Lonna Dickenson, product line director for Ultrasonic Meters at Emerson Automated Solutions, answers some frequently asked questions about Rosemount’s diagnostic platform.
Could you explain what Smart Meter Verification is?
A: Smart Meter Verification is a diagnostic platform included in Rosemount Ultrasonic Meters that provides an expert interpretation of the meter data and process conditions, empowering field technicians with the information they need to manage their assets. It runs automatically in the meter and is a tool they can use for troubleshooting to get a very clear indication of the meter health and the measurement health. This is the fastest-growing and the most data-rich technology there is, and as the digitalization of field devices matures across pipelines, it can be integrated with artificial intelligence tools to help with decision-making and predicting issues. This will allow companies to prevent issues and improve measurement and operational efficiency.
How does that save a company time and money?
A: It drastically reduces the amount of time a customer would have to spend to diagnose an issue. They don’t have to go through individual archives or maintenance logs, which takes a long time to match up and understand since it involves so much data.What makes it better than the previous method of reading meter data?
A: Understanding flow meters involves many different advanced process diagnostics that customers aren’t necessarily trained on or lack expertise in at that level. Smart Meter Verification gives them an executive summary of what is going on with the meter. It tells them what’s going on with their process and whether their measurements are good or not. So, instead of having to go through and pull out individual logs that have far more variables and information and compare trends, this report does that for them, and it allows them to do it without a lot of technical knowledge.
Does the user need to be physically at the meter, or is remote access available?
A: With the remote access option, the user and others can see the overall Smart Meter Verification results — daily, monthly and annually — that are sent to a SCADA system and a control room using Smart Meter Verification Modbus registers. They also have other options that are associated with the meter and process section of the report for specific elements of the meter, like the transducers and the electronics. If there’s a process issue, they can see those in the control room without going out to the field if they don’t have personnel near the meter. Rosemount Ultrasonic meters were the first to include Ethernet as a standard feature, since 2003. As a result, many customers also have these meters connected to separate networks where the meter software, MeterLink’s Net Monitor, can keep real-time high-speed connections with large groups of meters all at the same time and monitor their Smart Meter Verification status remotely as well as access to the full report.
If there is an issue, does an alarm get triggered in real time?
A: It can be set to notify you if there is an issue with a meter, which is important since many users may have up to 500 meters in their system. If there is a failed result, you’ll also see that in the control room on a daily basis if you’re polling that register or when you pull the report or log into the meter. What you’re really trying to do is let the user know that there’s an issue or that maintenance is recommended before fiscal losses occur due to mismeasurement or an imbalance is significant.
Would a person know what to do if they see an alarm or failed result?
A: That’s what the report does. It organizes events by what’s most critical — what’s driving your issue. Sometimes you can have cascading alarms that are related to each other, but the report will pop up with what’s most critical to your measurement issue. It also provides definitions for the alarms, explains why you might see that alarm, and provides clear guidance on how to resolve the alarm or issue. That saves you time.
What training is required to use the software?
A: We do offer training. The basic software has been established for quite some time and is considered the gold standard in our industry. But the features that we’ve added to it are straightforward and very intuitive — a lot of training isn’t required. One of the ideas behind the design and the release of Smart Meter Verification was to make it as simple as possible to use and understand.
What was the philosophy behind Emerson’s thinking to make these processes easier?
A: One of our drivers for this diagnostic capability was that there are fewer technicians covering more assets that they’re less trained on. Previously, we had a different era of technicians, where they were more specialized and could spend more time doing the required tasks. Now we’re seeing many companies decreasing their field workforce and trying to balance that with getting some of this digitalization infrastructure in place to do more of the predictive maintenance and data analytics in the back offices.
To learn more about Rosemount Ultrasonic flow meters, please visit: emerson.com/RosemountUltrasonic