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  1. Products
  2. Sensors
  3. Flow sensors / flow meters

Systems for flow monitoring

ifm's product range of flow sensors offer different measuring principles, materials, and displays to meet the requirements of different industrial manufacturing plant operations across the United States. Commonly, manufacturing facilities rely on flow sensors to monitor varied types of liquid, from water, oils, and coolants, to gases like compressed air, argon, nitrogen, or other aggressive media. Electronic flow sensors can prevent damage or downtime caused by wear and tear of mechanical moving parts, offering a longer lifecycle than traditional sensors that have critical failure points. Their application areas range from simple monitoring tasks as an on/off switch to precise digital flow rate measurements. 

Almost all ifm flow sensors have come equipped with IO-Link technology for close to a decade, allowing you to increase the amount of process data available to you and to log that data over time for trend analysis. Most products offer the ability to monitor additional process variables such as temperature and pressure as well as sensor diagnostic information. The IO-Link technology is truly plug and play for whenever you want to harness its power. Simply plug your sensor into ifm’s IO-Link masters and send your sensor data directly to your SCADA, MES, ERP, or CMMS systems for analysis through the IoT port without interfering with your existing PLC infrastructure. IO-Link is the foundation of the fourth industrial revolution, commonly referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), underlying concepts like predictive maintenance.

Flow meters

Flow meters provide an absolute measurement of volumetric flow rate or total flow volume.

Flow rate is the amount of fluid flowing per unit of time, measured in units of gallons per minute, liters per minute, or cubic feet per minute. It is the most common flow measurement used in manufacturing. ifm offers several product families of flow meters, such as:

  • SM magnetic flow meters, also known as magmeters, for water-based media. The SM family offers high-precision flow measurement of conductive liquids in a compact in-line footprint.
  • SU ultrasonic flow meters for water-based media. In addition to conductive media, these sensors can also monitor deionized water flow.
  • SV vortex flow meters for water-based media. The SV family provides a low cost alternative for monitoring flow in 1/2" and 3/4" lines.
  • SB mechatronic flow meters for water-based and oil-based media. The sensing principle of these meters ensures 10 msec response time for coolant cycling applications and other applications requiring fast response time.
  • SD mass flow meters for compressed air, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and argon flow monitoring. These sensors can be used as part of an overall strategy of energy optimization by identifying leaks in your system.

Total flow volume is the amount of fluid that has flowed in a given period of time. It is measured in gallons, liters, or cubic feet. Common applications include measuring fluids for process recipes or for monitoring usage of a particular machine, production line, or business unit. The flow sensors with this totalization function include:

Flow sensors and flow switches

ifm's flow sensors and switches are solid state alternatives to mechanical flow switches for sensing the flow velocity of liquids and gases. Because there are no moving parts to jam or break, these products eliminate the maintenance headache of mechanical switches. They use thermal sensing principle and they can be inserted in pipes as large as 16" in diameter. They are ideal for flow/no flow applications such as preventing your pump from run dry conditions. The product families for these applications include:

Select by application

Click on "Select by application" to compare all our technologies in one place and to gain access to further information about each product family.