Over the years I have heard good ideas rejected. We have all done this and observed others doing the same. As far as safety equipment, I recall when the first safety certified pressure transmitter, the Moore 345, was released to the market.  Several potential customers said “it doesn’t solve the plugged impulse line problem and since that is the biggest issue, this new transmitter is of no interest.”  The product provided much better automatic diagnostics than previous products but did not succeed in the market.  However, today safety certified transmitters of all types are common. 

This happened again when a manufacturer released a new safety certified pressure transmitter with plugged impulse line protection. I heard a potential customer say “I really do not have much trouble with plugged impulse lines. This is of no interest.”  Wow.  Was this the same industry?

Weeks ago when I saw a presentation about partial valve stroke testing, this happened once again.  This particular presentation seemed to focus on the potential problems with no discussion of the benefits.  One comment was that the test did not check for valve leakage.  True.  Another comment was that the valve might get stuck when it moved past the range of partial stroke testing.  Possible.  And yes, these problems exist with partial valve stroke testing but they also exist without partial valve stroke testing.  When I think of all the failure modes of solenoid valves, actuators, and valves that are detected by an automatic partial valve stroke test, the simple fact that the technology did not solve all the problems falls way down on my list.  If I can solve many problems, it is a good technology for safety improvement.  And it is especially good if I can reduce manual proof test requirements, as that reduces ongoing lifecycle cost.

Why does this happen?  It is a natural occurrence, as any new technology requires work in order to evaluate.  And many of us are overloaded.  But think of the benefits of maintaining an open mind and allotting time to find ways to improve safety.  New technologies are available, and ready to help. 

Tagged as:     safety certified     partial valve stroke testing     lifecycle     failure modes     Dr. William Goble  

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