While high reliability clearly entails high availability, what is less obvious is that reliability also enhances sustainability. My column from the October 2023 issue of InTech, titled “Executive Corner: Reliability Through the Lens of Sustainability,” explains why.
When devices such as relief or isolation valves do not operate reliably, undesirable emissions can escape to atmosphere, wasting materials and potentially damaging the environment. In addition, device failures in batch processes may result in the loss of an entire production run, consuming resources both to replace and dispose of the lost batch.
While failures most severely impact high-value batches with long processing times, continuous processes are also subject to lost production, along with wasted energy and materials, when equipment does not operate reliably.
Both batch and continuous processes are designed to be most efficient when there are no interruptions, and any failure typically necessitates additional resources to perform maintenance.
With all this in mind, sustainability can be improved by prioritizing reliability when selecting measurement and final control devices, especially valves. Smart instruments and valves can also facilitate predictive and preventative maintenance, reducing unplanned downtime.
In the past, installing a field device typically required wiring it to the central automation system, but wireless alternatives are now in widespread use.
Many field devices are now available in wireless versions, eliminating the need for field wiring. When wiring is required, it can often be connected to flexible I/O mounted in the field, so home run wiring to the automation system in the control room is not needed.
Aside from judicious device selection, reliability can be improved by keeping field devices well maintained. Some vendors offer on-demand maintenance support, including remote and onsite assistance as well as remote monitoring, to assist plant personnel with these efforts.
As digital technologies advance and become ubiquitous, they facilitate reliability improvements, leading to greater sustainability in turn.
Visit our valve solutions on Emerson.com to know how you can achieve modernized processes, safety improvements, and Net Zero goals with process valves that control, protect and isolate.