As a result of an actual event that occurred in January 2004 that resulted in a fatality, Pinnacle Actuation developed an Actuator Wellness Program and has been working closely with several generating stations to reduce the potential of another similar accident.
The Actuator Wellness Program consists of six stand-alone modules:
1. Plant Walkdown
- A Plant Walkdown of all of the actuators will be conducted.
- Name Plate Data will be recorded and actuator will be visually inspected for signs of degradation.
- A grease sample will also be taken.
- Following the walkdown, a report will be prepared that will include all of the data sheets, a summary of the walkdown results and prioritized recommendations.
- This information will be provided in a digital report.
2. Housing Inspection
An in-situ visual inspection will be performed on the high stress areas of each actuator housing. If any indications are present a dye penetrant test will be conducted to verify the findings.
3. Diagnostic Testing
Actuators with a history of failure or operational problems will be tested. Key parameters that can be identified include Stem Torque, Stem Thrust, Torque Switch Trip, Spring Pack Displacement, Limit Switch Setting, Motor Voltage, Motor Current, and Motor Power. A Diagnostic Report will be provided.
4. Handwheel Torque Limiters
Limiting Handwheel Torque can be addressed as follows:
- Training – Immediate results based on operator awareness – No physical protection against over-torque conditions.
- Handwheel Adapter – Allows use of torque wrench on handwheel – Torque limited by procedure.
- Handwheel Torque Limiter – Slip clutch installed on handwheel shaft limits input torque to specific value based on operator size and ratio.
5. Safety Training
As a result of recent industry events related to valve operators and subsequent requests from several customers, we have developed a Valve Actuator Safety Training Course. This course is directed towards plant personnel that may, during the course of their workday, be called upon to operate manual valves and motor operated valves in the motor or manual mode. It provides an overview of what is inside the various gearboxes they are operating and how these components can be impacted when operated outside their design parameters. The course also addresses good practices that reduce the chances for equipment damage and personnel injuries.
6. PM Program
Pinnacle Actuation has developed a PM Program that considers OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) recommendations, frequency of operation, working environment, previous corrective maintenance, machinery history and industry experience.
Routine preventive maintenance is performed at regularly scheduled intervals.