TOKYO, March 12, 2014 - Azbil Corporation has announced that it will launch sale of the sophisticated Smart Valve Positioner 700 Series on March 13. Compared with the company's previous positioners, the 700 Series has improved control valve diagnostics, field operability, and integration with the control system network. The positioners are expected to contribute to the safe and reliable operation of plants and promote efficient maintenance of control valves.
Control valves used at oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and other industrial plants must have high reliability because they operate continuously over a long period of time controlling process fluids under high temperature and pressure. Also, the valve positioner controls the amount of opening of the control valve according to signals from the control system, and therefore like the control valve must be highly reliable.
As facilities at recently constructed overseas plants have grown in size to improve production efficiency, control valves themselves have also become larger, and their installation locations have become more widely dispersed. As a result, it has become difficult for users to maintain the high reliability of their control valves through regular maintenance.
In Japan, there is a need to improve the productivity of existing plants. To this end, efforts are being made to increase the variety of items produced and cut operation and maintenance costs. Consequently, the need for a low-cost method of monitoring the status of control valves and detecting errors in these increasingly complicated plants is felt more keenly than ever.
Azbil Corporation's solution for effectively tackling the challenges faced by control valve users in and outside of Japan is to leverage the control valve diagnostics technology in smart valve positioners and apply the latest communication technologies. The 700 Series was developed for this purpose.
Comprehensive control valve diagnostics function
The closing performance of control valves, frictional force trends, and the output performance of the actuator, among others, can be diagnosed while the plant is operating by measuring the output from the positioner with a built-in pressure sensor.
Utilizing plant-industry-standard information technology, anyone can perform diagnostics (various kinds of inspection) when the plant is stopped regardless of their experience and skill level.
Great field operability provided by the LUI
The local user interface (LUI) is located on the front of the unit. Users can easily execute auto-setup (automatic adjustment) when starting operation, set control parameters, and perform other operations in the field.
With a structure that does not interfere with the explosion-proof and waterproof features of the positioner itself, the LUI makes it possible to perform a wide range of maintenance tasks in the field.
Conformance with the latest communication standards
The positioner supports the latest version of HART protocol,※1 which is the de facto communication standard in the plant industry, andFOUNDATION Fieldbus,※2and is certified by these organizations for version 7 of HART protocol and ITK6.1 of FOUNDATION Fieldbus. Support for the latest communication standards allows users to maximize the use of the operating status information of control valves and diagnostics results on the upper level host.
Air consumption has been reduced by 20 % compared with the company's previous positioners. Reduction in steady air consumption helps reduce the energy consumed to operate the plant.
The 700 Series starts at 350,000 yen/unit. The goal for sales is 1,000 units in the first fiscal year and 7,000 units in three years, including domestic and foreign sales, a total of 2.5 billion yen.
Guided by its philosophy of human-centered automation, the azbil Group promotes next-generation solutions for production and working/living spaces. The Group has developed production control systems, environment control systems, and component products well proven in a wide range of markets, providing added value optimized for next-generation manufacturing equipment and office environment through solutions that are the fruit of its engineering abilities. The new positioner will be launched as part of these efforts.
The azbil Group aims to realize safety, comfort, and a sense of fulfillment for customers, and to contribute to preserving the Earth's environment, guided by its philosophy of "human-centered automation."
HART protocol: A type of field network communication standard for process control promoted by the HART Communication Foundation. This is the communication standard for transmitting device settings and operating statuses between process measurement/control devices and the control or monitoring system in the form of digital signals over analog lines.
FOUNDATION Fieldbus: A type of field network communication standard for process control promoted by the Fieldbus Foundation. This is the communication standard for transmitting process control operations, the settings of process measurement/control devices, operating statuses, and other information through digital communication.