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Modern Instrumentation Simplifies Maintenance

By Howard Siew |

Built-in diagnostics and condition monitoring improve maintenance, process reliability and plant availability Today’s modern world is steadily digitizing all our daily routines, but the majority of the chemical and petroleum-refining industries remains far behind current technology. The maintenance process is especially lagging due to old operating systems, lack of exposure to new technology and conventional mindsets regarding maintenance of instrumentation. A typical maintenance strategy in a chemical plant involves performing planned routine maintenance and only being reactive once equipment fails to the point of introducing reliability or safety concerns. Then the maintenance crew rushes to replace the device if it’s available as a spare or expedites shipment from the manufacturer. Meanwhile, the process is shut down. FIGURE 1. Modern instruments, such as this Coriolis flowmeter, have built-in diagnostics and condition monitoring[/caption] Even though instrumentation nowadays is getting “smarter,” with functions such as self-diagnostics and condition monitoring (Figure 1), most plants don’t take advantage of it. Unfortunately, 97% of the smart instrument data are not being used. This article discusses how modern instrumentation…
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