Solving a Pipe-Rattling Control Valve

by | Sep 24, 2014 | Valves, Actuators & Regulators

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

As we close in on the Emerson Exchange conference October 6-10 in Orlando, I wanted to share a problem solving story. This story is typical of what you’ll find throughout the weeklong conference.

Jeff Wilson Control Valve Reliability Specialist

Jeff Wilson
Control Valve Reliability Specialist

Jeff Wilson, with Emerson’s local business partner, Puffer-Sweiven, was asked to investigate a control valve that was shaking the pipe due to the actuator being too small. This valve control cooling water flow in a chemical manufacturing facility.

To understand what was going on, Jeff used ValveLink SNAP-ON in the AMS Device Manager software. When he first stroked the valve, anytime it was within 10% or less open, the piping would begin to shake violently as the process was overcoming the actuator force.


He worked with members of the valve team at Puffer-Sweiven to come up with a solution to add an extra Fisher 2052 spring-and-diaphragm rotary actuator spring to overcome the process pressure. This provided the extra torque required for this application.

Jeff and the plant staff installed the spring with the valve / actuator still in place in a reasonably short timeframe. The valve was calibrated, tuned and tested. The oscillations decreased dramatically:


He shared with me that there is still a small amount of overshoot around 6%, but since this is a butterfly valve with a Teflon seat, it should never be operated in this valve position for any length of time, as the process will ruin the seat.

I went to the Emerson Exchange myExchange Tool in the personal scheduler and did a search on the word “valve”. It showed 41 different sessions. Here is a sampling:

  • 4-1892 – Using Wireless Throttling Valves in Column Control. The control performance that may be achieved using wireless throttling valves has been evaluated through tests conducted at the UT Pickle Research Center on a 6″ distillation column. The test results indicate that the control achieved using a wireless throttling valve is comparable to that achieved using a wired valve for a variety of flow control applications. Information on control implementation and results achieved with the WirelessHART throttling valve are shown where both wired and WirelessHART transmitters were used to access the control measurement.
  • MTE-2553 – Diagnostic Methodology for Control Valves with Smart Positioners. This MTE [Meet the Experts] session is for individuals who want to gain information on gathering and interpreting Diagnostic plots and other diagnostic information that is generated by ValveLink software. The session presents an overview of ValveLink testing methods and data interpretation. Instruction is provided on best practices for collecting, saving, and interpreting data from control valves. Topics: Data Collection Methods, ValveLink Solo, ValveLink SNAP-ON for AMS Device Manager, ValveLink Mobile, Elements of a control valve diagnostics program, Good data collection techniques, Value of Status Monitor and other available diagnostic tools, Dynamic scan data interpretation, Dynamic scan case studies, Performance Diagnostics 1 button sweep.
  • MTE-2554 – Valve Maintenance Planning for Sustained Reliability. Final Control elements within your facility (plant), impact your ability to operate effectively in today’s competitive environments. Attend this session to get tips on how to increase your operational performance. Gain knowledge to understand what is going on inside your control valves and what improvements might be made to increase reliability and maintainability throughout your valve lifecycle. Bring your questions and challenges to our panel of experts.

The Emerson Exchange conference is the place to be if you want to surround yourself with valve experts. If you can’t join us, consider joining and interacting in the Actuators, Valves and Valve Controllers & Positioners tracks in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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