In 2015 we launched two new annual opinion surveys – building on a number of surveys that we have conducted in the past –to examine industry trends.
The new surveys look at the challenges facing manufacturing and production, regulation, safety, international standards and general trends.
One survey is specifically for oil and gas, the other is for the general process sector.
Meeting the requirements of safety standards including safety integrity levels (SIL), pressure equipment directive (PED), positive material identification (PMI), ISO17025 and the control of major accident hazards (COMAH) can help to avoid the potential failure of a critical component which could lead, in the worst case, to a catastrophic failure of a process and loss of life.
There has been increased focus on safety issues in the offshore and process sectors over recent years. We want to make sure that our manufacturing focus is on safety in relation to both the environment and industry trends.
Issues surrounding the environment and hydrocarbon releases, asset aging and life extension drive the focus on safety. We want to be able to help in the process of recognising hazards and reducing risk as well as help engineers to take ownership of risk and asset integrity through proving assertions about the functionality and construction of instruments.
Asset integrity management ensures that the people, systems, processes and resources that deliver integrity are in place, in use and will perform on demand over the asset’s life cycle.
Being able to prove assertions about the manufacture and functionality of equipment are vital in this process.
That’s why we are seeking the views of design engineers, industry leaders and decision makers across industry.
Litre Meter was founded in 1975 as a manufacturer of industrial flowmeters. Today, the company still manufactures flowmeters, but with a slight shift in focus – more than 80% of its products are designed specifically for the harsh conditions of the offshore oil and gas industry.
The shift towards offshore supplying happened largely due to Litre Meter’s ability to engineer new products, as many offshore oil and gas rigs require custom-built flow measurement solutions for chemical injection; however, the ability to engineer new products has sometimes been a setback for Litre Meter, as the majority of orders would often require custom engineering despite the company’s extensive catalogue of standard products.
Litre Meter defines its company by the strapline, ‘Specialist flow measurement engineering’, representing four of its unique and client-oriented company principles:
Specialist: Litre Meter is a specialist manufacturing company, focusing solely on products for measuring flow, rather than level or pressure.
Flow: its products drill down into the finer flow details, such as flow rate and flow total.
Measurement: its products measure flow accurately – they are not flow switches or flow indicators.
Engineering: although it offers a catalogue of standard products, Litre Meter can engineer bespoke solutions for unique challenges.
The VFF series
Litre Meter’s shift in focus began a little over 25 years ago, when it first adapted a standard industrial flowmeter for use on a North Sea oil rig. The popularity and success of this custom device led to the eventual production of their flagship range: the Viscous Fluids Flowmeter (VFF) series.
The VFF series is hugely popular and very adaptable, but its standard range has still been largely overshadowed by a flood of custom orders – until recently. One of the innovations for the 2015 range of VFFs included a new by-product: the FlowPod. The device itself is two-wire and fully HART compatible, with stainless steel housing. It opens up the popular VFF series to an even wider range of low-flow applications, and gives even the most obscure requirements near-instant access to Litre Meter’s innovative engineering without the need for custom designs.
Introducing the FlowPod
Litre Meter decided quite early on that the FlowPod would be its only supporting instrument, and it has completely transformed the way the VFF range can be used.
Designed as Exi and Exd from the outset, the FlowPod was built in an enclosure small enough to be mounted directly onto the meter body, and gives Litre Meter an innovative method of incorporating extra functionality like reverse flow and redundancy measurement.
For Litre Meter, introducing the FlowPod to the VFF range was a great way to combine multiple design elements, gathered over 30 years of experience, to make an impressive and useful meter with a focus on utility plus weight and size reduction.
The 2015 VFF range includes more than 800 end-user drawings, representing more than 115,000 meter combinations and covering almost every conceivable possibility. While previously, around 80% of Litre Meter’s sales were for custom products, the introduction of the FlowPod means that only 5–10% of meters will now need any extra engineering at all. Most customers can simply access instant PDFs of general arrangement drawings, parts-list drawings and lifting diagrams, together with STEP files, as part of their Litre Meter quotation.
For Litre Meter, this means a faster sales cycle and more revenue; for the customer, it means much faster quotation, production and manufacturing times. 2015 has already been a big year for Litre Meter, and by raising its game and producing a range of meters without equals, it has truly cemented itself as a top-tier supplier of flowmeter technology to the chemical injection industry.