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Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Manufacturing


May 29, 2014

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, it’s important to also be able to assess the manufacturer:


  • What is the company’s expertise?

  • Is it focused on just one flow measurement product or many?

  • Does its manufacturing procedures drive product safety and accuracy?


Since we have been manufacturing flow meter solutions for more than 40 years, we have learned and adhere to best practices to create the highest quality product possible. When assessing your flow measurement equipment, you should consider the following best practices.

Sierra’s Standards for Mass Flow Controller Manufacturing

In the design and production of mass flow controllers and meters, manufacturers should:

1.  Design and manufacture instruments to have a burst pressure sufficiently above their specified pressure rating of the instrument. The instrument must meet applicable pressure vessel codes, and these codes should be cited in the specifications of the instrument.

2. Pressure test every instrument at a pressure sufficiently above its pressure rating to insure safety when in use. However, the test pressure should be sufficiently less than the burst pressure so that the integrity of the instrument is not compromised during the pressure test.

3.  Comply with the hazardous-area and electrical-safety codes and other standards and codes cited in the specifications of the instruments.

4. Provide to users only those instruments that have a leak integrity specification that insures safe use with the gas of the application. Manufacturers shall leak test their instruments. Leak testing equipment should have sufficient sensitivity to insure compliance with the leak integrity specification of the instrument.

5. Burn-in their instruments using a protocol that insures compliance with their long-term drift and accuracy specifications.

6. Flow calibrate every instrument. The flow calibration standard used should have an accuracy that is at least factor of 2, and preferably a factor of 4, better than the accuracy specification of the instrument under test.

Following these best practices are sure to result in the most accurate measurement outcome with your new mass flow meter or controller. Have any other tips we didn’t mention? Please leave them in the comments section below.

Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Sierra Instruments

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