Greg Webster, Municipal Sales Manager for McCrometer, discusses the flow meter market and some of the ways the Company is differentiating itself, including space-saver designs and flow meter coatings. Webster also discusses the installation of the FPI meter in 138-inch diameter pipe serving the City of Boston.
The following is an excerpt from a Q&A with Water Online Radio. Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview.
Water Online Radio: What trends are you seeing in the flow meter arena?
Greg: There has been a renewed interest in adding flow metering that has been spurred by the recession going back to 2008-2009. The recession hit and everyone started to look very carefully at improving efficiencies.
Lots of municipalities have aging infrastructure, budgets are tight and there are fights being fought over power and staffing. Flow meters come into play because it is an important way to improve efficiencies in operations. There has been more of an emphasis on adding flow meters where you haven’t had a flow meter before.
You can capture real data. Once you have real data and good data then you can make smart decisions. There has been a renewed interest literally in the last several years.
Water Online Radio: We have spoken with other colleagues of yours at the McCrometer organization and we focused that conversation around the FPI magmeter but you guys do a lot more and have a much wider portfolio than that.
Greg: Yes, we serve a variety of markets; municipal is strong for us, oil and gas and certainly agriculture are the three primary markets that we serve.
In the oil and gas market, we have a differential pressure style flow meter. Differential pressure meters have been around a long time in the form of venturis. Our V-cone has a unique feature in that it has a central cone which conditions the flow.
This means that it can be installed in very tight spaces. That is applicable for municipal applications because you can shrink footprint. If you can shrink footprint you can save dollars on installation costs and those sorts of things.
In terms of the municipal market we have our Ultra-Magmeter which has unique features and specific lay lengths that we can customize; and a unique coating that is different from other magmeters that you will find in the market.
Most of the magmeters have a liner. Ours has a dipped contiguous fusion-bonded finish so it is quite unique and certainly the FPI which we launched in 2010 has been quite a successful concept in terms of magnetic flow metering.
Water Online Radio: Tell us more about why the coating is so important?
Greg: When it comes to the coating on the Ultra-Mag, our competitors’ products require the use of a liner and liners can separate. That can cause leakage or a problem with those devices.
Our coating has a dipped contiguous finish. It is fusion-bonded. It is very durable. It is about 40-50 mil thick. Because it is a dipped kind of finish there is literally no way that it can leak. We just don’t see those kinds of failures. That is a unique aspect there…
Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview...