1. Tell us the story of being an expert in supplying Mass, Water and Chemical Injection Flow Meters Worldwide for about 40 years now.
Litre Meter was incorporated in 1975 as Litre Meter Limited: Flow Measurement Specialists. Soon after our strap line i.e. our identity, was confirmed as Specialist Flow Measurement Engineering. This perfectly describes our modus operandi. Litre Meter is a specialist manufacturing company, focusing solely on products for measuring flow (not level or pressure). Litre Meter’s products drill down into the finer flow details, such as flow rate and flow total. The company’s products measure flow, and measure it accurately – they are not flow switches or flow indicators. Although they offer a catalogue of standard products, Litre Meter can engineer bespoke solutions for unique challenges.
2. What are the contributions of Litre Meter to Oil & Gas sector?
Litre Meter has been able to provide unique solutions to unique problems in the Oil and Gas sector. Almost all have been offshore with some Subsea uses but mostly Topsides. The applications where the Litre Meter flow meter has been the only answer are numerous.
They include high pressure high flow duties where special materials are specified; where the flow rates are too low for other techniques; where the pressure is too high and where the combination of extremes are normally unmanageable. Litre Meter presents their engineering tenets as 6 degrees of customization: Low flow, Subsea, Custom connection, Custom size, High pressure and Communications
Litre Meter's exports are over 65% of total sales. How did the company see a substantial increase in export business? Litre Meter has seen a strong growth in oil and gas applications. Over many years, Litre Meter has developed their range of VFF flow meters to meet the arduous requirements of the offshore oil and gas market.
Due to the worldwide nature of this business, purchase orders can come from all 4 corners of the world almost irrespective of the end destination. In one case, a customer in the UK was supplied with 90 flow meters for a chemical injection skid for an FPSO being constructed in China.
The platform was destined for the Western Isles Development in the North Sea. In another, the engineering was done in Houston and Chennai and ordered through South Korea for use in the Gulf of Mexico. Growth in oil and gas led directly to a growth in export sales.
3. What are the industries and applications in focus for Litre Meter in developing economies?
Many of the developing economies have tricky flow metering applications related to oil or gas extraction. These might be high pressure or low flow or one of those combined with specific materials requirements. Designing flow meters for industrial robotics and automation is quite fascinating.
4. What's the role of Litre Meter's products?
It’s not unusual for industrial robotics to have some specific challenges. For example, on paint sprayers, there is a requirement for head mounted metering. As this is attached to the end of an arm, lightweight is essential. Litre Meter has experience in designing for low mass in spite of high pressure ratings.
5. What's the level of accuracy and efficiency achieved with chemical injection flow meters?
Accuracy is always specified by suppliers but, surprisingly, is of less importance to users. The customer wants to know the reading will be correct day after day, year after year, so long term repeatability is the key metric. There is no doubt that an accurate measurement is to be strived for and all Litre Meter VFF systems will perform within about ±0.5% of reading over their very wide range. Typical repeatability, reading to reading, is within ±0.1% of reading. Coupled with linearization the system ends up being a precise part of the measurement chain. In chemical injection, if the system under-reads then that costs money to the customer because of wasted chemical. Conversely, if not enough product is injected then there are consequences for the state of the pipeline in terms of scale build up and/or increased corrosion.
6. What are the large scale projects that the company is currently engaged with?
There are a number of larger projects both in oil and gas and elsewhere that keep us busy and outline the future growth for Litre Meter. In addition to our normal roster of offshore oil and gas projects we see definite increase in interest in subsea measurement, hydraulics measurement, exotic materials of construction and ultra-high pressure (3000 bar) applications.