EC: Intune Valve Diagnostics
Process Control - analysis, optimization, tuning: ControlSoft Inc., Intune Valve Diagnostics. Intune Valve Diagnostics is a non-invasive software that qualitatively detects and quantifies the size of stiction in control valves in both online and offline diagnostic modes. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
To avoid propagation of variability to a series of control loops and to achieve acceptable loop performance, process control engineers need a reliable, accurate tool to detect and diagnose poor control valve performance -- before degradation becomes critical. Intune Valve Diagnostics includes several novel features: Most valve diagnostics tools need extra hardware and direct access to the control valves. Intune Valve Diagnostics does not require any additional hardware or instrumentation; it uses information readily available in existing control systems, specifically process values, controller outputs, setpoints, and valve position (if available). Analysis can be performed with or without valve position feedback signal. In online mode, the Intune Valve Diagnostics tool analyzes performance of valves in normal closed loop operation, and reports their status in real time, with no need for intrusive testing methods. No other commercially available product offers diagnostics without interfering with normal operation of control loops. In online mode, Intune Valve Diagnostics can measure and detect in real time the gradual degradation of loop performance due to valve problems, thus aiding in predictive maintenance. A similar analysis can be performed on data collected by any historian (offline mode).
The Results display enables users to visually evaluate the trend and data plot that Valve Diagnostics provides. Intune Valve Diagnostics uses pattern recognition technology to provide both qualitative and quantitative stiction diagnostic results. These results are complemented by a measure that indicates confidence of the analysis with time stamp. Intune Valve Diagnostics permits users to save and report on valve status parameters and trends. Users can plot data from current online diagnostic, offline diagnostic, or maximum stiction results. Outputs from Valve Diagnostics can be used to generate web reports to monitor valve performance or to establish baselines for evaluating subsequent improvements.
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