The Need for Industrial Process Diagnostics
It’s no secret that process industries today – whether they be oil & gas, food & beverage, chemical processing or others – are facing pressures like never before to increase production and process throughput, while reducing costs and ensuring optimal safety levels.
The stakes are high as well. ARC industry analysts estimate that the impact of unplanned downtime in the global process industries is US$20 billion or almost 5% of annual production.
Yet do process engineers, maintenance engineers (instrumentation technicians) and metrology (compliance) managers – to take just a few roles – have the necessary tools and information to ensure effective and seamless operations? Are they able to answer key questions – such as: Is my process operating as designed? Is my flow meter working effectively (as it should)? And am I meeting agency and compliance requirements?
For all the technology innovations and powerful diagnostics systems introduced to process industries and flow meters over the past few years, I would suggest the answer is ‘No’.
True, today’s process facilities are embedded with alerts and diagnostics that provide the first step to time-consuming analysis and potential production interruptions, but when it comes to real-time intelligence, too often the process industry and key elements such as flow meters fall short.
The Power of Smart Meter Verification
That’s why in our latest on demand webinar, Emerson introduced the latest version of its Smart Meter Verification (SMV) system (diagnostics) and how it applies to the latest generation of Coriolis flow measurement systems.
Rather than costly and time-consuming calibrations of flow meters resulting in production shut-downs and trips to laboratories, the new system generates real-time decision-making intelligence on meter performance in areas such as coating, corrosion and erosion. It also ensures that the accuracy requirements of the meter are met within the actual application, and provides a report that is recognized by third-parties to extend proving or recalibration intervals.
This allows immediate remedial action and measurement confidence on-demand, with no impact on the process or meter outputs, and a reduction in downtime – either unplanned or scheduled.
The move towards more powerful, proactive and accessible diagnostics also has huge implications across the process plant (to be covered in future blogs). The Smart Meter Verification system can:
- Ensure total instrument and process compliance with a clear audit trail that meets national and international standards;
- Establish a stress-free and effective maintenance environment through in situ verification and dramatically reduced downtime;
- Deliver vital operational improvements across the plant in areas such as multiphase flow; and
- Enable intelligent and local digital connectivity within a plant without unnecessary operational loops.