Process Plants in China Struggle to Gain Maximum Value from Intelligent Control Valves and Other Advanced Automation

By Rex Sun

Industry Trends

With the current economic slowdown, many process industries in China face challenges relative to overcapacities, inefficiencies, and product quality. This appears to be particularly true for some of the nation’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs). As a result, it’s important for operating companies in China to take advantage of the current “quieter” business environment to focus on improving overall asset performance. In China and elsewhere around the world, companies are increasingly taking advantage of the intelligence built into the latest generation of intelligent control valve positioners to avoid typical valve-related issues that frequently degrade both process performance and production uptime and can also have a negative impact on normal loop control and plant safety. The problem here is that while most plant operations and maintenance personnel have a good basic understanding of control valve operation, they often lack adequate knowledge to take full advantage of the self-diagnostic and other advanced capabilities available in the latest generation of intelligent control valve positioners. This is particularly problematic in China, where experienced personnel are in very short supply. In response, as explained in ARC’s latest China control valve market research, end users are increasingly turning to the control valve suppliers to monitor, diagnose, test, and maintain their control valves and actuators. This can contribute significantly to improving the process and asset performance of refineries, chemical plants, power plants, and other process plants in China that depend on control valves to help increase automation, increase plant performance, and enhance ultimate product quality. However, In China, taking advantage of these types of advanced supplier-provided services also requires a bit of a culture change. This is because while the automation suppliers expect to get compensated for these services, price-sensitive companies in China don’t usually expect to pay extra for services.

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