There are two main drivers for partial stroking of valves in safety systems: the desire to extend manual test intervals to as long as possible; and to reduce the amount of redundant hardware required for higher safety integrity levels. Like most things in life, it all boils down to one thing: trying to save money.
More and more companies are placing greater emphasis on maintenance and seeking help from vendors to boost the effectiveness of their efforts, as some recent major investment decisions demonstrate. Many automation companies now are benefiting by building up asset management services alongside process control capabilities.
More attention to steam systems and trap monitoring provides big benefits. At most chemical plants, plant management and operators face increasing pressures to improve the energy efficiency of their processes, so they should see how they can save on steam.
Increasing interest will translate into far more monitoring applications. The worldwide market for wireless technology will grow 26% annually over the next few years, forecasts the ARC Advisory Group. Vendors are responding and key concerns are being addressed.
Last months ISA Expo in Houston clearly showed how much attention wireless technology is attracting. However, concern about the reliability and life of batteries remains an issue. Thats why harvested or scavenged power is attracting interest.
Theres more to boiler level control than measuring level and adjusting a feedwater valve. Improved measurements and inverse response are just a few of the influences on operating boilers in a reliable manner.
The compressed air industry is taking a step that will clear the air about the performance of its equipment. For the first time, many compressed air equipment manufacturers will submit their 50 hp to 200 hp lubricated rotary-screw compressors and 200 cfm to 1,000 cfm refrigerated air dryers to an independent laboratory for performance testing.
The new market realities of higher and rising energy costs as well as global pressures to reduce fossil fuel intensity have made energy management tracking much more valuable. Learn how to keep energy productivity programs from running out of gas in Peter Garforth's latest Energy Expert column.
Carefully managing compressed air can save money. Compressed air is often overlooked in energy studies because many people do not fully understand compressed air equipment, their own system, or what it costs to produce compressed air power.
Author: Scott Van Ormer and Don Van Ormer, senior application engineers, Air Power USA
Automation systems have now reached such a high degree of reliability that many personnel at plants now take them for granted. Learn to use digital communication with your asset management tools to achieve predictive maintenance and substantial savings.