Valves play a critical role in managing the process’s flow for process manufacturers and producers. As companies look to transform their operations to drive greater safety, sustainability, and reliability, increasing the intelligence in these devices helps the overall digital transformation efforts.
In a Process Industry Informer article, Flow Control – The Current State of Industrial Digital Transformation and a Look to the Future, Emerson’s Knut Riegel highlights the challenge of lacking predictive maintenance information.
What would happen if an important shut-off valve in the drinking water system is faulty? How would a facility be impacted if the control valve which regulates district heating became worn through friction, and no one realised until the valve failed? How long will it take for repairs to be done if the maintenance staff has been reduced due to budget constraints?
Having this information available enables improved performance.
Both the automated valves and their associated components therefore play a central role in keeping operations safe and reliable.
Especially in the process industry, electrification and digitalisation is on the rise, and valves are increasingly equipped with intelligent electric actuators.
Digital transformation initiatives require a broad view of all areas of the production process.
An effective industrial digital transformation leads to a simplified, comprehensive, self-organised operation in which people, machines, plants, logistics and products are considered and coordinated, enabling a highly digitised and networked production plant, the so-called Smart Factory.
This broad view for:
…condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, plant efficiency, advance planning of downtime and environmental protections are analysed and optimised.
Electric valve actuators can replace pneumatic ones to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to operate more sustainably [hyperlink added below].
Software solutions such as Emerson DCMlink (Diagnostics, Control and Monitoring) can help organisations collect and use detailed and far-reaching process data and adopt a condition monitoring maintenance approach to predict valve health and enhance plant safety. For example, DCMlink allows operators to overlay current torque curves with previous or baseline curves and easily and quickly check for performance anomalies.
Read the article for more on solutions built according to the NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA), using historical and real-time valve data for prescriptive maintenance with predictive analysis, and the importance of valves in digitalization initiatives.