ISA Interchange

Welcome to the official blog of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the automation community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

All Posts

Evaluation Question

An analog electronic d/p transmitter has an output of 4-20 mA which represents 0 to 100 gpm (0 to 378.5 lpm). On a properly calibrated transmitter, what is the output in gpm (lpm), if the transmitter output is 12 mA?

         a.    25                 (94 lpm)

         b.   33.3             (126 lpm)

         c.   70.7             (267.6 lpm)

         d.   50                 (189.3 lpm)


 This question has to be read carefully because a lot of people including myself , tend to say 50 because 12 mA would normally would represent 50% of your span. However, the question states that you are using a differential pressure transmitter to measure gallons per minute which is a volumetric flow unit. Therefore you have to use the square root because flow is directly proportional to the square root of the differential pressure. This can be done in the transmitter or the DCS, but not both.

The correct formula for the above question is as follows:


 In other words,  take your output signal which was 12 mA and subtract 4, giving you 8. Divide 8 by16 which gives you 0.5. Then you take the square root of 0.5 which is 0.7071 and multiply it by the maximum flow rate of 100.

 The answer is c. 70.7 gpm.


Mark Weisner
Mark Weisner
Mark Weisner is a technical specialist at ISA.

Related Posts

ISA: Growing Stronger Together for a Brighter Future

As a part of the International Society of Automation (ISA) community—I see firsthand how our Society need...
Eddie Habibi Feb 29, 2024 9:46:56 AM

Is AI the Key to Unlocking Procurement Cost Savings?

As more people experiment with using artificial intelligence (AI) for real-life use cases, many wonder if...
Emily Newton Feb 27, 2024 10:15:02 AM

My ISA Journey

My ISA journey thus far has been one ripe with growth and knowledge. I’m lucky to say it has been one of ...
Prabhu Soundarrajan Feb 22, 2024 12:12:00 PM