The Smith Meter® PD Meter reaches its 80th birthday this month – at the same time as the 50th anniversary of the Smith Meter® business setting up in Germany.
The Smith Meter® PD Meter – PD stands for Positive Displacement – was first built in 1940 in Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s still manufactured there at what is now a TechnipFMC Measurement and Production Solutions facility, as well as at the company’s plant in Ellerbek, Germany. The product was created by A.O. Smith Corporation – now Smith Meter Inc, and part of TechnipFMC. It has evolved, building on the standards and reliability proven by each version. There are more than half a million PD meters in the field – used in downstream, midstream and upstream applications.
Iulian Constantinescu, PD Meters, Turbines, Valves & Accessories Product Manager, spent years working on the Smith Meter® and Sening® products in Ellerbek and is now based in Houston, Texas. He said: “There are 50 to 60-year-old PD Meters still working in the field. We received, for example, a batch from a harbourside for reconditioning and repair and they had been built in the 1950s. We replaced a few small parts and they were sent back to work for further decades.
“Our PD Meter is so successful because it’s reliable, has a very low pressure drop and is set up for ease of servicing. The meter’s basic principles have always remained the same, but we’ve advanced with new technology and materials. Computer aided design and simulation helped us make the meter ever more reliable. We also replaced the analogue counter with electronics and the next step will be making the meter smart, which will allow more diagnostics and enable preventive maintenance.
“We have developed further world-class products needed for flow measurement: gas extractors, valves, strainers, electronic batch controllers, turbine meters, ultrasonic meters, mass meters, terminal automation systems, and others. We always offer the suitable technology for each specific application – in many of these cases the suitable technology is our PD Meter.
“Our PD Meter technology is the most versatile flow measurement technology for the oil industry and is working great also in high viscosity, paraffin or changes in the flow rate. Only the PD Meter sets a physical border at the point of transfer between the liquid that still belongs to the seller and the liquid that already belongs to the buyer. No other flow meter offers that.”
It’s 50 years since A.O. Smith set up in Germany. Production began at Ellerbek in 1972. In 1987, the German business – Smith Meter GmbH – took over the Hamburg company F.A. Sening GmbH. Sening® was founded in 1862, and began producing fixtures for tank trucks and petroleum dispensing devices in 1905. It became Germany’s market leader for service station and tank truck equipment and systems.
Maik Dresler, General Manager, Tank Truck Solutions at Ellerbek, added, “50 years is a real milestone for us – and we’ve got the Sening® brand’s 160th anniversary coming up in a couple of years, too. You only reach those kinds of landmarks by consistently delivering for your clients, and our whole team is proud to be able to do that.”
Across the Atlantic in Pennsylvania, there’s that same pride and passion. Kyle Anderson, Director of Life of Products, heads up the team at Erie. He said, “Everyone here is proud of the PD Meter and its long history. Knowing something we’ve worked on here will be delivering for customers for decades to come gives us great satisfaction.”