Measurement Validation is the next step in making reliable process measurements. By continuously monitoring temperature deviations, problems like failing RTDs, corroded terminals and excessive vibration can be detected. You now have the ability to know not only your process temperature, but that it is a true temperature.
First and foremost, high density temperature transmitters are a best practice when an application requires multiple temperature measurements. These are commonly used for distillation columns, turbomachinery and heat exchangers. There is a significant savings in terms of installation and material. You also get the added benefit of having a transmitter in the loop. Measurement Validation is an additional benefit of this best practice.
Measurement Validation works by monitoring the statistical performance of a process. Over time, it learns the process and can predict what the temperature is supposed to be. If the normal process is not realized, it will produce an alert. By having the ability to adjust the sample rate, you can bias the diagnostics for processes that tend to have faulty sensors (high sample rate), or processes that have excessive excursions (low sample rate).
There are many benefits to Measurement Validation. While the temperature measurement may be within the limits of the process, a process temperature that is higher than reported means you are wasting energy to heat a process. With Measurement Validation you know the reported temperature is the true process temperature. This can lead to a reduction is raw material consumption through an improvement of process efficiency. It can also help prevent producing a finished product that does not meet specification.
There is also a benefit with Predictive Maintenance (PdM) in your Reliability Center Maintenance (RCM) program. Often times high temperature readings are not the result of a high process temperature, but a faulty sensor. Unfortunately, a faulty sensor is not realized until is has completely failed. Measurement Validation provides an alert when a sensor is going bad. This prediction provides you the opportunity to change the sensor before it fails, which helps prevent unnecessary shutdowns of your process.
Having a measurement that detects an abnormal temperature excursion is a third benefit. Because the validation is looking a temperatures over a longer period of time, there is an average change that is produced. If the temperature rises outside of this limit, it can signal a runaway process. Measurement Validation helps protect your process, your finished product and, most importantly, your assets.
The ultimate benefit of Measurement Validation is that you can now develop a control strategy based on a valid measurement and not being concerned with faulty reading. This dramatically improves both your process efficiency and process reliability.
The potential to reduce energy consumption, improve maintenance and prevent process excursions is tremendous. Measurement Validation is that solution. It is currently only available as a wired solution, but the benefits outway the investment by far. Stay tuned for updates on this.
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