New control valve maintenance system

Yamatake Corporation is developing special diagnostic technology that will become available on the SVP3000 Alphaplus Series AVP303 and AVP203 Fieldbus-compatible smart valve positioners due to be launched in December this year. The aim is to ensure stable operation, minimal maintenance costs and maximum service life from control valves. Until now the only way to avoid plant shutdown caused by control valve failure has been to conduct regular on-site checks and maintenance. This means that, despite being in good working order, a control valve can still cost money because of the inspections that have to be conducted to ensure its safety. To reduce risk, Yamatake is devising a management system which follows the precepts of reliability engineering. This diagnostic technology not only includes signal processing and failure identification criteria, it also predicts how much longer a control valve can be expected to function reliably. To avoid random failure of valves, Yamatake engineers are developing algorithms for collecting, processing and analysing critical data. These form part of a comprehensive diagnostic technology that not only determines the valve’s current status but also predicts its remaining service life. At present the team is systematically modelling failure mechanisms to enable the diagnosis of sticky valve stem motion in slurry applications, the prediction of high-pressure service valve trim cavitation damage, and service life evaluation for elastomer and other non-metal parts. Based on this new approach, appropriate maintenance/support alerts can be generated for each section of the failure curve, raising the standard of diagnostic technology to a level never before achieved with conventional smart positioners.

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