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Valve Monitoring and Management Extended Analysis Capabilities: How Valve Intelligence Supports Plant Monitoring

Author / Editor: Martina Walzer, Dr. Thomas Mueller-Heinzerling* / Anke Geipel-Kern

Comprehensive valve monitoring for improved valve management — Modern control valves are able to capture and store a bunch of operational data. So it is possible to monitor and elaborate available information around those assets to predict failures. Appropriate counter measures prevent plant shutdowns, which positively influences production efficiency. Additionally, plant managers are able to schedule necessary maintenance and to minimize wear, thus significantly reducing the cost of operation — another key issue for profitable operation. As a repetitive process the analysis and calculations during operation enable valuable improvements.

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Control valves are commonly used actuators in process industry plants. They are important for the operation and safety as unexpected valve failures may lead to plant downtimes, process upsets and risks for people and environment. Timely maintenance of these plant assets is essential to ensure high plant availability and process safety. On the other hand, servicing healthy assets based on fixed time schedules introduce unnecessary costs.

Typically, valves are driven pneumatically and combined with an electro pneumatic positioner that adjusts the valve actuator’s position based on a control signal. But most valves are never monitored or optimized in respect to their positioner settings. There is room for improvements in case of valve management that finally translates into measurable monetary success: