The affordable, easier to install, complete diagnostic coverage valve condition monitoring equipment and system you have been asking for is now available from Score Diagnostics Limited, part of the Score Group of companies.
Score’s enhanced V-MAP® G3 system gives process plant owners, integrity and safety assurance engineers, and maintenance personnel enhanced visibility of critical valves' condition and performance indicators. This makes developing failure modes in valves and their actuators quickly and easily identifiable. V-MAP® G3 further extends the Score range of diagnostic equipment and systems available for monitoring valves’ in-service performance over time.
It is no coincidence that this has happened at time when there is an increasing pressure on our customers to comply with operational safety, integrity and quality standards such as IEC 61508/61511, ANSI/ISA-84.00.01, ISO 55,000, ISO 9001:2015 and of course to respond to industry concerns over ageing assets - as evidenced for example by the UK Health & Safety Executive’s recent KP4 programme for life extension and inspection.
Whilst our existing customers are aware that our flag-ship valve monitoring system V-MAP® has been available in the marketplace for almost a decade already in both its first and second generation formats, they are also aware of our continuous improvement culture. In light of this, they requested an enhanced valve condition monitoring solution for safety and process critical valves with the following features and benefits :-
Monitoring the condition of critical valves such as Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDVs), Process Shutdown Valves (PSDVs), High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems Valves (HIPPS), Blow-Down Valves (BDVs) and Pressure Safety Valves (PSVs) on both onshore and offshore Oil & Gas installations, is an essential part of ensuring the safety of personnel as well as the protection of the environment and process plant capital assets. In today’s process industries, there is an increasing pressure on plant operators and owners to comply with operational safety, quality and integrity standards such as IEC 61508/61511, ANSI/ISA-84.00.01, ISO 55,000, ISO 9001:2015 and of course to respond to (for example) the UK HSE’s recent KP4 Audit findings in relation to ageing and life extension (ALE) – and the continuing safe operation of ageing assets (plant and equipment). The failure of any Safety Integrated System (SIS) or other critical valve to operate on demand, or fail to provide a shut off, will have a major impact in any process. To demonstrate that all critical valves’ performance meets the installation’s safety criteria, they are 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 an expensive planned shutdown, thereby exposing the owners / operators to safety risks as well as interrupting production / generating losses.
The need to continuously monitor and assure that critical valves’ condition and performance is within the required performance standards is met by Score’s integrated V-MAP® system. V-MAP® G3 is an on-line system that offers continuous, non-invasive valve condition and performance monitoring of critical valves and the process / systems in which they are operating. Performance data is acquired remotely, without the need for personnel to be in attendance to monitor traditional “intervention” type tests. V-MAP® G3 acquires data for every valve operation, including unplanned operations / events, thus building up a history for trending performance, that in some cases may be used in-lieu of a planned intervention test, thereby avoiding the need to interrupt production and suffer losses. Valve and actuator performance trends can then be used to establish a proactive and preventative valve maintenance programme, based on measured in-service valve and actuator condition. The new and enhanced third generation of the V-MAP® system provides process plant owners, operators, integrity and safety assurance engineers as well as maintenance personnel, actionable evidence and enhanced visibility of any / all developing failure modes in valves and their operators. It covers the Performance Standards for all Safety Critical Elements in Safety Integrated Systems (SIS) : Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDVs), Process Shutdown Valves (PSDVs), High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems Valves (HIPPS), Blow-Down Valves (BDVs) and Pressure Safety Valves (PSVs). This approach to valve condition and performance monitoring not only maximises productivity, it significantly improves reliability and reduces risks, thanks to its ability to identify developing failure modes and thus minimise the probability of failure on demand.
V-MAP® G3 has been developed, based on Score’s long term experience in valve and actuator repair, 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 modular system design: One that can be tailored to process specific monitoring requirements, communications and protocols of the installation’s automation system.
Typical failure modes (examples) that are easily identified with V-MAP® G3
Margin trending of in-line performance against prescribed standards facilitates a “predictive” approach to maintenance.
The third generation of V-MAP® G3 has all the benefits of the previous system but also benefits from being easier to install (in both Brownfield and Greenfield Sites), reduced weight and space requirements and reduced installation costs.
V-MAP® G3 is a passive, non-intrusive on-line system that continuously monitors the condition of Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDVs) and other critical valves, providing the following features:
Proprietary mini server and router package that funnels up to 16 DAU data streams into 1 for temporary storage on the SPU hard drive. The SPU provides the intrinsic safety protection for the data and power circuits between the safe area and DAU in the field environment (certified for Zone 0). The SPU transmits data associated with valve cycles and other events to the main VMAP® G3 host application for further analysis and permanent storage.
The DAUs, which are located inside the junction boxes, continuously log and stream the actuator pressure and strain at 40 readings/second and AE readings at 1 reading/second regardless of whether the valve is operating or not. The DAU is comprised of 3 modules: The Sensor Module, the Data Acquisition Module and the Power and Communications Module. The data is stored on the server where it is subject to data reduction to optimise the storage. The DAU buffer memory is used as a short term back up in the event of communication or power outage.
Acoustic Emission (AE) is a term normally associated with high frequency sounds or vibrations that are emitted from materials or structures under load and potentially approaching failure. The high frequency sounds or vibrations are the stress waves produced by the sudden internal redistribution of stress within the materials caused by changes in the internal structure of the material. Crack growth due to fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement, stress corrosion, and creep can be detected and located by the use of AE technology. AE technology is also widely employed in the non-destructive testing for structural integrity of materials and structures made from composite materials. Fiber breakage, matrix cracking, and delamination are three mechanisms that can produce AE signals when stress is applied to the material or structure.
In valve monitoring applications, Acoustic Emissions (AE) rely on the noise generated by a turbulent leak to enable leak detection and quantification. Score’s Midas Meter® and Midas® Sensor use the 60 kHz to 600 kHz range. This very high frequency range helps eliminate background noise from the plant and to localise the source of the noise due to the high attenuation at these frequencies.
An AE sensor can be mounted on the valve body, to detect if there is through seat leakage. In order to provide additional confirmation that the valve is generating the noise and not an adjacent leaking valve Acoustic Emissions sensors are mounted on the piping up and downstream, typically 1 to 2 meters from the valve. By comparing the readings the system can determine with more certainty that it is that valve that is leaking.
Strain measurement is used to measure the force or torque required to operate the valve throughout its stroke. Changes in the force or torque are key indicators in the performance of the valve and the progression of degradation mechanisms. Two identical sets of strain gauges are mounted directly on to the mounting stool between the valve and actuator; one is the Active set the other a Spare set.
The monitoring of strain gives the torque or force that is applied to the valve during operation. This measure gives the following benefits especially when combined with actuator pressure monitoring:
Typical outputs of strain converted to valve torque v time can be shown for full and partial closure operations. These can be compared to previous operations and benchmarks. From these charts the key data points are established for trending, such as effects of seat and stem friction.
The pressure transmitter is mounted directly into fluid supply line to the actuator cylinder. Actuator pressure is recorded on both single and double acting actuators.
Typical outputs of actuator pressure v time can be shown for full and partial closure operations. These outputs can be compared to previous operations and benchmarks. From these charts the key data points are established for trending and determining the actuator and valve performance.
A digital signal is sent to the solenoid from the client’s operating system in order to perform a valve operation. V-MAP® monitors this digital signal constantly to ensure that all valve operations are recorded and analysed.
The limit switch and position indicator are used to show the valve’s position and are monitored by the client’s operating system. V-MAP® interprets the limit switch signal from the client’s system to keep track of which position the valve is in.
Intelligent Valve Controller integrates a 4-20mA positioner, inductive switches and position indicator to provide valve position feedback with a Partial Stroke Test controller. It contains electronics that can perform various operations such as partial and full stroke on demand.
V-MAP® G3 dedicated sensors are located on the valve, actuator and on the adjacent piping. The sensor types typically selected are:
The V-MAP® G3 sensors are continuously logged by bespoke data acquisition units (MIDAS® DAUs). On detection of a valve operation, the V-MAP® G3 server either directly outputs results in standalone installations, or - in fully integrated installations – it downloads the information from the MIDAS® DAU and typically requests the following input from the installation’s automation databases:
Once the server has collected the raw data from the various sources, it is processed in the Score bespoke Signal Processing Unit (MIDAS® SPU) and stored. The following functions can then be performed to transform the data in to information:
Once the server has collected the raw data from the various sources, it is stored and the following functions performed to transform the data in to information:
The capabilities of the software to raise an alert if parameters exceed pre-set levels can effectively minimise the number of personnel interventions required at the plant for monitoring activities, yet maintain the required level of safety integrity. The V-MAP® G3 system ensures any and all valve condition and performance issues are flagged immediately and can therefore be resolved more efficiently.
Score offer an ongoing updates service for all installed V-MAP® G3 Systems with technical support, software maintenance, engineering analysis, data interpretation and valve engineering expertise.