Emerson Process Management’s Fisher control valve diagnostic technologies are being used for predictive maintenance to realize operational savings at Iggesund Paperboard, a business of the Swedish Holmen Group.

The Iggesund mill is one of the most advanced, fully integrated pulp and paperboard mills in the world. It has an annual capacity of 330,000 tons of Invercote, a multi-layered solid bleached board. In order to maximize availability, the plant has moved away from scheduled maintenance of control valves to the predictive maintenance approach.

At the mill, diagnostic information from Fisher FIELDVUE digital valve controllers is delivered to Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive maintenance software for access by plant personnel. The AMS ValveLink software application delivers the valve health data, enabling plant personnel to eliminate unplanned shutdowns, reduce inventory of new valves and spare parts, and decrease maintenance time.

“Almost 10 years ago, we realized that our methods of maintaining control valves and field instrumentation could be improved.” said Peder Hägglund, the technical manager at the Iggesund mill. “Over time, we have installed over 200 of Emerson’s FIELDVUE controllers and used the diagnostic capabilities extensively.”

“We have worked with many end-user organizations across all industries, helping them to develop operating procedures around control valve diagnostics,” said Wendy Nancarrow, the European director for Emerson’s Fisher valve instrumentation business. “Of all the companies we have worked with, we believe that Iggesund is one of the world leaders in the use of online control valve diagnostics technology to drive plant performance improvements.”

The FIELDVUE diagnostics are accessible online. The real-time predictive diagnostics give a fast and accurate insight into the health of the valves. The ValveLink software can be used to quiz the FIELDVUE devices for additional information or to run advanced diagnostic tests. Travel Deviation alerts are a primary indicator of control valve problems.

“The Travel Deviation alert is triggered when the control valve has not moved to its required position within a certain period of time,” said Tommy Nielsen, the site’s control valve specialist. “This alert can indicate many potential faults, such as an increase in friction, air leaks, mechanical faults or a physical blockage. Other alerts that we find most useful are the Cycle Counter and the Travel Counter.”

The Cycle and Travel Counter alerts can be used to determine control loop stability, since both are indicators that the loop may be oscillating. Oscillations can cause poor control and can, in extreme circumstances, lead to the loop being put into manual control. Poorly tuned loops can lead to quality issues, excessive raw material usage, an increase in energy consumption and premature valve wear. The maintenance department at Iggesund is increasingly employing these two alerts as they look to improve the overall performance of the mill. 

“The success of control valve diagnostics at our mill can be attributed to many factors,” said Hägglund. “We have a genuine interest in innovative technologies and an enthusiastic team that has perfected the use of online control valve diagnostics. The success they experienced has motivated people throughout the organization to drive the necessary improvements.” 

Fisher valves with FIELDVUE digital valve controllers are key components of Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture that networks process automation systems and instrumentation to provide efficient operations and predictive technology-driven maintenance for process facilities worldwide.

About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, metals and mining, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other industries. A division of Emerson, Fisher Controls International LLC is a global leader in the design, manufacture and application of final control systems. Fisher technology and innovation in process control plays a key role in the Emerson mission of combining superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Emerson brands include PlantWeb, Fisher, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Daniel, DeltaVTM, Ovation, and AMS Suite.

About Emerson
Emerson, based in St. Louis, Mo., is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2008 were $24.8 billion and Emerson is ranked 94th on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies.