Emerson Process Management has opened a Nuclear Excellence Center dedicated to engineering, services and training for Fisher valves. The new center at Emerson’s valve manufacturing facility in Cernay, France, will offer end users and engineering and safety authorities in the nuclear industry, a range of specialist training courses and expanded lifecycle care services for Fisher valves and Emerson instrumentation for nuclear applications. The support and training will help operators of nuclear plants across Europe, CIS and Asia improve the availability and reliability of their plants.
Expanding on the maintenance training already being provided at customer sites, Emerson will offer training courses at the new purpose-built center. On-site facilities include a dedicated environment replicating valves installed in a nuclear power plant. This training provides best practices and procedures for maintaining nuclear certified Fisher devices.
“Employee safety is critical in the nuclear industry so efficient maintenance procedures are essential to minimize turnaround times,” said Olivier Royer, nuclear services manager, Emerson Process Management. “The new center enables valve maintenance training to be performed away from restricted areas of the plant, but in a realistic setting that enables trainees to experience typical maintenance issues in a controlled environment.”
These tailor-made solutions from Emerson have been expanded to meet the growing demand for specialist training to help replace the skills and knowledge being lost in the industry. Certified to ISO 29990, the training modules are designed to ensure that personnel can perform predictive and preventive maintenance in compliance with AP913 guidelines. The systematic usage of diagnostic devices, such as the Fisher Flowscanner and Fisher FIELDVUE digital valve controllers, is an important part of the training to help users understand failure phenomena analysis and optimize material life.
“Within the French nuclear power installed base, over 50 days of production are lost due to unsafe valve maintenance. This is often caused by a lack of expertise and Emerson’s reliable predictive maintenance solution and remote technical assistance is playing a key role in increasing productivity for the nuclear end-user,” added Royer. “Support provided by Fisher service engineers is helping to reduce valve failures, increasing installation safety and ensuring end users achieve ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) - a major commitment to minimise the exposure time of employees to radiation.”
“The new Excellence Center at Cernay is part of several key initiatives to continually enhance and upgrade Emerson’s global nuclear expertise, and is committed to customer needs,” said Jean-Pierre Bruyere, director for Emerson’s Fisher European nuclear business unit. “Combining highly qualified trainers with nuclear product experts provides a valuable service for nuclear customers.”
Taking advantage of the latest mobile worker technologies and using images from webcams at the center in Cernay, Emerson also offers interactive remote maintenance support. This allows a field technician with limited experience or located in a remote area to obtain real-time audio/video guidance from an expert to diagnose, repair or replace critical pieces of equipment without the need to bring that expert to the site.
In addition to the extensive resources available at Cernay, a European team of 100 employees, fully dedicated to the nuclear industry, is available to provide expertise to end-users on all safety-related functions from RFQ to valve dismantling, and proving a complete integrated loop.