NetherlocksBilbao Petronor Oil Refinery, part of the Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol, has ordered 1,160 wireless valve-position indicator units from Dutch valve safety specialist Netherlocks. Following a very successful three-year pilot program, the new equipment will replace existing valve position signaling at the 220,000-barrels-per-day refinery.

Netherlocks designed the valve-position indicator 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.  

Both the valve-position indicator’s mounting method and counter use’s well-tested and proven designs, which have been used successfully in the company’s mechanical interlock systems for more than 15 years, overcome traditional issues about mounting strength and signal reliability.

The valve-position indicator 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 processes.

Coupled with the mechanical counter system, Netherlocks’ valve-position indicator 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 valve-position indicator 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.

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