Kent Introl’s OEM Valve Diagnostics Service Benefits Major European Oil Refinery
Kent Introl recently completed a full control valve diagnostics and upgrade project for a leading European oil refinery.
This poor performing valve had long term operational issues following overhauls by a third party service provider; within three months of the valve being returned to service, problems would occur and the unit would require further maintenance. The issue had been ongoing for years.
A full functional test of the valve was undertaken with our diagnostics equipment, the Profiler. The Profiler is used to detect and document a number of issues with valve and actuator performance such as actuator operational pressures, assembly frictional levels, seat angles, calibration issues and air leaks plus other information. The results of the diagnostics footprint would provide us with the data required to troubleshoot and solve ongoing problems.
We approached the client to discuss critical valves with inherent poor performance. Our aim was to solve these problems for the long term and demonstrate how we could add value above and beyond many of our competitors. We focused on a particular critical valve which had been exhibiting ongoing issues for several years. Its internals were only lasting for periods of around three months and required frequent maintenance by a third party service provider.
We suggested that we visit the site to carry out control valve diagnostics and create a detailed report that would inform our long term solution. The client agreed with our proposed plan and we went on to profile the valve while in situ and temporally bypassed.
The valve had been seizing in position due to a build-up of Crystalline Salt between the plug and the guide. As such, an upgraded trim design was required which mitigated the areas in which the salts could form. The Profiler confirmed the additional load generated within the trim as a result of this buildup. The process medium is highly toxic so traditional intrusive maintenance methodology wasn’t an option.
Diagnostics testing and findings
Three tests were performed: the profile test, the resolution test and the sensitivity test.
The first diagnostics testing was completed when the valve was in service and performing badly (testing would be also be undertaken at the following stages of ‘as returned to shop’, ‘as overhauled’ and ‘as returned to service.’) The Profiler confirmed that the positioner calibration was out and there were high levels of stiction. These results validated that the valve required an overhaul and trim replacement.
The valve was then taken out of line and shipped to us for its upgrade. We completed another profile check to compare to the initial on-site report, then carried out the overhaul and upgrade. This was followed by our third diagnostics test, which confirmed that the valve was now fit for purpose and ready to be reinstalled.
The valve was returned to service and underwent its final diagnostics check. After almost six months of service, it continues to perform perfectly with no unplanned outages.
A unique offering
The project presented a number of unique challenges. Our client was apprehensive about removing this critical valve from site and arranged for a team member to accompany it. Witnessing the work being undertaken was an extra confidence boost.
This project was somewhat of a risk and it was vital that we proved ourselves in order to build up a lasting relationship with the client. Fortunately the process ran smoothly and the results proved our skills and expertise as an OEM.
This is what sets Kent Introl apart from its competitors that use similar diagnostics equipment. As an engineering OEM with a full Applications department, we can offer solutions that others can’t match. Our expertise and technical capabilities allow us to redesign the internals of a valve, whereas competitors may simply re-engineer. Furthermore, Kent Introl can provide every valve with the OEM full warranty of a new product, offering customers peace of mind and long term value.
Though we were well aware of our capabilities with full valve diagnostics, our client took a risk to appoint us to work on this critical valve. However, this risk paid off and the valve has now performed for twice as long as ever before with no issues to report.
Our client could see the value in our diagnostics work and has now commissioned us for further projects. This in turn has boosted our credibility within the site and opened many doors for us, including kickstarting a dialogue with another major refinery.
By working on isolated problematic valves and identifying where we can add value as an OEM, Kent Introl are able to offer an unrivalled service and build long term relationships with our clients.
The unique combination of our specialist engineers and diagnostics equipment can help maximise not only the service life of your assets, but also their efficiency and effectiveness during that service.
Visit our Valve Diagnostics page to learn more, or contact us today to speak with one of the valve diagnostics team.
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