October 21, 2021
Data Showed Control Valve Failure Where Visual Inspection Did Not
Control Valve Failure (fertilizer industry)
Issue reported with SAM GUARD®
•SAM GUARD® detected a problem with the inlet steam control valve to a reactor when the process value (flow rate) started fluctuating and deviated from baseline.
•The first alert was generated on 03.04.21 although there was no distribution to the control behavior, increase of steam consumption to maintain the reactor temperature was a major concern.
•The issue was very prominent and clear on SAM GUARD® for the production engineers to take further action.
Since nothing was found on the initial inspection, no further action was taken since the valve was working.
Eventually the valve failed after 5 months on 20/08/21 causing a major disruption to production.
After the first alert, the valve was inspected on site and was suspected to have condensate filling in the valve body, but unfortunately nothing was found.
The valve failed and had to be replaced.
Had the alert not been ignored, production loss and product loss would have been prevented.