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Ultrasonic Working Group

The Ultrasonic Working Group (UWG) is a group of suppliers and end-users of ultrasonic flowmeters that is being started by Flow Research. The purpose of the group is to promote the use of ultrasonic flowmeters and to encourage the writing of standards for ultrasonic flowmeters for custody transfer applications. The UWG will also seek to form an industry consensus on issues where one does not currently exist. Please read the memo below for a more detailed explanation of this group.
The following is a memo sent out in early September to ultrasonic flowmeter suppliers and end-users.

Last February I was the chairman of an Ultrasonic Workshop in Houston that was attended by a number of major ultrasonic flowmeter suppliers and end-users. The purpose of the workshop was to bring end-users together with suppliers to discuss matters of common interest. Many of the main ultrasonic flowmeter suppliers were there..

At the Ultrasonic Workshop, I suggested the formation of a working group on ultrasonic flowmeters. The purpose of the working group would be to serve as a bridge between suppliers and end-users, to reach consensus on critical issues that are of concern to end-users, to spearhead standards-related activity, and to serve as a vehicle to move research ahead in critical areas.
Flow Research would like to now move ahead with the formation of an Ultrasonic Working Group. The purposes of this group would be as follows:
1. To gather information about the use of ultrasonic flowmeters and make it available to members.
2. To work with standards organizations to gain approval for the use of ultrasonic meters for custody transfer and billing applications where this approval has not already been given. In some cases, existing standards may need to be updated.
3. To make information available to end-users about the applications that ultrasonic flowmeters are suited for.
4. To publicize success stories about ultrasonic flowmeters for both liquid and gas applications.
5. To facilitate research into the creation of more accurate, stable, and better ultrasonic flowmeters, within the competitive limits of different manufacturers.
6. To serve as a clearinghouse for information about ultrasonic flowmeters for end-users.
I envision that this Group would be composed of representatives of the ultrasonic suppliers and end-users. I believe it would make sense to have two groups: one for gas flow measurement and one for liquid flow measurement. 
The Ultrasonic Working Group would be sponsored by Flow Research. If funding is needed, we could perhaps create a system of dues on the part of members. However, the purpose of the group is not to make money but to facilitate the use of ultrasonic meters and increase awareness of ultrasonic. I don't envision that there would be a lot of cost associated with this group, especially in the startup phase. Also, the emphasis would be on communication by email and phone, so that people don't have to take time to go to meetings.
It was clear from the discussion at the Ultrasonic Workshop in Houston that there are a number of outstanding issues relating to the use and application of ultrasonic flowmeters. These include issues relating to calibration, standards, commissioning, etc. There are some issues on which there is no clear industry consensus, like what the acceptable standards are for calibration, etc. The Ultrasonic Working Group could potentially provide a vehicle for addressing some of these issues, and, hopefully, reaching a consensus that could then be used on an industry-wide basis. This could end up saving some companies a lot of money, and reduce or eliminate the confusion that currently surrounds those issues.
The only negative I heard at the meeting was "Who needs another organization or committee? We already have enough of them." But there is currently no organization or committee whose job it is to address these issues. If they are not addressed, we could have another Workshop in a year from now and we would essentially be going over the same ground again.
I would like to hear what you think of this idea, and hope you would be interested in joining the Ultrasonic Working Group. Please send me any comments to jesse@flowresearch.comFor more information on Flow Research, please visit www.flowresearch.com

Jesse Yoder
Flow Research, Inc.
27 Water Street
Wakefield, MA  01880
(781) 245-3200
(781) 224-7552 (fax)


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