What is Control Valve Diagnostics?

Control valve diagnostics is a key part of monitoring and managing control valves. It involves using the sensors on a positioner to monitor the valve and gather data about its positioning, conditions, and performance. 

Typically, control valve diagnostics data would be used as part of root cause analysis after a valve has failed or an incident occurred. The data gathered by the controller would be analyzed to understand what went wrong, help engineers manage the fix, and ideally provide insights to help prevent the issue from recurring. 

However, advanced control valve diagnostics has a predictive element. It can monitor leading indicators to detect anomalies that can be early indications of valve failure, miscalibration, or errors. Some control valve diagnostics solutions allow recalibration through the software.

Why Does Control Valve Diagnostics Matter to Process Manufacturing Plants?

Control valves play a vital role in any plant process, so when a control valve fails it can cause disruption that is out of proportion to the cost of the valve itself. A miscalibration in a control valve can also cause inefficiencies, wasted resources, and lost production. 

Because of the drastic impact of control valve failure, plants typically overinvest in maintenance inspections and prophylactic replacements, but running maintenance or replacing valves unnecessarily can push up operating costs. 

Using control valve diagnostics to its fullest extent – by making good use of the data to speed up root cause analysis, ensuring that valves are always calibrated correctly, and using advanced diagnostics tools that provide early warnings about potentially problematic irregularities – helps plant to:

  • Minimize expenditure on replacement valves
  • Prevent the loss of production caused by unexpected valve failure
  • Ensure the plant as a whole operates more efficiently
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How Can Process Plants Implement Control Valve Diagnostics?

Understand your existing systems

Before introducing new control valve diagnostics, assess the capabilities you already have in place. Many valves have diagnostics that aren’t being utilized, and many plants already gather diagnostics data but fail to take full advantage of it. 

Prioritize the most critical valves

All valves are important, but some play a more crucial role than others. Identify the valves that would have the greatest impact on plant operations if they were to fail, and make them your starting point for introducing new diagnostics software. 

Ensure you can make use of diagnostics systems

Even the best tools have lackluster results if you don’t have the manpower and expertise to manage them. Educate your employees about how to use control valve diagnostics effectively, and make sure that someone has the work hours available to respond to alerts and check reports. You could use an outsourced service team like SAM SERVICE supported by SAM VALVE MANAGEMENT.

How Do Process Plants Benefit from Control Valve Diagnostics?

By increasing understanding around control valve incidents, improving valve calibration, and providing early warnings about potential issues, control valve diagnostics can help process manufacturing plants to cut unexpected downtime, reduce wasted resources, and improve overall operating efficiency to make the plant more profitable and peaceful.