What is an optical flow sensor

Flow sensors

Flow sensors are used to measure the flow rate of a liquid or a gas. There are a variety of different types of flow sensors including ultrasonic, electromagnetic, Karman vortex, paddle wheel, variable area, thermal, and membrane flow sensors. Flow sensors that do not require media contact for flow detection are particularly effective in avoiding potential problems. For example, ultrasonic sensors - often in a contactless design with a clamping mechanism - can be installed outside the pipeline to enable flow monitoring without affecting the pipe system. This avoids any risk of adverse effects on the fluid and eliminates the need for pipe modifications. Electromagnetic sensors detect the flow using the electromotive force generated by electromagnetic induction. Models that use an electrode outside the water outlet are most effective. Sensors that use the Coriolis method measure the backward force created by the flow of liquid in a vibrating, U-shaped tube. Alternatively, thermal sensors measure flow rate by measuring the amount of heat that the liquid is removing from a heating element.

Advantages of flow sensors

A wide variety of liquids and gases can be used in production processes or in the manufacture of products. In order to guarantee the quality of products and processes, the monitoring of the flow rates and flow rates with a flow sensor helps to improve or stabilize the product quality.

Using a flow sensor to monitor flow rates and flow rates enables data to be collected for alarms, diagnosis and analysis. In addition, flow sensors enable the management and control of the smallest flow rates for dosing and spraying jobs. The supply of compressed air, nitrogen or argon gas can also be monitored with a flow sensor.
Clamp-on flow sensors, which do not come into contact with the media to be detected and thus do not adversely affect the liquid, are also able to detect very low flow rates at high speeds. This is often necessary to control the amount of release agent, disinfectant alcohol and flux applied.
Most flow sensors offer various interfaces to the machine controls. Switching signals, an analog output or a fieldbus interface help with simple data transmission and the adaptation of process controls.