Tag Archives: Lab Research Gas MFC

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

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 flexibility and ease-of-use, many times the price of the mass flow meter for these “add-ons” drastically increases.

Over a decade ago, when designing Sierra’s SmartTrak 100 mass flow meters and controllers, our engineers realized the importance of designing a “standard model” flow meter that was fully loaded with easy-to-use features and the ability to quickly change flow meter parameters as the experiment changes.  Jim Oswald, Sierra’s Technical Support Supervisor, gives us an insider’s view of how easy SmartTrak mass flow meters and controllers are to use in the latest Flow Tip Video.

5 Reasons Why the SmartTrak is Easy-to-Use Even When Experimentation Conditions Change

  1. First of all, because of the illuminated LCD backlit display, which has been standard on the SmartTrak for over a decade, scientists can easily see the flow meter’s readout from many angles and change data easily through a push-button menu. The backlit display also has low power consumption.
  2. Many times in experiments, application conditions change like flow rate, gas, or configuration. If your gas changes, you can quickly choose from 10 preprogrammed gases with our Dial-a-Gas feature through the onboard push-button display or remote pilot module, which is essentially a “remote” display/interface for adjustment to challenging experimentation configurations. Simply choose a new gas from the menu and it’s ready to go, without losing any accuracy. You can also adjust engineering units, flow range, and set zero, span and full scale independently for each gas.
  3. For easy integration with your system or experiment, add a plug-in Compod which turns the SmartTrak into a mini PLC–no additional computers needed. The Compod module replaces a touchpad and allows you to communicate not only with one, but with over 200 SmartTrak units if you install a multi-drop. You can add functionality to control a positive shutoff valve, add a pulse output, and read and react to a pressure transmitter.
  4. Free user software and a variety of communications protocols like Modbus, Profibus and Foundation Fieldbus, make every SmartTrak easy to integrate into your digital communications network.
  5. Accurate and repeatable data regardless of changes in application parameters make experimenting easier–no repeating experiments due to unreliable flow data. SmartTrak’s NIST traceable accuracy is backed by our ten-point primary standard calibration over the entire flow range.

Learn more about the SmartTrak Series or download the Infographic.

New From Sierra, MEMS-based Thermal MFC’s Set the Long-Term Stability Bar – High!


We have been in the capillary thermal mass flow business for nearly 45 years, many have asked us why we recently introduced MEMS thermal mass flow controllers into our product offering.  Combining superior physics, high reliability, and unparalleled flexibility, our new Sierra MEMS-based RedySmart brand mass flow controllers complement our Sierra Capillary-based SmartTrak brand mass flow controllers.

Unparalleled Stability









Our RedySmart MFC targets the Biopharm industry where historically, Sierra did not have a product with a perfect fit.  Biopharm OEMs appreciate the modularity, compact size, and price of the RedySmart MFC.  The incredible long term stability is probably the biggest factor.  Making a big statement in the industry, all Sierra MEMS devices, including RedySmart and RedyCompact, come with a Lifetime No-Drift Sensor Warranty for long-term peace of mind for end-users that will rely on these devices for top results.  Sierra is the only company in the industry to stand behind MFC sensor stability claims with a warranty.  Stability is made possible by state-of-the-art high-precision MEMS (Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems) technology utilizing an advanced CMOS  (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensor architecture.











50x Magnification of Redy MEMS Sensor

RedySmart thermal mass flow devices contain no moving parts and are unaffected by upstream temperature and pressure fluctuations, resulting in exceptional accuracy and repeatability.   With a compact footprint, easy integration onto a cost-effective multi-device gas mixing blocks, and a wide array of communications protocols, Sierra can now produce a gas mass flow meter or controller to meet nearly any requirement.