Money, money, money – or, as we now call it, Flow Assurance, coupled with a low flow meter
The VFF rotary piston flowmeter has been used for many years to measure scale inhibitor at a variety of flow rates, pressures and viscosities.
Money, money, money – or, as we now call it, Flow Assurance, coupled with a low flow meter
The VFF rotary piston flowmeter has been used for many years to measure scale inhibitor at a variety of flow rates, pressures and viscosities.
Litre Meter now provides all documentation electronically for it’s manufactured flowmeters. That’s not just a manual emailed to the client, either. Each meter has a product label and includes a QR code and URL. At the website location there’s a minimum of a calibration certificate, quick start instructions and a full Installation and Operation Manual (IOM). Most will also have material certificates, hydrostatic test certificates, wiring diagrams and a function test cert.
The product label is comprehensive, providing all calibration data. The URL provides everything else the installation engineer might need. Using a smart phone and scanning the QR code is even more convenient.
Charles Wemyss, CEO of Litre Meter, says:”If a client needs any information emailed we just send the link. For larger projects with a number of flowmeters and larger documentation packages we include a single zip file for ease of downloading. We’ve been providing this as part of our service since 2013 and our customers love it! This is a project dear to our hearts that cuts waste right down and provides our clients with a very quick and easy access point. As far as we know, there is no other instrumentation company providing this level of data direct to their clients.”.
Litre Meter QR code allows remote access to documentation
Litre Meter have been making meters for higher pressures for over 3 decades. Our first 1,380bar unit was shipped in 1997. We’ve now produced a brochure to cover these ratings.
Litre Meter have been manufacturing flowmeters since 1975. We’ve always concentrated on the harder margins of metering typically at low flows and/or at high pressure. The VFF range has many uses in the oil and gas industry and meets the high specifications required. Outside of oil and gas we have manufactured these to 2,500 bar. We have recently noticed a trend towards 20,000 psi ratings and this brochure is in response to that.
Since 1997 Litre Meter has made numerous VFF meters for 1,380 bar in Oil and Gas applications and a reference list is provided at the end of this article.
The same design can be used on 22.5ksi (1,550 bar) with little modification.
The breakthrough in our design philosophy came in 2005 when we separated the measurement of the fluid from the pressure containment. We designed a measurement chamber that floats in the pressure vessel. This ensures accurate, pressure independent flow metering from 10 psi to 20,000 psi. The Pressure Balance Chamber is explained below.
The VFF has successfully metered fluids such as oils, hydraulic fluids, corrosion / wax / asphaltene / demulsifier / pour point depressant (PPDs) /scale / hydrate inhibitors, biocides, oxygen scavengers, etc. for over 30 years. Meter bodies are produced in a variety of high grade materials which offer good chemical and environmental resistance.
Applications for flow‐rates as low 0.00013 litres/min (0.19 litres/day) have been metered within the offshore oil industry. The VFF flow meter provides exceptional rangeability with potential turndowns of up to 3000:1, dependent on operating viscosity.
The meters range in size from the smallest standard stock size, LF03 ‐ 18 L/Hr max, to the largest V270 ‐ 270 L/min max. Higher flow‐rate meters are available to special order.
An extensive range of meter designs and materials offers pressure ratings to 20,000 psi (1,380 bar). Higher pressure rating designs are manufactured up to 4,000 bar (60,000 psi). 20,000 psi designs available, as standard, up to HF60 and special designs can measure higher flow rates.
The VFF meter is not just one size, one specification. It’s a comprehensive range of carefully engineered devices to meet today’s standards in the most demanding oil & gas arenas. It’s truly a Versatile Fluids Flowmeter.
In the illustration below the smallest meter is typically housing an LF05 or LF15 rotor and chamber with FlowPod instrument and Autoclave Engineers MP connections.
The middle unit is a medium size meter, say, VFF4 with hub connections and FlowPod display.
The right‐hand meter also has hubbed connection sizes, FlowPod display but is larger to accommodates the HF60 rotor and chamber.
What Is a Pressure Balance Chamber?
Extensive testing by Litre Meter in 2005 proved that leaks occur over the top of the rotor at higher pressures. This is due to minute distortions of the cap. For example, at 700 bar the cap moves by just 0.02mm in the centre. Increasing the bulk of the cap still produces this movement. The effect on meter performance was the creation of a leak path for fluid that avoided the positive displacement of the rotor. This was equivalent to about a 3% inaccuracy at 700 bar. As a result, of this Litre Meter designed a pressure balance chamber for its VFF flowmeters so it could operate at extreme pressure and at low flow rates. The pressure balance chamber acts as a barrier, protecting the internal measurement components of the instrument from the high pressure conditions, preventing them from expanding and contracting under the immense pressure. NO DISTORTION MEANS ACCURATE MEASUREMENT AT ANY PRESSURE. All VFFs over 414 bar are fitted with this technology. It is identified by the letters PBC in the calibration certificate.
All VFF flowmeters are custom calibrated across the customer specified min – max flow conditions and working viscosity. The minimum flow rates achievable are dependent on fluid viscosity. To see the achievable calibration ranges for each meter size please consult the table below. We can offer meters that range from 0.005 L/hr to 3,600 L/hr at 20K pressures to best suit your applications and with exceptional turndowns.
Litre Meter have already provided meters for 2,500bar. Offshore models at 22.5k & 25k are designed and 30k, 40k and 50k will be produced.
Litre Meter continues to innovate in the field of flow measurement. Recent successes include the LF05 and LF03 size meters, a new sensor, the FlowPod instrument and the FlowLabPro calibrator series. In the near term, expect to see lower flow capabilities, more calibrators and a low flow meter for any liquid type.
Litre Meter: Operating hours during the holiday season.
December 23rd 2016: 08.30 to 12.00
We reopen: December 28th 8.30 to 17.00
December 29th: Open 8.30 to 17.00
December 30th: Open 8.30 to 15.00
January 2nd 2017: Closed
January 3rd: Open as normal from 08.30
Seasons Greetings from all at Litre Meter.
We were recently interviewed for a story by our local Chamber of Commerce. This is the result:
Specialist global flow measurement company Litre Meter has come a long way since its conception in 1975.
Set up in the attic of the Wemyss family home – with a calibration rig in the boiler house and a flow lab in the cellar – it was inevitable for a teenage Charles Wemyss to get involved in the family firm established by his father.
Litre Meter provided flow measurement engineering solutions that were ahead of its time and was set up to create one particular product, the Pelton Wheel – designed as a low cost economical meter for flow.
Charles said: “The product line was unusual at the time but now there are far more competitors to it. We still make it and it is still our company logo.”
From age 12 Charles worked in the business in school holidays but despite the cutting edge products and the company’s impressive initial success, he was uninterested in following in his father’s footsteps.
But when his father tragically died in a road traffic accident in 1978, the future of the company lay solely in the hands of Charles and his mother.
And they have done him proud.
Litre Meter has gone from strength to strength and cemented its presence as an international market leader in the flow measurement field, exporting products worldwide.
Now with a 16-strong team and manufacturing and selling from a converted barn in the North Marston countryside, unprecedented sales over the past three years have recently been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen.
Litre Meter was awarded the UK’s highest accolade for sustained business exporting success – The Queen’s Award for International Trade.
Charles, now Litre Meter CEO, tells inbusiness: “We had two very successful years which were recognised in turnover and profit but this was a different recognition altogether. It was barely believable.
“It means as much abroad as it does here as a symbol of achievement. It provides a reassurance for our clients that we are of a certain standard.”
The award recognises continuous achievement, through sustained international trade. Litre Meter were praised for their enviable reputation, excellence in design and manufacturing, investment in British Engineering Excellence and service to the global oil and gas market.
“Our vision has always been to become the most respected specialist flowmeter measurement company in the world and this award reflects our continued commitment to that goal,” said Charles. “My father would have been immensely proud.”
In 2013 and 2014 Litre Meter enjoyed its most successful period ever, winning more orders in two years than in the previous six years combined.
This was driven by an increasing presence in the oil and gas sector, which has led to a substantial increase in export business. Over 65% of Litre Meter’s sales are exports.
Charles said: “There are some solutions we’ve got that no one else can do in the world so there’s no competition. We can do much lower flow rates and much higher pressures than most people and that means we can keep pushing those boundaries and keep innovating – that keeps us competitive.
“Our big market – where we sell more than half of our equipment – goes offshore to the oil and gas industries and they need those higher pressures and lower flows.”
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing in recent years, there have been many challenges along the way.
Charles recalled: “The most difficult time was the recession in early 2009. It was very tough. We had put together an ambitious plan and presented it to the staff in the January. We called it 5 x 14 – to triple our turnover in five years. Two months later we had to reduce all staff to a three day week. The drop in the oil price really affected us then.
“We did get to 5 by 14 – we had £5 million worth of orders in one year.”
A key development that has led to this stupendous success was the manufacture of the Viscous Fluids Flow Meter (VFF), which was originally designed in the mid-80s.
“That’s the product that lifted us and took us to where we are now,” said Charles, who fully took over at the helm of Litre Meter 12 years ago. “It was the right product at the right time. We spent many years refining the product to match the customer’s need, coupled with a worldwide expansion in the market we designed it for and the two things came together quite nicely.”
Litre Meter was sold in 2011 to a large conglomerate, but Charles still sees it as a family firm.
“My proudest achievement is keeping all these guys employed for such a long time. We might now be owned by an enormous American privately owned group but we are still 16 people in a field in North Marston.
“The success we’ve had – and what you don’t realise when you’re in the middle of it – was a big team effort.”
Charles accepted The Queen’s Award for Enterprise from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace this summer.
ON YOUR CAREER: “I studied mechanical engineering at Sheffield. I graduated in the June/July and was working here at Litre Meter by the September.
“My tutor at Sheffield was head of the flow measurement lab but I had no interest in flow at all. It was the last thing I wanted to do. But I was sick of cleaning the hospital (straight after university) so I rang the MD of Litre Meter and he had just fired his chief engineer.”
DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY: “We sell and manufacture flow meters and we vary our designs to meet customer requirements. A lot of the jobs are customised, bespoke, made to measure.”
JOINING THE CHAMBER: Litre Meter save money every year by using our International Trade team for export documents. “The service is first class,” said Charles.
We are delighted to celebrate being one of the select businesses recognised as winners of the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the UK’s highest accolade for business success.
Our award was received for Enterprise in International Trade and was in recognition of achieving significant year-on-year growth of export sales from 2013 to 2015. In turn, this helped us achieve record increases in turnover and profits resulting in a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 48%.
CEO Charles Wemyss: ‘As a very specialist company working on an international basis from the middle of a field in Buckinghamshire it is an outstanding achievement to be recognised at the highest levels for our success.’
Litre Meter was established as a family business in 1975 by the current CEOs father, where it moved to Buckinghamshire in 1978. Today, Litre Meter is recognised as the world’s premier Flow Measurement Specialist, employing home grown talent in a converted barn in North Marston. Our highly engineered products are used in various industries throughout the globe, such as the Oil & Gas sector, where they can be installed on platforms in some of the deepest seas and most arduous environments. We pride ourselves in using local suppliers for our materials, where possible and are proud to be an active part of the UK’s engineering heritage.
Notes for Readers
Litre Meter was founded 40 years ago 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:
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.
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.
Innovations include a new compact size and design with reduced weight using high strength material specifications for high pressure applications. The new range of meters is suitable for low and high viscosity liquids at pressure ratings from 414 bar right up to 4,000 bar (60,000 psi). The range covers the measurement of fluids from 0.3 centistokes (cSt) to 100,000 cSt and flow rates of 0.0008 l/hr to 16,200 l/hr.
We have 40 years’ experience in successfully designing and manufacturing bespoke flowmeters for extreme environments for the most demanding industries and applications.
The VFF series has been distilled into one series to meet the specific requirements of chemical injection flowmetering. The new 2015 VFF range uses the same ultra-reliable rotary/oscillating piston technology that Litre Meter has developed and refined over the past 30 years. With one moving part the flow meter is a robust and low maintenance component within a chemical injection system.
The VFF range has a wide of standard options so we can quickly respond to fulfill most chemical injection enquiries. A full drawing package is available detailing every option in either PDF or STEP formats.
Specifying the right meter for a system is now even easier to specify with a new VFF meter software, a step-by-step builder that takes the user through all the meter options available. When the meter has been selected the user can search the Litre Meter database of over 400 general arrangements and parts listing drawings. For more details the user can browse 3D STEP files for the correct meter to download and insert into the skid assembly.
Meters are constructed from 316L stainless steel, Duplex Super Duplex, titanium and 6Mo. Other materials are available on request. Standard connections include NPT, Autoclave, ANSI flanges, Grayloc hubs, Galperti hubs and Techlok hubs. Two wire Exia and 2/4 wire Exd versions are available and 4-20mA, HART7 communications is standard with new pickup sensor capabilities.
Other innovations in the 2015 VFF range include a new rotatable and positionable Exd approved display union, new sensing options with increased reliability, reverse flow detection and increased resolution.
We are excited about the new range. The new compact and lightweight design has been developed specifically for integration within chemical injection skids. Its footprint is further reduced because positive displacement flowmeters don’t require straight lengths of pipe in the system before or after the meter.
We have also responded to industry demands with regard to lifting requirements for offshore by adding lifting eyes manufactured from certified forged material to every meter that weighs 16 kg or more.
As part of part of the TASI group of companies Litre Meter now has new representation in Singapore. A new KEM/TASI Flow office in Singapore has been established with Claus Weihermueller appointed as regional manager of KEM/TASI Flow Asia Pacific & Middle East Operations.
Claus has spent the past 15 years working in the field of flow metering and has been living and working in Singapore for eight years. He will promote and further expand the KEM/TASI business in the region, including Litre Meter.
Litre Meter’s ability to highly customise its meters has led to the company winning a significant order to supply meters to a company that produces hydraulic systems to the oil and gas industry. The fluid to be measured was Castrol Transaqua HT 2, with a viscosity of 3,95 cSt at 20 degree Celsius. The meters were bespoke slimline ones with a wide turn-down to allow for additional meters on a skid.
VFF positive displacement meters had to be made to operate at different pressures and flow ranges with different connections ranging from a VFF8 meter with a design pressure of 44 Bar, a scale of 0.3-30L/min with 25mm Female BSPP or equivalent size connections up to HP20 Flowmeters designed to work at a pressure of 950 Bar with a scale of 0.1-10L/min and 3/8” MP Autoclave connections.
All the flowmeters were located and certified for in Zone 2, Gas group IIB and Temperature class T3 so had to be EEx D or E. The minimum accuracy had to be within ±1.0% of full scale and the meters were constructed from 316SS quality stainless steel for all wetted parts.
The solutions provided were:
HF20/207Bar/AGPDV/V/1″NPT all with
Significantly we were able to offer measurement over the whole of the flow ranges required which competing flowmeter manufacturers were not able to deliver. In addition, the bespoke slimline VFF8 1035bar on drawing enabled the end user to get an additional meter on the skid without having to increase the available space.
It gives us great pleasure to present Litre Meter Limited with the prestigious and highly sought after Industrial Process News Flow Measurement ?Company of the Year?.
Speaking with CEO Charles Wemyss and Industrial Process News Editor Thomas Gill, we unveil the reasons why Litre Meter Limited has been selected for this prestigious award, why the company has been so successful over the past twelve months and how they have weathered the economic crisis.
Thomas explained: ‘If I’m being honest, it didn?t take much deliberation when selecting our Company of the Year. From our research, Litre Meter were head and shoulders above the rest in the category and have proven their worth especially over the past twelve months.
‘As we all know, weathering the economic downturn is crucial for all businesses and very difficult at that. But Litre Meter have managed to not only sustain their position in such difficult times but have also seen some encouraging signs, continually moving forward, and this was the real clincher for the team at Industrial Process News.’
Charles explained: The last time we won an award was back in 2005 and that was a springboard to part of our success, and we are hoping that this will generate the same outcome. It feels great to know that our hard work and dedication has been noticed. A job well done I say.
The past twelve months has been fantastic for us, as we have seen significant growth, acquiring more orders than the previous two years combined. This has particularly been driven by our presence in the Oil & Gas sectors. We are now in a position where we are very busy exporting, have a huge level of stock and have a large back log of orders that we are currently working on. Having so much business has given us a great deal of confidence.
To be honest the current economy hasn’t affected our business at all, which has allowed us to take strides forward in the industry. As the majority of our business is executed abroad, we haven’t had to shelter ourselves from any hardship in the UK. Our sales in the UK have risen and we are expecting, once the UK economy is stabilising, home-grown business to get even better, opening more doorways.
Our forecasts were significantly exceeded with a 29% rise in sales over budget and a 91% rise in bookings compared to 2012.
Our most successful product has been the LF05, part of the VFF range, which has been available for its first full year in 2013. Particularly successful in the Oil & Gas industries, the LF05 has pulled along other flowmeter sizes with its success, plus accompanying instruments and accessories.
A simple construction with only one moving part and reed switch pulse output, the LF05 is a positive displacement flowmeter with 316 stainless steel body. With a PVD coated titanium rotor only, the LF05 is hazardous area approved as standard. Available with any end connections to your individual applications, the product has a flow range of 0 to 30 I/hr and is accurate to ±1% linearity, ±0.5% linearization and ±0.25 repeatability.
Other Litre Meter 2013 innovations have included: LF03 estimated at 60% flow rates of the LF05; a new connection type ? ½ inch OD tube; and QR codes on each meter, with links to material certs, calibration certs and instructions via the internet.
Looking ahead, we are aiming for more of the same. We currently have four times more orders, and we are looking to utilise our additional resources and information to increase production for the forthcoming years. With more resources available our ability to plan ahead has dramatically increased and we continue to grow and innovate.?
Founded in 1975, Litre Meter Limited is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of flowmeters, which are installed on a wide variety of applications across the UK, Europe, America, as well as the rest of the world. Litre Meter works in a number of high profile industries including Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Automotive, Marine, Mining, Power Generation, and many others.
Litre Meter is a member of the TASI Flow Division, as well as the Institute of Manufacturing at Cambridge University, FPAL, Achilles, Institute of Measurement and Control and Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Litre Meter hold ISO9001:2008 approval.
Charles Wemyss, Chief Executive of Litre Meter Limited, commented: ?When flow measurement is critical, consult the specialists. Litre Meter has been leading the field since its founding, with a well established reputation for the design, manufacture and supply of flowmeters of all kinds.?
Firstly, Litre Meter pioneered the development of the Pelton Wheel flowmeter: an accurate, effective and versatile design suitable for many different fluids including acids, chemicals, fuels, spirits and water, at both high and low flow rates.
Then since 1986, Litre Meter has developed the popular VFF meter (literally, Viscous Fluids Flowmeter) for low flow & high pressure applications for the offshore industry particularly for chemical injection. And in 2011 the company supplied the largest ever chemical injection flowmeter order for the Gulf of Mexico.
Litre Meter?s portfolio for the UK now includes flowmeters of all kinds, including rotary meters, gas flowmeters, helical screw flowmeters, electromagnetic and ultrasonic flowmeters to handle a wide range of viscosities, flow rates and pressures, aggressive liquids and hazardous or adverse environments. They have particular expertise in measuring low flow rates and flows at high pressure.
‘To fulfil our customer’s needs in the UK we also distribute other flowmeters from many flowmeter manufacturers. For gas flow we offer Sierra thermal mass gas flowmeters, vortex flowmeters, Ritter gas meters, Hoffer turbine meters and Ritter gas sampling bags. Sierra also manufacture thermal mass gas flow controllers,’ added Charles.
For more information please don’t hesitate to contact one of the team on 01296 670200 or email: email@example.com. Alternatively, to view a full product portfolio or download spec sheets visit www.litremeter.com.
They also cover very different scenarios. One is talking about ‘brownfield’ development – extending the life of existing fields and brining new reserves online through existing infrastructure. The other is focused on new technologies and challenges in safely exploiting hitherto unreachable reserves.
The common element is that both articles mention chemical injection as a key technology. This is, of course, an area in which Litre Meter has considerable experience.
Over the past year we have shipped a large number of meters to be used subsea, on a variety of chemicals, over a wide range of flows at high pressure and calibrated at specific viscosities. For example, Litre Meter rotary piston flow meters are part of systems used to control the amount of ‘antifreeze’ injected into pipelines at high pressure (430 bar) in subsea gas exploration on fields in the Caspian Sea and the North Sea.
‘Antifreeze’ fluids like methanol are used as thermodynamic inhibitors, which lower the freezing point of gas hydrate. They are injected into pipelines where there is a risk of hydrates (dew) forming then freezing at low temperature.
The antifreeze prevents gas hydrates solidifying as crystals and blocking pipelines – which can result in a costly shutdown and the risk of explosion or unintended release of hydrocarbons into the environment.
Litre Meter has also recently shipped flowmeters for use in chemical injection skids on a number of fields in the Gulf of Mexico and the Persian Gulf off Dubai. These meters are used in the flow measurement of wax dispersants and pour point depressants (PPD) to control their use to a very high tolerance.
Wax dispersants break apart and prevent the reformation of hydrocarbon sludge deposits and improve flow by reducing the viscosity of the fluid. PPDs are used to reduce the viscosity of oil and to maintain flow rate by preventing the build-up of wax crystals at low temperatures.
Sludge deposits are typically composed of varying concentrations of hydrocarbon, asphaltene, paraffin, water and inorganic materials. They are commonly found in storage tanks and vessels, production and transportation pipelines, process systems and hydrocarbon-producing formations where they have an adverse effect on the flow of crude oil from the well head.
Our expertise is nicely summarised in our new chemical injection brochure which highlights the enormous success of the VFF meter over the past few years in solving chemical injection measurement problems around the world.
With 3,000 VFFs in active use on chemical injection Litre Meter has demonstrated a depth of experience and knowledge that is unmatched in the low flow arena. The brochure provides further detail of the VFF range in one eight-page document.
Desalination (the process of removing salt and minerals from water to make it potable) is mainly necessary in countries suffering water stress such as Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and in Australia, North Africa, Spain, the USA and China. It is also used on ships, submarines Continue Reading →