Simply Seametrics

Liesbet Michiels, Seametrics Applications Engineer, describes different water flow meter options for consideration with your irrigation application. She highlights paddlewheel flow meters and a couple of Seametrics magmeters, how they work, and where they would be most suitable. We’ve provided some graphical elements to help you visual learners out there, and the verbal explanation helps those of us who need to see AND hear before we understand.

Seametrics manufactures a variety of flow meters for industrial, municipal, and irrigation applications. Product specifications and instructions are viewable under the downloads section of our website.

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Transcript of Video:
Hi. My name is Liesbet and I’m here to talk to you about how to choose an appropriate irrigation meter for your application.

There are two main types of irrigation meters, and there is one distinct difference between the two. One has moving parts and the other does not.

Here is an example of a propeller meter. You may already be familiar with this meter; it’s been around for over 50 years. It’s pretty easy to see how this meter works. As water flows through the pipe, it spins the propeller. The spinning motion is then carried into the head of the meter through either gears or a cable. In fact, some early versions of these meters actually used surplus drive cables from speedometers. The propeller meter has stuck around for so long because it’s easy to understand and relatively inexpensive. It also holds up great as long as the water is clean.

This is the most common problem. If you go around and look at a number of propeller meters, chances are you’ll find some that have stopped moving. As sand and grit get into the bearings that support the propeller, they’ll get worn out quickly. If the bearings become worn out they can jam or drag and make the propeller run slow.

Magmeters

This meter has also been around for 50 years, but not in irrigation. It has typically been used in the Municipal and Industrial water and wastewater applications. The technology on these meters has advanced so much that they can now be battery powered. This makes them great for irrigation use.

The increase in technology has also allowed for the cost of these meters to come down, making them more affordable than they once were.

The magmeter works the same as the alternator in your car. By Faraday’s law, as a conductive material such as irrigation water goes through a magnetic field it creates a small voltage. If you measure that voltage and you know the size of the inside of your meter, then you can calculate how much water is flowing through your pipe. The advantage of the magmeter is that there are no moving parts to wear out. This is very valuable in applications such as river or well water monitoring where there may be silt or grit in the water. Another advantage of the magmeter is that it doesn’t require nearly as much straight pipe as the propeller meter in order to function properly. In most cases it’s possible to connect the meter very close to an elbow and still get an accurate reading. Plus, telemetry and data logging are already built into this meter.

This is the Seametrics AG2000 Magmeter. There are a set of coils in here that create a magnetic field. Then on the inside are the electrodes that pick up the voltage and bring it up into the head of the meter. In the head of the meter there is a processor chip that then converts this signal into the rate and total indicated on the meter.

AG702

This meter is a segment of tubing, then a stationary pod mounted in the center. Inside the pod are electrodes and coils just like in the AG2000. There are no moving parts in this meter.

So, where would we recommend using a magmeter for irrigation? The worse the water quality, the more it makes sense to use a magmeter. If you have had previous experience with bearings wearing out, a magmeter may be a good option. If you don’t have much straight pipe in your configuration, we recommend the AG2000. If easy installation is more important to you, the AG702 might be the better meter for you.

Irrigation metering is here to stay as responsible water metering becomes more important. Meters can be a useful tool for water conservation and maximizing production through best irrigation practices.

For more information, please visit www.seametrics.com.

Team Inspects Seametrics Flow Meters in Nebraska

by Karin Grinzel on May 24, 2011

Last week a team of gentlemen from Seametrics had the opportunity to head out into the field to the great state of Nebraska. Darnell Hill (Customer Service & Support Specialist), Alan Gothelf (VP of Sales & Marketing), William Olive (Production Supervisor), and Paul Carlson (Plant & Manufacturing Engineer) flew into Denver and met up with some representatives from one of our Distributing Partner companies. They then formed into teams and made the rounds to just under 100 flow meters covering many miles of irrigation piping in Nebraska to check on installations and proper function. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to get out of the office, throw on some boots, and forsake the Seattle traffic and ever-available 4G network for pickup trucks, open roads, and “No Service” screen messages? All to experience the great outdoors with the broad range of elements…and cow pies…it has to offer. You know we all HOPED we’d be selected for this elite team! Luckies!!

The report came back that the Seametrics flow meters were functioning properly and doing their part to help with water conservation efforts. It’s good to know that our meters are doing what we say they will do. Our team was able to inspect the flow meters and installations and communicate with our engineers and manufacturing teams more effective ways for enhancing an already great product.

I joke about the “privilege” of being on this team, but it really was a good experience for each of them. If you look at the job titles of each person, you realize that “out in the field” (the literal one with dirt and water) wouldn’t necessarily fall into their list of duties. So, getting the chance to see and inspect Seametrics water flow meters already in operation is a real opportunity – not just to make our products better, but to expand the understanding and expertise of those who are building, selling and supporting them.

We could all stand to get our hands a little dirty every now and then to become better at what we do.

Hats off to the Nebraska team!

Nebraska flowmeter inspection

The Mission Behind Seametrics Flow Meters

by Karin Grinzel on May 11, 2011

Let’s be honest…for most people, the term flow meter doesn’t evoke feelings of excitement or passion.  We become familiar with flow meters because we’re told we need to monitor something.  We purchase and install them and then we don’t really think about them beyond the data they gather for us.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but that was my mentality when I came to work at Seametrics.  I visited the website and saw a bunch of flow meters and controls that reminded me of some catalog I’d seen on my Mechanical Engineer husband’s desk.  Yawn.  That’s about as far as any emotional connection stretched.

But after five years at Seametrics, I’ve seen a personal and corporate transformation.  I’ve come to realize that flow meters aren’t just a bunch of parts to satisfy some data collection need.  They can have a much greater purpose if we’ll take the time to stop and think about it.

Communicating that purpose is an area where we fell short as a company.  Our President and Co-Founder had a passion for water conservation that was communicated nowhere in any of our literature.  We considered ourselves to be an engineering company: a place where creative engineers could come to work and design cool flow meters that we could build and ship to people who needed them.

But a year and a half ago, we took our time to stop and think about what we were doing.  We realized our mission was much bigger than this and we wanted people to know that.  We weren’t just an engineering or manufacturing company, but we were also here to serve our customers with knowledge and support and to provide them with products that did their part in helping make the world a better place.

If you take a couple of minutes to view the video on our website home page, you’ll catch a glimpse of the heartbeat of Seametrics.  Our corporate tagline, Technology with a Mission – Saving Time.  Saving Money.  Conserving Resources. is our true north.  It serves as our guide and motivation.  We are here to create solutions that help conserve across the board.  We make our products as economically priced, durable, and easy to understand as possible, thus saving our end-users time and money when they utilize our flow meters.  And we do this because we believe that every drop of the most precious resource the world provides is significant. Seametrics is about the business of flow meters and controls, but our greater mission is supporting global water conservation.

The expansion of vision at Seametrics has been refreshing for me.  It has made me realize that the water flow meter industry is a fulfilling place to be.  We can all go home at the end of the day knowing we’ve played a role in a mission much bigger than ourselves.

Seametrics of Kent, WA is a company that is defying the trend of manufacturing in the United States and is dedicated to producing a majority of our products domestically in the US. From our entrepreneurial start, Seametrics has designed and manufactured most of the products we provide.

Modest beginnings coupled with a desire to limit debt and boot strap our own growth initially forced Seametrics to produce all of our own components because volumes were low and the company couldn’t afford to contract with suppliers wanting minimum order quantities. As the company has grown, this desire to keep inventories low, maintain a minimum debt load as well as provide quality craftsmanship has led to an ideology of “doing it ourselves”. Seametrics has a team of talented product designers and engineers as well as a skilled manufacturing labor force all working together to produce a quality, value based product for the markets we supply.

This line of thinking also extends to the components and materials we do have to buy or source. A conscious effort is made to source domestically whenever possible. This is not to say that every product we sell is made on site. The MJ-series product line is sourced off shore but every MJ-series meter that is purchased is unpackaged, checked for quality and repacked before sending out to the customer, continuing this mindset of providing quality and reliability to the customer and end user. Just as we fully warrant all internally manufactured products the MJ-series is fully covered by the Seametrics guarantee exemplifying the responsibility we take for every product we sell.

Today Seametrics has developed into a company with significant growth, international presence and a limitless future. With each product we develop we investigate ways to keep the process as vertically integrated as possible such as machining our own parts from raw metal stock to assembling all the subcomponents that go into our final products. The more we can make internally, the more control we have over our quality and scheduling. Seametrics feels a commitment to our employees as well a responsibility to grow the company and provide more quality employment opportunities for the future.