Digital transformation is broad concept signifying the use of data and easy accessibility to fundamentally change work processes. In a LinkedIn essay, Transform to Valve 4.0: Digital Control + Analytics, Emerson’s Jonas Berge describes how the performance of control valves can be more effectively managed and maintained for better operational performance.
Jonas opens painting a picture on what digital transformation for control valves looks like:
Imagine, receiving a notification on your phone when a control valve is underperforming or when failure is predicted by analytics. Or any time being able to open a dashboard showing the health of all your control valves, and other instrumentation. Or a business model where a factory control valve expert monitors your valves for you and sends you a periodic report recommending which valves need overhaul and what should be done. Then Augmented Reality (AR) or RFID guiding you to the location of the valve. And even the SME remotely assisting you fixing the issue step-by-step in a handsfree live video call. This is the vision of digital transformation and Industrie 4.0 for control valves. Sure, anyone can rattle off a list of all the technologies above. But let’s take a detailed look at the readymade solutions available. A poorly designed, installed, or maintained control valve will affect plant availability, product quality, and energy efficiency. So what is the best way to digitally transform control valve management?
Sensors from digital valve controllers such as the Fisher digital valve controllers combined with predictive analytics are at the heart of monitoring for valve performance and health condition.
The large number of sensors enable more predictive and more precise analytics. The raw data first feeds into the predictive analytics embedded in the valve positioner. Because the sensors are built into the positioner the data update can keep up with the fast dynamics of a control valve movements; another reason why analytics in the valve positioner performs better.
Examples of what these sensors measure include:
- Valve stem position
- Supply air pressure
- Output air pressures (2)
- Internal pneumatic relay position
…displayed in a purpose-built ready-made valve analytics app. The user interface of the software is built by valve engineers for valve engineers. Evolved based on feedback from users over many years. You don’t need to be a data scientist to use the software since the underlying analytics algorithm is hidden from the user.
Read the full essay for more as Jonas describes the important diagnostics, valve position feedback, health status, mobile notifications, and reporting to maintain performance for safe, efficient and reliable operations. The digital transformation of work processes can even extend to remote valve experts monitoring the valves through Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based Connected Services.
You can also connect and interact with other valve and digital transformation experts in the Valves, Actuators & Regulators and IIoT & Digital Transformation groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.