Posted on 29 March 2012

Petronor orders over 1000 VPI handwheel valve position indicators

1160 VPI units have been ordered from Netherlocks by Bilbao Petronor Oil Refinery, part of Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol. Following a very successful three year pilot program, the new equipment will replace existing valve position signalling at the 220.000 barrels-per-day refinery. The VPI’s are connected to a wireless transmitter, enabling a simple implementation of remote feedback on existing valves in a brownfield environment.

Reliable feedback signal

The VPI (Valve Position Indicator) was designed by Netherlocks to provide a reliable feedback signal from hand wheel operated valves, converting the open and closed positions to a digital signal by way of a mechanical counter system.

Netherlocks valve position indicator

Overcoming traditional issues about mounting strength and signal reliability, both the VPI’s mounting method and counter use well-tested and proven designs

Overcoming traditional issues about mounting strength and signal reliability, both the VPI’s mounting method and counter use well-tested and proven designs, which have been used successfully in Netherlocks’ mechanical interlock systems for over 15 years.

Add-on product

The VPI is an ‘add-on’ product, and can be mounted to either new or existing hand wheel operated gate, globe or rising stem valves without interrupting normal process. Coupled with the mechanical counter system, Netherlocks uses an ATEX-approved switch as standard – though customers are able to change this specification if required. Once mounted in place, the ‘open’ and ‘closed’ set points are adjusted and the result is a completely reliable system for valve position indication.

Simple mechanical solution

For the Bilbao Petronor Oil Refinery, Petronor wanted a wireless solution, which posed no problem using the VPI technology. Because the counter works simply and mechanically, the valve position tracking will always be reliable at the point of detection – to make the feedback to the control room wireless, it simply required a wireless transmitter to be fitted along with the switch, as per the customer’s specification.

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