The Alicat Blog

The valve offset parameter

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How does Alicat do it?! How can a proportional control valve hit a setpoint from zero so quickly and accurately?

Part of the answer is our valve offset setting. It’s like having a sprinter poised in the starting blocks, versus standing flat-footed, when the starter pistol sounds.

Valve offset is an adjustable control parameter which affects the amount of drive power applied to a closed valve. When we’re building a controller for a customer—and nearly all of our instruments are built-to-order—this ...

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Totalizer Averaging Smooths Out the Data in Flow Measurements

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Alicat’s optional totalizer feature is a great way to meter the total flow through a system. Adding a totalizer to a controller means you can dispense fluids in set quantities. We call it batch mode: set a total mass desired, set a flow rate, and the controller stops when the delivery amount is reached.

Totalizer averaging adds another number to your totalizer screen—the average flow rate during the metered period.  Calculating the average after the sample has finished is ...

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Gas Chromatography’s mobile phase and mass flow control

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It’s safe to say that a Gas Chromatograph is one of the most important tools one will see in an analytical chemistry laboratory. Chromatographs are the workhorses of the analytical trade. When it comes to separating, analyzing, verifying purity, or determining concentrations of various chemical concoctions, the “GC” as it is commonly known, can provide a quick, accurate, and repeatable result for a large cross-section of known compounds. Of course, to have precision in analyzing means all the components ...

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7v Firmware Update Makes Interface More Intuitive for Alicat Flow and Pressure Instruments

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We’ve just made it easier to use your Alicat mass flow meters and pressure controllers from their front panels. This post has all the details on our 7v firmware update, which features a more intuitive user interface.

If you’ve been with Alicat for very long, you’ve seen us add new menu selections to our flow and pressure instruments from time to time. We incorporated these features into a set of “Miscellaneous” menus (MISC1 and MISC2) in order to preserve the existing ...

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Customer Experience: Ethernet/IP

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Most customers don’t call us for our razor-sharp wit, or our slightly eccentric social skills. Instead, we know with certainty that whenever a customer comes to us, they have a problem that needs to be solved. While Ethernet/IP™ is not required for every process, some customers insisted on it. We recently added Ethernet/IP to the list of available communication protocols that can be configured on any mass flow, liquid, or pressure device. We wondered what the most significant benefit was ...

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The RS-232 Communication Protocol and your Alicat instrument

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The 55-year-old RS-232 protocol is the default method of talking to Alicat devices. Aside from RS-232, you could configure your instrument with RS-485, Profibus DPV1, ModBus RTU, DeviceNet, and Ethernet IP protocols. For the bulk of our customers however, the tried and true RS-232C communication standard will remain the go-to method for commanding and reading Alicat devices.

The Not-So-Standard RS-232 Standard

One of the main reasons that RS-232 has survived for over five decades is that it is a useful, but low ...

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Custom Part Number Decoder

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Because Alicat instruments are so highly customized, our part numbers get quite long and confusing. Customers often want to reorder a similar instrument or to find out what options are included in a particular one so they can repurpose it. The part number, printed on the silver manufacturer’s label on flow body of your Alicat instrument can tell you a remarkably large amount about what the factory settings were when we shipped it.

Senior Applications Engineer Mike Owen has put together ...

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3 reasons why Alicat is the fastest flow controller company in the world

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Building the fastest mass flow meters/controllers and pressure equipment in the world is both a point of pride for us and a unique factor for which our customers select Alicat instruments. The question is, ‘fastest’ in regards to what? Having started working at Alicat Scientific recently, I’ve found these three things which help make Alicat the fastest flow controller company in the world.

Reason #1. Fast Sensor Response Times

Alicat devices have the fastest response time compared to any other flow ...

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Alicat Adds Industrial Automation Protocols to Vacuum Flow Control Instruments

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EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet options integrate mass flow instruments into coating and sputtering process control

Alicat Scientific has expanded the communications protocol offerings on its line of mass flow controllers for vacuum coating applications, adding EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet. Alicat’s MCE-Series and MCV-Series mass flow controllers ensure the optimal coating environment in vacuum chambers, maintaining product integrity in vacuum deposition.
The Alicat MCE and MCV accurately control gas flow rates as low as 0-0.5 sccm full scale or as high as 0-20 slpm ...

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Remote Control of Alicat Instruments with Flow Vision SC

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Flow Vision™ SC

Flow Vision SC is Alicat’s Windows® desktop application for controlling and logging data of our flow and pressure control devices. It is versatile and intuitive, with many capabilities—which you might also say about our instruments. It is separate from the COMPOSER™ and Gas Select™ firmware built into our main product lines, Flow Vision apps expand and complement the built-in firmware.

The graphical user interface (GUI) of Flow Vision SC allows for actions as simple as polling or ...

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