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Trip to Ultrasonic Workshops in Colorado – June 2012
From the August 2012 issue of Flowtimes


Letter from the President 

Ultrasonic, Coriolis, and multiphase flowmeters grab Intellectual mindshare


Elk During the third week of June 2012, I was fortunate enough to spend nine days in Colorado .  The main reason for my visit was to attend the Ultrasonic Meter Workshop (USM) and the International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement (ISFFM).  Both conferences, which were held from June 17 – 22, were sponsored by Colorado Engineering Experiment Station, Inc. (CEESI).  The first USM was held in 1999 and this was the 14th annual conference.  This year the USM drew 213 attendees.

The purpose of both conferences is for speakers to present the results of ongoing research.  There were also exhibits, including an exhibit by Flow Research, but the emphasis of the conferences is more on intellectual exchange than on product announcements.  Topics included ultrasonic recalibration intervals, installation effects, flow conditioning, and self-monitoring devices.  There was ample chance for networking at both conferences, and many of the leaders in the field of ultrasonic flowmeters attended.

 One topic that came up but was not resolved is the difference between the terms ‘path’ and ‘chord’ as applied to multipath ultrasonic meters.  I discussed this with representatives from both Cameron and KROHNE.  

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According to my best understanding, a “chord” is an ultrasonic signal that travels from one side of a pipe to the other.  A “path” is an ultrasonic signal that typically travels from one side of the pipe to the other and back.  So in many cases an ultrasonic flowmeter has more chords than paths.  This discussion is important because many people associate a larger number of paths with higher accuracy, but the terms ‘chord’ and ‘path’ sometimes are used as if they mean the same thing.  For example, Elster’s Q.Sonic Plus ultrasonic meter has six paths and 16 measurement chords.


Ultrasonic is one of the few flow technologies that has spawned its own conference or workshop.  In addition to CEESI’s USM, the North Sea Flow Workshop is held every year, alternating between Norway and Scotland .  I attended the North Sea Flow Workshop in October 2011, held in Tønsberg , Norway .  The focus of this conference is on ultrasonic, multiphase, and Coriolis flowmeters.  This conference presents another opportunity for researchers to present their findings, and to discuss cutting edge topics related to these flowmeter types.  Both the CEESI conference and the North Sea Flow Workshop provide excellent opportunities to see the latest products and to discuss key topics in flow.

Flowmeter conferences provide more than the ability to present papers and view exhibits.  











John Lansing announced at the show that he is leaving SIC joining CEESI

A lot of interaction among the participants goes on at these conferences, and technical problems are discussed by suppliers and end-users alike. This facilitates research and promotes the development of new features and products.  This type of interaction is not typically going on among positive displacement, turbine, and variable area flowmeter suppliers and users.  The growing interest in and attendance at ultrasonic, Coriolis, and multiphase conferences helps demonstrate that these technologies are at the cutting edge of flow.  Today, ultrasonic, multiphase, and Coriolis flowmeters have grabbed much of the intellectual mindshare of the flowmeter world.


--- Dr Jesse Yoder, President


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