Valve Condition Monitoring

Valve Monitoring for Analysis and Performance

V-MAP is a system that continuously monitors, alerts and reports on valve and actuator performance and condition. This is achieved via data collected from dedicated sensors and from data stored within an installation’s process control system which is then processed by the V-MAP software.

The V-MAP system is targeted at an installation’s critical valves and provides:

A passive, non-intrusive monitoring system that responds to every valve operation, planned or unplanned

No need for operations personnel intervention unless alerted

Provides reports and audit records including the trending and comparison with performance benchmarks and safety criteria

Reports analysis will provide identification of maintenance requirements and reliability data for confirmation of Safety Integrity Levels (SILs)

Remote access availability for valve expert analysis and support

The Need

The monitoring of the condition of Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDVs) on both onshore and offshore Oil and Gas installations is an essential part of ensuring the safety of personnel, protection of the environment and capital assets; and is required by government legislation in many countries. The failure of an ESDV to operate on demand, or fail to provide a shut off to flow can therefore have a major impact.

ESDVs are generally hydraulically or pneumatically operated ball or gate valves which isolate installations from pipelines or isolate major sections of plant in the event of a hazard being detected. To demonstrate that an ESDV’s performance meets the installation’s safety criteria, it is normally subjected to routines involving inspection, partial closure, full closure, and leakage tests. These routines often require special test equipment and trained personnel, and will involve a planned shutdown thereby interrupting production. The results of these tests will determine if the ESDV is fit to continue in operation or that maintenance is required.

Hence, there is need for a system that automatically reports valve performance and addresses the safety, reliability and personnel issues. This need has been met by Score’s V-MAP development. V-MAP is an on-line system that continuously monitors ESDV condition and the process duty under which it is operating. Data is acquired remotely, without the need for personnel to be in attendance to monitor specific ESDV tests. V-MAP will also acquire data for every valve operation, including spurious ESDVs operation events, so building up a history of performance that can be used in-lieu of a planned shutdown test thereby avoiding the need to interrupt production. The valve and actuator performance trends can then be used to establish a maintenance programme based on actual and specific valve and actuator condition.

The Development

V-MAP has been developed based on Score’s long term experience in valve and actuator design, diagnostics, data acquisition, and system design and construction. The basic monitoring techniques and principles have been well developed in the past. It is the hardware and software developments of recent years that have enabled those techniques and principles to be implemented in a cost effective system design. Important factors included in the system’s development have been:-

Adaptation to the demands of the different installations’ Safety and Automation Systems (SAS)

Provides reports and audit records including the trending and comparison with performance benchmarks and safety criteria

Selection, installation, and protection of the dedicated V-MAP instrumentation for hazardous areas open to the environment

Use of existing valve and process instrumentation

Automatic reaction to SAS initiated partial closure, and full closure tests

The System

V-MAP dedicated sensors are located on the valve and actuator and on the adjacent piping. The sensor types that can be selected are:-

Acoustic Emission (AE) leak detection sensors

Strain gauges to measure the torque or force required by the valve

Pressure transmitters to measure the hydraulic or pneumatic pressures within the actuator to determine its torque or force output

Position transmitter to measure the valve stroke

The V-MAP sensor outputs are continuously logged by dedicated data acquisition units (DAUs), usually distributed around the installation in safe areas. The V-MAP server, usually located in the Central Equipment Room, will download the information from the DAUs. The server will also request the following input, where available, from SAS:-

Pipeline pressures and temperatures

Actuator limit switch status and timestamps for changes in state

ESDV event timestamps

Once the server has collected the raw data from the various sources, it is stored and analysed:-

Mathematically manipulated to obtain derived data, e.g. differential pressures, correlated leak rates and actuator/valve forces.

The derived data is then analysed by use of proprietary algorithms for:-

Comparison and trending of valid data sets with previous readings, benchmarks and design calculations

Raising of alerts if any of the valve and actuator performance characteristics exceed preset alarm or notification levels

Comparison of sensor outputs between themselves and to expected values to detect sensor drift or malfunction

Provision of summary reports to Operations

V-MAP can also store valve and actuator asset information. This information assists in detailed off-line analysis of any valve and actuator problem. Typical information would consist of drawings, material lists, drive train calculations, actuator output curves, photographs, manuals.

Why Choose Score?

Extensive experience in valve testing and monitoring techniques
V-MAP has been supplied to major North Sea Projects, both on and off-shore, each with over 40 critical ESDVs
30+ years experience in valve and actuator technology, design, repair, and problem solving
Specialist engineers available worldwide with the backing of a 1600+ employee organisation
Independent privately owned company

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