Control Valves and IIoT

At the 2018 ARC Industry Forum, ARC Advisory Group’s Ralph Rio led a session, How OEMs improve Customer Satisfaction and Revenue with IIoT. The description for the session was:

Using IIoT to monitor the equipment allows the OEM to identify an issue at their customer’s site before it affects the end user. Condition monitoring helps prevent unplanned downtime and improve asset performance. Mitigating the problem before it affects production improves customer satisfaction and repeat sales. OEMs have improved revenue with increased sales of its equipment and additional value-added services.

This session is for OEMs who want to gain a competitive advantage and grow revenue. Also, end users will gain a deeper understanding of IIoT and why this should be part of their supplier selection criteria.

One of the speakers was Emerson’s Shawn Anderson, a senior research specialist working with the Fisher brand of control valves. In this role, his emphasis is on control valve performance testing and diagnostics.

Ralph opened the session with opportunities for Industrial IoT. These include smart equipment and smart manufacturing by operators. The focus of the session was on smart equipment and how sensors and analytics can help with preventing unplanned downtime.

Emerson's Shawn Emerson

Emerson’s Shawn Anderson shares how IIoT and control valves improves process reliability and performance at the 2018 ARC Industry Forum

Shawn opened his presentation discussing the focus on digital valve controllers as a key part of control valve. This opened up sensors and connectivity back to the control system for diagnostics and predictive maintenance.

Some of the drivers around IIoT and control valves are the electronics growing in capabilities, sensors becoming more varied, smaller and more powerful, and the cloud to enable big data analytics. Shawn noted that the data has been available for a long time, but it hasn’t been able to be easily visualized to help identify problems early.

Manufacturers are challenged with reliability, availability and uptime. Also, the expertise is not on site to take advantage of what the data collected around control valves is saying. More data is not the solution, but rather the process of analyzing and creating actionable information from the data.

The Industrial Internet of Things opens the opportunity to connect the data with subject matter experts who can analyze it and recommend corrective actions. These experts may reside with the suppliers of the control valves providing this expertise as a service.

He noted that acceptance is increasing in taking advantage of remote Fisher control valve experts, as a connected service, to collaborate with plant staff to perform predictive maintenance and keep the valves operating as reliably as possible, given their role in touching and controlling the flow of the process.

Shawn shared some results achieved through these connected services. Using SEEQ Workbench allows data collected from different sources such as ValveLink software and plant historian data to be overlaid to uncover potential issues.

For example, overlaying a process temperature increase uncovered an increasing friction problem in a control valve. By identifying this issue, the valve could be scheduled for maintenance before unplanned downtime occurred. Doing this analysis with this type of software tool would have been an intensive process with data exports and Excel spreadsheets to uncover this correlation.

You can connect and interact with other valve experts in the Valves group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.