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Feature Report

eler Sel n:
01 the Overtooked Criteria
The whole-product-lifecycle approach presented
here encompasses more than basic selection
Jerry Spindler. Endress + Hauser. Inc.
ica] discussions of fl owmet er Considering all aspects of this full

TI selection address s pecifications,


technologies, accuracies and per-
formance, but there aTe many
other steps that a re not normally con-
sidered. This article focuses on these
approach has a significant longterm
impact on operational efficiency and
related budgets.

Proper flow t echnology selection


often overlooked cri teria, which in- While choosing the proper flow in-
evitably have far-reaching and costly strument for an application is a very
FIGURE 1. Choosing the best flowme-
implications over the life of the fl ow- important step, it is also shortsighted ter for the application Is Important, but It
measurement instrument chosen. to believe that the selection process Is only the first step in proper selection
In the current economic environ- is done when t he instrument is cho-
ment, every aspectof a flowmeter that sen (Figure 1). Rather than discuss- are available from a number of sounes
impacts an organization's bottom line ing this topic in detail , it can simply for use at no charge, so there is little
must be given consideration, even if it be said that the best recommendation risk in giving one a try. The im pact of
does not appear to affect the original is to utilize one of the several existing selecting the wrong technology can
purchase price. There are several less- programs now available t o help elimi- be costly, due not only to the money
than-obvious issues to review with any nate much of the guesswork (For more wasted on the improper meter, but the
supplier you aTe doing business with on flow technology, see Evaluating In- re·engineering, lost production, a nd
that have oo.st-saving implications, dustrial Flowmeters, CE, April 2007, rework from removal and replacement
Failing to pay attention to these fac- pp.54-59). that could have been avoided with
tors early in the discussion could lead New technology. Software tools for in- proper selection.
to greater costs in the long run. It pays strumentation selection can either run
to take the time up front to ensure you on a computer desktop or be accessed Sizing tools
have made the proper selection, via the Web. These recently perfected Beyond selecting the correct technol-
The selection process proposed here tools t ake advantage of the experience ogy, it is also critical that a correctly
involves a whole-product-lifecycle ap- gained over many years of successful sized meter is installed in order to get
proach to flowmeters that takes into implementation of different measure- the most from an investment. The best
account several steps from engineering ment techniques. It is best to employ a measurement technology cannot over·
through many years of operation, This tool that takes a vast a rray of available come poor installation. A high per-
article takes a "b u.siness-m i nded~ ap- instrumentation into account to ensure centage of early troubleshooting prob-
proach, in that the full economic impact that as many options as possible are lems is the result of issues that were
of the instrument's life is considered. considered and compared. In addition, not taken into account before the pur-
Each step of the ins trumentation- the latest Web·application interface de- chase. Discovering a problem after it
selection process can be supported velopments enable these tools to inte- is too late compounds the problem a nd
with modern tools that are designed grate directly with existing computer- may result in the need for a complete
to improve processes and lower the aided engineering (CAE) and design replacement, which may have been
total cost of ownership. This is real engineering packages to improve the prevented if care had been taken at
game-changing technology that many documentation and recordkeeping in- the beginning. Calculations involving
users are not aware of, as such tools volved in the design phase of an entire Pllmp rates, fl ow velocities, pipe sizes,
are outside the obvious realm of the process facility. The quality of informa- pressure drops, bends, obstructions
flowmeter itself. The selection process tion and the improved effi ciency of this and so on, can get very involved and
is not as much about picking a certain process can have a dramatic impact on t ime consuming, but help is available.
type of meter for a given application the completion cycle while reducing as- New techrlOlogy. Accurate calcula·
based on how that certa in fl owmeter sociated errors. t ions and outcome predictions involv-
works, as it is about a bigger pictu re. Co,t implication. Most of these tools ing all aspects of an ins tallation can
40 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING 'MVW,CHE.COM JUNE 2009
FIGURE 2, New procurement tools allow Integration with a supplier's order-.entry system, or even live access to the manufactur-
er's configuration system. These tools allow users to view a complete comparison of flowmeter types and sizes, offerin g a full alTay
of available models and options. From left to right , vortex, electromagnetic, thennal mass and Corlolls flow meters are shown

be performed using tools that deter- grate fully with a supplier's order-en- a nd certified t o be NIST traceable.
mine performance based on inputted try system. In some cases, live access New technology. The ISO 17025
conditions. Many different "what-if" via secure account login to the manu- standard a llows manufactUrers to
scenarios can be executed to see how facturer's actual configuration system received accreditation based on s trict
they impact results, and these models can be used to build a complete model calibration procedures, using equip-
can even be used to help make piping structure (Figure 2). With a user ac- ment of the highest perfonnance. The
design decisions very early in the pro- count, once the flowmeter selection and results ar e factory capabilities that
ces.s development. sizing have been completed, the net achieve repeatable calibrations with
Cost implicatioll . By performing a prices can even be seen immediately, uncertainties that were not achiev-
sufficient amount of ana lysis and in- and various models or options can be able even just a few years ago. These
stalling the correct size instrument compared. A group of suppliers have high-precision calibration rigs provide
from the beginning, the time wasted been working with standards commit- premium calibrations that exceed
later reviewing the application and tees to make ISA Specification Sheets, what was previously only available
implementing fixes can be eliminated. and NE100 (ProList) documents avail- from national laboratmies.
Fewer surprises will occur if time is able with product attributes in .xml Co,t implication. With these new
invested initially using readily avail- fonnat to streamline the process of levels of premium calibration now
able tools designed to correctly size generating bid requests on major proj- available from some flowmeter manu-
meters. On the other hand, if fixes ects. This is not just online shopping; facturers, the precision of an instru-
are not made and an improperly sized it is an integrated process for simplify- ment can be held to such tight ranges
meter is left in the process, quality ing the entire purchasing cycle, elimi- that the production processes can
and performance will suffer, adding up nating errors, and taking advantage be further improved to even greater
to losses over the life of the device. of multi-million dollar e-Procurement productivity. To the end user, this
investments already made by ma ny means tighter control, les.s waste a nd
Procurement tools pu rchasing departments. improved product qual ity, which all
Because standard purchasing pro- Co, t implication. Time is money, and tr anslate directly to the bottom line.
cesses h ave been based on manual pa- in this case, the money savings can
penvork in the past, the procurement be significant, considering the hours Proper installation and startup
step is often overlooked. In the last consumed in requesting quotes from Even if the first four steps discussed
ten years, however, there have been vendors, gathering bids, accurately th us far a re followed carefully, it is
major advancements in procurement documenting the devices being consid- all for nothing if the instrument is
systems, including emerging methods ered, comparing various choices and installed poorly. With to<lay's so-
that cut down the hours required to conveying all of this to buyers in order phisticated electronic transmitters,
place orders. This has been driven by to generate the purchase orders. th is goes well beyond the mechani-
the need to reduce internal costs for cal mounting in the pipe. Several
purchasing, cut down on the amount Calibration i.n accredited labs critical parameters in the device
of paper generated, and collaborate Since a flowmeter is purchased sim- programming must be set up prop-
with innovative vendors that have the ply to provide accurate measurement erly to achieve the greatest measure-
e-business capabilities to help buyers data, how good is that investment if ment results. Users demand more
realize areas for cost reductions. the measurement accuracy is ques- capabilities and greater performance
New techllology. Advanced platfonns tionable? A device should have its from their flowmeters, and while this
now extend what was once only avail- calibration perfo rmed on a produc- is achievable, it causes the instru-
able on a powerful enterprise resource tion flow rig that is accredited by a ment design to become more com-
planning (ERP) system to a local CO- third-party agency (the American As- plex. Therefore, greater care must
RaM tool. Such platfonns can inte- sociation of Laboratory Accreditation) be taken in performing the initial
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WW#.CHE.COM JUNE2009 41
TABLE 1. MAINTENANCE. REPAIR AND OPERATION TOOLS

asset manageme nt 24 / 7 access to Important

on-board meter data


programming to achieve the desired
performance. Parts lists and drawings database lor users 10 speed
New technology. New tools are now
offered in addition to basic meters Repair concepts boards. modules.
that maximize the performance of
those meters. Dedicated applications Product status list
for installation on personal digital as-
Order code translator replace--
sistants (PDAs) are powerful tools for
getting the most out of devices. The Predictive maintenance
most recent of these handhelds are rug-
gedized fo r industrial envi ronments
and are even a pproved for explosion
hazard areas. They util ize WiFi inter-
faces so that instrument enclosures
are not compromised. Software appli- E.hernet &: wireless communications Transfer information into plant asse'
cations are developed specifically for
the devices being programmed, where Protocols compatible with existing
parameters are unique to the make
and model so that all values entered
enable peak performance. With imme-
diate feedback on operational perfor-
mance, the instrument can essentially productivity and extend the life of in- decidi ng which unit to install. Other-
be tuned to the process in wh ich it is stalled meters. Some can be installed wise, the fu ll cost savings benefit tha t
installed. These same handhelds can locally, and others are online, but just many ofthese new tools offer cannot be
be used again laler when tro uble- to be in a position to use some of these achieved. Employing one or several of
shooting any problems encountered can be determined well before the these tools can have a n impact on the
over the life of the instrument. flowmeter is selected and ordered. A operation of the process over the life of
Cost implication . Having a single brief list is shown with the associated the flowmeter in terms of manpower,
handheld device to communicate benefits in Table 1 to provide a sample efficiency and overall productivity.
with multiple instruments (including of the great offerings that exist, many
but not limited to flowm eters) is very of which were not available even just a Training and technical support
cost effi cient, as only one program- few years ago. Though few companies All of the newest technology and prod-
mer needs to be bought, su pported would use every si ngle one of these uct design improvements offer users
a nd learned by technicians. Many in- tools, employing several is the norm. un precedented performance, but to
strumenta tion companies have joined Local service centers with A2LA ac- take advantage of this technology, full
forces to standardize on the newest creditation provide quick turna round understanding and the ability to im-
Field Device Tool (FDT) platform a nd perform onsite flow calibrations plement it are required. Never before
so that users can ta ke adva ntage of with mobile, traceable rigs that meet has training been more important,
this concept. Suppliers offer unique ISO 17025 standards. This includes so selecting the right fl owmeter also
DTMs (Device Type Managers) for the required record keeping and cer- means selecting the organization that
each model, which enables users to t ificates documented to meet the qual- will hel p the user get the most from
get the most out of the device. Since ity standa rds of a company's main- the purchase.
new applications can be installed in tenance-management procedures. If New technology. New methods of
the future , it provides a great re turn a meter is selected that cannot work leaming and education are now em-
on the investment. with a ny of these calibration rigs, the ployed in the process control industry.
benefits can never be realized, so it is Not only are traditional classroom
Maintenance, repair & operations best to be aware of their compatibility courses still being conducted, and in
The maintenance, repair and opera- ahead of time. more convenient locations with hands-
tio ns (MRO) phase naturally comes Cost implication . It cannot be over- on sessions, but online sessions in the
well after the purchase is made. Se- emphasized that a chosen flowmeter form of live Webinars and eLearning
lecting a meter with some limited fea- mayor may not have the design fea- portals with recorded training mod-
tures will often also limit the ability to tures needed to enable the implemen- ules are also being offered. This al-
implement some of these great perfor- tation of MRO tools. The operationa l lows users to easily receive necessary
mance capabilities. It pays to unde r- phase can inc ur up to ten times or trai ning without having to leave the
stand from the beginning how well the more the initial purchase cost of the office or take time away fro m normal
product is designed to take ad vantage meter. Therefore, it makes sense to work hours.
of these powerful tools. consider any of these capabilities that Beyond learni ng sessions, when
New technology. There is a host of would be important to the operation emergencies arise and a nswers a re
available tools that will increase staff over the life of the instrument before much more time critical , a team of
42 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE .COM JUNE 2009
facto ry-trained technicians, either fo rmance issues are hot topics today but on every related aspect of spend-
onsite or by phone support, are ex- given the current business condition, ing that stems from the operation of
tremely important. The latest phone leading users to look fo r ways to cut that flowmeter. By going beyond the
systems and customer-support soft.- costs. The critical information dis- first couple of steps normally taken
ware enable vendors to offer higher cussed here, upon which to base flow- and considering additional aspects of
quality support that exceeds wha t meter selection, is highly valuable. price versus performance, signifi cant
was previously possible. These sup- Considering all of these factors will, economic savings can be achieved in
port systems engage the user with over time, prove that selection should the long run. •
tools that accelerate the problem-res- not be based only on the initial price Edited by Kate 7'orzewski
olution process and help owners get , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
the most from their instrumentation.
Cost implication . Learning at a flex-

p
ible pace a nd schedule allows users
to obtain training informatio n easily.
With no travel expenses or time away
from work, employers can allow work-
ers to improve their skills at minimal
R
expense. Working with a supplier tha t
makes use of efficient communication
methods helps users get the immedi-
ate answers needed to help keep op-
erational costs down.
In emergency situations, a quick re-
sponse team is invaluable. By getting
answers needed in a timely manner,
downtime is minimized, production up-
sets are reduced and outp ut (and thus
reve nue) is maximized. The result is
that, ultimately, the flowmeter selected
has provided its greatest possible val ue
- a high return on its investment.
This multi-step process should be
of interest not only to engineers, but
also to purc hasing groups, mainte-
nance technicians, operators, quality
de partments, plant managers and G orman-Rupp has been manutacturing pumps for chemical applications since the 1930·s. They can
even the associated financ ial group. be found in cilemical and petrocilemical planl s. canneries. cOO1mercial laundr~s, pharmaceutical and
Such groups may have influence on aulomotlve planls. WIIetiler )'OUr application requires slandard centrifugal, sell-priming centrifugal,
flowmeter selection that involve a submersible 0/ positive displacement pumps. you'Ufind the right Gorman·Rupp pump for the job.
number of nontraditional elements
that buye rs may overlook. With this
in mind, it is recommended to use
a team approach to ensure t ha t the
vendor selected will meet the expec-
tations of the entire organization.
Economics and operational per-

Autho r
Jerry It. Spindler isa produce.
markclinggroop manager with
End""",+HaUl!er, Ino. (23.'iO
End""", Plare. Groenwood. IN
46143; I'llone: 888-363·7377;
Fax: 3 17· 535·2233; Email:
jeny.l!pindleJ@us.endn>88.oom).
Syindler hill! worked with
End""",+ HaUl!er for 13 )'00111
GRpumps.com
in marketing and product
management, and has worked TH EGORMAN-RUPP COMPANY, Mansfield DjYision
for OV<'r 20)'00" in the inlltru' P.O. Box 1217, Mansl~ld, OH 44901, USA . Pfl: 419JS5.iOll • Fl 419JS5.l2S1
mentation industry. He earned a B.s. in electron·
iCIIllnd mechanical technology from Indiana State Gorlllln·Rupp II In ISO 9OOIJOOO ~llteted company.
University (T!'m! Haute) and rooeived an MBA in
marketing and product management from Indiana
University (Bloomington).
Cirele 34 on p . 56 or go to adlinks.che,com/23015-34
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM JUNE 2009 43