The Mini Flow Air Test Stand is an air flow measurement system specially designed for highly accurate and repeatable measurement at low flow ranges. It measures air flow for large aircraft and land-based, gas turbine parts, and meets a wide range of component flow range air testing needs of OEMs and their suppliers.
- Small Footprint for use in Cellular Manufacturing
- Highly repeatable results (±0.25%)
- Accurate measurement (±0.48%)
- Highly customizable controller software for test automation and data management
How does this flow controller work?
This test stand is a sonic nozzle (critical flow Venturis) based airflow test instrument for measuring the flow parameters of flow circuits. The test station contains critical flow Venturi manifolds, piping and pneumatic control hardware, a data acquisition and switching control hardware, pressure and temperature measurement instrumentation, and a computer with control software. The computer software handles the opening and closing of critical flow Venturi flow paths and calculates airflow rates based on sensor inputs. The software also monitors the airflow conditions to ensure the sonic nozzles are in a “choked” state and that the flow is stable. The software allows for generating, saving, and recalling test configuration data as well as configuring, saving and printing test results data.
Related Products for Measuring Different Flow Ranges
The Mini Flow Air Test Stand is one in a series of air flow test stands designed for the aerospace and turbine engine-based component industries. These test stands are designed to provide complete, automated solutions for flow measurement.
For information on related products, read the Air Flow Test Stand Product Comparison.
Complies with OEM Test Specifications
OEMs and their suppliers worldwide require quality airflow measurement of passages in both aircraft and land-based turbine engine components. Each OEM has a unique testing specification and their suppliers must be flexible with the test procedures in order to comply with each OEM test specification. Accuracy, repeatability, throughput and availability are critical elements in the design of these test systems. These air flow test systems currently comply with the in-house testing procedures of ABB/Alstom Power, ABB Gas Turbines, Pratt & Whitney America, Pratt & Whitney Canada, General Electric Aircraft Engines (General Electric Infra, Aviation), General Electric Power Systems (General Electric Infra, Energy), Honeywell, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Allison Engine, Rolls-Royce, Solar Turbines, Siemens, Siemens-Westinghouse, Snecma, and many others.
Traceable to NIST
All Flow Systems air test stand sonic nozzles and instruments are traceable to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The Mini Flow Air Test Stand come in four configurations:
|Configuration||Air Mass Flow Range||Sonic Nozzle Diameter Range||# of Sonic Nozzles||Turndown||Flow Port Connections|
|Conifuration A||0.0005 – 0.1 lbm/sec||0.031″ – 0.177″||6||200: 1||1.5″ Sanitary Flange|
|Conifuration B||0.001 – 0.2 lbm/sec||0.044″ – 0.250″||6||200:1||1.5″ Sanitary Flange|
|Conifuration C||0.002 – 0.42 lbm/sec||0.063″ – 0.250″||7||400:1||2.5″ Sanitary Flange|
|Conifuration D||0.1 – 0.9 lbm/sec||0.354″ – 1.000″||4||9:1||6.0″ Sanitary Flange|
|Part Pressure Range||1 – 20 psig, custom range available|
|Part Pressure Ratio Range||1.07 – 2.36, custom ranges available|
|Repeatability||Less than ±0.25%, defined as 2 standard deviations divided by the mean of 20 samples|
|Pressure Port Connections||4 Swagelok Instrumentation Female Quick Connectors – QC series, color keyed|
|Cycle Time||20 – 60 seconds, capacity dependent|
|Dimensions||54″ H x 50″ W x 24″ D|
|Weight||400 to 600 pounds based on configuration|
For additional information on system specifications, refer to the Test Stand Capabilities.
Per TAE ISO Guide To Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM)
- Contact Flow Systems for more detailed information
The system controller software handles the opening and closing of sonic nozzle flow paths, sets the proper pressure at the inlet of the Unit Under Test and calculates the mass flow through the sonic nozzle manifold. The controller also monitors the airflow conditions to ensure the sonic nozzles are in a “choked” state and that the flow is stable within ±0.1% of the pressure ratio set point. Controller software is written using National Instruments LabVIEW™.
Report Live Data and Compare to Historical Data
- On-screen tabular and graphical results are displayed in real-time
- Variety of user-customizable reports
- Allows the operator to read all system sensors, read status and error messages
Schedule Single Test or Multiple Test in Series
- Allows any number of configured tests to be executed in a sequence
- Virtual tests can be programmed to calculate and evaluate results based on previous test values in algebraic equations
- Programmable pause– operator can add a pause between tests for part modification or setup before starting the next test
Customize Controller Software and Integrate Data
- Controller software can be customized to fit a wide variety of customer needs
- Data can be integrated with customer’s local databases and/or information systems
Data Storage Formats
- Standard storage format is SQL database
- Customized data storage options available
Determines Test Measure Value Ranges of a Part
- Allows the operator determine the “test measure” or flow value without knowing anything about the part other than the test setpoint
- Used primarily for research and development to determine the test measures of a new or test part
- Sets an upper and lower acceptance limit based upon the measured value and a user defined tolerance
Monitor Performance using Statistical Process Control (SPC) – Optional
- SPC features provide the customer a method for monitoring the performance of the Unit Under Test in real-time and in relation to previous production parts to identify variations in the part production process
- Develop and manage flow test configurations in conjunction with shop floor controlling information system
- SPC features can be customized to suit customer’s quality control criteria
Determine Average Value & Repeatability of Master/System Unit Under Test
- Measures the repeatability, average and percent difference (measured and calculated) of a series of consecutive flow tests through a master Unit Under Test
- Allows the flow results of a master part to be included in the test report for other production parts, which allows the repeatability of the test bench to be monitored over time
- Performs test stand audits by measuring the repeatability, average and percent difference of a calibrated master sonic nozzle against the installed system nozzles
Tests and Suggests Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) Parameters
- The system flows the Unit Under Test and uses the natural response of the system to calculate Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) parameters
Troubleshoot & Diagnose System and Part Leaks
- Leak Test Diagnostics: Test the system and attached customer part fixtures for leaks
- Critical Flow Venturi (CFV) Valve Leak Check Diagnostics: Determine the seal integrity of the CFV valves
- Manifold Leak Test Diagnostics: Determine the leakage of internal test stand pressure manifolds to ensure integrity of test stand
- Data Acquisition Device Diagnostics: Self-check to determine status and communication with data acquisition hardware and instrumentation
Test Fixture Flow Restrictions
- Test the air flow restriction caused by the part fixturing
Troubleshoot Issues Using Internet-based Support – Optional
- After connecting the test stand to the internet, receive technical support from Flow Systems
Additional Software Screenshots
Test Measure Finder
Test Result Configuration
Main Production Screen
PID Auto Tune
The facility requirements below are to be supplied by the customer at the installation site.
|Electrical Power:||100-240VAC / 50-60Hz / 1pH, 7.5-15 Amp|
|Inlet Air Connection:||3/4″ – 1.5″ FNPT based on configuration|
|Pressure:||70 – 120 psig|
|Temperature Range:||60° – 90°F|
|Particulates:||< 5 microns|
|Oil Content:||< 10 ppm|
|Pressure Dew Point @ >100 psig:||< 39°F|
Flow Rate: Equal to the lesser of the maximum capacity of the flow bench or the requirement of the largest part for a 100% duty cycle. An air receiver will allow for maximum flow at less than 100% duty cycle.
Photos & Schematics
Additional Software Screenshots
The following are pictures and schematics of the Mini Flow Air Test Stand.
Technician Configuring Test
Front View with Panels Closed
View / Download System Diagram as PDF
Front View with Panels Removed
Front View with Panels Closed
Pneumatic and Instrumentation Diagram
The following is a list of options available for this test stand:
- Software customization including database integration, networking, SPC (Statistical Process Control) and more
- Custom Fixturing Options
- Compressors, dryers, filters and receivers
- On-site installation, training, commissioning and upgrades
- Heat exchangers and Dewpoint alarm
System Check Standards
The following optional additions are available to monitor the ongoing system accuracy and can also be used to diagnose problems: