There are many components of an integrated measurement process, but success often hinges on two major elements: data collection and the integrated measurement software (IMS). Any measurement process, let alone a comprehensive, fully integrated system, begins with the collection of raw data produced by a myriad of measurement devices. For electronic flow measurement devices, collection will typically involve remote data retrieval (RDR) or a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, with automated polling further expediting the overall measurement process. Communications may be with a flow computer, RTU (remote terminal unit), PLC (programmable logic controller), or other device which generates or stores the measurement data.
In addition to the collected raw flow data, meter inspection and calibration reports, equipment change reports, fluid quality and compositional analysis reports, and any other measurement-related reports prepared by field or lab services should be produced electronically for import into the second major component — the integrated measurement software.
The heart of any fully integrated measurement system is the master database and software with comprehensive functionality, flexibility, and scalability. The primary function of IMS is to allow all electronic information to be collected and uploaded into a centralized system for processing. Once the various data sources have been uploaded, the system should have the capability to perform flow data validation, editing, re-calculation, auto-distribution of finalized flow data, and data archiving. An auto-validation process should be performed on each hourly record to identify data with potential issues within seconds of the data being imported into the system. This will allow an analyst more time to resolve data problems rather than search for them…and the result can be significant hard-dollar and soft-dollar savings.
To learn some of the most common auto-validation routines and general IMS functions, please refer to our white paper "The Benefits of an Integrated Gas Measurement Process
," as well as our January  Statement of the Month
on Integrated Gas Measurement for additional background information.
"Want to go really fast? Slow down and focus."
~ Tim Fargo, American author and speaker