Petroleum Refining

Below you will find published articles written by Valin's own experts and information from our suppliers.   
Submitted by Jon Monsen || Valin Corporation
Excel-Worksheet Predicts Control Valve Hydrodynamic Noise

Most control valve manufacturers include IEC 60534-8-4:2015 in their control valve sizing and selection software to predict control valve hydrodynamic noise. However, users who want to make quick noise predictions or who want to construct valve sizing applications, programming the above noise standard can be a daunting task. 

Submitted by Jon Monsen || Valin Corporation

If one wants to be able to do accurate hand calculations, or construct a simple program or Excel sheet, the method described here gives answers that agree exactly with iterative calculations using the equations in the current version of the ISA and IEC standards.

Submitted by Peter Jessee || Valin Corp.
Emergency Isolation Valves — Needs and Requirements

EIVs are a critical safety device for fuel-burning equipment and industrial processes that use flammable ingredients. Proper selection is critical for the safety of the workers in the plant, plant equipment and the surrounding communities.

Submitted by Jon Monsen || Valin Corporation
Using Control Valve Installed Gain Calculations

The availability of an easily constructed Excel worksheet that calculates and graphs control valve installed gain in conjunction with the user’s preferred control valve sizing application has prompted a new interest in the application of these calculations. Three examples are shown here.

Submitted by Nathan Ehresman || Valin Corporation
Watlow power controller

For any process where temperature needs to be monitored or controlled, a thermal loop is required. Typically, a process that contains a thermal loop includes some key elements: the process itself, the temperature sensor or transmitter, the temperature controller and the power controller. 

Submitted by Peter Jessee and Dave Fahlgren || Valin Corporation
Fluid Handling: Pick The Proper Positioner

Positioner selection deserves due diligence — and consideration of several factors before making any firm decision. There’s certainly not a typical one-size-fits-all approach for positioners; an uninformed choice can lead to undesirable consequences.

Submitted by Greg Neneman || Valin Corporation
Marking Filtration as a Top Priority for Peaker Plants

For a power plant to run as efficiently as possible, proper filtration is a critical part of the equation.

Submitted by Rich Wilbur || Valin Corporation
Inventory Management Services

By taking advantage of Valin’s program, customers can be confident that their inventory management function is fully optimized.  They can rest assured that the right parts will be in the right place right when they need them, while keeping the peace of mind that their transactional costs are being lowered and the KPI’s are being adequately analyzed.

Submitted by Corey Foster and Peter Jessee || Valin Corporation
Actuator Options for Process Automation

The process industries have control valves with actuators designed to open, close and control them.  Many people prefer pneumatic actuators given their long history, reliability and high performance.

Submitted by Ryan Kraus || Valin Corporation
Watlow Circulation Heaters

In this article, featured in Process Heating Magazine, Ryan Kraus discusses the various criteria to consider when selecting a circulation heater.

Submitted by Jon Monsen || Valin Corporation
Calculating the Installed Flow and Gain of a Control Valve

A simple process method based on the principle that piping pressure losses are approximately proportional to flow squared is presented.

Submitted by Peter Jessee || Valin Corporation
Looking beyond globe control valves

While globe control valves are still a viable solution, modern rotary control valves offer many advantages and serve as a more suitable solution in certain process applications.

Submitted by Corey Foster || Valin Corporation
Remote Access

As long as products have had ethernet ports, people have been asking for remote access to them. They believed they could just plug the devices into the internet, and it would all work. As more software tools became available and internet speeds increased, capable users found ways to give themselves access, however, there was a catch.

Submitted by Norman Hall || Valin Corporation
Understanding the Feedstock with Valin

The only way to achieve a specified purity levels is to select and install proper filtration, with the job intended and the task fully understood. Norman Hall, Filtration Business Unit Manager for Valin Corporation, suggests a correct approach.

Submitted by Nathan Ehresman || Valin Corporation
Steam vs. Electric Heating — The Basics

Most facilities in the chemical process industries (CPI) require some form of heat. The amount of heat required and the necessary level of consistency can vary from process to process. Regardless of the details, engineers must decide on a heating source that works best for a particular process.

Submitted by Peter Jessee || Valin Corporation
Control Valve Sizing

Most people who are familiar with control valves have seen the formula for calculating the valve capacity (Cv) required to pass a given flow rate of water. This seems fairly straightforward until you ask yourself, what is the correct value of differential pressure to use?

Submitted by Randy Mulvaney || Valin Corporation
Silicon-Controlled Rectifier Power Controls: Worth the Investment

In terms of what matters to most in the field today, it is safe to assume that reliability, flexibility, accuracy and cost are at the top of the list. With these factors in mind, implementing a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) control system for an electric heater is often an optimal approach.

Submitted by Jon Irvine || Valin Corporation
Process Piping and Heat: Solutions to Consider

There are several different processes that require a product to flow through a pipe from one piece of equipment to another. A certain level of heat is often required for this process piping, and this heat must be at very high levels for many applications.

Submitted by Tim Tritch || Valin Corporation
Developing a Corporate Filtration Strategy

Proper filtration is essential to process flow operation. Improper or lack of filtration can wreak havoc on components, reducing their life and changing the final product. This can lead to equipment failure, process upsets, increased quality issues and in some cases, unplanned shutdown. Learn more.

Submitted by Patrick Bartell || Valin Corporation
Electric Process Heater Systems for Catalytic Regeneration

Achieving effective catalyst regeneration requires a process that produces a very high level of heat in a very efficient manner. Over the years, there have been several different approaches to create this required heat. Traditional steam and heated transfer media have limitations. Learn more.

Submitted by Dr. Jon F. Monsen and Dr. Hans D. Baumann
Stop Cavitation from Destroying Your Control Valve Trims

The devastating effects cavitation can have on control valve internals is widely appreciated. In this article, the authors therefore explain the origins of cavitation, provide an easyto-use method to estimate cavitation sound levels and conclude with approaches to reduce or even avoid cavitation.

Submitted by Jay Van Horn || Valin Corporation
Installation Practices Key to Successful Heat Tracing

Laying out an effective heat tracing design requires careful attention to detail. Every aspect of the system must be meticulously considered, including both the temperature requirements of the fluids being protected as well as the physical characteristics of the equipment being heat traced.

Submitted by Greg Neneman || Valin Corporation
Instrumentation Fittings

In the world of instrumentation, there are a number of different topics discussed and analyzed.  However, one that should not be overlooked is that of instrumentation fittings. Do you know what technologies are available? Do you know the strengths and /weaknesses? Are there any new trends?

Submitted by Nathan Ehresman || Valin
Industrial Heaters: Reducing Premature Failure

Premature heater failures can lead to unexpected process downtime. Tactics such as testing, planned replacement programs and preventing moisture ingress can help prevent premature heater failures.

Submitted by Patrick Bartell || Valin Corporation

A plant operator’s biggest fear is an unplanned shutdown. The process can place a heavy amount of stress on both operations and maintenance personnel. Alternatively, taking full advantage of a planned shutdown or turnaround is critical.

Submitted by Patrick Bartell || Valin Corporation
Ammonia Vaporization

Developing a strong preventative maintenance plan for plant shutdowns and turnarounds is the best way for operators to minimize the risk of equipment failure, which can lead to unnecessary shutdowns and ultimately, higher costs.

Submitted by Kari Kohonen || Valin Corporation

Specifying control valves and engineering a system in which the flow of a particular product is completely optimized for superior performance and yield can be a challenging process. A number of factors must be considered during this practice to avoid process-destroying problems. Learn more.

Submitted by Jon Monsen, Ph.D., P.E., Valin Corporation
Liquid Flashing in a Control Valve Without Choked Flow

Many engineers may wonder if it is possible to have flashing liquid flow in a control valve even if flow is not choked. The short answer is yes, but it is not very common. This article provides a more detailed answer to this question.

Submitted by Ron Jett || Valin Corporation
Confirm Best Practices for Compressed Air in Refineries

Within a refinery, four main utilities are considered essential to operations: electricity, natural gas, water and compressed air.

Submitted by Nathan Ehresman || Valin Corporation
Before Winter Strikes, Check the Heat Trace

With the cold months on the precipice, November is a great time to review the actions that plant managers and operators should take to better ensure a winter free from incident.

Submitted by Jon Monsen, Ph.D., P.E., Valin Corporation
Why Equal Percentage Valves Act Linear

I was recently asked how the installed flow characteristic of an equal percentage valve in a system that includes a significant amount of pipe or other pressure-consuming elements “magically” becomes a linear, or approximately linear, installed flow characteristic.

Submitted by Nathan Ehresman || Valin Corporation
Nathan Ehresman || Valin Corporation

Thermocouples and controllers themselves do not prevent a failure from occurring. What they can do is create a temperature profile for a heater that can be used as a maintenance log.

Submitted by Bill Nevills || Valin Corporation
Electro-Pneumatic Pressure Control

In the last ten years, the design of pneumatic manufacturers' online tools for sizing components have evolved, the fieldbus systems are ever-changing, component designs are constantly improving, and network devices such as the Industrial Internet of Things have reshaped the industry. Learn more.

Submitted by Jon Monsen || Valin Corporation

Valve sizing and proper application of control valves have always gone hand-in-hand. However, the tools available to valve users have changed and improved significantly over time.

Submitted by Chris Sullivan || Valin Corporation

Despite the demand for standardized communication protocols among manufacturers, both the manufacturers and end users face challenges when it comes to agreeing on a path.

Submitted by Chris Sullivan || Valin Corporation

Proper filtration is one of the most important functions performed inside refineries. Filtration is the removal of contaminants through some type of synthetic, paper, pleated or wound media. The goal of this process is to achieve a specific level of cleanliness.

Submitted by Kevin Goodsell || Valin Corporation
The ABCs of VFDs

Inside of plants today, AC motors are becoming the industry standard. Many plants are shifting to AC motors from hydraulic motors or DC motors when powering heavy loads, which were more popular in the past. This shift can be attributed to a variety of reasons and most have to do with cost.

Submitted by Ray Herrera || Valin Corporation
Pipe and Valve Selection

When selecting the pipes and valves for a cooling system, it is important to understand the options available—and the possible outcomes associated with each selection. Many factors can impact the effectiveness, longevity and quality of the overall cooling system. Learn more.

Submitted by Corey Foster

A specialized version of the Internet of Things (IoT), referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), enables industrial application engineers to implement new or retrofitted systems with upgraded levels of connectivity that allow more advanced process control. Learn more.

Submitted by Ray Herrera || Valin Corporation
Retrofitting Customized Valves

Oil and gas engineers face a problem in accurately and reliably measuring and monitoring the various fluids that are introduced into oil pipelines from well site pumping stations. A thorough understanding of both the oil separation process and the properties of valves and actuators is required.

United Electric Controls has introduced a unique new family of HART capable transmitters that provides programmable switching functionality for industrial process monitoring applications. The One Series 1XTXSW transmitter line is the first to integrate HART 7 compatible 4-20 mA output. Lean more.

Workplace Safety Still Needs a Human Component

Workplace safety is—or should be—a primary focus of every organization, regardless of whether we’re talking about a classroom, an office, a manufacturing facility, or an oil rig. Employees deserve a workspace that is as safe and secure as it can possibly be.

Submitted by Ray Herrera, Valin || Chemengonline.com
Valve-Selection Best Practices

Precise combinations of valves and other equipment lead to process success. A biopolymer fermentation process provides an example of proper valve selection.

Submitted by Jon Monsen Ph.D., PE // Flow Control Network Magazine
Part IV: Keys to Effective Valve Sizing & Selection

This is Part IV in a four-part series based on the contents of the new textbook, “Control Valve Application Technology, Techniques and Considerations for Properly Selecting the Right Control Valve.”

Submitted by Kevin Smay, Valin Corporation // Plant Engineering

Plant engineers often fail to incorporate correct lubrication into system processes and do not realize its critical importance until something goes wrong.

Submitted by Russ Rochambeau, Valin Corporation

Cavitation is the 2nd leading cause of a pump system failure. It’s for this reason that a full understanding of what cavitation is, how it is caused and how it can be prevented is critical in the fluid power industry.

Submitted by Jon Monsen Ph.D., PE // Flow Control Network Magazine
Part III: A Guide to Installed Gain | Control Valve Sizing

In order to get good control with stability throughout the full range of required flow rates, one must use a control valve that has an installed flow characteristic that is linear, or at least as close to linear as possible in most systems.

Submitted by Jamie Zachary | PROCESSWest
Multi-Megawatt Electric Heating System Solutions | PROCESSWest

Tasked with increased demand for high power output, many operators in North American sectors such as power generation, oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical have been challenged by low-voltage solutions and their associated logistical challenges.

Submitted by Patrick Bartell and Nathan Ehresman
Coriolis Mass Flowmeter

When addressing the needs of measurement operations involving various densities and amounts of liquid, Coriolis mass flowmeters are often chosen for their accuracy, durability and reduced maintenance costs. Applications involving custody transfer benefit from their simple and dependable characteristics.

Submitted by Jon Monsen Ph.D., PE // Flow Control Network Magazine
Part II: A Guide to Control Valves and Process Variability

This is Part II in a four-part series based on the contents of the new textbook, “Control Valve Application Technology, Techniques and Considerations for Properly Selecting the Right Control Valve.”

Submitted by Jon Monsen Ph.D., PE // Flow Control Network Magazine
Part I: A Guide to Control Valves and Process Variability

This article discusses the importance of selecting the correct flow characteristic and correctly sizing the valve in order for the valve to properly control the process.

Submitted by Jon Irvine
Best Practices in CONTROL

Considering the number of variables, gaining precise control of a process heating application can be a difficult task. In industries with a high demand for consistent quality, controlling the temperature of a substance from the start to the finish of a process is an absolute necessity. Learn more.

Submitted by Metso Engineering Team

The noise abatement laws and health and safety legislation are becoming increasingly strict. Metso introduces Q2- Trim, the optimum solution for noise problems, that at the same time fulfills all legislative requirements and customer needs.

Submitted by WIKA Instrument Guru
How Gauges Can Help Prevent Costly Loss of Containment

Loss of containment is one of the costliest things that can go wrong at a plant. Accordingly, smart enterprises employ a variety of measures that ensure loss of containment just doesn’t happen – or when it does, the adverse circumstances are kept to a minimum.

Submitted by Patricia Stockdill | Bakken Breakout
Regulations Ok'd to Reduce Crude Volatility

Emergency order required all rail shippers to test products from the Bakken to ensure proper classifications of the oil within federal regulations before it's transported. The intent was to ensure shippers properly classified crude oil for transportation and to quantify the range of physical and chemical properties.

Submitted by Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor
Custody-Transfer Configurator Tool

Valin introduced its new lease ­automatic-custody-transfer (LACT) configurator tool. This new software-application tool assists customers in LACT specification, quotes, component data, and reference documentation.

Submitted by Devon Hyatt

When developing a practical approach to leakage and pollution prevention, plant managers have many options available for instrumentation and equipment. Depending on the process, materials, and operation, the method of ensuring the containment of potential contaminants will vary. Learn more.

Submitted by Corey Foster for Pipeline and Gas Journal
Human-Machine Interfaces Can Benefit Oil and Gas Industry

Standard practices today simply use human machine interfaces (HMI) as windows into a system by allowing some information to be passed back and forth through those windows. This method anticipates the user having the knowledge to use that information both in and out of the system. Learn more.

Submitted by Corey Foster

The future of the petrochemical refining industry will be driven by human-machine interfaces (HMIs) pushing information to where it is needed. An HMI that pushes production, quality and alarm information to the right level of user or management anywhere in the world has the ability to increase the visibility and reaction time.

Submitted by Jon Irvine, Featured in Automation.com Magazine

A temperature sensor is a key component of any process heating application as it provides temperature feedback about the process, which can be used to monitor or control the process

Submitted by Jon Monsen and Peter Jessee // Valve Magazine
Noise from Cavitation: Bad for Control Valves and Equipment

Certain frequencies of sound can play havoc on industrial equipment. When control valves are not selected appropriately, there is an increased risk for cavitation, which causes high noise and vibration levels, resulting in very rapid damage to the valve's internals and/or the downstream piping.

Submitted by Jon Monsen, Ph.D., P.E., Control Valve Technology Specialist at Valin
Rule of Thumb for Control Valve Sizing

When control valve professionals talk about "control valve sizing," they really mean the entire process of selecting the valve that will do the best job of controlling the process. Selecting the right size valve is an important part of the process, but there are other equally important considerations as well.