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The Evolution of Control Valve Diagnostics industrial standards
- Jul 12, 2018 -

Eventually it became apparent there was a need for industry standards.

The HART protocol became the de facto standard in the older analog and hybrid worlds in which installed instruments and valve positioners take the info from the field and send it back. In newer applications, the foundation fieldbus all-digital network provides different information and extensive data can be retrieved from all the different field devices.

There was much effort from 2003 to 2010 into putting manufacturers’ software within some major distributed control systems (DCS) companies. But they were all proprietary, so every time DCS software would change, valve manufacturers would have to test the changes in their systems. It was a huge challenge for an individual valve manufacturer to make sure their software and diagnostics would work on the platform of the big control system company that a user was using. As a result, two standardized systems emerged.

One was the FDT Group, which has full graphics and enjoyed widespread acceptance by end users. Another, EDDL, has limited graphics and limited acceptance.

Valve performance guidelines were set out in ISA 75.13, which defines performance criteria. It was a good start, but because there were so many permutations of valves with actuators, it was difficult to set the standard. ISA SP 75.26 gave guidelines for what should be done in a diagnostic test.