Emerson's digital valve controllers improve control at water treatment facility

  • October 15, 2007
  • Emerson Automation Solutions
  • News
MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA (October 15, 2007) -The R. E. Badger Filtration Plant in California has improved process control, efficiency, and reliability by installing Emerson Process Management's Fisher FIELDVUE digital valve controllers with Performance Diagnostic capabilities. The plant is using Emerson's AMS Suite predictive maintenance software to monitor equipment performance and also for tracking flow rates, turbidity levels, and chemical consumption. Turbidity is a measure of filtering performance or water clarity.The R.E. Badger Water-Treatment facility provides clean drinking (potable) water for San Diego-area residents. Owned and operated jointly by the Rancho Santa Fe Irrigation District and the San Dieguito Water District, the facility uses a conventional filtering process to remove viruses, bacteria, and protozoa from raw water sources including the Colorado River. Because Southern California is experiencing a serious drought, the district also treats stored water with a combination of chemical injection and filtering.Precise chemical additions and level controls are critical to sustain water quality, lower operating costs, and meet stringent state and federal regulations.The Badger facility operates with a PLC-based system, mostly pneumatic valves, and, until recently, an antiquated bubbler system for filter-level controls. Maintenance Supervisor Elijah Standing Warrior said, "The filter system, designed in the 1970s, was labor intensive and frequently caused turbidity spikes. Upgrading filter controls with Emerson's digital instruments and diagnostics has enabled us to lower turbidity levels by improving control, reduce downtime through predictive maintenance, and improve efficiency by avoiding premature backwashes." On a series of effluent valves, Emerson and Badger personnel replaced a competitor's pneumatic positioners with FIELDVUE DVC6000-PD instruments.Used in combination with AMS ValveLink software that is effectively applied off-line for this monitoring application, the FIELDVUE instruments enable Badger managers to capture more than 5,000 pieces of data every day about operating performance. Access to that information has led to more-informed decision making and predictive maintenance. "When we installed the DVC6000-PD instruments on the filter beds, we ran baseline valve signatures," said Elijah Standing Warrior. "When filter number two experienced turbidity spikes after backwashes, we compared signatures, analyzed the torque trend through the PD tier, and realized that the valve's seat was wearing and needed replacement. We were able to execute this fix during the next planned shutdown."Elijah Standing Warrior added that the success of FIELDVUE instruments in the chemical-metering area led them to redesign their chemical-injection (CIO2, chlorine dioxide) generating system. The new module includes four FIELDVUE DVC6000-PD instruments, which provide advanced control and monitoring of chemical injections and flow rates.The Badger facility also uses Rosemount wave-guided radar transmitters as filter-bed level sensors; Micro Motion Coriolis mass flow meters to provide flow-rate input for chemical additions; and Baumann control valves with FIELDVUE DVC2000 Series instruments to modulate flow rates. These devices and software are key components of Emerson's industry-leading PlantWeb architecture, a network of digital field devices and equipment that delivers continuous diagnostics to process control and asset management systems. This technology enables operations and maintenance personnel to predict control issues and schedule repairs before equipment failures interrupt operations. Badger plant managers intend to add on-line monitoring capabilities, including Emerson's AMS Suite: Asset Portal software, to extend and enhance their asset-management system.About Emerson Process ManagementEmerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb, Fisher, FIELDVUE, AMS ValveLink, Baumann, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Mobrey, Daniel, Bristol, DeltaV, Ovation, and AMS Suite.About EmersonEmerson (NYSE:EMR), based in St. Louis, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2006 were $20.1 billion. Learn More

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