MAINTENANCE & REPAIR
BY GARY OSTROWSKI
Documentation to Diagnostics: Trends in Valve Repair
Not long ago, car owners often per- formed basic repairs and maintenance tasks themselves. Also not so
many years ago, shoppers had to visit
separate stores to purchase groceries,
clothing, electronics, hardware and
medicines. Neither of these scenarios
applies to most of today’s consumers.
The complexity of automobiles means
even routine repairs and maintenance
must be completed by trained mechanics using specialized equipment and
computers. As far as shopping, the
“super center” retailers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping for a vast
array of products.
Similar shifts have taken place in the
valve maintenance and repair industry.
The driving factors behind those shifts
include today’s fast-paced and highly
competitive business environment,
increasingly complex facilities, more
stringent regulatory requirements, leaner in-house staffs, more advanced valve
technologies and lessons learned during
natural disasters such as Hurricane
Katrina and the earthquake and tsunami that damaged Japan’s Fukushima
nuclear power plant.
This article explores these trends, the
forces behind them and how plant personnel can adapt to the changing landscape.
histories—can aid personnel in planning
maintenance activities, help technicians
diagnose valve problems, streamline
repairs, facilitate inventory management and help plant personnel fulfill
Hurricane Katrina and Fukushima
also illustrated to the world the impor-
tance of ensuring that valve data is pro-
tected offsite, available remotely in the
event of an emergency. Hurricane Katri-
na waterlogged plant after plant along
the Gulf Coast, destroying records or
making them difficult to retrieve. At
Fukushima, the records themselves were
not destroyed but dangerous radiation
levels made it impossible to retrieve
Discussions with end users reveal that
the number one repair trend today
relates to asset and repair documentation.
Thorough documentation of a facility’s valves—the types and locations of
all valves in the plant, their specifications and their maintenance and repair