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Trends in Flow Meter Electronics

Nov 17, 2011

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 electronics. So for instance, in the past, a flow meter would just indicate flow. Now the capability of adding temperature and pressure outputs in a single installation is being requested more often, this helps simplify installation costs and complexity.

Also the instrument must be capable of replacing outdated equipment using the same simple power and analog I/O connections. For the addition of all the various types of digital communications available today such as RS232, RS485, Zigbee, Hart, Device Net, ProfiBus, FieldBus…etc the list goes on and on, you need modular electronics so you can install various communication modules. This is done so the quantity of build variations and electronics PCA’s can be kept at a minimum while allowing the greatest flexibility in product configurations and in future features and options to be added. With the addition of all these features and options the firmware and software needed to calibrate and use a given instruments electronics is becoming more and more complex.

So, to summarize, flow instrument electronics need to more and more flexible and versatile allowing for additional features to be “bolted on” while still allowing the basic and most cost effective instrument to be produced.

Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Sierra Instruments

Response to Trends in Flow Meter Electronics
  1. I want to read the flow of a 780S for rs232 without using the sip software, what should I do?

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