The Alicat Blog

How can I take advantage of PID Tuning?

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Alicat flow and pressure controllers use closed loop control algorithms to achieve their highest degree of control stability. The algorithms are a mathematical relationship that dictates the response of the valve to the flow or pressure conditions. It assesses the difference between the set point and the process value—whether it be mass flow, volumetric flow, or pressure—as an error. The degree of error determines what kind of input to send to the valve, reaching the correct value in the quickest ...

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Alicat Mass Flow Controllers Powers MDC’s XpressStick Gas Delivery Module

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Gas connection module benefits from Alicat’s MCE’s high precision flow control

Alicat Scientific’s MCE mass flow controllers have been integrated into MDC Vacuum Products’ XpressStick™ MFC Gas Stick. With precision control of gas flows of up to 20SLPM and onboard display, Alicat’s MCE provides gas programming functionality to the gas connection module, which links pressurized gas inputs to vacuum chambers.

The Alicat MCE accurately controls gas flow rates as low as 0-0.5 sccm full scale or as high as 0-20 slpm ...

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Modbus TCP/IP Added to Alicat Industrial Automation Protocol Options

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A full range of communication protocols to integrate Alicat mass flow and pressure instruments into process scheme

Modbus TCP/IP compatibility has been added to Alicat Scientific’s line of mass flow, pressure, and liquid instrumentation. The new option allows PLCs running the Modbus industrial automation protocol to connect to Alicat instruments over Ethernet cable.

Modbus edited_800Alicat instruments rapidly and precisely monitor and control critical process parameters in chemical, medical, manufacturing and power industries. All ...

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Where’s Alicat supported?

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Canada, South Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Australia, China, India, Brazil, USA … where does Alicat not have regional support??? Well Antarctica, but can anyone else say they have distribution there? Nope!

Through the years Alicat Scientific has built a network of knowledgeable sales channel partners around the world to work with you to determine your mass flow and pressure needs. They maintain constant communication with the Alicat headquarters to ensure that the information they possess is up to date ...

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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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