Valve Health Monitoring System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9101-11-M-0001
Agency Tracking Number: F103-220-0007
Amount: $99,991.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-220
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
Global Technology Connection, Inc.
2839 Paces Ferry Road, Suite 1160, Atlanta, GA, -
DUNS: 961914884
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Nicholas Propes
 Principal Engineer
 (770) 803-3001
Business Contact
 Ash Thakker
Title: CEO
Phone: (770) 803-3001
Research Institution
Global Technology Connection, Inc., in collaboration with academic partner, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and valve actuator manufacturer, BAFCO, addresses valve diagnostics and prognostics by proposing a Valve Prognostic Health Monitoring System (VPHMS) that detects and identifies valve incipient failure modes and estimates valve remaining useful life from sensor data. Valve types considered for Phase I will include hydraulically actuated ball and butterfly valves because they are common types in industry and at Arnold AFB. Other valve types will be considered as well during the latter phase of the program. Valve rotary position, oil temperature, differential pressure across servo valve ports leading to actuator, and hydraulic actuator linear position will provide the minimal expected sensing arrangement while other sensing capabilities will be considered. Critical failure modes that will be examined include seal failures, sensor failures, loose linkages, worn bearings, and degraded/contaminated hydraulic fluid. The data analysis approach will include anomaly detection, failure identification, and remaining useful life estimation. Simulated (GTC) and real valve data (BAFCO) will be used to validate the resulting diagnostic and prognostic models. Phase II will configure, implement, and test the prototype VPHMS at Arnold AFB"s facility. BENEFIT: The benefits of a diagnostic and prognostic valve health monitoring are reduced maintenance costs, increased uptime, and improved process efficiency. The ability to detect and identify failures before catastrophic failure will increase the ability to avoid costly maintenance. Prognostic ability will allow maintainers to plan schedules for part and work orders more intelligently and avoid long downtimes. Valves are utilized to control processes in many areas of commercial industry. Pulp and paper, power plants, food processing, water treatment, space applications, etc. are just a few areas which could use valve health monitoring to reduce labor and downtime; improve plant safety; and decrease product variability.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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