Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration


In situ control valve testing

April 2021 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Control valve testing has often meant using complicated testers that require extensive training, the removal of the valve, and often one to two hours of test time on the bench. Comtest now offers Fluke’s 710 mA Loop Valve Tester. The device allows technicians to source the 4-20 mA signal while it interrogates HART data to collect critical information about the valve’s position and status, providing quick checks of control valves while they are in place. With built-in test procedures and an intuitive interface, the Fluke 710 allows technicians to perform valve tests, while the valve test quick-check results provide at-a-glance diagnostics to make faster maintenance decisions.

With the tester’s built-in HART communication function, technicians can source a 4-20 mA signal to cause the smart control valve to move, while simultaneously interpreting the valve’s HART feedback signal to determine whether the valve is moving to the expected position. In addition to positional information, the measured pressure delivered from the valve’s internal I/P (which moves the valve) can be seen with the HART communication protocol.

The 710 features pre-configured valve tests for reliable and repeatable testing. The built-in routines include:

• Manually changing the mA signal and viewing the HART position and pressure variable information.

• Full range ramping of the mA signal from 4 to 20 to 4 mA while recording the 0-100-0  percent position, or the pressures applied that move the valve from 0-100-0 percent.

• Stepping the mA signal on the input to the valve in steps and evaluating the valve’s response to the mA input changes.

• Speed tests to determine how fast the valve can open or close.

• Bump and partial stroke tests that help test valves over a portion of their range so they can be tested in a live process.

Test results are stored in the memory of the 710, from where they can be uploaded to the included ValveTrack analysis software, which allows users to:

• Upload and plot logged valve tests taken in the field.

• Compare previous uploaded tests to recent tests.

• View valve test history by HART Tag ID.

• Export valve test data to CSV for additional analysis in Microsoft Excel.


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