Using PIPE-FLO® to Quickly Identify and Troubleshoot System Bottlenecks


Harris Group Inc., a leader in the engineering design and consulting business, recognizes that success requires not only experienced engineers and technicians, but also tools that save time and streamline operations.

Terry L. Gatlin, P.E., Mechanical Engineer at Harris Group Inc. knows the importance of improving business practices to save time and provide a better solution for the customer.

Gatlin and his group of engineers had to model a gasoline upgrade for a refinery in Alaska with over 300 nodes and more than a dozen pumps. PIPE-FLO® allowed Harris Group to model the entire system in order to find out exactly how it was operating. Using this valuable information, Gatlin was able to identify the system bottlenecks quickly and easily, saving over 150 engineering hours and paying for the software many times over.

Harris Group Inc.

Harris Group Inc.

300 Elliott Ave W., Ste 500
Seattle, WA 98119

Industry Overview

The Challenge

Harris Group Inc. was faced with a very large system in which they had to analyze and identify the system bottlenecks. The traditional spreadsheet approach meant Gatlin could only analyze the system in small pieces, focusing on one branch at a time. In a networked system as large as this, Gatlin felt that it would take entirely too much time and energy to try and locate any sort of system bottleneck using a spreadsheet.

The Solution

Using PIPE-FLO®, Gatlin was able to model the system, and focus on even the smallest details in order to identify and isolate the system bottlenecks, in no time at all.

"PIPE-FLO® gave us a tool to simulate and troubleshoot the entire system," said Gatlin. "With this model, we recognized a pressure drop problem in the system and generally figured out how the system operated as a whole. Using the PIPE-FLO® simulation view, we were able to recognize and avoid a huge problem with the newly installed pumps."