VALVE supplier Bilfinger Intervalve Africa (BIA) succeeded in improving the steam system of a paper mill for an increase in efficiency and productivity and a reduction in costs.
“Top performers in the paper and pulp industry are constantly striving to increase productivity and quality while minimising costs,” said Peter Underhill, technical sales consultant at BIA. The main aspects that need to be addressed in achieving operational excellence are a reduction in energy costs, chemical use, production downtime, and process variability. “The functions of control valves in the paper and pulp industry are extremely diverse. The correct selection, monitoring, and servicing of control valves can result in financial rewards for clients,” he points out.
The emergence of smart positioners on control valves, as well as emergency shutdown valves, has additionally enabled clients to attain an increase in their benefits. “The Fisher DVC2000 and DVC6200 series digital valve controllers add the accuracy of the valve position along with valve diagnostic capabilities that will determine the health of the valve,” Underhill notes.
Using the downloaded information from the device, either from advanced diagnostics or online performance diagnostics, allows maintenance programmes to be adjusted to cater for the more problematic valves. This will prevent the removal and stripping of valves that are in good condition, which reduces costs and time spent on repairs. Overlaying downloads obtained from valves over time will assist the client in moving to predictive maintenance and reducing expensive stock holding of spares.
In the initial stages of a project, Steinmüller Africa carries out careful consideration of the selection of control valves for its clients, ensuring that they carry out the correct function, and are the correct style and size. Since certain valves have been specifically designed to operate in different applications – valves used in incorrect applications can lead to undesirable process variability. Incorrect valve selection can lead to cavitation or flashing damage, excessive plant noise and poor control in areas such as basis weight, affecting paper quality. Incorrect sizing of the control valve could result in the valve not operating in a good control range, leading to the possibility of excessive wear and loss of controlability.
Through Steinmüller Africa’s expertise, all three prime components of the control valves – the valve body, actuator and positioning; work in harmony with one another to fulfil the client’s control requirements. Poor performance of any of these components can lead to poor control of the process, leading to unacceptable process variability that can seriously affect the user’s bottom line, he explains.
“In conjunction with control valves, it is important to be aware that good-quality, hand-operated or automated isolation valves should be used in certain applications to protect the control valve,” Underhill says. “Bilfinger Intervalve Africa has a wide range of quality products to fill this role,” he concludes.
Steinmüller Africa and Bilfinger Intervalve Africa are sister companies and both are members of the Bilfinger group. They provide comprehensive solutions for power, mining, petrochemical as well as pulp and paper industries.