Posted on July 17, 2012 - ( views)
Apart from process control systems and sensors, control valves play an important role in process automation. Control valves figure among the workhorses in process automation and influence the flow of media to control process variables, such as pressure, temperature, flow rate and filling level.
In the beginning, valves were mere mechanical devices operated by hand. Thanks to constantly enhanced and optimized mechanical components and the use of smart positioners, control valves nowadays balance rugged mechanics and intelligent functions.
NAMUR will dedicate this year's 75th Annual General Meeting to the wide topic of control valves. The meeting will take place at Bad Neuenahr, Germany on 8 and 9 November 2012 and cover a wide range of topics, starting with the beginnings of the simple, purely mechanical valves and culminating in the complex, smart control valves of our days, which have the potential of fulfilling even more process-related tasks in the future.
With over 100 years of experience and expertise in control valve engineering, the SAMSON GROUP with its worldwide market presence is the ideal partner for this year’s annual meeting.
Dr. Jörg Kiesbauer, member of the Executive Board of SAMSON AG responsible for research and development, will hold a keynote speech on the development that control valves have undergone over the years. Today, a control valve is an assembly consisting of a valve, mostly a pneumatic actuator and accessories, such as a positioner or solenoid valve. These units are combined to achieve a modular design, yet with a complex configuration of functions, which – through thorough sizing and the careful selection of components – can provide solutions for nearly all requirements.
The use of digital positioners considerably enhanced the functions of control valves, primarily by adding diagnostic features. These diagnostics have advanced significantly and turned the control valves into highly complex mechatronic assemblies tailored to the task at hand.
Initially, the developments in failure diagnostics for control valves were centered around valves used in throttling service. Now, a trend towards failure diagnostics in automated on/off valves has become visible as well. A major development in this field is partial stroke testing on emergency shutdown valves, where the positioner mainly functions as a diagnostic unit in addition to the solenoid valve that serves as the actual control unit for emergency shutdown.
Today's diagnostic features allow the diagnostic results to be classified in unique status messages.
During the annual meeting, such current topics will also be looked at from various angles.
The seamless integration of smart control valves into the modern digital communication structures of process control systems has given rise to demands for using the gathered device information in comprehensive plant asset management systems.
There are also claims to present the available data adapted to the specific needs of different users that allows plant operators, maintenance staff and service technicians to make reliable decisions.
Future trends will be in focus at the annual meeting as well. SAMSON will give an insight into future developments in control valves, such as the new FDI (Field Device Integration) standard, wireless applications as well as energy monitoring and efficiency. Modularization and miniaturization in process plants as well as their impact on control valves will round off the wide range of topics covered.
The keynote speech given by this year's partner, SAMSON, on Thursday morning will be followed by three presentations by NAMUR members. They will take up certain aspects of the keynote speech and deal with valve engineering, the advancement of device diagnostics towards information management and functional safety of control valves from an operator's point of view.
As in the past, many workshops on fields that NAMUR is active in, further presentations by SAMSON and NAMUR members centered around control valves as well as the interesting agenda set for Friday morning with emphasis on “integrated engineering” will turn this year's annual general meeting of NAMUR into an exceptional automation event.
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