Refinery operators have a pressing requirement to improve the efficiency of flow control in their plants and they want to know from the Distributed Control System (DCS) if valves are open or closed. In a typical refinery, 10% of valves are actuated and 90% are manually operated. This poses a serious problem for end-users if the DCS does not accurately know how many manual valves are opened or closed, which limits the efficiency of their business operations.
To meet this challenge, Rotork Gears has introduced the SPI Smart Position Indicator, designed to provide a vastly improved, more robust, reliable and accurate solution compared with previously available equipment. This innovative solution has led a Spanish end user to place an order for approximately 900 units. With an SPI installed, the control centre is able to monitor any of the valves in the refinery, so operational control is more accurate.
The SPI has a large dial display to show the valve position locally and one or two internal switches or sensors for remote indication. The fully sealed aluminium enclosure provides an accurate and reliable valve position signal. For larger valves that are operated with a gearbox, the SPI is mounted to the gearbox input flange. For smaller valves it can be mounted directly on the valve and an optional thrust base is available for rising stem applications. The SPI uses the same ISO 5210 valve adaption as used for electric actuation, which is considerably more robust than alternative “arm” methods.
Environmentally sealed to IP67, the SPI is available in two IECEx/ATEX Ex certified variants for hazardous areas; an Ex e ‘increased safety’ version for gas and dust applications, and an Ex i ‘intrinsic safety’ version for gas only. Additionally, a non-certified safe area version is also available. The SPI is easy to maintain and, unlike other products, in case of failure, the valve still remains available.
In addition to chemical and petrochemical plants, typical areas of application for the SPI include power stations, public infrastructures, airports and fire hydrant systems.