Let me be honest: I for one hadn’t heard the term SVRP until a few weeks ago. But SVRP – short for SIS valve assemblies reliability prediction - could well be one of the key topics for Valve World throughout 2016 and 2017. Why? Well, permit me to tell the story from the start.
In the run-up to Christmas I happened to call Henk Hinssen, who I am sure will need no introduction to members of the Valve World community. I wanted to ask a few things about the next Valve World event in Dusseldorf, but it was clear that Henk had something far more important to discuss.
“Listen David. I have been commissioned to look at the whole topic of emergency shutdown valves in upstream applications. Now I’ve been speaking to people from all sides of the industry and I’m picking up on a lot of issues which I don’t think are fully appreciated. In short, I strongly suggest that end users really need to look again whether their current approach to emergency shutdown valves is fit for purpose. Now why don’t you and your colleagues drive down to Belgium so I can give you all the complete picture?”
As you can imagine we didn’t need a second invitation, and just a few days later my colleagues James Hoare, Robert-Jan a Campo and I found ourselves sitting around a table, listening fascinated as Henk talked about some of the factors that can potentially go awry with ESD systems.
During the course of the afternoon Henk took us through a whole gamut of issues ranging from the purely technical (such as the role played by equalizing holes in ball valves) to the practical (the need for better communication between the valve engineer and the actuator engineer) and from testing (why we could all benefit from more testing of torque on demand figures) to limitations in standards (such as shouldn’t SIL certification include details on torque?).
With Henk’s permission we have put together an overview of his work on SVRP which is set for publication in the February issue of Valve World magazine (PDF copies of the article available from David Sear). But as there are so many facets involved Henk has kindly agreed to provide regular updates of his on-going research and has also come up with names of fellow experts who we plan to interview for future issues.
Given the vital safety role played by ESD systems that is why you can expect to read much more about SVRP throughout the year. But as Henk himself stresses, he does not want to be seen as the holder of all wisdom. So if readers have any thoughts, insights or questions to share, then both Henk and I would be delighted to hear from you.