Service-as-a-Service: Improve Valve Performance with Reliability Engineering

2 min. read

Ushering in ‘service-as-a-service’, control valves could soon be offered as a service, emphasizing throughput, uptime, and less maintenance, calling for standalone programs for valve health monitoring.

Some years ago, GE’s Pratt and Whitney division announced that you didn’t have to buy jet engines for your fleet any longer. You could, instead, buy “thrust.” It so happened that GE could provide that “thrust” by providing P&W engines. The engines continued to be owned by GE and would be maintained by GE service engineers. The engines would be highly instrumented, and the data would be instantaneously downloaded to Pratt & Whitney servers for analysis. The jury is still out on the long-term savings to the customer, but it works as a business model, and other companies with other service concepts are trying it out. If you buy an electric car from, say,  BMW, you will find that the car, like the software on your computer, doesn’t really belong to you. You are buying a license to use the car, just like your license to use Windows.

The concept of service as a product is creeping into the process industries. It isn’t difficult to foresee a near future where control valves are provided as a service, and the user pays for throughput, uptime, and reduced maintenance. What the valve manufacturer is providing is reliability engineered systems. Many assets, not just control valves, can be seen in this way.

Engineers monitoring assets in a smart factory

What the control valve reliability engineer needs is a way to monitor the valves they are responsible for. The plant process control system isn’t designed to do that. The CMMS is not designed to do that, either. And what happens to the valve monitoring when there’s a major upgrade to the control system or to the CMMS, and there’s a hiccup in the valve monitoring algorithms?

In order to really provide bullet-proof service as a service, the Reliability Engineer needs a standalone program that monitors control valve health. What is needed is an app-based toolset that provides to the Reliability Engineer the means to monitor and predict the performance of control valves in the plant. That toolset is UReason’s Control Valve App—a simple, stand-alone app that will take the data you already have and use it in an AI-based analysis engine to tell you which control valves will fail soon and when they fail. This allows you as the Reliability Engineer to provide uptime as a service by making it possible to perform predictive maintenance on the control valves for which you are responsible.

UReason has extensive expertise in valves, actuators, and the relevant processes. UReason has compiled a huge library of valves, compressors, motors, drives, fans, turbines and other devices and their failure modes. Using the library’s data, and the data from the valves themselves, the Control Valve App uses intelligent models that combine domain knowledge and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide immediate detailed analysis of the process and recommendations for control valves.

In the basic app, a PDF report is the output, while the premium version can have an online dashboard and provide job orders in the maintenance management system of the plant. You can use UReason’s intelligence in a single application, like the CVA, or in an enterprise version, UReason’s platform APM Studio to manage all of your process and all your varied types of assets.

The CVA will allow you to switch from reactive maintenance to data-driven prescriptive maintenance. It will reduce unplanned repairs, and even better, it will help you postpone significant replacements, based on the actual remaining useful lifetime of the valve or actuator.

Download Control Valve App brochure

If you want to see how the CVA works, and how you can best use it, you can download a brochure here.

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