Thursday, September 4, 2014

Predictive Maintenance Inspection for Critical Service Valves

Critical service valves, and the process equipment they protect, represent large capital investments in a manufacturing plant. To protect those investments, and the improve performance of your facility, a predictive maintenance inspection plan for severe service valves needs to be implemented.

Predictive maintenance inspections identify leaky valves, their severity and potential impact. The resulting report provides data that prioritizes critical issues immediately, while allowing time scheduling and budget allocation for lower priority issues.

Increasing process reliability results in greater plant efficiency and profits. Plants should routinely check their critical service valves for leaks, and repair or replace defective valves. Adoption predictive maintenance inspection will result in cost savings, greater process reliability and better safety.

For example: A single valve in a cold reheat steam service with a 2-inch orifice and an 1/8-inch leak can release more than 1700 lb/hr of steam. That could amount to a whopping $36,800 loss per year. Replacement of this single, inefficient valve would pay for itself within months.

An effective inspection plan should include the following:
  • Capture valve performance data, such as temperatures along the bore path. 
  • Analyze the information gathered from the valve performance data and visual inspection. 
  • Report findings via written report.
  • Recommend action to repair or replace underperforming valves.
Along with thermally checking your critical valves, visual inspection also needs to be carried out. Specifically making sure:
  • Valves are installed with the correct orientation 
  • Stem scribe lines are accurately aligned or that the valve is fully closed 
  • Appropriately designed valves are installed in the proper application 
  • The actuator is mounted correctly 
  • Joints, body and packing are void of leaks
Predictive maintenance inspections determine the condition of critical service valves by performing periodic valve checkups. By implementing an inspection program, you have the opportunity to schedule maintenance at the most cost effective time and before valve performance degrades.


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