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Showa Denko K.K., Kawasaki Plant

Achieving a longer overhaul cycle by proper valve operating condition diagnosis

The valves that were diagnosed in this trial had previously been overhauled about once every two years. The Kawasaki Plant took all possible measures to maintain valves properly, and it seemed that some valves could have a longer overhaul cycle without problems. However, due to a lack of evidence, the plant did not extend the cycle.

“But now it is possible to check the status of each valve with data and obtain a basis for judgment,” says Mr. Yoshitake. “We were actually able to extend the overhaul cycle for two valves that had no problem at all.”

In June 2019, the Kawasaki Plant added 16 more valves to the number of diagnosed valves in the soda electrolysis equipment, with plans to carry out the primary screening diagnosis every six months.

“We learned that Azbil’s valve diagnosis is worth using and produces great results. Utilizing quantitative data on valve conditions obtained frequently and continuously, we can do predictive maintenance, which means taking appropriate measures before failure occurs. This contributes to stable operation of the plant and reduces costs,” says Mr. Arita.

“The larger the scale of installation, the greater the results, such as reduction in manhours,” adds Mr. Hino. “So we are increasing the number of diagnosed valves in the soda electrolysis equipment and are considering introduction of the system to other manufacturing equipment at the Kawasaki Plant. In addition, we share information with other plants. Seeing what we have accomplished, some other plants have installed the control valve maintenance support system.”

“We would like to create a work environment where all employees can do rewarding and high-value-added work by utilizing new technology. We have high expectations for Azbil’s support in the future, including assistance in making our plants smarter.”

This article was published in April 2021.