Million-seller digital valve controller
Emerson Process Management is celebrating a process industry milestone: the company has sold over one million Fisher Fieldvue digital valve controllers worldwide. First introduced in 1994, Emerson says its digital communication and diagnostic capabilities changed the way process control manufacturers monitor control valves and accelerated the process industry’s move to digital instrumentation.
Danny Nelson, vice president of instruments for the Fisher division, was a mechanical test engineer in the mid-1990s, supporting the new Fieldvue instrument design. He recalls "Because the Fieldvue instrument was the first communicating, loop-powered digital positioner, several new tests were developed to verify technologies deployed in the product. These were never done before in prior valve mounted instrument products."
With its introduction, the Fieldvue instrument platform not only received several industry awards, but also resulted in more than 50 patents for its innovation and reliability. By 1999, the installed base of 100,000 Fieldvue DVC5000 instruments had delivered one billion hours of run-time in process plant environments.
Over the past decade, the global development team has added numerous enhancements and application options, from online diagnostics to remote mounting. Emerson personnel developed a stainless steel version for use in harsh, off-shore environments as well as a remote mount option that can withstand temperatures up to 120 °C (250 °F).
Ken Hall, Fieldvue product marketing manager, adds, "The more capability we built into the instrument, the greater the application flexibility and customer interest we generated." He says the latest version adds a group of critical new capabilities:
Diagnostic capabilities monitor valve performance closely enough that plants can operate for five to seven years between maintenance shutdowns.
Its partial-stroke testing capabilities earned two patents, as well as Exida, TUV (Germany), and SIL-3 certification and approval.
The Fieldvue DVC6000 model may be installed via hot cutover, which facilitates conversion from analog to digital without interrupting the production process.
-Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com
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