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Comment Processing & Handling

The ‘BIST’ In Electronic Valve Actuators

By Earnest Carey, Jr.,
Flowserve, Flow Control Division |

For valves operating in hazardous environments, certification testing is critical to ensure the reliability and safety of the equipment. But this testing process has historically required facilities to shut down and sacrifice valuable production hours to check each valve. Built-in self-test (BIST) capabilities in smart, electronic valve actuators were developed in response to these testing challenges. This article examines how BIST simplifies valve testing and reduces the cost, while increasing the level of confidence in valve and actuator safety. Safety standards and ratings Before exploring how BIST can increase safety, it is important to know how safety standards for plant operations are changing. Safety integrity levels (SILs) for safety instrumented systems (SIS) are becoming the universal standard for measuring plant functional safety. SIL is a safety rating of various components of a facility that include SIS, which provide controls installed for the purpose of preventing a failure. SIL uses a four-level rating system. A third-party organization evaluates an installed component and its hardware, considering such factors as redundant architectures, average repair time, and specific failure rates of all products and subsystems.…
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