4 Benefits of Digital Valve Positioners

What if I told you there was one simple plant upgrade you could make to be more competitive?

This isn’t a hypothetical exercise. By upgrading your valve positioners from analog to digital, you will be able to maximize your plant productivity and increase your standing in today’s competitive market.

Here are four advantages of digital valve positioners.

Better control valve reliability and performance

Whatever industry you’re in — energy, industrial processing, manufacturing, etc. — you likely face constant pressure to improve productivity and efficiency. It’s easy to overlook your control valves, but they can play a huge role in this effort.

According to Flow Control, “A poorly performing $3,000 control valve can cause significant losses because of shutdowns, lost production, reduced efficiency, and unsafe events.” Digital valve positioners help protect against all of these consequences by improving control valve reliability and performance.

More accurate calibration for more accurate control

The level of process control a positioner provides depends on how accurately it can be calibrated. Here, digital positioners have a large advantage because they have fewer moving parts than analog positioners and they automatically self-calibrate.  An analog positioner requires a seasoned touch to adjust the cam manually. With smart digital positioners, just about anyone can push the right button to calibrate the valve correctly the same every time.

More accurate control reduces process variability, which leads to higher operating profits.

Advanced diagnostics for predictive maintenance

If you have an analog positioner, your control valve may be performing poorly, but you won’t know it until the time comes to service that valve. By then, you could already have accumulated hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in productivity losses. You might even have had to shut down your operations for emergency repairs.

Digital positioners monitor your valves many variables — valve travel and thrust, air consumption, temperature, valve friction, and more — and provide real-time data so you can identify and fix any performance problems before they balloon into emergencies.

The biggest advantage of digital positioners is the real-time data and diagnostics they provide.

Easy setup for reduced commissioning costs

Finally, it’s much easier to setup and install digital valve positioners than analog ones. This is because the digital devices can be calibrated and configured electronically with a the local push buttons, smart handhelds or a laptop. Not only does this mean you can get your control loops up and running faster during the commissioning process, but, again, the risk of human error is significantly decreased.

Want to learn more? Check out the Masoneilan SVI II AP digital valve positioner.

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