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Flowmeter calibration reduced to hours

New mobile flow calibration rig cuts process downtime with meters being tested and re-installed the same day

ABB's new mobile flow calibration rigA new mobile flow calibration rig, designed and built by ABB, is set to provide a convenient and simple solu-tion for testing and recalibration of a range of flowmeter types. By travelling to customer locations, the mobile rig can dramatically reduce industrial process downtime, enabling equipment to be removed, tested and re-installed in the same day.


Traditionally, having a flowmeter tested or recalibrated has entailed the time, cost and inconvenience of removing the flowmeter, packaging it and delivering back to the manufacturer or testing house for checking. The flowmeter is then returned to sender and re-installed, hopefully with no damage occurring in transit. With the whole process potentially taking up to five working days and incurring plant or production down-time, it's little wonder that many companies are reluctant to have their flowmeters checked unless it's really necessary.
ABB's mobile calibration rig makes this a thing of the past. Housed in a bespoke Vauxhall Movano, the rig features two trolleys which are designed to run water through a closed loop. Trolley one houses a water tank, pump and variable speed drive, with trolley two holding the reference meter and the customer's flow meter being tested.

To calibrate accurately, the proven comparative method is used, with the flowmeter under calibration being installed in a pipeline, upstream of the reference meter. A steady flow of water is then passed through the pipeline and both meters, and when stable a timer is started. Both outputs from the meters are recorded concurrently and after a set period of time the timer is stopped. After the calibration run, the data collected from both meters is then compared, with any deviation reported to enable the meter under calibration to be realigned correctly.

In this case, the reference meter is ABB's highly accurate CoriolisMaster flowmeter, which has been calibrat-ed to high accuracy of +/- 0.1 percent via gravimetric methodology.
This setup can test up to three flowmeters using a three-point calibration check during one visit. Five-point calibration checks are also available if desired, although this can reduce the number of flowmeters being calibrated in one day.

The calibration flow rate and measurement data are controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) located within the control panel. Once the measurement parameters are inputted, the PLC takes automatic readings and produces a certificate which can be used to determine full calibration traceability. This helps to prove continued regulatory compliance by being able to document accurate independent calibration through approved third party signed certificates.

As well as documented regulatory compliance, mobile calibration can help improve industrial process opti-misation. By having a mobile calibration rig come to site, the tested flowmeters can continue to measure the industrial process hours later, rather than days.

With the meter in place quicker than normal calibration would allow, downtime and major disruption are minimised. This is hugely beneficial as some plant operators will only consider a clean-in-place (CIP) meth-od due to the negative impact removing the process measurement meter can have. However, this method of cleaning without disassembly can leave microscopic amounts of impurities that can affect accurate meas-urement.

To eliminate further risk of contamination the rig only uses potable water. This ensures any meter that is tested can be installed directly after calibration without the fear of inaccurate process monitoring.
Unscheduled maintenance and downtime are also reduced by having reliable, accurate meters that have been regularly calibrated to exacting standards. Furthermore, this helps to maximise process uptime and plant efficiency.

In addition, regular calibration maintains high working standards of meters measuring potentially dangerous processes involving hazardous chemicals. Inaccurate measurements can cause processes to be unsafe and increase the risk of preventable accidents.

The new mobile calibration rig from ABB is designed with its customers in mind. By travelling to site with a versatile mobile calibration rig, a range of flowmeters including E-mag & Coriolis can be calibrated and re-installed the same day. Plant disruption and downtime are dramatically reduced, ensuring that regular maintenance is not ignored through fear of cost and inefficient process monitoring.

To find out more about the mobile flow calibration rig, please contact ABB on 01453 826 661 or email, quoting the reference "Mobile Calibration".ABB's Measurement & Analytics business unit ( is among the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of instrumen-tation and analyzers. With thousands of experts around the world and high-performance technology, ABB's team is dedicated to making measurement easy for its customers.


ABB (NYSE: ABB) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 125-years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 coun-tries with about 132,000 employees. For further information about ABB's temperature range, visit, email or call 0870 600 6122.

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