A Predictive & Preventative Approach To Valve Maintenance

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Valves are tools which are used to direct the flow of the fluid. They can be used either to start the stream, stop, or redirect it. All large power plants and industries have valves placed in their big machines which help them to run efficiently. Valves are of different types depending on their applications.

Valves are generally small and seem inconsequential in terms of the other more massive machinery used around at these places. However, valves are every bit responsible for proper efficiency and working of the process. They should not be neglected. There are hundreds or thousands of valves used around at processing sites, and each of them needs to be maintained and checked thoroughly. It has been observed that these are more often than not ignored and not checked as frequently as they should be.

Why Should Valves Be Maintained?

While the usage of valves should be sufficient to advise on why we need valves, there are many other reasons which can emphasize the significance of valves maintenance. Some of them are popular, and hence, the maintenance plans exist. Let us take a look at a few of the reason why we need to maintain the valves:

Efficiency

Proper working and well-maintained valves have a direct correlation with the effectiveness of the process and its delivery. When valves are maintained promptly, the ability of their operation is as good as it is when they are newly bought. This means more consistency in delivery and hence, a direct impact on profitability. For efficiency, it is also essential to choose valves from a reputed check valve manufacturer.

Emergencies

If the valves are continuously maintained and checked, the chances of emergencies are reduced. Any problem with valves can be caught beforehand and dealt with. It is a preventive measure to reduce accidents and sudden mishaps at prominent industrial places.

Smooth Working

A valve that has not been maintained and checked will eventually work in a lesser efficient way. It leads to slowing down of valve function and in turn slows down the entire process. On the other hand, when valves are maintained nicely, they function without any slacking, which also ensures the smooth working of the process with consistency.

Daily Upkeep

Valves can be checked and maintained for regular maintenance as well. This will help you to check if everything is normal. Any abnormal activity can be caught and actioned on accordingly. This accordingly will prevent any loss of material or excess waste that might have happened. Eventually, it helps to curb expenses if looked at a bigger picture.

Types Of Valve Maintenance

As we now know, the maintenance of valves is essential and beneficial. This can help to improve efficiency and also work on minimizing wastage. Let us look at the type of valve maintenance plans:

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance can also be termed as planned maintenance. As the word suggests, it means taking preventive actions. It is an event or time-based maintenance. The purpose here is preventing the equipment from slacking by ensuring regular upkeep.

For example, for your motorcycle or any automobile for that matter, you get the oil changed. This is done every time a trigger target or a time frame has been reached. This way, the automobile will be oiled and checked for any problems as well. Similarly, there can be preventive maintenance for valves as well. The manufacturers themselves recommend it.

Preventive maintenance ensures that your valves are safe and also helps to keep up the efficiency of the valves. This, in turn, means the effectiveness of the machinery and process is maintained. There are additional benefits of reducing costs and also eliminates the chances of accidents.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance can also be termed as condition-based maintenance. This is not time-based maintenance like preventive maintenance. This has a more data-driven approach. The data, in this case, comes from the results of monitoring the equipment. The maintenance is driven by what the results of the tests and monitoring of that equipment and its performance showed.

Taking the same example above, for your motorcycle instead of a trigger target or time frame, you depend on the tests of engine for deciding whether it needs oiling. If the tests show that the engine is degraded, you get the oiling done. The tests need to concrete and regular as the action depends on their results.

There are automated tools that allow the technicians to monitor the working of the valve to determine it’s health. This entire ordeal is done without removing the valve from its service. There is no disruption in the process at all. The health is monitored, and based on the results, the maintenance is decided. Any issue would be visible to the technician, and he would know how to fix it. Similarly, if the valve is fine, there would be no maintenance required immediately.

Comparison Between The Approaches Of Maintenance

If you are looking for a straight off answer about which type of maintenance is better, there is no such answer. It all depends on the need and purpose of your process. You can check the various aspects of each of the approaches and then decide which one fits better for you.
While a predictive approach shields you from any sudden accident as the checks are done periodically, it might not fit in perfectly when the valve is used for multipurpose things. You cannot predict the misses in those cases.

Conclusion

Consequently, depending on the type, size, use, and the process of the valve, you need to zero down on the approach that you like the best. There is no hard and fast rule; it all can be decided out based on needs and the features of the approaches.

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