ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN, The Netherlands -- 1160 wireless VPI units have been ordered from Dutch valve safety specialist 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 (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. 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.
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.
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.
Netherlocks is a leading supplier of safety and valve control systems for major industrial operations as well as smaller firms. The company's mechanically enforced procedures minimize the risk of human error in production and maintenance processes which could otherwise be dangerous and costly. Due to their simplicity, ease of operation and sturdy design, Netherlocks' products are guaranteed to operate effectively even in extreme conditions.