirements. To get the best bang for your buck, a portable ultrasonic flow meter is a practical solution. With a portable ultrasonic flow meter, you can use one liquid flow meter in several locations throughout your flow process. There are many portable […]

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How to Manage Your Flow Calibration Risk


Aug 08, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Precision measurement instrumentation, like mass flow meters, are only as good as their calibration. No one knows this better than the facilities managers and process engineers who have to keep up with the yearly calibration of sometimes thousands of instruments. Because managing instrument calibration is such a time-consuming, but necessary reality of facilities management, industry […]

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How to Install Vortex Steam Flow Meters!


Jul 27, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

A few weeks back  Glen Coblentz, Vice President of North American sales, spent three days in New York City. Unfortunately, he was not able to enjoy the sites of NYC. Instead, he was working 45-feet underground in 120 F degree heat in New York City’s steam tunnels.  For over five hours, Glen worked with Sierra Representative, North East Technical, commissioning […]

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45-feet Under Ground in the Steam Tunnels of New York City


Jun 19, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Glen Coblentz, VP of Sales for  North America, lives a really interesting life!  Now you can find out more about it because we’re taking our social media to the streets! Or, maybe we should say, to the steam tunnels, oil and gas wells, research laboratories and many other locations that use Sierra’s mass flow meters and controllers every day. Take […]

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Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Manufacturing


May 29, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

In Part 1 of our mass flow controller best practices series, Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Selection and Installation,  Sierra’s Chief Engineer John Smitherman compiled a comprehensive list of best practices for the selection, installation and operation of mass flow meters and controllers. With so many flow measurement products and technologies on the market, […]

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Understanding Flowmeter Recalibration Traceability…


May 19, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Customers often ask if they need to have their flow meter instrumentation calibrated annually. Along with calibration-related questions, traceability is another area that garners its fair share of inquiries. In this week’s post, I’ll share the answers to these commons questions you may have been wondering about. Do I need to have my mass flow […]

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How to Save Time & Money by Calibrating Flow Meters Onsite


May 01, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

If you have hundreds of mass flow controllers and meters or just a few in your lab, facility, or manufacturing process, how do you keep up with the demands of annual recalibration? Most flow meters and controllers need to be recalibrated yearly to meet stringent ISO quality standards. This requires technicians to remove the mass flow meters from the […]

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Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Selection & Installation


Apr 07, 2014
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

As scientists, facilities managers and manufacturing engineers, specifying equipment is a part of our daily work life. What product do I need? What’s the best price for the value? How do I install the product once I get it? The more information about best practice principles, the easier the job is of specifying and buying […]

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NEW Video Animation: How Do Thermal Mass Flowmeters Work?


Mar 24, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

As if your were actor Dennis Quaid in the popular 1987 movie Innerspace, journey inside the pipe to learn the operational principle of thermal mass flow technology and see, from a molecules perspective, why thermal flow meters have become extremely popular due to high accuracy, no moving parts, negligible pressure drop, sensitive direct mass flow measurement with high […]

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Part 3: Accurately Measuring Flare Gas — Managing Gas Mix Changes, Retaining Accuracy, Reducing Cost of Ownership


Mar 17, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

In my last post, I compared the pros and cons of the various flow meters available for measurement of flare gas. Ultimately, all but one has limitations that will impede your ability to accurately measure excess burn off from the hydraulic fracturing process. In this week’s post, I’ll share a new generation thermal mass flow […]

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Part 2: Accurately Measuring Flare Gas — Innovations Promise More Economical Choices


Mar 03, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

In my last post on flare gas flow measurement, I shared how the rise in hydraulic fracturing has led to more stringent state and national mandates to regulate the measurement of waste and excess gases that are produced as a result of this process. If you’re affiliated with an oil or gas company, you know […]

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Part 1: Accurately Measuring Flare Gas — Challenges, Solutions, and Opportunities


Feb 25, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

If your company is involved with hydraulic fracturing to increase oil and gas production, you’re familiar with the fact that state and national regulations are becoming increasingly stringent. In particular, flare gas now requires the installation of mass flow measurement instruments to measure waste and excess gases burned off as a result of the hydraulic […]

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New Chemical Engineering Magazine Article By Sierra’s Founder


Feb 10, 2014
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Sierra’s Founder, Dr. John G. Olin, looks at the Principles of Operation, Installation, Calibration and Best Applications for Thermal Mass Flow Meters… Read the full article in this months issue of Chemical Engineering Magazine.

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Talking Biogas Production In Europe


Feb 03, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Europe is quickly becoming a hotspot for the biogas industry, and Sierra and our local French distributor Alto Instruments took advantage of that fact by exhibiting at BiogazEurope in France. Attendees learned about the entire biomass process, from the bio side of things (mass) to the energy side (electricity). Some trending applications featured at the […]

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How Refreshingly Human! An Actual Person Talks to Me…


Jan 27, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Automated answering services run rampant across all businesses these days–large or small.  I guess these companies have better things to do than talk to customers.  However, in the complex process of specifying and servicing flowmeters, human to human “H2H” contact, although becoming extinct, is an absolute must. With this in mind, a high level goal at Sierra is simply stated: […]

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Ammonia Gas Flow Measurement Challenges & Solutions


Jan 20, 2014
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager
Written By:
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager

Measuring and controlling ammonia can be tricky. One mistake during the transition from gas to liquid and your instrumentation is ruined. In the video below, Glen Coblentz, Vice President of North American Sales, gives some tips for successful mass flow measurement and control of ammonia. It could mean the difference between success and a costly mistake! […]

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SmartTrak MFC Highlighed on NOVA TV Program


Jan 13, 2014
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

It’s alive! No, I’m not talking about Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. But you’d be surprised by what researchers have discovered in the area of therapeutic hypothermia, or using hydrogen sulfide to slow the body’s demand for oxygen. A recent episode of NOVA, “Making Stuff Colder,” highlights research being conducted by Mark Roth, a biochemist for the […]

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5 Reasons to Stay at Your Job for 25 Years!


Jan 06, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

In Silicon Valley, where the Facebooks, Twitters, and Googles of the world thrive, job hopping is a common practice. It’s part of the Silicon tech culture to dive into a start-up, work relentlessly for 3 to 5 years and move on to the next endeavor. Just 70 miles south of this transient Silicon Valley workforce, however, is […]

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Innovation @ Sierra


Dec 16, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We recently had the honor of hosting Flow Control Magazine Publisher Mike Christian, who made the trip to Sierra headquarters in Monterey, Calif., to present our 10th Flow Control Innovation Award in person. Pictured right is me, Mike and our President, Matthew Olin holding the crystal award.  We are standing in the lobby of corporate […]

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In Search of the Perfect Sensor: Thermal Flow Meter History & Trends


Dec 09, 2013
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

What do you do when you have an entrepreneurial bent and a revolutionary idea for flow meter advancement? You start your own company, of course. That’s exactly what our founder, John G. Olin, Ph.D., did in 1973 when he founded Sierra Instruments in Minnesota subsequently moving it west to California. It’s that entrepreneurial spirit, as well […]

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Insertion Flow Meter Straight Run Requirements


Dec 02, 2013
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager
Written By:
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager

You have specified the correct industrial Thermal insertion mass flow meter and received your brand new meter. Now what? Where do you install the meter for optimal performance? This is where technical expertise comes in, along with a mixture of science and tribal knowledge.  In fact, Sierra has talked for years about a flowmeter being only as good as how it was […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!


Nov 25, 2013
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

With this Thanksgiving holiday season upon us, it’s important to pause and reflect on the past year with appreciation and gratitude. Sierra hit a major milestone this year celebrating our 40th year in business.   I know deep down that the reason for our longevity is people–our hundreds of employees, local agents spread over more than […]

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Voice of the Customer: Flow Meter Solution for Air Pollutant Measurement


Nov 15, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We’re always looking for solutions here at Sierra-ones that always give customers precise, accurate data. It’s what drove Dr. John G. Olin to found Sierra in 1973, with a goal of providing the marketplace with accurate flow meter measurement. It’s what drives our engineering team to continue to advance flow meter design. It’s also what […]

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Part 2: Challenges with Submetering Natural Gas


Nov 11, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

A few weeks ago, I shared how mid-to-large size facilities can save money by taking the initiative to submeter natural gas usage. The traditional diaphragm meters used by utility companies rely on fixed compensation variables that can lead to inaccuracies and overcharging. While this can affect residential customers, it comes as no surprise that it can […]

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Innovation Winner-Precision Gas-Ratio Control Applications


Nov 04, 2013
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Thanks Flow Control Magazine for recognizing Sierra’s QuadraTherm 640i/780i four-sensor thermal mass meter as this year’s Innovation Award winner. We are honored. The recently published case study in Flow Control magazine this month, explores how the QuadraTherm 780i provides a fiberglass manufacturing company with precise gas-ratio control to increase production capacity and gas consumption efficiency. […]

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Part 1: Challenges with Submetering Natural Gas


Oct 28, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my latest article in Gases & Instrumentation magazine, I explore energy management as it relates to the natural gas industry. Natural gas exists in abundance in this country, with production expected to increase 44 percent by 2040. With such unprecedented growth in production of this natural resource, utility companies must focus on providing the […]

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Part 2: Emerging Trends of Thermal Flow Meters


Oct 21, 2013
Jesse Yoder
Written By:
Jesse Yoder

Last week in the first part of my guest post, I shared some of the reasons why the Coriolis flow meter has cornered such a large part of the flowmeter measurement market. Accuracy is the main reason why this type of flowmeter has been so commonly used in industrial applications up to this point. But […]

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Part 1: Emerging Trends of Thermal Flowmeters


Oct 09, 2013
Jesse Yoder
Written By:
Jesse Yoder

In this guest post, I’ll be comparing the Coriolis and Thermal flowmeter markets, an interesting undertaking when you consider some of the facts. Both technologies were introduced about the same time, in the mid-1970s. But the worldwide Coriolis meter market has grown to exceed $1 billion, while the Thermal flowmeter market is valued at less […]

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How to Measure Air Flow Rate–Not As Easy As it Appears


Oct 04, 2013
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

If we look at what is considered low flow measurement of air mass flow rate,  those applications ranging from 0 to 10 sccm up to 0 to 1000 slpm ranges, there is a right way and a wrong way to measure. It’s an inherent problem many of our customers face before they find the right […]

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Totalize Multiple Gases Independently: Watch Video!


Sep 26, 2013
Brian Estep, Software Engineer
Written By:
Brian Estep, Software Engineer

The need to measure, totalize, and monetize gas flow is not going away. In fact, the requirement to accurately totalize and monetize gas is becoming even more critical with our boom in natural gas and other industrial processes. Almost all mass flow meter companies have the ability to totalize one gas being measured. This is pretty standard […]

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Break from the Shackles-Mid-to-Large Size Facilities Verify Utility Company Billing


Sep 20, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

As we have all been hearing in the news, natural gas is becoming a very valuable and abundant natural resource. Almost all of this increase is due to the projected growth in shale gas production which will grow to 16.7 trillion cubic feet in 2040. Now comes the big question: how are utility companies going […]

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Part 3: Biogas Flow Meter Measurement-The Solution


Sep 16, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In recent weeks, I’ve shared some exciting advancements in the biogas industry in regards to renewable energy management. From harnessing biogas energy from landfills to the digester gas produced at wastewater treatment plants, one thing is paramount: Adjusting for changing gas composition is critical to obtaining accurate flow meter measurement for optimal biogas energy collection.  […]

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Part 2: Biogas Mass Flow Measurement–The Challenge


Sep 05, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my previous posts, I shared the focus on the growing need for renewable energy sources in the United States, with biogas becoming a hot commodity. Common sources include harnessing biogas from landfills, as well as digester gas produced at wastewater treatment plants.  One of the major flow measurement challenges in biogas applications is the fact […]

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Market Drivers: Thermal Flow Meters Gain Share Through Innovation


Aug 29, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Flow measurement requirements are not going away. If anything, market drivers like renewable energy, hydraulic fracturing of natural gas, and stricter emissions requirements are prompting a growing amount of industrial customers to find the best flow measurement solution for their application. In The History & Evolution of Thermal Flowmeters, author, Jesse Yoder states, “While the […]

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Innovation Recognized!


Aug 22, 2013
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

We’re honored that Flow Control Magazine has recognized Sierra once again with its Innovation Award.  And we’re also proud that we have been a winner of  Flow Control’s Innovation award for nine straight years. What drives innovation? It’s the desire to push into uncharted territory and discover.  Innovation is what drives Sierra’s engineering team—the excitement of  […]

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4 Things to Look for in an Online Industrial Flow Meter Store


Aug 16, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

As the e-commerce business model grows to include the mass flow meter market, there are some online players that have emerged. Over the last decade, companies like Instrumart, Omega, and others have entered the light and heavy industrial e-commerce game. Tech savvy 30-somethings are coming of age and embracing online buying as the norm rather […]

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Biogas Flow Meter Measurement: The Flooded Market


Jul 31, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my recently published article in Biomass Products & Technology , Precise Biogas Flow Measurement: Overcoming the Challenges of Changing Gas Composition, I highlight the nationwide search for alternative energy sources.  In the article, I note that this search has led to increased interest in sources of biogas energy specifically. Many flow meter companies have jumped into […]

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Biogas Energy Production: Why Accurate Flow Measurement Is Critical


Jul 25, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

The buzz around biogas continues to grow and with good reason. Efforts to find renewable sources of energy are in full swing, and harnessing energy from landfill gas or digester gas into biogas is a promising solution to the problem of high oil prices. In the July 2013 issue of Biomass Products & Technology, Sierra’s […]

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2013 Laboratory Equipment Winner: SmartTrak 100 Is Flow Meter of Choice


Jul 17, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

While there are many mass flow meters and controllers on the market, we believe our SmartTrak 100 stands out from the crowd, and the readers of Laboratory Equipment agree. The SmartTrak 100 has been named the best device in the Meters, Monitors and Gauges Category in the 5th annual Laboratory Equipment Readers’ Choice Awards. The […]

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For Improved Accuracy in Industrial Applications: Clean & Test Your Mass Air Flow Sensor


Jul 10, 2013
Freynold Usi, Software Engineer
Written By:
Freynold Usi, Software Engineer

In today’s dirty heavy industrial applications, engineers and operators are often faced with an inherent challenge which affects mass flow accuracy: How do I know if the sensor of my mass flow meter is clean? and How do I clean the sensor without shutting down the system? Because accurate mass flow readings are often critical for running an efficient […]

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Bluetooth Wireless Portable Liquid Flow Measurement Made Possible


Jun 25, 2013
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

As you might have guessed, Sierra has a passion for flow measurement and we are always striving for ways to improve our flow meters and processes to give you the best accuracy possible for your application. Today, we are pleased to announce the release of our new InnovaSonic 210 Portable with Bluetooth Wireless Android Tablet […]

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How to Select the Best Online Flow Meter Company


May 29, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

In an industry that’s slow to warm to the new trends of e-commerce—including ordering products straight from our hand-held devices!—the scientific measurement and control market is slowly turning the corner. Even though flow instrumentation has been around for years to help research scientists, this evolving e-commerce trend is giving customers access to highly customized flow measurement […]

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New Technical Resources: Power Supply and Cabling Options


May 22, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Believe it or not, many times selecting the correct power supply and cable for your product is the most challeging part of specifying and installation. To make these decisions easy, we have developed our new Technical Resources: Power Supply and Cabling guide to help you choose the best power supply and cable for your meter […]

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New Video: How to Configure Your Set Point on Your MFC


May 16, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Mass Flow Controller video series! Here at Sierra Instruments, we pride ourselves on great customer service, and this series is just another example of how we’re here for you every step of the way. From initial set-up to power options to our last video on “How to Configure Your Set […]

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New Video: Best Cabling Wiring Connections, Power Options


May 09, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Interestingly enough, our technical support team gets more questions about the compatibility between our power supplies and cabling options than any other installation question. This, as you know, is an important step to getting your MFC up and running-and providing you with accurate air flowmeter measurements—in no time. In recent weeks our, Technical Support Supervisor, Jim Oswald, has walked […]

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New Video: MFC – How to Set Up, Mount & Leak Test


Apr 26, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Jim Oswald, our technical support guru, has had some great response from our new videos. He gets call all day about mass flow control installation questions, so we hope these step-by-step videos can help you set up quickly and get to your work at hand. Our last technical support video walked you through the unpacking process […]

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New Video: Unpacking, Labels & Quick Installation


Apr 18, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We are excited to support our customer service team with the technical support resources to give you easy access to product set-up, installation, and troubleshooting information.  You’ve made the right choice in selecting one of our Mass Flow Controllers—designed to control the flow of air, and all inert gases and mixtures. Let Sierra’s Technical Support […]

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New Video: Best Practices for Leak Testing Inlet & Outlet Fittings for Your MFC


Apr 05, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Have questions about your mass flow controller or flow meter? We’ve got answers. We’re excited to unveil a brand new series of “how-to” videos answering your most frequently asked questions about mass flow controllers and flow meters on Sierra Instruments’ YouTube Channel and in our video section on our website. It is industry best practice to always leak […]

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Article Highlights Advancements in Flow Meter Accuracy


Mar 26, 2013
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Thanks Flow Control magazine for the great coverage and helping to spread the word to our customers about new technology to improve flow measurement accuracy, which always improves plant efficiency and saves customers money in the long run. John G. Olin, PhD, founder of Sierra Instruments and inventor of a number of flow industry firsts, […]

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Impossible, Right? MFC Next Day Shipment!


Mar 20, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Buyers of high-performance mass flow controllers or any flow instrumentation for that matter, have come to expect long product delivery lead times as an industry standard. It is accepted that many high-performance flow instruments need to be customized and calibrated for a specific application. And this takes time. Sometimes lead times are up to 4-6 weeks. But, for practical business […]

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Sierra Offers 10% Flowmeter Discount at Pittcon 2013, Booth 829


Mar 15, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Special Pittcon Offer: Visit  booth 829 and get a 10% discount coupon for online store purchases. Offer valid until March 28. I love the buzz in the air of “all things science” at Pittcon each year: laboratory equipment, life science and biomedical research technology, just about any lab gadget you can imagine. There’s no shortage of the […]

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Innovation on the Rise! QuadraTherm is a Gold Winner of the 2013 Golden Gas Award


Mar 13, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Our engineering team has worked tirelessly to bring to fruition a mass flow meter that provides you, our customers, with greater accuracy and increased efficiency, and our new QuadraTherm 640i/780i thermal mass flow meter is the result. You can imagine how pleased our team was to learn that the Quadratherm flowmeter has been named a […]

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Part 3: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Gas Temperature (Gas Properties)


Mar 07, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In Parts One and Two of this series, we looked at the effects of ambient temperature on mass air flow meters such as Sierra’s FastFlo™ 620S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i. As discussed, cold weather has few physical effects on the meter, but can degrade accuracy due to stem conduction, unless accounted for, as does […]

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Part 2: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Accuracy (Stem Conduction)


Mar 01, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Part 2: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Accuracy-Effects of Stem Conduction In Part One, we looked at the effects of cold weather on mass air flow meters like Sierra’s Steel-Mass® Model 640S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i. As discussed, cold weather typically doesn’t cause any physical damage to the flow meter, but it […]

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Cold Weather and Your Mass Flow Sensor


Feb 22, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Baby It’s Cold Outside Sierra is a global company, so we sell our mass air flow sensors into some pretty extreme cold weather environments.   Indeed, we are seeing more and more applications in the far North, where immersible thermal flow meters like Sierra’s Steel-Mass® Model 640S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i are used in […]

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Flare Gas Metering Solutions


Feb 04, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Waste gases must be flared in numerous industries ranging from oil refineries, well drilling operations (like shale gas fracking) to waste water treatment plants and landfills. Due to government regulations, flares are subject to stringent regulations requiring accurate measurement. Requirements to monitor the flow rate and consumption of flare gas involves measurement at points within a […]

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Fit for the King: Flow Meters & CO2 at Budweiser


Jan 11, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

When the King of Beers calls, we listen. As the #1 imported beer in China, Budweiser needed better control of its carbon dioxide (CO2) gas mass flow measurement at its Fujian Province plant. After trying several other, non-direct mass flow measurement technologies, engineers chose Sierra’s immersible SteelMass® 640S thermal mass flow meter. The reason behind their choice was that […]

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Cash Flow! Reduce Operations & Maintenance Costs for Improved Profits.


Dec 20, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

It all starts with measurement, then you can manage costs efficiently.  Only use as much natural gas, water and steam as your process needs and improve inefficient sub-processes.  Fluid flow is expensive; precision measurement improves the bottom line profit of your business.  Here are a few examples of flowmeters commonly used in industry to reduce operations […]

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QuadraTherm Flowmeter Puts New Spin on Fiberglass [Case Study]


Dec 04, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

What a waste! That’s what I thought when I learned how much material is rejected and how much gas is consumed during the fiberglass insulation manufacturing process. The biggest losses occur during the melting, spinning and subsequent cooling of silica, a key ingredient in fiberglass. For those who work in this industry, it’s a never-ending […]

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New QuadraTherm Flow Meter: iTherm Expanding Gas Library


Nov 27, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

The iTherm gas library stores proprietary gas packets, which are  analogous to the DNA of a specific gas. It stores all the parameters needed to instantly calculate the thermodynamic and transport properties of every gas or gas mixture versus temperature and pressure. Currently, the library has mapped 18 gases and mixtures, and it continues to grow […]

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New QuadaTherm Flow Sensor: with iTherm, It Learns!


Nov 20, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

With iTherm, It Learns… QuadraTherm’s four-sensor technology provides the critical inputs for iTherm’s living, learning algorithm set and gas library to accurately manage changes in gas and pipe selection, gas temperature, gas pressure, and outside temperature. Our revolutionary thermal mass flow meter with iTherm solves the First Law of Thermodynamics (for Thermal Dispersion Technology) in a fraction […]

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New QuadraTherm Thermal Flow Sensor Makes It Possible!


Nov 13, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Patented QuadraTherm’s Four-Sensor Design A major thermal sensor breakthrough for Sierra occurred with QuadraTherm, as two new temperature sensors (T2 and T4—see figure below) were added to the existing two-sensor design (T3 temperature & T1 DrySense velocity) used in previous flowmeter models. The two additional sensors perform real-time correction for the heat lost to the outside environment due […]

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New QuadraTherm 640i / 780i: Accuracy Never Before Possible!


Nov 08, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Innovative QuadraTherm Four-Sensor Design Traditional thermal sensors have two sensors—one temperature sensor and one velocity sensor, each in a separate probe sheath. QuadraTherm (the term “Quad” meaning “four”) introduces four sensors—three precision platinum temperature sensors and one patented DrySense mass velocity sensor. Performance improvements never before possible are gained as the QuadraTherm Technology isolates forced […]

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New QuadraTherm 640i / 780i: Introducing The World’s Most Accurate Thermal Mass Flow Meters


Nov 06, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

From Sierra’s beginning over forty years ago, we have been driven by the vision of supplying industrial customers with the world’s most accurate thermal mass flow meter. And, we knew it was a “sensor” game. The development of an industrialized metal-sheathed sensor in the early 80s was Sierra’s first big step, but we didn’t stop there.   Many successful innovations […]

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Flow Meters Maximize the Value of Your Ozone Generator


Oct 22, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

The use of ozone generators in water and wastewater treatment plants in the United States continues to increase. Those inside the industry know there are three main reasons for this: Ozone is a superior, environmentally friendly purifier when compared to chlorine and other chemicals Ozone technology, once exorbitant to implement, has become far more affordable, […]

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Advanced Flowmeters Make Community Water Treatment Easier, More Accurate


Oct 09, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Managing a community water supply system, whether government or privately owned, is definitely a costly endeavor. I know expenses are driven in large part by the need to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). However, even though I am familiar with the challenges rural water companies face because […]

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Under Pressure, Part 6: Size Matters with Flowmeters and Pressure Regulators


Oct 04, 2012
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

In this final post on pressure regulation and flow meters, I’d like to present a case study. A customer was convinced that our unit intermittently lost control for given flow rates. It turns out that as they increased flow rate, the outlet pressure of the regulator (inlet to the mass flow controller) was drooping below […]

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Under Pressure, Part 5: Flowmeters on the Ragged Edge of Pressure Drop


Oct 02, 2012
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

Think about it. It’s pretty much impossible to make a controlled pressure drop without burning up some energy as heat. Therefore, the outlet pressure and flow rate cannot be linearly proportional at 1:1, but rather, must have some positive loss of X:1, where X is greater than 1. So, for a given regulator setpoint, the outlet pressure […]

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Under Pressure, Part 4: More on Pressure Regulator Droop and Flowmeters


Sep 27, 2012
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

If my previous post on droop, the least apparent pressure regulation issue, wasn’t enough of the low down for you, let me share some more about this common issue that arises with flowmeters. Droop is the difference between the outlet pressure at low inlet pressures and at high inlet pressures along the ‘operating range’ of the […]

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Under Pressure, Part 3: How to Avoid ‘Droop’ (Hysteresis) with Flowmeters


Sep 25, 2012
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

If you’ve been reading my series on pressure regulation, you know my goal is to help you achieve the best possible gas mass flow control with your flowmeter. Previously, I’ve discussed undersizing and seat-drop lock. Now I want to move onto something that can really get you down – “droop.” Regulators may exhibit hysteresis, also known as droop. Droop is […]

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Under Pressure, Part 2: Don’t Run a Flowmeter Regulator into the Mud!


Sep 20, 2012
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

Proper line regulation, be it supply pressure regulation, or back pressure regulation, is fundamentally key to a properly tuned flow system process. All instruments operate most accurately under steady-state conditions, so awareness of regulator behavior and proper tuning will save you time and money on avoiding waste during transient conditions. In my continuing tutorial on mass flow […]

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Pressure Regulation Can Be a Sticky Wicket with Flow Meters


Sep 17, 2012
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

In the world of mass flow control, it sometimes surprises me how often issues with mass flowmeters can be attributed to improper sizing of pressure regulators. But given all the intangibles with mass flow, I do get it. So, if you are building a flow system that requires precision gas mass flow control, this is the […]

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How Biogas Generators Work with Air Flow Meters


Aug 28, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

For several years, Sierra has been working with the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility near Monterey, Calif., to improve the rate of biogas cogeneration. Santa Cruz produces energy – enough to power 3,000 homes – by blending digester gas (a by-product of its sewage decontamination) with natural gas. This type of biomass helps create electricity using […]

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Flowmeter Reliability and Service Win with Wastewater Biogas Plant


Aug 23, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The old maxim – waste not, want not – has taken on a whole new meaning in places like the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility, located near Monterey Bay in Northern California. At the plant, digester gas, a by-product of sewage decontamination, is captured and mixed with natural gas to form a type of biomass, one […]

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Precise PVD with Mass Flow Meters


Aug 03, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Developers and manufacturers of solar photovoltaic installations have seen a dramatic increase in business in recent years. If you’re part of this industry, you know that solar energy now generates power in more than 100 countries and continues to be the fastest growing type of electricity generation in the world. Due to the growing demand, manufacturing […]

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Accurate Fuel Flow Meters from Sierra-CP


Jul 31, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In addition to our Flow Measurement & Control Division, Sierra has a thriving Automotive Test Division called Sierra-CP that designs and manufactures a complete range of solutions for automotive test applications including engine, vehicle, powertrain, transmission, emissions, analytical and component testing. In engine and vehicle testing, extremely accurate fuel flow measurement is often a critical factor.  Our FuelTrak […]

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Buy Flow & Level Switches Instantly Online


Jul 24, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Sierra’s InnovaSwitch™ flow and level switches represent the state-of-the-art in gaseous and liquid flow switching or liquid level control.  The InnovaSwitch is easy to install and adjust, giving reliable, low maintenance performance in the most demanding applications.  Now, our InnovaSwitch can be specified and purchased online for the ultimate in convienence. Learn more…  

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Sierra Flow Summit: Asia-Pacific Region


Jul 19, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Sierra has a technical sales and support network spread across nearly every country in the Asia-Pacific region.  With headquarters and a world class flow calibration facility in Shanghai, the team got together for a Sierra Flow Summit recently to discuss products and services in the world of flow measurement and control with the goal of continually improving Quality, […]

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Website Now in 65 Languages!


Jul 16, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Building on our 150 locations in over 50 countries, the complete Sierra website is now translated into 65 languages at the press of a button.  It is our belief that this will further us on our mission to offer the best customer service and support imaginable to our valued customers spread across the globe. Just click […]

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SmartTrak® 140 Ultra-Low ΔP Mass Flow Controllers


Jul 12, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Get Incredible 4.5 psid (310 mBard) at Flows up to 500 slpm. When you need precision gas mass flow control of expensive process gases, where minimal pressure drop is a key consideration for cost savings and efficiency, the SmartTrak® 140 flow meter controls up to 500 slpm with an ultra-low ΔP of 4.5 psid (310 […]

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Sierra Brings World-Class Flowmeter Calibration to China


Jul 05, 2012
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

If you are a researcher, manufacturer or industrial manager in China or another Asia-Pacific region, you can now access today’s most advanced flow meter calibration services faster than ever before. That’s because we’ve opened a new flow calibration laboratory in Shanghai, Pudong. Called the Sierra Flow Center of Excellence, this cutting-edge facility joins our other certified calibration […]

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Assess Your Flow Meter Options with Simple Selection Charts


Jul 02, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

There are many mass flowmeter and mass flow controller options available. As you sort through the wide variety of styles, sizes and prices, you may be wondering which flow meter is the right fit for your application. In reality, more than one may meet your flow range needs. Now what? Let me introduce you to […]

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Out in the Cold: Mass Vortex Flowmeter Conquers Cryogenic Fluid


Jun 13, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Cryogenic fluids are key in a variety of industries with very low temperature applications, including medical, large-scale frozen food processing and electric power transmission. However, these fluids must be handled – and measured – with great care, which can be a challenge if you’re using a traditional turbine meter or other tools to assess various fluid […]

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Buy Insertion Thermal Mass Flow Meters Online; Next Day Delivery


Jun 07, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Thermal Mass Flow Meters Increase Boiler & Heater Efficiency The BoilerTrak™ 620s-BT is in stock and available to buy online and ready to fulfill urgent delivery requirements.  BoilerTrak was designed to provide an economical and easy to install solution for precise natural gas measurement to heaters and boilers to increase efficiency. The instrument is also suited for compliance […]

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Stop Getting Steamed (Part 2): Easy Vortex Flowmeter Retrofit


Jun 05, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

In my last post, I outlined problems you may be facing if you need to measure superheated steam accurately, and I promised to share a success story about our Innova-Mass multivariable vortex flow meter. A district energy provider for a Midwest city had hot air problems. Their old shunt meters were wearing out and leading […]

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Economic OEM Mass Flow Controller for PVD Applications


Jun 01, 2012
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

Those of you who work in the solar energy and semiconductor industry will be familiar with physical vapor deposition (PVD) or sputtering that is commonly used for creating films of material on a substrate in the solar energy and semiconductor industry. In the PVD process, a negatively charged electrode is slowly disintegrated by molecular bombardment. […]

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Ultrasonic Flow Meter Reduces Water Company’s Drain [Case Study]


May 23, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

The Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Company believed it was losing big. Historical estimates indicated that more than 30% of this small, independent water company’s production was going down the drain through leaks, waste, evaporation and other types of loss. The company budgeted almost $60,000 per year in initiatives to reduce these leaks, including labor and materials […]

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Stop Getting Steamed (part 1): Vortex Flow Meters Make Cents


May 08, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

If you’re a provider of superheated steam – commonly used to heat water and buildings in large cities in the northeastern United States – then you may be watching your revenue go up in smoke. As you know, steam is not free. Normally, it’s produced at a central facility and piped to customers. Like all other forms […]

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Live Help Online for Flow Meters? How Cool!


May 03, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

If you’ve made your way to our website to research flowmeters or to get information about specific products, such as advanced mass flow controllers or air flow sensors, you may have questions that need expert answers quickly. That’s why we’ve made Live Help available to you. When you click on the Live Help button, located at […]

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Flow Meter Do’s and Don’ts with Ammonia


Apr 25, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

At the recent Pittcon 2012 Tradeshow, we had many engineers and researchers stop by our booth wanting to measure and control ammonia. We’ve got a perfect product for the application, but there are a couple of precautions that you have to take. Some of the customers who have stopped by have run into the problem of ammonia […]

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Part 2: For Steam Flow, Mass Vortex Flow Meters Are Ideal!


Apr 18, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post, I discussed the problem of density errors creeping into steam flow measurements. When steam is superheated, you can determine density by the steam tables. But, as the vapor cools in a pipe, things aren’t so simple. I said the answer to the conundrum is actually “blowing in the wind” – that a […]

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For Steam Flow, Mass Vortex Flow Meters Are Ideal!


Apr 12, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

I want to discuss a special form of gas flow measurement – water vapor – otherwise known as steam flow. Traditionally, steam has been measured with orifice plates. The steam was typically saturated or had a known superheat, so the density could be obtained from the steam tables. However, steam naturally cools as it goes down the […]

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Buy a Customized Mass Flow Controller Online!


Apr 09, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

After reading Kam’s last post about how Sierra’s OEM and Custom Solutions Group can help you customize a flowmeter for your application, I got inspired to share a way you can custom configure our mass flow controllers and actually buy the flow meter online. Lets say you need a SmartTrak 100 digital air flow sensor for […]

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Customize Your Flow Meters


Apr 04, 2012
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

Did you know Sierra has a special team called OEM & Custom Solutions Group?  This team of engineers and technicians is dedicated to meeting the need for custom products. By utilizing nearly 40 years of  flow meter design experience, we modify any existing product to meet original equipment manufacturer (OEM), private label or general customer special […]

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Pittcon Trends: All Things Science


Apr 02, 2012
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

I never imagined walking through the vast halls at the annual Pittcon trade show that scientists had so many gadgets for making their experiments and data come to life – from rocking test tubes to sophisticated gas and ion chromatography devices. One common passion is evident through all this disparate equipment: scientists love their experiments […]

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Choosing a Flow Meter as Tough as Corrosive Gas


Mar 23, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Last week at Pittcon 2012, one of the interesting trends we have seen in the Bio/Pharm and general scientific research markets is the many people who want to measure and control corrosive gases. This has always been a tough application, but there are a few ways that we can help you be successful. The ideal flowmeter […]

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Riding the Waves of Climate Change, Part 3: Only Durable, Reliable Flowmeters Survive


Mar 21, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

This month I’ve been blogging about field researcher David Mucciarone, a Stanford University science and engineering associate. He’s part of a team that’s changing the way research about global warming is done, moving from discrete sampling to continuous, real-time monitoring. A key component of that shift is the flow meter in his chromatography-based flow-through sampling […]

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Riding the Waves of Climate Change, Part 2: Flowmeter Precision is Essential


Mar 05, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Recently, I wrote about how Stanford researcher David Mucciarone is helping redefine the way climate-change research is conducted  Riding Waves of Climate Change, Part 1. In making a break from traditional discrete sampling, which provides only a tiny snapshot of water conditions, Mucciarone has created his own chromatography-based, flow-through device that can sample a variety […]

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Riding the Waves of Climate Change, Part 1: Flowmeters Help Change the Way Research is Done


Feb 28, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Back in December, I shared how the Sierra Smart-Trak flowmeter traveled to Antarctica in 2006 with Stanford University researcher David Mucciarone. As a critical component of his data collection efforts, the flow meter helped him measure the breakdown of inorganic carbon during the Antarctic summer bloom. This important R&D work directly correlated with studies on global […]

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Wireless Flow Metering: More Than Just No Wires


Feb 10, 2012
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

In my last post, I described having your meters connected to a wired network, and the “remote” console wirelessly communicating with said meters. This time, I want to expand on this with introducing wireless meters into the mix. So, you now have 6 meters communicating on a wired network; and their data is being introspected by […]

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Natural Gas Measurement: 3 Reasons Thermal Mass Flow Meters Are Ideal


Feb 08, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

When it comes to metering natural gas, you’ve got several flow meter options.  However, thermal mass flow meters offer three distinct advantages over more traditional flow meters: No moving parts. As you can probably guess, moving parts can cause problems over time due to wear, lubrication and coating sensitivity. For example, turbine meters offer excellent […]

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A Thermal Mass Flow Meter in Outer Space


Jan 30, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

North America’s #1 selling thermal mass flow meter offering (Flow Research, Yoder), our heavy-industrial thermal mass flow meters are designed for the most demanding industrial gas mass or air flow measurement applications. Early developments in the evolution of mass flow meters in the 1950’s were largely driven by the need for highly accurate gas mass flow […]

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Part 2: Capillary Thermal Flow Meters vs. Differential Pressure Devices


Jan 26, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post on capillary thermal flow meters, I talked about volumetric flow and how it must be temperature and pressure corrected to obtain mass flow. Wouldn’t the world be a simpler place if we could simply measure mass flow directly? In fact, we do! Capillary thermal is likely the most ideal technology for accurately and […]

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Part 1: Capillary Thermal Flow Meters vs. Differential Pressure Devices


Jan 24, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The most common technology in use today for measuring flow is differential pressure “dP or ΔP” (orifice plates, pitot tubes, venturis and the like).  Indeed, that was the only flow measurement method I was taught in engineering school.  Well, things have come a long way in the 28 years since I picked up my degree. […]

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For Complex Applications, Have Your Mass Flow Controller Adjusted Remotely


Jan 12, 2012
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

The days of simple analog mass flow meters with no variables but a zero pot are gone. Now you can get great flexibility with advanced digital mass flow controller technology like our Smart-Trak 100. But, because of this virtue, the flow meter also has many communication variables. We try to keep it simple by minimizing the need […]

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How to Achieve Vapor Mass Flow Control with a Thermal Mass Flow Controller


Jan 09, 2012
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

I often get asked to describe the most challenging flow meter applications that Sierra has successfully handled. One that comes to mind is how we used a capillary thermal mass flow controller (designed to measure gas) to accurately control a liquid used in the semiconductor industry at extremely low pressure differentials of about 10 Torr. […]

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Breaking the Ice: Antarctica Researcher Meets Sierra’s ‘Smart’ Mass Flow Meter


Dec 13, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Working here along California’s Central Coast in Monterey, I don’t often get to experience a White Christmas or snowball fights or even the excitement of schussing down the slopes (unless I travel 4 hours to Lake Tahoe, Northern California). So, it’s really tough for me to imagine the frigid, barren conditions of the coldest place […]

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Measure Natural Gas Energy Accurately with Thermal Flowmeters


Dec 07, 2011
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

It is well known that thermal mass flow meters are effected by gas composition.  Because thermal mass flow meters are effected by gas composition, many customers are concerned about how composition changes effect overall system accuracy. Through many years of experience with gas mixtures, we have seen that in many cases, a thermal mass flow […]

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Suspended Animation: Perfect Gas Flow Measurement Required!


Nov 28, 2011
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Over the years I’ve worked at Sierra Instruments, I’ve had the opportunity to chat with many R&D professionals, including several who focus on medical research – a field that’s becoming more complex and sensitive all the time. Medical researchers who need to control the gas flow rate during experiments continue to demand higher and higher […]

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Are You a Mango? Three Big Advantages of Buying Flow Meters Online


Nov 21, 2011
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

If you’ve ever been up late at night – perhaps even on a weekend – trying to figure out how to get a gas mass or ultrasonic flow meter STAT, you’re a mango. A Frank Mango, to be precise. CEO & founder of Petroleum Habitats, an R&D start-up, Frank Mango needed a mass flowmeter, and […]

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Trends in Flow Meter Electronics


Nov 17, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

I often get asked, what are the trends in Flow Instrumentation Electronics? The answer is that some of the trends are going towards having multi-parameter outputs, more feature richness, and more and more digital communication options available while still being able to perform the basic functions. This is accomplished by making more modular and configurable […]

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Three Easy Steps to Leak Testing with a Gas Mass Flow Meter


Nov 15, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

Leak detection can be easy, but in the “good old days” (which some of us may still be living in today), leaks were time consuming to find and fix. Let’s compare how to find a leak the hard way, and then I’ll show you how easy it can be to automate the process with a mass flow meter. Fixing a […]

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Precision Gas Flow Control is Key to R&D Instrumentation


Nov 11, 2011
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

If you’re a scientific researcher, few things are as important as your ability to accurately control experimental research variables. Data – more specifically, precise data – is king! When you need gas flow rate measurement and control instrumentation, the ability to derive statistically sound and repeatable data is the key driver. Over the past several […]

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Upgrades to Food Processing Boilers Worth Their Salt: a Steam Flowmeter Case Study


Nov 08, 2011
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

When the operations staff at a large food processing plant wanted to reduce utility costs and better analyze boiler performance, they chose to retrofit their 35-year-old boilers with new electronic controls, as well as several of our Innova-Mass® Model 241 immersible multivariable mass vortex flow meters to accurately measure steam discharge. Previously run by old pneumatic […]

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Industrial Thermal Mass Flow, The Heat is On…


Nov 03, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

One of the more interesting stories I have been told about Sierra is the genesis of the company’s flagship product, our model 640S Steel -Mass ® Immersible Thermal Mass Flow Meter.  In the mid 60’s, our founder, Dr. John Olin, was working on his PhD at Stanford.  One aspect of his research involved studying the fluid […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: A Focus on Dilution


Oct 21, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

Dilution is a special application in the world of gas mixing.  Basically, you are diluting a concentration of gas in an already existing gas mixture. Let’s say you have a gas mixture of 10% Ar/90% N2 and you really need 5 Ar/95% N2 for your application. The solution is to add more N2 to the the mix, […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: ‘Kwik Kalucations’ with K-Factors


Oct 18, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

‘Kwik Kalucations’ with K-factors make gas mixing with a single gas mass flow meter simple. If you’re looking to improve flexibility and save money when it comes to gas mixing and blending applications, consider applying a “K-Factor.” A dimensionless numerical relation of a specific gas vs. air or nitrogen, a gas K-factor never changes. If K-factors will work in […]

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Transit-Time Ultrasonic Flow Meters Don’t Need to be Expensive


Sep 28, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

When you think about clamp-on, transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters, the first thought that usually comes to mind is the value that stems from the convienence and accuracy for liquid flow measurment–no pipe cutting, very high accuracy and reliability, no hassles.  But, that value does come at a price, and it is worth it if you take into account […]

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Accuracy in Gas Mixing & Blending


Sep 13, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

In my last post, I discussed the important question of Mass or Volume flow measurement.   Today, I will discuss accuracy and the need to size your mass flow controller properly to assure the highest quality gas mixing and blending. Mass flow controllers are devices that have an accuracy of % of full scale (%FS).  That means […]

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Wireless Networks for the Digital Flow Meter, Part 1


Sep 06, 2011
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

Last time I wrote about unified communications, which is the ability to use discrete communications protocols within a protocol network. This time I want to expand on the physical aspects of the network as it relates to flowmeters, including mass air, oxygen, pipe, water and other types. Let’s assume you’ve just purchased another five flow […]

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Understand Your Flow Profile for Real-World Flow Meter Accuracy


Aug 31, 2011
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

As explained in my last post on flow conditioning, distorted flow profile is a common problem in “real world” flowmeter applications. In some cases, customers can live with a distorted flow profile because they are using flow meters for a relative measurement of flow, rather than an absolute measurement of flow. In cases where the customer is looking […]

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Ultrasonics, Water Flow Measurement: Part 2


Aug 25, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post, I discussed Sierra’s decision to enter the giant water flow measurement market due to our intimate and successful history in the waste water treatment industry measuring air flow with our thermal mass flow meters. At that time, almost a decade ago, we looked at ways to measure water flow and narrowed it […]

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Ultrasonics, Water Flow Measurement: Part 1


Aug 15, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Since Sierra is a leading supplier of immersible thermal mass flow meters, I find myself heavily involved in the waste water treatment industry, where Sierra’s model 640S Steel-Trak® is the instrument of choice for measuring the low pressure air fed to the flocculation tanks, where oxygen-loving (aerobic) bacteria happily munch on the wastes. Over time, […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: Mass or Volume?


Jul 29, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

Mass or Volume: Important question! In my first blog post on gas mixing and blending, we saw that combustion is an important gas mix application. Combustion or burning is a chemical process, a reaction between molecules. To quantify the gas used we should count these gas molecules and not the space between these gas molecules. […]

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Capillary Thermal, How Exactly Does it Work?


Jul 20, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

I get many questions from customers about how a Capillary Thermal Mass Flow Meter, like our Smart-Trak 100, works. So, I decided to do a brief overview of the principle of operation to accompany the video below. https:// The total flow through a tube or piping system enters the CTFM where it passes through a Laminar Flow Element […]

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Air May Be Free, But Compressed Air Isn’t! (Part 2 of 2)


Jul 17, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post early last month (June 9th), Mr. Carlisle of  Air Compressor Supply was looking for compressed air flow meters to measure compressed air.  As I explained to him,  our Steel-Trak®   Model 640S is ideal for compressed air applications.  The 640S immersible thermal mass flow meter delivers the 1.0% accuracy and highly repeatable direct mass […]

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2011 Oil and Gas Moscow Exhibition Review


Jul 07, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

The 11th Moscow International Oil & Gas Exhibition (MIOGE) was held on 21 – 24 June 2011.  It was a slow turnout on the first day of Oil & Gas Moscow, but it was well made up on the days to follow. Our demo equipment came through fine and customers were excited to see what […]

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Beautiful fluid dynamics images on an earthly scale!


Jun 29, 2011
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

I am always struck by the often beautiful world of flow measurement. Even though we design and manufacture precision flow meters and controllers for nearly any gas, liquid or steam flow application, the images linked below explain why there are so many different measurement technology solutions (Vortex, Thermal, Ultrasonic, Magnetic, Coriolis…etc.) to handle the variety of fluid flow applications […]

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Air May Be Free, But Compressed Air Isn’t! (Part 1 of 2)


Jun 09, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Like you, I have become painfully aware of the increasing costs of energy in our daily plant operations. Recently, I was contacted by a company in Oklahoma with an interesting application. Air Compressor Supply Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, does compressed air auditing.  I asked the technician, Carl Carlisle, what exactly that meant. His explanation was […]

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Very Low Pressure Drop, High Flows: This Beast Has Wings!


May 05, 2011
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

Meet the MFC we proudly call “Hammer-Trak”… What if you require very low pressure drop across your mass flow controller and need to control higher flows? Case in point: I had a customer asked me to design an MFC to handle medium-to-high flows (100-500 slpm Air), with at MOST 1.0 PSIG delta across the unit.  To solve this difficult probelm […]

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Digital, Unified Communication for Flow Meters


May 05, 2011
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

You’ve purchased your new flow meters and installed them. They’re all running and providing high quality flow data. You’ve decided, rightly so, that you need to connect the meters together so you can get information from a centralized console and possibly even adjust these meters from that same console. The days of walking to each […]

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Understanding Flow Profile in the Real World


May 05, 2011
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

From my experience in the field, I have seen widespread misunderstanding of the physical phenomenon of “flow profile.”  Since our industrial flow meters actually measure flow at one point, an understanding of flow profile is critical.  The average user imagines that the flow in a pipe is uniform.  This is a flawed thought, and never […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: Why Do It?


Apr 27, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

Gas Mixing & Blending: Who, what and why? I am passionate about helping my customers obtain perfect gas mixing and blending!  I have been helping customers do this for over 25-years.  In this six part blog,  I want to discuss many of my experiences and aspects of gas mixing related to thermal mass flow controller technology. I want this blog to be […]

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