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Digital Valve Services for Improved Operational Performance

For process manufacturers & producers, the performance of final control elements including valves, actuators and regulators has a major impact on their efficiency, reliability and variability. Knowing how these final control elements are performing and when they need attention can improve overall operational performance.

This short 3-minute video, Digital Valve Services, highlights a portfolio of tools that provide operational data that is supplemented by OEM expert support to help keep valves operating as expected.

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Migrating Legacy DCS/PLCs to DeltaV DCS using FlexConnect Solutions

Here in the Austin, Texas area, our Control System Modernization & Migration team recently opened a new Modernization Center. I caught up with Emerson’s Scott Ross about the numerous ways to modernize a system based on the business objectives of the facility. In the Modernization Center, the team shows the many ways to modernize a system in a stepwise fashion.

With some control systems being more than 30+ years old and still operating, most of them have been placed into end-of-life or retired-lifecycle status. This means no further factory support is available.

Manufacturers and producers face options whether to modernize to a newer family of distributed control system (DCS) or programmable logic controller (PLC)—or move the PLC I/O and logic to a DCS, such as the DeltaV system.

Also, for many users with both PLCs and DCSs, the ongoing challenge has been to maintain two databases, keep expertise and skills to manage the systems, and stock sets of spares for each system. Continue Reading

Understanding Functional Safety Concepts and Final Element Suitability

The world of functional safety has its own tribal language and acronyms, e.g. safety instrumented systems (SISs), safety instrumented functions (SIFs), logic solvers, final elements (FEs), safety integrity level (SIL), probability of failure on demand (PFD), etc.

In a Hydrocarbon Engineering article, Keep in the Safety Loop, Emerson’s Riyaz Ali does an excellent job of defining and demystifying these phrases and concepts.

Hydrocarbon Engineering: Keep in the Safety LoopHe opens describing the differences between basic process control systems (BPCSs) and safety instrumented systems:

A BCPS, consisting of a transmitter, controller and control valve, operates under dynamic conditions, with outputs constantly being adjusted for process control. In terms of FCE [final control element] use, it is a high-demand system.

In contrast, a SIS is typically passive, with low demand, and takes action only when a dangerous condition is detected. It consists of a sensor, logic solver and FE…

Riyaz described the challenge with a valve being the low-demand, final element in the safety instrumented function, a.k.a. safety loop: Continue Reading

Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance for Petrochemical Producers

Authors: Pete Sharpe and Marcelo Carugo

Digital Transformation is a buzz word that seems to be on everyone’s mind and lips these days. Most companies have one or more digitalization initiatives underway as demonstrated in this survey conducted at the 2019 Emerson Exchange during the Chemical Industry Forum session.

Companies are already spending money on digitalization projects, but not necessarily with a good roadmap for where they are going. Surveys show that people challenges and not fully understanding the business impact of the technology are the biggest roadblocks to digital transformation project success.

Chemical Industry Digital Transformation Survey

Emerson through its industry consulting practice has recently engaged with a number of key manufacturers and producers to help them identify and prioritize a digitalization roadmap based on which opportunities will have the most impact on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the site. These KPIs are the metrics they use to measure their own operational performance, and also as a comparison against their peers through independent benchmarking in quartile performance. Continue Reading

Exercising Solenoid Valves in Safety Applications

Plant Engineering: Double up on solenoid safety

Valves used in safety applications tend to stay in opened or closed positions for very long, time intervals. As Emerson’s Joe McHugh explained in a Plant Engineering article, Double up on solenoid safety:

…all valves experience stiction if they remain inactive for too long. (Note: Stiction is the friction that tends to prevent stationary surfaces from being set in motion.)

These valves must be moved periodically, especially a solenoid valve, since:

…if this valve experiences stiction-related failure, the emergency shutdown valve won’t be able to stop the flow of a flammable or even explosive fluid — leading to possible catastrophe.

In a safety instrumented function, solenoid valves are part of the final element which are designed to move the process to a safe state. Continue Reading