The difference between air consumption and flow rate can sometimes be confusing since both are specified using the same units.
Air consumption is the amount of air used by a system during a given time period. Air flow rate is the rate at which the air is consumed.
For example, a system which takes 1s to operate and is at rest for the remaining 59s for every minute, and consumes 100 liters of air per cycle:
Air consumption :100 L/min
Air flow rate :6000L/min
Flow rate is an important factor when sizing the control system components required to power a cylinder at a given speed.