Southwestern Energy’s old logo was a hand drawn formula for how the company creates value. I don’t think C-SMART Analytics could get away with doing the same since our formula is a bit more complex:
Lost and Unaccounted For (LAUF) is a mixed bag of root causes. On the one hand LAUF includes gas leaks for pneumatic devices (pipes and fittings) as well as natural gas that simply was never measured. But those only represent a fraction of LAUF with gas measurement errors dominating.
The variability of LAUF error is one reason the industry settles for an average .40% error rate of total throughput. Errors happen on every metering station but are spread out over time and are caused by many myriad factors, like obstructions, damaged equipment, and human error. It’s like a non-stop game of whack-a-mole, only missing the mole costs organizations millions of dollars each year, year in and year out.
So, how do you calculate the cost of LAUF, which is driven primarily by measurement errors? In a nutshell, our formula says that errors are a function of the number of events that lead to LAUF errors multiplied by the severity, duration, and throughput. Year over year, your LAUF might be greater or less than the industry-wide LAUF average of .40% but even on the lower end of the survey at .20%, there is still tremendous room to improve and drive LAUF lower, closing in on the equipment specifications that your team designed and built for.
C-SMART Analytics customers drop their LAUF to as low as .05% through continuous monitoring, diagnostics, and instant alerts. This drives another important KPI lower, resolution time. Management by exception has turned the old model of scheduled meter inspections on its head enabling resolution response times to accelerate to days or less versus the status quo of finding and resolving measurement errors in around 3 months.
It’s all in the analytics. Whether C-SMART is continuously analyzing gain for leading indicators of ultrasonic meter path failure or shifting symmetry for emerging trends, station by station, real time analytics has been the missing puzzle piece preventing a useful view of the overall LAUF picture. I’m happy to share more about how it all works, just reach out with any questions.