Direct Mass Flow Improves Burner Efficiency

Industrial mass flow control is a vital part of combustion and burner control in manufacturing applications. Precise control of the mass flow of the fuel-to-air ratio to the burner maintains constant melt temperatures, enabling quality products to be produced for the manufacturing industry such as metals, glass, and ceramics manufacturing.

Optimal flame temperature is created by one mass flow controller controlling the gas feed and another mass flow controller controlling the exact combustion air supply required, as shown in Figure 1.

Industrial Mass Flow Control to Automate Burner Control

Figure 1. Burner Control Application

For instance, glass manufacturing process engineers constantly seek methods to improve glass quality, increase production capacity, and reduce raw material waste. A constant burner temperature is required at all times to produce the perfect quality glass.

If too much natural gas is fed into the burner, the flame will be too hot, resulting in the glass melting. If there is an insufficient amount of natural gas, the flame will not melt the glass which would ultimately result in a defective product.

Without using mass flow controllers and only using manual control of the natural gas and air flow to the burners will result in high levels of rejected materials, with excessive gas consumption.

SmartTrak 100

Sierra’s SmartTrak 100 provides the perfect solution to automate the burner control process, with more than 100,000 MFC installed over the last twenty years. Thermal technology is employed by SmartTrak mass flow controllers for direct mass flow control of the fuel-to-air ratio to the burner.

Using thermal technology, the SmartTrak flow controller can count and control every gas molecule flowing through the instrument, not volume, to obtain unmatched precision. The SmartTrak 100 MFC delivers stable, smooth, repeatable, accurate, and reliable gas mass flow control.

Unaffected by upstream gas pressure and temperature fluctuations, gas mass flow control is unequivocal and direct. Only with this type of precision control manufacturers are able to control the exact fuel-to-air ratio for combustion, resulting in increased efficiency, superior product quality, and ultimately more profit.

The SmartTrak is CE-approved, and available in any flow range, from low flows (0 to 0.1 sccm) to high flows (to 1000 slpm) as well as a small footprint at 50 slpm (suitable for OEMs) and full suite of digital communication for easy process integration.

SmartTrak also provides a wide operating range for pressure and temperature with low pressure drops (4.5 psid) and high pressure options (up to 5000 psig). The MaxTrak 180 is specfically designed for industrial mass flow control combustion applications, and is available with Type 316 stainless steel flanges for the harshest industrial environments, as well as industrial waterproof IP67 and NEMA 6 enclosures.

SmartTrak™ 100 Digital Mass Flow Controller

Figure 2. SmartTrak™ 100 Digital Mass Flow Controller for Fuel-to-Air Ratio Control to Burners.

  • Direct mass flow with thermal technology ± 0.5% full scale accuracy
  • Pressure to 5000 psig (345 barg) and low pressure drops (4.5 psid)
  • Small footprint at 50 slpm suitable for OEMs
  • Wide range of mass flow rates from 1000 slpm and to 0 to 0.1 sccm
  • True multi-gas digital mass flow controller
  • Industrial mass flow controller option with 316 stainless steel flanges and waterproof IP67 and NEMA 6 enclosures
  • All aspects of the instrument viewable and changeable with user-friendly push button display
  • Profibus and Foundation Fieldbus digital communications for network integration
  • Plug in Compod to make MFC a mini PLC Modbus
  • 10-point NIST calibration on primary standards or “Do-it-Yourself” calibration program



This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sierra Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Sierra Instruments.


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