Tuesday 11 May 2010

Innovation centre has "finest collection of valve engineers on planet!"

Mega-technology critical to reliability, safety in process and energy industries; testing 15 tonne and 6.5 metre tall, high-performance valves
Emerson Process Management has just opened the state-of-the-art Emerson Innovation Centre – Fisher® Technology in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA. This $30 million investment is designed to help customers tackle the toughest engineering challenges facing today’s process manufacturing and energy industries.

11 May 2010: The official opening was attended by the American Automation Press and links to their on-the-spot reactions and pictures on social media is given on Jim Cahill's (Chief Blogger, Surface Dweller, and Head of Social Media for Emerson Process Management) Blog
When asked, "Why Marshalltown?" Ed Monser of Emerson Corp said "...because it has the finest collection of valve engineers on planet."

The world’s appetite for energy is driving the development of next-generation nuclear plants, mega-train liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, and large oil and gas refineries, which require larger capacities and highly engineered control valves and instrumentation. The 12,600-square-metre Emerson Innovation Centre is designed to help companies deliver record volumes of natural gas and other forms of energy, and consume less in the process, reducing costs and making plants run quieter and with reduced greenhouse emissions.

The centre is home to the world’s largest “flow lab” that, for the first time, enables large valves to be tested in real-world plant conditions to ensure production reliability, efficiency, environmental compliance, and safety before being installed at a customer site.

“No other facility in the world can do what our Marshalltown Emerson Innovation Centre can do – from seismically qualifying a 15 tonne control valve to testing a 6.5 metre tall valve that controls the flow of feedstocks for a petrochemical plant,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “This $30 million investment in innovation directly reflects Emerson’s commitment to helping our customers run smarter plants that improve production quality, lower operations and maintenance costs, and enhance environmental performance and worker safety.”

Emerson, whose Fisher valves are installed in more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear facilities, is able to provide seismic qualification of its valves at the new Innovation Centre, which is critically important to making nuclear plants safe and reliable during earthquakes. Emerson was recently awarded contracts to provide its Fisher control valves for Westinghouse Electric Company’s newest generation of nuclear power plants.

“We are very pleased to be working with Emerson Process Management for control valves on our AP1000™ nuclear power plant,” said William Rice, Westinghouse director of engineering. “We plan to take advantage of this new facility to prove out critical operating characteristics, under actual passive heat-removal system service conditions, for one of Fisher’s unique large control valves designed to meet our requirements.”

The centre’s flow lab has enough capacity to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in just over eight minutes, or a Goodyear blimp in about 12 seconds. Control valves can be tested at pressures up to 240 bar, the equivalent of providing enough force to support a sport utility vehicle on a postage stamp. Meanwhile, the centre also is home to a 2400-square-metre sound chamber in which Emerson can develop and verify noise levels of new devices before a customer’s plant is built.

Located in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA, home to Fisher, which was acquired by Emerson in 1992, the centre required almost 900 tonnes of process piping, more than 500 metres of 76cm and 91cm pipe, seven underground air storage tanks each more than 46 metres long, and more than 3400 cubic metres of concrete.

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