Learn about advances in flow measurement and tracking software.
by Cheryl Ades Anspach
November 5, 2018

Manufacturing operations and commercial sites rely heavily on water for many of their operations. Used for everything from producing steam to cooling various systems and maintaining overall machinery, modern facilities cannot afford to be without water.

Easy access to water-use information is imperative for organizations of all sizes. Increasing government regulations, rising water costs, natural resource scarcity and growing cultural awareness demand it.

Use of Cloud-Based Analytics

There is an urgent need to save, reuse and recycle water, as well as develop methodologies to improve resource management and optimize water treatment efficiency. For commercial and industrial facilities using various pumps and systems as part of their operations, it is important to know how much water is consumed for operational processes and how much wastewater is produced by those processes.

A growing number of facility operators are partnering with manufacturers of flow measurement, control and communications solutions to implement an advanced water management system for their equipment assets.

One such solution is a cloud-based software platform that provides greater visibility and control over water resources in demanding applications. It optimizes information with targeted advanced metering analytics. The system has interval meter data working to address demands for actionable intelligence and improve operations.

How the Technology Works

The system consists of a cloud-based software platform, cellular endpoints and high-accuracy flow measurement instruments. It provides proactive intelligence for optimal water management, including faster leak detection, water conservation clarity and data collection for compliance reporting.

The software enables an overview of system performance virtually anywhere and gives facility managers the analytics needed without the time and expense of a complicated infrastructure. It delivers a dashboard capability for improving management of water use in a range of commercial and industrial environments.

The cloud-based application is hosted on a secure platform with automatic software upgrades, ensuring the latest technology and features are always available. The software can be integrated with other operations and process systems via an application programming interface (API). The system uses secure and robust encryption to ensure data is reliably transmitted and received. Its integrity is maintained and cannot be captured or altered by unauthorized users. Certified under ISO 27001, this system meets the Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting framework for SOC 2 for data security.

Role of Flow Measurement

It is critical for facility operators to install advanced flow measurement technology to measure actual water usage, understand where water is used, analyze why water is needed and then make the right decisions to optimize performance and efficiency. In many cases, the best choice is a clamp-on transit time ultrasonic flow meter. This meter is frequently used in liquid flow applications due to its accuracy.

With a transit time meter, ultrasonic waves transmit upstream and downstream through the pipe wall and liquid flowing in the pipe. By measuring the difference in the travel time and knowing the pipe size, the meter determines the velocity and flow rate.

Transit-time ultrasonic flow meters also have diagnostic capabilities that other flow technologies do not. By measuring the sound speed of the fluid, they can report changes in fluid temperature or other properties.

Clamp-on ultrasonic meters can be installed without cutting or tapping the pipe. They reside outside the process line and provide flow measurement with reduced installation costs, uninterrupted production, installation flexibility across a range of pipe sizes, no pressure head loss, no contact with internal liquid and no moving parts to maintain.

Latest Metering Advancements

One ultrasonic flow meter is a cost-effective solution for measuring water flow bi-directionally in several applications, including water systems, wastewater effluent, agricultural irrigation and industrial discharge.

The clamp-on ultrasonic meter is ideal for users requiring a high level of applicability, functionality, economy and performance. The meter resides outside the pipe and is compatible with a range of pipe sizes. The meter can be installed without intruding on the process piping, and can be retrofit into existing installations without shutting down system operations—reducing both installation time and material costs.

A clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter is a valuable tool for helping manage pump and system performance in a number of ways. The meter can provide the baseline and load profile information needed to effectively optimize system efficiency and reduce energy consumption and costs.

Benefits to Facility Operators

By deploying the latest water management and metering analytics technology, facility operators can gain a greater understanding of water usage patterns to quickly resolve or prevent related issues. They receive the information needed to monitor their operations, improve inefficiencies and address equipment problems and wasteful behavior.

Solutions like cloud-based software platforms enable facilities to obtain data and analytics for proactive management and decision-making, without the time and expense of managing their own fixed network system. Paired with an innovative flow measurement solution, they enable users to better address key areas such as process planning, maintenance and resource deployment and leakage detection and rectification.

Conclusion

Commercial and industrial facilities consume vast quantities of water and create an increasing amount of wastewater. This places greater emphasis on environmentally responsible water treatment and leveraging reclaimed resources.

Thanks to the latest advanced metering analytics and flow measurement technology, facility operators can be smarter about their resource consumption to achieve more reliable, profitable and sustainable operations.

Read more issues of Flow Meters by clicking here.