Based on my personal experience, fully 20 to 30% of control valves operating in plants today have significant and unseen problems. I’m talking here about mainstream process facilities, as found in oil and gas, process, pulp and paper, utilities and others.
It is vital that end users identify and stop these valve problems before they stop the plant. Of course, many plants do have a long history of monitoring valves, positioners, accessories and the like. The problem is that they lack the time, the tools and/or the understanding to consistently use all of that data. So, issues remain hidden until they turn into big problems.
Sadly, the number of people in a plant who have the time and the skill set needed to optimize control valve loops is already low and continues to decline. That’s why Metso’s Control Performance services and a tool like Expertune PlantTriage have proven to be a real asset to process plants. These services are designed to identify the controls that impact performance and help you return to optimal production.
Once a problem has been identified, it is important to take appropriate action. Improvement only happens when you turn a wrench or make a change to the control system. Metso’s solution includes reporting, tracking and follow-up for corrective actions. Whether this action is a simple field inspection or a full-on repair, we work hand-in-hand with plant personnel to make sure that the corrective actions take place in a timely manner. Then we verify that performance has returned to acceptable levels.
Providing analytics and diagnostics
Problem solving in control loops is not rocket science, nor does it necessarily involve tearing down a valve. Perhaps there’s a build-up of sticky fluid. Perhaps the packing is a little too tight. Or maybe the air supply is simply insufficient.
With Metso’s Expertune PlantTriage tool, it is possible to properly tap into and interpret the existing stream of data. We provide analytics and diagnostics to pinpoint valve and control issues. Our system is vendor independent and can be applied to all valves, actuators, control systems, DCS, PLCs, and more.
This control performance solution helps get your controls working correctly and increases production stability. This, in turn, improves production efficiency, yield and production quality, lowers energy consumption and raw material usage, reduces production equipment wear and boosts sustained performance.
And saves money.
For more information, please visit us at Metso control performance services.
Read other blog posts related to this interesting theme through these links:
• Plan your shutdown well to ensure plant reliability
• Know your installed base like the back of your hand
• Correct decisions call for accurate device data
• Current and future approaches to maintenance
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Head of Performance Solutions