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Control Loop Tools for Maintenance Personnel

Includes support for:

Pinpoint Valve Problems
  • Condition-Based Monitoring
  • Reliability-Centered Maintenance
  • Valve Predictive Maintenance

When you work in Maintenance, you don't want to waste your time fixing the wrong problem. With control loops, there are so many things that can go wrong:

  • Valve Problems
  • Actuator problems
  • Tuning Problems
  • Instrument Problems
  • Programming Problems
  • Configuration Problems

ExperTune's experience has been that over 30% of valves in operations have performance issues. This includes problems with stiction, hysteresis, valve sizing, and slow response. PlantTriage helps to identify when valves are having problems. The included analysis tools can help you to troubleshoot and identify exactly what is wrong while the process is running.

Wouldn't you like to have a set of tools that tell you exactly problem is? Wouldn't it be great if you could use these tools without having to go into the field and take something apart?

New Video

See PlantTriage Maintenance Planning in This Video

A 3-minute video demonstrates using PlantTriage in the Maintenance Planning process. Use PlantTriage with Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Anual Maintenance Planning tasks.

Some PlantTriage users have completely justified their PlantTriage systems with maintenance savings alone. Watch the video to see how you can save time, effort, and money using PlantTriage to help with your maintenance planning.

Watch Video Now (2:40, wmv)

Find the Real Problem, Then Fix It

How often is your time wasted fixing the wrong problem? With ExperTune's set of diagnostic tools, you can easily tell the difference between a valve problem, a tuning problem, or an instrument problem. And you'll have the data to prove it.

PlantTriage® uses real-time data to support Condition-Based Maintenance. It automatically identifies when the equipment performance has started to degrade.

PlantTriage Control Loop Monitor looks after your thousands of control loops, 24 hours a day. Based on criteria that you have set, the PlantTriage Control Loop Monitor scans the entire process, finds the important information, filters it based on your needs, and notifies you directly.

PlantTriage has all the tools you need to diagnose and solve problems with valves, sensors, and controller tuning. PID Loop Optimizer is an integrated component of PlantTriage.

Reliability-Centered Tools

You can support your Reliability-Centered Maintenance program with better information about the true performance of the equipment. PlantTriage ensures your plant maximizes uptime, and avoids unplanned downtime.

To dig deeper into a problem, PlantTriage includes the most comprehensive and in-depth set of diagnostic tools available. ExperTune's Advanced PID Optimizer technology is fully incorporated within PlantTriage.

Find Intermittent Problems with Alerts

With PlantTriage, you can define an alert that will be triggered whenever a certain condition occurs. PlantTriage will notify you whenever the condition occurs. For example, if you have a sensor that occasionally has high noise, you can have a message sent to your pager when this happens.

Improve Planning—Reduce Time in the Field

When you have a better idea of the condition of the equipment before you go in the field, you have a better chance to plan to do the right job. PlantTriage can help to identify valves, sensors, and controllers that need attention. It can even help you to measure just how bad a given situation is. That way, you can make informed decisions to prioritize your work.

Problem-Solver Reports for Maintenance

Maintenance-related Problem-Solvers PlantTriage comes with Problem-Solver reports built for maintenance personnel. These reports help you to find and fix common maintenance issues.

No matter what your level of experience, the Problem-Solvers will help to point you in the right direction. Time savings come from PlantTriage prioritizing the issues for every instrument and every control valve in your plant.

Each Problem-Solver Report also gives specific advice for how to resolve the problem. For example, PlantTriage identifies whether an oscillation is caused from a tuning problem and a valve problem.

Loop Diagnosis—Problem Solver

Simple Loop Diagnosis

PlantTriage automatically diagnoses every control loop in your plant, and provides a text diagnosis. Example diagnostics include:

  • Flat-lining
  • Sensor Failed or Huge Span
  • Excessive Noise
  • Excess Valve Travel
  • Oscillation—Tuning
  • Unable to hold set point
  • Ineffective Derivative

You will save time and effort by knowing exactly where to look, and exactly what to look for.

Oscillation Details—Problem Solver

This report finds the source of the oscillation—the bad actor. It shows which loops are oscillating together. Several loops with common oscillation periods are likely interacting with each other.

To find the source of the oscillation:

  1. Locate a loop that is oscillating
  2. Look at the loops near this one on the list (the list is sorted, so will be close together)
  3. The loop or loops upstream are potential causes. (note: watch for recycle streams)
  4. Make sure to look for loops at each of the 3 oscillation periods
  5. The loop with a large value in the "Osc—Valve" column (oscillating because of a valve) is a primary suspect

More information on Oscillation Detection

White Paper: "How to Read Sine Language"

Valve Damage—Tuning, Problem Solver

Many signs of valve failure are apparent far in advance. PlantTriage lets you implement valve predictive Maintenance. The software automatically uncovers valves that are likely to experience problems due to excessive over-use. PlantTriage also recognizes the beginning signs of valve problems, long before a failure occurs. PlantTriage is scanning all the loops, all the time looking for problems.

Problem-Solver Valve Damage-Tuning

Preventing a problem is worth much more than fixing a problem. Move toward prevention with PlantTriage.

The valves listed in this report are likely to be suffering damage due to incorrect controller tuning.

Corrective action:

  • Tune the loop with included tuning tools.
  • Reduce or eliminate derivative action.
  • Apply a filter to the Process Variable (use tuning tools to find the best filter).
  • Identify & remove other sources of variation.

When a valve travels more than 3000%/day, this is usually an indication of poor tuning.

PlantTriage calculates exactly how much your control valves are moving in a day. Valves that move excessively due to poor tuning are more likely to require repairs. PlantTriage helps you avoid downtime by reducing valve wear. Applying PlantTriage tools will typically result in a 2 to 6 times reduction in valve travel.

In an on-site training class, a controls engineer learned how to use the "Valves Damage—Tuning" Problem-Solver. After opening the report for her plant she said:
"The valve at the top of this list has been replaced twice in the past six months. No wonder! It's a tuning problem."

Biggest Payback Loops—Problem Solver

Displays the Top 10 Payback Loops

With the Biggest Payback Loops, PlantTriage looks at your entire plant, and prioritizes all of the control loop problems. The top 10 loops are shown in a web browser interface. Loop ranking includes economic significance, so if 2 loops with different economic importance have the same health, the one worth more bubbles to the top. They can also be scheduled to be emailed daily, weekly, or monthly, so you get the information you need, when you need it.

Like everything else in PlantTriage, the Biggest Payback Loops is being updated all the time. When equipment starts to fail, you can be notified right away.

"I have a PlantTriage report that I check every morning. Overnight, PlantTriage said there was a problem with a repulper valve. Within an hour, there was a sheet break, and the repulper valve stuck fully open, causing a machine shut down. PlantTriage saw that problem before the operators did."
—Maintenance Engineer on a Paper machine

Valves-Oversized—Problem Solver

Oversized Valves Create Process and Control Problems

Over-sized valves create a number of problems: It is difficult to maintain tight control, and any valve problems are amplified. This problem solver lists valves that are likely to be oversized.

Corrective Actions to consider:

  • Replace with a smaller valve
  • Reduce upstream pump impeller size

Quickly find a complete list of all the oversized valves in your plant with this problem-solver.

Valves-Undersized—Problem Solver

The valves listed in this report are likely under-sized. Under-sized valves tend to run full open, and generally do not add a lot of value to the plant. If the process gain is less than 0.3, this is another sign the valve is too small. Corrective actions to consider:

  • Replace valve with larger valve
  • Replace trim with larger size
  • Remove valve from service
  • Reduce pump speed or impeller size

Tuning AMCT Opportunities—Problem Solver

Everybody started out using the trial-and-error method of controller tuning. Then there were mathematical methods that took twice as long to accomplish. Now, with the power of modern computing tools, you can tune loops faster than ever before. ExperTune's Advanced PID Optimizer does all the heavy lifting, and you get results—Fast. PlantTriage AMCT technology continually scans all your loops, looking for opportunities to optimize and tune them.

Models captured by AMCT

When you tune a control loop, you want to be sure of the settings before you download them to the controller. PlantTriage includes simulation of both Setpoint changes and Load/disturbance changes. You can compare the "before" and "after" tuning before you try it on the live system.

The loops in this report have been pre-screened for you. PlantTriage has captured a model, qualified that model, and then compared existing tuning against PlantTriage's recommended tuning. Only loops with significant improvement opportunity are shown in this report.

PlantTriage automatically gathers data, identifies process models, completes assessments, and notifies you of the results. It does all of this during normal process operation, without any interventions or process bumping required from you. The results can be delivered to you as an email, or displayed in your user-customized web browser interface.

Learn more about AMCT

Video Shows How to Tune a Loop in 60 Seconds

Sensors-Problems—Problem Solver

Reports Give Detailed Advice

Sensors and instruments give early warning signs of failure. PlantTriage is continually monitoring sensors for these early warning signs. Control Loops that PlantTriage lists in this report are likely to have one of these issues:

  • damaged sensor
  • lost signal
  • transmitter electronics failure
  • sensor in a poor placement
  • faulty wiring

PlantTriage notifies you of these issues before they become problems.

PV Filter Analysis—Problem Solver

This report shows points where the filter is large enough to possibly degrade control. Too large a filter will cause controller performance problems—the controller ends up controlling largely the filter instead of the process. Use the filtering tools to find the largest filter to use without degrading performance.

Video: How Filtering Can Help (or Hurt) Your Process

Maintaining Security

With its secure web-browser access, PlantTriage keeps end users and their heavy data demands off of the control network. Optional Shadow Server technology can be applied for an even greater measure of security.

Develop Your Expertise

The way to improve your career is develop yourself. ExperTune's training programs provide a mix of theory and practice to help you to solve problems quickly. Join one of our training sessions or schedule one for your site. Click here for more on training.

Get a Demonstration of PlantTriage

There is so much to see in PlantTriage. Get a private guided tour. Demo can be accomplished over the web, and takes about 1 hour.

Request a demonstration on-line or Contact ExperTune at +1 (262) 369 7711.


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