07202017Thu
Last updateThu, 20 Jul 2017 3pm

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Technical

How to Choose the Best Rapid Prototyping Method

As new products are designed, including valve bodies and the parts that comprise the finished valve, prototypes must be created. How that is achieved is what makes the difference in how long it takes to get development done and the product to market.

Prototyping is exceptionally challenging in the valve industry due to the complex, multi-component parts. In the past, all these components would require a full set of custom tooling to prototype. According to Jeff Kane at DFT Valves, tooling is hugely time-consuming and expensive for valve prototyping.

It takes time to create the tools, then build the parts and see if the design works properly the first time. If not, revisions could take many more weeks—anywhere from several weeks to as much as six months, and the cost could be upwards of $500,000 to get a valid prototype. Then the prototype would have to go through testing, validation and verification.


Valves in Oxygen Service

In his presentation at VMA’s 2017 Technical Seminar, Kurt Larson, a process control engineer for Air Products, spoke about the inherent danger of the oxygen production business and how it is particularly important for end users and valve manufacturers to work closely together. Additionally, it’s necessary to have organizations that work to standardize and ensure the safety of plants and people.

Achieving Profitability Through Maintenance Management

One of the distinctions between maintenance requirements in a capital-intensive process facility and those of other industries is the high cost of production equipment and the corresponding cost of maintaining that equipment over its lifecycle. This capital intensity demands a maintenance response like few others in manufacturing.

Adding to this uniqueness is the fact that as a process industry, failure in one part of the operation invariably leads to lost production opportunities in the subsequent processes. In this complex environment, the foremost problem is that of controlling the unexpected and unnecessary loss of production due to equipment failures.

Control Valve Positioner Performance Diagnostics

There has been discussion for some years about the accuracy of measuring control valve travel with the use of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) measuring element versus the use of independent valve analyzers.

In this article, we will define these devices, as well as relate how they work and how they influence measurements in the various diagnostics programs that use them.

Although many types of digital positioners exist, only a few types of travel feedback sensors are available. This forms the basis of our discussion, which includes the pros and cons of travel sensors and how they measure the travel.

Magnetic Particle Examination: Not the Only Way to Test for Flaws

Magnetic Particle Examination (MT) is a popular, relatively low-cost method to perform nondestructive examination on ferromagnetic materials. As defined by ASME V, ferromagnetics are simply “magnetic” materials that can be magnetized and are strongly attracted by a magnetic field. MT is defined as a method that verifies the presence of defects on the surface of a component (or just below the surface).

MT was first introduced during early 1920s, after workers noticed that metallic grindings appeared to be arranged in patterns around cracks on components under machining. The technique was the result of exploiting the principles of magnetism. The ferromagnetic powder-to-steel parts allowed a more visible indication of discontinuities and defects. MT was first introduced in the railroad industry and quickly replaced other rudimental surface NDEs like “oil and whiting.”

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