Oct 8, 2020

Mobile 3D measurement – a new unique method to determine the right service for valves

Tommi Bergström
Tommi Bergström
Senior Research Engineer
Mikko Tikka
Mikko Tikka
Sales Manager
Iiro Laaksonen
Iiro Laaksonen
CMM Technician

Have you ever been worried about the reliability of your valves during an extended operating period? Can you be sure that off-the-shelf spare parts can meet the targeted life cycle? Did you know there are new unique measurement methods to cut maintenance costs and to increase the availability of your production? Let us explain.

Findings by 3D measurement

Even the smallest dimensional changes can affect the performance of your critical valves. For this reason, we pay attention to measuring, recording, and analyzing changes in order to improve the accuracy of application-specific performance promises. If parts are worn, leakage occurs due to less contact pressure and rougher sealing surfaces. Excessive wear also changes friction properties that can lead to controllability issues due to increased and unstable friction forces. These possible dimensional changes can be captured with preventive maintenance by measuring the valves.

Accurate measurement data increases valve reliability throughout the life cycle

The measurement of valves is extremely important. All decision making should be based on data in order to avoid human errors or misleading assumptions. The accuracy of the data is essential due to the very tight tolerances of valve products. Moreover, the shiny metal surface of the valve brings its own challenges to the accuracy of the measurement data. Maintenance measurements show the wear that is caused by process operation and conditions during the operating period.

Unique and fast mobile 3D measurement

Traditionally, all service measurements are done in valve technology centers located away from the customer site. In order to serve our customers even better, we have introduced and piloted a unique new method: mobile 3D measurement. Now our experts can go to the customer and capture the needed data with handy, state-of-the-art 3D tools instead of doing the measurements at a valve factory. This new solution saves our customers’ valuable time.

From know-how to know-why how the data is utilized

After the measurements, an analysis is done by a simulation expert based on the measurement data. The detailed 3D measured surfaces and the 3D CAD models are imported into engineering simulation software where the analysis is then performed. The simulation results provide insight to the original problem and can be used for root-cause analysis and improvements. After the analysis, we can give our customers our service recommendations, resulting in more optimized processes and longer product life cycles.

Our vision is that the program first tells the condition of the valve and then optimized maintenance recommendations can be made to maximize valve reliability, based on the automated measurement data.

Mobile 3D measurement saves time and increases reliability

Why do we need the data? The measurement data is valuable for many reasons: it allows us to know the changes over the life cycle, it shows what kinds of changes occur under which conditions, and it reveals other wear and erosion and the timing of it. This data enables us to offer our customers better service recommendations and more accurate estimates of future changes. This helps our customers optimize their maintenance and service activities.

Mobile 3D measurement offers various benefits:

  1. Time used in logistics can be reduced to a minimum
  2. Possible wrong actions can be prevented
  3. Our customers can get the right and optimized standard spare parts picked up for a specific use well in advance of a future shutdown

Furthermore, the data can be utilized for R&D purposes to improve valve design – or even to develop predictive maintenance.

Data is the only way forward

To sum it up, intelligent mobile 3D measurement is a more efficient and convenient way to manage the daily service tasks of critical components, regardless of the location. With the help of the quality data and analysis, the customer can extend the life cycle of a critical and expensive valve over one or two operating periods instead of replacing it right away.

They can also maintain the targeted reliability level of their plant and avoid unplanned shutdowns, thanks to the more specific maintenance actions based on the recommendations. A faster process means less logistics and less downtime, and that, in turn, means more reliability and uptime. We need to get as much information out of a valve as possible – that is the way forward today.

Case example about the findings by 3D measurement

See below photos: The shaft is bent due to excess pressure difference through the valve, e.g. pressure shock, causing wear in the bearing housing. The only tools that can determine failure root-causes are 3D measurement and accurate point cloud data.

3D measurement of a valve3D measurement offers accurate data

 

Contact our experts for more information:

Mobile 3D measurement: iiro.laaksonen@neles.com 

Analysis: tommi.bergstrom@neles.com

Sales: mikko.tikka@neles.com 

R&D/Manufacturing: aleksi.rajahuhta@neles.com 

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