While digital transformation has been getting its fair share of hype in recent years, end users in the heavy process industries actually began digitizing their plants decades ago with the introduction of “smart/intelligent,” digitally integrated process transmitters and final control devices. Today, the vast majority of process transmitters installed for greenfield and major up-grade projects are smart, if not always fully digitally integrated. However, historically, pumps and valves have tended to be the last field devices for end users to digitize in their plants.
Advanced diagnostics and bi-directional communications can help improve process performance, condition monitoring, and maintenance effectiveness; while reducing maintenance costs to a significant degree. This is particularly true for the traditional “bad actors,” such as control valves. Smart valves and pumps could also help reduce fugitive emissions to improve environmental compliance, and – in the case of safety-related valves - enhance plant safety.
With the emergence of Industrial IoT (IIoT)-enabled remote management solutions, process industry end users can begin to take full advantage of remote monitoring, analysis, and management services provided by valve and pump suppliers or third-party service providers. While leveraging the expertise of these external partners would appear to be a “no-brainer,” ARC research indicates that many end users remain resistant to this concept.
Digital Transformation of Valves and Pumps
Two examples of services that suppliers have developed to help their customers lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of their valves and pumps follow. Significantly, both services can also enhance plant safety and regulatory compliance.
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Keywords: Digitization, Digital Valve Management Solutions, IT-OT Convergence, Expertise as a Service (EaaS), ARC Advisory Group.